2020 Wrap Up

by Hope Hanson
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Finally, it’s the end of the year! Despite the insanity that’s been 2020, there were a lot of great books released this year. Without further ado, here is a selection of what I personally found to be the best books published in 2020!

A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir

It’s always sad to see the end of a series I love. But Tahir’s finale to the An Ember in the Ashes series was truly amazingly done. Tahir has always been amazing at immersing her readers in this fictional world and at pushing all of our emotional buttons; that held more than true with this final installment.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Haig wrote a seriously compelling fresh take on an old trope with this book. It was both a story and a message that I greatly enjoyed when I read it. Though, as I touched on in my review of this book, my favorite part was undoubtedly the main character herself; Haig’s ability to craft entrancing character is genuinely astounding.

The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski

Prior to reading The Midnight Lie, I’d never read anything by Rutkoski before. Now, though, I am absolutely in love with her writing. The plot was gripping and the characters were just so captivating! But my favorite part of this one was definitely the effort and detail Rutkoski put into developing and fleshing out the setting. It was honestly amazing.

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

Full disclosure: I actually haven’t finished this one yet (three guesses what my next review is going to be of…probably). But from what I have read so far, Marie Lu’s most recent release is definitely deserving of being on this list. The combination of history and fiction is beautifully woven together, and I’m excited to see how this one ends!

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Seriously, this is such a mind-blowingly awesome book. The mix of fantastical and realistic elements, all woven together with some very important themes about the real world… Well, it’s all expertly put together into a truly unique story that was as entertaining as it was thought-provoking. This was Thomas’ debut novel, so I’m really looking forward to what’s to come!

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

I will gladly admit that I am a sucker for a reimagining of an old story; I am incapable of turning one down. And I wasn’t disappointed here: Gong’s take on Romeo and Juliet was exceptional. The scene she painted and the characters she presented were all done masterfully. I just couldn’t get enough of it!

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

I remember when Paolini released his addition to the world of Eragon a couple years ago. I wondered then if something else would be coming soon–and this year, it did! It was interesting to read something by him from an entirely different genre, but I do think Paolini is just as successful and talented a sci-fi writer as a fantasy writer. An excellent book all around, I especially loved the combination of personal discovery world-altering events tht this story encompassed.

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black

I said it before in my review of Holly Black’s most recent book and I’ll happily say it again! Seeing how Cardan became the troubled, problematic individual we first met in The Cruel Prince was fascinating. I am still so happy Black chose to release this. And I’ll take the opportunity to give another shoutout to the beautiful artwork, because it more than deserves it.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

I almost made the grave mistake of skipping over this one thanks to the fact that the only other Schwab book I’ve read is This Savage Song, which I enjoyed but didn’t quite manage to really fall in love with. (Which, on a side note, I am still mad about; I want to love it so bad!) I will be forever thankful I chose to glance at the description for this book before discarding it, though. Because this one? It is truly a masterpiece. The plot was so inventive and intricate, and Addie had so many different layers to her. Really, everything about the book came together to make it one of the best books I’ve ever read.

Roaring by Lindsey Duga

Let me begin by saying that the number of different genres and ideas shoved into this book was insane. In the best possible way, though! The setting was beautiful, the characters were captivating, and the plot twists were gripping. It was jus an amazing read overall.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Honestly, this was such an amazing book, I just might end up writing a review for it some time in the future despite it having been a while since I read it. The plot of this story was so complex but was carried out in the most masterful way imaginable. And these were some of the best written characters that I’ve ever come across. Seriously, this was so much more than just another book, and it’s definitely one I’ll be reading a second time at some point.

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