I think it’s safe to say that we’re all ready to completely throw out 2020 and write it off, pretending it never happened. And honestly, the same can be said for some of the 2020 books I’ve read.
I don’t know if it’s a personal thing or just the overall vibe of the year but I haven’t really been reading “good” books in 2020. I’d been excited for books, sure, but every one of those books that I thought were going to be great ended up being merely fine, underwhelming, or severely disappointing. And I can probably count on one hand how many new 2020 releases I’ve actually enjoyed; that’s how bad it’s been for me. I don’t know what’s wrong but I really am trying to hold out a little bit of hope for the Fall releases. It’s a bit of common knowledge in the publishing industry that the “best” books are typically saved for the Fall Season and that’s what I’m banking on. And given my incredibly low expectations, anything can happen.
Some of the books on this list will be part of ongoing or concluding series so there may be some spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned.
The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi – September 22nd
I’ve been waiting for this sequel since January 2019 and it’s about damn time I get it. A lot of people try to compare this to Six of Crows and while it has similarities, it is very much its own story and one I highly recommend. Part historical fiction, part heist, this story is wonderfully written with an amazing cast of characters that makes it impossible to put down. If this doesn’t live up to my own personal hype I’m going to be severely disappointed.
Returning to the dark and glamorous 19th century world of her New York Times instant bestseller, The Gilded Wolves, Roshani Chokshi dazzles us with another riveting tale as full of mystery and danger as ever in The Silvered Serpents.
They are each other’s fiercest love, greatest danger, and only hope.
Séverin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost — one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumored to grant its possessor the power of God.
Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into the icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.
As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.
A tale of love and betrayal as the crew risks their lives for one last job.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab – October 6th
V.E. Schwab has been talking about this book for years now, making me feel like it could be a true game changer. It sounds like such an interesting story and has such an air of mystery to its synopsis that you can’t help but be intrigued. I’ve been a Schwab fan for a while and I pray this doesn’t let me down.
A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.
France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.
But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.
Crazy Stupid Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams – october 27th
The Bromance Book Club series has been a recent favourite of mine in the romance genre and has really changed the way we should be looking at the idea of love and romance as a whole. It’s fun as well as having great social commentary, making it a highly addictive read. I don’t doubt that this will let me down, since the others have been so great, so this should be an easy save for the year.
A hacktivist and a cat café owner decode the friend zone in this romantic comedy from the author of Undercover Bromance.
Alexis Carlisle and her cat café, ToeBeans, have shot to fame after she came forward as a victim of a celebrity chef’s sexual harassment. When a new customer approaches to confide in her, the last thing Alexis expects is for the woman to claim they’re sisters. Unsure what to do, Alexis turns to the only man she trusts—her best friend, Noah Logan.
Computer genius Noah left his rebellious teenage hacker past behind to become a computer security expert. Now he only uses his old skills for the right cause. But Noah’s got a secret: He’s madly in love with Alexis. When she asks for his help, he wonders if the timing will ever be right to confess his crush.
Noah’s pals in The Bromance Book Club are more than willing to share their beloved “manuals” to help him go from bud to boyfriend. But he must decide if telling the truth is worth risking the best friendship he’s ever had.
Lightbringer by Claire Legrand – October 13th
I’ve constantly said how Claire Legrand is an incredibly talented, underrated author and this series proves it. A bit rough in the beginning with the first book, but the second book really established what a great storyteller she can be. I’ve been craving this final book since I finished the second one last summer and though my anxiety is high, I do have hope for an epic conclusion.
The incredible conclusion to the trilogy that started with the instant New York Times bestsellers Furyborn and Kingsbane!
In this epic finale to the Empirium Trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claire Legrand, two queens, separated by a thousand years must face their ultimate destinies.
Queen Rielle, pushed away from everything she loves, turns to Corien and his promises of glory. Meanwhile, whispers from the empirium slowly drive her mad, urging her to open the Gate. Separated from Audric and Ludivine, she embraces the role of Blood Queen and her place by Corien’s side, determined to become the monster the world believes her to be.
In the future, Eliana arrives in the Empire’s capital as a broken shell of herself. Betrayed and abandoned, she fights to keep her power at bay—and away from Corien, who will stop at nothing to travel back in time to Rielle, even if that means destroying her daughter.
But when the mysterious Prophet reveals themselves at last, everything changes, giving Rielle and Eliana a second chance for salvation—or the destruction their world has been dreading.
Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer – November 3rd
If anyone’s book can save a year, it’s Marissa Meyer. This will be her first attempt at a contemporary romance and I couldn’t be more excited. Her fairytale retellings are great, her take on the superhero genre criminally underrated, so we should be in good hands with her. I hope.
In this young adult contemporary romance, a girl is suddenly gifted with the ability to cast instant karma on those around her—both good and bad.
