My Top 10 Books Of 2020

I had to wait for the last minute to make this list because I’ve read SO MANY good books this year and they just keep coming! I wish I could include them all, but unfortunately, that’s not how these lists work! These are the top 10 books I read this year that I’d recommend adding to your TBR pile:

Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton

1) Hollow Kingdom

This one was a HUGE departure from what I normally read, but I loved it so much! It made me laugh, cry, and think.

In an Instant by Suzanne Redfearn

2) In An Instant

This is one of those books that breaks you, then puts you back together again. Keep tissues handy.

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

3) Heroine

Readers of Mindy McGinnis know that she doesn’t pull any punches. This book was raw and brutal and should be required reading for high schoolers.

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

4) The Sun Down Motel

This book had all the atmosphere! It also gave me ghost story fever and influenced what I read quite a bit in the months after I finished it.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

5) Anna Dressed In Blood

You wouldn’t expect a YA horror book to be so good, but this one really was. It was deep and poignant and much more than I ever expected.

The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson

6) The Hand On The Wall

This entire trilogy was just so perfect, from the dual mystery, modern day and historical, to the characters. It was an absolute pleasure to read! (And I hear there’s a fourth book in the works!)

#NoEscape (Volume 3) by Gretchen McNeil

7) #NoEscape

I’m a big Gretchen McNeil fan, and this one did not disappoint! Plenty of suspense, horror, and so, so smart!

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

8) With The Fire On High

This book didn’t have a lot of suspense, it had zero horror, but it had a lot of heart. It had me cheering for the main character because I cared about her future.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

9) Home Before Dark

For some reason I got the biggest kick out of this book. It was a good balance of humor and horror, fact and fiction, and I really had fun reading it.

I'm Not Dying with You Tonight by Kimberly   Jones

10) I’m Not Dying With You Tonight

This wasn’t the best written or the most emotional, but it kept me on the edge of my seat! Incredibly suspenseful because it was such a pertinent book for our times, 2020 in particular.

Have you read any of these? Where did they rank with what you read this year?

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

This is an ARC of a book PLL’s author Sara Shepard wrote with a 16 year-old influencer, and I have to say that, unfortunately, it shows. While the story is good and shows an interesting insider’s view of the influencer industry, it’s not quite as compelling as Shepard’s books usually are, and there’s something distinctly juvenile about the writing style. I’d say this one’s best for younger readers. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

Secret organizations, ancient families, and a school that teaches its students deadly skills? Yes, please. This was a fast paced, enthralling YA book that was so much fun that I had to start the sequel ASAP, even though book one has a nice conclusion if you don’t want to read on. Plenty of fun and useful info too!

I just started:

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

This was an interesting book. A teenage girl with schizophrenia deals with her illness while also trying to lead a somewhat normal life in high school, if there is such a thing. Her issues with determining what was real and what was part of her psychosis leant itself well to the plot. It was an interesting portrayal of mental illness and ultimately I really enjoyed it.

This is the book upon which Hitchcock based the legendary movie, only in the book, what takes place happens against the backdrop of France during WWII. I really had to push through this one. I only continued to get to the payoff I knew was coming, but I found even the ending a bit disappointed. This is one of the rare instances where I’d recommend watching the movie and skipping the book.

I just started:

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

Which is scarier? Clowns? or Cornfields? Why not both?!?! This one brings plenty of thrills to the table like a good teen slasher should. Easy reading and big on the entertainment factor without being poorly written. Spoiler alert: The clown did it!

I feel like this one was as much of a social commentary as a horror novel, maybe even more so. There are some good scenes if horror is what you’re after, but if that’s all you’re after, and you want the pacing and tension of a horror novel, you might find your attention straying in spots, especially in the beginning. Good but not spectacular.

I just started:

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

Wow! What a ride! Trapped at a ski resort by an avalanche with a murderer on the loose! While not entirely unpredictable, Ware builds the tension and suspense in such a way that you have to find out what happens next! This one will keep you up late reading!

This was a good book, a classic is there or isn’t there a haunting with plenty of other mayhem going on in the background to craft a suspenseful thriller, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Good, but not great. It felt a touch cliché and predictable, like the author was checking off boxes on a formula list, but they use those formulas for a reason . . . so, to each their own. I’ve talked with someone who can’t say enough good things about this book, so maybe I was just in a fussy mood when I read it?

I just started:

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5 Atmospheric Horror Books For 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!

Here are 5 books to add to your Spooktober reading list if you’re looking for a creepy, atmospheric escape!

The book that got me back into reading ghost stories! This one delivers all the chills, thrills!
I couldn’t put this one down! There’s a lot going on here, and it gets wrapped up in a neat, creepy package.
Creepy house? Check. Vulnerable female lead? Check. Something wicked afoot? Check.
Slow burning gothic horror that culminates in a chilling climax!
This one goes off on an odd tangent, and I wasn’t the biggest fan, but there’s no denying the eerie atmosphere in this one!

Check out more ghoulish reading recommendations:

Fun YA Horror Books

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Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

This was definitely an interesting mystery. I liked the way the author approached the story, splitting the narrative into different points of view that kept you guessing what was true while slowly revealing what had really happened. Although I had my suspicions, it kept me guessing until the end.

I didn’t like this one quite as much as Dumplin’. It took me a while to warm up to the characters. That said, once the story got underway, I was feeling it. It had that mix of feel good, wrong righting, everything will turn out all right warm fuzzies that makes some YA books so special. Add to your TBR for when you’re looking for something lighter.

I just started:

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Poll: What Book Format Do You Prefer?

Last poll I asked “How Do You Choose Which Book To Read Next”, and as usual, I’m in the minority and surprised by the results (below). I’m a sucker for ‘daily deal’ and ‘read next’ suggestions myself, but these options are geared more towards Kindle readers, which made me wonder . . .

There was a time I was a die hard paper book in hand kind of girl – the look, the feel, the smell – but times, they are a changing. There’s something about being able to bring hundreds of books with you, all in the palm of your hand. For this week’s poll, I’d like to know what book format you prefer:

 

The results of the last poll are as follows:

By word of mouth/publicity. 33.33%  
By reading back covers/blurbs. 33.33%  
By authors you’ve read before. 16.67%   
By genre. 16.67%   
By discounts/daily deals. 0%   
By cover. 0%   
By ‘read next’ suggestions. 0%  

Poll: How Do You Choose Which Book To Read Next?

For this week’s poll, I’d like to know how you choose which book to read next.

 

The last poll asked which book cover grabs your interest the most. I have a confession – all the options were books that I chose to read because the cover grabbed my attention. What’s interesting, though, is that all the votes from you readers were split between only two covers. I love seeing the results from these polls, and hope you enjoy them too!

The results of the last poll:

Which Book Cover Grabs Your Interest The Most?
One of Us Is Lying 50%  
Black-Eyed Susans 50%  
The Things You Find In Rockpools 0%  
The Kind Worth Killing 0%  
This Is Where It Ends 0%  
I’m Thinking Of Ending Things 0%  

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