♕ Top Reads of 2020: Part 1 | June 2020

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I’ve had to cut down on my blogging time this year so instead of writing a review for every book I read (good, ho-hum, or bad) I decided to just post a mid-year and end-of-year wrap-up of my top recommended reads! I’ve written mini-reviews for you here but you can always hop on over to Goodreads to read more of my thoughts there as well as my thoughts on other books I’ve read so far this year. But without further ado, here’s what I really enjoyed and stood out to me these first six months of 2020… (listed alphabetically) 

the ballad of songbirds and snakes

(The Hunger Games #0)

Suzanne Collins
YA Dystopia
Goodreads | Amazon | My Review
5 stars

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes takes the assumptions of an antagonist and turns them on its head exposing the painful, complex truth of humanity and to think it all began with a bomb and a song. Brilliantly woven with characters that blaze and moments that pierce, this book adds a new dimension to Coriolanus Snow, to the Hunger Games, to the violent mystery that is humanity. Brace yourself before diving in because once you do everything you thought you knew will shift and whether by fraction or league it is a shift that one cannot un-know. Collins has once again proven herself a master of her craft. Excuse me while I stand and applaud.”
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be not far from me

Mindy McGinnis
YA Survival
Goodreads | Amazon | My Review
4 Stars
“Because I knew, every time I left my house for the woods, that it could kill me. I just never believed it would try. ‘The world is not tame,’…”

“This book is dark AF, it’s rough and ragged, it’s wild, and it is so so good. I really love the title tie-in (you’ll know it when you get to it), and the character development that evolved despite there only being one character for most of the book. McGinnis has a true talent for storytelling and I applaud her once more. After you’ve read this book (because you simply must), a similar read I’d recommend is I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall. It’s another good survival story. I love hiking and spending time in the woods, it always feels so right, but I know full well I am not equipped to survive out there and books like these remind me why lol.”
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hunting fiends for the ill equipped

(The Guild Codex: Demonized #3)

Annette Marie
NA Urban Fantasy
Goodreads | Amazon | My Review
4 Stars“I really enjoy the Spellbound series, but I’m having even more fun reading the Demonized series! The cross-over moments are also still absolutely fabulous and I would be more than happy to read more. This isn’t going to be a particularly eloquent review, I also don’t want to accidentally let slip any spoilers, but just know that this is my favorite one yet. Admittedly the story gets darker with some seriously twisted villains (*shudders*), but the good stuff is a bright spot outshining all the cute moments from before. The characters and the quest to stop Claude evolves and I am dancing up and down ready for the next book!”
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My review for TAMING DEMONS FOR BEGINNERS (book 1)

if im being honest

Emily Wibberley &
Austin Siegemund-Broka
YA Contemporary
Goodreads | Amazon | My Review
4 Stars“Okay I really enjoyed this one. To begin, it follows the classic trope of when whatever book (or in this case, play) the main character is reading for their English class “happens” to coincide with their own life, which for Cameron Bright was Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. The authors draw their inspiration from Shakespeare’s work brilliantly, taking just what they need and using it to ignite the present day quest that Cameron embarks on her senior year. The humor was snarky and excellently executed (not clunky or forced like so many teen tales), the characters actually developed and had great depth that felt realistic rather than over-dramatized, and the plot had me unexpectedly invested from start to finish. Cameron Bright was a b*tch, she was a shrew with a mission and damn if I wasn’t strapped in and ready for the ride. I was not disappointed. Lots of ups and downs and while I’ve quickly outgrown most YA high school stories, I honestly enjoyed this one. I hope it turns into a movie so I can revisit the adventure anew.”
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the lost and the scarred

(Kingston City Limits #1)
T. Marie Alexander
YA/NA Contemporary Romance
Goodreads | Amazon | My Review
4 Stars“This book took no time for me to feel like I’ve been hit by a truck of emotions. I don’t know how she does it, I really don’t, but every single time I’m instantly drawn into her stories and gasping for air until set free on the other side. Alexander just writes with a unique magic all her own and it doesn’t seem to matter what the story is about, I will be drawn in and held captive needing to see her characters’ story through. These characters are absolutely not perfect and honestly are at times kinda problematic, but there is just this depth and ferocity that will fight to the death for for love. This is no simple love story. It’s powerful, it’s challenging, it’s devouring, and it gripped me from start to finish.
To sum things up…I. NEED. BOOK. TWO.”
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Off Balance

