Favorite Adult Books of 2020

Hi everyone! This is my last post of 2020 and that’s so wild! Blogging was such a refuge for me in 2020 and I fell even more in love with it, so I’m excited to keep sharing content with all of you in 2021.

In case you missed it, the last couple of days I posted my Favorite YA Books of 2020 and my Favorite Romance Books of 2020. Check them out if you want to see what other books I loved this year. Today, I want to talk about 10 adult books that I loved in 2020. These are all books that I read in 2020 even if they didn’t come out in 2020 and the only rule that I had was that I couldn’t have two books from the same series.

Without further ado, here are my top 10 adult books of 2020:

10. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

The world-building and magic system in this book are unique, captivating and devastating at the same time. The way the society in this book mirrors our society is smart and poignant. There are so many twists, some that I saw coming and some that I didn’t, but they all make sense to the story and make it more interesting. I loved Syenite and Alabaster and I’m heartbroken over everything they went through. What this book has to say and how it says it is so powerful and heartbreaking that it left me feeling hopeless and it took me a long time to recover but I think it was worth it.

9. Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-García

The writing in this book makes it feel like reading a myth or fairytale, it is so engaging. The Mayan mythology is captivating and lush, and since it’s a mythology that it’s not often used in fantasy books, this book is full of gods and mythical creatures that feel unique. This book is set in 1920’s Mexico and the mix of the mythological elements and the ‘modernity’ of the Jazz Age works well and gives this story an even more unique touch. Finally, the main characters, Casiopea and Hun-Kamé, who is the Mayan god of death, are both very engaging characters and their journeys and character development were fascinating.

8. To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

This is a quick, fascinating, and thought-provoking read. It focuses a lot on the scientific and technical side of space travel but the truly interesting thing is that Becky Chambers doesn’t forget about the impact that the discoveries, the advancements, and the search for those things have on people and environments. Also, there are a lot of queer characters in this book, which I love.

7. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

This book was so powerful. I was captivated the entire time while reading, I was amazed by the way the author takes all of these different elements (a pandemic, a cult, a theater group, some graphic novels) and different timelines and ties them all together in a way it makes sense and it’s interesting and meaningful. I found all the characters and storylines incredibly fascinating. This book made me really sad while reading it, but it also made me feel thankful and, in the end, it gave me hope. 

6. The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

This book is brilliant. I’m not the biggest fan of Military fantasy, but this series does it so well that I’m really invested in the story. The way this book talks about war and power is grim but fascinating. I think the main reason I enjoy this series and this book so much is that it has given me some characters that I adore. I still love Kitay as much as I did in book 1, this book made me fall in love with Venka and I love the angsty, complicated relationship between Rin and Nezha. Also, this book discusses colorism, colonialism, and the role of religion within colonialism in such a thought-provoking way.

5. Jade City by Fonda Lee

This book may have one of the coolest premises ever, it’s like the Godfather with martial arts and magic. It’s such a unique book! Fonda Lee does an amazing job of describing the action scenes in this book and the way she incorporates martial arts is incredible. The clan war element of the story is so interesting, this is a very intense book and I was completely invested in everything that was happening. I think I cared so much because I LOVED the main characters, who are siblings that are incredibly loyal to each other and they won my loyalty too. This book broke my heart at one point, I was devastated but it was SO GOOD.

4. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

This book is whimsical, nonsensical, and peculiar and the writing is absolutely beautiful. This book doesn’t have a defined plot; it’s full of metaphors and stories within stories, so it can be very confusing and, by the end, I felt like I only understood parts of it; and since it feels like you are reading a story, a myth, a fable, most of the characters feel like characters in that story and not like real people. But I didn’t dislike any of that. While I read this, I felt like I was lost in a strange and beautiful world. I loved and I was invested in all the stories within stories, I was intrigued by the mystery of this underground library, I was captivated by everything.

