It’s the middle of the year and so far I have read 46 books, many of them being incredible! So, I thought I would share with you some of my best reads of 2020 so far. I will be doing another one of these at the end of the year as well as as best reads of 2020 post.
All the books in this post I rated 5 stars and have been released this year.
What have been your best reads of the year so far?
The Boy Who Fooled the World by Lisa Thompson
The Boy Who Fooled the World was a beautifully written story full of hope, but also some realisation that life isn’t always perfect. The way Lisa weaves real life problems into her writing is admirable and with The Boy Who Fooled the World you see Cole’s family struggle with being on the bread line, Cole struggling to deal with it and the stigma that is attached to his dad being a stay at home Dad. This is a book, I feel all 9 – 12 year olds should read at some point. They will be both entertained and educated on issues that they probably haven’t even thought about.
Are You Watching? by Vincent Ralph
This book took me on a frantic, hair-raising journey and I can honestly say that it has become one of my favourite YA Thrillers of all time. The way it was written put you right in the moment and you genuinely couldn’t predict what was going to happen next. It was overall just a gripping, thrilling, fantastic read. Full review here.
Run, Rebel by Manjeet Mann
Run, Rebel was such a beautiful, heartfelt read full of hope and also courage. The writing was stunning, almost lyrical and everything just flowed so well. The subject matter within the book is quite dark, but despite this, I managed to devour this book in two days. This is honestly a book that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about and one I will be recommending for years to come. Full review here.
Ghostcatcher by Sophie Green
Ghostcatcher is the final book in the Potkin and Stubbs trilogy and it certainly ended on a high. rom the first chapter you are thrust into the action and this, makes you want to carry on reading (I couldn’t put the book down!). The way the story is written makes you worry for a few characters and I had my fingers crossed that they were going to make it out okay. The fast paced plot really does leave you wanting more and by the time I reached the end I had to let out a sigh of relief. It was certainly a fitting ending to what has been an amazing series.
Nothing Ever Happens Here by Sarah Hagger – Holt
This was such a heartwarming story that got right into the heart of one family as they come to terms with one of them coming out as trans. It was written in such a poignant way and really did open my eyes to a topic that I did have knowledge of, but not enough. I was moved by everything that happened throughout the story and there were times where I did well up. It was so compelling and packed full of empathy. Definitely one for all children upper KS2 and secondary school to read.
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
Clap When You Land was such a heartfelt, beautifully written story about loss and ultimately the coming together of family. I was instantly pulled in by the poetic writing style and found myself captivated within minutes. It was honestly like a work of art, and everything about it was just pure perfection. It’s a must read book for this year for sure. Full review here.
Asking For A Friend by Kate Mallinder
Asking For A Friend was such a heartwarming, insightful, delightful read that overall had me smiling, laughing and even crying at times. The plot was very well executed and nothing seemed out of place. Essentially you get taken on a big adventure that you don’t want to come away from. Kate Mallinder has done it again and written an incredibly thoughtful book that will have you yearning to go on a trip with your closest friends. Full review here.
Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson
Good Girl, Bad Blood was an incredible read and one that I can’t speak of highly enough. The story itself picks up straight after the events of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder and you are instantly pulled in by the gritty, atmospheric feel. It was incredibly easy to get immersed in and I found myself hooked on it and I did find it hard to put down. The way the story is told through news articles, transcripts, podcasts and research notes makes you feel like you are investigating the mystery alongside Pip. It does add something to the captivation of the overall story. Also, the mystery within the story does suck you in and takes you on a journey full of twists. I am desperate for a third book!
The Highland Falcon Thief by M.G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman
This book exceeded all of my expectations and just wowed me from start to finish. I would probably describe it as middle grade version of Murder on the Orient Express but with a jewel thief instead of a murderer, which sounds pretty neat, right? This book had everything I could want from a MG Mystery. It had great atmosphere, intriguing characters and a crime that you wanted to solve yourself, if that were possible. It took me on one hell of a ride (no pun intended!), and come the end I was breathless. I can also say that the ending shocked me, as I honestly didn’t think it was going to finish that way. Overall just a fun, well written mystery and I am dying to read the next in the series.
Hideous Beauty by William Hussey
Hideous Beauty was such an incredible, thrilling, beautiful read that I didn’t want to finish. The plot was well executed and from the very start set things up so well. The mystery within the story was so gripping and honestly, I didn’t have the slightest idea what was going to happen next. Also, unlike many YA mysteries, the story was more focused on the characters and their relationships than having an angle of crime. The way it was written was just perfect and I was completely invested. This is a book that will both break you heart and captivate you. Full review here.
Wonderland by Juno Dawson
Wonderland was such a compelling, addictive read that shows you how gritty the world of privilege and luxury can get. The Alice in Wonderland feel had all the craziness of the original but it feel a lot more trippy and at times I felt like I was on the drugs taken in the book. The trans rep was everything I needed and I found it really intriguing how we got deep into the mind of Alice, our trans character and discovered all her inner most thoughts. Overall this was an excellent, well thought story and one that I devoured. Full review here.
* With everything that is going on in the world right now I couldn’t not talk about it. I am in huge support of the Black Lives Matter movement and am devastated with what I am seeing and hearing on a day to day basis. I couldn’t be silent about it and I urge you if you haven’t already to please donate, sign petitions and get involved. Please don’t stay silent. This link will take you to a list of where you can get information on signing petitions, donating and how you can help.