Favourite 2020 Releases

Hey all! It’s time for my first end of year post – favourite 2020 book releases. For this post I’ll be sharing my favourite books that came out in 2020 – I’ll probably forget loads because I always do.

1) I can’t start with anything else than The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. This one broke my heart through Henry Strauss. Captured that complete confusion about deciding what you want to do with your life in your twenties perfectly and it hit very, very close to home. You can read my review here.

2) My favourite YA release this year has to be Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez. This is a cool book following a teen with a passion for football (soccer) in Argentina. My favourite part of this book was how mature the protagonist Camila is. She is such a good role model. One of my friends got me a hardback for Christmas and I’m so happy because I can read it in physical copy now. You can check out my review of the eARC here.

3) Let’s talk about a final book in a series! The Burning God by R.F. Kuang, the end of The Poppy War trilogy. Again, I was lucky enough to receive an eARC of this book so I got to read it right after I finished The Dragon Republic. This is the series for you if you want a series that’s loosely historical, has really vivid depictions of war without sacrificing the character development and will break your heart many, many times. You can read my review here.

4) One of my favourite romances this year was Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner. This book had a lot of my favourite tropes (ice queen that’s really a softie, slow burn, office romance), and I love that it has women that support each other. Emma and Jo are so cute, I can’t wait to read this one again now I have a physical copy (thanks friend!!!) You can read my review here.

5) A contemporary fiction that I loved this year is Such a Fun Age by Kiley Read (it came out in early January in the UK). This one definitely gave me Little Fires Everywhere vibes – the writing is so good and the characters are the opposite of one dimensional as it delves into white saviours. I can’t wait to read this again and write a review for my blog.

6) OK, I can’t help it, I’ve got to put in another romance. I absolutely loved The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon, it was everything. Samiah is one of my favourite characters – she’s a Black woman in STEM and I loved how this book highlighted her challenges at work. It also has a really awesome female friendship which is super cute. Really loved the romance between Samiah and Daniel too.

7) My favourite sci-fi release of 2020 is Honor Lost by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre. This is the final book in the Honor Among Thieves trilogy which my friends finally convinced me to read this year. This book honestly sounds completely wild but it’s amazing and cute and I want to re-read just thinking of it. Cute space whale spaceships, what a concept, and the finale definitely doesn’t disappoint.

8) Another trilogy conclusion you say? There were a lot of good finales this year, that’s for sure. This time it’s The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty. The Daevabad trilogy is fantastic and I’m so glad I read all of the books this year. The Empire of Gold is a thrilling final book from start to finish and is a fast read despite it being many, many pages long. It has characters I grew so attached to and really rich world-building, you have to pick up this series.

OK, that’s my top 8 book releases of 2020! There’s still some that I want to finish before the end of the year, like The Ever-Cruel Kingdom by Rin Chupeco. Like I said, I probably forgot some, but that’s fine.

Hope you’re all doing well, I am on holiday from work now until 4th January so hopefully I can write some more blog posts. Also I didn’t get that job I applied for, it’s been a bit of a mess to be honest so I’m looking forward to moving past it all and throwing my frustration into 2021.

Book Review: Something to Talk About

I LOVED this so much. Cute f/f romance? Check. Women standing up for each other? Check. Amazing sister friendship? Check. I think it’s one of my favourite romances now. It was so enjoyable, fun and made me smile a lot.

Star rating: 5 stars

Emma is the assistant of former child actress turned writer Jo. Jo has an outside reputation of being a bit of an ice queen, but she’s really a softie. As Showrunner for a tv show that’s reached it’s fifth season, she’s won four Emmys and is considered very talented. When Jo brings Emma to an awards ceremony to act as a buffer to the press, the press think they’re dating and start rumours, leading to both women questioning how they really feel about each other.

This is a slow-burn romance about two women who respect each other falling in love. Jo is so grateful for how well Emma knows her, it’s really sweet. Having two female POVs was just amazing. There is a lot of frustrating moments where the two don’t communicate with each other, or don’t tell each other important things, so getting both POVs really did make it great to have both perspectives.

I enjoyed Emma’s great relationship with her sister Avery, and Jo’s friendship with Evelyn. The banter between friends was hilarious. There’s also a sexual harassment storyline, and jealous friend storyline. Jo stands up for Emma, and vice versa, and I love that.

Overall I am so happy after reading this book, it really made my day. Jo and Emma are so, so adorable! Can’t wait to read this one again some time.

Have you read Something to Talk About? What are your favourite f/f romances? Let me know in the comments.

