I think we can all agree that this year was not the year any of us planned for. Beth (that’s me, hi!) started this year with a tragic death in the family which made it hard to connect with anyone for a while. Then once I ready to come back, well, I’m sure you can guess where this is going.
Normally, books would help me get out of my head for a bit, but it was a little more difficult this year. Truly unprecedented times- I’m sure we are all sick of hearing that one, eh? So, my reading was done quite a bit this year. There weren’t many that stood out as like OH MY GOD EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS, but here are 5 that I absolutely loved and maybe you should definitely read these.
This is #1 on my list of book of 2020. This had EVERYTHING I want in a book. Romance, sexy time, representation, a happy ending, and lots of drama thrown right in.
I don’t remember laughing this much during another book this year. If you are a romance reader and haven’t read this yet, get on it ASAP. If you aren’t a romance reader but want to get into the genre, this is definitely one I highly highly highly recommend. You’d be starting out with one of the best. Also, this is the first book in a trilogy. Each book follows a different sister in the Brown family. I cannot wait to read the next one and quite upset with myself for not doing it yet. Give this one a read!
All Boys Aren’t Blue is one of those books that stuck with me long after I closed it. It was hard to read. Very hard to read at times. George M. Johnson did not hold back on anything. The good, the bad, or the absolute disgusting. It broke my heart while also simultaneously fixing it. This is a memoir detailing life trying to come to terms with gender identity, sexuality, and interweaving that with race which is intricately linked together. I highly recommend this book to fans of The Hate U Give and Dear Martin.
Tell Me How You Really Feel is the best lesbian hate-to-lovers book ever. I’m just calling that right now and you can’t tell me other wise. The representation in this book was just *the biggest chef kiss ever* I don’t even want to say any more about this book because we may be here all day. Just, go read this book, okay? You can thank me later.
Just remember, it’s a hate to love. You aren’t supposed to love the characters right at the beginning. That’s all.
Sun Down Motel frankly scared the crap out of me. Remind me to never stay in a small town motel again. Especially one where my aunt disappeared from decades ago. I mean, that should be a given right? WRONG. This book will truly keep you on the edge of your seat. There were times I closed the book and opened it just an inch- just enough to read it but not enough for anything to jump out at me. Don’t make me explain it because I can’t. It’s just that good. If you like horror or spooky things, this is the book for you. The entire vibe is amazing and I may just read this one again at some point.
The Hate U Give is also on my list! *cue gif of Emma Roberts* If you know, you know.
I just can’t believe it took me this long to read this book and you’d think that 2020 would not be the year to read about such difficult topics, but it ended up turning out well because I gave myself time (and boy did I have it) to just sit and reflect. I took time to soak in every page.
If you haven’t read this hard-hitting YA contemporary yet, I suggest doing so ASAP. I should not have taken this long to read it. But now that I have, I’m telling you to go read it. Like now.
So that’s my top 5! I had quite a lot of 4 stars this year but more 2 and 3 stars than I have in any previous years. Now for Brittney’s life update and list!
As the title says, this year has sucked. The pandemic and politics (yes, I live in the US) have been spelling the word ‘doom’ in big bright red letters. Due to that, in these past several months I’ve felt like the world and my life have been spinning out of control and I was being crushed by the anxiety and scariness of it all. The only thing that has been able to keep my anchored and calm lately are books–and kdramas lol. It’s nice to escape real world problems by getting caught up in fictional character’s problems.
If you also need a vacation from the real world, these five books that I read recently will definitely whisk you away and allow you, for at least a few minutes, to forget all your problems.
So, if I’m going to be honest, it actually took me two or three tries before I got past the first five pages of Ninth House. There was just so much thrown at you right away that it took me some time to process, but once you get into this secret, magical world of an ivy league school then it is hard to put this book down! If you read either of Bardugo’s Grisha universe books, be warned that this book is nothing like it. Nevertheless, it’s still amazing in it’s own right. I loved the way she blended the occult in with modern day Yale, making it both creepy and fascinating and magical. The mystery was paced well so I never felt just the right amount of antsy to know what happens next. But major TRIGGER WARNING that there is a sexual assault scene in this book. The main character, Alex, has a very dark and traumatizing past. You see what has happened to her to make her the messed up person we meet her as, but we also get to see her start to heal from these traumas.
Recently a friend texted me asking for good romance book recs, and I couldn’t rec The Right Swipe Fast enough. I’m still pretty new to the romance genre, but this book is hands down the creme de la creme for me. The romance is extremely prevalent in the book, but it never over shadows the plot, instead the two co-mingle together perfectly giving both main characters the chance to have an independent character arc that also helps with the arc of their relationship. Their relationship also had the perfect blend of deep talks so that the leads could connect emotionally (which is an absolute MUST for me), as well as some hot af sexy times. Pretty sure I couldn’t keep the smile off my face as I was reading this one. Plus, we get to see a woman with scars from a past emotionally abusive relationship reclaim her narrative AND STILL be a kick ass CEO.
If there’s one thing you need to know about me, it’s that I absolutely LOVE female main characters who are morally grey. Give me girls who are dealt a shitty hand and it turns them bitter and hungry for blood. Give me girls who aren’t necessarily bad people, but the only way to survive is to purposely make bad choices. The Cruel Prince gave me all of that and when I say that I was absolutely living while I was reading this, I’m not exaggerating. Not only that but the world building is amazing and the plot will take you on such a wild ride. Just when you think things can’t get even crazier, they do, and the plot will never go the way you think it will. I’ve actually read the whole trilogy this year, so I can say that each book is amazing, so starting this trilogy will definitely not be a waste of time!
This year I’ve been trying to get into adult fantasy. The problem is that this genre is so vast that I had no idea where to begin. Thankfully I had seen The Fifth Season floating around on twitter and I finally decided to pick it up–and holy crap am I glad I did. I won’t go into to much detail because I’m actually going to post a review about it, but let me just say that this book and the second one in this trilogy are amazing, especially for readers who are big into worldbuilding. It’s one of those books where I kept sitting back and thinking ‘holy shit this is amazing and N.K. Jemison is a genius.’
Beach Read is a romance book that is definitely very heavy on the plot. The title makes it sound light and fluffy, and although it does have it’s adorable moments, it also delves into some more emotionally hard moments. It’s one of those books that makes you examine parts of your own life, while also still giving you the delicious development of romantic yearning. Also, the main character and the love interest are novelists, who write completely different genres! Who wouldn’t want to read about two people who see the world completely differently falling in love?? If you’re a fan of Sarah Dessen or Stephanie Perkins and want to get into adult romance, I’d definitely suggest checking this book out!