Chronic overachiever Prudence Daniels is always quick to cast judgment on the lazy, rude, and arrogant residents of her coastal town. Her dreams of karmic justice are fulfilled when, after a night out with her friends, she wakes up with the sudden ability to cast instant karma on those around her. Pru giddily makes use of the power, punishing everyone from public vandals to karaoke hecklers, but there is one person on whom her powers consistently backfire: Quint Erickson, her slacker of a lab partner and all-around mortal enemy. Soon, Pru begins to uncover truths about Quint, her peers, and even herself that reveal how thin the line is between virtue and vanity, generosity and greed . . . love and hate.
A Sky BEyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir – December 1st
So here’s the thing: the third book in this series kinda disappointed me because it was very filler-y and I don’t vibe with filler books. Unless they’re written well, which this one wasn’t quite. But there’s such a special place in my heart for this series that I could never give it up. Tahir is very good at breaking your heart and I expect her to do exactly that with this finale, so we’ll see. Still not a big fan of that cover but I digress.
Prepare for the jaw-dropping finale of Sabaa Tahir’s beloved New York Times bestselling An Ember in the Ashes fantasy series, and discover: Who will survive the storm?
Picking up just a few months after A Reaper at the Gates left off…
The long-imprisoned jinn are on the attack, wreaking bloody havoc in villages and cities alike. But for the Nightbringer, vengeance on his human foes is just the beginning.
At his side, Commandant Keris Veturia declares herself Empress, and calls for the heads of any and all who defy her rule. At the top of the list? The Blood Shrike and her remaining family.
Laia of Serra, now allied with the Blood Shrike, struggles to recover from the loss of the two people most important to her. Determined to stop the approaching apocalypse, she throws herself into the destruction of the Nightbringer. In the process, she awakens an ancient power that could lead her to victory–or to an unimaginable doom.
And deep in the Waiting Place, the Soul Catcher seeks only to forget the life–and love–he left behind. Yet doing so means ignoring the trail of murder left by the Nightbringer and his jinn. To uphold his oath and protect the human world from the supernatural, the Soul Catcher must look beyond the borders of his own land. He must take on a mission that could save–or destroy–all that he knows.
The Serpent’s Curse by Lisa Maxwell – December 8th
This is the money maker right here for me. It’s hard to believe I’d only started reading The Last Magician series this year but it’s literally all I care about. It’s such a creative story with such a great balance between fantasy and history and to top it all off, it’s written in such a wonderful third person narrative that I have very little to complain about. This book looks to be a bit of a big boy, rounding off at about 900 pages, so who even knows what’s gonna happen. Regardless, I’m excited.
Evade the serpent.
Heed the curse.
Rewrite the present.
Esta isn’t a stranger to high-stakes heists. She’s a seasoned thief who has no reservations about using her affinity for time to give her an edge, and she’s trained her whole life for one mission: travel back to 1902 New York, steal the ancient Book of Mysteries, and use its power to destroy the Brink and free the Mageus from the Order’s control.
But the Book held a danger that no one anticipated—Seshat, an angry goddess was trapped within its pages. Now that terrible power lives within Harte, and if given the chance, Seshat will use Esta to destroy the world and take her revenge.
Only Esta and Harte stand in her way.
Yet in their search to recover the elemental stones needed to bind Seshat’s power, Esta and Harte have found themselves stranded in time with a continent between them. As Esta fights to get back to Harte, the Order is no longer the only obstacle standing in her way.
Saving Harte—and magic itself—will put even Esta’s skills to the test. And all the while, another danger grows, one more terrible than both Seshat and the Order combined…
Honourable Mention: The Brightest Night by Jennifer L. Armentrout – October 20th
Why yes, I do hate this cover, thank you for asking. This is an honourable mention because while I do have excitement for this book, I don’t think it’s going to “save 2020” per se. The previous book was lukewarm-fine, but it didn’t blow me away. And though I’ve been a huge fan of JLA for a few years, she’s really been bugging me this year all because of the terrible From Blood and Ash book she put out. I don’t know; ever since that release I’ve been doing a lot of rethinking regarding her as an author and it’s not looking good, Scoob. I’ll still read The Brightest Night but my expectations are low.
The thrills, drama, and intrigue continue in the third installment of the Origin series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout.
He is the darkest star.
You are the burning shadow.
And together, you will bring about the brightest night.
Less than a year ago, Evelyn Dasher was a normal girl, living an unremarkable life.
Now, she’s on the run, under the protection of the beautiful, deadly inhuman Luc. She’s been betrayed by those who were closest to her. And she’s learned truths about herself that she never saw coming–things she once knew, and was made to forget. Truths with devastating consequences. She’s caught in the eye of the storm.
She is the eye of the storm.