Happy new year, book lovers! I hope the new year has been treating you well and that you’re not stressing too much, although if you’re a U.S resident, please take time away from the internet to distress and have a mental break. Watch some cat videos or your favorite tv show.
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The first book that comes to mind is a manga series by the name of Princess jellyfish. I began reading Princess Jellyfish in early 2020, hoping to finally found out if Tsukimi ended up with Kuranosuke. I wasn’t the only one curious about this pair as those blog posts about Princess Jellyfish are the most popular on this blog.
If you haven’t heard about this manga series, it follows the life of 18 year Tsukimi, an inspiring illustrator living in Tokyo. Tskimi’s biggest problem is overcoming her social anxiety, but when she meets a stylish girl one night on a walk to the pet store, her life changes forever.
I loved Princess Jellyfish because it had fashion, friendship, first love, and you got to see all the characters who struggled socially slowly become more comfortable and confident!
This manga series has forever cemented itself into my heart.
Next on this list is none other than my favorite fall read, Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas.
Cemetery Boys was a book I wish I had existed back when I was in university because I would have written my Bachelor’s thesis on it. This book has everything a paranormal romance lover could want.
Cemetery Boys has a ghostly love interest, a house built on a cemetery, community, family, dia de los muertos, and Halloween spookiness.
Yadriel, a transgender teen, wants to be accepted for who he is by his family, and with the help of his cousin Maritza he performs a sacred ritual to prove he is a real brujo. This ritual ends up summoning the ghost of Julian, a bad boy from Yadriel’s high school. Julian has some unfinished business and will not leave the earth until it’s taken care of.
The Cruel Prince
What a better way to start the year than beginning a new book series? I went into 2020 deep in the pages of the Cruel Prince and all its wickedness.
What I loved most about this series is that the protagonist is strong as hell. Miss Jude Duarte grows up in the land of faerie with supernatural creatures that can turn her brain to mush if they’d please, and she outsmarts them at every turn.
Watching Jude rise from a human bullied by the faerie Prince to become Queen herself was amazing! I loved this series so much, and it has made me curious about reading more faerie novels.
This novel isn’t for everyone but if you’re curious about faeries, check this one out.
The Poet X
What would my year be without The Poet X
The Poet X was my first time reading anything by Elizabeth Acevedo, but after listening to this audiobook her novels became an auto-read for me. I loved this novel’s poetic writing style and the way Acevedo narrates her story. Acevedo makes sure every line is poetic as possible. And I became such a big fan of this writing style I decided to read Acevedo’s second novel Clap When you Land, which is also loved.
The Poet X follows Xiomara Batista, a teenage girl who loves to write poetry in her notebook, when her teacher asks her if she would like to join the school’s poetry club, Xiomara wants to, but her mother rather she grow closer to the lord. As Xiomara continues to write poems, she becomes more tempted to perform her own.
Gods of Jade and Shadow
Next on my list of favorite novels is none other than Gods of Jade and Shadow
Gods of Jade and shadow is iconic and beautiful. Shall I go so far as to call it my favorite read of the year?
I loved this novel because it has a Mayan God of death as one of its main characters, but I also loved Hun Kame’s arc. Hun-Kame goes from seeking revenge to considering abandoning his throne and living in the mortal realm.
Remember when I said I loved baddies in lit? Yeah, that’s also the reason I loved this novel.
Gods of Jade and Shadow is deliciously gothic! I loved how SMG intertwined Mayan mythology into a 1920s urban fantasy disguised as a road trip au and set throughout Mexico. It was spectacular.
If you have never heard about Gods of Jade and Shadow, allow me to summarize. The novel follows Casiopea, a young woman who lives with a cranky grandfather and her ungrateful relatives. One day while home alone, she discovers bones in her grandfather’s wardrobe and accidentally brings to life Hun-Kame, the Mayan god of death, who seeks her help to reclaim his throne from his brother.
To read my full review, check it out here.
The Hidden Legacy Series
Next up is the Hidden Legacy series by Illona Andrews. This book series focuses on two sisters, but the first three novels that focus on Nevada Baylor are my favorite. I’ve heard nothing but good things about author Illona Andrews so when I picked up these novels with the shirtless man on the cover- I knew I was in for a treat.
Nevada is one of the funniest and wittiest protagonists I’ve ever had the joy of reading. Her voice is what made me read these novels one after another, but the mystery and the handsome sidekick also kept me engrossed.
These novels follow Nevada Baylor, a 20 something PI working in a world where magic means power, and she has none. Nevada is assigned a case to drag Adam Peirce home to his mother. However, Adam’s magical tantrum has a body count, and soon Nevada is teaming up with another Houston local, Connor Rogan, a war vet and most feared man in Texas.
Check out my reviews on Nevada’s arc of the series here.
The Raven Cycles
I have been meaning to read the Raven cycle series by Maggie Stievater for a while now but had horrible time management.
I loved this series because of its theme of the found family and the paranormal mystery happening within the series. Blue is a kickass heroine who knows what she wants and won’t tolerate bs even from her best friends.
But my favorite thing about this series was the world-building. There are ghosts, psychics, witches, magical forests, and teens with too much time on their hands. Plus, all the boys are a bit goofy, which was fun to read about it.
The raven cycle series follows teenage Blue Sargent, who comes from a family of psychics, but isn’t psychic herself. Blue has always known she will kill her true love, and when she meets three boys from the private academy in town, she doesn’t pay much attention to them. Until she begins dating one of them and invite her on their quest to wake a sleeping king.
To read my reviews for this series, check them out here.
Odd One Out
You know those novels you read and can’t seem to get out of your head? Odd one Out by Nic Stone was that novel for me.
I liked this novel because it portrayed high school students frustratingly accurate. I enjoyed the way these problems grew into a shit storm until the friends finally got together to talk it all out. It went from how teenagers dealt with problems, to how mature people deal with them by working through them.
But overall, my favorite thing about this novel is Jupiter. Jupiter is so sure she’s a lesbian until she starts to realize she may have feelings for her best friend, coop. And to help her come to that conclusion, she speaks to Sunny, her egg donor, Freddy Mercury, and her biological brother, people who have all passed on, for some guidance.
I thought those scenes were cute, and it showed Jupiter’s own self-reflection in her journey to finding herself.
This novel is told in three parts and through the POV of three friends Courtney, Jupiter, and Rae. The story follows the weird love triangle between the three of them as well as questioning sexual orientation, testing the lines of friendship, and discovering who one truly is.
Those were all of my favorite novels of 2020. Reflecting on some of these novels made me feel like rereading them. But I’m going to finish the Shadow and Bone series first. If you would like to purchase any of my favorite reads of 2020 or browse more of favorite books you can do so by visiting my bookshop store front. Bookshop supports local bookstores by connecting books to readers like you!
Until next time book lovers, I’ll be living in libros,
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Gods of Jade and Shadow was so good!
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IT WAS AMAZING. Set the bar pretty high for god of death stories lol
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