What Makes A Good Book : How I rate my 5 stars book

Trang’s back after a whole week hiatus LOL (again T_T) You guys know how I write my posts very randomly and even if I want to keep a schedule, I don’t stick to it and only follow what inspires me in the moment. This is a question I always to ask bookworms and discuss :


The book reviewing process is VERY subjective alright. I’ll try to list all the aspects that must appear in a 5 stars book for me. It is however possible that I might add some on the list with upcoming reads.


I’m the kind of reader who likes to feel attached to the character or at least, relate to them on some level. A very good book should be able to make us realize the evolution of the character. In their actions, in their words, even in their non-verbal aspects. They have flaws. I must admit I hate perfect heroes. I need some struggling backstories or even some weird flaws that show us the world is not perfect. It will never be. But you can make a good story out of it and grow out of it too.


“Laugh as much as possible, always laugh. It’s the sweetest thing one can do for oneself & one’s fellow human beings.” – Maya Angelou

A BOOK THAT MAKES ME LAUGH HAVE AN 80% OF CHANCE OF ENDING UP HAVING A GOOD RATING. It’s as simple as that. I also find unexpected humour to be the best ones ๐Ÿ˜‰ Like you’re reading a very serious book and then suddenly you burst out laughing in the subway because you didn’t expect that at all. Something that The Hearts Invisible Furies did VERY well.


I already mentioned it in my Villain post, but nothing beats a good villain. When it’s really well done and with a good backstory, I feel like I can always root for them. Villains just make everything sexier ๐Ÿ˜‰ I mean.. HOW BADASS IS AIDAN FROM ILLUMINAE?ย 


This point right here is what makes a 4 stars book jump to a 5 stars book for me. I admire plot twists because I think it’s so hard nowadays to create a good one. With all the books out there, there’s always been SOMETHING that’s been done already. So when I encountered a good one, I cherish with all my heart because they are endangered species.


In my opinion, a book should be able to make you feel something. Make you feel anything. From anger, to sadness to joy and happiness. It has to be able to transport you in a compelling journey, where words are the principle magic ingredient at the heart of the novel. And it’s okay if I find a book emotional and you don’t. There are so many books out there for all types of people ๐Ÿ˜‰


A book can be A SUPER GOOD FOR LIKE 90% and then the 10% conclusion is shitty as fuck. It will drop my rating SO BAD. Just like a strong opening, you need to conclude your book in beauty. Cliffhangers have to be done right. A plot twist ending is even harder. And a rushed conclusion is what I hate the most! A good balance of tension and release is key for a good conclusion.

Foundation trilogy is a very good example of a well done conclusion. In every book of the trilogy, Asimov mastered it.

I have some other requirements but they all depend on the genres I’m reading ! For example, for a science-fiction, the science background has to be well researched, the world-building is a must in a Fantasy book. Since they don’t always apply to all genres, I prefer to not include in this post.

What are some of your criteria for 5 stars rating ?! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d love to read your thoughts on it ๐Ÿ˜€

Until next time,


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31 thoughts on “What Makes A Good Book : How I rate my 5 stars book

  1. raistlin0903 says:

    Haha…I am like that as well. I never stick to a schedule, nor do I ever plan on keeping a schedule for my blog either. It puts to much pressure on me, and that’s not worth it.
    Great post! It is definitely subjective as you say. A lot of the points you adress here are definitely on my list for the highest ratings too. Characters for me are the most important part. If they are done well, than I am about half way there. And a good pacing is important too. I have read some books that have such a long time before they really get going that I am always halfway through the book before it gets interesting ๐Ÿ˜Š


  2. Kristina says:

    totally agree with the need to relate/see myself in the character & the need to make me feel something ! However, what makes a 4 jumps to a 5 for me, is if I’d like to pick it up again or not. I LOVE to reread books, and while some I really liked- I might not wanna pick it up again.. also a good sign if I constantly think about that book a while after I finished it !


  3. TheReadersBay says:

    Especially to the part where a book should make you feel something. I feel like it’s not only bout making you emotional, but just about anything which leaves you and your mind something to ponder on, deeply think about.


