Let’s Talk About The 2020 Book Releases

Hey everyone!

I did this post for 2019 book releases last year and I really liked it so I thought I would do it again for the 2020 releases. Basically, I get to talk about all the new releases I’ve read over the past year. Obviously, I am VERY thankful to have had access to all these books and I can’t wait to share my thoughts so shall we begin?

All the 2020 Book Releases I’ve Read…

You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah JohnsonI only picked this one up as I had seen many of my friends love it and it was available on my Scribd account. This was definitely a ‘the-hype-made-me-do-it’ read, and it was worth it. It was a super binge-able book that I devoured.

It was very entertaining through the prom queen plotline, the fun antics and the truly lovable and engaging personalities. BUT the entertainment didn’t take away from serious and emotional discussions which really added a depth to the novel as a whole. It had the added bonus of having a super *cute* romance with one of my new favourite first kiss scenes. Basically, an excellent book that needs a movie adaptation.

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That Can Be Arranged: A Muslim Love Story by Huda Fahmy

That Can Be Arranged: A Muslim Love Story by Huda Fahmy

 

This was a short graphic novel story that delivered on every aspect really. It was funny, fast-paced, entertaining and even educational for me really I would say. I think everyone should read it honestly, it was one of those books.

 

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The House in The Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. KluneI think is my most unpopular opinion of the year as nearly everyone I know has rated it 5 stars but for me, it was a 3-star read. Now a 3-star read means it was good and I’m glad I read it (I would definitely go see the movie too) but I didn’t love it. I will say I didn’t get on with the narrator for the audiobook so that might have affected my experience. 

I think young children in books interacting with adults either works for me or doesn’t, and sadly this was a case of it didn’t. I just found them slightly, only slightly, annoying at times. I think I’m just allergic to happiness, but I didn’t mesh with the relationships in the book. Plus, I felt like it was a little too long but that may just be because I wasn’t as invested as I wanted to be with the characters. Overall, I still found it to be a happy, sweet read with some great and important themes. I just wish I was more connected to it as a whole.image of red single line divider.

Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes

I decided I wanted to check out more middle grade stories last year and I really favoured them on audio as they are usually shorter reads which I like on audio. So, as I was browsing my library, I came across this one. I think it was able to tackle a lot of themes alongside the anticipation of the fencing competition which gave it that entertainment side which would appeal to younger audiences whilst conveying an impactful message

I thought this book was really good at having those sentences where it describes a wider issue really well, so you kind of had bite-size impactful conversations throughout which is what I remember most from this book. I only wish I was more connected to the characters (I don’t know if this was because I listened on audio) but, otherwise, a solid read.

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Burn by Patrick Ness

Burn by Patrick NessI am a BIG fan of Ness’ works and yet I rate a fair few of his works 3 stars, which I did for this one. I think even if I don’t love the plot or characters, I’m always captivated to see what he is going to do and the language he uses as his writing is SO stunning.

I was really eager to see the concept of dragons in this 1957 setting. It did deliver on this and it was definitely a Ness book, it was odd and changes in way I couldn’t have anticipated so I was always interested. I just didn’t find myself invested in the characters, but I still liked the different perspectives we got and the ultimate message it gave. I think the best way I can describe it is a unique read I’m glad I read but I will only read it once.

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Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Clap When You Land is Acevedo’s second book in verse and honestly her writing is so stunning. I just love the language used, the way it is written, how it is set out on the page, the meaning behind everything. It is so addictive, and I would even say magical. I, also, really liked the topics this book covered from the sisters, to learning family secrets when it feels too late, grief, belonging, identity, money and more.

There was a lot of heart and love in this book as well as sadness which is highlighted more so when you know what events inspired this book. The only downfall for me was I felt like it took a little while to get going and I found the second half a lot stronger.

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The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen

The Magic Fish by Trung Le NguyenThis is the highest rated book out of the 100 I read last year so maybe that will convince that this book is worth picking up. It is a graphic novel that follows Tiến, who is struggling to communicate with his parents as they struggle with their English and he isn’t sure how to tell them he is gay in Vietnamese.

