A Few of the 2020 Novels I Hope will Dazzle as Five Stars

January 23, 2020 Rissi JC 29 Comments

Pressing on with the theme of “2020 topics,” another of these weekly discussions centers on reads of 2020. First there were anticipated read of 2020, next came upcoming cover art I heart, and today? Well, now, finally I have some ‘2020 five star predictions.’

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Much as I enjoy curating these types of publications, it’s also a little (stress little) bit of a chore too. I like to think I’m carefully considering what I put on the list because I want to be as honest about what I’m anticipating, loving or hoping to give five stars as I can be. (Plus, I feel like in 2019 I had or gave – ? – fewer and fewer five stars…) Specific to today, most of the time the qualifications for this is a culmination of two (or three) things.

1: Publisher

Many think this is an unusual thing to include when considering a novel, but I’ll confess, when a book catches my eye (cover art, author), one of the things I eagerly check (in addition to the release date because when can I read book []!) is the publisher. I find I trust certain publishers almost as much as certain authors.

2: Plot

Of course a book also has to sound super interesting, and as such, it’s the stories that sound most interesting that earn places on these types of 2020 lists, like today.

3: Author

Last, but certainly not least and perhaps for this specific list, AUTHOR is what’s most important. There are many authors I love who I don’t predict giving five stars to (because there’s always some kind of “nagging” element that holds back punching in that fifth star), but this year, I focus on upcoming books by authors whose works have “wowed” me in the past, and novels penned by authors whom I trust.

With that little explanation out of the way, I’ll tell you, I talk about a few five star predictions in the new Finding Wonderland video, and because this is how I roll, also a few (stress few) more down below. So… read onward if you like.


2020 five star predictions

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Read the disclosure page for details.)

1: The Betrothed (May) by Kiera Cass

Ok, to be honest, this one appears in today’s video, but I’m so darn excited that this is FINALLY seeing publication in 2020, I cannot help it. Amazon | Goodreads

2020 five star predictions

2: Before I Called You Mine (March) by Nicole Deese

The fact that this is Nicole’s first novel with Bethany House (a favorite publisher) is an exciting one. I’ve enjoyed what I read by her (still love A New Shade of Summer), and this one leaves me as eager. Amazon | Godoreads

3: Jo & Laurie (June) by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz

This one feels like a “cheat” add for two reasons (the primary being I don’t know these authors well, i.e. by their works), but the cover art is so pretty, and I am hopeful for this one, so I simply had to add it. Though I’ve never cared one way or another on the whole should-have-been-Jo-and-Laurie ship, I am interested to see how someone imagines them as a pair. It’ll be a birthday gift for myself (as if I need any excuse). Amazon | Goodreads

4: The Land Beneath Us (February) by Sarah Sundin

Much to my bookworm shame, I have yet to read the series this novel belongs to. But Sarah’s books are always expertly crafted, so again, optimistic. Amazon | Goodreads

Unfortunately that’s all I have, but I know there’ll be more candidates (and hopefully I can update this in the next month) as the month(s) press on because we get more book announcements the further into the year things progress. Plus, there are a few indie authors I enjoy who tend to surprise readers with their new releases, so… here’s hoping there’s lots more to celebrate! Until then, check out today’s video to see a few other “2020 five star predictions”!

A Few of the 2020 Novels I Hope will Dazzle as Five Stars. Talking a few 2020 five star predictions (in reading!). What are some of yours? #NewBooks #AMReading #BookLove Click To Tweet

Turning things over to you, all! Tell me, what 2020 five star predictions have you or do you think you’ll give those five shiny stars to in this year of reading? Any of these on your lists? Do you give out five stars much? Comment all your thoughts below. I’d love to chat.

A Few of the 2020 Novels I Hope will Dazzle as Five Stars. Talking a few 2020 five star predictions (in reading!). What are some of yours? © Rissi JC

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Angela January 24, 2020 at 6:58 AM

    I never try to predict five-star reads for myself! I give it so rarely, and honestly, I’m often surprised by which ones actually get 5 stars!

    • Rissi JC January 24, 2020 at 10:44 PM

      I give them regularly (if a novel is making me smile, that’s cause for five-stars :D) or at least I did. This past year, it was REALLY hard for me to find “best of” reads. Here’s hoping this year is better, and I like that you’re surprised by the 5-stars you do give out. Makes reading life more fun. :)

  • Tracy @ Cornerfolds January 24, 2020 at 9:50 AM

    I am hesitantly excited for The Betrothed! I’ve been burned by Cass after loving The Selection series so I’m hoping she makes a comeback!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds recently posted: Audiobook Review: The Toll by Neal Shusterman
    • Rissi JC January 24, 2020 at 10:45 PM

      YES! That’d be great. I loved the first two books in ‘The Selection,’ but now have to finish The One and am hoping I like the spin off books well enough. We shall see. :/ *she says with hesitance*

