Best Books of 2020

Better late than never, right? I was pushing this post off until I did up full reviews for most of the books I’m going to list. 2020 was a bad year for everyone and it did not help my reading or blogging at all so everything fell into a slump. But it’s a new year and hopefully everything will be better! I will include my full reviews if I have them available and I’ll link the title to its Goodreads page if you want more information! I’ve only included books I rated 4 stars or higher.

The Other People by C.J. Tudor

Full Review of “The Other People”

A fantastic book that blends together the supernatural with a twisty and fast paced thriller. I couldn’t put this one down! It’s about a man whose wife and young daughter were murdered but he’s convinced he saw someone take his daughter that night and believes she is still alive. It’s a very unique story with some pretty mind blowing twists.

Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children #5) by Seanan McGuire

Full Review of “Come Tumbling Down”

This whole series is amazing and I have yet to be disappointed with one. I really enjoyed this installment because it took characters from the previous books and had them all come together in one of the fantasy worlds. It was a ton of fun!

Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel

Full Review of “Darling Rose Gold”

This book is heavily based off of the Gypsy Rose and Dee Dee Blanchard case which involved Munchhausen by proxy and which is a huge part of this story as well. This is a very dark and very twisted book that deals with a lot of heavy subject matter which includes abuse, but it was so engaging and I couldn’t put it down. It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

The Return by Rachel Harrison

Full Review of “The Return”

I was not expecting this book at all, I was so surprised by how it turned out and I absolutely loved it. This is a horror book but it keeps it’s synopsis vague on purpose so as not to spoil anything. An old friend that’s been missing for over two years shows up out of the blue with no memory of what happened and everything doesn’t seem quite right with her. It’s definitely full of surprises and is very creepy, overall a fantastic read that kept me guessing.

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

Full Review of “The Sun Down Motel”

Another book I was really surprised with, I was not expecting this to be as engaging as it was. It’s about a young girl who visits the motel where her aunt went missing 35 years ago to try and find out what happened to her. It’s a very atmospheric novel and it has some hints of the paranormal to keep it eerie and overall it has some great twists.

The Unspoken Name (The Serpent Gates #1) by A.K. Larkwood

Full Review of “The Unspoken Name”

I can get pretty intimidated by lengthy high fantasy novels but with this one I felt he pacing was moderate enough that I actually went through it fairly quick. The world building is amazing and it’s a really unique blend of sci-fi and high fantasty and it also features a F/F romance.

Empress of Salt and Fortune (The Singing Hills Cycle #1) by Nghi Vo

Full Review of “Empress of Salt and Fortune”

This is a fantasy novella featuring a diverse LGTBQ+ cast of characters and centers around a young cleric listening to the tale of how an empress’s fall and rise to power through the eyes of the empress’s handmaiden. The writing is beautiful and the world building is very rich considering how short the book is!

All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth #1) by Adalyn Grace

I don’t have a full review of this one as of yet but I did enjoy the story overall. It’s a semi-dark YA fantasy about a young princess with a rare soul magic ability who is forced to prove herself as a ruler by helping a pirate reclaim his lost magic. That’s a pretty simplified synopsis but I was pleasantly surprised by how fast paced this book was and it actually had some pretty good twists as well!

Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey

Full Review of “Upright Women Wanted”

To some this one up it’s a dystopian novella featuring queer librarians on horseback. It’s very character driven and features a wonderfully diverse LGTBQ+ cast and romance. I did only rate this 3.5 stars overall because the overall story was a little lacking in my opinion but I’m still putting it on this list because it’s close enough to 4 stars and it deserves more attention.

The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel

Full Review of “The Familiar Dark”

A very dark, twisty, morally gray thriller about a mother searching for her daughter’s killer and traversing the seedy underbelly of her Midwestern small town for answers. When I say this book is dark I really mean it, it is full of some heavy subject matter but if you can get past that this is a great read for that reason specifically. It’s not afraid to show you the darker side of life and it does a great job.

The Shadows by Alex North

Full Review of “The Shadows”

A very creepy thriller with supernatural elements, it revolves around a man returning to his hometown where a gruesome murder took place years ago involving his friend group and the boy responsible vanished into thin air. This book is so eerie, the atmosphere is fantastic and there are some twists and turns but overall the creepiness and need to know what in the hell was going on kept me devouring pages.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Full Review of “Home Before Dark”

I really enjoy Sager’s books, especially since they combine horror elements with a twisty mystery thriller. This book involves a woman returning to the house her family fled in the middle of the night years ago and since then has gone down in infamy after her father wrote a book about it claiming the house is haunted. The atmosphere in this book is spooky and I loved the setting with the big, old house.

Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh

I think we were all pumped for this book to finally be released last year, I ordered and read it immediately. It was well worth the wait! Tons of fun and hilarious, which I can always count on Allie Brosh for.

Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare

Full Review of “Clown in a Cornfield”

This was like reading a classic 80’s slasher movie, fun and campy. This is absolutely full of action and the pacing is very quick, I couldn’t put it down and I was surprised by how amazing it was! It involves a group of teens and a killer clown, I don’t think I need to say any more than that.

The Haunting of Gillespie House by Darcy Coates

Darcy Coates is a talented writer and very underrated, I really enjoy her books and this one was no exception. A woman is house sitting an old manor that’s hiding more than a few dark secrets and you can probably imagine how the rest goes. It’s eerie, creepy, and the writing (as always) is great and engaging.

He Started It by Samantha Downing

Full Review of “He Started It”

I was blown away with how addictive this book was, I couldn’t put it down! The story is about a group of siblings recreating their childhood road trip in order to inherit their grandfather’s fortune. The pacing is very fast, the characters are all gray and unreliable, and there are TONS of twists. I had a lot of fun reading this and I’m very excited to read more of Downing’s books!

Dear Laura by Gemma Amor

Full Review of “Dear Laura”

A very underrated horror novella, it’s absolute perfection. If you’re looking for an extremely well written, terrifying, and engaging story look no further than “Dear Laura”. It’s about a young girl who starts receiving mysterious (and creepy) letters every year on her birthday from someone who claims to know what happened to her missing friend and asks for personal items in exchange for information. It has some heavy subject matter but if you can handle it, it’s well worth the read and I really enjoyed it.

Out Behind the Barn by John Boden and Chad Lutzke

This is another horror novella that is actually surprisingly touching and emotional. I’m not really sure how to describe it but it’s about two young boys and their caretaker who goes about finding replacements in….strange ways. It’s vague on purpose, half the fun of the story is how what’s really going on is alluded to and you figure it out as you go. It’s a fantastic, quick read and really pulled at the heart strings.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?
What were some of your favorite 2020 reads? Any recommendations?
Let me know in the comments!

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