Feral Friday – 5 Star Horrible Books

It’s Feral Friday! And I want to talk about ‘5 Star Horrible’ books

I have recently decided upon a new rating: 5 star horrible.

You know those books that are so heart-breakingly amazing that they are horrible. The ones that rip out your heart and smash it to pieces, and you loved every second of it?

The book when someone asks “How was it?” Your immediate reply is “It was horrible. I loved it!”.

The ones that make you tear up, it starts off as a sweet little tear rolling down one cheek that you can discreetly wipe away.


Then the book breaks you, but yet you can’t look away, you just cannot stop.


The one that ultimately results in…

The ugly cry!

That, my friends, is a 5 star horrible book!

The books that no matter how sad and heartbreaking it is, you adore it. In fact, you love it because of that. No matter how much you choked up, ugly cried, gasped for breath and sobbed, you demand that best friend reads it.

That is a 5 star horrible book.

I personally don’t have a lot of 5 star horrible books on my list. I am not a crier. I’m just not. Yes, there have been books where a tear came to my eye. but to actually cry, I could count those times/books on one hand. And to ugly cry? Well that is nearly impossible to reach.

I know a lot of people cry a lot during books, and I don’t judge them for it (please don’t judge me for not crying). And while I don’t cry at the same books that they do, I can see why they do cry (I am not completely heartless). For example, I didn’t cry in The Fault in Our Stars (no judgement, remember) - I loved it, and it was sad and I did get the feels, but it didn’t punch me in the gut and smash my heart into a thousand pieces like it did with a lot of other people.

But, I am always searching for that book. That 5 star horrible book that I will love completely while it beautifully and torturously rips my heart out. The book I would recommend to everyone, even though it nearly killed me. That book that leaves me feeling broken, full of feels and with a massive book hangover.

And I am not alone in this search. Heart-wrenching books are great as that means we have connected to the book, the characters, the story. But why do we love these books that give us all the feels? Why do we want that book that break our hearts and leave us with a book hangover for days or weeks? Are we masochistic? Are we suckers? Are we crazy because we cherish the fact that an author can engulf us in a story so much that we actually feel the pain?

No matter what the reason - we love a book that brings us tears and makes us ache and hurt and ugly-cry and feel. And we are all thankful for these 5 star horrible books. We just heart them!



A few side notes about this post:

  • I just had to write this as I couldn’t face writing a review just yet. The book that lead me to talk about being broken and smashed hearts? That book is All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. Go pre-order it guys - it is amazing!
  • This is my first post with GIFs - Yay for me! (Which is funny since I have just been tagged in a GIF book tag)
  • And yes, I am impressed with myself that I could include a Sons of Anarchy and a Harry Potter GIF in the one post :)



What are your 5 star horrible books? Do you cry easily or are you cold-hearted like me?

Let me know in your comments below.


What do you think?

  • Caitlin says:

    I’m a bit of crier :P I’m a pretty emotional reader, so when something hits me, it hits me extra hard. I love your idea of a 5 Star Horrible rating. A lot of people told me TFIOS was horrible and wonderful before I read it. For me, Of Mice and Men would be the closest to 5 Star Horrible I have. Even so, I’m still searching like you. Great topic!
    Caitlin recently posted…It’s A Blogger’s Life #2: Differing Book Heights and Sizes – Oh the trouble they cause me!My Profile

  • I was tooootally thinking about All the Bright Places when I read this post! YES YES AND OMG YES. *wails for eternity* I wrote a whole post gushing about it yesterday because….oh gosh, I literally cannot contain my feels about that one. *wipes tears* It really mashed my heart. I highly agree that 5-star-horrible needs to be a rating. It needs to be like a shelf on Goodreads at least.
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Beautiful Books #1: Let’s Talk Books || New Linkup of AwesomeMy Profile

    • Kristy says:

      :D I am so glad you agree with me Cait!!! It was horrible! It was fantastic!!!!
      I just read your gushing post - and I agree with everything you said!
      Feel free to steal my rating and make it a shelf on your Goodreads if you like :) I don’t use tags and shelves on Goodreads so it may as well be used, since I doubt I can convince Goodreads to put it in as an official rating ;)

  • Haha, what an awesome rating! I’m not someone who cries a lot of over books either. Better, I don’t really cry, I sometimes get tears in my eyes though. I’ve had around.. 5 books or so that manage to make me tear up.
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Review 292. Elissa Sussman – Stray.My Profile

    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Mel. I think being a non-crier means that when it does happen, it is even more powerful! I hope we can both add more books to this list in the future :)

  • Finley Jayne says:

    Love this post :) Two books that instantly come to mind, that would fall into this category for me-The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay and then Cracks, by Sheila Kohler.
    Finley Jayne recently posted…{Halloween Special} Black Cat CookiesMy Profile