It really a powerful and tender graphic novel that touches on a lot in subtle ways which all connect to create these elaborate emotions that come straight off the page. I think the feelings and use of stories/fairy-tales to relay the emotions was really effective and clever. Plus, the use of the BEAUTIFUL art and colours adds even more to the story telling process. Overall, a really heart-warming, magical story that I definitely recommend.

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Loveless by Alice Oseman

Loveless by Alice OsemanI just realised I’ve yet to talk about this book on my blog so I’m glad I finally am. It is Alice Oseman’s story as Georgia begins attending university and she contemplates her sexuality and what it means to be asexual and aromantic. I think this book was very much a personal self-discovery book as it was certainly tentative to her different emotions and how she handled learning new things. I did appreciate the personal depth to this story, but I do think it made it a slower read at times, especially in the first half. 

I did absolutely love the friendships in this and the light that was shone on them. I think my favourite characters were easily Rooney, Jason and Sunil.

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Rent A Boyfriend by Gloria Chao

Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao

I really do love Chao’s contemporaries. I love the imperfect family parts, the soft romances, the humour and the writing. There is something very addictive about reading her books (which is good as this is quite long for a contemporary).

As you can tell from the title, this one involves fake dating and what I really loved about this story was the way it was centred around family as Chloe hires a boyfriend to stop her parents pushing another boy onto her. I think this situation brought together the antics of pretending you’re a couple with the high emotions of lack of communication and understanding between family members. I think it balanced the fun, sweet moments with hard, heart-breaking ones really well. I loved Chloe as a character, and I think it had an important message throughout the novel so I definitely recommend. image of red single line divider.

Rick by Alex Gino

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Once again, I was checking out more middle grade books and this was a really important and beautiful book. We follow Rick (unsurprisingly) in *I don’t understand the American school system* middle school (what age is that? 8? 12?) as he comes to terms with his sexuality. What I really like about this was how it was able to show the meaning of what support means for queer people. It was able to do that through the use of community, looking at harmful friendships and through his relationship with his grandpa which I think was a really special touch. 

The only thing was I felt like everything was a bit spelled out for me as it is directed for younger audiences so whilst it was a drawback for me, I think it is a massive plus for the book. I honestly wish every middle grade student could read this book.

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Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee

Forest of Souls by Lori M. LeeThis book sets up with our main character discovering she has magic, which people are discriminated for in her country, but it turns out she has the only type of magic which could help save them from the growing deadly forest. Now this kind of gives off a ‘typical’ YA fantasy set up, but I think it had a lot of standout qualities too.

I loved the atmospheric writing which gave the book such a creepy setting which was one of my favourite things about it. I, also, really liked the Spider King, just the way he was written was engaging. Many of the secondary characters felt strong too and in the later parts of the book it had themes of balancing war, hatred and political strategies so I think it ended really strongly and I can’t wait to see where it goes.  I would have liked to feel more connected to our main character and it is slightly predictable but it was still a great first book in a YA fantasy series.

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These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

These Violent Delights by Chloe GongI want to say this is a hyped release, but it sometimes can be hard to tell ‘is it hyped, or it is just the people I’m following?’. Anyway, what I mean to say is I’ve seen a lot of love for this book and I can understand why. I loved the development of the romance, the angst, the side characters, the writing and the setting. It was a very enticing and thrilling read that I’m proud to say I read in one day.

I wouldn’t say the mystery or monster element was perfect, but I still appreciated that aspect as it was still captivating and it did strengthen other parts of the book such as the romance, the divisions and the politics. I am very eager to get to the sequel though as I *need* it. 

 

I haven’t mentioned…

  • King and The Dragonflies
  • The Henna Wars
  • Black Girl Unlimited
  • Darius The Great Deserves Better
  • A Sky Beyond The Storm OR
  • Ink in The Blood 

as they can all be found on my 2020 favourites post (and this was long enough)

That’s a round up on all the 2020 releases I read last year. I still have many I would love to get to as there were a lot of great books that came out. Honestly too many to list but I know Cemetery Boys, Raybearer, A Neon Darkness and Girl, Serpent, Thorn are at the top of that list.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think to them?

What was your favourite release of 2020? Which ones are still on your TBR?


