Anticipated Books of 2021

There are a lot of books that I’m looking forward to being released this year. I’m going to list them and try and include the blurbs. The following books are in order of release date and it is only a tentative list with books that have been announced.

One of the Good Ones by Maritza Moulite: 5 January 2021

ISN’T BEING HUMAN ENOUGH?

When teen social activist and history buff Kezi Smith is killed under mysterious circumstances after attending a social justice rally, her devastated sister Happi and their family are left reeling in the aftermath. As Kezi becomes another immortalized victim in the fight against police brutality, Happi begins to question the idealized way her sister is remembered. Perfect. Angelic.

One of the good ones.

Even as the phrase rings wrong in her mind—why are only certain people deemed worthy to be missed?—Happi and her sister Genny embark on a journey to honor Kezi in their own way, using an heirloom copy of The Negro Motorist Green Book as their guide. But there’s a twist to Kezi’s story that no one could’ve ever expected—one that will change everything all over again.

Lore by Alexandra Bracken: 5 January 2021

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.
Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees

Angel of Greenwood by Randi Pink: 12 January 2021

Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Wilson is, on the surface, a town troublemaker, but is hiding that he is an avid reader and secret poet, never leaving home without his journal. A passionate follower of WEB. Du Bois, he believes that black people should rise up to claim their place as equals.

Sixteen-year-old Angel Hill is a loner, mostly disregarded by her peers as a goody-goody. Her father is dying, and her family’s financial situation is in turmoil. Also, as a loyal follower of Booker T. Washington, she believes, through education and tolerance, that black people should rise slowly and without forced conflict.

Though they’ve attended the same schools, Isaiah never noticed Angel as anything but a dorky, Bible toting church girl. Then their English teacher offers them a job on her mobile library, a three-wheel, two-seater bike. Angel can’t turn down the money and Isaiah is soon eager to be in such close quarters with Angel every afternoon.

But life changes on May 31, 1921 when a vicious white mob storms the community of Greenwood, leaving the town destroyed and thousands of residents displaced. Only then, Isaiah, Angel, and their peers realize who their real enemies are.

WInterkeep by Kristin Cashore 19 January 2021

Four years after Bitterblue left off, a new land has been discovered to the east: Torla; and the closest nation to Monsea is Winterkeep. Winterkeep is a land of miracles, a democratic republic run by people who like each other, where people speak to telepathic sea creatures, adopt telepathic foxes as pets, and fly across the sky in ships attached to balloons.

But when Bitterblue’s envoys to Winterkeep drown under suspicious circumstances, she and Giddon and her half sister, Hava, set off to discover the truth–putting both Bitterblue’s life and Giddon’s heart to the test when Bitterbue is kidnapped. Giddon believes she has drowned, leaving him and Hava to solve the mystery of what’s wrong in Winterkeep.

Lovisa Cavenda is the teenage daughter of a powerful Scholar and Industrialist (the opposing governing parties) with a fire inside her that is always hungry, always just nearly about to make something happen. She is the key to everything, but only if she can figure out what’s going on before anyone else, and only if she’s willing to transcend the person she’s been all her life.

We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal: 19 January 2021

The battle on Sharr is over. The dark forest has fallen. Altair may be captive, but Zafira, Nasir, and Kifah are bound for Sultan’s Keep, determined to finish the plan he set in motion: restoring the hearts of the Sisters of Old to the minarets of each caliphate, and finally returning magic to all of Arawiya. But they are low on resources and allies alike, and the kingdom teems with fear of the Lion of the Night’s return.

As the zumra plots to overthrow the kingdom’s darkest threat, Nasir fights to command the magic in his blood. He must learn to hone his power into a weapon, to wield not only against the Lion but against his father, trapped under the Lion’s control. Zafira battles a very different darkness festering in her through her bond with the Jawarat—a darkness that hums with voices, pushing her to the brink of her sanity and to the edge of a chaos she dare not unleash. In spite of the darkness enclosing ever faster, Nasir and Zafira find themselves falling into a love they can’t stand to lose…but time is running out to achieve their ends, and if order is to be restored, drastic sacrifices will have to be made.

A Vow so Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer: 26 January 2021

Face your fears, fight the battle.
Emberfall is crumbling fast, torn between those who believe Rhen is the rightful prince and those who are eager to begin a new era under Grey, the true heir. Grey has agreed to wait two months before attacking Emberfall, and in that time, Rhen has turned away from everyone—even Harper, as she desperately tries to help him find a path to peace. 