  4. Marie says:

    Oh this is such a great post, I love it. Rating books is so hard and, for me, rating a book 5 stars really is a question of whether I am feeling it, or not. I need to be emotionally invested in a book in order for me to love it, I need to… I don’t know, relate to it in some way and just have this feeling that it’s a book I won’t forget in the next couple months ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. healed1337 says:

    More so with books than movies or games, my main criteria is that a book makes me feel something. That could be amusement. It could be sadness. It could be awesomeness. It could be a mix of emotions (in fact a book that makes me feel more than one emotion generally would get a higher rating from me). As long as its not boredom or anger (at the book’s quality or decisions and not a villain or theme that you’re supposed to be angry at), then it’s probably going to go over well.

    The characters are another important factor. If a book can’t make me care about its characters, then I won’t care much about anything that happens to them.

    A good plot can be awesome, but I don’t feel the need for one in every book.

    Entirely agreed with the ending. A bad ending can ruin an otherwise good book fast.


  6. Inge | The Belgian Reviewer says:

    Every book in my top 10 list is either super surprise twisty or an utterly emotional read… those two things really have to stand out from the other novels in their genre in order to get a five star rating for me and be considered a favorite! Great post!


  7. Poulami @ Daydreaming Books says:

    The villain thingy and plot twist are an absolute must for me too! And well the rest too, especially character development if it’s a character-centric book which most contemporary books are. It’s sometimes hard to find a gem in the midst of everything.
    Anyway, loooove this post! โค


  8. Hilary @ SongsWroteMyStory says:

    I totally agree on the point you made of books having to make you feel something. A book can be amazingly written with a great plot and characters, but if I don’t feel anything, I usually end up bumping it down a bit. It’s resulted in lower ratings for so many books ๐Ÿ˜ฆ


  9. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    Oh if a book had a plot twist that I don’t see coming I will definitely rate it five stars, and actually the same with antiheroes as well (AIDEN is like one of my ultimate favourite characters, I can’t wait to hopefully see much more of him in Obsidio). ๐Ÿ˜€
    One of the things that pretty much guarantees books will get a five star rating from me is amazing world building (obviously it’s not the only thing a book needs but it’s a must at the same time!)
    Great post Trang. ๐Ÿ™‚ โค


  10. Zezee says:

    I love me a satisfying conclusion too. It’s so annoying when I’m left wondering if the end is actually the end or not, or still questioning loose plot threads and such.


  11. Kat J. says:

    I agree with so much of this. I know one thing that can screw over a Book is the writing. If it lacks intensity or is too basic for the story itself I get bored and books arenโ€™t born to be boring. A fantastic post.


  12. Irene Montaner says:

    Great list! And yes to every point in it. I would add that to merit five-stars I have to end reading the book knowing that I would read it all over again. And again.
    That’s how a new favourite is born and that’s how it earns a five-star rating ๐Ÿ™‚


  13. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    Such an amazing post!! I’m the same- whether there are characters who I can get invested in or not will make a huge difference to how I rate a book. And yes, the best heroes for me are flawed. Yes to humour! And I love villains too! (Aidan is the best!!) And plot twists always push up my rating ๐Ÿ˜€ And yes, a book has to have an emotional impact to hit the five star level. Agree with everything on here!


  14. Daniโ˜†Touch My Spine Book Reviewsโ˜† says:

    Fantastic post, LOVE! I love learning more about behind the reviews of the fantastic Trang! I am so glad you shared this post because it makes me ponder my own reviewing process! I live your reviews and reviewing process! You have such a fantastic outlook and give great criticism and outlook to other bloggers and authors! #lovelovelove Lovers you!๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿค—


  15. Sophie @ Blame Chocolate says:

    Absolutely agree with all your points, Trang! Especially the last one. Boy, if a book has been awesome and then decides to be a major disappointment at the end, then it gets personal. I get mad. Those ratings are going down bitch ๐Ÿ˜‚
    Awesome post!


  16. Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

    I love this post! I am completely with you when it comes to character development. I NEED that in my life. Without solid character development, or even remotely realistic characters I cannot be bothered to read the book. Seriously. O_o I also love it when the book pulls on my heart-strings, but not when my heart is ripped out and stomped on the floor. Or scared. Do not scare me or you will be DNF’d, book! ๐Ÿ˜‰


  17. (Danielle) Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

    I completely agree here! I find that character evolution and a proper conclusion are the biggest for myself. A book can have so many issues, but if the characters are viable and accomplish growth and the books closes on a successful note, it often makes up for a lot with me. I appreciate that you touched on humor, because I think it is so hard for books to solicit a real laugh from me. When an author does, I am hooked!


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