Check out yesterday’s post here for part 1, and come back tomorrow for part 3!
ATY Top Picks & Leftovers Challenge (Continued)
2) A Song of Wraiths and Ruins by Roseanne A. Brown
Prompt: A book with a competition as a main plot element
What Is It About?: In a desperate attempt to resurrect her mother using ancient magic, Karina, the Crown Princess of Ziran, offers her hand in marriage to the winner of the Solstasia contest so she can obtain the heart of a king required to complete her spell. A young man named Malik has rigged his way into this same contest, with the aim of assassinating Karina as part of a deal to free his younger sister from vengeful spirits.
Why I Chose It: To be honest, I’d mostly ignored this book at first because the title seemed so similar to the ACOTAR series, and I’d assumed it would be a rehash of a very similar story. However, once I actually looked into it, I realized how wrong I was! I chose it for this prompt because the Solstasia contest seems to be a huge part of the plot, making it a very easy fit.
Why 5 Stars?: I have heard a ton of hype around this book so far, and the more I’ve heard about it, the more I’ve become excited to try it! I’m expecting to love it because it is based on West African folklore, which is something that may be a little more unique for me since I know very little about it, and also because of the mental illness representation, which is rarely included in these kinds of books.
3) The Family Plot by Megan Collins
Prompt: A book related to the proverb “blood is thicker than water”
What Is It About?: Upon her father’s death, 26-year-old Dahlia returns to the home she has been avoiding for years for his memorial, where she and her family are shocked to find another body buried in the reserved plot. This body is soon proven to be that of her twin brother Andy, who disappeared a decade ago. As each family member handles this in different an unusual ways, Dahlia soon realizes that her family and their home might hold the answers to what really happened to her brother.
Why I Chose It: Obviously, the fact that this one had a house on the cover immediately drew me in, since that seems to be my pattern for some reason. I chose it for this prompt specifically because of how much the synopsis emphasized the family and especially the idea of family secrets, which seemed like a great fit for the proverb.
Why 5 Stars?: I gave the first book that I’d read by this author 4.5 stars so I already know that I like her writing style, and the plot of this one sounds even more up my alley. I typically love books that involve an eccentric group of characters, and someone trying to unravel their family secrets. I’m expecting to love this one because it seems so character-driven and kind of gothic, which are both things that I usually love.
52 Book Club Challenge
1) Book Lovers by Emily Henry
Prompt: A book with illustrated people on the cover
What Is It About?: A literary agent named Nora loves to read and excels at her job landing deals for her clients, but she has never felt like the heroine of her own story. When she agrees to go on a month-long vacation with her sister, she finds herself constantly running into Charlie, an editor from the city. The two of them have never gotten along, but the more they are thrown together, the more they start to realize they may be a better fit for each other than either of them thought.
Why I Chose It: I originally had this book down for another challenge prompt that required a character who loves books, but it bugged me a bit since the title made it seem almost too obvious a choice for that one. I ended up moving it to this prompt instead because it easily fits in to the trend of illustrated covers which most romance books now seem to have.
Why 5 Stars?: Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation were both easily rated 5 stars for me, and I’m expecting to love this one just as much. I love the way this author builds her characters, and especially think I’ll love the focus on the literary/publishing world. I also tend to relate very strongly to books about characters who also love books, so I’m expecting to connect pretty easily with Nora as a character.
2) The Maid by Nita Prose
Prompt: A book with a job title in the title
What Is It About?: A young woman named Molly, who has always struggled with social skills and understanding other people’s intentions, and her grandmother used to help her figure it all out. When her grandmother passes away, Molly throws herself into her new job as a maid, however her life gets turned upside down when she finds a hotel guest dead in his suite, and her own unusual demeanour causes the police to treat her as the prime suspect.
Why I Chose It: This book very recently jumped straight to the top of my priority list. I only realized what it was about quite late in December, and it immediately became one of my most anticipated books. I chose it for this prompt because it was one of the few books I owned that has a job title in its title.
Why 5 Stars?: This book reminds me of a combination of several of my favourites, including The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and House Rules by Jodi Picoult. The entire premise of this one sounds like something I would absolutely love. I love mysteries in general, and I like that this one seems to combine the mystery with more of an up-lit genre story about people coming together to support someone who might be a little different.
3) The Red Palace by June Hur
Prompt: A book with an unlikely detective
What Is It About?: An 18-year-old girl named Hyeon has earned a position as a palace nurse, despite the lack of options available to illegitimate daughters in the city. When four women are murdered in a single night and the prime suspect is Hyeon’s closest friend and mentor, she launches her own secret investigation in an attempt to clear this woman’s name. Her investigations soon bring her in contact with Eojin, a young police inspector who teams up with Hyeon to uncover what really happened, especially as the evidence begins to mount that the Crown Prince might be the murderer.