Fight the battle, save the kingdom.
Meanwhile, Lia Mara struggles to rule Syhl Shallow with a gentler hand than her mother. But after enjoying decades of peace once magic was driven out of their lands, some of her subjects are angry Lia Mara has an enchanted prince and magical scraver by her side. As Grey’s deadline draws nearer, Lia Mara questions if she can be the queen her country needs.

As two kingdoms come closer to conflict, loyalties are tested, love is threatened, and an old enemy resurfaces who could destroy them all.

All the Tides of Fate by Adalyn Grace: 2 February 2021

Through blood and sacrifice, Amora Montara has conquered a rebellion and taken her rightful place as queen of Visidia. Now, with the islands in turmoil and the people questioning her authority, Amora cannot allow anyone to see her weaknesses.

No one can know about the curse in her bloodline. No one can know that she’s lost her magic. No one can know the truth about the boy who holds the missing half of her soul.

To save herself and Visidia, Amora embarks on a desperate quest for a mythical artifact that could fix everything―but it comes at a terrible cost. As she tries to balance her loyalty to her people, her crew, and the desires of her heart, Amora will soon discover that the power to rule might destroy her.

Rebel Daughter by Lori Banov Kaufmann: 9 February 2021

Esther dreams of so much more than the marriage her parents have arranged to a prosperous silversmith. Always curious and eager to explore, she must accept the burden of being the dutiful daughter. Yet she is torn between her family responsibilities and her own desires; she longs for the handsome Jacob, even though he treats her like a child, and is confused by her attraction to the Roman freedman Tiberius, a man who should be her sworn enemy.

Meanwhile, the growing turmoil threatens to tear apart not only her beloved city, Jerusalem, but also her own family. As the streets turn into a bloody battleground between rebels and Romans, Esther’s journey becomes one of survival. She remains fiercely devoted to her family, and braves famine, siege, and slavery to protect those she loves.

This emotional and impassioned saga, based on real characters and meticulous research, seamlessly blends the fascinating story of the Jewish people with a timeless protagonist determined to take charge of her own life against all odds.

Amelia Unabridged by Ashley Schumacher: 16 February 2021

Eighteen-year-old Amelia Griffin is obsessed with the famous Orman Chronicles, written by the young and reclusive prodigy N. E. Endsley. They’re the books that brought her and her best friend Jenna together after Amelia’s father left and her family imploded. So when Amelia and Jenna get the opportunity to attend a book festival with Endsley in attendance, Amelia is ecstatic. It’s the perfect way to start off their last summer before college.

In a heartbeat, everything goes horribly wrong. When Jenna gets a chance to meet the author and Amelia doesn’t, the two have a blowout fight like they’ve never experienced. And before Amelia has a chance to mend things, Jenna is killed in a freak car accident. Grief-stricken, and without her best friend to guide her, Amelia questions everything she had planned for the future.

When a mysterious, rare edition of the Orman Chronicles arrives, Amelia is convinced that it somehow came from Jenna. Tracking the book to an obscure but enchanting bookstore in Michigan, Amelia is shocked to find herself face-to-face with the enigmatic and handsome N. E. Endsley himself, the reason for Amelia’s and Jenna’s fight and perhaps the clue to what Jenna wanted to tell her all along.

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas: 16 February 2021

a Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.

The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.

Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.

Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other’s arms.

Namesake by Adrienne Young: 16 March 2021

Trader. Fighter. Survivor.

With the Marigold ship free of her father, Fable and its crew were set to start over. That freedom is short-lived when she becomes a pawn in a notorious thug’s scheme. In order to get to her intended destination she must help him to secure a partnership with Holland, a powerful gem trader who is more than she seems.

As Fable descends deeper into a world of betrayal and deception she learns that her mother was keeping secrets, and those secrets are now putting the people Fable cares about in danger. If Fable is going to save them then she must risk everything, including the boy she loves and the home she has finally found.

The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni: 13 April 2021

Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years fighting for survival in the notorious death prison, Zalindov, working as the prison healer.

When the Rebel Queen is captured, Kiva is charged with keeping the terminally ill woman alive long enough for her to undergo the Trial by Ordeal: a series of elemental challenges against the torments of air, fire, water, and earth, assigned to only the most dangerous of criminals.

Then a coded message from Kiva’s family arrives, containing a single order: “Don’t let her die. We are coming.” Aware that the Trials will kill the sickly queen, Kiva risks her own life to volunteer in her place. If she succeeds, both she and the queen will be granted their freedom.

But no one has ever survived.

With an incurable plague sweeping Zalindov, a mysterious new inmate fighting for Kiva’s heart, and a prison rebellion brewing, Kiva can’t escape the terrible feeling that her trials have only just begun.

