Wow, it has been a minute since I was able to post something on here! 2020 was just an absolutely insane year for all of us and I am feeling pretty hopeful for 2021. As bad as it was, there were a couple of silver linings last year. One of the biggest ones for me was more time to read and all of the wonderful books I got to enjoy. While I read so so many great books, these were my absolute favorite!
10.) Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
This book has so many mixed reviews and I think it is because a lot of people went into the story thinking it would be a thriller which quite frankly – it is not that at all. This book is a textbook example of gothic horror. It is atmospheric, unique, and dripping with tension. It really filled my grown-up goth kid heart with joy. If you enjoyed reading Frankenstein, Dracula, or really any classic horror I can promise you will love this! Also, this setting really stands apart from any of the other books that are in its same genre, and the cultural significance of alot of the references really help root this story into the unique world it is set in.
9.) Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander
Some of you may remember my interview with this lovely author as part of my Book & A Bite Series and besides our digital friendship I am truly grateful to Ellie for creating this series. I think it is what made me fall in love with the cozy mystery genre and it filled the Gilmore Girls shaped hole in my heart. While there is murder in the book, the overall feel of the series is incredibly wholesome and you can’t help but fall in love with the smalltown setting and unique cast of characters. If you want warm fuzzy feels, good recipes, and loved Gilmore Girls – this is the series for you! Trust me!
8.) There There by Tommy Orange
It is really hard to summarize my respect, admiration, and total awe for this author. For this being his debut book, I was just completely blown away. The passion that drips from these pages is so raw that it is disarming. It completely opened up so much perspective as to what it means to live as a Native in America and it truly cuts so deep. It explores themes of addiction, family, identity, loss, hope, and power. Each of the characters has such a unique voice that I felt like I was lucky enough to hear each of them tell their own story to me. This book also pushed me to explore more literature by Native authors and listen to the stories they have put out in the world. Everyone should read this book, everyone.
7.) Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman
I can’t even begin to tell you all how much Alice Hoffman means to me as a writer and the mark that Practical Magic left on my heart. So when I found out she was releasing Magic Lessons I literally screamed with joy. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. My god does this book remind us all of how powerful women can really be. We are resilient, determined, and pure magic. While this is a part of the Practical Magic series – it honestly totally stands on it’s own. If you liked Practical Magic, History of Witches, or really any book with strong magical women…pick this up and brew yourself a cup of courage tea!
6.) The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab
So if you haven’t read this one by now you are probably wondering to yourself “Is it worth the hype?” and I am here to tell you YES, YES, 1000% YES! I went into this book with high expectations and every single one of them were not only met but exceeded. My heart was torn into pieces and then rebuilt from chapter to chapter. I should be mad at this book for making me so emotional but I really can’t. The writing, characters, setting, etc. are just all perfection. I also love how it is both historical fiction and contemporary at the same time. This book truly makes you think about how we experience life and the world around us, I can’t recommend it enough!
5.) Namesake by Adrienne Young
I was blessed with an ARC of this tale (shoutout to Wednesday Books!) but I also pre-ordered a copy of this book because I love this series so so much. While it was bittersweet watching this duology come to an end, it was extremely satisfying. Adrienne Young paints such a vivid picture of the rich world Fable lives in but also makes the characters so incredibly believable that you feel for them, laugh with them, cry with them. If you look at my list of sHeros, Adrienne Young is on there for creating stories led by strong women in worlds so rich it is hard to snap back into reality.
4.) Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Talk about believable characters and stories. I feel like Reid is the reigning queen of making a story seem so real you find it hard to believe it is fiction. This was the first book I read by this author and it sparked a total obsession for me. I was completely sucked into the drama, heartbreak, joy, etc. that I audibly gasped several times. I will say that I have ready both the audiobook and hard copy of this book – I can’t recommend the audiobook enough. It is told by a cast of amazing actors and snippets of their music play, it totally adds to the immersive experience that is this story.
3.) Fable by Adrienne Young
How could I put Namesake on this list and not talk about my absolute love for Fable? While I found Namesake to be amazing, Fable was out of this world. I was also gifted an ARC and I also preordered it the second I put the ARC down. I completely devoured this story. The world is unlike any other world I have experienced. It’s like everything I loved from Pirates of the Caribbean elevated to a whole other level filled with emotion and pure magic. I have never rooted harder for a character than I have for Fable. I could just keep going on and on about how much I love this book but then I would be taking up more of your time when you could be READING THIS BOOK…LIKE…NOW!!
2.) The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
After devouring Daisy Jones, I had a thirst for more books by Reid and WOW did this one quench my thirst. As a matter of fact, this gave me one of the biggest book hangovers I have ever experienced in my life. If we are being honest, this book took a little part of me when I finished it. I can’t tell you how many times I cried during this story. There are so many lessons we could all take from this story and it is one that will stick with you for a while, I haven’t even been able to post my review of this yet because it is pretty impossible to sum up how much I really really love this story.
1.) The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
This book destroyed me. It tore my heart of my chest and served it up on a silver platter. This may be my favorite book of the year but it also is in my top 3 of all time. When I finished this story I cried for almost an hour and had to remind myself to breathe. It was hard to move on from such an epic story. It is hands down the most beautiful story I have ever read in my entire life and yet it is also the most brutal, heartbreaking, unforgiving story I have ever read in my entire life. I don’t know what else to say other than this book is the love of my life and if you don’t love it too then I’m sorry but we can’t be friends (jk but really…)