Bookstr’s Favorite Books of 2020

Hello, book lovers! 2020 is almost over and it’s time to do one of my favorite things: reflect on our most loved books of 2020. We’re all huge book worms here in the Bookstr family, but it’s impossible not to have favorites. Here are some of our team’s favorite books of the year:

 

Zariah Aldrich-Banks, Editorial team

Instagram handle: @zariahwoman

 

Cemetery Boys (English Edition) eBook: Thomas, Aiden: Amazon.com.mx: Tienda Kindle

image via amazon

Favorite book of 2020: Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

What it’s about: A Latinx, transgender boy, Yadriel, tries to prove himself a real brujx by trying to find the spirit of his cousin but instead he raises the wrong one, a high school kid, Julian. Hijinks and romance ensues.

Why it’s their favorite: It’s a great read to learn about Latinx culture, especially dealing with the themes of homosexuality and trans acceptance. It’s funny, heartwarming and all around a fantastic read. I am forever fan of Aiden Thomas now!

 

 

Racquel Daniels, Editorial team 

Instagram handle: @racquel_daniels

 

image via Raquel daniels

Favorite book of 2020: Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin

What it’s about: Lou, Reid, Coco, and Ansel are on the run from coven, kingdom, and church—fugitives with nowhere to hide. To survive, they need allies. Strong ones. But as Lou becomes increasingly desperate to save those she loves, she turns to a darker side of magic that may cost Reid the one thing he can’t bear to lose. Bound to her always, his vows were clear: where Lou goes, he will go; and where she stays, he will stay. Until death do they part.

Why it’s their favorite: Searing romance, deadly action, my favorite friendship bonds, and a riveting adventure that always has me wanting more.

 

Kate zibas, graphic Team

Instagram handle: @kate_zibas

 

image via amazon

Favorite book of 2020: Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis

What it’s about: When sixteen-year-old Emmie releases a balloon with her biggest secret hidden inside, she doesn’t expect anyone to find it. When, a few weeks later, Lucas Moreau does just that, the two teens develop an instant rapport, going from trading emails to a deep and enduring friendship. Fourteen years later, Lucas asks Emmie to be his “best woman” at his upcoming wedding. Emmie accepts the honor, but must face the fact that her long-simmering romantic feelings for Lucas can never be revealed. A story about self discovery and finding love where you least expect it

 

Lorren Pitchford, Editorial Team

Instagram handle: @lorren_elizabeth96

 

image via amazon

Favorite book of 2020: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

What it’s about: When Ezra woke up this morning, he thought it would just be a regular old day. He would go to geeball practice and spend time with his girlfriend, Kady, and that would be it. He would wake up and repeat everything all over again the next day. Of course, he had no idea that people would invade his planet and Kady would break up with him right before they manage to escape on separate evacuation ships before their planet is destroyed. Now, Ezra and Kady have to try to figure out how to survive on their respected ships while the hostile warship that destroyed their planet is chasing after them in hot pursuit. Not to mention, a plague has also broken out on both ships and the AI controlling their mapped course to safety might ultimately be their enemy. Despite their breakup, Ezra and Kady have to figure out how to work together if they want to get off their ships and make it to a sanctuary planet alive and in one piece.

Why it’s their favorite: Illuminae is an action-packed book that keeps you hanging on the edge of your seat. I love it, and it is my favorite book of 2020 because I have never read anything like it. The entire book is a dossier of hacked documents. The book’s pages are composed of emails, maps, files, IMs, interviews, and more. It is an entertaining read that is not just your classic love story between two young adults. It is a book about survival and doing whatever it takes to stay alive and save the people you care most about in this galaxy.

 

 

Delaney Del Gallo, Graphic Team

Instagram handle: @delaneydelgallo
image via Delaney del gallo
Favorite book of 2020: It Ends With Us By Colleen Hoover
What it’s about: Lily finds herself falling in love hard but when issues arise, her thoughts drift to her first love. As we watch her new relationship develop, we reflect back on her old one where she learned important life lessons.
Why it’s their favorite: It focuses on a huge issue that many face on a daily basis. Going into the book blind is best because the impact of what occurs really gives you incite to how people feel when going through this in real life. The whole story feels so raw and real. It’s heartbreaking yet soul-repairing all in one.