The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L Armentrout: 20 April 2021

She’s been the victim and the survivor…

Poppy never dreamed she would find the love she’s found with Prince Casteel. She wants to revel in her happiness but first they must free his brother and find hers. It’s a dangerous mission and one with far-reaching consequences neither dreamed of. Because Poppy is the Chosen, the Blessed. The true ruler of Atlantia. She carries the blood of the King of Gods within her. By right the crown and the kingdom are hers.

The enemy and the warrior…

Poppy has only ever wanted to control her own life, not the lives of others, but now she must choose to either forsake her birthright or seize the gilded crown and become the Queen of Flesh and Fire. But as the kingdoms’ dark sins and blood-drenched secrets finally unravel, a long-forgotten power rises to pose a genuine threat. And they will stop at nothing to ensure that the crown never sits upon Poppy’s head.

A lover and heartmate…

But the greatest threat to them and to Atlantia is what awaits in the far west, where the Queen of Blood and Ash has her own plans, ones she has waited hundreds of years to carry out. Poppy and Casteel must consider the impossible—travel to the Lands of the Gods and wake the King himself. And as shocking secrets and the harshest betrayals come to light, and enemies emerge to threaten everything Poppy and Casteel have fought for, they will discover just how far they are willing to go for their people—and each other.

And now she will become Queen…

The Forgotten Gate by Kala Merseal 27 April 2021

Illusionary by Zoraida Cordova 11 May 2021

Reeling from betrayal at the hands of the Whispers, Renata Convida is a girl on the run. With few options and fewer allies, she’s reluctantly joined forces with none other than Prince Castian, her most infuriating and intriguing enemy. They’re united by lofty goals: find the fabled Knife of Memory, kill the ruthless King Fernando, and bring peace to the nation. Together, Ren and Castian have a chance to save everything, if only they can set aside their complex and intense feelings for each other.

With the king’s forces on their heels at every turn, their quest across Puerto Leones and beyond leaves little room for mistakes. But the greatest danger is within Ren. The Gray, her fortress of stolen memories, has begun to crumble, threatening her grip on reality. She’ll have to control her magics–and her mind–to unlock her power and protect the Moria people once and for all.

For years, she was wielded as weapon. Now it’s her time to fight back.

War of Dragons by Jessica Cluess: 18 May 2021

The Emperor’s Trial is over. The dragon throne has been claimed–yet there is no peace to be had. For the first time in history, it is not one emperor who has taken power, but four. Although the young rulers seek to build a better world, there are many who oppose them. Tradition is broken, and so is Etrusia.

And while the empire crumbles, something dark awakens. Something that has waited centuries to unleash true calamity upon the world. Something only the emperors of Etrusia can hope to stop.

Once again, the outcasts will be challenged, but now they face a threat unlike any the world has ever seen. Because a Trial is one thing. War is something else entirely.

Spells Trouble by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast 25 May 2021

Double double, twins spell trouble…

Hunter and Mercy Goode are twin witches, direct descendants of the founder of their town of Goodeville. As their ancestors have done before them, it is now time for the twins to learn what it means to be Gatekeepers–the protectors of the Gates to different underworlds, ancient portals between their world and realms where mythology rules and nightmares come to life.

When their mother becomes the first victim in a string of murders, the devastated sisters vow to avenge her death. But it will take more than magic to rein in the ancient mythological monsters who’ve infected their peaceful town.

Now Hunter and Mercy must come together and accept their destiny or risk being separated for good.

Grace and Glory by Jennifer L Armentrout: 1 June 2021

When Angels Fall

Trinity Marrow has lost the battle and her beloved Protector. Even with both demons and Wardens on her side, Trin may not win the war against the Harbinger.

Bringing Lucifer back to the world to fight the Harbinger is probably a really, really bad idea, but they’re out of options—and the world’s ultimate fallen angel is the only being powerful enough to impact the outcome.

As Trin and Zayne form a new and more dangerous bond and Lucifer unleashes Hell on earth, the apocalypse looms and the world teeters on the end of forever. Win or lose, one thing is certain—nothing will ever be the same. 

The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik: 6 July 2021

At the Scholomance, El, Orion, and the other students are faced with their final year—and the looming specter of graduation, a deadly ritual that leaves few students alive in its wake. El is determined that her chosen group will survive, but it is a prospect that is looking harder by the day as the savagery of the school ramps up. Until El realizes that sometimes winning the game means throwing out all the rules . . 

