While I don’t watch booktok content, I still spend a lot of time on tiktok and the other day I saw a video from a bookstore (I didn’t save the video so I don’t know who they are), where booksellers talked about books they wish they could read for the first time, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what books would I choose. So today I want to share the books I came up with:
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: this book made me feel so many things so strongly when I read it and I don’t think it would be quite the same on re-read. Also, I think the creepy moments and the horror of the reveals hit harder on the first read.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: this book has so many different elements (a pandemic, a cult, a theater group, some graphic novels) and different timelines, and the first time I read it it was hard to imagine how they all fit together. I would love to experience again the moment when everything made sense and I saw how every thread was tied together.
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern: when I read this, I felt like I was lost in a strange and beautiful world and I was so intrigued by the mystery of this library, and I would love to have that feeling again and I think it may no be as strong on a re-read
Jade City by Fonda Lee: Something happens in this book that broke my heart and I think that feeling can really only be experienced fully the first time around.Also, the not knowing what’s going to happen next and feeling like no one is safe is not the same once you know what happened.
Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews: this series brought me so much joy, I read all 10 books in about 2 weeks and I fell in love with the characters and the world. I would love to experience again that moment when I realized that I had found something special.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie: This book is full of suspense, secrets and lies, and I would love to read it again without knowing who is behind everything, if the accusations about the characters are true, and if anyone is going to survive. I remember trying to figure out the mystery being a really fun part of the reading experience because it felt like all the clues were there, I would love to have that again.
Only When It’s Us by Chloe Liese: beyond the fact that this book is excellent, I wish I could read it for the first time because it made me confront the things I assume about people when I meet them and it wouldn’t happen on a re-read because I’d go in knowing that the assumption is wrong.
Headliners by Lucy Parker: this book was a great romance and part of the reason why it’s the humor, I laughed out loud so many times because there were so many funny moments that came unexpectedly and I think they won’t be as funny a second time around, so I would love to be able to experience it for the first time again.
What books do you wish you could read for the first time?
Hi everyone! Yesterday, I shared my favorite YA books of 2020 and now it’s time to talk about my favorite romances. I decided to have a separate list for romance because it’s my most read genre, I read 84 romance books in 2020 out of 198 books that I have read so far this year, which means about 42% of books I read were romance.
I only chose one book per author, which was really hard, and I changed the order of these books a thousand times, so just know that I recommend all of them very strongly. Without further ado, here are my top romance books of 2020 organized from my “least” favorite to my favorite:
This book includes both fake dating and opposites attract, which are two of my favorite tropes. The main characters are both so different, Ellie is a very messy dreamer and Darcy is very serious and organized, but each of them is great in their own way and they complement each other so well, they have so much chemistry and they are sweet together. I loved the complicated family dynamics in the book and seeing Elle stick up for herself at the end was amazing. I think the astrology aspect of this book adds a cool and unique element to the story and I really enjoyed it.
I loved the dynamic between the main characters in this book, the heroine is the grumpy one and the hero is soft and nice. They have so much chemistry and the sex scenes are really steamy. My two favorite things about this book are the hero, who is caring, patient, and understanding, he takes the time to get involved with the heroine’s interests, he cooks for her and he looks after not only the heroine but his friends as well. The other thing I really loved was seeing the character development of the heroine, seeing her confront her fears and stand up for herself at the end was wonderful. I also loved that this book is very diverse, the heroine is Black and Autistic and the representation is Own Voices for both of those things.
This book revolves around a marriage of convenience, which is a trope I really enjoy. The hero is a bisexual fat Scotsman and the heroine is a bisexual Black woman. They are both adorable. Xeni has a tendency of blurting out everything she likes about Mason when he’s around her and Mason is so understanding and caring with Xeni. Their relationship is so well developed throughout the book, they meet and there’s an instant attraction between them but it doesn’t become insta-love. They have so much chemistry and they open up to each other and are vulnerable with each other in a way that was very sweet to read about. Also, this book is really steamy.
It’s so rare for me to like both of the main characters in a book equally, but Jasmine and Ashton are both amazing. Jasmine is ambitious, kind, and charismatic, but she is afraid of being alone and she has a track record of dating men who don’t treat her well. Ashton is kind of awkward and shy and he deals with a lot of anxiety, but he’s also adorable and sweet. Their romance is fantastic because they have so much chemistry, but they also have a really strong emotional connection. I appreciated that the conflict in this story feels realistic because it is easy to understand where both characters are coming from. Also,Jasmine and Ashton’s work is a big part of the story, there’s a lot of behind the scenes from the show they are filming and it adds a cool element to the story.