38 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About The 2020 Book Releases

  1. You should see me in a crown was amazing! I really wanna read These Violent Delights 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really liked seeing what 2020 releases you read, it’s always so interesting to look back on what new books we actually got around to reading 😊 I also enjoyed Loveless, Alice Oseman’s contemporary books always draw me in 🥰 I definitely want to read The Magic Fish, I’ve heard some great things about it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked seeing what new releases I checked out, it is always interesting to look back on, I agree!! 😊 I definitely have been lucky to read so many of these books. I’m glad you enjoyed Loveless too, Alice does write amazing contemporary. I love the style of writing and characters a lot !! Yay, I hope you enjoy it. I really liked it and the art was stunning !! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this list!! That Can Be Arranged has been on my TBR for a while now, but I don’t know where to get it. The House in The Cerulean Sea is also on my TBR, it gives me Howl’s Moving Castle vibes. I have been wanting to read Black Brother Black Brother for soooo long! I really cannot wait to pick it up! The Magic Fish is by far the most beautiful graphic novel. In my favorite graphic novels of 2020, I forgot to include The Magic Fish and Heartstopper. 😭😂 I love how you bolded the ‘main points’ of your writing, it’s really a fabulous idea! All of these books look great, such an amazing list. Seriously, I mean it! I love your lists. You always get right to the point. 💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, thank you so much !! 💕 I hope you are able to read That Can Be Arranged, I read it on Scribd (I had a free trial for a month) so if you can do that. I’m not sure if anywhere else does it though, sorry.
      From the covers I can see the Howl’s Moving Castle vibe and I hope you end up loving The House in The Cerulean Sea. ahh… that’s so great. I hope you end up loving Black Brother, Black Brother too.
      I so loved the art style used in the magic fish, so detailed and eloquent!! The use of colours was also stunning !! aww… it is frustrating when you remembered you missed something out. I do hope to read Heartstopper though.
      I’m glad you liked that, I read that you should do it in a blog post about blog layout and thought it was a good idea too !!
      Thank youuu so much, that means so much. I’m so glad you liked them and feel like I get straight to the point (I always worry I waffle haha) 💕💕

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this post Sophie!! You read so many new releases- that’s amazing. I’m definitely a bit sad that you didn’t love THICS but I’m glad you liked it !! And I can definitely see how you might find some of the kids annoying haha.
    TVD sounds so good and I can’t wait to read Loveless and The Magic Fish!!
    Amazing post, and I hope you read all the 2020 releases that you wanted to but didn’t get a chance to this year!! 💛💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, thank you so much Aditi !! 💙 I was so grateful and fortunate to have access to all these books !! I was sad I didn’t end up loving THITCS too but it was still a good read. I think maybe if I was in a better mood, I might have enjoyed it more. I’m still so happy so many people loved it though. Haha, they were really cute and sweet at times but other times I was like ‘no sorry’ but again it could just have been my mood. 😂
      Ohh.. I hope you love all of those reads as I really did enjoy them all. I’d love to know your thoughts on them.
      thank youuuu so much and thank you, I hope you are able to as well !! 💙💙

      Like

  5. loved reading this post, Sophie!! ☺️ i also read You Should See Me in a Crown and Loveless in 2020 and loved them both – such heartwarming reads that gave me a lot of joy :)) aahhhh i loved These Violent Delights too – that ending omg aslkdjf i absolutely cannot wait for the sequel this year 😭 Raybearer was my favorite 2020 release hehe, i hope you love it whenever you get around to reading it 💛 it was truly one of the best YA fantasies i’ve ever read.

    i also really want to read Cemetery Boys sometime this year!! let me know if you’re down for a buddy read of that 😊 great post as always!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much Dezzy 💕 ahh.. they were both amazing contemporaries, I’m glad you enjoyed them too. They were definitely heartwarming reads like you said and we all need that at times !!
        yesss these violent delights was a great read and that ending was something (!!), deffo need the sequel asap !!
        I’m so glad you loved Raybearer and I can’t wait to check it out. I think I’m going to love it !! Thank youuu 💕 ah.. very high praise, I can’t wait !!
        oohh… that’s great. I would love to do a buddy read with you, what app do you normally do buddy reads on?? thank you so much again 💕
        and thank you for telling me what age middle school was, that was actually really helpful (and I was kinda close haha) 💕

