Wow, I cannot believe it is already nearing the close of 2020. I think I speak for everyone when I say this has been one heck of a year. It was stressful and crazy and, well, it was a year alright. But some good came out of it. For me quarantine allowed me to be home with my son, I got to watch him learn to crawl and heard him say, mama. Those are moments I would not trade for anything. It also allowed me to really focus on building up Cyn’s Workshop. Honestly, I could not have done it if it were not for your continued support.
And you know what else? I got so much reading done! Ah! I have not been able to read this much since I was in college. I did all my reading on the 1-hour subway ride from my apartment to college and vice versa. Over 130 books!
So, I would like to present to you the best books of 2020 (in no particular order) and stay tuned for more to come. Let us all go into 2021 hopeful!
Best Books of 2020
Broken Wish is a great retelling of fairy tales, relating back to the Grimm Fairy tales in such a wonderful way. Absolutely loved it. It is reminiscent of the classic fairy tales from tone to structure and was such a wonderful read. This is a book for fairy tale lovers and perfect for parents to share with their kids.
Send Me Their Souls
I cannot begin to express how much I loved this novel. It was wonderful and amazing, a great conclusion to the series. It was wonderful conclusion to a great series with a snarky and clever female protagonist.
This Is Not A Ghost Story
Such a good novel! Honestly, I loved this eerie setting and it had me going, from beginning to end I was at the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. It set sup this perfect ghost story while also taking the reader through a loop by the end of it. So good!
The Good Girls
I absolutely loved this novel. It highlights some ongoing issues about rape culture in a thoughtful and clever way, focusing on three girls as it investigates the disappearance and murder of one girl. It really is a brilliant novel about girls and how society sees them and then defines them, subjecting them to these roles that limits how seriously they are taken in society.
Kingdom of the Wicked
This was one of my highly anticipated reads of the year and let me say I was not disappointed. It was amazing to see this novel come to life and I loved the setting. The setting of the novel was great to see the seven deadly sins brought to life by devilish and charming figures. It was also cool to see a strong female protagonist determined to solve the murder of her sister by any means necessary. The sisterly bond added some depth to the plot that would have otherwise made the novel come off as cliché.
This was an incredible novel. This novel has incredible depth as it deals with religion and love and finding harmony between their different religions. But it is about so much more than that. It moves incredibly, paced well, the story focuses on challenging both characters religious beliefs while also respecting both. And the friendship that blossoms between the characters is beautiful. The ending of the novel broke my heart but it also filled me with hope.
One True King
Ah! I loved this novel. It was amazing. The final novel in the School for Good and Evil series was everything I loved and more. Agatha and Sophie got their happy endings after so much drama and heartache and they both grew so much! Especially Sophie! As far as fairy tales go, this has been an incredible series full of fun and delight, it has a wonderful message about friendship that transcends the novel, it is great for children and adults.
You know, I gushed about this novel so much in my review. I love Anna K and I’m excited that there is a sequel. This is, as you might have guessed, a YA retelling of Anna Karenina. It worked so well. At times it reminded me of Gossip Girl and in a best way. It was this sense of nostalgia I got from reading but also this incredible way of storytelling. I gotta tell ya, I have not been able to read Anna Karenina, it is a tough read for me, but this novel was effortless. I did not lose who the characters were, I was able to follow them and their character growth. It was done very well, and I loved it.
The final novel in the Empirium trilogy! It was everything I wanted and more. Granted there were more POVs I wish we had heard from, but over all the story worked so well. We love the characters, hate them, pity them, and ultimately understand them in ways we never did before. This is the climactic novel that pushes the characters to their limits.
A Dance with Fate
This is the second novel in the Warrior Bards series, and it continues the journey of the characters, the growth in their personalities and their relationships. It is such a great story with great characterization and the plot was incredible. One of the characters is forced back home after an accident has left him blind and their home life in the past was abusive. And then there is the Fae community. There are two stories being told here but they are brilliantly told and tie together incredibly.
Seasons of the Storm
I absolutely loved this book! This is 1 of 2 Jack Frost retellings I read this year and this one was far superior. Seasons of the Storm takes the tale of Jack Frost to new heights by also creating avatars of the different seasons. Together they all team up to run away from their compound run by Chronos and Gaia. In their run, they spark a rebellion, and it is amazing! I loved it, absolutely loved it and I’m so excited for the sequel. Hoping for another ARC from the publisher!
If These Wings Could Fly
I loved the magical realism of this novel. I think it was incredible how the story just moved forward, following a girl who lives in an abusive household, with a father she loves but fears. It tells the story about this bond of sisterhood and about people turning a blind eye to what is in front of their face.
This was one the first books I read this year and it blew me away. First of all, it is told in second-person which is so hard to get right in my opinion. But it worked here, especially after the author shifts to third person and then back to second person, it worked. It is a feminist retelling of Little Red Riding Hood where the girls are the wolves who hunt rapist and abusers. That is as simple as I can put it, but let me say, it was incredible. Read it!
These are honorable mentions because I read them and reviewed them in 2019 and I think I put them on my best books list of 2019 even though they were scheduled for 2020 release.
Sword in the Stars
Ah! I cannot begin to start with what made this novel amazing. I mean it was just soooo good. The second novel in the gender bent retelling of King Arthur takes readers to Camelot and King Arthur’s court. With a strong female protagonist and tons of LGBTQ representation. And it gives readers a new look at the great and powerful Merlin. It was incredible!
What Kind of Girl
Honestly, I loved this novel. What this author does is take important issues like domestic abuse and how girls are viewed and disbelieved, giving reader this powerful thoughtful story. It is incredible how it moved forward, how it presented these various POVs to give the reader an in-depth look at the many layers that make up a person.