So I had this discussion in the back of my mind for a while and finally decided to write my thoughts down. Can a book be a favourite and not a five-star read, and can a five-star read not be a favourite?
I feel like, generally, most people rate their favourite books as five stars and go from there. The books that they loved but aren’t favourites are 4.5 or 4 stars, and books rated five stars are generally favourites. But I was thinking about this recently, and there are some books that I consider my favourite in a certain genre, and aren’t five stars. And books I’ve rated five stars that I wouldn’t necessarily consider some of my favourites.
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, for example. It’s one of my favourites, for sure. I consider it my favourite YA romance or contemporary, and if someone asks if I read it, I respond with “yes, it’s one of my favourites!” BUT I rated this book as four stars because it’s a fun, cute, easy summer read. It didn’t blow me away and thus wasn’t rated five stars.
Same for Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. I just read this recently, but it immediately became a favourite. I think it’ll end up being one of my favourites of the year and I loved it. I rated it 4.5 stars because it just wasn’t a five-star read (granted, 4.5 stars is pretty darn close to five stars).
And then there are some books I’ve rated as five stars that I don’t think I consider favourites. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, for example. I loved it and I think it’s incredibly written and so important. It’s definitely required reading. Does it make my best-of-the-best list? Definitely, for sure. But will it make my favourites list? Probably not.
Or the Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I loved this book. It was so well written and I was completely immersed in it and flew through all 600+ pages. It was easily a five-star read. I recommend it to everyone and think it’s amazing. But do I consider it one of my favourites? No, not really.
There are some that are somewhere in the middle, such as Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. I rated this book five stars because I loved everything about it. The writing was stunning, the characters were super interesting, the story was suspenseful and interesting. Will I reread it? Most likely. Do I recommend it to everyone? Yes, for sure. But do I consider it a favourite? Maybe. I think it’ll be one of my favourites of the year, but not of all time.
So, my questions for you: what are your thoughts? Are your 5/5 books (or 10/10) your favourites? Do you have any favourites that aren’t 5/5? Or do you not rate books on a scale for this very reason? Please let me know!
Thanks for reading! xx