2020 has been a roller coaster of a reading year! I read some good books, I read some ok books, I started but didn’t finish a whole lotta books. (I’m glaring at you, Midnight Sun!) However, I think the success of my reading ventures had as much to do with my mood as with the books I started or finished. This year’s list looks a little different as it includes both nonfiction and my attempts to add more diverse voices to my library.
Through the ups and downs of 2020, I am so thankful for books and the escape that they provide from real life! And, I hope that 2021 brings us all amazing stories full of love and laughter! Without further adieu, I present the BFF Book Blog 2020 Besties!
#1 Untamed by Glennon Doyle
I originally borrowed this from the library. Then, I purchased the Audible copy and asked for a hardcover copy for Christmas. I’ve purchased and sent 3 copies as gifts through the holidays. This book has some incredible lessons and is presented with such honesty and heart. I loved this book and I think every woman should read it! (But, my Zoo loving heart has to say, I don’t really believe that running cheetahs are unhappy. But, I completely get the point she’s driving home about taming ourselves unnecessarily!)
#2 American Royals (And Majesty) by Katharine McGee
I can not stop thinking about the premise of these books. It’s mind blowing. And, then the incredibly unique setting gives birth to this soap-operaesque drama and you won’t be able to put it down! I can’t recommend this series highly enough and I wish a. there were more books coming and b. this would become a Netflix series!
#3 Unforgettable by Melanie Harlow
I thoroughly enjoyed the entire Cloverleigh Farm series. The books are heartfelt and emotional. They are full of terrific, gritty, relatable stories and characters who end up with with real life HEA’s. And, Unforgettable is the perfect example of that. I love a good baseball player hero (there are 3 in the Besties list this year) and I’m a sucker for a well written adoption story. This book hit me in all the feels and I’ve re-read parts of it over again. It is just a really solid book and I highly recommend not only Unforgettable, but the entire Cloverleigh Farm series!
#4 The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez
This book is sweet and fun but wrapped in an unexpected layer of feels and emotion. It’s a rockstar romance, but really takes a different spin on the traditional storyline. It is just a great story and it will definitely leave you with a smile on your face and a song in your head!
#5 The Rivals by Vi Keeland
Enemies to Lovers at its very best! This is story is absolute frothy deliciousness! It’s steamy and the banter is top notch. It’s a fantastic escape that kept me up waaaaayyyyy too late and also made a 6 hour car ride fly by! This is one 2020 release that shouldn’t be missed!
#6 The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
What a unexpected and joyous surprise this book was! It’s a magical fantasy that almost seems YA but tackles really complex themes of family, love, identity and belonging. It’s beautifully written and should absolutely be a must read!
#7 Unwind by Neal Shusterman
This book is the opposite of #6! Where House in the Cerulean Sea is sweet and calming, Unwind is vivid and disturbing. BUT, it’s still a really great story. A complete dystopian mind f&^@ this book will rock your world and make you think some very deep thoughts. It’s also the first book that my tween son has been remotely interested in discussing with me. That alone puts it on the list!
#8 His Royal Highness by R.S. Grey
This book is classic R.S. Grey. It’s light and fun, quick and witty and purely delightful! This book is not going to make you rethink life’s purpose, but it absolutely is going to give your brain a mini-vacation in a charming story. I loved pretty much everything about this story. This is the classic example of why I love to read lighthearted, feel good, romance! (When I checked tonight, this book was $3.99 with the audible add on for $1.99! Go get that right now!)
#9 Accidental Tryst by Nathasha Boyd
This is another light-hearted, feel good love story. It gives off rom-com, “chick flick” (though I hate that term) vibes. It is so well written and plays out like a romantic movie ala Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant. Part of the reason that I love this book so much is that I can’t stop thinking about these awesome characters. It’s just a really enjoyable!
#10 Keeping Score by Alyssa Kale
This is Alyssa Kale’s debut novel, but you’d never know it! This story features another baseball player Hero who is absolutely fantastic. It’s just a really engrossing story that presents some standard tropes in whole new ways. I couldn’t put it down and it broke me out of a serious reading slump this year. If you’re struggling to get into a book, try picking this one up and giving it a try!
#11 The Ace and the Assistant by Jiffy Kate (And the Rookie and the Rockstar and Beef Cake!)
I read the Ace and the Assistant until I finished it at 3am this week. I haven’t done that in a long time and I loved every minute of it! This is such a fun series. The writing reminds me of Melanie Harlow, Sarina Bowen or Emma Chase. Everything I’ve read from this writing duo is really terrific and I’m adding more of their books to my TBR in the new year!
#12 Stone Princess by Devney Perry
This book is 3/6 in the Tin Gypsy’s series, but my favorite so far. I really liked the main characters and there is the hint of a love triangle without actually going there. It’s the famous-hero-falling-for-the-small-town-girl trope and I’m here for all of it! This whole series is really inventive and immersive. I have never been a huge fan of MC stories, but this series is the exception. Highly recommended!
Some other notable titles in 2020:
I hope that you had some really wonderful reading escapes in 2020. And, one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to post more in the new year! But don’t forget to follow me on Goodreads as I update that with all the books as I finish them! I look forward to sharing more with you in the coming months.
Best wishes for peace, health and happiness in 2021!