        Liked by 1 person

        1. ahh yay!! 😊💞 i don’t do buddy reads a lot but the last time i did one with my friend, we just messaged each other over Discord and used the spoiler tags if one of us was ahead of the other. do you have Discord?? if not, i’m down to just message each other on Twitter or Instagram :)) just let me know!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I haven’t done a buddy read in a while to be honest but yay !! oohh.. that’s sounds like a really great place to do it so I’ve downloaded and got Discord now (probably going to convince other people to get it as well now haha). My username and tag is sophiejay#3463 (all lowercase). I’m happy to read it whenever though, so no rush at all. I’ll fit in when you’re happy really (just thought I’d send the info over). 💕 thank youu !!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. haha Discord is great, i only recently started using it a lot and it’s a great way to meet new people especially when you join new Discord servers :)) and there’s so many features!! and ahh yay, i just sent you a friend request (i’m des on there) 💓

              Liked by 1 person

  6. Ahh I love this post, Sophie. I did a similar one last year (I posted it very late but still) except it was the ones I hadn’t read so you’re definitely more productive haha. I read quite a few new releases last year, including These Violent Delights which I LOVED. But need to get so many of these, especially You Should See Me In A Crown, Cerulean Sea, Rent A Boyfriend, Loveless and Clap!! Lots of love xoxox

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ahhh thank you so much !! 💕 oohh that’s awesome, sometimes I think it is more fun to look at the books on my TBR and it is a great way to track books you want to read !!
      Yay !! These Violent Delights was a great book, I’m so glad I picked it up !! I’m glad you loved it too!!
      oohh I hope you are able to pick up all of these books and love them because there are some great books there !! 💕💕💕

      Liked by 1 person

  7. you giving the house on the cerulean sea 3 stars makes me scared bc it seems like the kind of book i would give 2 or 3 stars too, and i have high hopes for it bc it’s so many people’s favorite book of the year 😳 but i’m glad that i can now lower my expectations for it accordingly—i am very excited to read it bc everyone i know who’s read it said that it gave them so much serotonin! and ughhh, these violent delights was my biggest disappointment of 2020 and perhaps of all time 😭😭 i wanted to love it so much, but i think my expectations for it were just too high. while reading it i didn’t like the plot, characters, or romance at all. but i’m glad that it lived up to the hype for you, and i hope that when i pick up the sequel i’ll enjoy it more bc my expectations are lower, and people who’ve read it early keep saying that it’s amazing!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, I’m so sorry. I really wanted to love as well. I think partly was due to the mood I was in when I read it and then I just didn’t click with it. But I can still see why so many people love it so hopefully you will too. That’s true, sometimes high expectations can lead to more disappointment so seeing a 3 star review can be helpful at times. I hope you’ll love it though and you get that boost of happiness it provides !! I’ll be interested to know your thoughts 👀
      aww.. I’m so sorry these violent delights disappointed you 😭 it is always a tragic feeling. high expectations can really doom you at times. I’m sorry you couldn’t connect to anything. but thank youuu. Hopefully you will like the sequel as I imagine it will be a bit different in terms of plot and characters dynamics. I have seen good things about it which makes me so excited !! Finger crossed for you.
      Happy reading Caitlin 💕💕

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The House in The Cerulean Sea has gotten so many rave reviews and while I’m curious, I do feel like young children interacting with adults dynamic is a hit or miss for me too.

    Forest of Souls looks like such a darkly atmospheric book and I’m so happy that it finished strongly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It has been a very popular book and I can see why as it does have many lovable qualities, but I didn’t click with the story. It can be a hard dynamic to do but seeing as it worked with a lot of people I think if the plot interests you, you could still give it a go.
      It really did have some good atmospheric moments so I really enjoyed those parts. It did, I’m interested to check the sequel out !! 💕

