Book Recommendations Based on the Basic Human Emotions

It’s been a long time since I’ve done any book recommendations. A long time ago, I did a couple of posts recommending books based on the seven deadly sins and the seven virtues. Today, I’m going to try to recommend some books based on the basic human emotions. Now, from a psychology point of view, there are several categorisations of basic human emotions and there’s some debate about what makes an emotion basic, but for the purpose of this post, I’ll use the four pairs of opposing human emotions that were defined by some guy called Robert Plutchik at some point. In case any of you have an interest in psychology and were going to yell at me for not being super accurate about it.

Anyway, let’s get on with it.


1. Joy/Sadness

clockwork princess

For this I recommend Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. I know as far as book recommendations go, this isn’t a great one cause everyone knows about it and it’s also the final book in the series, but I couldn’t think of any book that fit the bill any better. This book is a study in joy and sadness and the contrast between them and it’s just perfect for this category.

2. Anger/Fear

The Broken Earth trilogy by N. K. Jemisin. Anger and fear are two of the main driving forces in this story. This is an amazing series, I cannot recommend it enough. It’s hard to describe it and to explain what it’s about because it’s so complex, but it’s a post apocalyptic… fantasy science fiction. You can check out my spoiler free review of it for more details. 

3. Trust/Distrust

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This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab. This duology, but the first book in particular, has a very strong element of “Who can be trusted?” and frail alliances of necessity with that whole “they can betray me at any time” tension. Also, it’s just a fantastic series. So, do check it out!

4. Surprise/Anticipation

The Red Rising series by Pierce Brown. I’ve only read the first two books in the series so far, but they are a constant whirlwind of action, plot-twists and surprises at every turn. Reading these books just creates a nervous anticipation of what will go wrong next. It’s one of the best dystopian series that I have read probably since The Hunger Games.

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