Hi all! I hope you’ve had a good week since I last did one of these, mine has once again been fairly quiet, but I had my first riding lesson of 2022 last week and it was really great, I’m glad to be back riding again.
Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so that means another Top Ten Tuesday courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic was meant to be Books I Enjoyed But Never Talked About On The Blog but I did a very similar topic a couple of weeks back, so instead I’m twisting it slightly and talking about my First Ten Five Star Reads On The Blog. It was really interesting looking back and seeing what some of my early favourite books were when I first started doing this whole thing. It was also interesting to see when I got a bit more picky with my five star ratings, turns out it was about a year into blogging! Anyway here we go, these were some of my earliest five star reads:
- Dangerous Girls-Abigail Haas-Reviewed February 2014
This was the first book I ever reviewed, so a great start to my blogging career! It’s also the YA thriller which ruined all other YA thrillers for me, I was so blown away by it that no other YA thriller has lived up to it since. I will admit, I do cringe slightly looking back at the review because my reviews have got so much better since I first started, but I’m glad that my first review on the blog was a book I loved so much.
2. The Last Stand Of Dead Men (Skulduggery Pleasant #8)-Reviewed February 2014
I found the penultimate book of Skulduggery Pleasant (at least of the original series) actually better than the final book, it was the action packed thrill ride that I was expecting the finale to be, but didn’t actually end up being. It was a little weird reviewing an instalment so late on in a series when I read the previous seven books before starting my blog, but I’m glad I’ve been able to review at least some of the Skulduggery Pleasant books on here as the original series is one of my favourites (Phase 2 not so much).
3. Split Second-Sophie McKenzie-Reviewed February 2014
This one was such a fast-paced action packed thriller that really kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. It was also really refreshing to read a dystopian/near future type story that was set in the UK rather than the US! Although I will admit, reading it now might be even more freaky than when I read it in 2014 as our political situation has nose-dived quite a lot since then, and the UK McKenzie portrays in the book is not as far off as we’d like it to be!
4. The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner #2)-James Dashner-Reviewed February 2014
I will admit, this one of few books that looking back on it, I probably wouldn’t give five stars if I read it again now. At the time, I really enjoyed it because it was fast paced and exciting, but looking back on it, I can’t actually remember what important things happened in this book. I also found out since reading that James Dashner was accused of sexually harassing numerous female writers and so that has kind of soured my taste for this series.
5. The Death Cure (The Maze Runner #3)-James Dashner-Reviewed February 2014
Again, I think looking back on it, I was probably more generous than I should have been with this book, there were really good parts (what happened to Newt was heart-breaking) but ultimately there’s a lot of questions left to answer by the end of the book and whilst I was okay with that at the time, looking back, I wish there had been more closure.
6. Cross My Heart-Carmen Reid-Reviewed March 2014
This one is one of my favourite historical fiction books ever, it follows teenager Nicole, who becomes a spy for the Belgian Resistance. It’s such an exciting book and Nicole is such a great protagonist, I really enjoyed following her journey through the book. It was also really nice to read a book about a different country in WWII, I read a lot of WWII books set in Germany or France or the UK, so it was really nice to learn a little more about what happened in Belgium, as it’s not a country that seems to get a lot of focus in WWII fiction.
7. Unwind-Neal Shusterman-Reviewed April 2014
This is one of my favourite dystopian books, right up there with The Hunger Games. The whole premise is such a creative idea (America fought a war over abortion, and neither side won, so the compromise is unwinding, a process where unwanted kids age 13-17 are taken apart and their organs donated, so they technically “live on” in other people). It’s a very chilling idea, and makes for incredibly creepy and interesting story. I loved the characters, and the story is very action packed, I remember being sat in a car in France waiting for my mum and dad to come out of a meeting and being absolutely glued to this book.
8. Undivided-Neal Shusterman-Reviewed January 2015
The final book in the Unwind series, and it was a great one. It’s super action packed and full of twists and turns and made me feel ALL THE THINGS. I loved where all the characters ended up and was ultimately really satisfied with the finale, even if it didn’t answer absolutely every single question I had.
9. Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)-Sarah J Maas-Reviewed March 2015
My absolute favourite book in the Throne of Glass series, none of the others ever quite lived up to this one for me (the only one that came close was Tower of Dawn). I find that all of SJM’s best books focus on characters undergoing some kind of healing from trauma (Heir of Fire, Tower of Dawn, A Court of Mist and Fury all come under this), and seeing Celaena starting to overcome her childhood trauma and her issues around magic to be able to embrace her power was really great. This is also the book where we’re introduced to Manon, who is one of my favourite characters in the series.
10. Rebel of The Sands-Alwyn Hamilton-Reviewed March 2016
This book was such a fun read, it’s very fast paced and has such a strong, feisty female character as the lead, which I always loved. I also really loved the world Hamilton created in this book, it’s such a cool mix of the Wild West and Arabian settings and I loved the mythology that this world was based on as I’d never read anything with Djinni in before.
So there we go, those were my first ten five star reads that I reviewed for the blog. Have you read any of these? Did you enjoy them? Do you give out a lot of five stars or not? Let me know in the comments!
Next week’s topic is Books With Your Favourite Trope/Theme, so naturally I will be talking about my Top Ten Favourite Found Family Books, as that is my absolute favourite trope.