Ratings are such a subjective thing, and a five star rating varies from reader to reader and book to book. Some readers give a book five stars depending on the quality of the writing while others rate a book based purely on enjoyment, and the best thing about the subjectivity of reading is that none of us are wrong. Sometimes I'll know immediately if a book is a five star read while other times I'll go back and change my ratings having thought about the book for a while.
What I want more than anything is a brilliant story with characters I care about. If the writing's lyrical and beautiful then that's a bonus, but how much I care about the characters and how much they tugged at my emotions is the deciding factor for me.
So, without further ado, below are six books I think (and hope) that I'll love enough to give them five stars!
Ever since I learned about her, I've been fascinated by Joan, Lady of Wales, who was the illegitimate daughter of King John and the wife of Welsh prince Llywelyn ap Iorwerth, and it's so frustrating that we're never really going to know anything about her because she lived so long ago and there's so little record of her. I was in a charity shop when I discovered that Sharon Kay Penman, a highly respected author of historical fiction, had written a book all about her, Here Be Dragons, and I knew I had to have it.
I also came across A Thousand Orange Trees in a charity shop and had never heard of it before until I found it. It has fairly mixed reviews on Goodreads but it sounds like the kind of story that I would love; again it's historical fiction focused on women, this time set in Spain during the inquisition, and it sounds amazing.
Hannah Kent's Burial Rites and Susan Fletcher's Corrag were both five star reads for me, and as Alias Grace is another piece of fiction focusing on a woman accused of being a murderess I'm expecting to love this one, too.
We're going to see a lot of The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock this year, I have a feeling it's going to get the same buzz as Sarah Perry's The Essex Serpent. Usually I'm wary of really hyped books but something about this one makes me think I'm going to love it.
The Shadow of the Wind is another book that I've heard nothing but great things about and one that's been on my TBR for years. One of my colleagues read it last year and loved it, so I'm hoping to love it, too.
To be honest it's exactly the same case with A Thousand Splendid Suns. It's been on my TBR for years and I've heard fantastic things; my dad read it last year and really enjoyed it so I need to listen to his recommendation and get to it soon.
Are there any books on your TBR that you think you're going to love?