2022 5-Star Predictions Wrap-Up (Part 2)

Check out yesterday’s post here for Part 1!

ATY Top Picks & Leftovers Challenge (Continued)

2) A Song of Wraiths and Ruins by Roseanne A. Brown

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Prediction: I chose this one for many of the same reasons as These Violent Delights. I had seen so much hype around this one, and the more I heard about it, the more I was interested in trying it. I was intrigued by the focus on West African folklore, and especially the mental illness representation that I’d heard was included, since that is something that is so underrepresented in fantasy.

What I Actually Rated It: 5 Stars!

Why It Was/Was Not 5 Stars?: This duology easily became one of my favourite things that I read all year, and both books were an easy 5 stars. I loved the character-driven nature of the story, and especially loved the author’s writing style. Like These Violent Delights, I was strangely intimidated to pick this up initially because I somehow assumed it would be dense or hard to get into, and it wasn’t at all. It actually drew me in immediately, and I absolutely loved the characters and the very interesting setting. I didn’t make a prediction specifically for the second book, but I have to add that I loved it equally as much

3) The Family Plot by Megan Collins


Prediction: I’ve really enjoyed this author’s writing style in the past, and the plot of this one sounded even better. I thought this one sounded especially intriguing because of the eccentric family and the focus on trying to one family member trying to uncover their secrets. It’s the kind of thriller that I tend to really enjoy, and I also loved the possibility of a very Gothic setting for this one.

What I Actually Rated It: 4.5 stars, but rounded up to a 5 on Goodreads!

Why It It Was/Was Not 5 Stars: I loved the creepy premise and the way the author crafted a family that was obsessed with death and true crime, but I wished that the author had fleshed this aspect out a little bit more to really build the family dynamics a bit more thoroughly. Shortly after reading the book I noticed a review on Goodreads that offered a suggestion on how it could have been tackled just a little differently and couldn’t help thinking that would have been an even stronger approach. However, I really enjoyed many of the twists toward the end and these really improved my overall enjoyment.

52 Book Club Challenge

1) Book Lovers by Emily Henry

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Prediction: This author’s previous two adult romances were both easily 5 stars for me and I expected to love this one just as much. I typically love this author’s characters and tend to find many of them very relatable. I thought this book seemed especially interesting because of the focus on the publishing industry and I liked that both main characters had a strong interest in books and writing.

What I Actually Rated It: 5 Stars!

Why It Was/Was Not 5 Stars: Like the Casey McQuiston book that I mentioned yesterday, I wouldn’t say this is my favourite by the author but I still really enjoyed it overall. I loved the commentary it offered about the typical romance movie trope of the “city person” finding love in small towns (and the partners they often leave behind), and I also enjoyed the plotline about Nora’s overprotective relationship with her sister Libby, even if Nora could be very frustrating at times, I loved the dynamics between Nora and Charlie and I especially loved the very realistic ending that fit them so well. The reason I say this one isn’t my favourite by the author is because I found that I connected with both of her previous romances a bit more in general, but this one was still a great read and I enjoyed it a lot.

2) The Maid by Nita Prose

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Prediction: This book reminded me quite a bit of several of my favourite books where an unusual (often autistic, but that word is never specified in the book) character gets caught up in an unexpected mystery. The entire premise sounded amazing and I expected that I would love how this one combined a mystery with an “up-lit” story of people coming together to support someone who may be a little different.

What I Actually Rated It: 5 Stars!

Why It Was/Was Not 5 Stars: This book was absolutely everything I expected, and easily one of my favourite books of the year. I loved Molly as a narrator and really enjoyed her unique perspective on what was happening, and especially on her role as a maid and how people in service roles are treated. I loved how the mystery ultimately unfolded and the way Molly was able to use her skills and personality quirks to her advantage to help catch the person responsible (even if it did require some suspension of disbelief). I especially loved the emphasis on not making assumptions about others and thought that really brought home the whole theme of how Molly and viewed and treated throughout the book. I can’t wait to see what this author comes out with next!

