5 Star Predictions #3 // 2022

Hi Friends,
I thought it was time to guess some 5 star reads. I picked 5 books that I believe will be highly rated books for me. All of the books are young adult books, because that is what I primarily read. Weirdly enough, my last five star predictions post included some 2022 releases. This time I will be including some 2022 releases as well as previously released books.

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord (January 2020)
I have seen mixed reviews on this book, but I have a feeling that I’d love it. It is a YA enemies-to-lovers that includes food and Twitter. You all know that I am a sucker for a cute YA contemporary.

The Mary Shelley Club by Goldy Moldavsky (April 2021)
Don’t know why I am predicting this to be five stars. If nothing else, it has to do with the fact that Mary Shelley interests me. The premise is very intriguing, and it is bound to have a lot of twists.

You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus (November 2021)
This is described as a dark ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’. Three friends’ ditch day turns scary, when things go fatally wrong. I am always in the mood for a good YA thriller, and Karen McManus books usually rank pretty high for me.

Places We’ve Never Been by Kasie West (May 2022)
This one might be a letdown, since West’s last book release, Sunkissed, was a big disappointment. Still, I normally always rate her books around 5 stars. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will be another amazing book from her.

I Guess I Live Here Now by Claire Ahn (May 2022)
This one is giving me Katharine McGee’s ‘American Royals’ meets ‘The Princess Diaries’ vibes. This book takes places in Korea, and is a ‘found family’ story, which isn’t typically something I gravitate to. But I hear it includes a lot of family drama and hidden secrets, which is something I do love.

I am not sure how accurate these predictions will turn out to be, but I am hoping for the best. Check back for my reviews on each book (if I actually read them) to see my final rating and thoughts. Better yet, follow the blog to get post notifications.

Until The Next Chapter,

Hocus Pocus and the All New Sequel // Book Review

Title: Hocus Pocus and the All New Sequel
Author: A.W. Jantha
Published: 2018
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Rating:Full, star, bookmark, favorite, favourite, like, rating icon - Download on IconfinderFull, star, bookmark, favorite, favourite, like, rating icon - Download on IconfinderFull, star, bookmark, favorite, favourite, like, rating icon - Download on Iconfinder

Hocus Pocus is beloved by Halloween enthusiasts all over the world. Diving once more into the world of witches, this electrifying two-part young adult novel, released on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1993 film, marks a new era of Hocus Pocus. Fans will be spellbound by a fresh retelling of the original film, followed by the all-new sequel that continues the story with the next generation of Salem teens.
Credit: GoodReads

The idea of a Hocus Pocus sequel is awesome. Especially, now that one is officially happening. However, I was unprepared for the concept of the book. Part one is the Hocus Pocus movie we know and love. I listened to this on audiobook, which is my preferred method of reading these days. But it was as if I was listening to the movie instead of watching it. Of course some parts were different, and scenes were omitted, but overall they were one in the same.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of the 90s film. There is just something strange about an author taking a movie and trying to adapted it into a book, while still making it their own. I guess I shouldn’t be so unimpressed by this since Hollywood has been adapting books into films for years. Nevertheless, I’d much rather just watch the movie. Don’t lie you know you would too.

However, the first half of the book did keep me entertained. The author tried their best to bring the movie story to life in a different way. And, give us all the feels we get from watching the film. Part two of the book was a whole new story; thus the sequel. It follows Max and Allison’s daughter, Poppy. All her life she’s heard stories about the Halloween her parents and aunt brought back the Sanderson sisters. Usually she laughs them off, because the story is too unbelievable to be real. But on Halloween night, Poppy and her friends sneak into the Sanderson museum and accidentally bring the witched back from the dead once again.

This sounds like a solid concept, but it was very lackluster. I wasn’t invested in the characters, which made me not care if they lost against the witches. The author tried to play off readers love for the movie by adding cameos of some of the movies characters. However, those characters felt out of place and didn’t fit it the story. And, it was clear that the author didn’t know how to right Max, Allison and Dani as adults.

Max and Allison were so far off from their original personalities. Allison was lawyer, which made no sense to me. Max was a teacher, which was weird as well. I would have mad Allison a teacher instead. Max seemed very creative, so I would picture him going that route. Maybe writing fiction books that stemmed from his experience with the Sanderson sisters. As for Dani, she was portrayed very childish. Like an adult, who think they’re still in high school.

“Oh, look, another glorious morning. Makes me sick!”

