I’m Still Here? And 2020 Reading Favorites

Hello! It has been an eternity. Well two years so essentially an eternity.

As I came to understand on my two year hiatus, to run a book blog, you have to read books. That’s something I haven’t done a lot of the past couple of years and therefore didn’t really see a point in continuing this. Despite only reading six books in 2020, they were all pretty great books. I might do more in depth reviews on these later but here they are.

King of Scars (King of Scars Duology #1) by Leigh Bardugo

“Everyone mourns the first blossom.

Who will grieve the rest who fall?”

Though one of my most anticipated books, King of Scars was just okay. Nicolai grew on me in this book, I skimmed the Shadow and Bone trilogy because I wasn’t a huge fan so I never got attached to Nicolai in that series. Same with Zoya, loved her in KoS.

I picked this book up though for Nina. And that’s where I was disappointed because her story just did not feel relevant enough to Nicolai’s. It almost seemed like reading two different stories where the characters just knew each other. I’m sure the story will be more interwoven in the second book but that was the biggest problem I had with this one. Despite that though, I was thoroughly invested in both stories.

Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1) by Cassandra Clare

“You decide the truth about yourself. No one else. And the choice about what kind of person you will be is yours alone.”

I loved it, this was a fun book. The plot was entertaining enough but I dont read these books for the plot but for the characters and theres a pretty large and diverse cast (and about half of them are queer which is always great). I could not for the life of me keep track of the family trees though, so many Herondales and Lightwoods and Blackthorns running around, I kept forgetting who is whose child.

Chain of Gold did a good job setting up the next books and the characters. We know enough about them to start rooting for them but there’s a lot of room for growth.

Okay but do all these characters HAVE to be beautiful??? Where are the average looking Shadowhunters?? Goodness!! I’m also always here for more Will, Tessa and Jem content! Love the OG trio.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

“Straight people, he thinks, probably don’t spend this much time convincing themselves they’re straight.”

This was an adorable book! Featuring Alex, a bisexual half-Mexican son of the first female president of the United States, and Henry, the very closeted gay prince of Wales and an heir to the British throne. The romcom of my dreams honestly.

The book was much more than a mere romcom though. The story is set during Alex’s mother’s presidential reelection campaign and incorporates politics pretty well. All the side characters are also amazing and hilarious.

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor (The Carls #2) by Hank Green

“People will just share the things that confirm their ideology, and those things will always exist. Our reality isn’t about what’s real, it’s about what we pay attention to.”

There’s so much in this book that I loved. Hank puts a lot of heavy topics into the story and he incorporates them so well with the characters. He talks about humanity, inequality, distribution of wealth, the pros and cons of the internet, corporations and their unchecked power, etc.

I also adore all the characters and appreciated getting everyone’s perspective in the second one and not just April’s.

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

“What I want more than anything else in the world is to feel like being myself isn’t something that should be hidden and a secret.”

Featuring Nishat, a lesbian Muslim Bengali girl, and Flavia, an Irish-Brazilian girl in a private high school in Ireland. Overall I thought this book was cute. It deals lightly with topics like cultural appropriation vs appreciation and qpoc struggles (especially in a majority white environment). However, I thought the author could have gone more in depth with how she portrayed something like cultural appropriation and she didn’t.

I liked the portrayal of Bengali characters and I though Nishat’s parents were very spot on when it comes to Muslim Bengali parents dealing with their kids coming out (basically just the silent treatment and pretending that nothing happened). There were small things though that Nishat says about Bengali culture that made me cringe a little. At one point, Nishat mentions that Flavia having her own henna stand was “lifting from Bengali culture” when henna is very much not just Bengali culture, having originated in Africa and the middle east.

Other than small grievances, it was an adorable book!

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E Schwab

“Being forgotten, she thinks, is a bit like going mad. You begin to wonder what is real, if you are real. After all, how can a thing be real if it cannot be remembered?”

I absolutely loved it. This book is not action packed or plot heavy, it’s driven by Addie going through this world without being able to be remembered by anyone. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue reflects on what it means to be human, and what it means to live and love and be remembered. The prose was beautifully written.

Aaaaaand those are all the books I read in 2020. No promises that I will blog frequently, though I will try to remind myself how much I love looking back at old reviews to cringe at them (looking back at old reviews is probably the best way to torture myself. They suck. I don’t know why I did this, please don’t read them).

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