If there can be one good thing said about 2020 (and that’s a stretch, I know) it’s that it has given me a reason to double down on my reading. I have been positively devouring books this year and am proud to say I’ve finished 78 so far. Since we’re halfway through this delight of a year, I thought I would highlight some of my absolute favorites!
The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
|You’re a good man, Linus Baker. I’m so very pleased to know you.|
There may not be as accurate of a statement than this in the entire world. This book -guys, this BOOK. It’s like a dose of rainbow, sunshine, sprinkle glitter love happiness straight to the pleasure center. It’s beautiful.
Honestly, I want to write everything and yet nothing at all. You don’t need to know anything, you just need to read this book.
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
|This is a truly wonderful book. Gah – I wish I could go back in time and read this as a young adult because it would have had even that much more POW.|
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
This is a fantastic book that should be read. Not only it is well written with personal stories and facts of cases, it’s properly balanced with success and failure. It’s not a story about only innocent people being released – it’s about criminals getting appropriate representation as well. I really appreciated that this didn’t just feel like a giant pat on the back, but it was the emphasis on how the broken system breaks individuals – and breaks those people of color even more disproportionately.
All in all, a great read.
Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams
|Undercover Bromance is a “great big manly hug huddle” (those are Lyssa Kay Adam’s words, not mine) and it’s and amazing 5/5 star book.|
These books – they just GET me. I had legit belly laughs. I mean, the man-hating rooster? The banter? Heck, I was even belly laughing from FART jokes (I kid you not). It’s fun and funny and the relationships – romantic and friendship – are SO GOOD.
Can’t help it. Love these. Want more.
One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London
|Confession: I have never, not once, seen an episode of the Bachelor. Which I assume this book is a literary version of.|
Guys – this is the equivalent of a romantic “who dun it” – you literally can’t guess who the murderer, I mean, perfect lover is! I mean, okay, I guess I could but I also couldn’t. I’m not spoiling this for you but it’s kind of amazing.
Well Met by Jen DeLuca
|Heaaaaarts, rainbowsssss, and sunshine.|
That’s what I feel about this book. I adored it. I giggled – a LOT. The characters are delightful, the setting adorable, there’s some very satisfying sexy time and ogling, etc, etc. Basically, it was right up my alley and I highly recommend.
The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd
|If Sue Monk Kidd hadn’t written this book I NEVER would have picked it up. No way, no how. I have as little connection to any religion as possible – I was raised in the US and therefore have those Christian influences to my society, but had nothing by the way of religious education. For example – it wasn’t until the end of the book that I found out Anna was fictional. Ha!|
So – yes, from a topic, not typically one of interest to me. And honestly there were parts that were a bit dry in the book or that I didn’t quite “get” because my lack of knowledge. But the essence of it… the drive Sue Monk Kidd put into the story and the protagonist. Anna is a storm to be reckoned with and merged with the society in which she lived – it was beautiful. The fact that Anna really was the center of this story, and the most interesting of the characters, and she was married to Jesus is pretty outstanding for the author, I have to say.
Overall, a truly great read and another example of the artwork that is Sue Monk Kidd’s writing.
The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup
|Wow – this was truly excellent. Complex without being confusing, unique without being unbelievable, and horrifying without being gross. Great characters who have enough of their own issues to be interesting but not so much so that they are distracting. I truly didn’t guess the ending. All in all, I very top notch crime thriller!|
Beach Read by Emily Henry
|Welp, that was perfect.|
And, for the record, I usually really dislike stories where the character is a writer. And this one had two writers.
It’s still perfect.
Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson
Ok – yeah, I was really skeptical about this book. The premise is bizarre and, honestly, after reading it, the premise is still really bizarre.
But, man, I liked it! The style of the narration is amazing, I wanted to quote about half of it. I love the main character and just the way she IS. The way she responds and adapts to the strange circumstances she’s put it is fascinating.
It’s super quirky and it’s a book that gave me a lot of thoughts and feels. And that’s how I’m leaving that review.
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Well, I should know better than to read what is the first in what is very clearly going to be a series so soon after it is published. I want to read the next one immediately and now I have to wait 😦
This is great – it raw and unique and Alex Stern is a bada**. I had a little trouble getting into it at the beginning and, frankly, it’s a dense book. I was trying to read it quickly but it takes a lot of mind power – there is a LOT that goes on here. That’s not a bad thing, it’s actually really good, but get ready for the investment.
All in all, Bardugo hit another one out of the park.
The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones
|What an excellent book. I blew through this in a single day – which is no small feat in the chaos that is my life.|
Maybe it’s just me, but I love when I come across a book where everything just works. The story is perfectly paced and snappy with action, dialogue, introspection, and magic. The character relationships are genuine and heartfelt – the main characters, Ryn and Ellis, are beautiful and flawed. The problems they face are real and unique. This is such a fascinating story that I have – and haven’t – heard before.
Oh – and it’s a zombie book, so, you know, that makes is automatically awesome.