Check out yesterday’s post here for part 1, and come back tomorrow for part 3!
ATY Top Picks Challenge (Part 2)
2) The Cost of Knowing by Brittney Morris
Prompt: A book by an author with 14 or greater letters in their name
What Is It About?: A 16-year-old boy named Alex who has the ability to see the future of any object or person that he touches. He is trying his best to live a normal life as much as possible, until he touches a photo that gives him a vision of his younger brother’s imminent death, putting him into a race against time to protect his brother and spend as much time with him as possible, even though he has never been able to prevent a vision from coming true.
Why I Chose It: This is a book that I just kept coming back to while I was planning my lists for the year, even though it was only mildly on my radar. Every time I skimmed through my Goodreads shelves, I’d stop on this book and finally decided that I needed to read it. I also read Slay by this author last year and it was one of my favourites of the year, so I’m looking forward to trying more by this author.
Why 5 Stars?: I’m expecting this book to be very impactful and, like I mentioned for Early Departures yesterday, I’m intrigued because it is such a different premise than the majority of the other YA books that I read. Part of what I loved about Slay was how strong and memorable the characters were, and I’m expecting more of the same with this book too.
3) Survive the Night by Riley Sager
Prompt: A book where characters are trapped together
What Is It About?: Set in 1991, a college student named Charlie Jordan hitches a ride from Josh Baxter, whom she meets at the campus ride board. Charlie is dealing with guilt and grief over the death of her best friend, who was murdered by the Campus Killer. She soon becomes suspicious of Josh’s claims about his reasons for going home, and worries that he might actually be the killer.
Why I Chose It: Riley Sager was one of my top priority authors to try last year, and I soon realized that I really enjoyed his writing style. I’m looking forward to trying more of his thrillers, and since I’ve been having trouble finding affordable copies of his middle two books, this one seems like a great place to start.
Why 5 Stars?: While I don’t typically love road trip books, I do enjoy the character dynamics in books where characters are stuck together. I love how Riley Sager builds such creepy atmospheres in his books, and I can only imagine how that will play out with both characters together in one car. This one seems especially creepy because it feels so realistic, and I tend to find those kinds of thrillers the most scary of all.
This was the hardest challenge to pick 5 star predictions for! It consists of the books and/or prompts that I wanted to read last year and didn’t get to, so I had the additional challenge of trying to pick books to mention that hadn’t been 5 star predictions before!
1) The Wife Stalker by Liv Constantine
Prompt: A book involving a betrayal
What Is It About?: A woman named Joanna is determined to find evidence to use against her husband’s new girlfriend after he leaves her for Piper, but struggles to get anyone to believe the secrets that she has uncovered.
Why I Chose It: I’ve been meaning to read more of Liv Constantine’s books for a couple of years now, but somehow kept forgetting to incorporate them into my challenges. I wanted to make a point of finding a place for both of their books that I had not yet read since I loved their writing, and chose it for this prompt because of the betrayal involved in Leo choosing to leave his wife for another woman.
Why 5 Stars?: To be honest, I’m a little on the fence with this one because the plot sounded so similar to The Last Mrs. Parrish, which I rated 4.5 stars (rounded up to 5 on Goodreads). While I like that premise, I wasn’t sure I’d want another book so similar from the same authors. I’m predicting it will be a 5-star read mostly on the grounds that I do tend to enjoy this kind of plot in thrillers generally, and I enjoyed their writing the first time around.
2) Watch Us Rise by Renee Watson
Prompt: A book containing poetry
What Is It About?: Two high school students decide to start a Women’s Rights Club to combat the way women are treated at their high school, and post a series of online essays, poems, and videos that soon go viral. As the club gains more support, they also begin to be the target of online trolls, forcing the principal to try and shut them down.
Why I Chose It: I’m not that interested in poetry generally, so I knew that I wanted to pick either a novel told in verse or one that contained poems as only part of the story, and this one seemed to fit the bill. I chose this book because it seemed like one that would include poetry without it being the sole focus, so it seemed like a good balance.
Why 5 Stars?: Piecing Me Together, the previous book I read by Renee Watson, became a surprise favourite when I read it in 2019 after loving it a lot more than I expected. I’ve also really enjoyed other books that focus on teen activism within their schools to challenge or change things, and I’m especially interested in this one because of the addition of the viral social media element, which is a huge buzzword for me.
3) Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon
Prompt: A book with an “-ing” word in the title
What Is It About?: A father is called to his children’s high school after receiving the news that there has been a shooting. When he realizes that his son Jake is the only child missing, he begins to obsess over his past and figure out whether he really knew his son as well as he thought.
Why I Chose It: This book has been on my TBR since 2015 and it’s one that I keep tentatively adding into my challenge plans but passing over in favour of newer releases. I picked it as a 5 star prediction specifically as an extra push to read it, but also chose this book because the premise sounds so interesting.
Why 5 Stars?: This book has been widely compared to Defending Jacob and We Need to Talk About Kevin, which were two books I found absolutely fascinating. I love the whole concept of these kinds of thrillers, which focus on how well a parent can really know their child. If it’s done well, these kinds of stories tend to be very chilling and memorable, which is exactly what I’m expecting from this one.
52 Book Club
1) Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce
Prompt: A book featuring the legal profession
What Is It About?: A struggling lawyer is assigned her first murder case to defend, and can’t help feeling that something isn’t right when her client decides to plead guilty. She sees this case as her chance to save her client as well as herself, as her own life seems to be falling apart due to her drinking and neglect of her family.
Why I Chose It: This was another book that I kept inexplicably coming back to as I was skimming through my Goodreads shelves. It was one of the few thrillers that I could find that focused specifically on the legal profession, and I tend to love a good courtroom story, although I’m not quite sure how much of a role the case will play in this one.
Why 5 Stars?: I’m not even sure I can specifically pinpoint what it was about this one that keeps drawing me back to it. It generally sounds like the kind of thriller that I tend to enjoy and I like the potential focus on the case that the main character is working on. Even if the focus is more on the lawyer herself, it’s been quite a while since I read a thriller focused on this kind of alcoholic, unreliable main character and although the trend got annoying, I do tend to like these books.
2) A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins
Prompt: A book related to the word “fire”
What Is It About?: A young woman is seen leaving the scene of a horrific murder on a London canal boat with blood on her clothes, making her seem like the most likely suspect. The book follows three women who are each connected to the victim, and all of them have secrets and hidden resentments of their own.
Why I Chose It: I added this one to my plans mostly because of author name alone, especially given how little is known about the plot so far. I’ve read and loved both of Paula Hawkins’ books so far, and had no idea that she was due to release a new one this year. As soon as I saw it announced, I knew it would be something I’d want to read as soon as possible.
Why 5 Stars?: I love Paula Hawkins’ writing style in general and I’ve rated both of her previous books 5 stars, which is usually a pretty good indicator that I’ll like the next one too. I’m a little skeptical of my own prediction in this case just because there is so little known about the book yet, since it won’t be out until the very end of August. It doesn’t give me much information to go on, but I have a good feeling about it anyway.