Disappointing Books of 2020 | Blogmas Day 23

Hi everyone! Today I’m sharing my most disappointing reads of 2020. I didn’t hate any of these books, I gave 3 and 3.5 stars to most of them, there’s only one book I gave 2.5 stars on this list. Honestly, at this point, I know my taste well enough and I’m very selective with what I read, so I only gave two books less than 3 stars this year.

These are all books that I was expecting to like more than I did, they are books that I read in 2020 but they weren’t all released in 2020, there’s a lot of romance on this list simply because it’s my most read genre (by a lot), and for this list, these books are in the order I read them in. Without further ado, let’s talk about the books that disappointed me in 2020:

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

I enjoyed the first 40% of the book until the romance started. There were so many characters that had the potential for being the love interest in the story and I didn’t like the fact that the author chose the sister of the main character’s dead boyfriend. I think that was unnecessary. Moreover, I didn’t like the dynamic between the main character and the love interest, the main character was rude and disrespectful without a real reason, there was a point where the main character punches the wall next to love interest’s face and the love interest thought she was going to hit her, which to me is not ok. Also, I didn’t really see why they would like each other, they have this instant connection that comes out of nowhere and it’s based on nothing.

Domink by Sawyer Bennett

This is book 6 in the Arizona Vengeance series and, while I recognized the writing in these books is not the best, this book was in my most anticipated romances of 2020 list because I always end up enjoying the couples in this series. Nonetheless, I really disliked Dominik as a protagonist, he was arrogant to an extreme degree, controlling and a two-dimensional character. Also, the main characters had no connection beyond physical chemistry, they barely spoke for the first half of the book and there were no romantic moments between them. Lastly, as I mentioned, the writing isn’t the best and the inner monologues of the characters were so repetitive.

Whatever It Takes and Wherever You Are by Krista and Becca Ritchie

I have been waiting for this duology for at least 4 years, since I finished the Calloway Sisters series, and I was left wanting Willow and Garrison’s story. I read the original Wattpad chapters with the beginning of their story and I have waiting for the rest for SO LONG. I still loved Willow and Garrison as well as their relationship, but the structure the authors decided to tell this story in didn’t work for me. I didn’t enjoy the dual timeline, but my main issue with these books is that it feels like a bunch of scenes put together, like vignettes of their story, instead of a cohesive and fluent narrative.

The King of Crows by Libba Bray

I LOVED the first three books in this series and I’m so sad I didn’t love the conclusion to the series. I didn’t dislike this, and I actually think the ending was ok, I just didn’t like the way we got there. The main characters were separated in three groups for most of the book, so we had three different road trip stories where almost nothing happened. That’s the main problem with this book, nothing happened until the very end and then when the final confrontation took place it was so anticlimactic. The stakes felt exceptionally low and the ending wasn’t memorable at all.

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

The main problem I had with this book was that the heroine was the worst, she was judgmental, rash and selfish and she went through some character development, but it happened too suddenly, and it didn’t feel organic. Also, the characters go from friends to lovers and I felt like there was something missing from that transition, it didn’t work that well.

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

This book started so strong, I loved the first 10%, it was hilarious. I think that’s why it was such a disappointment, this book fooled me in the beginning into thinking I was going to love it. My main problem with this is that so many moments between the main characters were they were getting to know each other and starting to flirt and like each other happened off page and I was so frustrated about it. When I read a romance book I want to see the characters fall in love, I don’t want to be told that they fell in love in all the moments I didn’t get to read about. Also, the fact that the hero lied to the heroine for 90% of the book didn’t sit well with me.

Meet Cute Club by Jack Harbon

This cover of this book is so beautiful and everyone on twitter seems to love this, so I was excited to read it. Unfortunately, I never managed to fully get into this book, mainly because the writing was flat, I was bored, and the characters were two-dimensional. Also, this book switched viewpoints without warning of any kind of indication that it had happened, sometimes the same scene switched from one pov to another and then back again, which was confusing.

Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

I have been hearing wonderful things about this book for so long and when I read it, I had just finished an amazing book by this author, so my expectations were way too high. I had a tough time with the beginning of this book because the main characters had only one scene together in the first 30% of the book, so we didn’t see them interacting and getting to know each other again, which is connected to my second problem, which was that the relationship between the main characters relied too much in their past together, but 10 years is a long time and people change, so what was missing for me was seeing the characters fall in love in the present.

Mangos and Mistletoe by Adriana Herrera

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I think this book was huge disappointment because I have liked every other Adriana Herrera book so much and this was her first f/f relationship, which made me really excited to read it. My main problem with this book is that the characters switched from liking each other to being angry and mean to each other constantly. They didn’t spend more than 5 consecutive pages without fighting in the entire book, right up to the end. There was definitely insta love and there was nothing to back that love.

Tools of Engagement by Tessa Bailey

I have really liked the previous books in this series, and this was one of my most anticipated romances of 2020, so even if think it was ok, it simply didn’t live up to my expectations. My main issue with this book is that the romance was not memorable at all and, while the heroine is great, the hero is really meh, there was nothing special about him. Also, certain elements of the plot felt unrealistic and rushed, especially when it came to the reality show and to the storyline of Wes being the guardian of his nice.

Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones

The premise of this book sounded so cool, I had this idea of what this book was going to be, and it ended up being something completely different that wasn’t half as interesting as what I had imagined. Even if by the end I got more invested in this book, what really annoyed me is that there was a reference to the fact that the person behind the murders stopped taking his meds for his mental illness and that’s a route that I never want a horror book to take. I’m over people with mental illness being the bad guys in horror.

What books disappointed you in 2020?

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Ranking all the books I read this month aka my February 2020 Wrap Up

Reading Wrap Up

Hi everyone! It’s time for my february wrap up and I’m excited with the new format that I’m using where I rank all the books I read from my least favorite to my favorite book of the month. The ranking is not enterily dependent on rating, so there can be books with lower ratings that are higher on the list than other books with higher ratings and that has to do with my enjoyment of the books.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted my February tbr and I’m so happy to say that I read all the books on it – even if I finished We Unleash the Merciless Storm on March 1st which is why it’s not gonna be in this wrap up. So I read 8 books on my February tbr + 6 more books that were not on it. Here’s how I ranked them:

*Click the book titles to go to the Goodreads page*

My Least Favorite Books of the Month

Unfortunately, this month I read two books that I really disliked and that I had a lot of issues with, specially in terms of characters and writing.

14. Frenemies by Emma Hart (2,5 stars): The writing in this wasn’t good and the main character was annoying, she kept going around in circles about her relationship with the love interest and then she suddenly changed her mind at the end. I think this had lots of potential, but it needed to be longer and better written.

13. Dominik by Sawyer Bennet (2,8 stars): the hero of this book was extremely arrogant and controlling, he was a very two dimentional character and even if he did get a bit better by the end, the improvement wasn’t significant. Beyond sexual chemistry, the characters didn’t have any connection and they barely speak to each other for the first half of the book. Also, the writing wasn’t the best, the inner monologues of the main characters were so repetitive.

The One I Had Issues With, But It’s Not Bad

The books I give ratings between 3 and 3,5 stars are the ones that I have a lot of issues with but they have redeeming qualities and I can see that they are not bad books.

12. American Street by Ibi Zoboi (3,4 stars): This was a quick read but I had a hard time getting into it because I didn’t like the main character, I found her naive and judgemental. Nonetheless, all the other characters were interesting. This book didn’t handle the topic of abusive relationships very well and the ending was rushed and it was deus ex machina.

The “I Mostly Liked Them, But…” Books

The “I mostly liked them, but…” books are the ones I give between 3,5 and 3,7 stars to and they are books that have small things I disliked or I had some issues with them.

11. Unbreakable by Melanie Harlow (3,7 stars): I really liked both of the main characters, they had great chemistry and they were kind and understanding with each other. There was a storyline in this that was predictable revolving around pregnancy and infertility and I think it could have been handled better.

