Top 10 Tuesdays: (More) 5-Star Predictions for 2020!

I guess I will have to treat this week’s topic as an “unofficial” add-on to my 5-star predictions, since I already made a list of 20 books that I’m expecting to rate 5 stars this year! In theory, I could include these as well but I think a total of 30 books to wrap-up at the end of the year would be a bit excessive. To be fair, the list that I made earlier in the year is definitely not a complete list. I’m hoping to love a lot more than 20 of the books I read this year enough to rate them 5 stars, and most of these were books that very narrowly missed out on my previous lists because of logistics. I didn’t want a lot of overlap between my top priority books and my 5-star predictions, for example. Usually, I base a 5-star prediction on previously enjoying books by an author, or if it has a lot of tropes or themes that I tend to enjoy. I think all of the books mentioned here could fit the bill, and I’m looking forward to reading them all!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

1) Chosen by Kiersten White

40851846. sy475 I know there were a lot of mixed opinions about Slayer, but I ended up loving it! Kiersten White has quickly become one of my favourite YA writers, and I loved very book of hers that I tried last year. This book is the follow-up, which just acme out last month, and I’m very excited to give it a try. This one follows Nina’s plan to turn the Watcher’s Castle into a sanctuary for demons, which has not been going well, as well as her trying to deal with her newly restored Slayer powers which haven’t quite felt right. I assume this one will be 5 stars for me because I love Kiersten White’s writing style in general, and I think she absolutely nailed the kind of humour that is such an integral part of the Buffy universe. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the book captured the right atmosphere, and I really enjoyed the new characters. I’m very interested in reading more of this world, and I’m expecting to love it just as much as I loved the first one.

2) Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire

44804083I think part of the reason I didn’t add this one to my initial list is because it is a novella and not a full-length book, which is silly since I’ve adored the rest of the series. This book is the fifth in the Wayward Children series, which returns to the story of Jack and Jill. So far, Jack and Jill’s story (Down Among the Sticks and Bones) has been my favourite of the series, although they have all been 5-star reads for me. These books are all so beautifully written and have such intriguing worlds. I think it really says something about this series that I usually don’t care for novellas in general, and these have become a favourite fantasy series regardless. These books are so short that they always leave me wanting more, but I think they are so well-developed for novellas, and avoid many of the issues I often tend to have with books of this length. I can’t wait to get a copy of this one!

3) Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

41837243. sy475 This one is a complete guess because I have never read anything by Riley Sager, so I don’t even know if I like his writing style, but he is one of my top priority authors to try this year. I currently have three of his four books already in my challenge plans for this year, but the reason this one specifically became a 5-star prediction is because I saw it come up repeatedly on several people’s favourites of 2019 lists recently! This book is about a woman name Jules who takes a job as an apartment sitter in a strange building with unusual rules. She is not allowed any visitors or any nights away from the apartment, and also is not supposed to disturb any of the other residents. Jules soon finds herself drawn to another apartment sitter, Ingrid, who reminds her of her own sister and who disappears shortly after telling Jules that the building is not what it seems. Jules soon learns that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing, and must race against the clock to discover the building’s secrets and escape. This does sound like the kind of creepy thriller that I tend to enjoy, and the fact that so many reviewers I follow have loved it, many of whom have similar taste to mine, makes me think I’ll love it too.

4) The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

43575115. sy475 This was a book that I was hesitant to include on my initial 5-star prediction list just because of overlap with my priority books, but it’s one that I’m expecting to love. I adored The Night Circus and was really looking forward to more of Erin Morgenstern’s beautiful writing, so I was excited to see this book when it was first announced. This one is about a man named Zachary who discovers a book that somehow contains a story from his own childhood, written before he was born. It leads Zachary on a journey to search for answers and explore the hidden world that the book has led him too. I think the other major reason I was hesitant to add this one to my predictions list in the first place is because I find the plot a bit confusing! To be fair, I felt the same about Strange the Dreamer and ended up loving it, so it may be worth the chance anyway. Ironically enough, I get the feeling that this book will have some similarities to Strange the Dreamer, at least in terms of the writing. I’m hoping to enjoy this one as much as I loved The Night Circus.

5) Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

35965482. sx318 I was first drawn to this book because of the very interesting cover, and the fact that it is also by Seanan McGuire only added to my excitement for it. It is about a pair of twins, Roger and Dodger, and the alchemist who created the two of them and is seeking to use them to take power. Roger is a linguistic genius, and Dodger is a math prodigy, and the two of them were separated and raised in normal families until they meet again under extraordinary circumstances. This is another book that I was a bit hesitant about at first because I didn’t fully understand what it was about. It didn’t help that I saw several reviews recently that also directly stated that it was a bit confusing and hard to follow, which has never been the case for me with Seanan McGuire’s writing so far. It definitely sounds like a unique and interesting premise, and I’m very excited to give it a chance and find out for myself. Somehow, something about it gives me vibes of Vicious by V.E. Schwab, and I have no idea why.

6) Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

36809135I’m a bit on the fence about this one, although it does sound like something I could really enjoy. I’m mostly expecting to love it because it was a selection from Reese Witherspoon’s book club, and I’ve really enjoyed all the books that I’ve read so far from her picks. This book is about the death of a local man named Chase Andrew in late 1969, and the immediate suspect is the “Marsh Girl” Kya Clark. Kya had survived alone for years, until two young men from town take an interest in her. The book alternates between Kya’s past, and the investigation into Chase’s death. I’ve seen so many amazing reviews for this one, and part of the reason that I’ve been intrigued enough to try it is because of all the hype, even though I wasn’t sure about adding it to my TBR in the first place. It seems to be one of those books that people either absolutely love, or DNF, but I’m hoping I’ll fall into that first group.

7) American Street by Ibi Zoboi

30256109I almost included this one in my original 5-star predictions post this year, and ended up taking it off the list for completely superficial and stupid reasons. It bothered me that 3 out of the 4 books I’d chosen as predictions for whichever challenge this was from all started with the same letter, as embarrassing as that is to admit! This was also a book that I really wanted to pick up last year and even bought a copy as an extra motivator, but ran out of time before I could get to it. It is about a girl named Fabiola who was born in America, but spent most of her life in Haiti with her mother. While on her way to visit her aunt and cousins, Fabiola’s mother is detained by US immigration, leaving her on her own to help her mother and adapt to America, which is not quite what she expected. I’ve heard such great things about this book and it was high on my list last year, so I was frustrated that I didn’t have enough time to squeeze it in. I’m hoping I’ll love this one enough to make up for the delay in getting to it!

8) The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

42080142This one may be a bit of a long-shot, since none of Ruth Ware’s books have quite reached 5 stars for me yet. I’ve read The Woman in Cabin 10 and The Death of Mrs. Westaway, and while I really liked them both, I’m hoping this one will finally be a full 5 stars. This book is about a woman named Rowan, who is a nanny currently in jail awaiting trial for the death of a child in her care. She is writing to a potential lawyer who may defend her case, as she explains how she applied for the position and soon came to suspect the house was haunted. I was especially intrigued because the house has been updated to a “smart” home with constant surveillance and voice activated technology, which is not something I’ve really read about before, and I think it’s such a unique way to tackle the typical haunted house angle. This book was very highly recommended by BooksAndLala, and our tastes tend to be pretty similar, so I’m hoping to love it just as much as she did.

9) With the Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo

38739562It was a toss-up between this one and Clap When You Land for my “official” predictions list this year, so I’m glad I have the chance to mention this one too. The Poet X was easily one of my favourite books last year, and this book was one of the first that I knew I wanted to add to my list for this year’s challenges. This book is about a high school senior named Emoni who is an aspiring chef, and also a single parent to her daughter while helping to support her abuela. Emoni struggles with the daily pressures of caring for her family, working part-time, and applying for college, and believes that her dreams of becoming a chef are out of reach until her school introduces a new culinary arts program that could give her the opportunity she needs. If The Poet X is anything to go on, Elizabeth Acevdeo could easily be one of my new favourite YA authors and I can’t wait to try both of her other books. I’ve been hearing about this book non-stop for the past year, and I’m excited to finally give it a try.

10) Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

34728667I’m very late to the party with this one, considering it’s been out for almost two years already and the first sequel was recently released! Although it might make slightly more sense to wait until next year and read the whole trilogy at once, I’m not sure I want to put it off again. To be honest, one of the reasons I’m so late to pick this one up is because I wasn’t sure how badly I wanted to try it when it first came out, but the more I’ve heard about it, the more intrigued I became. I’m hoping to read at least the first book this year, and possibly even the second one if I’m lucky. This series is about a young woman named Zelie who is trying to restore magic to Orisha, and fight back against the monarchy who is responsible for its loss and wants to eradicate magic forever. This definitely seems like one of the most unique and interesting fantasy settings, with a basis in Nigerian mythology which is something I’m not familiar with at all. I’m interested in trying this one because it seems different from other fantasy series I’ve been reading lately, and I’ve heard such great things about the writing!


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