Wrap up

5-Star Predictions Wrap-Up #2

“Thorngroves shrouded Greenhallow Hall.”

First line in Drowned Country by Emily Tesh

A little over a year ago I wrote a post about some books I expected to give 5 stars, and I have finally read them all. This is the second time I’m doing this after I did very poorly the first time. So poorly that I didn’t even give a single one of the books 5 stars, which I was determined to change with my second attempt. Did I succeed? Keep reading to find out!


The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

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Rating: 4 stars

I’m glad I read this one. It was cool to read about a version of New York I haven’t come across much, and I loved all the multi-cultural aspects the book wove into the story. Everything else about it, though, (plot, characters, writing) was just alright so I couldn’t give it 5 stars.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

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Rating: 1.5 stars

Seems like I missed the mark a bit with this one… I think I was blinded by the few people I had seen compare this to The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, which is a book I love dearly. Both are portal fantasy books and both have this book-within-a-book element, but that’s also where the similarities end. The characters in The Ten Thousand Doors of January were extremely whiny and over-dramatic, so not much happened in the book. They were simply too busy complaining, and it was making me annoyed.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

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Rating: 3 stars

Well, everybody else was giving this book 5 stars so how was I to know that I would be the weird one?! I’m even thinking that 3 stars was a bit generous. It’s a book for adults but it felt like it was written for children with its simplicity. None of the conflicts were actual conflicts and all had very simple and easy solutions. All of the children in this house are literal angles 24/7, and I’m left wondering whether the author has actually met a child before.

Drowned Country (The Greenhollow Duology #2) by Emily Tesh

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Rating: 5 stars

HA, I got one! After loving the first novella in this duology (Silver in the Wood), I also felt Drowned Country was a pretty safe bet. It leaned even more into the fairy-tale-esque atmosphere and took advantage of the original meaning behind fairy tales. It was beautiful, all the characters own my heart and I have zero complaints about these novellas.

Firestarter (Timekeeper #3) by Tara Sim

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Rating: 4 stars

I was blown away by the second book in this trilogy, so naturally I had high hopes for the last book. Unfortunately, it ended up as my least favorite book in the series mainly because the plot felt a bit messy. It didn’t use what the previous books had built but introduced a lot of new (and in my opinion worse) plotlines that made it all a bit confusing. And it employed a trope that I really don’t care for.


So how did I do?

Books given 5 stars: 1
Books I’m also counting as a win: 0

Hey, one 5-star book was better than the first time I did this where I had zero. However, I did count two other books as wins in that one, so I honestly don’t know if this is progress. Still, like last time I want to learn something from this about my own tastes. Here are my lessons:

  • I’m really, really not into fluffy, feel-good books. I’ve given this a lot of thought recently so there might be a post about it at some point about why that is.
  • Award nominated books aren’t necessarily for me. This was also a lesson in my previous post where I didn’t like some literary fiction, but I guess it also includes award nominated fantasy books.

I really don’t know if I should do this again since I’m clearly not very good at it. However, I do feel that I’m learning something about what works for me, so maybe I just need to keep doing it. I also don’t give a lot books 5 stars, so maybe that’s the problem. What do you think? Do you like seeing me fail or do you think posts like these are pointless?

10 thoughts on “5-Star Predictions Wrap-Up #2

  1. Well, the only one of these that I’ve read is Drowned Country, and I fully agree on your assessment there πŸ₯° Despite you not straight-out loving them, I’m still curious about The Golem and the Jinni and The House on the Cerulean Sea, however, so I might eventually have to try them and see whether see eye to eye on those, too… You’ve certainly put me off The Ten Thousand Doors of January for good, though 🀣

    And I really don’t understand why you’re not better at this! Maybe you should make a post about predicting other people’s five-star reads instead – you’ve certainly got a knack of picking mine πŸ˜‰ Just apply those excellent book choosing tactics to your own reading, and you should do great! And I actually really like seeing these assessments of yours – it’s nice to know I’m not the only person incapable of knowing their own reading tastes πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would definitely also still recommend The Golem and the Jinni, although I somehow doubt it’s going be 5 stars for you either. And I’m almost certain you’re going to love The House in the Cerulean Sea more than I did πŸ˜„ It’s also a true shocker that you don’t want to read The Ten Thousand Doors of January πŸ˜‚

      You have a point there, although I think you’re the only one I’ve picked so many 5-star reads for πŸ˜… However, I did just have my extroverted friend read Quiet and she gave that one 5 stars too. I don’t know what tactics to transfer to my own reading, though, because I might just be good at knowing people. My own reading tastes are way more difficult πŸ˜…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I’ll definitely have to keep up the work if I ever even want to get close to your quota πŸ˜‚ You seem to know my reading tastes much better than I do, while the only really proud moment I can claim is having introduced you to Jamshid… But even if your own reading tastes are hard to please, I’m glad you at least got another person to read and love Quiet! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I can never predict a five-star read, so I think it’s impressive that you at least tired and even got one right. I think this is probably because my criteria for a five-star read is so vague. A book could tick all the boxes but if I don’t just click with it it would still get four stars.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get what you mean. I think that is my problem too. Like with The Golem and the Jinni, everything about it says I should absolutely love it, but it wasn’t a book I found myself thinking about when I wasn’t actively reading it. I can’t really explain why. And I need to be obsessed with a book to give it 5 stars πŸ˜„ But someone thinking it’s impressive I got one right means I don’t feel too bad about myself so thank you 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am one of those who absolutely loves House in the Cerulean Sea. But I can definitely see where its simplicity may not resonate with everyone. I love the sweet storyline but the character relationships is where it really shined for me. I also listened to the audio version which was incredible!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m truly the odd one out with that book, but I’m glad that you loved it 😊 I do prefer books that are able to surprise me a bit more, so it didn’t really work for me.

      Liked by 1 person

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