Everything I Read in 2020 (Part 2)

If you haven't already check out Part 1 for my favorite books of the year!



You'll notice emojis next to some of the books this is what those mean!

💩 = Hot garbage* 😢 = I shed a tear** 😭 = I ugly cried**

🍆 = Steamy (Rated R) 💎 = A gem 💘 = Warmed my heart

👻 = Scary! 🤢 = Gross 😍 = Swoon-worthy love interest

*I loving refer to these books as hot garbage. I want to be clear that just because it’s hot garbage, doesn’t mean it wasn’t an enjoyable read. It just means it’s not particularly enriching or fine literature. Sometimes you want a hot-garbage read and that’s okay.

** I’m a pretty easy crier, so take that with a grain of salt.



The Nickelboys by Colson Whitehead

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Historical Fiction

Summary: The horrifying (and based on a true place) account of a wrongfully convicted black teen boy and his time at a hellhouse of a reform school.

I wished I had connected to this book more, but the way the story was told just fell flat for me. It was horrifying and highlighted an important and tragic part of actual history, but I didn't love the framing device used. Don't take my lukewarm rating as a reason not to read this book. The story is tremendously important and Whitehead has won a Pultizer. It just wasn't my favorite.


A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

🍆💩

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: YA

Summary: Picking up a few months after the first book, Feyre is dealing with PTSD from her time "Under the Mountain" and also has the hots for Rhysand.

I've often heard from people that are fans of this series that this book is the best one in the trilogy. I found it to be kind of a slough to get through all 600 pages and once again I was only really interested in the last dozen chapters. (December)


The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barhill

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Kids

Summary: A baby is snatched from their mother and then gifted with magical powers, which they must use to save the kingdom!

This book showed up at the library for me and I don't remember putting it on hold. It was a nice book, but nothing remarkable.



The Roommate by Rosie Danan

🍆💩

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Romance

Summary: Clara moves across the country to live with her childhood crush, but he is subletting his room to a porn star.

I did not know what I was signing up for when I started this book (tbh, the cover looks like The Babysitters' Club). It's very spicy, but honestly, I wasn't all that invested in their love story.


The Honey Don't List by Christina Lauren

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Romance

Summary: Another enemies-to-lovers book in the workplace, but this time with Chip and Jojo knockoffs.

I didn't hate it, but I thought The Hating Game did it better.




The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Thriller

Summary: There's a new murder that looks like the work of a serial killer who is already in prison, ahhh!

Why did I decide to read this? I'm not sure. Technically it's number 10 in a series I never read. I don't think you need to have read all the others, but I was kind of lost when it came to the personal lives of the detectives and that's totally my fault.


Dear Girls by Ali Wong

💘

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Non-Fiction

Summary: Ali Wong shares life lessons via letters to her daughters where she shares her personal experiences.

I had high hopes for this because I love Ali Wong, but I didn't love this book. I loved the structure of her writing letters to her daughters but sometimes struggled to connect to her experience.


The Stopover by T.L. Swan

💘💩🍆

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Romance

Summary: During a one-night-stand during a flight delay, Emily falls for Jim, a year later she finds out his real identity, a billion media mogul, and her new boss.

A breezy, spicy read for a Saturday morning in bed.



Twisted Palace by Erin Watts

💩🍆

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Romance

Summary: Ella and Reed (from Paper Princess) have to overcome haters in order to finally be together.

Wish I could tell you why I rated this book lower than the other two in this series, but I don't remember anything.


The Power of Silence by Cardinal Robert Sarah

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Non-fiction

Summary: Sarah talks about the importance of cultivating silence within the Catholic Church, especially in the current technological age.

This was a journey to get through. It's written in a very dense, academic way. There are a lot of really interesting ideas, but it was certainly a challenging read.


The Troop by Nick Cutter

🤢🤢🤢

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Thriller

Summary: A boy scout troop is camping on a remote island when a man with a mysterious illness shows up and it goes downhill quickly.

Even thinking about this book turns my stomach. It was by far the grossest thing I read this year (maybe ever?). The story was fairly predictable once it got going, but did an adequate job building tension. (November)


Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Thriller

Summary: College, but make it a cult.

