Let’s talk about those amazing books we encounter once in a while – those that make you wish that the story would last for 2000 pages longer and that you could travel back in time to read the book for the first time all over again. A 5-star book for me requires that I thoroughly enjoy it, I want to feel things and be awed by the story. 5-Star books for me often come out of the blue, but sometimes I manage to predict which tomes on my TBR are going to have the biggest impact on me. So today I’m here to do exactly that – predict which books will tear my heart in two and make me lose sleep in favour of finishing one more chapter.
I can’t wait to get started! Most of the books on this list I know next to nothing about, I just have an odd, strong hunch that they will be wonderful reads. Hopefully I can return to this list of 10 books when I have finished most of them to check if I was right or not 🌟
Psssssst. I have added synopses under the cover for books that are standalones or the first book in a series. No synopses for sequels to avoid spoilers!
Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson (#3 in Stormlight Archive)
Why I think it’ll be a 5*. I have 5-starred both The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, the two earlier instalments in the Stormlight Archive, and I cannot imagine Oathbringer disappointing me! Brandon Sanderson’s worlds are so creative, and his characters have stolen my heart. I have no idea what is in store but I’m sure it is going to be incredible. If you haven’t picked up The Way of Kings yet, please do! You might find yourself wandering aimlessly around your TBR as nothing compares after it 😭
A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti
Synopsis. When everything has been taken from you, what else is there to do but run? So that’s what Annabelle does—she runs from Seattle to Washington, DC, through mountain passes and suburban landscapes, from long lonely roads to college towns. She’s not ready to think about the why yet, just the how—muscles burning, heart pumping, feet pounding the earth. But no matter how hard she tries, she can’t outrun the tragedy from the past year, or the person—The Taker—that haunts her.
Why I think it’ll be a 5*. I know very little about A Heart in a Body in the World – I have seen it being described as a heart-breaking book that will make you cry more than ever, and books like that tend to make me fall in love. This one is a bit of an odd-ball to me as a YA contemporary, I rarely read the genre and when I do I’m often disappointed. But I’m confident that this one will be a game-changer!
Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller
Synopsis. How do you kill a god? As her father’s chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: to win back her honour, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year or die trying.
Why I think it’ll be a 5*. I have been eyeing this one since before it was published, but only recently I have become increasingly confident that Warrior of the Wild will be perfection. This month I finished Shadows Between Us by the same author and 5-starred it – if Warrior of the Wild has anything in common with it, there is a very high likelihood that it will be a new favourite! Also, that opening line on the synosis: ‘How do you kill a god?‘, I bet this is going to be an amazing one!
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Synopsis. ‘I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me’
Why I think it’ll be a 5*. This book seems to always sit at the top of many different ‘best fantasy books ever’ -lists and it is often compared to The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. On top of that, many people whose reviews I trust have 5-starred The Name of the Wind and some have declared it as their all time favourite! I must love it right? I’m positive that I will!
We are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson
Synopsis. Henry Denton has spent years being periodically abducted by aliens. Then the aliens give him an ultimatum: The world will end in 144 days, and all Henry has to do to stop it is push a big red button. Only he isn’t sure he wants to.
Why I think it’ll be a 5*. I know nothing more about this YA scifi than the synopsis reveals, but already based on those four sentences I think it will be a new favourite. I expect the plot dwelve deep into discussions about mental health, and the impact of bullying. I think it will simply break my heart. Honestly I don’t even know how I should prepare for reading this book. Tissues? A week long holiday to cry and read?
Starsight by Brandon Sanderson (#2 in Skyward)
Why I think it’ll be a 5*. Whaat a list of only 10-books and Brandon Sanderson gets featured twice?? I know, I know, but what can I say. His worldbuilding, characters, plot, and twists are phenomenal. And I don’t think Starsight will be an exception. Skyward was an explosive beginning to this YA scifi series, and although I didn’t love the main character from the very beginning, she truly grew on me. It was fun and fast-paced! I can’t wait to learn more about the world when I get to read Starsight.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Synopsis. Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its students are well tended and supported, trained in art and literature, and become just the sort of people the world wants them to be. But, curiously, they are taught nothing of the outside world and are allowed little contact with it. Within the grounds of Hailsham, Kathy grows from schoolgirl to young woman, but it’s only when she and her friends Ruth and Tommy leave the safe grounds of the school (as they always knew they would) that they realize the full truth of what Hailsham is.
