Jo Talks Books: How Did My 5 Star Read Predictions Pan Out This Year?

Hi everyone! Only a week till Christmas, I hope everyone’s doing well and that whatever your plans for Christmas are, that you have a good one, this year hasn’t been easy for anyone so I hope you’re all able to have the best Christmas possible under the circumstances.

Earlier in the year, one of our Top Ten Tuesday topics was predicting our 5 star reads for the year, so I thought it would be super fun now we’re approaching the end of the year and that I’ve read most of them, to check in and see if I was right about any! So here we go:

  1. Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orisha #2)-Tomi Adeyemi
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Predicted Rating: 5 stars

Actual Rating: 3 stars

My Thoughts: I was a little wrong about this one! I was expecting to really love it because Children of Blood and Bone was super close to being a 5 star read for me, but sadly Children of Virtue and Vengeance is a classic case of the middle book slump. Honestly this is probably one of my biggest disappointments of the year because I had super high expectations for it and the character development felt like it kind of stagnated and the plot went round in circles. I’m hoping the final book in the series will be closer to the first book than this one!

2. The King of Crows (The Diviners #4)-Libba Bray

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Predicted Rating: 5 stars

Actual Rating: 4 stars

My Thoughts: Honestly this book was generally good, but my expectations were super high and it just didn’t quite get there. The pacing was off for most of the book, and it was a lot longer than it really needed to be and I missed the group dynamics of Before The Devil Breaks You. Having said that, I do love the characters and it was a satisfying conclusion to the series, so I still rated it highly even if it wasn’t a 5 star.

3. Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards #1)-Janella Angeles

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Predicted Rating: 5 stars

Actual Rating: I haven’t actually read this one this year, so we’ll both have to wait until next year to find out if my prediction is correct!

4. The City of Brass (Daevabad Trilogy #1)-S.A. Chakraborty

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Predicted Rating: 5 stars

Actual Rating: 4 stars

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed it! It’s a little slow in places and takes a while to build, hence the four star rather than 5 star rating but I loved the characters and the world-building and it’s one of my favourite books of this year, so I may not have given it the rating I predicted, but I think that’s more a reflection of how picky I am with my star ratings than anything else!

5. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue-VE Schwab

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Predicted Rating: 5 stars

Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

My Thoughts: SO, SO CLOSE. It’s a brilliant book, so emotional, beautifully written and the characters are great, but the plot was just slightly too thin to get the full five star rating. It’s still an amazing book but I’m a very plot driven reader so that’s a super important part of what makes a 5 star book for me.

6. Truthwitch (Witchlands #1)-Susan Dennard

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Predicted Rating: 5 stars

Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

My Thoughts: I did on the whole enjoy this one, the characters were great and I did enjoy the world she created but I found the worldbuilding kind of confusing, which prevented me from fully immersing myself in the world and giving this book a higher rating. I still went on to read the other two books in the series and the novella and I’m planning on reading Witchshadow when it comes out, so even if it wasn’t a new favourite, I still went on to enjoy the rest of the released books in the series.

7. Queen of Volts (The Shadow Game #3)-Amanda Foody

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Predicted Rating: 5 stars

Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

My Thoughts: AGH SO DISAPPOINTED. I loved King of Fools so much, and this was a decent series finale, but it just did not live up to the heights of the second book. It was so slow to get going and it took forever to reach the action packed finale I was expecting. There were some great reveals and I loved how she brought the whole thing full circle, but I just felt like this book had the potential to be a lot more than it was.

8. The Notorious Virtues-Alwyn Hamilton

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Predicted Rating: 5 stars

Actual Rating: The release date for Notorious got pushed and there’s been no announcement of a new date yet, so I might not find out if my prediction was right for a while!

9. Circe-Madeline Miller

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Predicted Rating: 5 stars

Actual Rating: 4 stars

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this one! I loved how Madeline Miller explored the relationship between women and power and the way she entwined Circe’s story with a lot of other Greek myths and her writing was beautiful. The main thing that prevented me from giving this 5 stars was the ending, it was kind of weird and ambiguous and I would have preferred a more closed ending.

10. Call Down The Hawk (Dreamer Trilogy #1)-Maggie Stiefvater

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Predicted Rating: 5 stars

Actual Rating: 3 stars

My Thoughts: I was pretty disappointed with this one because I’ve been so excited for the Dreamer Trilogy ever since The Raven King was released and it just didn’t live up to my (admittedly high) expectations. The pacing was super slow, the plot was kind of messy and there wasn’t the same fun and humour from the original Raven Cycle books. I’m still looking forward to the second book and I’m hoping that now that most of the groundwork is done, it will be faster paced and more tightly plotted.

So there we go, that’s how my 5 star predictions went, of the ones I read, I was totally wrong about all of them, I didn’t actually rate any 5 stars! However, I think that’s more a reflection on me and how picky I am with my five star reads, and also how high my expectations were for some of my most anticipated releases. 4 of these books were still among my favourite books of the year, and 4 stars is still a really good rating.

How about you guys? Did you make any five star predictions for this year? Were you right or wrong like me? Let me know in the comments!

I’m actually planning on having another Jo Talks post for you guys this month, I know, first time all year I’ve managed two! As I said last month, I will be rounding up year 3 of my Bechdel Test Experiment closer to the end of the month. In the meantime, I have a really fun Writing Corner post planned for you guys that I’m hoping to post tomorrow (I know, I know I’ve severely neglected it this year), it’s going to be a super fun one talking about my experiences critique partnering with my offline best friend Hannah!

3 thoughts on “Jo Talks Books: How Did My 5 Star Read Predictions Pan Out This Year?

  1. evelynreads1 18/12/2020 / 6:44 pm

    I just looked back at my own predictions, I was also quite off haha!
    Always fun to look back at these predictions!

    (www.evelynreads.com)

    • iloveheartlandx 20/12/2020 / 2:14 pm

      Ha ha, I’m glad I’m not alone in that! Thank you 🙂

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