These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan: 20 July 2021

Brie hates the Fae and refuses to have anything to do with them, even if that means starving on the street. But when her sister is sold to the sadistic king of the Unseelie court to pay a debt, she’ll do whatever it takes to get her back—including making a deal with the king himself to steal three magical relics from the Seelie court.

Gaining unfettered access to the Seelie court is easier said than done. Brie’s only choice is to pose as a potential bride for Prince Ronan, and she soon finds herself falling for him. Unwilling to let her heart distract her, she accepts help from a band of Unseelie misfits with their own secret agenda. As Brie spends time with their mysterious leader, Finn, she struggles to resist his seductive charm.

Caught between two dangerous courts, Brie must decide who to trust with her loyalty. And with her heart.

Red Wolf by Rachel Vincent: 20 July 2021

For as long as sixteen-year-old Adele can remember the village of Oakvale has been surrounding by the dark woods—a forest filled with terrible monsters that light cannot penetrate. Like every person who grows up in Oakvale she has been told to steer clear of the woods unless absolutely necessary.

But unlike her neighbors in Oakvale, Adele has a very good reason for going into the woods. Adele is one of a long line of guardians, women who are able to change into wolves and who are tasked with the job of protecting their village while never letting any of the villagers know of their existence. 

But when following her calling means abandoning the person she loves, the future she imagined for herself, and her values she must decide how far she is willing to go to keep her neighbours safe.

Gods & Monsters by Shelby Mahurin: 3 August 2021

Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff: 7 September 2021

“From holy cup comes holy light.
The faithful hand sets world aright.
And in the seven martyrs’ sight,
Mere man shall end this endless night.”
 

Twenty-seven years have passed since the last sunrise, and for almost three decades, the creatures of the night have walked the day without fear. Once, humanity fought bravely against the coldblood legions, but now, we exist only in a few scattered settlements—tiny sparks of light in a growing sea of darkness.

Gabriel de León is the last of the Silversaints, a holy order dedicated to defending realm and church, now utterly destroyed. Imprisoned for the murder of the vampiric king, Gabriel is charged with telling the story of his life.

His tale spans years, from his youth in the monastery of San Michon, to the forbidden love that spelled his undoing, and the betrayal that saw his order annihilated. Most importantly, Gabriel will tell the story of the Grail—the legendary cup prophesied to bring an end to the eternal night, whose location is known to a single person: A smart-mouthed teenage urchin named Dior. 

Their journey with a band of unlikely allies would see Dior and Gabriel forge an unbreakable bond, and set the broken paragon on a road to redemption.

But now, the Grail is shattered. And with the cup of the Redeemer destroyed and the last Silversaint awaiting execution, what can bring an end to this undying empire?

Once upon a broken Heart by Stephanie Garber: 30 September 2021

Beyond the End of the World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner: 5 October 2021

The Gilded Cage by Lynette Noni 12 October 2021

Kingdom of the Cursed by Kerri Maniscalco: 26 October 2021

Crescent City Two by Sarah J Maas 2 November 2021

Top 10 Books for 2020

In my Top 20 for 2020 posts I gave reasons for why I enjoyed the books so much. In this post, I go from 10 to 1 for my favourite books of 2020 and share the blurbs of these awesome books.

10. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

When Addie LaRue makes a pact with the devil, she trades her soul for immortality. But there’s always a price the devil takes away her place in the world, cursing her to be forgotten by everyone. 

Addie flees her tiny hometown in 18th Century France, beginning a journey that takes her across the world, learning to live a life where no one remembers her and everything she owns is lost and broken. Existing only as a muse for artists throughout history, she learns to fall in love anew every single day. 

Her only companion on this journey is her dark devil with hypnotic green eyes, who visits her each year on the anniversary of their deal. Alone in the world, Addie has no choice but to confront him, to understand him, maybe to beat him. 

Until one day, in a second hand bookshop in Manhattan, Addie meets someone who remembers her. Suddenly thrust back into a real, normal life, Addie realises she can’t escape her fate forever.

9. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Bound as one, to love, honor, or burn. Book one of a stunning fantasy duology, this tale of witchcraft and forbidden love is perfect for fans of Kendare Blake and Sara Holland. 

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned. 

As a huntsman of the Church, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. But when Lou pulls a wicked stunt, the two are forced into an impossible situation marriage. 

Lou, unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, must make a choice. And love makes fools of us all.

8. Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

Emilia and her twin sister Victoria are strega – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Victoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to discover who did this, and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden. Then Emilia meets Wrath, the outlier among the seven demon brethren, always choosing duty over pleasure. He’s been tasked by his master with investigating a series of women’s murders on the island. When Emilia and Wrath’s fates collide, it’s clear this disturbing mystery will take a bewitching turn…

7. When Wishes Bleed by Casey L Bond

One Prince. One Witch. One Fate.

The upheaval in my life began the moment a prince stumbled into my house and asked me to read his fortune. Any other night, I might have made an excuse to get him to leave, but this was no normal visit. My fingers prickled to touch him. So, I granted his request by handing him a single wishbone. When he snapped it, the wish … bled.

Hearing me suck in a shocked breath, he asked what it meant. Such an ominous omen could only mean one thing: his death was imminent. Fate revealed that he wouldn’t die of natural causes. Someone wanted him dead. Stunned by the revelation, the man I now knew as Prince Tauren disappeared into a night I feared he wouldn’t survive. The following day, I received an invitation to the castle. While it seemed the prince believed I could intervene and uncover who was plotting his death, his motives didn’t stop there. I was being summoned to join twelve other women in vying for the opportunity to be his wife and future queen.

Going could mean jeopardizing my plans to reclaim my heritage and resurrect the House of Fate. But staying would guarantee Tauren’s death, and the blood of his wish would be on my hands.

6. A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

Enter a school of magic unlike any you have ever encountered. There are no teachers, no holidays, friendships are purely strategic, and the odds of survival are never equal. Once you’re inside, there are only two ways out- you graduate or you die. El Higgins is uniquely prepared for the school’s many dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out untold millions – never mind easily destroy the countless monsters that prowl the school. Except, she might accidentally kill all the other students, too. So El is trying her hardest not to use it… that is, unless she has no other choice.

5. From Blood and Ashy by Jennifer L Armentrout

A Maiden…

Chosen from birth to usher in a new era, Poppy’s life has never been her own. The life of the Maiden is solitary. Never to be touched. Never to be looked upon. Never to be spoken to. Never to experience pleasure. Waiting for the day of her Ascension, she would rather be with the guards, fighting back the evil that took her family, than preparing to be found worthy by the gods. But the choice has never been hers.

A Duty…

The entire kingdom’s future rests on Poppy’s shoulders, something she’s not even quite sure she wants for herself. Because a Maiden has a heart. And a soul. And longing. And when Hawke, a golden-eyed guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension, enters her life, destiny and duty become tangled with desire and need. He incites her anger, makes her question everything she believes in, and tempts her with the forbidden.

A Kingdom…

Forsaken by the gods and feared by mortals, a fallen kingdom is rising once more, determined to take back what they believe is theirs through violence and vengeance. And as the shadow of those cursed draws closer, the line between what is forbidden and what is right becomes blurred. Poppy is not only on the verge of losing her heart and being found unworthy by the gods, but also her life when every blood-soaked thread that holds her world together begins to unravel.

4. With Shield and Ink and Bone by Casey L Bond

The sharpest blades are forged in fury.

A hard-earned shield. 

Days before she is to take her place as a shield maiden, like her mother before her, two deaths alter the course of Liv’s future. One belonged to a witch who called her by name, the other a chieftain from the north. Vengeance for the chieftain’s death comes in a wild fury that burns her village and slaughters her family. Left for dead, Liv pleads to Skuld—norn and weaver of the future—to spare her. A deal is struck that will endow her with the dark magic needed to claim her vengeance. But this power comes at an unfathomable price… 

Ink made from the ashes of loved ones.

After his home is attacked, Calder races to warn neighboring villages. Little does he know he’s traveling the path of fate that will lead him straight to Liv. Despite being broken, angry, and overwhelmed by power she cannot contain, it’s her willingness to defend others that draws Calder to her. 

Armor forged from the bones of those held dear.

Together, Liv and Calder discover they are two sides of the same sharpened blade. Rising from the heartache and fury in their pasts, they see a future together worth fighting for. With their strengths and hearts combined, can they become a force powerful enough to defeat the fleet of darkness coming for them? Or will the thread of fate that binds them unravel?

3. Fable by Adrienne Young

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.

As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.

2. Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . beware of getting swept too far away.

1. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life. Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. 

When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

There you have it. My top 10 books for 2020. In another post I will be sharing my anticipated reads of 2021.

Top 20 books for 2020

Over on my Instagram, I shared the books in my top 2020. I will also be sharing my top 10. I thought I would share a bit about my top 20 books along with a quick summery. I have posted reviews here on my website for most of these books, for those I haven’t, I will be posting very soon.

