The 5 YA Books That Deserve 5 Stars

Hetty Monksea
5 min readJun 1, 2023

Since I’ve been really busy recently and having posted for a while (sorry about that!), I was thinking I should start a new post about the only 5 YA books that I’ve ever given 5/5 stars. So here is my compiled list!

5 YA Books That Deserve 5 Stars:

1. Rebecca

Daphne du Maurier

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The narrator of the story (who remains nameless throughout) is living in Monte Carlo working as a paid companion to a Mrs. Van Hopper. However, the narrator’s life changes for ever when she meets, falls in love with and marries (yes, it really does happen that fast!), Maxim de Winter. Suddenly she whisked away to Maxim’s estate, Manderley, having no friends, no idea what she is doing but worst of all every corner of the house is haunted by the presence of Maxim beautiful first wife, Rebecca…

This story is a classic for a reason! The realistic plot, authentic characters and ghostly setting make this the perfect gothic novel for all teenagers to enjoy. 5/5 stars!

2. The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Nick Carraway moves to a house on Long Island, New York. There he meets his mysterious neighbor, a millionaire by the name of Jay Gatsby. However, when Nick’s second cousin Daisy comes into the picture with her husband Tom things with Gatsby get complicated and Nick often wonders who is the real man behind the millionaire?

A tale of hidden identities, star-crossed lovers and secrets, The Great Gatsby is also another classic for a reason. The reality of the complex characters with all their imperfections helps bring this book to life and dares to ask some big questions like, what is love? What is life? And who are we really? My eyes were truly opened after reading this story. 5/5 stars!

3. The Deathless Girls

Kiran Millwood Hargrave

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Lil and her sister Kizzy are twins, born under a blood moon. When their village is destroyed the two of them are taken as slaves to a cruel Boyar’s court to work for the Boyar in whatever he pleases. There Lil meets a girl called Mira and the two form a deep connection. However when Lil and Kizzy learn of a mysterious Prince called Dracul, more monster than man, who accepts girls as gifts Lil and Kizzy’s entire existence is throw into jeopardy…

This has been one of my favorite books for a long time. Kiran Millwood Hargrave is my favorite author of all time and this story is simply mesmerizing. I gripped from page one; the characters so authentic, the language poetic and beautiful, and I love this reimagining of Dracula’s original story. I definitely recommend this book to all teenagers especially they like a good vampire romance! 5/5 stars!

4. The Girl With No Soul

Morgan Owen

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Iris lives in a world where people are checked for the purity of their Souls. There five different type of souls: Spirit Souls, Shadow Souls, Song Souls, Heart Souls and Fire Souls. However Iris is a Hollow, a girl with no Soul and she cannot remember anything from her life past a few years ago. Iris also has a gift for sensing remnants, objects with memories, and this gift helps her discover her Spark — one of the five parts of her missing Soul. This discovery leads Iris on a journey to reunite herself with her Soul and her memory but this mission will end up unravelling her whole world…

This was a recent read for me but I instantly fell in love with it. The entire concept of the anatomy of a person's Soul captured my imagination. I loved how Iris has more than one side to her character, showing how complex we all are as humans. The romance was obvious from the beginning but the amount of plot-twists it took left me gasping in shock at every turn, surprised at every new revelation. The plot was dramatic, the characters dynamic and setting thrilling. Best fantasy book I’ve read in a long time. 5/5 stars!

5. In Search Of Us

Ava Dellaira

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Angie lives her young mom Marilyn and knows absolutely nothing about her dad. Then one day she finds a photo of her mom with a man, and without having ever seen him before, she instantly knows it’s her dad. Together with a “friend”, she sets off to find him… Back in the ’90s a young Marilyn moves into LA with her mom who is determined Marilyn will become the next big actress of the age. However, Marilyn is focused on escaping to college to study her passion: photography. Yet, anything changes when she befriends her new neighbor James…

I don’t usually enjoy modern real life fiction - historical fiction, fantasy/magical adventures are more my thing. However, this is piece of fiction I can not ignore. The journey of love, loss and self-discovery/self-worth the characters go through touched something deeply human inside of me. The changing timelines allowed me to see both Angie and Marilyn’s journeys at the same time, interweaving them as one. The epic plot twists make this the most heart-wrenching novel I’ve read yet — I was in tears! 5/5 stars!

Thank you for reading,

Hetty Monksea

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Hetty Monksea

A bookworm and cat/guinea pig lover. Writing a story... Follow me on Twitter/Pinterest/Substack: @ATaleofJourneys