I ask this mostly of myself when I go to write reviews, because a lot of times I'm not sure if the book I just read is a 4-star review or a 5-star reviews. To be honest a lot of times I just decide on 4 1/2 stars to compromise...with myself. Here are a few ways that determine if I should give a book 5-stars or not.
I think if I've just come off reading a terrible book I am more critical of the current book I am reading. So while I may enjoy a book a lot, I might just give it 4 or 4 1/2 stars because I just don't think it deserves my 5-star rating. Sometimes if I'm just coming off a great read I think I am more lenient with reviews of my next book. There have been times where I've gone back even after I've posted a review and thought, "Hey, is this really a 5-star book?" I'm too lazy to actually change my review, but there have been times where I should have been more critical and I wasn't. This is definitely something I have noticed and I am trying to make my review unbiased from the other books I had previously read.
Okay, I definitely admit it, I have given books 5-star ratings just because they were written by one of my favorite authors. I just love those authors and their other books that I feel like I'm betraying them by not giving them a 5-star-review. At the same time, I feel like that's not being honest, and I do want to try to fairly review every book I read.
There have been times that I have really enjoyed a certain book but there was just something that I found problematic in the content that just couldn't allow me to give it 5 stars. For instance I really don't like infidelity in books, but it seems to be a plot driver in a lot of romance novels. For instance in Outlander, Claire basically cheats on her husband Frank, which I thought was okay since he wasn't really alive yet in the plot, but it still rubbed me the wrong way. I also don't really like abuse of woman, so there have been some really great books that I LOVED but certain parts of it just made me extremely uncomfortable that I just couldn't see myself giving it a higher rating.
I read a lot of audiobooks and review them on this blog, and it definitely effects how I review things. There have been books, like Ready Player One, that I absolutely LOVED because the narrator was amazing. There have also been books that I have straight up DNF because I couldn't stand the narrator's voice. I can be fickle about this at times, so this definitely is another merit on how I decide if a book deserves a 5-star rating.
These are just a few reasons why I decide on what stars to give my reviews. I want to know what metrics do you looks at when deciding if a book is a 5-star review? How do you determine if a book is worth of 5-stars? Do you even think about as much as I do?