(Aunare Chronicles #2)
Aileen Erin
NA Sci-Fi
Goodreads | Amazon | My Review
5 starsOff Balance is a sequel worthy of the title. It instantly sucks you back into the world, the characters, the story, and makes it nearly impossible to put down once begun though with each twist you’ll be thrown further off balance from what you think you know. Action adventure, space drama, political schemes, and just the right hit of romance has this series turning into an absolute must-read. Whether you think you’re a fan of sci-fi or not I’d urge you to give this series a try because you just might find yourself unable to part from Amihanna’s side as her life gets pulled into the unthinkable with war as the looming cost. (P.S. There’s romance in this one and boy is it swoon-worthy)”
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My review for OFF PLANET (book 1)

P.S. Look!!!! They chose to pull a quote from my Goodreads/NetGalley review to use for official promo and I am so honored!!! (And fangirling wildly haha)

off balance promo


Courtney Summers
YA Mystery
Goodreads | Amazon | My Review
4 Stars“Gosh this book…what can I really say? The subject matter is twisted and tough as Hell to read, but that aside it’s a really well written mystery novel. I was captivated from the start, I had to know what happened, I had to know if justice was ever served, I had…to know. Solid storytelling, and if you’re a fan of mysteries and true crime podcasts then I’d really recommend this one…but prepare yourself for an ugly story that will have you recoiling and gritting your teeth while at the same time gripping the book with white knuckles demanding to read until the end.”
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the silent patient

Alex Michaelides
Psychological Mystery
Goodreads | Amazon | My Review
5 stars“I was hooked from the very beginning and I hardly know what to do with myself now that I’m finished. SO GOOD. The psychology, the mystery, everything had me captivated as I turned page after page desperate to find answers. I refuse to spoil anything, but just know that this book was bloody brilliant. The plot is woven in the type of loops that I love, vaguely reminiscent of mind-benders such as signature Christopher Nolan films like Memento and The Prestige. I squeaked, I yelped, I gasped, and I nearly shouted as the plot began its unexpected twist and I read the final chapters in a mad downhill rush. Need I say it again? This book was SO GOOD OMG. (Also, random, but it had a bit of a Midsommer Murders vibe which I personally enjoyed).
…and there you have it. My simplistic, emotional, but honest and reactionary review of The Silent Patient. Now go read it!”
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Wings of Ruin_final_Digital-2

(Otherworld #3)

Talis Jones
YA/NA Fantasy/Villain Story
Goodreads | Amazon | My Review
4.5 stars“This book is the final installment in the dark and twisty fantasy series Otherworld but it’s also a prequel. I suppose you could explain it like with Star Wars and how the movies were released 456 123. Regardless I am here for it. Have I mentioned how much I enjoy villain origin stories?? Wings of Ruin bends time and space as a heroine bathes in blood and magic to build an empire of the dead. Choosing a path of shadows Cassandra proves to be a badass who lets nothing stand in her way. Even the most impossible odds yield to her unwavering thirst for power. I enjoyed the Otherworld series as a duology but receiving this final piece of the puzzle is like icing on the cake and my only complaint is that I want more haha. I’d definitely say read this book last (aka as listed) but that just means you get to dive into the thrilling world of Oneiroi and the Reaper with the tangled webs woven in book one, Crooked Raven.”
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written in red

(The Others #1)

Anne Bishop
NA Paranormal
Goodreads | Amazon | My Review
5 starsWritten in Red is the first book in a series filled with creatures we call werewolves, vampires, shape-shifters, and the terrifying unknown. With a leading lady who is an enigma even unto herself, several POVs, and a plot that unfolds like a mystery novel on a foggy night, this book will reel you in and hold you tight as you turn the last page. I couldn’t put it down! Chills danced along my skin, laughter warmed my heart, and curiosity held captive my gaze. I loved this book. I’m so excited to dive into the next one and I’m also sincerely hoping this obsession I am feeling isn’t a fluke. Even if it is I am glad I discovered this book because in this moment I am happy.”
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*Note: Full series review to come!

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《 May 2020 | Cinco de Mayo Reads!
Independence Day Reads! | July 2020 》
Top Reads of 2020: Part 2 | December 2020 》

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