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Do I Like Books Recommended for My Zodiac Sign?

“It’s easy to think that nobody could really arrange the world like clockwork.”

First line in The Lost Future of Pepperharrow by Natasha Pulley

Hi, and welcome to my little experiment. As it is my birthday tomorrow (Sunday), I wanted to do something birthday-related which then became me investigating whether the books recommended for me based on my zodiac sign are actually, well, good recommendations. I wanted to know whether it actually made sense to recommend books based on zodiac signs, which meant that I went on a hunt. Since I didn’t want to read books specifically for this post (I’m that lazy), I went in search of recommendations I’d already read. I can’t guarantee that I’ve read/watched every single zodiac sign recommendations post/video on the internet but it certainly feels like I have. And I found 11 books I’d already read so those are the ones that are going to help me judge the value of the recommendations.

Before we begin though, I should probably tell you a little about my zodiac sign which is Cancer. People with this sign tend to be emotional, intuitive, sympathetic and loyal while some of their less desirable traits include them being moody, insecure, suspicious and manipulative. They also don’t care for strangers and prefer to spend time at home. And all that fits me rather well, I think.

Let’s move on to the books, why they were recommended and what I thought of that recommendation.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

My rating: 4 stars

Recommended because it “packed an emotional punch and valued loyalty, friendship and family.”

Despite not being a 5-star book for me, I still think this is a good recommendation. The emotional punch was definitely one of the big reasons why I liked it, although I wouldn’t say I enjoy books with a family theme in general. That’s probably me not fully embodying my zodiac sign

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

My rating: 4 stars

This came from a list of books that were generally recommended because they “turn on all the feels.”

A very simple reason for its recommendation but it is also spot-on if you ask me. Challenger Deep is a hard-hitting book about mental illness and I really liked it for not holding back.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire SaΓ©nz

My rating: 5 stars

This was recommended three times. One site chose this as a book that celebrates Cancer qualities and lists those as tenacity, loyalty, sympathy, imagination and persuasion. Another site gave the reason that Cancer readers will find the characters in this book “soft and fluffy but also damaged and sad.” It was also mentioned on a third site but they didn’t give a reason.

I’m not sure if my 5-star rating holds up as I read the book a very long time ago but I still think I would like it today. I especially think that second site that called the characters “soft and fluffy but also damaged and sad” is onto something. That’s basically my reading tastes in one sentence.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

My rating: 4 stars

This was recommended for being “all things dreamy and highly imaginative.”

This feels like that meme that says “I don’t know how, but you used the wrong formula and got the right answer.” I don’t like the dreaminess of this book or any book and I don’t imagine things very clearly in my head when I read, but I do like this book. Maybe more for its mystery and unique setting.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

My rating: 4 stars

The reason for this recommendation was quite elaborate and based on several traits of a typical Cancer. One point was that Cancers can appear quite closed off and stick to their comfort zones until you get to know them. In the book, we see the characters have their adventure as they leave their comfort zones a.k.a. their homes. Another point is that the MC Monty can appear rude until you get to know him which is also peak Cancer behavior. Finally, another character, Percy, assumes the caregiving role which is one also often taken on by Cancers.

This recommendation seems based on me relating to the characters a lot, although I wouldn’t say that I did exactly. Percy maybe most of all but I don’t see much resemblance between myself and Monty. But it was still a book that I liked.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 3 stars

This was specifically recommended as a book that “calls to the protective nature of Cancers as well as their love of complicated romance.” Cancers are very protective of their loved ones.

I understand the protective nature of Cancers argument but do I love a complicated romance? I don’t think so in general and I definitely didn’t like it in this trilogy. It’s my least favorite of the Cassandra Clare trilogies, so I think this one is a miss.

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

My rating: 5 stars

This was recommended twice. Once specifically because both main characters embody the Cancer traits of being “extremely protective of one another and deeply loyal.” The other site that recommended this didn’t give a reason.

Maybe a bit of a “safe” recommendation since the internet has told me EVERYONE loves this, not just Cancers. And I don’t think either of the main characters is a Cancer because being protective and loyal are such generic traits that every single character in fluffy contemporaries exhibits. But I did love the book, so in its simple meaning, it counts as a win.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

My rating: 5 stars

The one site that recommended this didn’t give a reason.

