I don’t have a set rating system, but I’m starting to think that I should. There’s a lot that goes into a book being great and it’s nice to see that laid out in a practical way. Who knows? That may be one of the next things I do in 2020.

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Shannah of Bionic Book Worm. It’s all good vibes and good times and if you’re on the fence about joining, just try it out!

Here are five reasons I give a five star rating:

1. The Representation is on Point

If you couldn’t tell by the tagline, this blog is all about representation. I love seeing myself in the books I read. I also love learning about other cultures and how their upbringings may have differed from mine. More often than not, I learn that we’re more similar than I would have originally thought.

If you’re looking for some suggestions, here are a few:

Let's Go Swimming on Doomsday by Natalie C. Anderson

Let’s Go Swimming on Doomsday was actually written by a white woman who has a ton of experience working with refugees. She’s giving a voice to the voiceless and this story hit me so hard.

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

If you’re looking for more Latinx main characters and you haven’t checked Elizabeth Acevedo out yet, you’re doing yourself a disservice. The Poet X is perfect for lovers of poetry and tough conversations.

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Dear Martin is such an honest portrayal of police brutality in the lives of young black men.

2. I can relate to the characters

In some ways this ties back to representation. One thing I love while reading is the feeling of being seen. It’s that feeling you get when you let yourself believe that an author wrote a particular book just for you. It wasn’t a feeling that I truly experienced until well into my middle school years.

I’m not saying a book has to have characters I relate to for me to rate it five stars, but I am more likely to give a book five stars if I relate to the characters. I hope that made sense.

These are some stories that impacted me on a personal level. What does that for me, may not feel the same for you and that’s okay. I’d still recommend these books to anyone that’s interested.

This Side of Home by Renee Watson

This Side of Home by Renee Watson is one of those books I read years ago, but still think about regularly. The story just resonates with me on so many levels.

The Skin I'm In by Sharon G. Flake

The Skin I’m In by Sharon G. Flake is one of those books from middle school. It was one of the first times I truly related to a main character. I’m starting to tear up just thinking about it.

3. The story is well paced

I love when stories are well paced. I hate when the plot moves too fast or too slow. If it’s too fast, I start getting frustrated. When it’s too slow, I get pretty bored and will more likely than not just DNF it. It can be difficult hitting that sweet spot in between, but when an author hits it, I’m sucked in.

Here are a couple examples. Not everyone feels the same way about pacing, I personally don’t like slow burns but I do love increasing tension. These books are just so perfectly paced for me.

Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson was one of my favorite reads of 2019. I hadn’t read psychological thriller in a while, but this was all I wanted and more. Talk about pacing! This book kept me hooked the entire way through.

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

I personally loved the pacing of The Gentleman’s Guide. I listened to it as an audiobook and felt like the story moved really well and kept me hooked all the way through. This is especially harder with longer stories, but this one hit that sweet spot.

4. I want to meet the characters again

These are stories where I would love to see more of the characters. I’ll often talk about how I’d love to read a spin-off centered around the other characters in the story. Or, I would love to keep reading about them after the adventure is over.

An example of this one for me would be Slay by Brittney Morris.

Slay by Brittney Morris

I mentioned in my review that I would love to read a sequel or a spin-off with some of the book’s characters. They were all pretty cool peeps.

5. The author’s note gets to me

Sometimes I’ll be on the fence about a book, often between ratings. There have been a few times when the author’s note pushes me over the edge. That doesn’t mean I’ll go from a three to a five because the author’s note is so moving, but if I’m feeling a 4.5, the note just might be worth that extra 0.5. It’s just something about reading the author’s intention and how this story was birthed that gets to me.

Did you do a Top 5 Tuesday? (Link it below!)

Have you read any of these?

How do you rate your books?

What are your favorite five star reads?

Let me know in the comments below, let’s chat!


Author: Rachelle Saint Louis

Rachelle Saint Louis is a Haitian-American writer, born and raised in South Florida. She received a 2018 Silver Medal in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition for her poem “Red Blood Cell.” She is currently a Psychology and English double major at Florida Atlantic University. Her poetry has been published in Rigorous Magazine. Rachelle has been writing poetry since the 7th grade and you can often find her performing Spoken Word at local open mics.

9 thoughts on “Top 5 Tuesay – TOP 5 REASONS I RATE A BOOK 5 STARS”

  1. I love this post. Great reasons. I agree with all of them! Especially with the pacing. I often find myself knocking stars off for bad pacing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am doing myself the biggest disservice because I haven’t read Elizabeth Acevedo yet (I know shame shame shame on me!!!) But I’m hoping that I can get them from the library sooooon!
    I totally agree with a lot of the reasons you’ve listed! Characters are really important for my reading experience so if I love them, I’m hooked! Author notes are also super important and I think you’re the only person I’ve encountered so far that actually reads them! I read The Bride’s Test by Helen Hoang and I was feeling like it was it was a 3.5 and then I read the Author’s Note and I cried and gave the book a 4 XD It hit me that hard!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with you on the characters and relating to them and …I love that you added the author’s note! Because yes I read them and some are just brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

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