This is going to be my last wrap-up post before I post some fun, end of the year tags and my 2021 anticipated reads!
Now, I’m typically a mood reader all the way, but in 2020 I decided to set a small TBR from books that have been on my shelf for way too long and I’ve been putting off for no good reason. I just finished my last book so I thought I’d share what I thought of my pics!
Click on the book’s title to go to the Goodreads page, and click the star rating to read my review!
January | We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson ★★★★★
“We may not get to choose how we die, but we can chose how we live.
The universe may forget us, but it doesn’t matter. Because we are the ants, and we’ll keep marching on.”
What a wonderfully sad, heartbreaking, powerful book that I absolutely adored. It’s a painful, brutal journey that is hard to read and definitely made me cry. But being along as Henry processed the world around him was so impactful, I almost can’t even put it into words.
February | The Book Thief by Markus Zusak ★★☆☆☆ DNF
“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”
This was probably the most disappointed one for me because I didn’t even finish it. I know this is such a well-loved, but maybe I picked it up at the wrong time because while I could recognize the beautiful writing, it did nothing for me. But I will probably give it another chance later.
March | Kids of Appetite by David Arnold ★★★★☆
“And when the kids needed someone most, someone to love and trust, they found one another, and they called themselves the Kids of Appetite, and they lived and they laughed and they saw that it was good.”
What a wonderful and heartwarming story that was so comforting and uplifting in some really weird and uncertain times. It’s a great found family story that was just nice to get lost in
April | The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee ★★★★☆
“If we are the magicians. love is the magic…”
This whimsical and fantastical story screams spring with all the talk of flowers, love, and growth. f you enjoy nature, gardening, or just want a floral escapism wonder, I think you’ll appreciate the uniqueness and beauty of The Secret of a Heart Note.
May | Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz ★★★★★
As Dante was watching me search the sky through the lines of a telescope, he whispered, “Someday, I’m going to discover all the secrets of the universe.”
That made me smile. “What are you going to do with all those secrets, Dante?”
“I’ll know what to do with them,” he said. “Maybe change the world.”
I believed him.
What a beautiful, sad, and heartfelt story about friends, family, love, grief, growth, fear, and self. This surpassed all my expectations and I couldn’t be happier.
June | The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson ★★★★☆
“Gather close, my brothers and sisters. Listen well, for there is one true history and one true future. Once upon a time, long long ago, seven stars were flung from the sky. One to shake the mountains, one to churn the seas, one to choke the air, and four to test the hearts of men.”
The writing and worldbuilding remained stellar and I loved being in Venda and seeing how different the people and politics are run. With high stakes and non-stop action, this was a great sequel.
People need stories, child. They bring us hope, and that hope is real. If that’s the case, what does it matter whether people in them actually lived?
Skyward is an action packed, full-throttle exploration of family expectations and determination and I had a really good time reading it. I can’t say that the characters blew me away or that the plot was just overwhelmingly captivating, but the writing was so effective, I couldn’t put the book down.
Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.
This is a fantastic story about moral complexities, superpowers, and who is a villain and what being a villain means.
September | The Wife Between Us by Gree Herndricks & Sarah Pekkanen ★★★★☆
I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.’ Well, I’ve never feared bad weather, either.
This was a fun and surprising story with some clever twists and narrative devices that kept me on my toes.
October | Night World by L.J. Smith ★★☆☆☆
You know, you’ve never really cared about anyone,” he said. “But someday you will, and it’s going to hurt. It’s going to hurt a lot.
Now this story wasn’t anything spectacular – the plot is rushed, the characterization is one dimensional, and the relationships are under-developed, but I just had a fun time read it. And I knew what I was getting befire I picked this up, so I wasn’t disappointed at all.
November | The Wrath & the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh ★★★☆☆
My soul sees its equal in you.
I loved Shahrzad and her conviction. She’s also determined and resourceful which all made for a great character and development. The chemistry was magnetic, if a tad rushed, but Renee’s writing is wonderfully lyrical.
December | The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough ★★★★★
Life is a temporary condition, Henry. And it’s uncertain. That’s why you have to seize chances when you find them. Pursue what you want. Take risks. Live, love…all of it. Every last one of us is going to die, but if we don’t live as we truly want, if we’re not with the one we want to be with, we’re dead already.
I just finished this last night (but I started it in Decemeber, so it counts), and it left me a crying wreck. What a powerful story of hope, desperation, and longing. The premise it so freaking cool and I just loved everything about this book.
Have you read any of these books? Did you meet your 2020 reading goals? What books are you planning on picking up in 2021? Share below!