It’s time to call it: here are the very best titles of the year.
Okay, so it’s a little subjective, but hush, we knew it would be that way. That’s the whole point of Top 5 Tuesday (oh so graciously hosted by Meeghan @ Meeghan Reads)! More than that, it’s the point of naming the best five books of 2020, which is a surprisingly easy thing to do. If you’re struggling, just do what I do, and search for books you’ve rated five stars.
Or you could do what I also do and agonize over every little detail in your reviews until you’re 100% certain these are the best! Harder than it looks, I guess! 🥴
There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool (Age of Darkness #1)
I have to admit that I regret taking as long to read There Will Come a Darkness as I did. While I bought it last October during a book signing with Katy Rose Pool and some other authors, I didn’t actually get to it until March.
My mistake, honestly, because this book has so many things I adore, and then some!
Its Mediterranean-inspired world is after my Classics major heart, the multi-POV cast gives me so many new characters to become wholly invested in, and the sister dynamic between Ephyra and Beru gives me a truly vicious amount of feelings. Nine months later, and I’m still feeling emotionally mushy about their shared and split arcs, especially since I’ve also read the sequel, As the Shadow Rises.
I know the people love Anton and Jude, but I’m just here to make sure my girls get out of this mess okay. And Hassan, cinnamon roll that he is. ❤️
The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood (The Serpent Gates #1)
One of my earliest favorite reads of the year, The Unspoken Name has almost everything I could ever want. Sapphic leads? Yep! Morally gray characters across the board? You betcha! Elaborate portal fantasy characteristics, antagonistic gods, and the promise of entire worlds to explore? Oh my god, does this book have it in spades.
Csorwe’s story is just the beginning of something truly grand, and I cannot wait to see where this series goes! This is a book I’m going to remember for a very long time.
Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power
Rory Power is truly a master of atmosphere. Wilder Girls started to showcase that, but Burn Our Bodies Down proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt. Even now, in the middle of December, I can so clearly imagine the oppressive summer heat that permeates this book, the way the air seems to stick to your skin, the way the light seems to wash everything out.
And beyond atmosphere, this book also goes to extraordinary lengths to craft characters and a story you can’t look away from, even when things turn unsettling or even gruesome. Rory Power is a powerhouse without a doubt, and her sophomore novel deserves a place on today’s list for sure.
Lobizona by Romina Garber (Wolves of No World #1)
I am forever bitter that Lobizona had to share a release date with Midnight Sun when this is the superior book featuring werewolves by far. Romina Garber built such a beautiful world with this book, and gave us a cast of characters who are taking the future in their hands, reshaping it to their ideals despite the towering obstacles in the way. Plus, this book is just so rich in description, so vibrant, and it deals with undocumented immigrants and the notion of illegal personhood in such a heartfelt way.
I cannot recommend Lobizona enough, and I hope I see it on more lists of the best books of 2020.
Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (The Locked Tomb Trilogy #2)
Did you really expect to reach the end of this list without Harrow the Ninth? I may have loved the action sequences and murder mystery elements of Gideon the Ninth a bit more, but Harrow is a sad bag of bones who goes to extreme measures, ones no one has gone to before, and I adore her for it. She’s messy and very goth and always surrounded by a lot of bones. Plus, she’s now dealing with God, God’s immediate devotees, and some twisty, tricky bits of memory that just don’t seem right.
Harrow the Ninth does a phenomenal job on a craft level, blending plot twists, a second person POV, and the occasional lethal use of a meme to craft a story I absolutely can’t get enough of. Alecto the Ninth when? It’s not like I needed my heart anyway.
So, do we have any shared best books of 2020? Do you think my opinions are way off base? Either way, tell me what your favorite reads are, and let’s chat!