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Features | 10 Of My Favourite Reads Of The Year So Far

As we are now halfway through 2020 (and hopefully halfway to our reading goals!), I wanted to share 10 of my favourite reads of the year so far. Whilst I have re-read a few titles that I love, this list only includes books that were new to me in 2020, and I’ve kept them all in order of date read. It goes without saying that I would highly recommend picking up copies of any of these books if you haven’t read them yet.

1. After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

My January book club pick for our prompt ‘by an author you love’ was After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid. This book follows Lauren and Ryan who, after growing apart, decide to take a year out of their marriage in an attempt to find their way back to each other. Whilst I had expected to enjoy the book, I didn’t know I would love it as much as I did. It ended up being an easy 5-star rating and a great start to my reading year.

2. Meat Market by Juno Dawson

I’ve been a fan of Juno Dawson’s writing for years and her 2019 release Meat Market certainly didn’t disappoint. Tackling the darker side of the fashion industry, this novel follows Jana as she unexpectedly becomes a model and has to navigate her way through this unfamiliar and often scary situation. The book is formatted as Jana telling her story for a documentary which I really loved. Side note; I recently ordered a copy of Dawson’s latest release Wonderland and I can't wait to read it!

3. No Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Just Mercy is the only non-fiction title to make this list but it was the easiest 5-star rating of the year so far. The book focuses on the work of the Equal Justice Initiative and in particular the story of Walter McMillian, a black man who was sentenced to death for the murder of a white woman; a crime that he did not commit. The work that Bryan Stevenson and the EJI have done, and are continuing to do, is incredibly inspiring and this book is such an important and informative read.

4. Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Ria kindly gifted me a copy of Friday Black after it made her 2019 favourites list and I’m very grateful to her for doing so. This unique collection of twelve short stories was an amazing debut release that has stuck with me long after reading, and is a book I’m sure that I will revisit. I found it to be a captivating read and enjoyed the writing style so I’m also looking forward to reading any future releases from Adjei-Brenyah.

5. On The Come Up by Angie Thomas

Set in the same neighbourhood as Thomas’ brilliant debut, On The Come Up tells the story of aspiring rapper Bri. Having read and highly rated Angie Thomas’ first novel The Hate U Give I was excited to read this one too and wasn’t disappointed. I’m also looking forward to the release of Concrete Rose early next year, a new novel which tells the story of Maverick Carter, a name fans of The Hate U Give will recognise.

6. A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

Another book club pick to make this list is A Place For Us, my choice for the February prompt ‘a tree or leaf on the cover’. The story is centred around an Indian-American family living in the US and switches between past and present, as well as different character’s perspectives, to explore their complex relationships. This is not an action-packed book but instead takes you on a quieter journey which I really enjoyed.

7. Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha

Inspired by the events of the LA Riots in the early 90’s and the fatal shooting of Latasha Harlins, Your House Will Pay tells the story of two families, one African American and one Korean American, connected by the tragic death of a teenage girl. Having not heard much about it previously, I had no idea what to expect from this novel but it was an intense, heartbreaking and well-written read. The story has stuck in my mind ever since I finished reading it in March and I’m already planning on re-reading it sometime in future.

8. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

During the earlier part of the lockdown period here in the UK, I ended up reading several YA contemporaries in close succession. Having enjoyed most of them it wasn’t easy to choose which one/s should make this list but I felt that My Life Next Door was the one that stuck in my mind the most. This book, which tells the story of neighbouring families the Garretts and the Reeds, had been sitting unread on my Kindle for years, so I’m really glad I finally found time to read it.

9. One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The second Taylor Jenkins Reid title to make the list is One True Loves, which I picked up for our May book club theme ‘a number in the title’. This book tells the story of Emma whose husband Jesse is tragically involved in a helicopter accident on their first wedding anniversary. Several years later Emma has managed to piece her life back together and is happily engaged to Sam, when she receives a phone call that changes everything. As with all of Jenkins Reid's novels the characters felt realistic and the story had a mix of heartbreaking and heartwarming moments.

10. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale tells the heartbreaking and inspiring tale of Vianne and Isabelle, two sisters living in France during World War II and has been a hugely popular book within the book blogging community. I was captivated by this novel right from the start and thought it was engaging and well-written. I have been known to say that Historical Fiction isn't a genre that I typically go for and whilst this has been true in the past, I'm beginning to realise that perhaps it should be one I reach for more often.

Other books I’ve really enjoyed in 2020:

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