At the beginning of each year, I enjoy trying to predict the books that I think will be my 5 star reads for the year.
I like doing this because I find it fun to see what I thought I was going to love versus what I did love later in the year. Especially because I’m often wrong.
I also don’t actually seem to rate that many books 5 stars, so I enjoy seeing if give more books the elusive rating than I expected.
I recently looked back at my 5 star predictions from 2019 and reviewed whether or not I estimated correctly.
Now it’s time to make some predictions for 2020.
Bridge of Souls
Cass thinks she might have this ghost-hunting thing down. After all, she and her ghost best friend, Jacob, have survived two haunted cities while traveling for her parents’ TV show.
But nothing can prepare Cass for New Orleans, which wears all of its hauntings on its sleeve. In a city of ghost tours and tombs, raucous music and all kinds of magic, Cass could get lost in all the colorful, grisly local legends. And the city’s biggest surprise is a foe Cass never expected to face: a servant of Death itself.
Why I think I’m going to love it: It’s the third City of Ghosts book and I KNOW I’m going to love it because I rated both the other two 5 stars.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
It’s about a love story between a French girl and the devil over 300 years. She sells her soul for the ability to live forever, and the devil curses her to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
Why I think I’m going to love it: Aside from the fact that it’s V, she’s been working on this for around 10 years and it sounds so brilliantly conceptualised that I just KNOW it’s going to be great.
Queen of Coin and Whispers
When teenage queen Lia inherits her corrupt uncle’s bankrupt kingdom, she brings a new spymaster into the fold … Xania, who takes the job to avenge her murdered father.
Faced with dangerous plots and hidden enemies, can Lia and Xania learn to rely on each another, as they discover that all is not fair in love and treason?
In a world where the throne means both power and duty, they must decide what to sacrifice for their country – and for each other.
Why I think I’m going to love it: It’s F/F with magic, royals, danger, and power, and I’ve seen some rave reviews for it so far.
The Order of the Pure moon Reflected in Water
A bandit walks into a coffeehouse, and it all goes downhill from there.
Guet Imm, a young votary of the Order of the Pure Moon, joins up with an eclectic group of thieves (whether they like it or not) in order to protect a sacred object, and finds herself in a far more complicated situation than she could have ever imagined.
Why I think I’m going to love it: I really want to start reading Mo Dao Zu Shi and watching The Untamed, and this sounds similar to the premise for both of those.
*Spoilers for Wicked Fox* As Vicious Spirits begins, Miyoung and Jihoon are picking up the pieces of their broken lives following the deaths of Miyoung’s mother, Yena, and Jihoon’s grandmother.
With the support of their friend Somin, and their frenemy, Junu, they might just have a shot at normalcy. But Miyoung is getting sicker and sicker by the day and her friends don’t know how to save her. With few options remaining, Junu has an idea but it might require the ultimate sacrifice and, let’s be honest, Junu isn’t known for his “generosity.” Meanwhile, the events at the end of Wicked Fox have upended the forces that govern life and death and there are supernatural entities lurking in the background that will stop at nothing to right their world.
Why I think I’m going to love it: I rated the first book 5 stars and I just K-drama style novels, so I have high hoped for this one.
The Silence of Bones
1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.
As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder.
But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.
Why I think I’m going to love it: It’s a murder mystery set in Joseon-era Korea, with friendship (rather than romance) between the two main characters. This is exactly my kind of story.
Heartstopper volume 3
In this volume we’ll see the Heartstopper gang go on a school trip to Paris! Not only are Nick and Charlie navigating a new city, but also telling more people about their relationship AND learning more about the challenges each other are facing in private…
Meanwhile Tao and Elle will face their feelings for each other, Tara and Darcy share more about their relationship origin story, and the teachers supervising the trip seem… rather close…?
Why I think I’m going to love it: It’s the latest instalment in the Heartstopper series. That is all.
Camille, a revolutionary’s daughter, leads a band of outcasts – a runaway girl, a deserter, an aristocrat in hiding. As the Battalion des Mortes they cheat death, saving those about to meet a bloody end at the blade of Madame La Guillotine. But their latest rescue is not what she seems. The girl’s no aristocrat, but her dark and disturbing powers means both the Royalists and the Revolutionaries want her. But who and what is she?
In these dangerous days, no one can be trusted, everyone is to be feared. As Camille learns the truth, she’s forced to choose between loyalty to those she loves and the future.
Why I think I’m going to love it: It just sounds exactly like my kind of YA fantasy. It’s queer, it involves powerful young women, and it’s set in France.
The daughter of a star and a mortal, Sheetal is used to keeping secrets.
But when a flare of starfire injures her human father, Sheetal needs a full star’s help to heal him. A star like her mother, who returned to the sky long ago.
Sheetal’s quest will take her to a celestial court of shining wonders and dark shadows, where she must act as her family’s champion in a competition to decide the next ruling house of the heavens—or risk never returning to Earth at all.
Why I think I’m going to love it: The main character is a half-star and there’s a celestial competition?! It sounds like Hindu mythology meets Battle Royale meets Sailor Moon and I’m READY for it.
Previous releases that I’m aiming to read this year
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?
Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.
Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
Why I think I’m going to love it: It sounds like it’ll be filled with otherwordly glamour and mystery and I’ve not seen a single bad review of it.
Pachinko follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them all. Deserted by her lover, Sunja is saved when a young tubercular minister offers to marry and bring her to Japan.
So begins a sweeping saga of an exceptional family in exile from its homeland and caught in the indifferent arc of history. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, its members are bound together by deep roots as they face enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.
Why I think I’m going to love it: I love own-voices Asian literature and this gives me the same vibes that Do Not Say We Have Nothing did, and I really enjoyed how powerful and emotional that was.
Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.
Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.
But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.
The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student.
The shadows love her. And they drink her fear.
Why I think I’m going to love it: So many people love this and herald it for being well written and plotted, with great characters. It sounds dark and intriguing, and I do love a . Plus, I do love a good adult fantasy, especially when it has a bi MC.
The Dark Vault
Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.
Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.
Mackenzie Bishop’s grandfather first brought her here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself.
Now her grandfather is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was: a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.
Why I think I’m going to love it: It’s a V. E. Schwab book. But also it has all the hallmarks of a fantasy that I’ll enjoy; libraries (of the dead, but still), mysteries, magic, intriguing characters, danger, and adventure.
The Downstairs Girl
By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.”
When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender.
While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta’s most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light.
Why I think I’m going to love it: I’ve got a lot more into historical fiction recently and a teenager with a double life who challenges racism and sexism in the late 19th century.
Which books do you think you’ll be giving 5 stars to this year? Have you rated anything 5 stars yet?