At the end of each month we talk about our favorite reads, so it is only fitting that at the end of the year, we should talk about our favorite reads from 2020! Also, we each picked 10 books; so buckle up for a decently long post.
These are not listed in any particular order, except maybe by which covers I spotted first on my GR 2020 Reading Challenge. Once we decided to each pick ten titles, I thought I was going to struggle to find enough qualifying favorites. That did not end up being a problem. My favorites were weirdly easy to pick out of the bunch.
I think this was the first book to really blow me away this year. Enough so that I wrote a whole review and ended up reading it a second time later on in the year. Also, the audiobook production quality was top tier, and in a class of it’s own. (Except for maybe, Star Wars audiobooks, because have you listen to one of those things??)
Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
Young Adult Fantasy
This book was great. Even though it’s classified fantasy, it definitely reads like a fantasy romance, and I absolutely dug it. I loved Lou, and thought Reid was endearing, if a bit of a pill. I also recently finished binging the sequel, Blood & Honey, and can’t wait for the next book to be published.
Elizabeth Acevedo is a wordsmith wonder, and all her books leave me feeling a too many things. I loved the dual POVs, especially when I reread the book via audiobook a couple months later. Also, I was happy to have another Acevedo book told in verse!
I think this might be my favorite romance read of the year. (Shhh don’t tell the others!) The characters are just so adorable, soft, and wholesome. It was hard not to love them. Also the plot was very well-balanced and Avery was a wonderful side character addition.
Jasmine and her cousin’s group chat had me dying of laughter the whole book, and the romance was quite good as well lol. This book was so binge-worthy that I had a hard time leaving the story alone for any amount of time. I’m desperately hoping this book will spurn “romance series” and each of Jasmine’s cousins will get a book!
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
This book was nowhere near my normal wheelhouse of reads, but it caught my attention with everyone and their shadow talking about it. It was gloomy and creepy and spooky and honestly, a little disturbing. I ended up loving it, even if I was vastly confused for most of the book.
Another great romance! I loved all the the characters in this, but especially Alex, who’s now getting his own book!! Whoo! I also appreciated seeing the cosplay/fanfiction storyline and body-positivity representation.
A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones
I could not tell you what this book was about, but I certainly enjoyed binging the entire audiobook in a single day. I was thoroughly entertained by the main character and her pseudo-flirtatious, sarcastic manner. I will definitely be picking up book two once it’s release.
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Young Adult Fantasy
This book should be on everyone’s TBRs. It was mostly a 4 star read, but the boy-on-spirit yearning was so great towards the end it bumped it up a whole star. And okay, the whole Brujx culture was fascinating beyond belief. Also, yay for LGBTQIA+ representation!
I totally went into this book expecting something light, fluffy, & romantically inclined, but I was very wrong. It was much more in the line of a Morgan Matson Original. It had a great romance, but with realistic depth & complexity that is often missing in YA stories.
Honorable Mentions: One by One (review), Eloquent Rage, More Than Maybe (mini review), my 2x reads of The Folk of the Air series, How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories, & Beach Read (which I am almost done with and loving enough to squeeze its’ mention into this post.)
This is not in any particular order so keep that in mind! This was an odd reading year. I read a ton of nonfiction that honestly could make the list, but I always feel a little weird calling nonfiction “my favorite” especially when often they discuss serious topics. So I picked my favorite fiction reads and then when I did not get to 10, included some favorite nonfiction.
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
This book is so special to me. I adore Backman’s weird writing style that leaves you confused and yet is so moving. I cried. I laughed. My heart hurt. What more do you want in a book?
I fell in love with January and Gus and their stories. This novel was so cute and yet discuses serious themes. I also want to visit the Great Lakes. I read this novel twice and see myself rereading again in the future.
This novel is so much fun. It is academic rivals to lovers set over the course of 24 hours and it is just a joy. I reread this one to write my review and I loved it even more a second time. I loved the casual Jewish representation and exploring Seattle with these characters.
This novel was such a surprise. The plot wasn’t my favorite and I didn’t love the characters themselves, but for some reason I adored this story. Plus my book club had a great discussion on this book. It made me think and I loved Jones’ writing.
I adored this romance so much. Dani and Zaf stole my heart. I knew by page seven that I was going to love this one. If you’re not reading Talia Hibbert’s romance you are missing out. This romance has everything that I love in romance, a diverse cast, real issues discussed, and an amazing love interest.
It feels a little weird to call this one a favorite since I low key was annoyed with it half the time, but I adored Rooney’s writing and they way she articulated certain emotions made me feel things. This is a novel that stuck with me and thus is worth including in my favorites.
I cannot say enough good things about this one. I read it in two sitting and it gripped me in a way that nonfiction rarely does. My heart broke for the teens at the center of this story. Slater wrote this in an nonjudgemental journalistic tone that is so engaging. I highly recommend this one.
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
This memoir is a must read. Miller’s story is heartbreaking and horrific, but this memoir discusses the broader implication of toxic masculinity and the flaws in our legal system that hurt survivors.
Catch & Kill by Ronan Farrow
This account of breaking the Harvey Weinstein story which in itself it horrific and terrifying, but what really stuck out to me while reading this was how money and power can allow powerful men to get away with so much.
I adored the audiobook of this one. It hit me right in the feels and as an emphatic person, it hit home on many levels. Plus, the cover is stunning.
What were your top reads of 2020?
xoxo, Bree & Tree