Today I’m wrapping-up my 2020 5 star predictions. Last year I was on a huge YA-contemporary mood and it ended up being my most read genre of the entire year, so I chose only YA-contemporary books for the prediction post. Click here if you want to read it.
I’ve now read all of them, so let’s jump into the mini reviews and see if I predicted correctly:
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
I said in my origianl post that I had ZERO doubts I’d give this five stars since it featured so many of my buzzwords, it’s from one of my favorite authors of all time and it’s written in verse, one of my favorite things in books.
Everything about this story worked so well for me. The premise alone I think set a really solid base for the exploration of sibling dynamics, family relationships and hearbreak, which is what this book talks about.
Our two protagonists were incredible to follow. They each have completely different lives, with their own struggles, and seeing them confront the reality and the truth about their father, navigating through their grief and anger all while reaching out and trying to form a meaningful connection with one another was so beautiful.
The writing, as always, was exceptional. Acevedo has a way with words like no other. She delivers complex and difficult topics through such compelling and beautiful writing that makes me want to read every single book she publishes regardless of the premise.
The descriptions of the Dominican Republic were wonderful, the side characters (both families and the f-f relationship showcased) were well written with much depth, the topic of the plane crush that actually happened in real life and was a devastating event for many families was also handled with much care and given the attention it deserved.
I’m confident you’ll all be able to tell that I gave this book 5 very deserving stars.
You Should See Me In a Crown by Leah Johnson
This is one of the cutest stories I read last year and one I think about a lot. I absolutely loved our main character. I loved how passionate she was about her studies, how deeply she cared about her family and friends. I loved how much room she had to grow as a person, to explore romance, frienships and life.
We need books like this. We need to have stories about black joy out in the world, and this one was excellent. The family is incredible, I cannot state that enough. The sibling relationship was so pure and the grandparents are so wholesome.
I loved the f-f relationship in here. It was adorable. I loved the two main characeters individually, but I also loved them together, I though they were so cute and I also liked the conflict they had and how it was handled.
This had a really big focus on friendship, which is something we don’t see represented that often in YA, and especifically in this age group friends are such a big part of our lives that I really think it should be explored more in books. This one did it wonderfully.
Overall, a really wonderful book I recommend with my entire heart: 5 stars.
Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
This is a very popular YA-contemporary that came out last year and took Booktube by storm. I said in my predictions that I was expecting this to be witty and funny with great banter, especially since the story features the children of two rival businesses who start a twitter war against each other, and that premise alone is so fun.
I’m so happy to say that once again, this delivered on what I was looking for. The two main characters were so funny together, they had great chemistry and I really enjoyed seeing their interactions and also their relationship progress into something more serious.
This focused a lot on complicated family dynamics that I didn’t know previously to reading the book, so I liked that we had other issues apart from the rivalry to focuse on and explore. I think that led to some deeper conversations.
However, I am not a fun of the hidden identity trope. I don’t like it when the characters know each other online but they don’t know their real identities, so they know each other in real life and usually have a pretty bad relationship (like these two), but online they’re friends. That whole scenario is just not for me, and I also didn’t love the way some of the family issues were wrapped up.
Keeping that in mind, I ended up giving this 4 stars, which is a great rating, but not a 5 star as I thought it would be .
Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennet
This YA-contemporary story is one I devoured in a single day. I remember picking it up with the intention of reading just a couple of chapters, and when I looked up from the couch it was night time and I was done with the story.
Once again, almost all of the elements this book features are things I love and actively look for in books, so this had all of the ingrediants to be perfect for me. We have childhood best friends, to enemies, to lovers. We also have really complex family relationships. Our heroine Zorie has an incredible adoptive mom, Lennon has the two most wonderfull and funny moms who own a sex shop. Lennon is also really passionate about camping and this entire story takes place in the woods (a setting I live for). Zorie loves astronomy (which I do too), there is a lot of communication between these two once they are finaly able to open up to one another, it’s also really sex positive in an approachable manner for teens. It’s just everything for me, everything worked so well and I’m in love with the story and characters. The only thing I didn’t really like was the friendgroup, but I did like how that whole conflict was handled so yes, perfection.
CORRECT PREDICTION! 5 stars
On The Come Up by Angie Thomas
The last book I featured is my most recent read and one I haven’t stop thinking about either. I listened to the audiobook and I really recommend that format for the story. The narrator did a wonderful job bringing the characters to life, especially our MC Bri.
She is such a well written protagnist. The way she comes up with the lines for her rap battles and her songs is so enthralling. I remember listening to the audiobook and being completely inmeresed in Bri’s mind. She was such a talented character, she had a lot of room to grow, she maskes lots of mistakes and learns from them, which is what makes her so real.
The book also tackled some very serious issues like the Blak Lives Matter movement and especially how systematic racism and everyday microagressions take a toll on black kids and impact their lives.
Angie Thomas is such a talented author that always writes stories with characters that are facing a lot of struggles in their every day lives, but they are also really passionate, kind-hearted people surrounded by amazing families and friends and who deserve the absolute world.
Once again, my prediction was CORRECT! 5 stars
I am so happy that I predicted correctly 4 out of the 5 books I chose! I fully acknowledge that YA-contemporary is one of my all time favorite genres, and I give the majority of the YA-contemporary I read 4 or 5 stars so there was a high probability of that happening as well here, which it did.
But I’m also really happy to see that I almost predicted them all correctly, which might mean that I’m really good at picking the books I read. I’ve said this already on my blog but nowadays I give almost every book I read 4 to 5 stars, so I am either really lucky or I know my reading tastes very well and only pick books that I feel like I’m going to really enjoy. OR, I’m getting better at picking 5 star prediction books and I go for “safe” bets. Three out of the five books I chose are from authors I’ve read and loved from before, so I wasn’t really risking much. Maybe that’s a good idea for my next prediction, choosing only books from authors I haven’t read from before, or authors I’ve read from but didn’t love.
Have you guys read any of these? Were any of them 5 stars? Let me know!
Until next time,