10. Wherever You Are by Krista & Becca Ritchie (3,7 stars): This book was told in dual timelines, at the beginning it did a good job of staying in one timeline long enough to not feel jumpy, but halfway through it started to feel like a bunch of scenes haphazardly put together without a strong narrative behind them and it actually skipped some really important scenes, which annoyed me.

9. The King of Crows by Libba Bray (3,7 stars): Nothing happened in this until the very end and then when the big confrontation took place it was so anticlimatic. The ending was nothing memorable and it felt like the stakes were super low. Still I’m not mad at this book because my two favorite characters got the ending I wanted for them and that was all I was asking.

The Ones I Really Liked

I consider books I really liked the ones I give a rating somewhere between a 3,8 and a 4,4 stars.

8. The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor (3,8 stars): It took me a while to get into this, but when the action started, I got really invested in the story. This book tried to cram to much world building into very few pages and it suffered a bit for it and also I didn’t love the ending, but overall I enjoyed the conclusion to Binti’s story.

7. The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa (3,8 stars): This was a highly entertaning read, I really liked the characters and their chemistry was off the charts. Also, I LOVED the way Brazilian culture was incorporated. I know a lot of people were saying that the sex in this book was awkward and I would agree that the first sex scene was, but it got better.

6. Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole (3,8 stars): The plot of this got a bit ridiculous by the end, but I LOVED Portia and Tavish as characters and as a couple, their chemistry was amazing.

5. A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole (3,8 stars): I LOVED the main characters! Nya and Johan are precious and I loved seeing them fall in love and get their happily ever after. I think the whole storyline with Nya’s father was resolved in a very weird and rushed way, but beyond that I really enjoyed it

4. Can’t Escape Love by Alyssa Cole (4 stars): This book has the most adorable, nerdy couple I have ever encountered in a romance book. I LOVED both of the main characters. There was a point where this book had me at the verge of tears just because the hero felt confused and sad and that’s a testament of how deeply Alyssa Cole made me fall in love with the characters.

3. American Sweethearts by Adriana Herrera (4 stars): I love both of the main characters. Juan Pablo is such a swoonworthy hero. I really love how sex positive and unapologetically Latinx this book is. (Full review)

2. Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams (4 stars): Queenie’s voice is incredibly captivating even when her life is spinning out of control. The first half of this book is full of Queenie making terrible choices and getting involved with the most horrific men, who treated her like she was a plaything that was there for their pleasure. But seeing the whole process she went through to get better was beautiful.

My Favorite Book of the Month

My favorite books of the month can have different ratings depending on how good a particular reading month was, but the books I consider new favorites usually are the ones that get a rating of 4,5 stars or more. This month unfortunately I didn’t rate anything higher than 4 stars, but I still read a brilliant book:

1. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (4 stars): The world building and magic system in this book were unique, intriging and devastating. The way it mirrors our society was smart and poignant. There were so many twist, some that I saw coming and some that I didn’t, but they all made sense to the story. I loved Syenite and Alabaster and I’m heartbroken over everything they went through. This is brilliant but the last 80 pages made me feel hopeless and angry and devastated and I’m not sure that I will continue on with the series because this book was one bad thing after another and I feel like I can’t handle that.

What were your favorite and least favorite books you read this month? Have you read any of the books on this wrap up? Do you agree with my opinions about them?

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February TBR: Black History Month + Latinx Book Club + Anticipated Releases

Hi everyone! It’s time for my February tbr and I’m very excited to read the books I picked. Most of the books I’ll be reading in February are books by Black authors because February is Black History Month; I also included on my tbr the book pick of the Month for the Latinx Book Club, which is a book by an Afro-Latinx author; and lastly, I included 3 of my most anticipated releases of the year.

As I did in my January tbr, I have a list below with the goals and challenges that I want to keep track of in 2020 and I chose an emoji that represents each one. Next to each of the books on my tbr, I’ll put the emoji of the goal or challenge that that book is going to help me fullfil.