I read this 5 years ago so I can’t be sure if I would still give it 5 stars, but I do think there’s something about the emotional and hard-hitting themes of the book that would appeal to Cancer readers. At least that’s why I loved the book back then.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

My rating: 4 stars

This one is specifically recommended for being powerful and heart-wrenching, and also because Achilles has the Cancer trait of wearing his heart on his sleeve.

Somehow I was convinced I’d given this book 5 stars and right now I can’t remember why I didn’t. I love it very much. And I love it especially for being so powerful and heart-wrenching so I wholeheartedly agree with this recommendation.

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 5 stars

This was specifically recommended because Cancer readers would love and relate to Bridge Four and especially Kaladin. He has a lot of Cancer traits including being loyal to a fault, passionate and creative when it comes to helping people, too caring and moody.

I doubt Cancers are the only ones who love Bridge Four and Kaladin, but there’s definitely something to be said about them embodying Cancer traits. And I do love Kaladin very, very much.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 4 stars

This was recommended because the character Ronan has a lot of Cancer traits such as being a ride-or-die friend, passionate, secretive, creative, vengeful, moody and overdramatic.

Considering Ronan is my favorite character, I’ll say this recommendation is pretty spot-on. I’ve never considered him the most relatable but after hearing the argument for this recommendation, I guess he and I aren’t polar opposites. The recommendation was also for the whole series and I did give Ronan’s book (the second one) five stars.

What Did I Learn?

I’m genuinely surprised how good these recommendations ended up being. There was one 3-star book but the rest were 4 and 5-stars, so maybe I need to trust these recommendations in the future? Of course, there were a couple of instances where even if I liked the book, I didn’t agree with the reason for its recommendation so they felt more like a lucky shot. Most of the books are also fairly popular so you can argue there’s a rather big chance people are going to like them, no matter their zodiac sign. That could be a fault in my method of only looking at books I’ve already read, though. I do pick up a lot of books that would be considered popular, especially when I move outside of the fantasy genre, and, well, fantasy wasn’t exactly the most recommended genre.

From looking at the reasons behind all the recommendations (not just the ones I’ve read), I could tell they tended to fall into one of three categories:

  • Books recommended because the characters act like Cancers: This seemed to be the most common way of justifying a recommendation but it only works if the reader wants to read about characters very similar to themselves.
  • Books recommended because their themes relate to Cancer traits: These were especially books that spoke to the emotional nature of Cancers, books that let Cancers have all the feelings, and I found this to be the most effective.
  • Books recommended because they comfort a person with Cancer traits: These were based on the idea that Cancers are so emotional and cry all the time so they need a book to make them feel better. I had read none of the books recommended like this, and I’m generally also more of a let-me-wallow-in-my-feelings kind of person so I don’t see these recommendations working for me.

Since this experiment was so successful, I thought I would change my (maybe) slightly faulty method and pick out five books from all these recommendations I’ve now got, add them to my TBR and then hopefully read them within a year so I can talk about them on my next birthday (note to self: please remember to do this!). A couple was already on my TBR so I’ll obviously read those, but the five books are:

  • Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Normal People by Sally Rooney
  • Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Maybe I should be transparent and reveal that the by far most recommended book for Cancers was The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. As it is, I already know that I despise Tolkien’s writing, so I saw no reason to pick that one despite it being one of the few fantasy recommendations I came across. Also, the books already on my TBR were Legendborn and The Hate U Give.

This post was a lot of work but I’m really happy with the outcome. I would love to know what you think of recommending books based on zodiac signs. Do they work for you? What did you think of the ones in this post? If you’ve read some of the books I’ll be reading, what did you think?

12 thoughts on “Do I Like Books Recommended for My Zodiac Sign?

  1. Oooh i have read a few books in this list. I dnfed a song of Achilles, it wasn’t for me i guess. Found it kinda boring but good to know you liked it!
    Also the raven boys is on my tbr. As for clockwork angel, i can understand why you didn’t like it much, it wasn’t anything new, especially once you’ve read tmi, the clockwork angel seems like a replica of city of bones. I did like reading it though.
    Awesome post, this sounds like a fun idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Song of Achilles can certainly be described as boring so I understand how it’s not for everyone. And yes, to the Clockwork Angel thing. It just didn’t compare to my love for The Mortal Instruments at the time and with them being so similar, I had to compare them.
      And thank you! It was very fun indeed πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ahhh i loved all this experimenting!! i personally am the physical embodiment of how my zodiac sign (aries) is usually described but the recs dont always work for me because they always seem to be on 1 theme- aggresive action packed books, if you know what i mean. also haply birthday in advance πŸ₯³πŸŽ‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, I’ve seen that the Aries recommendations often fall into that category. It always makes me think that Aries must be the complete opposite of my sign because I’m never interested in those books but maybe the recommendations are just not that great πŸ€”
      And thank you! ☺️

