2020 was a hard year in general, but it was a great reading year for me. I had a hard time narrowing down this list, but I finally did it. Let’s jump into my favorite books of 2020.
Where the Crawdads Sing
For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.
I loved, loved, loved Where the Crawdads Sing. It was such a beautiful read about the determination of a young girl.
My Dark Vanessa
2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.
2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager–and who professed to worship only her–may be far different from what she has always believed?
I knew My Dark Vanessa was going to be on this list. When I wrote my review I said it would probably be my favorite of the year. It’s still one of the best books I’ve read all year.
Wes Roberts has worked hard creating and maintaining a delicate balance between being a father and satisfying his wanderlust. When he’s not working at an auto repair shop you can usually find him climbing mountains all around the world with his climbing partner Cal, going backpacking with his son Jax, taking weekend bike or kayak trips, or just hanging out at the neighborhood watering hole with his best friends Wilson and Penny.
But somewhere inside, he knows he needs more– more adventure, more freedom, more mountains.
This book spoke to my soul. I adored it. Please, if you’re a nature lover, check this one out! If you’re not a nature lover, I think Naptown Blues will make you a nature lover. It’s so, so good!
House of Earth and Blood
Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life-working hard all day and partying all night-until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.
Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose-to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.
As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion-one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.
Obviously The House of Earth and Blood is on the list. I love Sarah J Maas. She hasn’t disappointed me yet. And I think this series has the potential to be my favorite of all her books.
In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.
Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.
Now, a sixteen year old Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic — the Red Church. Treachery and trials await her with the Church’s halls, and to fail is to die. But if she survives to initiation, Mia will be inducted among the chosen of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the only thing she desires.
I’m shocked that Nevernight is on the list. When I first started it, I hated it. I couldn’t get past the dang footnotes. So I put it down. Then, months later, I picked it back up. I devoured it. And, yes, I learned to love the footnotes.
So those are my favorite books of 2020. I’ve read a lot of great books, but these are the best of the best. Tell me your favorite books of 2020 in the comments. What did you love this year?