Bookish Item | 2020 Favorite Reads: 2020 Releases Edition

Today we’re back with our next list of favorite 2020 reads. This time we’re talking about more recent releases. We’ve already talked about our favorite graphic novels/manga, romances and backlist books. Today is our favorite reads: 2020 releases edition. Keep on reading to see what books we loved!


Last year I read a total of 166 2020 releases. That’s quite a bit! I’ve already talked about a few of these when I told you what my favorite romances were. Out of these book 42 of them were 5 star reads and 61 4 or 4.5 star reads. It’s not easy to only pick a few, but not in any particular order, here are 15 of my favorites.

The House in the Cerulean Sea – TJ Klune

This book is so magical and it’s one I think everybody needs to read. The House in the Cerulean Sea is a book that warmed my heart, made me laugh and also made me cry. All of the characters have earned a special place in my heart and it’s once again clear that family isn’t always blood. I have a feeling TJ Klune has become an auto-buy author for me from now on.

The Black Flamingo – Dean Atta

I have to say The Black Flamingo is the first book I read in verse and it makes me want to read more this way. Dean Atta has created such an amazing book. The main character is trying to figure out his identity and sexuality and this is a powerful and emotional read written in such an amazing way!

You Should See Me in a Crown – Leah Johnson

I’m always in for a good contemporary and You Should See Me in a Crown is one of them! I was smiling a lot while reading this book and got hit in all the feels quite a few times. The main character is amazing and this author knows how to write romance. Even though this story is way more than that.

The Inheritance Games – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

If you love books with a good mystery, family drama and puzzles The Inheritance Games is for you! This is an amazing way to start the series. Our main character inherits money from someone she doesn’t know, but there are definitely a few catches in the whole situation. Add a family with some drama and you get an interesting plot. I need the sequel now!

Camp – Lev A.C. Rosen

Another amazing contemporary. Camp is set in a queer camp and every sexuality is celebrated. Everyone can be who they want to be and it’s accepted. No judgement and a summer to do what you love. Another book that hit me in all the feels and I really hope more people read it. We live in a world where people are still judged way too much and where stereotypes play such a big part. Our world needs less of this.

From Blood and Ash – Jennifer L. Armentrout

Jennifer L. Armentrout is an auto-buy author of mine and she surprised everybody with this book. No one knew she planned on publishing it. From Blood and Ash isn’t a small book, but I read it in no time. This author created another world and a set of characters I can’t get enough of.

The Night Swim – Megan Goldin

I have to say this book was definitely out of my comfortzone, but it was good. I found the audiobook of The Night Swim on Scribd and I loved how the podcast was really incorporated in this story. It’s not an easy story to read at all, but this story kept me on the edge of my seat.

Shielded – KayLynn Flanders

Shielded is the first book published by KayLynn Flanders and I loved it! The book sucked me in right away I loved the characters, the world and I can’t wait to see how it all continues in the sequel.

Thorn – Intisar Khanani

Thorn is such an underrated book! I remember hearing about it when it released and a couple friends of mine loved it and I decided to give it a go. Ellie and I did a buddyread and we were pleasantly surprised. I’ll definitely be picking up the sequel this year.

The Wild Path – Sarah R. Baughman

There were so many amazing middle grade books released last year and I’m happy with the ones I picked up. The Wild Path definitely handles more serious subjects, but does this in a very age appropriate way. I enjoyed this story and look at the stunning cover.

Nobody Knows But You – Anica Mrose Rissi

Last year I really started getting more interested in mysteries and thrillers and Nobody Knows But You caught my eye. I listened to the audiobook and was hooked from the go. I never expected some of these twists and I love unreliable narrators. I need to look up more by this author.

Good Girls, Bad Blood – Holly Jackson

After loving A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder I was really excited about the sequel. Good Girl, Bad Blood is definitely darker than the first story and it isn’t always easy to read. Once again, I loved trying to solve the puzzle along with our main character and the notes and reports used to tell the story were interesting. I’m looking forward to the next book in this series.

Rage and Ruin – Jennifer L. Armentrout

Armentrout has been named a few times in my favorite 2020 lists, but she’s one of my favorite authors. Rage and Ruin is the second book in The Harbinger trilogy and it was once again a wild ride. The ending of this book was unexpected and left me wanting more.

Tweet Cute – Emma Lord

As a big contemporary fan Tweet Cute was on my radar way before it released. Enemies to lovers is one of my favorite tropes. Add some Twitter banter and yummy food and you have a fun ride!

Don’t Read the Comments – Eric Smith

I’m a big fan of books where characters chat online and Don’t Read the Comments definitely had the incorporated in this story well. Also, I may not be a gamer, but I do enjoy watching when my boyfriend is playing different things. A lot of important subjects are discussed as well and I’ll be keeping an eye out on this author.



I read 26 books released in 2020 and 16 of them were rated 4 stars or higher (excluding a couple of graphic novels which I featured in their own list). A pretty good start for my list haha, I only had to remove one book and then put them in order. Let’s see what I made of it.

15. Vampires Never Get Old – Zoraida Cordova & Natalie C. Parker
4 stars

I buddyread this anthology with Candyce and we had very mixed reviews. Some stories weren’t for me at all but other were amazing and I would love to see them turned into full length novels. It was very enjoyable to read an anthology and I want to read more this year. 