Why I Chose It: June Hur is on my priority author list to try this year, and I really wanted to find a place for all three of her books somewhere in my reading challenges. Since her books are historical mysteries, they seemed like a great option for this prompt. I specifically chose this one because the synopsis mentions the character’s lack of options as an illegitimate child and a woman, so she seemed especially unlikely to be a detective.
Why 5 Stars?: I’m basing this prediction mostly off the fact that I’ve heard amazing things about all of June Hur’s books so far. I also tend to love historical fiction and mysteries in general, although I’ve rarely picked up any books that fit into both. Of all her books, I think this may be the one I like best since it also seems to involve court politics, which is something I also usually enjoy!
Flourish & Blotts: OWLS Challenge
Since I needed 22 books for this year’s list, the number of books per challenge didn’t quite divide evenly so I was left with one challenge where I’d need to make 4 predictions. Luckily, there were a ton of books that easily could be 5-star predictions on the Flourish & Blotts: OWLS challenge, so it wasn’t too hard to pick 4!
1) The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon
Prompt: A book that contains a character with a herbology-related name
What Is It About?: A young girl named Violet is thrilled when her grandmother brings home a new child, Iris, to stay with the family at their home in Vermont, and she is quick to include Iris in their Monster Club where they catalog monsters and think of ways to defeat them. 40 years later, Lizzy Shelley, the host of a popular podcast about monsters is travelling back to Vermont where a young girl has been abducted, and she is determined to hunt down the monster that has caused the town’s uproar, especially since she knows monsters are real as one of them is her own sister.
Why I Chose It: I became obsessed with this book as soon as I saw the full synopsis for it, and especially the fact that it was inspired by Frankenstein. I was actually on the fence about choosing it for this prompt because I almost wanted something that was more connected to the Frankenstein/monster angle of the story, but with both Violet and Iris as character names, it was a great fit for herbology.
Why 5 Stars?: Frankenstein is easily one of my favourite classics, and I actually haven’t read too many books that really reference it. This book fits so many of the tropes that I tend to love, including a focus on psychology, podcasts, and monsters, especially when questions are raised about whether monsters are real or what it means to be one. Given that it has all of these elements and that it is one of my most anticipated books of the year, I’m expecting to love this!
2) House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas
Prompt: Your most anticipated book of the year
What Is It About?: Bryce and Hunt are enjoying the chance to relax and figure out what the future holds after saving Crescent City, and the Asteri have so far kept their promise to leave them alone. When rebels begin to chip away at the Asteri’s power, the threat they pose grows and Bryce and Hunt are left to decide whether to fight for what’s right.
Why I Chose It: To be fair, this book became my most anticipated read the second I finished House of Earth and Blood in 2020. I remember immediately going onto Goodreads to see when the sequel was coming and being disappointed that it was such a long way off! The only other book that might have rivalled this one for the prompt would be a sequel to Ninth House, but there’s currently no information about that one yet.
Why 5 Stars?: I have absolutely loved every Sarah J. Maas book that I’ve read so far, and I might even go so far as to say that House of Earth and Blood was my favourite. It’s a tough choice since I also really loved ACOTAR, but the characters in this series are just incredible. Even though the synopsis really doesn’t offer very much information at all, I’m expecting to be drawn straight back into this world and the characters.
3) White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson
Prompt: A book by a favourite author
What Is It About?: A teenage girl named Marigold is on the run from the ghosts of her past, and sees her move to Cedarville to live with her newly blended family as her chance for a fresh start. Marigold soon realizes that her new house and even the town itself has a darker history than she expected and might be hiding some secrets. As strange things begin happening in her home, Marigold starts to realize that “running from ghosts” may be more literal than she thought.
Why I Chose It: Tiffany D. Jackson is easily one of my favourite YA author and I’ve absolutely loved every books she’s written so far. I had a couple of authors in mind for this prompt, but I was pretty certain from the start that his would be the book I picked. It was one of my most anticipated books of 2021 and right at the top of my list to add to this year’s challenges.
Why 5 Stars?: I’ve been really getting into haunted house books lately, which is a little weird since I’m usually such a coward when it comes to anything involving ghosts. I also love Tiffany D. Jackson’s writing style and especially how realistic her characters typically feel, which would only help to heighten how creepy this is. I’m expecting to love this because it touches on many of the tropes that I love, and when written by an author who is already my favourite, I’m expecting it to be done so well!
2 thoughts on “My 5-Star Predictions for 2022! (Part 2)”