My Top 20 Books Of 2020

I feel like 2020 has been a really good year reading-wise. My favorites include a healthy dose of mystery, contemporary, thriller and horror in both YA and adult.

So far, my top 20 books of the year are, in no particular order:

Have you read any of these? Are any on your TBR list?

Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

Secrets, lies, and betrayal? Yes, please! Honestly, I wasn’t feeling this one at first. It took me a while to warm up to the characters, and even the plot – an estranged family full of secrets – didn’t seem like it was going to deliver the payout I’ve come to expect from McManus. Then the twists started rolling in like waves during a storm, relentlessly crashing against me – and forcing me to change my mind. Not my favorite by the author, but way more than I initially expected. She’s sure to blindside you at least once with this well thought out mystery.

The YA Silence Of The Lambs

I think the cover and the title of this one don’t do it justice. I was expecting a somewhat hokey teen slasher. What I got was the YA The Silence Of The Lambs! Creepy, suspenseful, and atmospheric in an eerie Hannibal Lecter perfect villain that you can’t quite hate kind of way! I will say that while I love the use of an incomplete sentence for effect, this author does at times take it to extremes. But, I got much more than I bargained for with this one, so no complaints here. So good!

I just started:

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

Two girls alone in a cabin in the middle of the woods waiting for their mom to come home with their sick little sister – this one had me hooked from the start. It switches points of view from one of the girls to a childless woman who hopes to become a foster parent even though she suspects her husband is cheating on her. This one was so good up until the twists, which were a little disappointing. Still a well written and engaging story, just a touch unbelievable at times.

Anthologies are tough because you’re never going to like all the stories – or perhaps I should say almost never. While there were definitely certain stories in this collection that shone brighter than the others, I didn’t dislike any of them. They were all interesting and well written and clever! While the theme was YA horror shorts, these would easily be enjoyed by adult fans of the genre as well.

I just started:

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5 Books Like Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None’ To Add To Your Spooktober Reading List

Halloween’s my favorite holiday, but this year it looks like it’s going to be a little . . . different. But that doesn’t mean it has to be disappointing!

And if there’s one author who never disappointed, it’s the Queen of Mystery herself, Agatha Christie! And my personal favorite? You guessed it!

Here are 5 books to add to your Spooktober reading list if you’re looking for something like Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None!

If you’re looking for more spooky books to add to your reading list, check out:

5 Gory Books For Your Spooktober Reading List

5 Atmospheric Books For Your Spooktober Reading List

5 Fun YA Books For Your Spooktober Reading List

Click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads and unite our bookish communities!

Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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This wasn’t at all what I was expecting, but I liked it anyways! Never one to pass up a coming of age story set in the 80s, this hauntingly deep and insightful novel gave me the feels. Well written and touching with a nice little twist, this one is short enough to bump to the top of your TBR list!

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This one got off to a sluggish start, and I was worried at first, but before long this slow burner was barreling full speed ahead towards all the creepiness and horror this girl could want! Well written and eerily atmospheric, this book is not for those who want just a hint of the macabre – it delivers the whole enchilada!

I just started:

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Click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads and unite our bookish communities!

ARC Review: Five Total Strangers By Natalie D. Richards

sFrom Goodreads: A hitched ride home in a snow storm turns sinister when one of the passengers is plotting for the ride to end in disaster.

When Mira flies home to spend Christmas with her mother in Pittsburgh, a record-breaking blizzard results in a cancelled layover. Desperate to get to her grief-ridden mother in the wake of a family death, Mira hitches a ride with a group of friendly college kids who were on her initial flight.

As the drive progresses and weather conditions become more treacherous, Mira realizes that the four other passengers she’s stuck in the car with don’t actually know one another.

Soon, they’re not just dealing with heavy snowfall and ice-slick roads, but the fact that somebody will stop at nothing to ensure their trip ends in a deadly disaster.

My Review: I read One Was Lost by this author last year and really liked it, so I was excited to get my hands on this one!

This book drew me in and kept my attention. Fast paced and suspenseful, every time I thought I knew what direction this twisty thriller was going to go it shifted gears and surprised me! Craftily plotted and with plenty of red herrings, the author keeps you guessing until the end. So get in the car and prepare yourself for a ride full of nail biting tension!

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Expected release: October 6, 2020

Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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I picked this one up, then almost set it down after a few pages. I didn’t like the writing and could tell right away that at least one of the characters was going to rub me the wrong way, but I had just seen the title on a list with many books that I had enjoyed, so I kept reading. It never shocked me like the cover blurb promises, but it ended up being decent with a nice twist. 

Mexican Gothic
This was a #BlameItOnLitsy read because this book is getting so much hype right now. While it was definitely creepy with well developed characters, an eerie setting, and plenty of atmosphere, I found that at times the descriptive writing broke up the suspense with all its details. Good, but not as good as I was hoping.

I just started:

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Click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads and unite our bookish communities!

ARC Review: Even If We Break By Marieke Nijkamp

51210722From Goodreads:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marieke Nijkamp comes a shocking new thriller about a group of friends tied together by a game and the deadly weekend that tears them apart.

FIVE friends go to a cabin.
FOUR of them are hiding secrets.
THREE years of history bind them.
TWO are doomed from the start.
ONE person wants to end this.
NO ONE IS SAFE.

Are you ready to play?

My Review:

Heading in, I didn’t know what to expect. I thought the cover looked cool, and I read This Is How It Ends by this author several years ago and recalled really liking it, so I was excited to give this one a chance. 

What I got was a fast-paced, interesting YA mystery thriller.

Diverse characters and a suspenseful plot kept me turning the pages, but it was the mystery that kept me hooked. I enjoyed the way the characters’ RPG roles intertwined and influenced their realities, but found the game itself a bit distracting (although I’m sure there are people who will love it).

The mysterious ghost story about the cabin was a nice touch – I would have liked to see a little more of this element, if only to keep the reader guessing, as the ending was a little predictable – not enough was done to make everyone a viable suspect. But all in all I enjoyed this story and look forward to her next book!

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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This one held my attention, but to be honest, I liked the idea of the plot better than Swanson’s execution of it. The story was fast-paced and enthralling, but parts fell a little flat for me. I didn’t care for any of the characters and was looking for a twist that would knock my socks off, which didn’t happen, and I found the ending underwhelming. Still, I would recommend it, but with the warning that there are spoilers for more books than just those with the 8 ‘perfect murders’.

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       Expected release: August 4, 2020         To read my ARC review, click here.

I just started:

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Click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads and unite our bookish communities!

 

ARC Review: The First To Lie by Hank Phillippi Ryan

52383175From Goodreads: 

Bestselling and award-winning author and investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan delivers another twisty, thrilling cat and mouse novel of suspense that will have you guessing, and second-guessing, and then gasping with surprise.

We all have our reasons for being who we are—but what if being someone else could get you what you want?

After a devastating betrayal, a young woman sets off on an obsessive path to justice, no matter what dark family secrets are revealed. What she doesn’t know—she isn’t the only one plotting her revenge.

An affluent daughter of privilege. A glamorous manipulative wannabe. A determined reporter, in too deep. A grieving widow who must choose her new reality. Who will be the first to lie? And when the stakes are life and death, do a few lies really matter?

My Review:

Wow!!! Hank has done it again! This suspenseful tale is full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the end! Craftily plotted, oozing with suspense, and with just a touch of sinister intentions, this book will have you asking yourself – “Who isn’t lying?”

Great subject matter with a plausible storyline that kept me engaged and enthralled.

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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