TTT, or Top Ten Tuesday, is a blog series created and hosted by The Broke & the Bookish. Stop by their blog if you want to participate or follow along!
I'm finally back on the blog! This week's TTT topic is our latest 5-star reads, but as I so rarely give out 5 star ratings - I'm going to stretch the meaning of 'recent' a bit and just share the 5-star reads that I've loved the most in the past few years. For me a 5 star rating is saved for my favourite books, the ones that really wow me. Most of these are from before my blogging days and so I may not have actually given them ratings until just now. So, here are the books that I would give 5-star ratings if I were going to write up reviews for them right now.
Top Ten Recent Five Star Reads
Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassins #1) by Robin LaFevers
This was an actual recent read. Given my love for medieval and early modern nuns, it's not surprising that I adored this book. A book about assassin nuns should be enough to entice everyone to read it, but it's not just a gimmick read. The book explores what it means to be devoted to a greater power and how to find empowerment in faith. Of course there's also some great political intrigue and magic and romance. I'm planning to review this series once I've finished reading the next two books, but the first one at least is a proper 5-star read.
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
This one earned a real 5-star review on this blog. If you want to know exactly why I loved it so much, check out my review. Suffice it to say, this was one of those books that blew me away even after months of anticipation. The world was so unique and the characters so intriguing - just what I look for in a 5-star read.
Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman
I read most of this book in one sitting. It transported me into an exciting story when I was stuck on a dreary evening train. It's one of those books that's so good at being just what it should be. The characters were real, the story was heart wrenching, and the setting was immersive. I know I've really loved a book when I can't stop daydreaming about the story afterward - I wanted to go riding off on a vengeful adventure of my own in the Wild West.
The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
Yes, another blog-favourite. I've written about this book in a Recommended post last year. This is one of those books that has grown in my estimation over time and I think I will love it even more on a re-read. It combines two of my favourite genres - sci-fi and literary fiction. And it does it so well.
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
I don't think I've talked about this one much on the blog, even as much as I've talked about my love of Sarah Dessen (see this post). Saint Anything is classic Dessen but with a little extra oomph. This is a little darker and more serious, tackling family issues more than romance. I related so much to what Sydney was going through in this book and Sarah Dessen knows how to pull on the heartstrings so that sympathy was felt strongly. I will always read everything Sarah Dessen writes, but this one definitely stands out as a new favourite.
White Oleander by Janet Finch
This is quite an old read, but one I've never talked about on the blog before, surprising given how much I love it. This could be a YA book as it tackles issues of growing up and difficult teenage years, but it's dark and disturbing at times. The writing is utterly beautiful and Astrid's journey is heartbreaking at times. This is one of those books that just stays with you, it's so honest and raw. This is a real favourite, and so it's 5 stars are enthusiastically given.
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
This is another older read that has been crying out for a re-read lately. It's one of those books that leaves you breathless, a wholly entrancing story of one woman's life lived in many different ways. I fell in love with this story when I read it last year and I have a feeling it's going to stay as a favourite for a good long while.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
When it comes to YA favourites, Eleanor & Park takes the top prize. I would give this book a dozen stars if I could. This is a poignantly lovely story of two teens and their unlikely love story. It's beautiful in every way. It's several years old so 'recent' is a bit of a stretch, but it's such a favourite that I just wanted to gush about it a bit.
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
This book is so enchanting and magical. There's music and dragons and intrigue. It's that perfect kind of fantasy, imaginative and unique. I haven't read the sequel yet and I'm a bit nervous that it won't hold a candle to this strong 5-star read.
Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer
I'm still in the midst of this series, wholly immersed in the story and the universe. As the first book, Cinder was a perfect introduction to this series. On its own, Cinder was a great read but probably wouldn't have garnered the full 5 stars if not for how amazingly the world and the story unfolds through the series. I've been savouring every moment with this series, which I know is going to be one of my favourites when all is said and done.