Top Ten Tuesday: My Five-Star 2020 Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Favorite Books of 2020.” I was going to make this a strictly ten-book list, but I looked at how many five-star reads I had this year and decided they all need a shout out. So here are all thirteen five-star reads I had this year in order of read date. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

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1. Monstress, Vol. 3: Haven by Marjorie M. Liu, Illustrated by Sana Takeda – This remains my favorite graphic novel series. I am behind on it and will probably reread this one. If you are looking for some breathtaking artwork and a darker fantasy, this series is a must.

2. This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone – I am not always good at remembering what happens in books, but this one is so clear in my head. I remember exactly how it made me feel and you can bet I will be rereading this one. Pick this one up if sapphic sci-fi stories are your thing. Read my review here.

3. Citizen Illegal by José Olivarez – I am always telling myself I need to read more poetry and while I kind of failed this year, I did start 2020 off right with this collection. If you like poetry that makes you think as well as laugh, put this one on your TBR.

4. Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann – I can’t tell you how much I adored this one. I have so much love for the MC and this brought so many smiles to my face, I’m grinning while typing this. If you like college-set YA and reading about ace characters navigating their identity, I highly recommend this one. Read my review here.

5. Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo – This is one of the more gorgeously written books I have ever read. I was equal parts moved, enraged, and thankful the author shared his story with us. Even if memoirs aren’t your thing, you must read this one. Read my review here.

6. The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty – At this point, I am actively avoiding the third and final book in this series. The complexity of these characters has me drawn to all of them and my fragile heart wants happiness for them all even though I know it isn’t possible. If you love high fantasy with morally gray characters, read The Daevabad Trilogy. Read my review here.

7. In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado – I picked up this memoir based on the author alone. I adored her short-story collection, so had to check this one out. I was not prepared for the level of vulnerability. The audiobook, which Machado narrates herself, gave me chills.

8. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – Am I ever going to stop screaming about this book?! Probably not. Watching people discover just what a prolific writer SMG is felt kind of like vindication. I need you all to know that her storytelling in this one is just a little insight into her brilliance. All her books are so different and yet she has mastered telling everything from horror to fantasy. Pick this one up if you are looking for a multi-layered horror story and if you aren’t, consider checking out one of her other titles. Read my review of this one here.

9. Jade City by Fonda Lee – If I could describe this book in one word, it would be unputdownable. The level of action was off the charts, but it was the complex sibling relationships that kept me glued to this one. This is a must for fantasy fans. Read my review here.

10. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo – This book about the grief of two sisters who don’t discover the other exists until after their father dies was probably the hardest book for me to read this year. Their grief felt like a mirror and though I probably wasn’t quite ready to read this one, I’m glad I did. Read my review here.

11. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas – I feel like this was a love letter to Latinx readers. I love how community-oriented the world-building for this one was, loved its atmosphere, and adored the characters. If you are looking for a story that both inspires and transports you, this paranormal read is essential. Read my review here.

12. Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore – Whenever I think of this one, I think of how rare it is to come across a book that just makes you feel full because of how warm and loving it is. I once described this one as a warm hug, so if you are looking for a book that will make you feel safe and loved, please pick this one up. Read my review here.

13. By Any Means Necessary by Candice Montgomery – If I had to name one character I read that I felt most connected to, it would have to be Torrey from By Any Means Necessary. He felt like such an extension of myself, at times it felt like I was being exposed. Uncomfortable, but so very relatable. Reach for this one if you want a college-set YA about a teen figuring out how to decide between familial obligation and his own wants. Read my review here.

Are any of these your favorite too? Any on your TBR? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit!

54 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: My Five-Star 2020 Reads

  1. No matter how long or short a list is, any favorite read of the year needs a shout-out! I have had trouble finding a list of books for the last 2-3 years, which I think is more because I simply do not read that many books in a year. Glad you had some great reads! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can safely say this is my favorite TTT of the year. Obviously, it means my TBR’s going to explode, but I think it’ll be worth it. Esp. Mexican Gothic, Jade City, Kingdom of Copper.
    I’ve read the first Vol. of Monstress and the artwork was simply mindblowing — now I find it’s on the third volume! And Gladstone, you can always rely on Gladstone to do something very different.
    Happy TTT and Happy 2021 in advance!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great list! The Kingdom of Copper made my list this week too, as did The Empire of Gold, so I hope you enjoy it when you get to it. 😁 Let’s Talk About Love, In the Dream House and Jade City are all on my TBR. I need to read Jade City asap, I’ve heard so many amazing things!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mexican Gothic was incredible. I’d read Gods of Jade and Shadow by her and enjoyed it, but Mexican Gothic absolutely blew my mind. It’s definitely one of my favorite books of the year!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yay for Mexican Gothic! I want Silvia Moreno-Garcia to get all the love. All her books are so good!!

    Miss Meteor sounds really great as well. A warm hug? Amazing!!

    Great list; thank you so much for sharing! ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think the only one I’ve read from this list was This is How You Lose the Time War. It was so hard getting books read this year, so I missed a lot of new books. I’m glad you found so many books you loved this year!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I need to be pickier about giving out five stars. I found that many of my four star books were more memorable this year than the five star ones. I started but didn’t complete The Cemetery Boys and Clap When You Land because they both returned to the library before I was finished and now I’m back in line for a second try when my turn happens again.

    Liked by 1 person

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