Let’s dive in to my top 20 which are in no particular order

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

This has to be one of my absolutely favourite reads this year! Not only do I love Stalking Jack the Ripper, but I love the whole series. This is a YA novel which I would classify as Historical Crime as we follow Audrey Rose as she goes against society normals as she wants to investigate and help the police in solving murders. This book is set when Jack the Ripper was during his spree and Audrey Rose works with Thomas to solve the mystery which is close to home. I love how historically correct it is even with the addition of the main characters. I enjoyed following Audrey and Thomas during the next three books. If you haven’t read it, definitely check it out!

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Caraval set me on a journey of other stories filled with the circus. Garner did such an amazing job creating a rich atmosphere and connection between Scarlett and Tella that Scarlett will do anything for her. The romance was amazing and I loved seeing the characters grow!

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

This is the first book in Maniscalco’s new series and it didn’t disappoint at all. I loved the sisters and their connection to each other. It was a perfect read for October and I’m looking forward to the second book. It was filled with witches, demons and the Princes of Hell which are the deadly sins.

Fable by Adrienne Young

The world that Young created in Fable had me along for the ride and I loved diving in the sea and travelling on ships with Fable and West’s crew. I really enjoyed the strong female main character who we saw begin to find friends in West’s crew. We learnt about Fable’s past and the cliffhanger at the end has me wanting to read Namesake. Definitely will be rereading Namesake as I have received an ARC copy.

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

From Blood and Ash is a perfect romance story with a strong woman who doesn’t fully trust those around her except for a select few. I love this book and quickly went into the second book. Armentrout’s world and character building is amazing! Definitely pick up this book and read it!

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

This book and then series had my full attention when I saw it was about descendants of Sherlock Holme and John Watson. After reading SJTR I really loved another mystery solving duo.

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

This book has Vikings, romance and fighting as well as two clans that end up working together to save their people. I really loved being transported into this book and seeing the characters grow.

With Shield and Ink and Bone by Casey L Bond

This book is full of Vikings and Norse mythology and the story of revenge and strength in the face of loss had me hooked. Bond truely takes you into the world of the Vikings where the gods and goddesses interact and change peoples fates. If you love Norse mythology this is a book for you.

When Wishes Bleed by Casey L Bond

When Wishes Bleed is full of magic and and Fate. It’s the first book in the duology and the main character Sable and the Prince Tauren grow and learn to rely on one another to solve the mystery. Fate plays a huge role in this book the second. I truely enjoyed this book and one that I will be reading again like all of these books.

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

This book has Hogwarts vibes but doesn’t have the professors and everything is out to kill you. Scholomance is a school full of magic where if you fail means death. Im looking forward to returning to Scholomance and see what happens to El next.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

This was completely definitely to anything that I have read this year and not something that I would typically gravitate to. It holds elements that I love and the switching between Addie’s past and present. I ended up loving the book and it definitely tugs on the heart strings!

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

This is the first book the series and is filled with witches and soldiers who are religious. I loved the growth of Lou and Reid and how they grow. It’s a perfect book to read if you want a slow romance and is an enemies to lovers troupe.

House of Earth and Blood- Crescent City by Sarah J Maas

This book is on my top 20 as I truely enjoyed the world full of angels, werewolves and all these supernatural creatures. I loved the interaction between Bryce and Danika then between Hunt and Bryce. If you want a book full of supernatural definitely give this book a go!

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

This book takes us into the stars and on an adventure with polar opposites as they work together to uncover what happened on a planet. It sets up the trilogy so well and the two perspectives were amazingly written. It is a YA fantasy/sci fi novel that I loved this year and will be reading again.

The Shadow Curse by Kala Merseal

You are transported to a world full of magic in this book where there are different creatures and a darkness that is spreading. The characters are diverse and work together and grow through the book. It sets up the series very well and I enjoyed the second book as well.

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

Paolini did amazing job with this Sci Fi novel. Transported me into space and reminded me of Star Trek with space exploration and the fighting that happens. If you a looking for a book in space, give this a read.

The Other Side of the Sky by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

This first book in the series and is filled with magic and logic, fate and choice and deadly love. I enjoyed the two characters coming two different lands with different ideas as well as beliefs. The cliffhanger has me wanting the next book in the series!

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

I really love the strong and independent protagonist and how she quickly adapts to situations. This book has to be in my top 20 as the whole series I really enjoyed this year.

Incendiary by Zoraida Cordova

I enjoyed the team work and the twist at the end. I can’t wait for the second book. I also loved the characters and the world with different abilities.