  • Read 20 fantasy books in 2020 (🔮)
  • Read 35 books by Latinx authors in 2020 (🔥)
  • Keep reading diverse books: by Asian authors (☁️), by black authors (🌞), other #ownvoices rep (🌈)
  • Read 50 books by the #StartOnYourShelfathon challenge (⭐)
  • Read the 20 books on my tbr for the #StartOnYourShelfathon challenge (💫)
  • Read a book from a genre that’s not fantasy or romance (🦄)

Without further ado, here is my Febraury tbr:

🔮⭐💫🌞 The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin: This book has been on my tbr for so long, I have heard nothing but great things and I’m excited!

🌞⭐🦄 Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor: I read the first two books in this series almost two years ago and I need to finally read the conclusion to the story.

🔥🌞⭐🦄 American Street by Ibi Zoboi: I’m reading this for the Latinx Book Club, which I co-host on Twitter and Goodreads

🌞 ⭐A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole: I have read and liked two books in this series, so I’m excited to read this one, especially aince it seems to be the favorite of a lot of my friends

🔥🌞The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa: one fo my most anticipated releases of the year since I love Mia Sosa’s Love on Cue series. Release date: Fabruary 4th

🌞 ⭐🦄Queenie by Candice Carty Williams: This has been on my tbr for a year but the synopsis is resonating a lot with where I am in my life right now, so I can’t wait to read it.

🔮The King of Crows by Libba Bray: The Diviners Series is one of my all time favorite series and I can’t wait to read the final book. Release date: February 4th

🔮🔥 We Unleash The Merciless Storm by Tehlor Kay Mejia: The first book in this series was one of my favorite books of 2019, so I can’t wait to see what happens next. Release date: February 25th

Dominik by Sawyer Bennett: This is the sixth book in this series and I have really enjoyed the previous books, so I’m really excited for this one. Release date: February 18th

What are your reading plans for February? If you want to buddy read any of the books on my tbr, let me know in the comments!

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My Most Anticipated Romance Books of 2020 | Blogmas Day 17

Hi everyone! Today I have a list of my most anticipated romance books that are coming out in 2020. Before starting I think it’s important to mention that most of these books are part of a series, but all of them can be read as standalone novels if you don’t mind spoiling other books.

It was really hard to narrow down this list, but here are the 10 books I chose (more like 11, but…):

*Click the titles to go to the Goodreads page*

Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

Release date: January 14th 2020

Rosie and Dominic are high school sweethearts, who used to be maddly in love, but now Rosie’s lucky to get a few words from the ex-soldier.  So encouraged by her friends, she proposes a marriage boot camp and it’s surprise when Dom actually agrees. The relationship rehab run by hippies helps their relationship get stronger than ever, but then Rosie discovers Dom has a secret… and it could demolish everything. 

Why am I anticipating it? I LOVED Fix Her Up, the first book in this series of companion novels, and I was so intrigued by the glimpses of Rosie and Dom that we got in that book that I can’t wait to read their story. I recently realized that I actually like second chance romances, so I’m excited to read more of them starting with this one!

Whatever it Takes + Wherever You Are by Krista & Becca Ritchie

  Release date: January 21st  & January 28th 2020

Garrison has a reputation as a bad boy but no one knows the abuse he endures at home, and then he founds someone who sees beyond his walls and wants to help him, the only problem is that he likes the sister of the only guy willing to give him a second chance, she is true good girl that sees more in him too.

Why am I anticipating it? Garrison and Willow were minor characters in a series I read a long time ago and the authors actually started to write their story in Wattpad for free for the fans and then realized that there was a lot to tell and decided to write these books, so I have waiting for this moment for 5 years because I love these characters and their relationship and I’m FINALLY GETTING THEIR BOOKS!

The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

Release date: February 4th 2020

Enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy about a wedding planner who gets left at the altar and whose new job requires her to work with the best man who ruined her wedding: her ex-fiancé’s infuriating and annoyingly handsome brother. Soon they discover animosity may not be the only emotion creating sparks between them

Why am I anticipating it? I’m a big fan of Mia Sosa’s Love on Cue series and I’m excited to have a new book by her to read. Also, going by the synopsis this book is right up my alley, specially since it has hate to love.

