Top Ten Tuesday

The 4-Star Curse: Why Do I Hardly Ever Review 4-Star Reads? (& 11 Recent 4-Star Reads That Deserve The Love)

20220215 4-Star Reads

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Hi everybody, and welcome to a new Top Ten Tuesday!

Today’s topic was originally ‘Books Too Good To Review Properly (I have no words!)’ and while I was super excited about this topic, when I dove in looking for those 5-star, all-time favorite reads… I found that I actually DID review most of them, so I DID somehow find the words (I’m not saying they were eloquent words and sentences that made sense, but there were words).

But what I did not find? Reviews for those 4-star reads. Books I liked a lot and even loved. But never reviewed. Huh.

My conclusion is: reviewing 5-star books is not that hard for me. I may rave and shout in caps locks and use way too many exclamation marks. I may not be the best at reviewing them. But I still review them. Same for 4,5-star reviews.

And while I usually also stay away from 3 (or less) star reviews, they’re usually also easy-ish to review because I’ll have a good idea of some things I liked and some things I didn’t like about a book.

But 4-star reviews (And 3,5-star reviews too)? THEY’RE HARD! Because I really enjoyed them, but they were just missing that extra something to make it a 5-star read. Except usually, I can’t really pinpoint exactly what that was. Maybe it’s even a me-thing, like I read them at the wrong time. And then I end up just not reviewing them. Which is a pity, because they were great, solid reads and deserve for people to hype them up.

So while I work on that in the future, for now, please find here a selection of recent 4-star reads that I really enjoyed – just didn’t find the words to say how much.

Electric Idol by Katee Robert

Let’s Get Textual by Teagan Hunter

A Shadow in the Ember by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas

The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan

Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell

Shipped by Angie Hockman

A Deal With The Elf King by Elise Kova

Spoiler Alert by Oliva Dade

Well Matched by Jen DeLuca

Rhapsodic by Laura Thalassa

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Tell Me:
Have you read any of these? Any you loved?
Do you also struggle with reviewing 4-star reads?

Lindsey xoxo

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  1. Interesting that it’s the 4 star reviews that give you trouble. I’ve read three from your list – The Intimacy Experiment, Spoiler Alert, and Well Matched – and I’ve yet to review Spoiler Alert. I froze when it came to explaining what worked and what didn’t.

    1. It did struck me as weird when I thought about it – but it’s like you said for Spoiler Alert – I just couldn’t properly explain my thoughts on it.

  2. Stephanie - Bookfever says:

    Personally I have to most trouble with 3 star reviews because the books usually aren’t bad but also not great. I never know what to say about the books 🤣

    1. I think most bloggers indeed have more difficulty with 3 star reviews, and not 4 stars. For me 3 stars are a little easier because there I’ll usually know what I didn’t like about them, but for 4-stars it’s more of a feeling like ‘I loved this, but not enough for 5 stars and I don’t know why exactly’ 🙂

  3. Sophie @BewareOfTheReader says:

    I plan on doing a Hardest books to review today and your idea here is excellent!

    1. Thanks Sophie!

  4. Interesting! I’d say most books I read fall in the 3-4 star range, so those are the ones I end up reviewing the most. But I can totally see how a book you really enjoyed but didn’t LOVE could be hard to review!

    1. It is interesting because most books I read do indeed also fall in the 3-4 star range, which may explain why I don’t review all that often *oops* I’ll need to work on that 🙂

  5. I get what you’re saying about 4 star reads. I usually have this problem with 3 star reads. Like they’re good but not great and I can’t really tell you why.

    1. Yes, exactly, it’s for those reads that it’s often hard to pinpoint exactly why I didn’t rate them more stars – it’s often just a feeling even.

  6. Hah; I don’t really have any problem with thoses- though I don’t really have much logic either 🤣 it feels like a 4.. because that’s the number I got in ny head 🤷🏽‍♀️ Most times it’s « would I reread this? » and other times.. even myself I don’t know. (Though I have the 5stars easy)

    Spoiler alert is on my list! Aswell as the spanish love deception & shipped.

    1. Haha, I do love how we all approach reviews a little differently 🙂

  7. The more I think about this, the more I can see what you mean. When I review a 4 star I feel like I almost need to justify why it’s only a 4 instead of a 5 if I loved it so much. If that makes sense.

    1. Yes, exactly! And often it’s hard to say exactly WHY it’s a 4 instead of a 5 star – often it’s just a feeling which is hard to put into words.

  8. I totally get what you mean. The 3.5-4 star reviews are generally the toughest for me to write… I’m trying to be okay with writing mini-reviews for most of these lately! 😂 I can’t wait to read so many on this list and I’m so glad you enjoyed them!

    1. Yeah, I definitely need to embrace mini reviews more often 🙂

  9. Literary Feline says:

    I know what you mean about not always being able to put your finger on why a book didn’t get that perfect five. I struggle with that too.

    1. Thanks! Yeah that’s exactly it, it’s not always easy to pinpoint an exact reason, often it’s just a feeling.

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