10 of My Highest Rated Books

May 21, 2021

Today’s post is extra special because it’s my 100th post. Hurray!

To celebrate, I’m sharing 100 of my highest rated books… Kidding. My Masters degree pack quite the workload at the moment, so I’ll keep the recommendations to 10 of my highest rated books on Goodreads. I’ve been rating books for years so I will only share titles I still remember as 5 star worthy reads. I might also include an “honorary bonus” if choosing between an author’s books gets too hard.

How many of these books have you read – and do you agree with my rating?

ANYTHING by Jay Kristoff & Amy Kaufman

When these two aliens get together, they can do no wrong in my opinion. At least, I haven’t read anything by them yet that I haven’t loved. While the Illuminae Files and the Aurora Cycle are both sci-fi series, they have a different feel to them. One deals primarily with seeking justice and surviving the chase after their planet is attacked. The other deals with a messed-up but loveable crew trying to figure out what the universe is guiding them towards and what the consequences of wielding ancient magic are.

What I loved: the fun characters, the fast pace, the humor and banter, (most of) the romances, the high stakes, the cold villains, how much I cared

Check out my reviews:

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

In all honesty, you need to be into some dark sh*t to enjoy the books of Rory Power. If you are, then Wilder Girls is for sure a breathe of fresh air in young adult. A plague has raged on a small island for the past 18 months and the residents of a girls’ boarding school are kept there in isolation. Staying alive depends on the humanity of those on the main land and a few chosen girls in charge. When Hetty is “promoted” to take care of the girls, she gets a horrible insight into just how bad the situation is. The plague is getting more wicked, girls are scheming and the animals on the island are turning wild and ravenous.

What I loved: The eerie atmosphere, the flawed characters, how raw it was, being curious the whole way through

Honorary mention:
Burn our Bodies Down
This book is also completely twisted and reads like a thriller.

Romanov by Nadine Brandes

I read this one a while back and can honestly remember the entire book without even trying. This story is so full of hope, love and the will to survive. It adds a twist on a historical event you think you already know seen through a young Anastasia’s point of view. Nastya has to keep an ancient spell safe from the Bolshevik army but it’s not easy when her entire royal family lives in exile. Their every move is being watched and when the Romanov sisters become friendly with the soldiers, the consequences are brutal. Nastya’s one hope lies with the ancient spell and Zash, a soldier with a conscience.

What I loved: the historical Russian settings, the family dynamic, the angst, the sad and beautiful moments, Nastya’s strength and willpower

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

If you haven’t at least heard of this book, I don’t know where you’ve been the last couple of years. This massively popular book deserves all the hype, in my opinion. I don’t know how Reid keeps doing it but her simple writing style and dramatic characters hooks me in every time! Daisy Jones (singer) acts like a spoiled brat who’s hungry for fame and attention but she’s still an amazing character with a magnetic pull. The Six (a rock band she teams up with) has a lot of internal (and personal) issues but the drama, highs and lows, never gets old. The story is told through a series of interviews long after the stars have split up. In multiple POVs we piece together the whole story and how their fame came to an explosive and fatal climax.

What I loved: the interview format, the rock’n’roll vibes, the band dynamics, the descriptions that came alive, how the atmosphere slowly changed throughout the book

Check out my review:

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to not Dating by Christina Lauren

I mentioned in my last post that Josh and Hazel are two of my favorite characters ever. I stand by that. The queens of rom-com delivered some real quality romance this time. Josh is neat and Hazel is the cutest mess I’ve ever encountered. Together, their opposite personalities makes for the perfect pull-push relationship! However, while sparks keep flying between them, they decide to remain friends. Instead, they will set up blind dates for each other. When this idea doesn’t go as planned, Josh and Hazel both have to reconsider if being different is really such a bad thing?

What I loved: the two main characters, the hilarious dates, the chemistry, multiple timelines, the cute atmosphere

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Do you know Titanic? Sure. Do you know Wilhelm Gustloff? Probably not so much. Pick up this book and Ruta Sepetys will change that for you. I love historical fiction  – especially WW I and II themed but this book destroyed me. We follow a group of people who all have different backgrounds. Their end goal is to escape the war in Germany by any means necessary. Along the way we shift POVs and we cry and scream together with our characters. The injustice and unfairness is almost too much to handle. Bear in mind that this story doesn’t try to sugarcoat anything. Check up on trigger warnings, if you are uncomfortable with harsh topics.

What I loved: no sugarcoating, realistic hardship, the good and bad characters, all the baggage and secrets, high stakes, war settings

Check out my review:

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Xiomara lives in Harlem and her life is far from easy. She’s a beautiful girl with beautiful curves but the world seems to use it as ammunition against her. As if she had a choice. Xiomara’s frustration has build up and she has a lot to say – about a lot of things – but she can’t seem to find her voice. That is, until she discovers slam poetry. In this new-found freedom she can address her mother’s strong religion and share her view on the world. This is a well known book by now that has won awards for a reason. You should definitely pick it up – if you haven’t already.

What I loved: the novel in verse-format, the beautiful lyrics, Xiomara’s strength, the difficult topics, the honesty surrounding religion and the female body

Honorary mention: Clap When You Land
Another beautiful book about family, loss, lies and love

Check out my review:

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

Every time there’s a new release in this series it’s an auto pre-order for me! I love this dark middle grade series and each book has been unique (so far we’re on three instalments). Cassidy travels around the world with her parents in order to shoot a TV show that explores haunted places. What her parents doesn’t know is that Cassidy can see ghosts after almost dying herself. With her ghost best friend by her side, she enters the Veil – a place between our world and that of the dead – to help the ghosts move on. While the series is definitely connected, each book takes place in a new city and has a new main story. This means we never get bored and new creatures are introduced constantly. Such a great, spooky and fun series!

What I loved: the amount of atmosphere, the idea of the Veil, Cassidy’s clueless parents, the creepy ghosts, each book features a new city, the writing style

Check out my reviews:

Darien by C.F. Iggulden

Darien is a city that draws people in whether they are hoping to make a fortune or escape a shady past. I can’t stress enough how underrated this book is. It’s definitely on my highest rated books list for a reason! My boyfriend wanted to read more and picked it up at a book sale by chance. I’m so glad he did! Darien is the first book in the Empire of Salt series and I hardly know where to start. First of all, we get an amazing palate of diverse characters. We get magic, quests, fighting scenes, romance and twists you don’t see coming. While internal power struggles are occupying the most influential families, a much bigger threat is approaching the unaware city. The heroes won’t be who you think this time.

What I loved: the characters, the twists and unexpected events, the pace and the spider web story that made more sense with each chapter

Look forward to my reviews of Darien (book 1) and Shiang (book 2), they’re coming soon!

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

I love this book. It’s an important read but also one that goes beyond the message and stays real. Being a mixed-race gay teen would probably scare most people because it is a lot to deal with. Especially when you’re young and uncertain of your identity. Michael uses poetry to understand himself and his racing emotions. Coming to terms with his identity isn’t easy but he doesn’t want to hide either. With both good and bad experiences behind him, he begins his journey with drag and, guided by more experienced travellers, the Black Flamingo is born.

What I loved: the strong LGBTQIA+ rep, following Michael from teen to man, the novel-in-verse format, how everything seems real, the community and friendships

That’s it for today! So what have I learned from this bunch of my highest rated books? Definitely that I have a soft spot for stories that are either sad or dark. Besides Josh and Hazel, most of these titel include some very sharp hits right in the feels. What kind of books do you usually give high ratings?

And as always, you can find me on my social media below – let’s talk more books!

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