Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
This is a hard prompt.
I definitely make predictions about which books are going to blow my mind, but I really try not to overhype them because then I’m just bound for disappointment when they don’t live up to my expectations.
2019 was a perfect example of why I don’t psych myself up for a book: most of my hotly anticipated reads were, well, to put it nicely, duds. And some were the biggest duds I’d read of the year (looking at you, Ninth House).
So I go into a book expecting to enjoy but not love it. If I love it, that’s a bonus! If I enjoyed it and it was okay, then I’m not disappointed.
What can I say, I’m a pessimist.
I hope for the worst and am always pleasantly surprised when things are better than the worst.
These Might Be 5 Stars and Now Expectations Are Too High to Actually Read Them
I have seen these books everywhere, and while I’ve read books by all of the authors except Cemetery Boys, they have now become morphed into my brain and I anticipate that they will be the most mindblowing thing I’ve ever read. And I’ve seen Cemetery Boys nonstop on my Twitter feed, which is enough hype to have me run for the hills.
Starfish was one of those surprise 5-star reads, that hit me in the feels and had me sobbing like a baby. Harley in the Sky is about a girl who runs off the joins the circus, but…knowing Bowman, this is gonna be emotionally heavy. I’ll have my tissues on Standby.
“The City Born Great” was a fantastically weird short story, and while I’ve been purposely avoiding summaries and previews of this book (which has taken some effort, lemme tell you), I’m so damn nervous about The City We Became. Jemisin can make me feels things (mostly discomfort) and she really goes right for the jugular. I’m scared.
Parachutes is by Kelly Yang, and while the summary sounds kinda meh it’s by the woman who wrote Front Desk, which is the MG read I’ve been foisting onto every child that walks into the library (luckily it’s one of the battle of the books reads and on some other lists so I don’t have to foist hard).
The First Book(s) Was Amazing and Now I’m Scared To Hope
The Stone Sky and The Nemesis wrap up two trilogies that had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I have no clue how Jemisin is going to land this plane, but it won a bajillion awards and the first two books blew my mind and ripped my heart out and gave me an upset stomach so I’m thinking that The Stone Sky is going to do the same but worse. And The Nemesis is part of the Diabolic trilogy, and it’s so underhyped but so fucking good. That cliffhanger on book 2 was heartbreaking and filled with I can’t believe she just did that. I have no idea how it’ll end and I’m shaking.
The Empire of Dreams is book 4 but technically a standalone in the Fire and Thorns series, and follows a new character several years into Empress Elisa’s reign. A foundling who almost gets adopted into the royal family and then tries to join the Royal Guard? Um, yes please!
Network Effect is the first full-length novel in the Murderbot series. Since Murderbot is my favorite sarcastic and incredibly introverted AI, I’m both scared and excited because who the hell knows where this book is going to go. Seriously. I hope no one dies.
Three Keys is the sequel to Front Desk, and I’m so scared about second book syndrome, mostly because while I longed for a sequel, the first book really didn’t need one. So this book was a surprise and also nerve-wracking, although I have high hopes.
The Relentless Moon is book three in the Lady Astronaut series, and—I’m really nervous. The Calculating Stars was Incredible. Seriously, go read it if you haven’t. Stop everything and read it The Fated Sky suffered from a distinct lack of…fantastic editing. It was still amazing but more like 4.5 stars instead of 5. The Relentless Moon also pivots away from Elma York to focus on another of the astronauts, who I wasn’t super keen on? But we’ll see what happens!