Still have a few days left in the year to squeeze in this post! You can see the top ten books I recommend from the first half of 2020 here
A big thank you to all of the publishers for the free copies in this stack in exchange for my honest reviews, book features, and blog tours. I found so many memorable titles this year and there are so many to recommend. This was a hard one to narrow down, so knowing me, I’ll end up with an “honorable mentions” post to round out 2020.
All of the titles listed below were 5 star reads, but BLACKTOP WASTELAND has earned the title of my top book read for 2020
Books I Recommend – Second Half of 2020:
THE SWAP – Robyn Harding
5 stars – Another thrilling and binge-worthy read from Robyn Harding. I’ve read all of her books and haven’t been disappointed yet. An outcast girl that becomes enamored with her new pottery instructor. The new couple has some secrets of their own and things get complicated when their lives become intertwined with their new friends.
THE NIGHT WILL FIND US – Matthew Lyons
5 stars – It takes a lot to creep me out when it comes to horror (in books or film), so it’s really saying something when I say that this one had me looking over my shoulder when I was in the yard. Who knew that living in the middle of 20 acres of woods would become so eerie and unsettling? I can’t wait for more from Lyons!
THE BRIGHT LANDS – John Fram
5 stars – A book so worth the hype and praise its received this year. Another horror book that I was not expecting to be as scary and eerie as it was. The overall atmosphere, the characters, the writing. Just all of it. You need this one on your TBR and just go in blind or only knowing the synopsis because I think you’ll enjoy it so much more.
THEY NEVER LEARN – Layne Fargo
5 stars – I can always count on Layne Fargo to give us some incredible female leads. One that is getting revenge on the men on campus that are assaulting women? Sign me up! Hell hath no fury and when a calculating and intelligent woman is scorned, there’s nothing that can stop her. Plenty of blood and suspense to keep you flipping those pages.
THE SHADOWS – Alex North
5 stars – While this was very different from North’s other book, THE WHISPER MAN, I think I liked parts of this one more. I know the pacing is what threw off a lot of readers this year, but the slow build in the suspense is what got me. Plus, give me anything with a Slenderman-esque vibe to it and I’m guaranteed to read it. That ending – was not expecting it!
GIRL, SERPENT, THORN – Melissa Bashardoust
5 stars – A retelling unlike the rest. Bashardoust brings us a tale from Persian Mythology with a dark twist to it. A princess, a monster – sign me up! Imagine not being able to physically touch someone, at first that doesn’t sound too bad, but the mental and emotional strain that can put on a person is enormous. Bashardoust gets us into the mind of our protagonist and her struggles with her curse. A very unique retelling and one that I highly recommend
DON’T LOOK FOR ME – Wendy Walker
5 stars – Another binge worthy thriller from Wendy Walker. A mother goes missing during a storm, but her family receives a note telling them not to look for her. Her daughter knows that she wouldn’t just abandon them and is determined to get to the bottom of things and find her mother at all costs. In her own investigation she begins to step on the toes of the people in the small town and it could put her in harm’s way.
BLACKTOP WASTELAND – S.A. Cosby
5 stars – This was, hand’s down, my favorite book for the year. I read this book in maybe 6 hours because I just couldn’t stop. I NEEDED to know how it was going to end. Action packed, suspenseful, incredible characters, and you find yourself feeling for Bug. Will he be able to finish this one last job to finally go straight and provide an honest living for his family?
THE NOTHING MAN – Catherine Ryan Howard
5 stars – As if a survivor of a serial killer isn’t fascinating enough, take that survivor and her book that is detailing her investigation into who it could be and we have an interesting read. However, having the killer reading the book to see how close she’s truly getting to finding his identity makes for an even more exciting read. A very unique and intriguing suspense/thriller and one I won’t soon forget!
MEXICAN GOTHIC – Silvia Moreno-Garcia
5 stars – Our #BuddyReadsToDieFor selection for September! The writing is incredible and the overall Gothic atmosphere set the tone for an eerie read from start to finish. Noemi is one of my favorite characters throughout all the books I’ve read this year and MEXICAN GOTHIC deserves all the praise it has received this year.