  • Heidi Robbins January 24, 2020 at 10:31 AM

    Before I Called You Mine is definitely on my list! I’m also hopeful for Valley of Dreams by Sarah M. Eden, The Winter Companion by Mimi Matthews, Promised by Leah Garriott, and An Uncommon Woman (reading this one next!). Thanks for adding Jo & Laurie, this is the first I’ve heard of it and I’m going to check it out…

    • Rissi JC January 24, 2020 at 10:46 PM

      Sounds like you’ve got a good lineup, Heidi. I’ve heard SO many things about Mimi’s books, but never read one. Hope you enjoy your next read – and YAY for Jo & Laurie. I don’t necessarily mourn this almost-ship (I like the professor), but the idea of this novel DOES intrigue me! :)

  • […] LIST | A Few of the 2020 Novels I Hope will Dazzle as Five Stars […]

  • Anne@HeadFullofBooks February 3, 2020 at 11:24 PM

    I hope you are right and all these books are great. About starred reviews

    • Rissi JC February 12, 2020 at 6:46 PM

      Thanks! Me too, Anne. :)

  • Greg February 3, 2020 at 11:28 PM

    That’s a good point about publishers. I never really thought about it but yes, I find myself paying more and more attention to the publisher these days as well. Anyway, love the look of Jo & Laurie, and The Land Beneath Us looks nice.

    • Rissi JC February 12, 2020 at 6:17 PM

      Same. I’m really liking the look of “Jo & Laurie.” Hoping it’s a solid read. :) Thanks, as always, for the visit, Greg.

  • Dedra @ A Book Wanderer February 3, 2020 at 11:51 PM

    I had a hard time with this topic. I do give 5 stars quite often, but it’s hard to predict. So, I also tried to go with authors I knew or books I knew my peers loved. ;)

    Top Ten Tuesday

    • Rissi JC February 12, 2020 at 6:17 PM

      Sounds like a great alternate plan! And I hear ya’ on it being tough to predict. :) Thanks as always for the visit, Dedra.

  • Tiffany @ String of Pages February 4, 2020 at 6:29 AM

    While Kiera Cass is a hit or miss for me, I think I’ll still pick up The Betrothed simply because I love the royal world. Also I agree, plot and author are what I see in predicting whether a book will get 5 stars or not. Anyway, hope you enjoy them all! :)

    Tiffany @ String of Pages recently posted: Will These Books Get 5 Stars From Me?
    • Rissi JC February 12, 2020 at 6:25 PM

      I love all the royal world reading, too, Tiffany. Or at least those I’ve read/seen I do. :) Glad others have this same method of 5-star speculation. Appreciate your visit. :)

  • Lydia February 4, 2020 at 9:20 AM

    I have the same rule about publishers! There are certain ones that I know publish a lot of the kind of stuff I like, so I always keep an eye out for their new titles. :)

    My TTT .

    • Rissi JC February 12, 2020 at 6:33 PM

      It’s another helpful tool in picking new books/reads. :) Thanks for the visit, Lydia.

  • Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse February 4, 2020 at 1:15 PM

    I hope Jo & Laurie lives up to your expectations. I love that cover.

    • Rissi JC February 12, 2020 at 6:35 PM

      Thanks, me too, Deanna – and I agree. This cover is EVERYTHING! :) Appreciate your visit.

  • RS February 4, 2020 at 2:39 PM

    I agree on Jo & Laurie. I was on board with it on principle alone, but then I read an excerpt on…Bustle, I think? and OH MY GOD WHY IS ITS RELEASE DATE SO FAR AWAY.

    • Rissi JC February 12, 2020 at 6:36 PM

      Ahhh! Sounds promising! :) Eager to learn more about this one. Thanks so much for the visit, RS.

  • Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense February 4, 2020 at 2:55 PM

    I’m very interested in seeing Jo & Laurie reviews. It’s been many years since I read the novel, so I wonder how well they will adapt this one. Happy reading!

    • Rissi JC February 12, 2020 at 6:36 PM

      Me too! I’ll be curious to see what people thing of this one for sure. :) Thanks for the visit, Alicia.

  • Taylor February 4, 2020 at 3:07 PM

    These all sound great. I hope they all turn out to be 5 star reads! Happy reading!

    • Rissi JC February 12, 2020 at 6:37 PM

      Thanks, Taylor; me too! Appreciate your visit.

  • Aj @ Read All The Things! February 4, 2020 at 8:52 PM

    I hope these all turn out to be 5 stars for you!

    • Rissi JC February 12, 2020 at 6:38 PM

      Thanks! Me too, Aj. :)

  • Brooke Lorren February 4, 2020 at 11:58 PM

    So far, I’ve found a couple of publishers that tend to put out books that I like. Then again, of course, there are some authors that pretty much are amazing every. Single. Time. There’s a couple of authors that I’ll pre-order their books as soon as it pops up on Amazon, even if it doesn’t have a description attached to it. I know I’ll like it no matter what.

    I hope you love these!

    • Rissi JC February 12, 2020 at 6:39 PM

      I have some auto-buy authors too. Always nice to have some guidelines to help in choosing books. :) Thanks for visiting, Brooke.

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