I’ve been a bit slow on my blog recently — blame job hunting for that! — and thought I would write up a fun and quick blog post for you all today, inspired by Jami @ Jami Shelves! Please go check out her amazing blog!
Even though I haven’t been blogging as much as I usually would, I have still be reading heaps. So much so, that’s I’ve been lucky to enough to rate most of my most recent reads 5 stars. And I wonder if I can continue this good luck I’m having and guess which books on my TBR, that I intend to read sooner rather than later, I will rate 5 stars.
I’ve chosen really difficult books for this exercise, too. What I mean by that is not books that I 100% know I will be rating 5 stars, such as Heartsong or The Dragon Republic. I already know that there’s a good chance of me rating those books 5 stars because I gave the other books in the series by the same authors 5 stars already. For this post, I’ve specifically chosen books that either have a rating lower than 4 stars on Goodreads, books by authors that I’ve never read before, or books that don’t necessarily seem like my Brand™ but that I think I will still enjoy nonetheless.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
This book is quite divisive: people seem to either really hate it or really love it, and I’m sincerely hoping I fall in the latter group. I don’t know why, but it’s kind of giving me The Secret History vibes? Which isn’t too much of a stretch: both books are about close friends who have to deal with challenges — although The Secret History involves a couple of murders, while A Little Life seems to follow four friends over a couple of decades.
Two blogging friends of mine, who I absolutely trust when it comes to reviews, have rated this book so differently: one has rated it 5 stars and says its the best book she’s ever read, while the other has said she’s never going to touch it. So I guess I have to read it and see for myself!
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
I’m not sure what to expect from this novel. I think its about a young man who befriends, or has already been friends, with another man and his sister, and is caught up in their aristocratic life — but that kind of life is fading from the world, during the Second World War.
This book has a 4-star average rating on Goodreads and I’m sincerely hoping I can also rate it that high — preferably 5 stars. I heard that this book is queer but as its a classic, that might mean it includes some tragic gay scenes — which might or might not anger me, depending on how its written. Again, this is just conjecture but so many people I trust seem to love this book so I hope they don’t let me down!
Damsel by Elana K. Arnold
This is another book that people either seem to really love or really hate. It’s a subversion of “the knight comes to save the damsel in distress, locked away in a tower and guarded by a dragon” trope, with an adult spin. A lot of people claim that its definitely not a book for everyone, but as a fantasy lover — especially of darker fantasy books — I have a feeling I will also love it.
Again, some reviewers I trust have wildly different opinions on this book! One reviewer adored it and rated it 5 stars, calling it a new favourite, while another rated it 2 stars. But dark fantasy is my jam!
A Conspiracy of Truths by Alexandra Rowland
I don’t know much of this book but I have this feeling that its going to be amazing? Its a book about a wandering storyteller who is arrested for witchcraft. He spends most of his time in prison trying to prove his innocence by telling stories. It seems like a slow fantasy book, which is one of my favourite kinds. I love epic fantasy stories, but I also love slow character-driven stories and that’s the vibe I’m getting from A Conspiracy of Truths.
Excitingly, the author released AO3 tags for her book on twitter, and here they are:
Snarky little shit, old man shaking his fist at a cloud, bitchy first person narrator extravagantly editorializes for 140k words, teenage cinnamon roll too good for this world too pure, awesome WOC lawyer, found families, identity shit, name shit, creepy magic, more badass ladies than you can shake a stick at, women allowed to be assholes, a spectrum of female competence, narrative acrobatics, fucky shadow gods, nested stories, gay characters, bi characters, ace character, pregnancy mentions, gore mentions, minor character death, economics, propaganda, grouchy people pretending they don’t care except they care a LOT, teenage cinnamon roll openly cares about everyone, no fridging, no bury your gays, fuck entirely off with your stupid fantasy homophobia, people are queer and literally NOBODY cares and i don’t explain it, intergenerational friendships.
The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
I have no idea why, but this book is giving me Flowers for Algernon vibes? Which makes no sense because neither book is similar to each other so I don’t know where I got that comparison from. But basically this is a book set in Alaska in the 70s about teenage life. It follows four different characters just trying to live their lives — I think. And I tend to really love those books.
If I love a character a lot, then I can read a 500 page book of them doing absolutely nothing — literally just living their lives. I love strong, wild plots in books, but I’m 100% trash for characters over plot any day — and from the reviews I’ve seen, that is this book!
What are some books that you think are 5 star predictions? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Let me know!