This book had potential, but the plot was lacking for me. It does a fantastic job creating an incredible setting, but just wasn't invested (and didn't totally understand) where we were going. (November)




Followers by Megan Angelo

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Dystopian

Summary: What if Instagram was reality TV?

I wanted to love this book, but I found it to be a kind of flat and I didn't enjoy the characters as much as I would have wanted.





North & South by Elizabeth Glasgell

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Classic

Summary: Margaret and her family have to move to Milton, an industrial town; once there she comments on the perils of capitalism and falls in love (sort of).

This was the first book I read in an attempt to read more classic literature. I found the main character Margaret to be a little boring and found myself repeatedly wanting to read more about the side characters rather than about Mags.



Whisper Network by Chandler Baker

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Contemporary

Summary: A bunch of lady lawyers are consistently sexually harassed and one of them pushes one of the assholes off the roof.

TBH, I found this book to be kind of boring! I think it's a disservice to classify this as a thriller because that was the least interesting plot to me. It does an okay job dissecting female workplace dynamics, but I just wasn't super engaged in the story.



The Shape of Night by Tess Gerritsen

🍆

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Romance

Summary: A cookbook author rents a house in coastal Maine to finish her cookbook, but a ghost at her house keeps creeping on her at night.

This book is weird and involves some spicy ghost scenes. I loved the setting but wasn't sold on the story.



Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Romance

Summary: I don't remember anything about this book; I think there's a flower shop involved.

I just went back and read the description of this book and I literally don't even remember reading it. ????




With this Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas

🍆💘💩😢

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Romance

Summary: Years after their whirlwind (and shitshow) romance, Ava and Jess have settled into a comfortable married life, but when Ava loses her memory will Jesse be able to get her to fall in love with him again.

The conclusion to the This Man series brought in some emotion and made me fall in love with the most toxic couple of the year. Honestly, I really enjoyed this book, despite the fact it was trash. Significantly less trashy than it's predecessors. (November)


Majesty by Katherine McGee

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: YA

Summary: This book is the sequel to American Royal, where America is a monarchy instead of a democracy, and this book starts where the last book finished with America's first queen.

I really enjoyed American Royal, but this book just didn't do it for me. I was really invested in the romances from the first book, and although the author gave great reasons for taking the characters in the direction she did, I wanted some payoff from the couples in the first book.


Becoming by Michelle Obama

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Non-fiction

Summary: Michelle Obama's life story

There were so many parts of Michelle Obama's story that I really enjoyed. But it was just so long!





Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle

💩

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: YA

Summary: A unknown young woman is cast as the lead in a very popular teen movie series and falls in love with both of the male leads.

Rebecca Searle's adult books have been some of my favorite reads over the past few years (number 2 this year), so I decided to give her YA a chance. While it was enjoyable, it was not anything special.


Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren

💩🍆

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Romance

Summary: This is about a jerk boss who seduces an intern and then they fall in love.

The plot is nothing new, but it was a good time!




My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

😢

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Romance

Summary: Two professor friends (Millie and Reid) sleep together and then Millie catfishes Reid on a dating app.

This just fell flat for me. It had the recipe for success but just wasn't for me. (November)



The Woman Inside by E.G. Scott

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Thriller

Summary: I don't totally remember this book, but I think it essentially is a very similar plot to the last Mrs. Parish, aka, the husband is the worst.

These thrillers really all start to blend together. Especially since their titles are all almost identical.




The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Thriller

Summary: Libby has inherited the mansion where she was found as a baby and we learn of the strange people who lived in the house before her.

This book was weird. I don't remember much except the family had some super weird culty vibes going on.




Truly Madly Famously by Rebecca Serle

💩

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: YA

Summary: As Paige's movies come out, she now has to deal with the not so fun side of fame.

Despite the fact, I thought the first book in this series was just okay, I read the second book. It was also just okay.



Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Horror

Summary: IKEA, but make it haunted.

After reading The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires, I was excited to read another book by the same author, but unfortunately, this book wasn't nearly as good as his other novel. It was a fascinating concept, but I found it hard to follow. (November)


The Betrothed by Kiera Cass

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: YA

Summary: The King takes an interest in Hollis and wants to make her the next queen, but turns out being queen just might suck.

