You know what time of the year it is…. Goodreads Choice Award time! If I’m not mistaken, I believe the nominees for the 2019 GR Choice Awards will be announced tomorrow, with multiple voting rounds going on until winners are announced in early December.
This year I thought it would be super fun to take a page out of Booksandlala‘s book (AKA my favorite Booktuber, check her out if like Booktube videos and somehow haven’t found her already!) and read all of the nominees in the Mystery & Thriller category.
However, me being me, I had to take it one step further and try to get a little head start by predicting the books that I think will be nominated and ultimately win the category. I wanted to release this list today, so that when nominees are announced tomorrow I can see how many I got correct and how many I missed 🙂
So read on if you’re interested in my predictions, my rationale for selecting them, and my ratings & rankings for the ones I have already read.
How the Awards Work
For those not familiar with the Goodreads Choice Awards in general, I thought I’d briefly explain the awards and voting schedule.
The Goodreads Choice Awards are a set of popular-vote book awards voted on by the users of the Goodreads app/website. The awards are separated by category, most of them being genre-related (Fiction, Mystery/Thriller, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, etc.), with some additional categories including Debut Author and Best of the Best. 2019 will be the 10th year of the awards, and the categories seem to change slightly from year-to-year. There are a number of rules for what books can be nominated for the awards, which I was easily able to find on the Goodreads website, but the major criteria are that the books must have been released between November 16, 2018 and November 15, 2019, books can be nominated for only one genre category, and opening round nominees must have an average rating of 3.5 or higher (although write-in votes can have any rating).
The Opening Round of the awards typically starts on the last Tuesday of October (this year will be tomorrow, October 29th) and lasts for 6 days. It consists of 15 nominees selected by Goodreads based on titles shelved under each category, average rating, and number of ratings. Voters can vote for any of the 15 nominees OR write in a vote for any book of their choosing.
The Semifinal Round begins the following Tuesday (November 5th this year) and lasts for 6 more days. It consists of the 15 original nominees plus the 5 most-written-in titles to make up a list of 20 nominees. Voters can vote for any of the 20 nominees on the list.
The Final Round of voting begins the following Tuesday (November 12th) and last for 14 days. This round consists of the top 10 nominees determined by the Semifinal Round. Voters can vote for any of these top 10 books.
And finally, the winners for each category of the Goodreads Choice Awards are announed on the first Tuesday of December, which this year falls on December 3rd.
My Mystery & Thriller Predictions
As I mentioned, the selection process for opening-round nominees is slightly unclear, but we do know it involves a book’s average rating, its number of total ratings, and the genre that it is shelved most commonly as. With this information, I went in and looked up all of the thrillers I could find and think of and listed them based on number of ratings. I also made sure to look at authors with books previously nominated for this award because repeat nominations (for authors with new books) is common. Filtering out books with an average rating of less than 3.5, below is my predicted Top 15/Opening Round nominees.
|#||Title||Author||# of Ratings||Avg Rating||Pub Date|
|1||The Silent Patient||Alex Michaelides||148,971||4.05||Feb 2019|
|2||Verity||Colleen Hoover||61,442||4.37||Dec 2018|
|3||An Anonymous Girl||Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen||60,705||3.85||Jan 2019|
|4||The Turn of the Key||Ruth Ware||35,635||4.00||Sep 2019|
|5||Recursion||Blake Crouch||34,545||4.21||Jun 2019|
|6||The Lost Man||Jane Harper||33,784||4.21||Feb 2019|
|7||Watching You||Lisa Jewell||31,792||3.95||Dec 2018|
|8||My Lovely Wife||Samantha Downing||31,601||3.92||Mar 2019|
|9||The Institute||Stephen King||27,675||4.27||Sep 2019|
|10||Lock Every Door||Riley Sager||26,214||4.01||Jul 2019|
|11||Two Can Keep a Secret||Karen M. McManus||25,169||3.98||Jan 2019|
|12||Run Away||Harlan Coben||24,650||4.08||Mar 2019|
|13||Before She Knew Him||Peter Swanson||20,135||3.84||Mar 2019|
|14||The Last House Guest||Megan Miranda||17,138||3.59||Jun 2019|
|15||The Night Olivia Fell||Christina McDonald||12,191||3.89||Feb 2019|
And some titles I think might come up as write-ins:
|16||Someone We Know||Shari Lapena||11,658||3.98||Jul 2019|
|17||Wilder Girls||Rory Power||10,714||3.66||Jul 2019|
|18||I Know Who You Are||Alice Feeney||9,886||3.41||May 2019|
|19||The Night Before||Wendy Walker||6,616||3.69||May 2019|
|20||The Family Upstairs||Lisa Jewell||4,046||4.18||Aug 2019|
|21||The Nanny||Gilly MacMillan||3,277||3.81||Sep 2019|
|22||Inspection||Josh Malerman||2,859||3.45||Mar 2019|
My Pick/Ratings So Far
Of the 22 books I listed above, I have read 11. Below is my personal ranked list of these titles from my favorite to least favorite – tune into my October wrap-up in a couple of days for some more in-depth thoughts of almost all of them!
- Verity – Colleen Hoover – 5 stars
I absolutely loved this book’s premise and execution – very suspenseful, great twist and ending!
- The Turn of the Key – Ruth Ware – 5 stars
Super atmospheric and suspenseful, enjoyed the mystery and characters, satisfying ending.
- Lock Every Door – Riley Sager – 4 stars
Also super atmospheric and suspenseful, I enjoyed the reveals even though I spoiled this book for myself!
- The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides – 3 stars
Amazing premise, loved the format, first half of book was 5 stars but twist was predictable and ending unsatisfying.
- Run Away – Harlan Coben – 3 stars
Took a while to get into, overall good mystery and satisfying ending.
- The Last House Guest – Megan Miranda – 3 stars
Easy read, pretty good twist and reaveals, ultimately forgettable.
- Two Can Keep a Secret – Karen M. McManus – 3 stars
Quick read, nothing outstanding, YA thrillers are generally not my favorite and this one followed that trend.
- An Anonymous Girl – Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen – 3 stars
Intriguing beginning but grew bored with the storyline, not surprised by the twists, not invested in the characters by the end.
- The Institute – Stephen King – 2 stars
Very long, not suspenseful in my opinion, underwhelming ending.
- My Lovely Wife – Samantha Downing – 2 stars
Did not find the serial killer perspective interesting, not suspenseful at all, not invested in characters.
- Inspection – Josh Malerman – 2 stars
Great premise but had some weird focuses/tangents, not suspenseful, action came too late in the story for me to feel invested.
But with that, my predicted winner is overwhelmingly The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. Lala does a really great job in her video from last year explaining that the winner of these awards is almost never the book with the highest rating on the nominee list – it is usually the book with the most ratings – and The Silent Patient is far and away the most-rated book on the list. I can’t wait to find out if my predictions are correct!
I would love to hear some additional opinions on this topic – are you a fan of the Goodreads Choice Awards, do you have any predictions for nominees or winners, and have you read any of the books on my prediction list?
I plan to post some updates throughout the voting periods following the nominees and trying to read any that I have not yet read. Also let me know if you want to join me in that challenge!