Why I think it’ll be a 5*. I have heard that Never Let Me Go is Kazuo Ishiguro’s best work to date. I thought Remains of the Day by him was incredible, how good can this one then be! Ishiguro has the skill to paint realistic landscapes that take your breath away, and he hides little bits of character’s painful memories and his true meaning here and there in the story so that you are first confused and then punched in the gut by your own feelings.
When You Ask Me Where I’m Going by Jasmin Kaur
Synopsis. The six sections of the book explore what it means to be a young woman living in a world that doesn’t always hear her and tell the story of Kiran as she flees a history of trauma and raises her daughter, Sahaara, while living undocumented in North America. Delving into current cultural conversations including sexual assault, mental health, feminism, and immigration, this narrative of resilience, healing, empowerment, and love will galvanize readers to fight for what is right in their world.
Why I think it’ll be a 5*. This poetry collection has intrigued me for some time already. I tend to search for it constantly in every bookstore I visit (now only online cause you know 😅) and I love the title and cover. I can’t really explain my curiosity towards this one, but I really think it will be both impactful and an important collection to read. Also, look at this poem by the author, I’m in love:
so that one day
a hundred years from now
another sister will not have to
dry her tears wondering
where in history
she lost her voice
Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stefvater
Synopsis. Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams and into his compromised reality. Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it. Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer . . . and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person. And she has seen the damage that dreamers can do. But that is nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed.
Why I think it’ll be a 5*. This one is such an odd choice, I found the Raven Cycle series slightly meh and I wasn’t a big Ronan fan. But I can’t stop thinking about him and the Raven Cycle and this book. It bugged me enough that on the day of its release I walked straight from university to a bookshop and bought a copy, and now I keep picking it up from my shelf and fantasising about how great it will be. For some reason I keep liking Ronan more and more, the longer it is since I read the Raven Cycle. I need to pick this up before I go insane. It will be a 5-star book! Or it won’t! But it definitely will.
Villette by Charlotte Brontë
Synopsis. First published in 1853, Villette is Brontë’s most accomplished and deeply felt work, eclipsing even Jane Eyre in critical acclaim. Her narrator, the autobiographical Lucy Snowe, flees England and a tragic past to become an instructor in a French boarding school in the town of Villette. There she unexpectedly confronts her feelings of love and longing as she witnesses the fitful romance between Dr. John, a handsome young Englishman, and Ginerva Fanshawe, a beautiful coquette. The first pain brings others, and with them comes the heartache Lucy has tried so long to escape. Yet in spite of adversity and disappointment, Lucy Snowe survives to recount the unstinting vision of a turbulent life’s journey – a journey that is one of the most insightful fictional studies of a woman’s consciousness in English literature.
Why I think it’ll be a 5*. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë was one of the books that pulled me back into reading 4 years ago after a long, troublesome reading slump. It changed my view on classics entirely, and it also changed my perspective on life dramatically. Villette has been on my mind for all this time – and I can’t wait to fall deep into its story. It can’t be anything but perfect and I can’t imagine myself not giving it 5-stars. But I’m still pretty intimidated by it, I’m not great with classics and I need to be in the right headspace for it. I got a gorgeous and a very very old copy of Villette from New Zealand a couple years ago, and I’m still uncertain if that copy is way too fragile for reading!
Those are the 10 books on my TBR that I’m predicting will be 5 stars worthy titles! Although I often get a strong feeling of how I’m going to enjoy a book before I start reading it, this list was still pretty difficult to put together!
Most importantly, why is it that I still haven’t read these?? I must say that I’m pretty intimidated by some of them – after all most of these will probably make me sob and lose sleep and take over my life. But also, I’m worried that if I don’t read these in the correct headspace, I won’t enjoy them as much as they deserve to be enjoyed! And what if I read them and they are wonderful and then I can never read them for the first time again? 😱😱
What makes a 5-star book for you? Which titles on your TBR are you expecting to give 5-stars to? Are you accidentally saving books that you think you’ll love for later? I would love to know!
Thank you so much for reading! Hope you are doing well 💕