Best of the Best: April Madness

Posted April 25, 2015 / Discussions, Features / 7 Comments

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:

  1. 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)
  2. 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)
  3. 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
  4. 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)

april madness

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.


7 responses to “Best of the Best: April Madness

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