This is a hate to love, slow-burn romance with so much banter. The main character Liya doesn’t make the best first impression not to the love interest Jay and not to the reader, but after a while, it’s easy to see beyond that first impression to how amazing she is. Liya is so strong, smart, and independent, and Jay is so patient and kind. They are both Indo-American and the representation is Own Voices. I think the reason I love this book so much is that it elicits all kinds of emotions, some characters are easy to hate, there are gossiping, cruel people that are so frustrating, Jay is swoon-worthy and Liya’s past awakens so much sympathy. This book gives all the feels.
This is a fantastic hate to love romance that has so many hilarious scenes. Honestly, I laughed out loud so many times while reading this. This book does an amazing job showing how the relationship between the main characters slowly evolves and changes from hate to friendship to love. Sabrina and Nick are adorable together and the best part about this book is that they both act like adults, who TALK to their significant other, don’t assume the worst, and actually trust each other. There is no miscommunication in this book and Lucy Parker steps away from the “romance formula” in the third act of the book, both of those things made this book feel very refreshing.
I really love both of the main characters in this book, but especially Hattie. She is witty, she is charming, she is smart and her fight to be in control of her own life is so impressive and captivating. Whit is great too, he is quiet, caring and smart, and the two of them together are perfection. Their bantering and flirting are so entertaining, they have so much chemistry and Sarah MacLean does a great job of building the tension between them in a way that it’s enthralling. Also, this book is the steamiest historical romance that I have read so far.
1. Only When It’s Us by Chloe Liese
The main characters in this book have a frenemies to lovers, slow burn, angsty and emotional romance. The pranks, the bickering, the fighting, the trust, how caring they are, made their relationship fascinating. This book is so emotional since both of the main characters are dealing with difficult situations; the heroine’s mom is gravely ill and the hero is dealing with the lasting consequences of an illness that left him with a disability and that changed his life completely. Those storylines gave so much depth to the story and made this book even more captivating, they even ended up making me cry, which rarely happens. Also, I loved the secondary characters so much, especially Ryder’s family, that I read the next two books about his siblings, loved them both and this series has quickly become one of my all-time favorites.
What are your favorite romance books that you read in 2020?
Hi everyone! Blogmas is almost over and while I have enjoyed writing posts, the truth is that since I decided to do Blogmas very last minute, I didn’t have time to write enough content and be prepared, so the last couple of weeks have been really stressful, so I’m looking forward to have a bit less stress after blogmas is over.
Yesterday I shared my Disappointing Books of 2020and today I’m happy to talk about the books that surprised me in a good way this year. These are not my top books of the year, those posts are coming next week, I’m going to talk about top YA books, top Adult books and top romance books. But before that, let’s talk about surprising books of 2020:
I don’t know why I wasn’t expecting to love this book because I loved everything I have read by these authors in the past. Maybe it had to do with the fact that it was YA contemporary, which I don’t read and don’t enjoy that much anymore. Nonetheless, this book surprised me because I ended up LOVING it, it’s one of my favorite books of the year. I loved everything about it from the romances to the friendships to the sibling relationships to the message. I would love to read more about these characters.
This book had two things against it, it was YA which as I said before I’m not really drawn to anymore and it was a love story between a human and ghost and I thought it was going to be a sad book because of that. But despite all that, it surprised it me and it ended up being one of the most comforting books I read in 2020, it gave me so much joy. I particularly loved the main characters, they were adorable, and their relationship.
I’m almost done with the YA books, but this is another one that surprised me, and I ended up enjoying a lot more than I thought I would. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me feel invested in the characters and their relationship, and it was a book that brought me a lot of comfort during a hard year.
This book surprised me because I had heard very mixed things about the first book in the series, since they are companion books, I ended up skipping book one and jumping straight into this one and it was a great decision. I didn’t think I was going to like this as much as I did, I enjoyed the spooky aspect of the book and I liked the characters, but my favorite thing about it was the way the author integrated what has happened in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria, especially the abandonment of Puerto Rico by the U.S. Government.
