Merry Christmas Eve to those who are celebrating! I can’t believe that the year is almost over. Since it’s the end of the year, that means it’s time to share my favorite books of the year. I really read over 100 books this year, I haven’t had a reading year be this successful since 2018! For this post, I will not be including any rereads as those deserve a post of their own. There is going to be a particular order to this list as I will be counting down from 10 to 1. Enjoy!
Welcome to the Dark Side by Giana Darling (Fallen Men #2)
Lou is the perfect example of the preacher’s granddaughter. She volunteered at an autism center, sat in the front pew at church, and was a great role model for her younger sister Beatrice. Then Lou was diagnosed with cancer. Years later, seventeen-year-old Lou is sick of her perfect life so she decides to start taking a walk on the wild side. Lou finally sees Zeus Garro again, the man who took a bullet for her when she was a kid. He became her guardian monster, the title she dubbed him when they wrote to each other while Zeus was in jail. Being the president of the Fallen MC, when you make a deal with him, you make the deal with the devil. CW: Gun Violence, Verbally Abusive Parent, Cancer.
I love Daddy Zeus and Loulou! This book is a bit taboo given the nineteen-year age gap between Zeus and Lou, but holy shit their romance is so fucking good. Their relationship is legal as the age of consent in Canada is sixteen. It is forbidden, it is angsty, and it is action-packed. Plus, it’s filled with a good amount of smutty scenes. If you are going to read any books from the Fallen Men series, please read this one!
10. Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
This book follows Felix Love, who ironically has never been in love. Felix is scared that since he is Black, queer, and transgender, that he’ll never get to have a happy ending like other people. When someone starts blackmailing Felix with transphobic messages, he wants to get even. The only thing he didn’t plan on happening were things becoming much more complicated than expected. CW: Deadnaming, Transphobia, Bullying, Absentee Parent.
Please read this book because it is so beautifully written. It is an amazing coming-of-age story! I still think about this book all of the time, so please consider picking it up. Kacen Callender is an amazing writer and I can’t wait to read the rest of their books in the near future!
9. A Fine Team Man by Joe Cox
This book follows the life of famous baseball legend, Jackie Robinson. Each chapter centers on a person who became an integral part in Jackie’s life as a baseball player. There are chapters on Rachel Robinson, Branch Rickey, Happy Chandler, Clyde Sukeforth, Red Barber, Wendell Smith, Burt Shotton, Pee Wee Reese, and Dixie Walker.
This is a biography I read in my Baseball History class I took in the Spring semester. If you know me, you know I’m not a huge non-fiction fan so the fact that this book is even on this list is a surprise. I really enjoyed reading this as I am a huge baseball fan (Go Nats and Red Sox!) and Jackie Robinson is one the greatest baseball players of all time. Please pick this up if you get the chance, it’s an amazing read.
8. Pet Sematary by Stephen King
In this novel, we follow the Creed family who have just moved into a nice house in rural Maine. They seem perfect with Mr. Creed being a doctor, Mrs. Creed being super friendly, an imaginative little girl, an infant son, and a little black cat. Except there is something terrifying behind their house, the pet sematary. CW: Grief.
This is the second Stephen King book I’ve read, and I plan to read more soon. What I loved about this book was how realistic some of the events were, it’s what makes the book feel so terrifying. I believe King even said that Pet Sematary is his scariest book ever written.
7. A Time to Kill by John Grisham
Jake Brigance, a young street lawyer, takes on a huge case when he defends Carl Lee Hailey. Carl Lee, a Black man, is being charged with the murder of the two white men who raped his little girl. Now with the case of a lifetime, Jake has to do all he can to free Carl Lee. CW: Racism, KKK, Violence, Rape.
I wasn’t going to include this, but I ended up reading this book two times this year. I think I mentioned this in my August TBR post, but I reread this for my honors coursework for my Law & Literature class. I picked up on so many more things my second time reading, some good and some bad. There are aspects that have not aged well and some aspects that mirror today’s world. This is a great book to start with if you want to start reading Grisham’s books.
6. The Mistake by Elle Kennedy (Off-Campus #2)
John Logan is a junior at Briar University, so he’s used to getting any girl he encounters. While his life seems perfect, Logan is hiding a family secret which will force him to live a life he doesn’t want. Then he meets Grace Ivers who is a freshman and the perfect distraction. Logan does something stupid and sets off to spend his senior year trying to get Grace to give him a second chance. CW: Alcoholism, Divorce, Attempted Rape.
I knew this was going to be my favorite in the series when Logan and Grace watched Die Hard. Out of all of the books in the Off Campus series, I think this is the most realistic. Having a meet-cute isn’t always going to initiate the start of a relationship. I would love to read more of Logan and Grace if they make an appearance Elle Kennedy’s Briar U series.
