Andi posted a fun challenge back in March where she did her own March Madness bracket using her five star reads. I was planning on taking part, but never got around to making a post for some reason. She recently shared a blank bracket and challenged everyone to join in!
Here’s what I did to get the first round of 32 books:
- Pulled the list of 5 star and 4.5 star reads from my review index and from Goodreads (if I read them this year but haven’t posted the review yet)
- Eliminated the Harry Potter books and any other pre-blogging reads and rereads (like the Private and Pretty Little Liars series reviews I have posted)
- Took the remaining books and did some preliminary eliminations to get to the top 32, which was extremely difficult to do! Lots of good 4.5 star books had to go
- Used a random number generator to plan out which books would face off against each other
The top 32 books and initial matchups, in case the pictures are too small, are:
Gone Girl vs. Just One Day | Split Second vs. A Midsummers’ Nightmare | One Past Midnight vs. All the Bright Places | Meant to Be vs. Shadow and Bone | Aspen vs. Emmy and Oliver | Before I Fall vs. The Husband’s Secret | All Our Yesterdays vs. 99 Days | Anna and the French Kiss vs. The Distance Between Us | Pivot Point vs. Second Chance Summer | Breathe, Annie, Breathe vs. Catching Jordan | Damsel Distressed vs. Ruin and Rising | Twenty Boy Summer vs. Open Road Summer | A Court of Thorns and Roses vs. Princess of Thorns | Nowhere But Home vs. On the Fence | The Duff vs. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before | Dissonance vs. The Start of Me and You
Check out my results below:
(Open picture in new window to see full size image)
Which matchups were the hardest?
- It really hurt my heart to eliminate The Distance Between Us in the first round. It was my first Kasie West novel and I absolutely loved it. Anna and the French Kiss does end up winning the whole thing after that first round, so it had to be done… but still, yikes!
- I really loved both Open Road Summer and Twenty Boy Summer – probably almost equally. This wasn’t an easy one, but I had to go with which book stuck with me longer. ORS has been a book I’ve thought about many, many times since reading it. Twenty Boy Summer was not AS memorable, but still a great book!
- Ugh, my heart hurt yet again when I had to eliminate To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. I thought it would end up as a face-off between Anna and TATBILB in the final round, but Nowhere But Home threw me for a loop.
- Before I Fall vs. The Husband’s Secret was so difficult. I sped through both of those books and couldn’t wait to find out how they ended. I loved them both, but it was such a hard choice because they both gave me the same exact feeling as I was reading! It would have been different if they were matched up with completely opposite kinds of books (like Gone Girl vs. Just One Day).
Any surprising matchups or results?
- It wasn’t super surprising, but Nowhere But Home made it into the final round – I was actually planning on only doing YA/NA books and that one would have been eliminated right off the bat. I absolutely loved that one and I knew I had to keep it in.
- It’s interesting that a 5 star book got beat out by a 4.5 star book, in the case of Just One Day beating Gone Girl. I think it more has to do with the positive feelings about the book overall. Gone Girl was a hard book to read, but it was a crazy thrill ride. Just One Day filled me with wanderlust and made me feel good. I gotta pick the heartwarming one over the one full of crazy people!
- There weren’t a lot of fantasy books in general, but it was funny how the random number generator pitted the two fairy tale retellings against each other: ACOTAR vs. Princess of Thorns.
- Open Road Summer made it farther than The Start of Me and You, even though I liked Emery Lord’s second published novel more than her first. It really just came down to their matchups in that first round! (Dissonace was too good, I’m sorry!)
- ZERO Kasie West books made it past the first round! This sucks! She’s one of my all-time favorites. I can’t believe how hard those matchups were. SO ROUGH.
Was I surprised by the end result?
NOPE! I knew from the beginning that Anna was probably going to win. Like I said, I just didn’t expect it to go up against Nowhere But Home! Gahhh, that book is easily going down as one of my all-time favorites, so this was a tougher matchup than expected.