Akarnae by Lynette Noni

This book takes aspects of other books that I’ve really enjoyed. Aspects of the Xmen, Harry Potter and the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The main protagonist Alex is thrown into a new place and immediately runs into the antagonist. I loved the world of Medora and definitely will be returning.

December LitJoy Crate

It’s time for another LitJoy Crate unboxing. The final for 2020. This months theme is Drama Club.

Items this month:

  • Dune photo strips (set of 2)
  • Emma clipboard and notepad
  • The Mortal Instruments coffee scoop
  • Hamilton Woodmark
  • Lunar Chronicles mini teacup and saucer
  • Anna & the French Kiss Scrunchies

Add-ons

  • Narnia Literary Location Enamel Pin

The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre

Melody McIntyre, stage manager extraordinaire, has a plan for everything. Lead actor need a breath mint? She’s on it. Understudy bust a seam? Mel’s sewing kit is at the ready. Not only is her Plan A foolproof, she’s got a Plan B, and a Plan C, because actors can be total fools.

What she doesn’t have? Success with love. Every time she falls for someone during a school performance, both the romance and the show end in catastrophe. So, Mel swears off any entanglements until their upcoming production of Les Mis is over.

Of course, Mel didn’t count on Odile Rose, rising star in the acting world, auditioning for the spring performance. And she didn’t expect Odile to be sweet and funny, and care as much about the play’s success as Mel.

Which means that Melody McIntyre’s only plan now is trying desperately not to fall in love.

December Illumicrate Box

It’s time for another Illumicrate unboxing. This months theme is A Legacy to Protect.

This month’s items were:

What is Lost Mug artwork by Rosie Thorn (@rosiethorns88) Latest mug featuring Rosie’s beautiful artwork is inspired by the Daevabad trilogy by S.A Chakraborty.

History Huh? Print Album designed by Ashley Diers (@ashleydiers)

Destiny is a myth desk pad designed by Her Paper World (@herpaperworld) Poppy War inspired desk pad

Yip Yip Glass Nail File designed by Cade (@heyatlascreative) An Appa inspired nail file for Avatar: The Last Airbender fans

No Peak Clan Framed Photo Magnets artwork by Anna Vee (@kuhnoodleart) Keep the Kabul family close with these magnets inspired by framed photos.

Monthly Collectors Pin designed by Stacey McEvoy-Caunt (@stacey.McEvoy.caunt) Inspired by the tarot cards used to determine a witch’s magic

Featured Books

The Ravens by Danielle Paige and Kass Morgan

Kappa Rho Nu isn’t your average sorority. Their parties are notorious. Their fundraisers are known for being Westerly College’s most elaborate affairs. But beneath the veil of Greek life and prestige, the sisters of Kappa Rho Nu share a secret: they’re a coven of witches. For Vivi Deveraux, being one of Kappa Rho Nu’s Ravens means getting a chance to redefine herself. For Scarlett Winters, a boa fide Raven and daughter of a legacy Raven, pledge this year means living up to her mother’s impossible expectations of becoming Kappa Rho Nu’s next president. Scarlett knows she’d be the perfect candidate- that is, if she didn’t have one human-sized skeleton in her closet…… When Vivi and Scarlett are paired as big and little for initiation, they find themselves sinking into the sinister world of blood oaths and betrayals.

This illumicrate edition has exclusive sprayed edges and signed bookplate.

The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

Milly, Audrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each other, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised…and curious. Their parents are all clear on one one point-not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother’s good graces. But when the cousins arrive one the island, it’s immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realise how mysterious-and dark- their family’s past is. The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn’t over-and this summer, the cousins will learn everything.

November Illumicrate Box

It is another unboxing! This months theme is Spellbinding stories. I’m excited for this box!

The items included are:

Forgotten Fables and Folklore ceramic book pot designed by Chatty Nora (@chattynora)

The Great Library of Zosma Book Sleeve artwork by Pauhami (@pauhami) It is officially licensed Strange the Dreamer sleeve

Letters in Bottles Ornament designed by Her Paper World (@herpaperworld) Features one of the favourite quotes from This Is How You Lose The Time War

Herblore Face Mask artwork by Stacey McEvoy-Caunt. Inspired by one of the favourite witches Circe

The Starless Sea Bookplate set artwork by Jess Le Design

Monthly Collectors Pin designed by Stacey McEvoy-Caunt

Featured Books

The Once and Future WItches by Alix E. Harrow

In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box. But when the Eastwood sisters join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote-and perhaps not even to live- the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive. There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.

The illumicrate edition is signed by the author with an exclusive hidden cover and sprayed edges!

