Friday, May 24, 2013

Jana's Recent 5-Star Reads

Since becoming a book blogger, I find myself not LOVING as many books as I used to. I'm not sure if my tastes are changing, if I'm expecting more of a book because I've read so many amazing ones (and terrible ones), or if I'm just getting pickier because I feel like my readers expect brutal honesty from me. I'm not giving out as many 5-star reviews as I used to. Is that good or bad? I'm not sure... Anyone feel like weighing in here on this?

Anyway, I thought I'd highlight a few of the books that have gotten 5 stars out of me lately!


Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill 
(full review here)

This might possibly be my new favorite YA contemporary romance! I love the descriptions of London (a place I am just dying to visit), our very nerdy Julia (her nickname is Book Licker. COME ON.), and the swoony young love that blooms and burns sooooo slowly. And the witty banter and hilarious situations can't hurt. Plus, travel. This book knocked it out of the park for me. 




Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo 
(full review here, in which I make a Friends reference... 
because doesn't Friends fit into everything?)

Guys. I am not a fantasy lover. Or at least I never had been. Leigh has created this super dynamic, exciting, mysterious world for us and I can't get enough of it. Plus, her writing had me salivating. It's absolutely amazing. Throw in a bad-a heroine, a sexy villain, a noble love interest, and SO MANY DETAILS, and you've got a Jana who loves the fantasy genre.



Instructions for a Broken Heart by Kim Culbertson 
(full review here)

Yet another book that takes place on a class trip to a far off place. Can you tell I missed out on study abroad and class vacations? Yeah. My love of this book probably comes from my love of Italy. Kim took me right back. Our heroine, Jessa, is perfectly flawed and so much fun to read about. And then there are some sweet boys... and introspection... a little controversy. I just loved it. And honestly, I have not been hearing enough about it these days. Don't let this one get lost on your TBR shelf! 

 
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (full review here)

I probably don't have to explain much with this one. Marissa has me loving Little Red Riding Hood, a story I hate growing up. And I got to see my best pal Cinder again, which was a surprise. I love that Marissa writes strong heroines, and then puts the focus on them. These girls don't need saving, and that's refreshing. I love the balance of humor and seriousness, and I'll never get enough of this world. Ahhhh...




Ok, so there you have it! Do any of you feel the way I do about these titles? And please. Throw some of your 5-star reads at me, because I'd really LOVE to read them! And I'm serious about advice on whether or not you're getting more picky about books as time goes on. Are you a book blogger who finds themselves getting more cynical? Are you getting more selective in your "old" age? Help a girl out!

10 comments :

  1. Oh totally!! 5 Stars are becoming a little more rare than before. But .. those are then the ones that totally stand out.
    Like MTB - how I freaking loved this book and Shadow and Bone!

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  2. I agree with Danny, I cant remember the last time I gave a 5 star review!

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  3. I've definitely gotten more critical the more books I've read, but I've tried to get more lenient about giving those 5-star ratings where appropriate. Because even with books I love, it's easy to go through and say, "It was really good... but if it weren't for this and this and this, it could have been *perfect*!" And you know what? No book is perfect. So my 5-stars tend to be less about the book itself, and more about how I felt when I read it.

    Even so, I'm still pretty stingy... most books I read are 3- and 4-stars. I've only read one 5-star book so far this year, and it's already May!

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  4. Scarlet was awesome! And Meant to Be and Shadow and Bone are both high on my TBR. Glad to hear you enjoyed them!

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  5. Considering I agree with ALL of them, looks like I need to pick up Instructions for a Broken Heart!!!

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  6. Yes. I am WAY more critical now than when I started reviewing and blogging. I kind of cringe when I see my ratings on past books because most of them I would not have rated as high as I did. I think this because I read so much YA (and certain genres in particular) that I have so much more to compare it to. Also, within certain genres, I find it REALLY hard to be surprised or impressed by anything I read. This is particularly true for dystopians. I LOVE dystopians. I naturally gravitate towards them. But it is to a point where they all start to bleed together. There are a few standouts, but that mostly has to do with the characters. I also get tired of the YA archetypes and if I'm reading a book with them then I usually downgrade the book because it isn't fresh or original. If I give a book a 5 star rating it usually meets this criteria:
    1.I recommend it to most if not all my friends (otherwise I only recommend to those who I think will like it - I'm choosy about my recommendations)
    2.I find myself thinking about it days afterwards
    3.I don't want to leap into the next book immediately. I want my mind to stay with the characters a little longer.
    4.I am genuinely EXCITED about it - I fangirl a little
    5.I consider purchasing the book (this is a biggie for me because I rarely purchase books - no room!)
    6.I can recall details about it later (also a big one when most books blend together for me)
    7.I would consider rereading it (also something I don't tend to do)

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  7. I've always been a bit stingy with my 5 star ratings. I want that rating to mean something and if I throw it out with every whim and every other book then it just doesn't. Typically I've found that the books that get 5 stars from me are extremely emotional reads or books that help me to grow. Great topic.

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

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  8. I'm reading Shadow and Bone right now and it is SO GOOD. I'm glad to see it on your 5 star list. =)

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  9. I might have to attempt the Shadow & Bone series after your comments here. Particularly since you are not much of a fantasy genre fan.

    I also completely agree with you on Scarlett. It was just as amazing as the first! The characters are incredibly strong, Meyer writes so well, and then there's that mind-blowing futuristic setting. Why do we have to wait so long for Cress?

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  10. yep defiantly becoming stingy with my 5 stars particularly this year. so far i have read over 120 books in order to try and make my goal when you are reading basically a book a day and then reviewing every one of them it really takes something special to make me sit up and go "5 STARS"

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