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 YA Fantasy Books of 2020 | Blogmas Day 11

Hi everyone! Today I want to talk about my most anticipated YA fantasy books coming out in 2020. I wanted to make a list of books that I actually think I’ll read, that’s why there’s not too many books on this list and why a lot of them are sequels. If you want to know about all the YA releases of 2020, check out the amazing and comprehensive list posted at Book Birds.

Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova

This book is about a girl that has the power to erase memories and is kidnapped and forced to do something that hurts her people. After being rescued by a rebel group, she has to go back to her kidnappers convince them that she is loyal to them and complete a mission.

Why am I anticipating it? I love Zoraida’s urban fantasy series, the Brooklyn Brujas, and I can’t wait to read this new and different take on fantasy from her. I have an eARC of this and it’ll probably be one of my first reads of 2020.

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

This book is about a girl who’s rejected by her community because her blood is gold instead of red, and then she is asked to become part of an army of near-immortals girls with rare gifts.

Why am I anticipating it? This is probably the most beautiful cover of any 2020 release and I won’t lie it’s the first thing that caught my eye and made me check this book out. But since then I have heard great things about this, specially about its brilliant cast of female characters.

Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore

This book is a retelling of one of Andersen’s most brutal fairy tales, The Red Shoes, imixed with the true medieval events that likely inspired it, a dancing “plague” in 1518 . At the center of this book is a Romani girl & trans boy.

Why am I anticipating it? I have read two McLemore books and I loved them. I think their retellings of less well-known fairy tales are so interesting and unique and I love the fact that there’s always so much diversity in them.

Infinity Son by Adam Silvera

This urban fantasy about two brothers, one that has always wanted powers and doesn’t have them and one that never wanted them but has them, and how they become involve with a vigilante group that fights against a gang of specters who can steal people’s powers.

Why am I anticipating it? I have read two Adam Silvera books in the past and I really liked them, so I’m excited to give his first fantasy book a chance. Also, I love supporting Latinx authors and in this case, even more so, becasue the main character in this book is a gay Puerto Rican boy.

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Mass

This book is about a half-Fae and half-human woman seeking revenge and a fallen angel fighting for his freedom, who end up working together to find a demon that has been murdering people.

Why am I anticipating it? Honestly, I love most of Sarah J. Maas books. I just love them even if I know they lack diversity and good representation. Her writing style works for me, some of her characters are my all time favorites and I’m really excited to see what she does in this new series, specially since it sounds so different from her previous ones.

Wayward Witch by Zoraida Cordova

Rose, the younger of three sisters, has recently discovered new powers and she’s forced to use them when her father and her are sent to the land of Adas, a fairy realm hidden in the Caribbean Sea.

Why am I anticipating it? I love the Brooklyn Brujas series and I can’t wait to know what it’s gonna happen to this family next. My favorite thing about this series is the complex but lovable characters, the family dynamics and the fact that it includes Latinx folklore.

We Unleash the Merciless Storm by Tehlor Kay Mejia

This series is about a world in which men have two wives: one wife, the Primera, is the man’s right hand and in charge of the machinations of the family; the other, the Segunda, is there to love the husband and provide offspring. The book is the story of the Primera and the Segunda of a powerful man, who fall in love with each other and end up becoming involve with a rebel group.

Why am I anticipating it? I loved the first book in this series and I’m dying to know how the story continues. Honestly, I love the characters in this story so much and I just want them to be happy together, ok? ok. Beyond the complex main characters and the forbidden love story, I loved the way the first book addressed immigration, privilege, poverty and opression.

The King of Crows by Libba Bray

This series is about a group of teens, called Diviners, who have different powers and live in New York in the 1920’s and it’s the story of how they all meet and work together against supernatural forces.

Why am I anticipating it? The Diviners series is one of my favorite series of all time and I can’t wait to read the conclusion. I love the characters in this series and I’m rooting for Sam and Evie to end up together and I’m really curious to see how all the characters are gonna get reunited and how they are gonna defeat the King of Crows.

Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire

This series is about a group of kids who have gone to magical worlds and when they come back they no longer fit into society, so they end up in boarding school created just for them.

Why am I anticipating it? I really like all the books in this series, but I particulary loved the last book, In An Absent Dream, so that makes me even more excited for this one, specially since it’s the continuation of the original story in the first book and we’ll get to see more characters from previous books.

What 2020 YA Fantasy books are you highly anticipating?

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