5. Meg & Jo by Virginia Kantra
The March sisters- Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy- are all grown up, living their own lives and dreams. Jo is living in New York, struggling as a prep cook and is a secret food blogger. She never expected that her journalism career would fall by the wayside, except it did. Then there is Meg. She seems to have it all- loving husband, an adorable set of twins, the nice house in the suburbs- but life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. To add to the sisters’ stress, their mother ends up in the hospital during the holidays. Soon, the March sisters will rediscover that the bond of family is what really matters. CW: Cheating, Sick Parent, Divorce.
I love Little Women and I love reading stories about families. I was a little skeptical going into this because of the mixed-reviews I heard, but I’m really glad I enjoyed this book. I can’t wait for Virginia Kantra to release Beth & Amy! If you want to hear more in-depth thoughts, check out my review.
4. Broken Knight by L.J. Shen (All Saints High #2)
Luna Rexroth is everyone’s favorite wallflower in Todos Santos, California. She’s extremely sweet, hard-working, and quiet. Underneath her shell, Luna knows exactly what she wants. She wants her best friend, Knight Cole. He was the boy who taught her how to cuss in sign language, stood up for her when others brought her down, made her smile, and even got her to laugh. Knight Cole is the football star, the most popular guy at All Saints High School, and the troublemaker. While every girl wants him, he only has eyes for Luna. She isn’t the same girl she used to be. CW: Death of a Parent, Alcoholism, Mention of Rape, Drug Use, Parental Abandonment, Slut Shaming, Grief.
This book broke me and I loved every single second of it. Knight is my favorite tothole, with Luna being a close second. Trent chasing Knight with that baseball bat was one of the best scenes I’ve ever read. For those of you unfamiliar with L.J. Shen’s All Saints High series, it’s the spinoff to her Sinners of Saint series which follows the four hotholes of Todos Santos, California.
3. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
This book follows three narrators: Natasha, Daniel, and the Universe. Natasha is a believer in facts, which leaves no room for destiny. When her family is about to be deported, Natasha is thrown in a loop when she meets Daniel. Daniel, a poet who is pressured by his parents’ high expectation for college and his future career, forgets all of his pressures when he meets Natasha. The Universe connects the missing dots between Natasha, Daniel, and the people they encounter. CW: Mention of Suicide, Alcoholism, Racism.
This book was so cute, but so heart-wrenching at the same time. When I picked up this book, I thought it was this light-hearted book – I was mistaken. Instead, I read a story which focused on a bunch of hard topics people encounter because life isn’t easy – it can be really fucking hard. Listen to the audiobook because the narrators did an amazing job with their narration.
2. Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare (Last Hours #1)
Cordelia Carstairs’ life is about to be turned upside down. Her father gets accused of a terrible crime which forces her mother to move Cordelia and her brother to London. This finally gives Cordelia the chance to reconnect with her childhood friends James and Lucie Herondale. There have been demons attacks all over London and it’s up to the Shadowhunters to stop them.
A Cassie Clare book isn’t first? Are you shocked? As soon as I finished reading, I thought Chain of Gold was going to be my number 1 book of the year, but feelings change. I can’t wait for the rest of the series to come out so I can fly through all of the books. I loved every scene with Cordelia because she reminds me of Emma Carstairs, I mean they are related. Plus, getting to see more of Will and Tessa was a treat!
1. Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas
Misha and Ryen have been penpals since the fifth grade because each of their teachers misgendered the kids because of their names. It didn’t take long for them to figure out their teachers’ mistakes. So over the next seven years, Misha and Ryen embarked on a great friendship. They only had three rules: no social media, no phone numbers, and no pictures.
Things were great until Misha ruined it. He came across this girl online after seeing her at a party. He overhears that her name was Ryen. He has to meet her, but he just doesn’t expect to hate the Ryen he meets. Then, there is Ryen. She is really taken aback when she hasn’t heard from Misha in over three months. Without him, Ryen is losing her mind. Now, Ryen is worried that Misha, her lifeline, is gone. CW: Bullying, Parental Abandonment.
Are we surprised? I’ve mentioned numerous times that Penelope Douglas has become one of my favorite authors. The best part of Punk 57 is the character development because Misha and Ryen really grow up. Misha has been one of my favorite love interests I’ve ever read in the New Adult genre because I really like reading about the broody musician. I wrote a long review so you can go check that out if you want a more in-depth review.
Those are my favorite books of 2020! Did we read any of the same books? If so, which was your favorite? What were some of the books on your favorites list this year? Tell me in the comments below! Happy holidays and please stay safe.