3. The Strange Case of The Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss

I love the characters in this book, monstrous women are my favorite thing in the world, and I love their relationship with each other and the found family aspect of the book. The premise of this is so unique, the daughters of famous scientists from classic gothic literature work together to solve a mystery that it’s linked to their lives. Also, I love the funny and unique structure in which this book is told, the fact that the characters interrupt the narrative to give their commentary on what’s happening. Basically, I love everything about this.

2. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

This is a hopeful and heartwarming book that explores the idea that prejudice keeps growing and wins when people stay silent in the face of it and live comfortably in their bubbles. The concept of this book is fascinating, well-executed and it mirrors a lot of real-life situations, this book is set in a world where magical beings exist and there’s a lot of prejudice against them. The main character in this book is so endearing and the children are cute, funny, lovable and so compelling. The sweet, loving relationship between the main character and the kids is my favorite part of the book. Also, there’s a very sweet m/m romance in this!

1. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-García

This creepy, atmospheric, and disturbing book. The writing is beautiful and captivating while being simple and unpretentious, and the main character is three-dimensional and flawed, while being charming and bewitching. This story is so effective in being scary because even when it’s not clear if there are ghosts, magic, or other supernatural things going on, the real villains of the story are manipulative, abusive, disgusting men that you could find anywhere in the world and anytime in history. This book is creepy from very early on, Moreno-García made my skin crawl with the simplest scenes, sometimes nothing too scary was happening but with one perfectly crafted phrase, I was spooked. Also, this includes important commentary on sexism, colonialism, and eugenics that gives depth to the story.

What are your favorite Adult books that you read in 2020?

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Favorite New-to-Me Authors of 2020 | Blogmas Day 21

Hi everyone! Today, I’m sharing my list of favorite new-to-me authors of 2020. This list doesn’t include romance authors because I wrote a separate list for my favorite new-to-me romance authors since I read so much romance.

These are all authors I can’t wait to read more from:

Erin Morgenstern: For a while, I have been looking for fantasy books that were more whimsical and magical and less grim and sad and Erin Morgenstern gave me exactly what I wanted. The Starless Sea is so nonsensical and fairytale-esque and the writing is so beautiful.

T.J. Klune: The House in the Cerulean Sea is everything I didn’t know I wanted, T.J. Klune managed to write a story that was hopeful and heartwarming while still talking about serious topics like privilege, prejudice, and complacency.

Romina Garber: Romina Garber took me back in time, Lobizona made me feel so nostalgic, it’s the perfect YA fantasy. Garber does an amazing job of having a unique world and a really cool made-up sport, and at the same time, integrating so many elements from Argentinian culture and discussing difficult topics like immigration.

Amparo Ortiz: The award for the coolest concept ever goes to Amparo Ortiz, the idea of a made-up sport played by humans and dragons is incredible. The expansive world building, the complex history behind the made-up sport and the captivating writing style are some of the strengths of Blazewrath Games.

Fonda Lee: Fonda Lee’s ability to write an intense, fast-paced story, with the coolest and most realistic combat scenes is outstanding. But the true strength of her writing is in her characters, I emotionally invested in all of their lives and suffer with them the entire book.

R.F. Kuang:  I’m not the biggest fan of Military fantasy, but it’s so well done in The Poppy War Series that R.F. Kuang has made me feel very captivated and engaged with the story. The way Kuang discusses war, colorism, colonialism, and the role of religion within colonialism is very powerful. But I think the main element I love from her books is the characters, which are very complex, interesting and morally gray.

N.K. Jemisin: N.K. Jemisin created a fascinating, unique and devastating world for her The Broken Earth Series. She made me feel invested in her characters and then she made me pay for it.  The way certain elements of the story mirror our society is smart and poignant.

Emily St. John Mandel: The way Emily St. John Mandel included so many different elements in Station Eleven is masterful. She manages to weave together storylines that seem completely unrelated, from a nomad theater group to a cult to a mysterious town in an airport. St John Mandel did an amazing job keeping her story intriguing and captivating.

What are some amazing authors you discovered 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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