This book, by the author of The Selection series, was so bland. I remember very little from it except there's a scene where she falls off a boat. But, will I read a sequel? Maybe.




Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher & William Ury

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Non-Fiction

Summary: A book on how to negotiate successfully

Honestly, I enjoyed this book on negotiating more than I thought I would. I feel like it has a lot of practical applications to everyday conflict resolution, not just in a business setting.





The Four-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Non-Fiction

Summary: How to life-hack your way to working less and living more.

Everyone and their mother has read this book and I just didn't love it. Parts of it were dated and its goals just really didn't jive with my ideal lifestyle. Still, I took away some good tidbits.





The Merciless by Danielle Vega

👻

⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Horror

Summary: Teen girls think another teen is possessed, so they attempt a DIY exorcism and things really escalate quickly.

This book is the kind of thing that you forget you read as soon as you close the book. It was an enjoyable read (and pretty scary at times) but nothing that stuck with me.



The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel

⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Thriller

Summary: When Eve's daughter is murdered on the playground, she takes on finding the culprit herself, returning to the dark places of her past where her family still resides.

Honestly, this book was pretty good, but it was such a downer. It really delves into the struggle of generational poverty. Despite have a good, conclusive ending, it's just so tragic, that I was left feeling like I wished there was a redemption arc.



Rome Sweet Home by Scott and Kimberly Hahn

⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Non-Fiction

Summary: How Scott Hahn became Catholic (also his wife, but barely).

This book was on a lot of lists of Catholic books to read, but I found it boring and cannot remember a single thing that happened in it.





Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Historical

Summary: Claire and Jamie come to America and live like Little House on the Prairie and then their daughter shows up.

Ugh! I loved the first 3 Outlander books, but this one just wasn't it. To me, this book mostly felt like camping with Claire and Jamie for 1,000 pages. I hate camping. (November)




This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas

🍆🍆🍆💩💩💩

⭐️⭐️

Genre: Romance

Summary: Ava and Jesse fall in love, despite the fact Jesse is the actual worst and owns a secret sex club.

We're now entering the Jodi Ellen Malpas section of my list. There were dark days in November and I needed hot garbage books. These were certainly hot garbage and they were perfect for the long week before we knew election results. Jesse is the most toxic man I've ever read, but I didn't care. (November)


Beneath This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas

🍆🍆🍆💩💩💩

⭐️⭐️

Genre: Romance

Summary: Ava returns to Jesse, even though he's the worst, and is actively stealing her birth control in an attempt to entrap her with a baby.

It was still hot garbage and I still loved it. Did I mention, that Jesse (the main dude) actively steals Ava's birth control? Hello, red flag city. (November)


This Man Confessed by Jodi Ellen Malpas

🍆🍆🍆💩💩💩

⭐️⭐️

Genre: Romance

Summary: Ava and Jesse get married and Jesse had a secret twin.

Toxic Man: Tokoyo Drift (November)





One Night Denied by Jodi Ellen Malpas

🍆🍆🍆💩💩💩

⭐️⭐️

Genre: Romance

Summary: Miller and Livy fight and then make-up and then there are evil rich people.

Because one Malpas series wasn't enough for me, I started another. I didn't like this one as much, but TBH the relationship was slightly healthier than Ava and Jesse. (November)


One Night Unveiled by Jodi Ellen Malpas

🍆🍆🍆💩💩💩

⭐️⭐️

Genre: Romance

Summary: Livy loses her job at the coffee shop because she has to move to New York for a few weeks because a crime boss is after Miller.

These female protagonists just want to have jobs! Why can't they have a job! (November)



I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

⭐️⭐️

Genre: Horror

Summary: I wish I could tell you what happened in this book.

Honestly, I hated this book. I only finished it, so I could watch the movie. It was so weird, but not in a fun way. I'm not entirely sure why I even gave it two stars.





After by Anna Todd

🍆🍆🍆💩💩💩💩💩

⭐️⭐️

Genre: Romance

Summary: Tessa falls in love with bad boy Hardin (literally fanfiction Harry Styles) and then it turns out he only slept with her for a bet.

This series wasn't a fun time, but honestly, the characters were kind of compelling. Hardin (discount Harry Styles) was a shit show, but I felt myself kind of fond of him despite the neverending cycle of fighting and breaking up. (November)