Throughout the book, Poppy talked about how her parents always freaking out on Halloween. They didn’t ever celebrate the holiday most years. This is another fact that was unrealistic to me. Sure three witches almost taking over Salem would probably change anyone perspective on Halloween, but that drastically. I think not. You would think that over time the story would start to sound fake even to them. They might even chalk it up to a nightmare of sorts. When paranormal thing happen most people convince themselves that their mind is playing tricks on them. So why wouldn’t these characters.

For me, the book was so-so. I would have preferred a ‘what if’ type story. Kind of similar to the Disney twisted tale books. Now that would have peaked my interested. Let me know your thoughts on the book in the comments below. Don’t forget to like and share this post. If you are a book lover follow my blog for book reviews and more.

Until The Next Chapter,

One Of Us Is Lying // Book Review

Title: One Of Us Is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Published: 2017
Genre: Young Adult/Thriller

One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.
Source: Goodreads

I went into this book with low expectations, considering that the reviews aren’t the best. The book started off fairly slow, but from there, it got right into the main plot. Unlike others, I was a fan of the writing style. The characters were the typical ‘Breakfast Club’ stereotypes. However, you could see growth and development throughout the story. The author took a lot of time on their personalities and lives. They all had secrets of their own, which I will admit were pretty mediocre. Although, I was spoiled for one of the secrets, but I probably would have figured it out before it’s reveal.

Now, if you’re looking for a shocking mystery thriller, then this book probably isn’t for you. It seemed like a Lifetime original movie that was trying to be “Pretty Little Liars”. Personally, I enjoy Lifetime movies. But I can see readers being split on how the book handles certain topics, especially mental health. I struggle with mental illness myself and thought the representation was a little far fetched. Still it was an interesting take on the topic.

“Things’ll get worse before they get better.”

Most people probably won’t find the twist at the end particularly surprising. Some might even call it predictable. Maybe I am just clueless, because I thought the ending was pretty clever on the author’s part. I haven’t read too many mystery thrillers at this point in my life, so I’m judging this from a newbies perspective. I would be interested to see how I feel about the book in a few years, when I have more mystery thriller reads under my belt.

After reading the book I am excited to read Karen M. McManus other works. She could become a new favorite author of mine. This was a shorter review, but sometimes I don’t have much to say about the book. One last point, try going into it the story with an open mind. Don’t let reviews, good or bad, sway you one way or another. There are trigger warnings for this book, but unfortunately knowing them will spoil the book. If that doesn’t bother you visit Book Trigger Warning to view them all.

If you have read the book, leave me your thoughts in the comments. Please don’t leave any spoiler for the for others that haven’t read it yet. Don’t forget to like and share this post. Also, go ahead and subscribe to the blog to get notifications about new content.

Until The Next Chapter,

If I’m Being Honest // Book Review

Title: If I’m Being Honest
Author: Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberley
Published: 2019
Rating: 5.0/5.0 Stars

Synopsis: When she puts her foot in her mouth in front of her crush, Andrew, she fears she may have lost him for good. In an attempt to win him over, Cameron resolves to “tame” herself, much like Katherine in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. First, she’ll have to make amends with those she’s wronged, which leads her to Brendan, the guy she labelled with an unfortunate nickname back in the sixth grade.
Source: GoodReads

When I read the synopsis of this book, I pictured a slow-burn enemies to lovers story. I imagined a Regina George type character who would become reformed. However, you know the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” well this book proves that you shouldn’t judge a book by the first few chapters.

I was going to dnf this book around 30 pages in, but I stuck it out, and I am glad. This book is much more than a love story. It is about change and forgiveness. I loved that throughout the story Cameron was focused on changing her ways for a guy, yet learned that self-perception is more important. She realized that honesty isn’t always the best policy, and being truthful could do more damage than good.

“I know the truth can hurt, even when you need to hear it.”

The love story was adorable and devolved in a very natural way. It was less enemies-to-lovers, but instead opposites attract. However, my favorite part of the story was Cameron’s home life and relationship with her parents. She sees her mother as weak and broken, while she paints this image of her dad as successful and strong. While she hates the way her absent father treats and talks to her and her mother. His negative outlook has clouded her opinion on her mother.

At the end, Cameron learns of her mothers love and strength. I think that it is the start of an amazing mother, daughter bond. To give a weird, yet accurate description of the novel. It is like an onion, there were many layers that unfold throughout the story. I am very happy to give this a five-star rating. Please share and like this post, and follow the blog.

Until The Next Chapter,