3) The Red Palace by June Hur


Prediction: I assumed this one would be 5 stars mostly because I’d heard amazing things about the author in general, and I tend to love both historical fiction and mysteries in general. This book was also the one that seemed the most intriguing to me because of the focus on court politics, which I tend to find fascinating.

What I Actually Rated It: Nothing yet!

Would I Still Predict 5 Stars?: I’m a tiny bit more on the fence about it now, since the only book that I did read by this author this year ended up being 4.5 stars (rounded down to a 4 on Goodreads) because I found it harder to get into than I expected. However, that book was the author’s debut and my complaints about it were really quite minor, since it was mostly the slow pacing that I took issue with and I also got confused about who some of the side characters were at times. This book still sounds a bit more interesting to me overall and there was a window of time where I’d strongly considered rounding my rating of 4.5 on the previous book up to a 5 so it does seem pretty promising that I might love other books by this author. I’m still very interested in trying this one, and was actually a little upset that I didn’t get to it this year, so that’s a good sign that I’m still excited for it.

Flourish & Blotts: OWLS Challenge

1) The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon


Prediction: This book was inspired by Frankenstein, which is one of my favourite classics, and it contains many of my favourite tropes. This book immediately became one of my most anticipated of the year as soon as a I saw the synopsis and I was obsessed with the synopsis and the focus on questioning what makes a monster. This author was also on my priority list to try this year, so I was really hoping to love her books.

What I Actually Rated It: 5 Stars!

Why It Was/Was Not 5 Stars?: Although I was a bit disappointed that I predicted one of the twists very early on, I loved the overall premise and the creepy atmosphere. I especially loved the commentary that the author offered about the nature of monsters in general. I liked how the author alternated between the two timelines and was absolutely fascinated by the explanation for what was happening in the past. I did find the ending a little underwhelming compared to the rest of the book, but thought it redeemed itself a bit with the very last chapter. I also really enjoyed the way the author wove in some Frankenstein elements throughout the book and I thought the characters were all very compelling.

2) House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas

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Prediction: I chose this book mostly on author’s name alone since I’ve loved every single book I’ve read by this author so far. House of Earth and Blood was my favourite and I remember looking to see when the sequel was coming the second I finished it. After such a long wait, I was expecting to love this one (even though the synopsis really didn’t give much to go on)!

What I Actually Rated It: 5 Stars!

Why It Was/Was Not 5 Stars: This book had many of the strengths that I’ve come to expect from Sarah J. Maas’s writing in general, especially her ability to write amazing characters. I don’t think I loved this one quite as much as House of Earth and Blood overall, but it was pretty close. There were a lot of subplots happening and a lot of characters to keep track of, and I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t quite as much of Bryce and Hunt, but I especially loved Ruhn’s storyline as well as the extra development for Ithan and Tharion. I ultimately loved the direction the author took with this book in general, even if it seemed mostly transitional, and thought it ended on a frustratingly good cliffhanger!

3) White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson


Prediction: This author has very quickly become one of my favourite YA authors, and her writing style seems like a perfect fit for this kind of haunted house story. I tend to love ghost stories, even though I get very easily creeped out by them, and I was sure that would be the case with this book especially given how realistic this author’s characters typically seem.

What I Actually Rated It: 5 Stars!

Why It Was/Was Not 5 Stars: Despite losing a little steam toward the end (after the main reveal), this book was absolutely amazing! It’s been about a month and a half since I read it, and I still very vividly remember certain scenes. I found a lot of this book so creepy but was compelled to continue reading anyway and find out what was really happening. I absolutely loved the main character Marigold and loved the way the author addressed her mental health challenges and previous struggles with addiction, and the long-lasting impact both of these had. This book was absolutely amazing and although I do wish the ending had been a little stronger overall, this was still one of the most memorable books I’ve read all year!

Come back tomorrow to see Part 3!


One thought on “2022 5-Star Predictions Wrap-Up (Part 2)

  1. Pingback: 2022 5-Star Predictions Wrap-Up (Part 1) | Abyssal Librarian

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