I started to read this book with extremely high expectations because everyone was loving it, and I immediately had a problem with the writing, it’s was too purple prose and wordy for my taste. I had to reread passages so many times to be able to understand because the amount of unnecessary and complicated words was A LOT. Nonetheless, this book surprised me because once I got used to the writing and the love story started, I was invested! The romance in this book was so angsty and emotional, the yearning was a beautiful thing to witness and I ended up really enjoying this.
This book was on my tbr for YEARS and there was something about it that made me feel interested in reading it while it also made me thing I wasn’t going to love. So you can imagine my surprise when I started this book and immediately fell in love with it. Emily St. John Mandel managed to weave together storylines that seemed completely unrelated and I loved the complexity of the storytelling.
I don’t know why I had low expectations for this book, maybe because I felt like everyone described this book in vague terms and I like to go into books knowing very clearly what they are about. Now I totally understand why people are so vague when talking about this book, because it’s a bit nonsensical, it has a very vague plot, there’s a lot of stories within stories, but it’s also whimsical and magical. This book surprised me because I loved everything about it.
This was my first Ilona Andrews’ book, and I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that this wasn’t going to be a romance book with a half-baked world and magic system. I loved how complex and interesting the fantasy elements of this book were, and I’m really excited to read more Ilona Andrews’ books in the future.
This book surprised me because my previous experience with Lucy Parker wasn’t great, I really disliked the writing in that book, so I was very hesitant to read another one of her books, but everyone seemed to love Headliners, so I decided to give it a chance and I’m so glad I did. I was so surprised when I finished this book and realized I LOVED it. This book was hilarious, the main characters were adorable together and the best part about this book is that they both acted like adults, who talk to their significant others and trust each other.
I wasn’t expecting to love this book as much as I did, this is my favorite romance of the year, and I was really surprised by it because I read it on a whim when none of my friends had read it or reviewed it, I just saw someone on Goodreads add it and it sounded interesting, so I picked it up and it ended up being a frenemies to lovers, slow burn, angsty and emotional romance that I absolutely loved.
Hi everyone! Today, I want to talk about rereads. I don’t reread books, I used to reread two series (one is fantasy and one is romance) because they were my favorite series, but the authors of both of them disappointed me recently, so I’m not rereading those series anymore and the only other book I have ever reread is The Alchemist because I read it and then I had to read it again for school.
I realized this year after a discussion with my friends that the reason why I haven’t been rereading books (or rewatching movies or tv shows for that matter) is messed up. In my mind, there are so many books I haven’t read yet and that I want to read, that I have this feeling that re-reading was a waste of time and that I wasn’t being “productive” enough. I read as a hobby, I read because it makes me happy and it gives me comfort, but my way of thinking has been permeated by this capitalist idea that even our hobbies have to be productive and that we have to use time efficiently even when we are doing things for fun.
After I made this connection of why I don’t re-read books, I immediately recognized that I need to change the way I have been thinking about it. I want to reclaim my free time and stop unconsciously accepting and reproducing this capitalist’s view of time. Which is why I started to write down a list of books that I want to re-read and it was so hard to come up with books because my mind keeps telling me ¿do you really need to re-read this book? ¿would your time be better spent reading books you haven’t read before?
But I’m not going to listen to that little nagging voice, I’m going to try to leave that mindset in the past and I’m going to re-read some books in 2021:
Bergman Brothers Series by Chloe Liese: This is a series I started to read in June 2020 and it has quickly become one of my favorite romance series, I think Only When It’s Us is going to be my favorite romance of 2020, so I really want to experience these stories again.
Beard Science by Penny Reid: There’s a spin-off series with the main characters of this book and I read the first book when it came out a couple of months ago and while I enjoyed it, I think I’ll enjoy the new series more if I re-read this book before continuing with the other books. This may become a reread of the entire Winston Brothers Series, but I’m not sure yet.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown + Take a Hint, Dani Brown + A Girl Like Her + Wanna Bet? by Talia Hibbert: Right now, Talia Hibbert is my favorite romance author and since I’m writing my favorite romance books of all time, I need to chose which one is my favorite because I’m going to have a one book per author rule. That’s why I want to reread all my favorite books by her.
Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility & Persuasion by Jane Austen: I love Jane Austen and I have read most of her books. I have also read so many retelling of her books and I have watched so many adaptations, and I think tiny part of the reason why is because I wanted to experience these stories again but I didn’t let myself reread the original books. I think it’s finally time to enjoy these stories again and I’m hoping I’ll love them even more now that 7 years have passed.