      Like

  9. Hi Sophie! I enjoyed reading this compilation. I’ve heard a lot of great things about Clap When You Land and The Magic Fish, so I’m definitely looking forward to reading them.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I just read These Violent Delights and it’s such a good book! I also don’t know if it’s really hyped… or just the people I’m following, and I seriously need the sequel right now!! I just got a copy of Clap When you Land, and I’m really excited to read it; it looks amazing, and I have heard so many incredible things about it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yess I really enjoyed These Violent Delights, the characters and plot was really good. I know it can be hard to tell at times but I think it is pretty hyped now !! I know, I need the sequel too !!
      ahh.. I hope you end up loving clap when you land, the writing was soooo amazing !! I definitely think it deserves all the kind words said about it.
      Happy reading !! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  11. you should see me in a crown really does need a movie adaptation omg, it would make the perfect netflix romcom 😭 also yes, clap when you land was written so gorgeously and i could really feel the emotions it conveyed – i’m glad you enjoyed it as well!! i read the magic fish this month and the art style really was gorgeous! i agree with you that its use of fairy tales was so lovely 🥺🥺 and ahh yes, i desperately need our violent ends soon because the ending of these violent delights was such a cliffhanger. this was such a great post!! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does and I feel like with it being a Reese Witherspoon book club pick it will have an adaptation so I’m really hopeful *fingers crossed* but yes all the netflix rom com vibes, imagine the music and the aesthetic. I really would love it !!
      Elizabeth Acevedo’s writing seriously is stunning and it does such a lot in so little time really. Thank you, you too.
      I’m glad you loved the art for The Magic Fish, it really was stunning and so detailed. I’ll definitely look out for any more books the author does !!
      I know, these violent delights certainly left you needing more with that ending and I think the cover reveal for our violent ends is tomorrow and I’m *so* excited.
      Thank you sooooo much 💕💕💕

      Liked by 1 person

  12. The only one of these that ive read so far is Burn and we already discussed that on Insta. Snap on the rating too. I also need to try and read Clap When You Land at some point this year, even if the verse set out makes me wary. I’m most desperate to get to the last two listed here though and check out some of Gloria Chos books. It’s wonderful to see that you enjoyed most of these though. And I didn’t realize you were reading a lot of MG contemporary too now. I want to read more MG too but I think most of the ones I’m most excited for are fantasy type ones.
    Also snap on the books that you still want to read – especially Girl, Serpent, Thorn. I hope you love them all.
    My favourite 2020 releases were Once & Future Witches (and after reading the authors debut too I now have a new favourite author), Mexican Gothic, What Kind Of Girl & Havenfall to name a few.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I remember, haha yay snap– it definitely felt like a 3 star so it was a book I didn’t struggle to rate like some.
      oohh I hope you are able to check out Clap When You Land, I get being wary around verse but I think Acevedo’s books are a great place to start with them because she does it really well!!
      ah… so exciting !! I love Chao’s works so I hope you are able to read some !!
      Definitely a lot of reads I enjoyed here which I am thankful for.
      Yeah my library got quite a few MGs and I quite enjoy the shorter audiobooks so they have been ideal and I really enjoyed them. I definitely want to check out more fantasy MG too– my library has a few so I will start there.
      ahhh… I hope we enjoy them all. Girl, Serpent, Thorn sounds ah-mazing !! Thank you 💕
      oohh that’s so great, I’ve heard a lot of good things about Once & Future Witches and finding a new favourite author is GREAT !! oohh.. I need to check them all out, thank you !! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes same here.
        Thank you (: I’m hoping to read it at some point this year. Aww thanks 💗
        Ah cool, any fantasy ones in particular? The major one that I need to read is Percy Jackson, especially with another adaptation of it being due. I also want to read School For Good & Evil, Maya & The Rising Dark, Aru Shah and a few others though.
        Thank you, I hope you do too 💗💗 and I agree, it so does 😍
        I just adored it 😍😍 I can’t wait for her latest to come out. Its a novella rather than a full length book but it’s Fairytale based!!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yay !! Ohh of course, PJO is quite a big series. Actually I think you’ve named quite a few of the fantasy ones I want to read especially School for Good & Evil. Also Amari and The Night Brothers, Wildspark by Vashti Hardy, Voyage of the Lost and Found by Aisha Bushby and some others I think but my library app isn’t loading properly !!
          Thank you 💕
          ahh… that’s so cool, I didn’t know she had something new coming out but fairytale based is exciting !! I hope it is just as good ! 💕

          Like

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