Revisiting My 5 Star Reads: Part 1

My Five Star Books 1

I’ve been a big reader all of my life. Although I’ve only had this blog for a few weeks, I’ve been keeping track of my books and ratings since 2011. And of course I have my favourites from even before then.

So, I decided to start this series of blog posts looking back at all those books I have rated 5 stars. Some of which I still love to this day, others I probably wouldn’t pick up now. It’s always interesting to look back at what you used to love!

I hope you enjoy!

Angels and Demons & The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Book 1 and 2 of the Robert Langdon series

When I First Read Them: Pre-2011

Published: 2000 & 2003

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Brief Summary: This series follow Harvard professor and symbol expert Robert Langdon. In book 1 Angels and Demons he is called to a Swiss research facility when a phycicist is discovered, murder with a mysterious symbol branded into his chest.

My Initial Thoughts: I’m sure you’ve heard of The Da Vinci Code. There was a lot of hype surrounding this novel, resulting in a film adaptation starring Tom Hanks. There seems to be some snobbery around this book, but I really enjoyed it. It’s a great thriller and the twists and turns keep you hooked. And book 1 Angels and Demons is even better. I have also read the third in the series The Lost Symbol, which although wasn’t a good as the first tow was still enjoyable (4*)

Would I Still Read/Enjoy? Yes! I still love this style of book, and I think I’ll read them again sometime to see if they really are as good as I remember. I still enjoy the films!

 

The Harry Potter Series (All Books) by J.K. Rowling

When I first read them: Pre-2011

Published: 1997 – 2007

Genre: Children’s/Fantasy

Brief Summary: I’m sure everybody already know what this series is about! During book one Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone we meet an 11 year old Harry Potter. He discoveres that he is a wizard when he is invited to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizadry. But it turns out Harry is no ordinary wizard. When he was a baby the evil Lord Voldemort murdered his parents, before turning on Harry. But Harry survived, and destroyed Lord Voldemort in the process.

My Initial Thoughts: I absolutely adored this series! When my mum gave me the first few books to read the hype was really begining to build, but mum warned me that they were ‘for boys’. I flew through them and, like most people my age, couldn’t wait for each subsequent book to be released! I’ve never been one for pre-ordering books, but that’s exactly what I did for each Harry Potter book, devouring it as soon as it arrived (re-reading all the previous books in the run up to each launch).

Would I Still Read/Enjoy? Absolutely. I re-read them again a couple of years ago and enoyed them just as much as the first time. This series will stick with my forever, and I doubt I’ll ever get tired of revising Rowlings magical world. I now have a copy of the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and I’m looking forward to reading it again later this year.

 

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

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Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Book 1 of the Twilight series

When I First Read It: Pre-2011

Published: 2005

Genre: Paranormal/YA

Brief Summary: Twilight follows Bella Swan, a teenage human who falls in love with the mysterious Edward Cullan who happens to been a hundred year old vampire.

My initial thoughts: Teenage me really enjoyed this. I loved the love story and was a big fan of vampires. I also enjoyed the other books in this quartet but Twilight was the stand out.

Would I still read/enjoy? Definitely not. Thinking back now, the relationship between Bella and Edward is seriously creepy and stalkery!

 

The Shakespeare Secret by J.L. Carrell

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The Shakespeare Secret by J.L. Carrell

Book 1 of the Kate Stanley series

When I First Read It: Pre-2011

Published: 2001

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Brief Summary: The Shakespeare Secret follows the mystery of a serial killer who is basing his murders on Shakespeare’s plays.

My Initial Thoughts: I’m a big fan of this style of book, and this is one of my favourites I’ve read. The way the murders are set out is clever, and I was kept hooked until the end. You definitely don’t need to know much about Shakespeare to enjoy this.

Would I still read/enjoy? I think I would, but maybe not to the same extent. I read the sequel (The Shakespeare Curse) back in 2014 and although I enjoyed it, it didn’t pull me into the story quite the same. I definitely want to give this another read, but I may wait until I have read some more Shakespeare. Although you don’t need to know much (or really anything) about his work, I think I would get more out of it if I could fully understand all the references. I’m sure some things would have gone over my head!

 

Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs

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Deja Dead

Book 1 of the Temperance Brennan series

When I First Read It: Pre-2011

Published: 1997

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Brief Summary: Temperance Brennan is a forensic anthropologist in Quebec. This series follow her through her work with each book focusing on a difference case. In Déjà Dead, a dismemered body is discovered in the ground of an abandoned monestary. Due to the decomposition of the body, a standard autopsy is useless, enter Temperance Brennan. She’s convinced this is the work of a serial killer, but she needs to convince Detective Claudel before the body count rises. If you’re a fan of the TV show Bones you may recognise the name Temperance Brennan. This is the book series the TV show is inspired but, but I would view them as totally different stories. The only cross over is the main characters name and profession. (But I love both!)

My initial thoughts: This was a first crime series I realy got into and it didn’t dissapoint! I’ve read books 1-12 and, although Déjà Dead is my favourite, I rated the majority of the series 4*.

Would I still read/enjoy? Although I haven’t read an for a while, I definitely think I would still enjoy them. There are actually 6 more books in the series (so far) so I should pick them up sometime!

 

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