Dominik by Sawyer Bennett

Release date:  February 18th 2020

Dominik, a billionaire who owns a hockey team, wants more than just a good time with Willow, a war photographer, who is the sister of one of his star players, the only problem is she is hesitant, so he has to win her heart.

Why am I anticipating it? This is the sixth and final book of the Arizona Vengence series, I have loved all the previous books and I have been waiting to read Dominik and Willow’s story for a while now, so I’m definitely excited. Willow is such a cool character, I’m sure I’m gonna love her as the protagonist of her own story.

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

Release date: March 10th 2020 

When Liv’s blackballed from the restaurant scene for confronting a celebrity chef that harrased a hostess, Mack offers to help expose her ex-boss, but she is suspicious of his motives. He’ll need to call in reinforcements: the Bromance Book Club. Inspired by the romantic suspense novel they’re reading, the book club a helps Liv with her problem, but they’re just as eager to help Mack figure out the way to Liv’s heart.

Why am I anticipating it? I LOVED the first book of the Bromance Book Club series and I really liked Mack as a minor character, so I’m happy he’s getting his own book. The whole concept of this series is so unique and cool, can you imagine if more men read romance books?!

If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane

Release date: March 24th 2020

Laurie’s partner of over a decade suddenly ends things and since they work together, she has to see him every day. When news of her ex’s pregnant girlfriend hits the office, Laurie decides she needs a new man to give people something else to talk about and it turns out that Jamie needs a respectable, steady girlfriend to impress their bosses. It’s the perfect proposition: a fauxmance, but there’s a fine line between pretending to be in love and actually falling.

Why am I anticipating it? Fake dating is one of my favorite tropes, so as soon as I read the synopsis of this book I knew I needed to add it to my tbr. I also really like office romances, so that’s a plus as well.

The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren

Release date: March 24th 2020

Carey and James work for home remodeling gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: they can’t stand each other. Both James and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But then they realize that they may have the chance to build something beautiful together.

Why am I anticipating it? I’m a big fan of Christina Lauren’s books and the premise of this one sounds so cool that it has me counting the days until I can read it! This reminds me a bit of the movie set it up and I hope I enjoy it as much as I enjoyed that movie.

American Sweethearts by Adriana Herrera

Release date: March 30th 2020

By the end of a trip to Dominican Republic, the love/hate thing JuanPa and Pris have been doing for sixteen years has risen to epic proportions. And they can both finally admit—if only to themselves—they’ve always been a perfect match. The future they dreamed of together is still within reach…if they can just accept each other as they are.

Why am I anticiáting it? This is probably my most anticipated book of 2020, I read the first three books in the series in 2019 and in those books there have been hints of the history between Priscilla and Juan Pablo, which are the main couple in this book, and I can’t wait to know what happened between them in the past and how are they gonna get back together. Another second chance romance that I can’t wait to read.

You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

Release date: April 7th 2020 

Naomi and Nicholas are about to get marry, the problem is that both of them have been feigning contentment. But whoever backs out of the wedding has to pay for it, so the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare. But now that they have nothing to lose, they’re finally being themselves–and having fun with the last person they expect: each other.

Why am I anticipating it? I LOVE the premise of this book and I know a few people that got arcs of this and they loved it, so it makes me so excited to read it! The premise of this reminds me a bit of The Hating Game and since that’s one of my favorite romances of all times, so I’m hoping I’ll love this one as well.

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Release date:  June 23rd 2020

Zafi rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong and for Dani is a sign: they are destined to sleep together. But before she can explain that fact, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Now half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae—and Zaf is begging Dani to play along, since his sports charity for kids could really use the publicity. Dani’s plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. The trouble is, grumpy Zaf’s secretly a hopeless romantic.

Why am I anticipating it? Recently I read the first book in this series and loved it, Talia Hibbert’s writing and her characters are amazing. I’m excited for Dani’s story, specially since I love the fake dating trope and they are fake dating for a good reason.

What 2020 romance books are you highly anticipating?

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