How are we almost done with June already?! I would say that this year will definitely be one to remember. It seems like 2020 is flying by and there have already been so many amazing books out there.
A big thank you to all of the publishers and authors for the gifted copies in exchange for my honest reviews throughout the year so far.
I believe these are all 5 star reads, with the potential for one 4 star rating. They are all ones that stand out in my mind when I think back to the beginning of this year. I would highly recommend all of these to any reader. Lots of thrillers (as expected) but there are a couple more contemporary fiction books in the mix.
Books I Recommend – First Half of 2020:
THE NEIGHBORS – Hannah Mary McKinnon
5 stars – Selection for #BuddyReadsToDieFor and once again, McKinnon did not disappoint! Plenty of twists and turns when a new family moves in across the street. Secrets, betrayals, red herrings, and a shocking end. You can see the full #ATBR2020 thoughts here!
MY KIND OF PEOPLE – Lisa Duffy
5 stars – My third outing with Lisa Duffy and it absolutely amazes me how she can create all of her characters. You almost instantly fall in love with them and feel their struggles alongside them. A young girl is left orphaned after her parents pass away and is left in the care of one of their old friends. He must now try to navigate a new life while trying to grieve his loss and care for the young girl. You can see the #ATBR2020 thoughts here!
THE RABBIT HUNTER – Lars Kepler
5 stars – I’m convinced that the writing duo that is Lars Kepler can do no wrong when it comes to crime fiction. There’s always a new killer that’s even more twisted and sadistic than the last and I’m all for it! I always think that they can’t surpass their previous books, but they continue to and I’m so excited to see what they release next. You can see the #ATBR2020 thoughts here!
DARLING ROSE GOLD – Stephanie Wrobel
5 stars – This book. This is one of the standouts for 2020 so far for me. I was instantly curious because it has to do with Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSBP). This is something that fascinates and terrifies me, and I was anxious to see how the author would approach this. A woman is out of prison for the mistreatment of her daughter. She was convinced there was something wrong with Rose Gold and was determined to do what she believed to be right. Now that she is out and living with Rose Gold, she needs to try and prove her innocence all along and try to reveal that Rose Gold is actually sick. Man, the lengths these two go to. Check out the #ATBR2020 thoughts here!
THE FAMILIAR DARK – Amy Engel
5 stars – Atmospheric, well developed characters, and an impending sense of dread. Harrowing, dark, full of tension, borderline claustrophobic, and emotional. A small poor town full of secrets that they want to keep hidden, but Eve is determined to find out what happened to her daughter. This one packs a punch. See the #ATBR2020 thoughts here!
THE SOUTHERN BOOK CLUB’S GUIDE TO SLAYING VAMPIRES – Grady Hendrix
5 stars – Who knew a book club could be so bad ass? This is a group of women that you both want to be friends with and not mess with. These characters came to life and all the women had their own distinct voices. This was truly a fun horror read in the way that only Grady Hendrix can do it. Definitely some gore and scenes that you won’t soon forget, but hey, it comes with the territory when you’re slaying some vampires. Check out the #ATBR2020 thoughts here!
HARD CASH VALLEY – Brian Panowich
5 stars – Once again, a solid entry in this incredible series. The writing, the setting, the characters. Everything is so mesmerizing and captivating. This can be read as a standalone, but I feel like you’d be cheating yourself out of some amazing books if you skipped BULL MOUNTAIN and LIKE LIONS. You can see my full review here!
SAVING RUBY KING – Catherine Adel West
5 stars – This one I’m still currently getting my full review typed up, but what I can tell you is how incredible this debut is. I almost didn’t believe that this was West’s debut novel because the writing seems effortless. The characters come to life, they feel authentic in their interactions and you find yourself connecting with Ruby almost instantly. West has given us this gem and I am now anxiously and impatiently waiting on her to write another book.
THE DARK CORNERS OF THE NIGHT – Meg Gardiner
5 stars – The third book in the UNSUB series! I’ve loved this series from book one and what I’ve enjoyed is that they do work well as standalones. So you can definitely jump into the series here and not feel lost (but, with all good series, I highly recommend starting with UNSUB). A new killer on the lose, and a new cat and mouse game to catch them before they strike again! The same pacing and suspense from the first two, but an even more twisted killer than before. You can see the #ATBR2020 thoughts here!
THE ANTIDOTE FOR EVERYTHING – Kimmery Martin
5 stars – I feel like this is a book more people should be reading, and not just because of how well its written, but because of what’s happening in the world right now. Georgia and Jonah are coworkers and close friends – they consider each other family. As Georgia is leaving for a medical conference overseas, Jonah is having to deal with new policies taking place at their hospital. They are no longer allowed to treat patients that are transgender. Jonah refuses to turn away any of his patients and quickly loses his job as a result. What will Georgia do when she returns? This book will bring you through a rollercoaster of emotions – you’ll be laughing along with the characters, getting unbelievably frustrated at the situations some have to deal with, and so much more. That is a mark of a great read in my opinion – one that makes you feel everything along with the characters and that leave a lasting impression. You can see the #ATBR2020 thoughts here!