    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Finley! I really enjoyed Sea of Tranquillity, but it didn’t make me cry (I saw “it” coming, which is maybe why it didn’t have a huge impact on me?). I haven’t read Cracks yet, I will add that to my TBR pile :)

  • I’m an emotional reader, so I’ll cry with a book I may have only given 4 stars, but I have a special 6 star rating for these kinds of books :D And I’m so glad to hear that All the Bright Places lives up to this painful rating - it’s one book I’m most looking forward to next year!
    Kayla @ The Thousand Lives recently posted…Review: The Perilous Sea by Sherry ThomasMy Profile

    • Kristy says:

      Kayla, I suggest tissues for you while reading All The Bright Places! I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
      I guess a 6 star rating is very similar to my new rating - it just means it has that extra “something” to it. I love those books :)

  • Guilty of tagging you in a GIF tag :)
    Ohh, All the Bright Places is next for me, so I will definitely be keeping tissues handy and trying not to read in public places.
    I think Dangerous Girls falls under as a 5 star horrible book, but not in the heartwrenching and sobbing 5 star horrible, but has everything else.
    Can’t wait to see your review of All the Bright Places!
    Gina @ Behind the Pages recently posted…Stacking the Shelves (29)My Profile

    • Kristy says:

      Yes Gina, you are guilty!
      Quick, read All The Bright Places! Go!!! Then we can be in amazement together :)
      I just finished Dangerous Girls (as you know) - and that has a whole other rating… one that has an F word instead of a H one ;)
      Enjoy reading All The Bright Places!!!

  • I have yet to hear back on my request for All the Bright Places, but based on this I’ll likely preorder it. My 5 star horrible book is My Sister’s Keeper. Like serious snot and sobs for the last quarter of the book. No other book has ever done that to me. I love the idea of the 5 star horrible rating.
    Leila @ LeilaReads recently posted…The Liebster AwardMy Profile

    • Kristy says:

      Oh, I have my fingers crossed for you Leila! But yes, pre-order it anyway. I got this book as an unsolicited arc, and I have to say I have never been more happy with an unsolicited book, but I will also be pre-ordering a final copy :)
      I haven’t read My Sister’s Keeper - I have seen the movie. I know the movie has a different ending, and to be honest, I am not sure how I feel about the books ending. I will read it one day, just so I can make an informed opinion on it.

  • Well, you nearly had me in tears with the Jax watching the… well you know scene haha :( My heart still hurts from that. Anyhow… I am one hundred percent a blubbering fool while I read. I will cry at the drop of a hat, and that’s not limited to books, tv… commercials… sad stories. I WISH I didn’t get like this, I am seriously so envious of people LIKE YOU who can make it through a book without a thousand tears! My 5 star horrible book though is a tie up between If I Lie and Code Name Verity. I thought I was going to have a heart failure in Code Name Verity, I ugly cried so hard I couldn’t breath. If I Lie, I cried every ten pages, how embarassing haha.
    Lauren @ Lose Time Reading recently posted…Stacking the Shelves (85)My Profile

    • Kristy says:

      Oh Jax :( Yes, that nearly killed me. That was my 5 Star Horrible moment for TV - It still kills me.
      I don’t think it’s a bad thing to be an emotional reader (or watcher) - I think that it just means you have to be careful about reading in public :)
      Oooh, I haven’t read either of your 5 Star Horrible books - I will add them to my TBR list!

  • It doesn’t take much to make me cry while reading! Character deaths, sad breakups, beautifully written moments-a lot of things can bring tears to my eyes. Torn Away by Jennifer Brown was definitely a 5 star horrible book for me. The entire thing made me an emotional wreck. There’s no other book that made me tear up as often as that one did. Sisters’ Fate by Jessica Spotswood was the most recent one that made me super emotional. It hurt, but it was so darn GOOD.
    Kaitlin @ Reading is My Treasure recently posted…Stacking the Shelves (38) ~ A Two Week HaulMy Profile

  • […] Kristy talks about five star horrible books. […]

  • Charleen says:

    Stephen King’s The Green Mile. It’s my only 5-star book that I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever read again, because I don’t want to put myself through that again. Usually I love re-reading, especially my 5-star favorites… but that book… ugh… (In a good way, but still… ugh…)
    Charleen recently posted…Fright Fest Week 2My Profile

  • […] has created a new 5-Star Horrible Rating for all those beautifully cruel books at Book Nerd […]

  • […] 5 Star Horrible Books at Book Nerd Reviews […]

  • […] me the worst book hangover I have ever had, it is the book that prompted me to write the post ‘5 star horrible books’ and it is the book that is so wonderfully and beautifully torturous that I recommend it to each […]

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    CommentLuv badge