2022 5-Star Predictions Wrap-Up (Part 3)

Check out Part 1 and Part 2!

Flourish & Blotts: OWLS Challenge (Continued)

4) The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James


Prediction: This author’s books have consistently been my favourites of the year every year that I’ve read them so far, and this one seemed like something I would love. This author’s writing tends to be the perfect amount of creepiness/paranormal elements for me, and I love how atmospheric her writing is. I expected to enjoy this one because I love the trope of a young writer having the opportunity to interview someone to find out about their past, so this seemed like something that would be up my alley.

What I Actually Rated It: 5 Stars!

Why It Was/Was Not 5 Stars: As seems to be a running theme this year for some reason, I wouldn’t quite say that I loved this book quite as much as the others I’ve read by this author, but it still had many of the same strengths that I’ve come to expect from her. I loved the creepy atmosphere and the compelling characters, and I loved how the author wove in some paranormal elements without that aspect fully taking over the story. I was a little disappointed when what seemed to be a major reveal took place surprisingly early since this is a personal pet peeve of mine (I tend to lose interest once I know who did it), but I still liked the way the author continued to build on the story from there and especially the character dynamics. I also really loved the parallels the author drew between Shea and Beth and thought this was one of the most interesting parts of the whole book.

BookList Queen 2022 Challenge

1) Gallant by V.E. Schwab


Prediction: This was another book that I’d predicted mostly based on author name alone, since I’ve loved everything I’ve read by this author so far. Surprisingly, I had heard very little about this book before it came out to the point where I was surprised to see that she even had a new release this year. I typically love V.E. Schwab’s writing style and her books tend to have very memorable and unique characters, so I was expecting to love this one as much as I’ve loved her other books so far.

What I Actually Rated It: 5 Stars!

Why It Was/Was Not 5 Stars: I’ve described this book a few times as a “Tim Burton version of The Secret Garden” and I think that was a huge part of why I ended up loving it. To be honest, I didn’t find it as memorable at first as many of this author’s other books so far, but now that it’s been months since I’ve read it, I’ve unexpectedly found that it’s stuck with me more than I thought. I loved the main character Olivia and especially the focus on how she was treated since she was mute and communicated through sign language. I also absolutely loved the use of Olivia’s mother’s journal and the fairy tale-like atmosphere of the book in general. This is a book I’d definitely want to reread since I suspect I’d get even more out of it the second time.

2) Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty


Prediction: I generally enjoy this author’s books, although none have quite matched Big Little Lies for me. I had high hopes for this one because it was a twist on one of my favourite tropes, with the adult children in a family questioning whether their father might be responsible for a crime. I generally find books dealing with a family member struggling with the knowledge that someone close to them may be dangerous so interesting!

What I Actually Rated It: Nothing yet!

Would I Still Predict 5 Stars?: Yes, for many of the same reasons as my original prediction. I made the mistake of trying to save this book to read seasonally because it reminded me of fall, but then I had too many other books that I wanted to read before it and ended up forgetting to pick it up. However, I’m still very intrigued by the premise and I still think this book could rival Big Little Lies as my favourite by this author if it is done well. I’ve seen some pretty mixed reviews so far, but I still have high hopes for this one.

3) The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell


Prediction: I’ve loved every book that I’ve read by this author so far, and I assumed that this one would be no exception. I love this author’s writing style, which tends to draw me in immediately, and her characters are also usually very compelling. It also fit my current interest in books focusing on creepy houses/woods and the synopsis seemed like the kind of thriller I tend to love in general.

What I Actually Rated It: Nothing yet! I got confused about which of two Lisa Jewell books I’d included as a 5 Star Prediction, so I ended up reading The Family Remains recently instead thinking it had been the one I’d picked (but it was 5 stars anyway, so that worked out).

Would I Still Predict 5 Stars?: Absolutely, yes! Lisa Jewell has yet to disappoint me with any of her thrillers, and they are always at the top of my most anticipated list of the year. I’m actually a little embarrassed that I didn’t get to this one yet since I was so excited to pick it up, and I’m confident I’m going to love it when I do. I expect I’m going to love it for the exact same reasons that I mentioned above, and I’m planning on reading this one very soon, possibly even squeezing it in before the end of this year if I can (although that seems a bit unlikely).

Pick Your Poison 2021 Challenge

1) Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult


Prediction: Jodi Picoult is one of my favourite authors and the vast majority of her books have easily been 5-star reads for me, so it was a natural assumption that this one could be as well. I do tend to prefer her courtroom dramas, but I was intrigued by this one because of its focus on the COVID pandemic as well as the Galapagos Island setting. I expected she would tackle such a complex topic with sensitivity.

What I Actually Rated It: 4.5 stars rounded up to 5 on Goodreads

Why It Was/Was Not 5 Stars: This book was very close to just being a solid 5 stars, but I was a bit disappointed initially that I was finding it a bit predictable and also quite similar in a lot of ways to her previous book The Book of Two Ways (which I’d enjoyed but was also not my favourite). Luckily, the twist turned things around and recaptured my interest again for the second half. I thought the author did a great job capturing the early days of the pandemic and especially the confusion and mixed messaging about what everyone should do to stay safe. I also really enjoyed the subplot about Diana’s complex relationship with her mother who was in a seniors residence, and her feelings about becoming her mother’s caregiver after spending most of her life feeling abandoned by her. There was a lot about this book that I really enjoyed, although I still think the author has other books that are stronger overall.

2) The Book Of Night by Holly Black

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Prediction: I loved this author’s Folk of the Air series and I was intrigued to see that this was her first adult fantasy title, especially since the synopsis reminds me quite a bit of Ninth House. I tend to love these kinds of darker fantasy books and I’m intrigued by the premise of this one (even though I found it a little confusing at first).

What I Actually Rated It: Nothing yet!

Would I Still Predict 5 Stars?: Yes, I think so. When I made my initial prediction, I’d noted that I was a bit on the fence about this one and that is definitely still the case. As much as I loved the Folk of the Air series, I wasn’t a fan of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown so that’s made me a little more apprehensive about whether I’ll enjoy this author’s books. I’ve also seen some not-so-great reviews for this one over the past year, which can be a little off-putting. I’m still expecting to generally enjoy this one and I’m sure I’ll end up rating it a minimum of 4 stars, but hopefully a 5!

3) The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager


Prediction: I know this author’s books aren’t necessarily for everyone, but I’ve really enjoyed all of them so far. The premise of this one reminded me of some of my favourite thrillers and I was very interested to see what he would do with it. In general, I find this author tends to take relatively typical tropes and does something a little extra with them, so I was curious to see what he would add to this one. This was one of my most anticipated books of the year because of how much I’ve enjoyed most of this author’s previous books!

What I Actually Rated It: 4.5 stars rounded up to 5 on Goodreads

Why It Was/Was Not 5 Stars: I think this is the kind of book people will either love or hate because of the twist, and it it also makes it really hard to discuss it in any detail without risking spoilers. I was very thrown off by the twist at first and wasn’t really sure I liked it, but I ultimately enjoyed the direction the author took with it. While this wasn’t my favourite of his books (Home Before Dark is still the best for me), I ended up really enjoying it overall and I especially liked the character dynamics.


2 thoughts on “2022 5-Star Predictions Wrap-Up (Part 3)

  1. Pingback: 2022 5-Star Predictions Wrap-Up (Part 2) | Abyssal Librarian
  2. Pingback: 2022 5-Star Predictions Wrap-Up (Part 1) | Abyssal Librarian

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