It’s time for this wonderful tag again! I love seeing everyone’s answers every single year 🙂 However, for me, this year has been complicated when it’s come to reading. While I’m on top of my Goodreads goal, I don’t have a ton of books that have stood out to me. I have DNF’d WAY more books than ever before and I’m struggling with both motivation and sometimes, loving books as well. Plus I’m hitting a reading slump with the virus stuff going on and that’s not helping either But here are my answers for this year!
Best Book(s) of 2020: New Releases
It’s a three way tie this year! I loved all 3 of these books for various reasons: they completely sucked me in, they were complete surprises, their endings hurt so good, etc. All three of these new books really raise the standard for me for the rest of the year. The Truth Project is an upcoming book written in verse, emails and social media that I ate up in one day! More on this book later. House of Dragons is the first in a duology of 5 characters that are chosen to compete in a set of trials that will crown a new Emperor or Empress. This book really made the characters struggle, had amazing dragons and a great plot. Then, we have Rebel Spy which is finally out in the world and one that people NEED to read if they love historical fiction. This book takes you back to the American Revolution and gives a great “what if” story of who the mysterious Agent 355 was, an unknown female spy for George Washington. All three are great and I keep thinking about them from time to time since I finished them.
Best Book of 2020: Backlist
While my thoughts on this trilogy are complicated, Gemina was the wild ride that was amazing, shocking and something I couldn’t stop listening to! I loved Hanna and Nik’s story aboard the Heimdall Station. This sequel to Illuminae had everything I wanted from the first book. The authors seriously pull no punches and this was just everything I needed at the time. A standout second book in a series.
Best Sequel I Read in 2020
THIS ENDING! THESE TWO ARE GROUNDED! But while I haven’t read a ton of sequels, this was the best this year! I listened to this as soon as it was ready in my Audible library. I love this world, the characters, the romance, humor, shenanigans…it’s everything. This sequel was amazing as far as more character development, plot development and while I did think the ending was brilliant, it still hurts…
New Releases I Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To
Sadly I haven’t gotten to either of these yet. I even pre-ordered Night Spinner and it’s still on my shelves! I also got Elysium Girls not longer after it released this past April. I want to get to these soon! But the list of new releases to get to is very large…
Most Anticipated Releases for the Last Half of 2020
These are it! I’m DYING for all 4 of these due to some being favorite authors, a genre that I love (creepy historical fiction like Eventide) and overall just a lot of hype! These books speak to me on a personal level and luckily I have an ARC of The Other Side of the Sky (spoiler for my May and June book haul) and I also pre-ordered The Princess Will Save You which comes out in just under 2 weeks. I seriously hope the last half of the year kicks butt!
While I did like this finale, this wasn’t what I had hoped it would be. This final book lacked the scary atmosphere and actual scares that the first and third book had in this series. Plus, the final battle was WAY too easy for the group to overcome and with the final book being titled The King of Crows, his presence was really lacking. I still love this series, but this needed a bit more work to make it even better. Another disappointment was Havenfall, which has a great premises of a magical lodge in the Rocky Mountains. But it was a bogged down by a BORING plot, the mystery was left until the last 20% and I didn’t buy the “love triangle” for a second.
Biggest Surprise: Great
WOW! This book blew my mind when I listened to it. I didn’t like the first book I had read by this author, but this book was gritty, unflinching and also powerful. I really cared for our protagonist as she tries to navigate being lost in the woods with a broken and infected foot. I loved seeing how complicated this girl was but also seeing how nature changes her. Mindy McGinnis pulls no punches with some gross out moments, glimpses of despair and the unknown if you’ll survive. This is a short book but one great read!
Biggest Surprise: Bad
So while I didn’t hate this book, this was a HUGE disappointment! I like Rae Carson’s work, especially the first two Gold Seer books and the first Girl of Fire and Thorns book. But while the past story line started to go dark and explore Red’s childhood trauma, the present story line was boring and full of convenient plot points that it didn’t even fell necessary. While you can read this if you just want to read a standalone fantasy, I still think the original trilogy set in this same world is better. This book felt like a nostalgic crash grab
Favorite New Author (Debut or new to you)
I’d have to say Lora Beth Johnson, whose debut novel Goddess in the Machine comes out at the end of this month! Lora Beth Johnson creates both a primitive and also futuristic world that was refreshing to read and also genius. There’s even a new dialect that many of the characters speak and the author was inspired by a linguistics class she had taken and that’s one of the ideas that sprouted this book. I love that this author shows this world as dusty, dirty, dangerous but also filled with secrets and the book was really entertaining. She’s a new author to watch and she really impressed me with her ideas and world building. Also, I have to put Dante Medema for her first book The Truth Project which is expected to come out in October. This book gripped me and would not let go! I had to finish this story and find out what happened and that’s truly rare for me to have a book grip me so much I couldn’t finish it the next day. Both these ladies have really bright futures as YA authors. I can’t wait to see what comes up next.
Newest Fictional Crush
Still doesn’t apply lol. Sorry!
Newest Favorite Character
I’ve gotta give it to Frannie Tasker from Rebel Spy! She’s a girl that really impressed me and I cared for her so much. To escape her current life in Grand Bahama in 1776, she takes the identity of an American girl, Emmeline Coates, after her body washes up. As Frannie takes this girl’s identity, she learns about the American conflict against the British and she learns for herself what freedom means and fighting for what you believe in. The author creates a protagonist that is strong, honest, good but isn’t afraid to do what’s right. I loved her character so much and she’s my favorite this year.
Book That Made You Cry
Sadly, no books made me cry or even close to crying this year. I read a few books that had some gut punching moments, like Aurora Burning, Skin Game and The Truth Project but nothing that started the water works…
Book That Made You Happy
I would say the book that made me happy was the next Avatar comic story! I read “The Rift” story this year and these comics bring back the show for me every time! I loved seeing more growth and focus on Toph this time around. I need to read more of these. This story made me happy, since I had mentioned before, this year has been tough for me as far as reading so this story line did just the thing to make me feel better.
Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year
Without a doubt, the prettiest book is Sisters of Sword and Song! (Spoiler for my upcoming book haul) I bought both these books this past week; I’ve been in a weird funk with all the virus stuff going on, people fighting about wearing masks (which I’m not going into, but know that I think we should wear them), so I bought books. Sisters of Sword and Song is a gorgeous illustrated cover that is really eye catching with its foliage, paper and blades. I love how unique it is and it’s one of the year’s best covers.
Favorite Book to Film Adaptation
I don’t think I have watched any this year but I do hope to watch Just Mercy and Little Women sometime this year!
What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
When I think of books I really want to get to by the end of the year, I’ve been thinking about these ones. These are series to start, finish and ones I overall need to get to due to hype, premise or if their a favorite author/authors. Even though I’m fighting a readings slump right now, I’m hoping that things will change as the year goes on and that these books will help me find more favorites 🙂
What would your answers be? Are any of these books on your list?