Technically, this week’s topic is supposed to be for books that we’ve already read and gave 5 stars, but I decided to go with a bit of a twist on it. I haven’t had very many 5 star reads yet this year, and I think I’ve already pretty thoroughly covered most of my 5 star reads from 2021. Instead, I decided to use this week’s prompt as an opportunity to mention some additional 5-star predictions for 2022! When I made my 5 star predictions lists earlier this month, there were quite a few books that I strongly considered adding but didn’t quite make the cut for a variety of reasons. I thought this week’s prompt was a good chance to include these books anyway. I wouldn’t necessarily consider this list a “goal” in the same way as trying to finish all the books on my previous 5-star predictions list, but it didn’t necessarily feel right to leave these books out either. Since I have 7 challenges that I’m working on this year, I’m going to pick 7 books instead of 5 for this list, so I have one extra prediction per challenge.
Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.
1) The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell
This book actually was on my 5-star Prediction list right up until the last minute, when I decided to switch it out because I had another book by the same author chosen as a prediction for a different challenge. I decided it was more fair to limit myself to one book per author, and of the two, this was the one I was less certain would be 5 stars because it is a sequel. The Family Upstairs was my first ever book by this author and I absolutely loved it, but even with that in mind, I’m not sure it really needed a sequel. It’s extremely rare for that to happen with thrillers, at least as far as I know, so I’m curious to see what the author does with it. To be fair, it’s been two years since I read The Family Upstairs so I don’t remember much of the details, but based on how much I’ve enjoyed this author’s other books so far, I’m expecting to love this one too. I think if any author could make a strong sequel to a thriller, it’s Lisa Jewell.
2) Cherish Farrah by Bethany C. Morrow
This was another book that I originally had down as a 5-star Prediction but switched out at almost the last minute. I think I’d decided not to include it because this author was already on my priority list, so it seemed a bit silly to prioritize her twice, although that doesn’t necessarily make sense since I have a couple of books from priority series as predictions. For some reason, this was just one of those books that I kept coming back to as I was making my challenge lists, and I knew it was something I’d have to pick up. Social Horror is a genre that is pretty new to me, but I find it so interesting! This one sounds especially intriguing because it’s so different from any other YA thriller that I’ve read before and I can’t wait to give it a try. I’m predicting it will be 5 stars mostly on the strength of my own self-imposed hype!
3) The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett
I excluded this book from my list originally because I was only choosing from the “Top Picks” half of my ATY Top Picks & Leftovers challenge, and this one was a leftover book from last year. This was a book that I was so excited to try in 2021, but for some inexplicable reason, I just kept putting it off and didn’t get to it. It was a bit embarrassing since it had been one of the first books that I’d decided to add to my challenge plans for the year, and then I didn’t even read it. I’m expecting this one to be 5 stars because I’ve heard so many amazing things about it! The storyline reminds me a bit of a smaller-scale version of Homegoing, which was easily a favourite of the year that I read it. I also previously read and enjoyed The Mothers by this author so I’m hoping to love this one as much. I’m planning to pick it up very soon so I don’t procrastinate on it again!
4) Hide by Kiersten White
This one didn’t quite make my original list because I already had three other very strong contenders from the same challenge, and also because I was a little worried about the page count. This book is just over 250 pages, which is much shorter than I usually like for a full-length book. I also really didn’t know much about it until very recently. I’ve absolutely loved everything I’ve read by this author so far, and I think this genre seems like the perfect fit for her. I’m also very intrigued by the premise and the amusement park setting, which both seem so creepy! I believe this is the author’s first adult book as well, so it will be interesting to see how she makes that leap from YA. This book isn’t out until the end of May so it will be quite a wait before I can read it, but I’m hoping to love it when I finally do pick it up. I’m expecting it to be 5 stars based on the strength of this author’s previous books, although I’ll probably wish it was a little longer!
5) Gilded by Marissa Meyer
I really struggled with leaving this book off my predictions list since it seemed like such an obvious choice for me! The only reason I didn’t include it was because the challenge it was for already had several other very strong contenders. I decided to leave this one off because it was technically already covered as a priority series, but it still felt wrong to exclude it! It was an especially difficult decision because this was literally the first book I’d put on my challenge plans for the year, so it was already very high priority. Marissa Meyer is one of my favourite authors and I’ve absolutely loved everything she has written so far. This book especially reminds of her Lunar Chronicles series because it’s inspired by a fairy tale, and Rumpelstiltskin is already one of my favourite fairy tales. I’m very curious to see what Marissa Meyer does with it! The only downside to this book is that the sequel is not due out until November, so if I want to read them together, I’m going to have to wait all the way until then!
6) Master Class by Christina Dalcher
Of all the books here, I think this is the one that I’m least sure of but I wanted to push myself a bit and predict that I’d love some books that were more outside of my comfort zone. This book is a sci-fi dystopian which is a genre that I rarely read, but I do often enjoy it when I try it. I first discovered this book all the way back in 2020, but forgot about it for a while until I saw it on Book Outlet and decided to buy it immediately. The main reason I think it might be 5 stars is because of the focus on standardized testing and education, which is something that I find very interesting. Their society is structured around the scores children achieve on their standardized tests, which determine where they can be educated and what kind of future they might have. The main character is a teacher whose own daughter fails a test, dropping her score to a disastrously low level and forcing her to leave her top-level school for a federal institution. I think the whole premise of the conflict between the main character’s roles as parent and as a teacher sounds fascinating, and I’m hoping I’ll love this one as much as I expect.
7) Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire
I partially excluded this one from my original list for practical reasons, as silly as that might be. In my 5-Star Prediction posts, I include a short summary of what the book is about, and the synopsis of this one was so vague that I couldn’t’ figure out how to summarize it! Since I already had a few other great options for predictions from the same challenge, I decided to just switch it out and put this book on my Top 22 to Read in 2022 list instead. However, I would still definitely consider this book a 5-star prediction because of how much I loved Middlegame! I was a little surprised to realize that book would be getting a sequel, and I will definitely need to find a good summary before I pick this one up since it’s already been close to two years! Middlegame was easily one of my favourite books that I read in 2020 and I’ll be shocked if I don’t end up loving this one too.