14. The Hand on the Wall – Maureen Johnson
4 stars

This was one of my first reads of 2020 and I had been highly anticipating it. It is the finale of the original trilogy and the Truly Devious series and I couldn’t wait to find out how it would all end. I’ll admit it was entirely what I was hoping for but it was still a very solid conclusion to a compelling mystery. And I will definitely pick up the next book.

13. In A Holidaze – Christina Lauren
4 stars

This Christmas romance novel has one of my favorite tropes, a character that relives a day (or week in this case) so I was super excited to pick this up. Even though this isn’t my usual type of read I still enjoyed it a lot. It was a quick and easy read and I loved all the family traditions.

12. The Wild Path – Sarah R. Baughman
4 stars

This was such a pleasant surprise! I was part of the blog tour and the mention of horses was for sure what sold me on reading this one haha. Turns out this was a really deep MG novel with some difficult topics. And yes, I also loved the horses part in it haha.

11. One Way or Another – Kara McDowell
4 stars

Dual timelines where two scenarios are lived out, can this be my life? I loved the mental health rep in this so much, it was possibly my favorite part of the story. Kara McDowell is pretty underrated but she is turning into one of my favorite YA contemporary authors. Can’t wait for her newest book.

10. Ghost Squad – Claribel A. Ortega
4 stars

Another MG read, and a spooky one! I loved the representation in this one, it featured some folklore I never read about. This is what’s so amazing about reading diverse books! It was refreshing reading a story I hadn’t read over and over again already. Very cute read!

9. You Had Me At Hola – Alexis Daria
4 stars

The title and cover where definitely what drew me in initially for this one. I’m not a big contemporary reader and to have a romance book make it into my top 10 says quite a lot ;). While I didn’t love every single part of the book I still read it quite quickly. I loved the family aspects and really enjoyed the telenovela parts.

8. I Hope You’re Listening – Tom Ryan
4 stars

This is another book I did a blog tour for. And I liked it a lot! It’s a YA mystery with a podcast aspect and you can definitely say that is a trope I love. If you have any recs I would love to hear them. This had a nice mystery and I liked how it was resolved in the end. Not the best mystery I read all year but it had tough competition haha.

7. Chasing Starlight- Teri Bailey Black
4 stars

Another YA mystery I did a blog tour for. And this one also has a historical setting. I love a good historical setting and I liked the atmosphere in this story. A solid mystery with a satisfying ending. I guessed what happened right before we saw it play out and I think that is the best feeling while reading a mystery novel.

6. Ruthless Gods – Emily A. Duncan
4,5 stars

The first book in this series made it to my favorites list last year and I have high hopes for the third book to make it to my 2021 list. I really like this series and while the second book wasn’t as good as the first one, it was still a great sequel. We got some really cool twists and the ending had me craving the last book right away!

5. My Calamity Jane – Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows
5 stars

Anything by the Lady Janies is amazing and I would’ve been more surprised if this one didn’t make it unto my favorites list haha. These authors work so well together and I love the twists they invent for well known historical stories. MCJ has great characters and I was rooting for all of them.

4. You Should See Me In A Crown – Leah Johnson
5 stars

I was just talking about having a romance novel in my top 10, having a YA contemporary in my top 5 might even say more ;). This was such an amazing read. I loved the black joy. It was cute but also meaningful. I will definitely look out for Leah Johnson’s next book!

3. Come Tumbling Down – Seanan McGuire
5 stars

This is one of my favorite series and in this book we return to the world of my favorite character, Jack. I thought this book was so well done with amazing representation. We once again get some great quotes and I just hope this series will continue for a long long long time.

2. Good Girl, Bad Blood – Holly Jackson
5 stars

I already mentioned the first book in the series in my list yesterday and today I had to mention the second book. Before I read the first book I already bought this one and I’m happy the first book didn’t disappoint haha. This one brought a very good mystery and I’m proud to say I guessed some parts early on haha. I love the descent from a ‘good girl’ and can’t wait for the next book in the series.

1.The Inheritance Games – Jennifer Lynn Barnes
5 stars

My clear number one for the year! I love Jennifer Lynn Barnes so so much and I’m so happy to see she is getting more hype. This book was so well done and ended on a cliffhanger I want resolved right this second haha. I love the characters and I’m not completely sure who my favorite brother is! There are multiple couples I ship and I hope we get to see everyone happy by the end of book two haha. I can rave about this book all day but I just want to urge everyone to pick this up. And afterwards you have to take a look at Jennifer’s backlist, it has some of my favorite books on it!

So those are our favorite 2020 releases. The year was filled with some amazing books and we’re sure we didn’t even read a fraction of all of the amazing ones. What were some of your favorite 2020 releases? We’d love to hear about the books you loved!

4 thoughts on “Bookish Item | 2020 Favorite Reads: 2020 Releases Edition

    1. We did a lot of amazing buddy reads this year! Talking about a book with a friend makes the experience even better <3

  1. I adore your lists Candyce and Isabelle. Without fail, I always add at least one book from your list to my TBR. Today I added 4.

    1. Thank you so much! We love hearing that, we aim to please and increase those TBR’s 😉

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