When you read a story, what determines if it deserves the optimal 5-star?
I've been reviewing books for a while now. Haven't written very many reviews as of late due to time constraints and, well, also the fact that they aren't that easy for me to do. It takes a lot of energy out of me to write a review that I feel is worthwhile posting anywhere. If I can offer a 4-star or 5-star rating for a review for a particular book, then I'll attempt to write one at some point for the author to help them with marketing. Either posting on Amazon, sending in for the Afictionado Ezine, or just posting here on my blog.
But I've been seriously considering that I've been way to easy on some reviews in the past. Have you found that you get pickier the more books you read? Apparently I have.
For me, I've decided that if I don't experience at least three out of the following four effects from a read, I'm not giving it a 5-star. The criteria I'm referring to is:
1) a good laugh (and I mean I physically laugh out loud),
2) get choked up (crying would be the ultimate, but rarely does that ever happen),
3)actually feel or can picture vividly a setting or experience described in the book,
4)it makes me challenge a preconceived perception of a life situation or belief in such a way that I grow as a person from the read.
I've read lots of books that get 2 out of the 4, but not many get three, and I can only think of a few of Karen Kingsbury's books that have hit all four (she is one amazing author who owns emotion in her writing).
So what about you, what do you look for in the ultimate read?