“All children, except one, grow up.”First line in Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
Hi, guys. So several months ago I made a post about the 5-star predictions I had at the time. It took me a while, but I’ve finally read all 5 books and it’s time to see if my predictions were correct.
Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
Rating: 3 stars
So this was a 5-star prediction because it’s the booktuber Merphy Napier’s favorite book. I have now realized that I don’t share Merphy’s taste in books exactly, and so Peter Pan was just an average book to me. It’s nice knowing the original story, but I would rather watch the movie or maybe read a retelling.
The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
Rating: 3 stars
Even though this first book in the series was only a 3-star for me, I ended up really loving the series. I even gave the last one 5 stars so it sort of counts as a correct prediction, right? It’s a quite romance-heavy YA fantasy series, which usually shouldn’t work for me but this one did. It contains a lot of political intrigue and subtle social commentary on racism. There wasn’t much of it in the first book hence the 3-star rating.
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Rating: 3 stars
An “everybody loves this”-book that I only found fine. I really liked the cultural aspects of it and how it just normalizes diversity in all regards. Unfortunately, I didn’t care very much about the story or the characters. It was all just fine and failed to make me feel anything which makes me sound really cold. It just has a little too much fluff for me.
Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
Rating: 4.5 stars
Finally something good! With how bad this list is going, I’m counting 4.5 as a win. It’s been a few months since I read it, but there are two specific scenes in here that I still think about constantly. Perhaps the two best scenes I’ve ever read. So many things to love about this book. The only reason I took off half a star is the way Shallan was written. There were some aspects of her character that didn’t really click with me and I felt she was a little too good to be true. But I love Kaladin. Did I mention that I love Kaladin? Because I do. I really love Kaladin.
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
Rating: 2 stars
Sooo this one won a Pulitzer but I didn’t like it *feels eternally ashamed*. The subject matter of the Civil Rights movement is of course very important and interesting… but I need something more to like a book. The writing style was very detached so it was a struggle for me to care about what happened to the characters. I’m such a character focused reader that if I don’t connect with at least some of the characters, then I don’t like the book.
So how did I do?
Books given 5 stars: 0
Books I’m counting as a win anyway: 2 (The Demon King and Words of Radiance)
…Okay that was worse than even my lowest expectations. And the thing is: I’ve read six 5-star books inbetween these ones. So I clearly just don’t know how to pick the right ones. I decided to take a closer look at these 5 books and tried to pull some lessons for myself from it. So here’s a recap of what I learned:
- I rarely give 5 stars to the first book in a series. Due to all the set up and introductions, they’re just rarely the best books in their series.
- Classics can’t get a 5 star from me because that old writing style is the opposite of what I like.
- Award-winning books aren’t necessarily for me because I’m weird and care about characters more than anything.
I’m not sure whether or not to do this again because it was such a HUGE failure. It’s tempting to try again, though, and maybe learn even more about my own taste and what I require of a 5-star book. I’m curious about your experiences though if you’ve ever attempted to predict your 5-star reads or even just plan to. Is it all just for fun or do you have some use out of it? But until next time, happy reading! Hope you’re reading lots of 5 star books!