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC-Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape- until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

After a mysteries mage who calls himself a “Merlin” fails to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw, Bree’s own unique magic is unlocked and a buried memory surfaces: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the secrets society for the ‘Legendborn’ – descendants of King Arthur’s knights- as one of their initials. With a magical war coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should take the society down-or join the fight.

This was a very strong box this month and I love the edition of Once and Future Witches. I can’t wait to read it.

October Illumicrate Box

This month’s theme is Life and Death.

This months items were:

Addie LaRue Print + Seven Star Acrylic Photo Frame Artwork by RosieThorns88 Show off this stunning artwork by Rosie featuring a scene from The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue in its own matching photo frame

The Jade Crown Skeleton Tin Designed by: Crimson Pins & Chatty Nora Hide all your oddities and curiosities in this peculiar skeleton tin.

Journey to the Afterlife Room Spray Created by A Wild Tale Inspired by Ancient Egyptian myth this spray will leave your room smelling like roses 

Hades & Persephone Wooden Tarot Cards Artwork by Elithien Join Hades & Persephone in the underworld with these beautiful wooden tarot cards.

Sun and Moon Chain Pin Set Designed by November and May This enamel pin set is designed to represent the two opposing powers of Life & Death

Featured Book: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world. But everything changes when, after 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name. 

Edition has all exclusive: cover, hidden cover, endpapers and sprayed edges

Monthly Collectors Pin Designed by Stacey McEvoy-Caunt Inspired by the seven journals to tell Addie’s story!

The Ruined Throne Book Review

The Ruined Throne is the second book in the Shadow Curse series by Kala Merseal.

BLURB

A forgotten soul and the dark god who controls him…

When Raethin Corvus wakes, he finds the princess gone, whisked away in the arms of the mysterious Kaevari Champion. 
Fueled by desperation, he follows their trail to Sarcha, the City of Sun and the last crumbling remnant of resistance against the Kaevari army within the Visiel Mountains.

But Sarcha crumbles when Aeskrius strolls through the gates wearing the face of their late Crown Prince Aescion Waethis. 

Ara Zypherus finds herself a prisoner in the towers of the Sarchan palace, a lone elven attendant and the mysterious Champion himself her only companions. Aeskrius seeks to own Ara, body and soul, and he will do anything to break her. Slowly, Ara folds as she discovers just who Aeskrius is.

Cirith, Raethin, and their companions travel to the Visiel Mountains on a rescue mission and along the way, they run into an old friend. Someone who knows the divine realms and the secrets they hold, and why Cirith’s old flame Zira won’t reveal who she really is.

Raethin must reach Ara before Aeskrius releases through the princess a power that the realm cannot behold.

REVIEW

I was lucky enough to be able to beta read the book as well as receive an ARC copy of the book. I can honestly say that I loved the book!

The book jumps right back into the moment after Ara is kidnapped and Raethin wakes up alone. The character development of Aeskrius adds much more depth to the story and what I had hoped was going to be explored.

From the beginning chapter, we have a hint of how the history of Aeskrius will be explored and had me hooked from the get go.

As his demons laid waste to the City of Sun, Aeskrius sat alone in the king’s place. His gaze drifted, then settled on the last king of Waetherea. In his solitude, with the cacophony of screams echoing his pounding headache, Aeskrius felt a twinge in his chest and slowly closed his eyes to the sight.

Aeskrius development throughout the book was amazing and the relationship between Ara and him changed as well as hinting of his part before he became what he currently is.

Raethin also grew throughout the book and also became more accepting of his new role in saving Ara. He connects with the god that is now within him. He also understands Cirith more and works with him to save Ara.

Through the introduction of Zira and her past with Cirith, we understand more of their history and their relationship. I really enjoyed their interaction.

The book ended on such a cliffhanger that I can’t wait for the next book. I truely recommend this book and definitely will be reading it again.

5/5 stars

Book Book Owl

My bookmark collection has been growing since I found BookBookOwl. Their bookmarks are stunning and are on sturdy card that I love. All of the bookmarks I have purchase feature a quote from books I have this year with artwork that links to the book.

If you are looking for bookmarks that you can also use in photos check out BookBookOwl

https://bookbookowldesigns.com/

Library Lab Co

Library Lab Co is an Australian small business that sells booksleeves, book blind dates, bookmarks, wax melts and other accessories.

I purchased the Nevermore booksleeve as it reminded of my favourite series this year Stalking Jack the Ripper. The sleeve is super soft and very thick and I enjoy using it to protect my books.

If you are Australian and looking for a local booksleeve company, check out Library Lab Co