Rating systems are a bit weird, don’t you think? And I think we can all agree that rating systems are very individualist. Even when using the same systems, one blogger’s rating is going to be different from another’s simply based on taste. (You can learn more about my rating system here if you’re interested!)
Arguably the most individualist aspect of the book review worlds, however, are your favorite books. I’ve never truly been able to explain to someone in full detail why a book is my favorite beyond “sldkfmslkdfmsldkfm.” I firmly believe that you can have 5 star books (out of a 5 star system) and STILL, there will be some books on that list that transcend others. I think it can also tell you a lot about the blogger and how similarly their tastes align with yours.
Enter: the 6th star. I have to shout out The Bookish Linguist for this idea. I thought I would record here all of my 6-star books that I’ve read to date. (I have already discussed some old childhood favorites, so I won’t be talking about those here.) Some of these you’ve probably (re: definitely) seen me chatter about before, but they’re my favorites, so why wouldn’t I talk about them a lot? Right?
Without further ado, here are my 6-star books!
(You can also see the definitive list on my Goodreads shelf for updates over time.)
The cover image links to the book’s Goodreads page!
🌹 Under the Never Sky, by Veronica Rossi: Favorite trope of all time –> isolated survival romance. Yes I know that’s very specific, but I can’t help what soothes my battered soul, now can I? Think two characters, stuck in the middle of the wilderness, alone, and trying to survive. And falling in love in the process. Uhuhu I love it. And that’s pretty much what this book is, at least for a good chunk of it. The world is beautifully built and explained, the characters feel real, and the romance between Aria and Perry makes my heart melt every single time.
🌹 Throne of Glass, by Sarah J Maas: Maas’s works are admittedly a bit polarizing in the blogosphere. People seem to either love her works or hate them. I fall under the former category. I haven’t really thought about which book in the series is my favorite so I just put the first book on this list. I think what I really love about the Throne of Glass series are the characters. They’re just soooo well done imo and I will protect the little beans for life.
🌹 The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater: Eheheh. You mean, my favorite series OF ALL TIME? Why yes, of course it’s on this list.
🌹 The Dream Thieves, by Maggie Stiefvater: I included The Raven Boys because I think the first book in a series can represent the series as a whole. If I had to pick just one from the series, though, it would be The Dream Thieves. (I still haven’t actually finished the series, though, so that might change later on. Shhhh don’t judge me, I’m working on it.) But I love this book mainly because of Ronan. He centers very prominently in this one and I loooooove it.
🌹 A Darker Shade of Magic, by VE Schwab: Wowza, what an amazing book. Schwab’s writing style is so smooth and beautiful. And quotable! I also really love her characters–specifically, Lila Bard. She is a feisty, sort of self centered go-getter, and she isn’t willing to sacrifice her ambitions for love or affection or comfort.
🌹 Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardugo: Following isolated survival romance, #foundfamily is such a favorite trope of mine. I can just about guarantee I’ll love any story with this sort of trope, and Six of Crows is kind of the post child for that. I love Bardugo’s writing style, but especially her characters. You just can’t help but love them.
🌹 Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire: I only just read this book last month, but I knew by page 10 while reading it that it would be an all-time-favorite of mine. Mostly because of the writing style/quotes. I love a book with good quotes.
🌹 A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J Maas: Similarly to Throne of Glass, this series can be pretty polarizing in the blogosphere. If I had to choose between the two, I would go with this one. I’ve re-read ACOMAF so many times, it’s ridiculous. The characters, the romance (the romance!!!), the action… it’s just a perfect cocktail swirled together to make the perfect book for me.
🌹 Heartless, by Marissa Meyer: The queen of retellings seemed to take this one on randomly, but heck if she didn’t hit it out of the park. Not everyone is going to like this book, that much I realize. But ding dang, did I love it. Jess and Cath Broke. My. Heart.
🌹 The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid: I think this book is the exception to the rule. I only gave this 3.5 stars when I read it, but I legit can’t stop thinking about it. Even months later. And a book that sticks with you like that deserves to be on your favorites list.
🌹 Starry Eyes, by Jenn Bennett: I really wouldn’t normally consider a book like this worthy of 6 stars because it’s simple, basic formula has been done time and again. But it has that isolation survival romance trope going for it, and the characters are adorable and lovable. I really love the strong, unyielding romance between the two main characters.
🌹 Aurora Rising, by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman: #FoundFamily for the wiiiiin. This is right up there with Six of Crows as a poster child for that trope. But I also love how Kaufman always seems to take a surface-level scifi and turns it into a heartbreaking horror about love and loss.
🌹 Red, White, & Royal Blue, by Casey McQuiston: This book received a lot of regard when it was released last year, and for good reason. It is a perfectly imperfect alternate history of our own political atmosphere. It is also just a plum drum good romance. Alex is by far one of my favorite characters of all time.
🌹 The Bone Houses, by Emily Lloyd-Jones: I really don’t know what it is about this book that I love, but the writing style and the adventure are solid contenders. It’s an enjoyable YA light-horror. It’s plot is a bit predictable, but it also had so much originality that it took the spot for my Favorite Book of 2019.
Are any of these books on your favorite list as well? What books would you rate 6 stars?