The folklore Book Tag

Hi everyone! I’ve been meaning to do a folklore book tag for so long, so here it finally is! This one is by Star is All Booked Up. TS8 is probably my favourite album of the lot – it’s cohesive, sad, happy and lyrical and really plays to her strengths. Here are my book recommendations based on the prompts.

the 1: a book you grew out of

For this one, I’m going with Harry Potter. Even before the author became unforgivable, I had lost interest in this series, partly because it’s not exactly the most feminist book series out there and I’ve read so much better now. As much as it made me happy as a kid, it just doesn’t do it for me anymore.

cardigan: a book you keep coming back to

Fire by Kriston Cashore is one of my favourite books of all time. It’s feminist, has the most amazing, gentle, brave protagonist and I love the romance in it. I think I will re-read it for the rest of my life, along with Graceling which is also up there with my faves. Did you know Kristin Cashore is writing a new book in this series? I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

the last great american dynasty: a book where everything goes wrong (in the best way)

The Poppy War series is such a great pick for this. There are so many moments in every book where stuff goes completely wrong and the characters are left to deal with the consequences. There are some really harrowing moments about what is left after war that are written so well that it makes great, emotional reading.

exile: ending you didn’t like (ship that sank)

The series with the worst last book that I have ever read is The Lightbringer Series by Brent Weeks. The last book, The Burning White, I did not finish. It’s so boring, drags a lot, and becomes weirdly Christianity focused. I was really disappointed because the first few books were really good.

my tears ricochet: broke your heart

I was in tears when reading Meat Market by Juno Dawson. It’s about a girl called Jana who is scouted by a modelling agency and becomes a famous supermodel practically overnight. She faces the challenges of her new found fame, and a corrupt industry. I have never routed for a character so much, who feels so young and innocent and makes mistakes that break your heart. I highly recommend it but it’s not an easy read.

mirrorball: a book that speaks to your soul

I hate to use a book that hasn’t been published yet but The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue wrecked me because I felt every word of it. The characters, Addie and Henry, are just so relatable and I have never felt so seen by a book. Just wow, I can’t wait for more people to read it. You can see my review here and we will be talking about it in The Book Coven October book club.

seven: character you want to take home and protect

Hello Lazlo Strange, I was wondering if I’d get to talk about you in this post. Lazlo from Strange the Dreamer is such a sweet cinnamon roll and I was drawn to his character immediately. I just wanted good things for him because he’s so adorable and smart and thoughtful and cute. This was the first book I read with such a gentle male protagonist. Another good one is Malik from A Song of Wraiths and Ruin.

august: summer love

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson was such a surprise for me, and I read all of her books over the month that followed. When Andie loses her place on a prestigious medical school summer program due to a scandal involving her politician Dad, she thinks her life is over. She finds another job as a dog walker, and meets Clark. Their summer romance is so adorable, and there is so much dog love I could scream.

this is me trying: mental illness rep

I recently read Take a Hint Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert and really enjoyed it. It’s a romance about Dani Brown (Chloe Brown’s sister!) and Zafir Ansari. Zaf is an ex-rugby player who suffers from anxiety, and is doing lots for young kids playing rugby through his program, Tackle It, which helps boys with their emotions. It’s a really great read, an excellent follow up to Get a Life, Chloe Brown.

illicit affairs: forbidden romance

OK so this romance isn’t really forbidden, but it is a bit taboo. In The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa, Catalina Santos is a wedding planner that was left at the alter. Max Hartley is the brother of her ex-fiance. The two have to work together to compete for a job that would change Catalina’s life. Max is so off limits to her, but can she resist? This book is such a fun read and it even made me tear up in places. I highly recommend it!

invisible string: soulmates

Oh, I think I am going to go with Portia and Tavish in A Duke by Defualt by Alyssa Cole. These two are made for each other – they complement each other so well and bring out the best in each other! It also has ADHD representation, which is awesome. This is one of favourite romances of all time – it has exceptional charcter growth and I love the storyline.

mad woman: vengeful woman

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis is a stunning book that you just know is going to break your heart as soon as it begins. It is rare to have a protagonist with a dark nature that you care for a lot, and Alex Craft is just that. This book has a lot to say about sexism and rape culture and I highly recommend it, but make sure you read the trigger warnings.

epiphany: a loss you’re not over

OK, spoilers for The High Lord by Trudi Canavan in this section so skip ahead if you don’t want to know how it ends. This is the final book in the Black Magician Trilogy, a favourite from my teenage years. At the end of the last book, after slowly falling in love, Akkarin dies by giving his remaining magic and life to Sonea, and it messes me up so hard each time I read it. Heart broken. Devastating.

betty: love triangle, f/f romance

I am choosing an f/f romance – Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner. It’s about a showrunner, Jo, and her assistant, Emma, who fall in love over the course of the book. I love an office romance and this one is adorable. These women stand up for each other and I am here for it. Jo is an ice queen who is really a softie and I loved that so much.

peace:found family

The only choice I could put here is the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo. Kaz, Inej, Nina, Matthias, Jesper and Wylan all have my heart a thousand times. The series is a masterclass in writing multiple points of view and has so much tension and action that it makes your heart race throughout. It is one of my favourite YA fantasy series of all time. I also really like The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers.

hoax: character that fooled you

Ettian in Bonds of Brass by Emily Skrutsie. I will say no more about why, but the book is a fantastic science-fiction m/m read that really surprised me. Can’t wait for the next book to come out because of that ending.

And that’s all of them – I had such a great time finding books for these prompts. Of course the lakes hadn’t been heard at the point of creation, so here’s a bonus prompt.

the lakes: a book written in verse

I hadn’t ever come across books written in verse until Elizabeth Acevedo. Clap When You Land is an emotional book about two girls who find out they share a father after he dies in a plane crash. I loved the writing style and felt it really suited the story. Camino and Yahaira have such different lives and voices, it makes for a wonderful story.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Hope you check out some of the books I listed. Have you read any of them? What did you think?