Way back in January, when the world wasn’t turned upside down, I made some five star predictions.
I like how my January self thought that I would do an update post on what I ended up thinking about the books in March, and here we are in August and I just now finished reading them all (I think that’s fairly representative of 2020)…but even though it took me much longer than I thought to read them all, I did it within the year and I guess that can be some sort of accomplishment!
I haven’t looked back on this list in a while, other than to occasionally see what books I still had left on it, so this post is basically going to be testing just how psychic my January self was. Or at least how well I know my reading tastes. (Although a fun fact is that my friends always joke that I’m psychic because I have pretty good intuition and I also somehow always manage to guess what song is going to be played right before it comes on, but I’m no Adam Parrish).
I do want to do another one of these prediction posts at some point, because I think they’re fun and who knows, maybe next time I won’t wait seven months to write a second part to it? I feel like that isn’t setting the bar too high.
The first book I predicted would get five stars is Call Down the Hawk! My exact quote was “if I don’t completely fall in love with CDTH, I will be very disappointed” and I’m pleased to say that I was in fact the opposite of very disappointed.
I’ve already talked a lot about why I loved this novel, so I don’t want to be too much of a broken record, but I was truly blown away by this book! I went in telling myself not to expect it to be like The Raven Cycle, and I’m really glad I did that because this book is absolutely not like The Raven Cycle and yet that’s what makes it so good.
The vibe was much darker and in addition to learning more about the Lynch brothers, you also get to meet a great new cast of characters that I really enjoyed reading about. I was basically in awe at this whole book and it did end up getting a very well-deserved five stars!
Next up is Frankly in Love– which I originally gave four stars, but later changed to three stars because unfortunately there were just too many things I couldn’t get on board with in this book.
It did have some things going for it: the fake dating aspect is a trope that I usually enjoy (and it was executed fairly well here), I felt like it had a really great representation of what high school is like for someone taking a lot of AP classes (and I love it when they talk about classes I’ve taken or know of because it feels so real) and I liked the friendships in it.
However, there were quite a few aspects of this book that I didn’t like at all and I feel like it’s kind of a spoiler to say it (but if you want to know then ask me in the comments or honestly read any Goodreads review of it) so I won’t explicitly state it, but basically my biggest pet peeve in books happened so.🙃
I didn’t hate this book, but I feel like I probably won’t recommend it in posts and it definitely didn’t get five stars, so here’s to my first inaccurate prediction.
I really wish I remembered more from the next book, A Very Large Expanse of Sea, because I also gave it five stars and I remember loving it!
I think what I loved so much about this book was how much it made me think. I love when books give me a new perspective and expose to me my own shortfalls and hopefully help turn me into a more well-rounded person. I also like being able to take something away from a novel, even if it’s a contemporary (especially if it’s a contemporary), so me taking something away from AVLEOS was really critical.
I also do remember thinking the romance was really sweet (and being convinced that soft boys like Ocean who actually share their feelings don’t exist in the real world, though I’d gladly be proven wrong), so that was something else I enjoyed about this book. Though writing this has made me realize I need to reread it so I can properly remember why I did in fact give it five stars.
This is the book that made me drag out this post so much- The Boy Who Steals Houses! I had to buy it online, which really is not difficult, but for some reason took me forever to do. However, the purchase couldn’t have been more worth it!!
I don’t want to go on too much about it, because I’m planning to do a mini review soon (most of these other books have passed their time for a mini review already or else I’ve already done one) but I basically read this book in one sitting and utterly fell in love with all the characters and the abundance of waffles and glitter.
I even enjoyed it more than A Thousand Perfect Notes (also by C.G. Drews) which is saying a lot, so I didn’t hesitate before giving TBWSH five stars.
I’m sad because I didn’t love The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and I definitely expected to (clearly, as it’s on this list of predictions)- but I didn’t exactly hate it either? It was a solidly average read for me, and I ended up giving it three stars.
Things I liked about this book: I love adventurous historical fiction novels (see: my obsession with My Lady Jane), I liked the characters all right, I thought the romance was sweet, I liked reading about the adventures and Felicity was pretty great.
Unfortunately, this was all I really felt towards this book- that it was just good, that I just liked it, that the characters were sweet- I just didn’t feel super strongly towards any of it, so that’s what led me to give it such an average rating. I didn’t dislike it, but I was expecting to be way more blown away.
After that disappointment, the good news is, I was almost correct with my prediction for You Asked for Perfect! Meaning while I didn’t give it five stars, I did give it four stars, and I still really, really enjoyed it.
I’ve talked quite a bit about this book already, as I included it in one of my mini review posts from the last couple of months, but there were so many things I loved about it! The emphasis on academic pressure was so accurate and I’m still in awe over how relatable (and painful to read because of its trueness) that part of it was. I also loved the culture infused into the book, and the family relationships.
I didn’t give this five stars because there wasn’t that one *thing* that makes me give a five star rating (why does that make me sound like a chef explaining that the dish just needs a little more something or other)- but I did correctly predict that I would love it.
Last but (kind of) least, I predicted a five star rating for Shadow and Bone. I ended up giving this a three star rating, which is the same as some of the other books in this post, but I think this was a three-star-leaning-to-two, whereas the other ones would be leaning more to a four if they had to go one way or the other.
I’m so disappointed that I didn’t love this book, especially since it’s a series (I’m currently trying to get through the third book), because I loved Six of Crows, and because of the Netflix adaptation coming out. It’s not that I hated it, but I just didn’t really love any of the main characters.
I did like the worldbuilding and the plot of this one (the same cannot be said for the second book in the series unfortunately), but there were other things I just didn’t like at all, like the Darkling or the main character, Alina. Agh, I don’t often do negative reviews so I feel so mean saying all of this- but I was very far off when I predicted that I would really end up loving this book.
To summarize, out of the seven five star predictions, I gave 3 five stars, 1 four stars, and 3 three stars! That’s not bad, especially because most of the time a three star rating for me is pretty good and I give a lot of books that. I’ve been more stingy with my five star ratings this year too, so the fact that three of these got one is pretty good.
I feel like this shows that I…mostly know my reading taste? I didn’t straight up hate any of these, and even for the ones that I didn’t love, the premise still seems like something I would be interested in, and it was more my personal problems with the characters or plot. All in all, I really liked doing this prediction thing and hopefully I’ll do it again sometime in the future (with quicker results)!
Thank you so much for reading this post! Also, I wanted to say that if you maybe wanted to ask me questions for a Q&A, you can do on this post– it would be greatly appreciated. But more importantly, I hope you’re all doing well and staying healthy both physically and emotionally- thinking of you all.💛
Have you read any of these books, and if you have, what did you think of them? Also, tell me your current read because obviously my TBR needs more books…I’d love to talk with you in the comments!