Top 5 Saturday: Intimidating Books

Welcome back to another Top 5 Saturday! Just in case you don’t know Top 5 Saturday is a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and it’s where we list the top five books (they can be books on your TBR, favourite books, books you loved/hated) based on the week’s topic. You can see the upcoming schedule at the end of my post 🙂 This week’s topic is actually: Intimidating Books.

I’m pretty sure I’ve done a similar topic to this quite a few times on the blog already but I always focused on chunky books that intimidated me. So for today’s post I’m going to look at books that I’m intimidated by because of the hype surrounding them. Some of these are classics that I have heard so many good things about and that are often referenced in modern texts, and the others are more recent releases in the fantasy genre that have been so hyped up that I’m a little afraid to pick them up! 😂 Now without further ado, let’s get into it!


A classic that has had several remakes now and that has influenced many art forms, whether it’s movies, books and/or songs. This book intimidates me on various levels but one of the main reasons is because it’s so well-lauded and I’m worried I won’t like it as much?

On a trip to the South of France, the shy heroine of Rebecca falls in love with Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower. Although his proposal comes as a surprise, she happily agrees to marry him. But as they arrive at her husband’s home, Manderley, a change comes over Maxim, and the young bride is filled with dread. Friendless in the isolated mansion, she realises that she barely knows him. In every corner of every room is the phantom of his beautiful first wife, Rebecca, and the new Mrs de Winter walks in her shadow.

A Tale of Two Cities

This is a classic that I feel has been referenced a lot in popular literature but it’s definitely the language that intimidates me the most—I’m worried it’ll just go sailing past my head! LOL

After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille, the ageing Doctor Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There the lives of two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil roads of London, they are drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror, and they soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine.

A Deadly Education

This is a more recent release that was so hyped up until I started seeing more mixed reviews come out about it. I think it’s still quite a hyped book and I want to love it so much that I’m worried I won’t!

A Deadly Education is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets. There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere.

El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students.

The Atlas Six

Okay, this one might have less ‘hype’ surrounding it but I’ve seen a lot of hype for it from a dedicated group of people who love it and it sounds SO GOOD that I’m intimidated by it!

The Alexandrian Society, caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity, are the foremost secret society of magical academicians in the world. Those who earn a place among the Alexandrians will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams, and each decade, only the six most uniquely talented magicians are selected to be considered for initiation.

Enter the latest round of six: Libby Rhodes and Nico de Varona, unwilling halves of an unfathomable whole, who exert uncanny control over every element of physicality. Reina Mori, a naturalist, who can intuit the language of life itself. Parisa Kamali, a telepath who can traverse the depths of the subconscious, navigating worlds inside the human mind. Callum Nova, an empath easily mistaken for a manipulative illusionist, who can influence the intimate workings of a person’s inner self. Finally, there is Tristan Caine, who can see through illusions to a new structure of reality—an ability so rare that neither he nor his peers can fully grasp its implications. Read more…

She Who Became the Sun

I’m actually kind of reading this one right now. I started it a few days ago but I had to put it aside for a priority read, but this one has so much hype around it and I’ve only heard really amazing things. But while I’ve been enjoying it so far, it’s not really at the level of “wow-five-stars-won’t-forget-it-soon” just yet. I’m hoping it will get there though?

In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two children are given two fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness…

In 1345, China lies under harsh Mongol rule. For the starving peasants of the Central Plains, greatness is something found only in stories. When the Zhu family’s eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a fate of greatness, everyone is mystified as to how it will come to pass. The fate of nothingness received by the family’s clever and capable second daughter, on the other hand, is only as expected. Read more…


  • 28 August: People on the Cover
  • 04 September: Intimidating Books
  • 11 September: Hyped Books
  • 18 September: Fast Paced Books
  • 25 September: Illustrated Covers
  • 02 October: Magical Books

Do you get intimidated by books because of the hype and you’re scared that you won’t like it as much? Or are you normal? Do any of these books intimidate you, too?

7 thoughts on “Top 5 Saturday: Intimidating Books

  1. I always get intimidated by classics, so I can totally relate to Rebecca (which I have a copy of at home) and a Tale of Two Cities (which I also have at home, but haven’t read either). For me it’s not so much the references and so on, but the style of writing, which I often find very tiring.
    As for A Deadly Education, I gave it 4 stars, I think. I enjoyed it, but it has a lot of info dumps. I understand the mixed reviews for sure.
    Lastly, I JUST finished The Atlas Six and reviewed them today and that book is now among my absolute favorites. I’m sorry for adding to the hype, but I love it so much now. I’m glad I read it!!


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