      Like

  3. Now I’m seriously tempted to try this myself – apparently, it’s a way more successful method of choosing books than what I’ve been doing! 🀣 Although I’m also extremely intimidated by the prospect of having to scour loads of Sagittarius-themed recommendation lists to find those books first, so I think it’s safe to say my laziness is even more abundant than yours… πŸ™ƒ

    But then again, maybe I should just use your Cancer recommendation list instead – because I’ve read the majority of the books on it and felt similarly about most of them! Even if I did rate Aristotle & Dante, Me Before You, and the later Raven Boys books a bit lower… But I still very much enjoyed them and think everything else on that list that I’ve read was excellent! (Yes, even Clockwork Angel πŸ˜… The Infernal Devices is also my least favorite Shadowhunters series, but I can’t give a book with Will Herondale in it less than 4 stars, so… πŸ˜‚ Though even Will Herondale can’t compete with Kaladin, so obviously, I enjoyed you gushing about him way too much! πŸ₯°)

    And as for the books you still want to read – I was actually surprised you haven’t read THUG yet, what with that book’s popularity 😜 But I think that popularity is justified, even if the hype might set it up to be out-of-this-world amazing. I don’t think it’s THAT special, either (πŸ˜…), but I do really love the book and the issues it addresses. As well as the adorable family relationships, but that’s probably more my thing than yours πŸ˜‚ And you already know how I felt about Legendborn – cool but not mindblowing, and a tad too instalovey… I haven’t read any of the others, but Normal People is already on my radar and I’ve loved every Elizabeth Acevedo book I’ve read so far, so they sound like good choices! πŸ€—

    Apart from that, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for those birthday wishes because it has been too deeply ingrained in my German subconsciousness that doing that early brings bad luck for me to risk that. I don’t want to be held accountable for any more bad sequels you might encounter in the future! πŸ˜‡

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You should totally do this! You’ve read way more books than me and you also read way more genres, so I doubt you’ll have to spend as much time as I did trying to find stuff you’ve read πŸ˜„ Fantasy was really not a popular recommendation!

      And well, I also saw a lot of these books recommended for different signs so I guess it makes sense for you to like them too πŸ˜„ I’m not that attached to Will Herondale though so I had no problem rating the other two books in that trilogy 2 stars, so I would have accepted literally any other Cassandra Clare series πŸ˜…

      And no, I haven’t read The Hate U Give. My friend who doesn’t read a whole lot and therefore doesn’t recommend me much told me to read it two years ago and it’s embarrassing now 😬 But her recommendation and now this are pretty much the only reasons I’m reading it because I’m honestly not that interested in it…
      I’ve heard so much about Normal People and that author though that I’m almost scared to read it. Like, the people who love that book REALLY love it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You have way too much faith in me πŸ˜‚ Especially since a lot of the stuff I’ve read dates back to my pre-goodreads days and I now remember absolutely nothing about how I felt about those books… But then again, there’s still a bit of time left until December! So I guess there might be a slight chance that I’ll be able to overcome my laziness by then 🀣

        And I’m just going to choose to believe that there’s a valid reason why people love Sally Rooney so much πŸ˜… Like, this has got to work eventually, right? There need to be at least a few cases were the hype exists for a reason! Besides, a friend of mine with generally trustworthy opinions adores her, so I’ve decided to be cautiously optimistic πŸ˜„

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I always wonder about the accuracy of those posts recommending books depending on your zodiac. It’s interesting to see the types the recs fall under and which ones you enjoyed the most – a lot of the recs I see for scorpios (my zodiac) are dark thrillers and mysteries, which I do enjoy but it would nice to see some variety.

    This was a fun post to read, and I hope you have a wonderful birthday! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I probably did get more variety than other signs. When the only requirement is that the book is emotional, there are a lot of options. And yes, with the Scorpio recs it seems like it needs to be as dark as possible. I’m not that familiar with the sign but there must be more to it πŸ€”

      And thank you! πŸ€—

      Liked by 1 person

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