Allison  Amodie, Editorial Team

Instagram handle: @aamodie

 

image via allison amodie
Favorite book of 2020: The Tower of Nero by Rick Riordan
What it’s about: After stopping an attack on Camp Jupiter, Lester, AKA Apollo, and his demigod companion Meg are on their way back to New York to face their biggest challenge yet, Nero. Their journey is putting them on a collision course with Apollo’s archenemy Python. As always, they have some help along the way, but will they be able to stop their enemies’ nefarious plans? The conclusion to the Trials of Apollo series is here.
Why it’s their favorite: I’m a huge fan of the Percy Jackson books and Heroes of Olympus. Okay, I’m a big fan of all of Rick’s series…. So, I was incredibly excited for the final installment of the Trials of Apollo. With it being the last book in the series, and marking an end to the ongoing series in the world of Percy Jackson, it had a lot to live up to. For me it met those expectations. Action-packed, as expected, and very touching, the book was entertaining and meaningful. I loved getting to see just how far Apollo had come from the first book to the end of his journey. And getting to see some familiar faces made it all the better without detracting from the story. The book leaves you with a sense of closure for many characters we have all grown up with and loved. And I’m getting misty-eyed again just thinking about it. A must read for any fans of Percy Jackson!

Becky Chester, Social Team

Instagram handle: @forevergraphicallyfrozen

 

image via becky chester

 

Favorite book of 2020: The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

What it’s about: The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone. So she ventured out from the safety of the enchanted forest on a quest for others of her kind. Joined along the way by the bumbling magician Schmendrick and the indomitable Molly Grue, the unicorn learns all about the joys and sorrows of life and love before meeting her destiny in the castle of a despondent monarch—and confronting the creature that would drive her kind to extinction…

Why it’s their favorite: This was one of my favorite books growing up. Between the adventure and magic, it was always really fun to read when I was younger. Every time I go back and re-read it, I find new things to fall in love with, and I am reminded of simpler parts of my life. This is definitely a comfort read for me (along with The Hobbit, both books have been replaced at least twice), and when times get difficult, it’s always a definite way to find a little magic when you need it. If you haven’t read it, I’d definitely recommend it. And if you have read it, now might be a good time to recapture some of the magic of childhood.

 

 

Sammie Jones, Editorial Team

Instagram handle: @sammieraesreads

 

image via sammie jones

Favorite book of 2020: Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

What it’s about: Twilight from Edwards point of view. A more mature, agonized, self deprecating, and loving rendition of the original vampire love story.

Why it’s their favorite: This was everything I didn’t know a retelling of Twilight could be, but I’m so glad it came to be. As one of my favorite books and series, there was a lot at stake with this novel, but it really held its own. This is the perfect read if you’re craving to reminisce in the series yet in an entirely new way. My heart was soaring at the turn of every page. While it does take some time to get into, as Edward’s perspective is overloaded with not only his own emotions, but those of everyone around him as well. However, when the ball does get rolling, it doesn’t disappoint. Meyer’s achieved the perfect balance of old and new information, through the repetition of the love story in book one that we know and love, and with the ability to add the insights into her characters that she gained throughout writing the rest of the saga. It’s also evident how much her writing and amazing story crafting improved after all these years up close and personal with these dynamic characters. I recommend to anyone who loves the Twilight Saga.

 

Craig Klein, Editorial team

 

image via craig klein

Favorite book of 2020: The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

What it’s about: After a meteor shower blinds the vast majority of the world’s population, the survivors learn how to rebuild society, fighting off roving gangs as well as triffids, a species of carnivorous plants that can walk and attack with poisonous whip-like stingers.

Why it’s their favorite: While the characterization is merely adequate at best, the concept itself is unique and engaging, and the details of the collapse of a civilization have never been treated with such powerful and intimate language.

 

Camila fagen, editorial team

Instagram handle: @camilafagen

 

image via camila fagen

Favorite book of 2020: The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

What it’s about: (Book #1 synopsis) Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color. The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war—and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now. Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Why it’s their favorite: I hope talking about a series instead of a single book is not cheating but, either way, this series has been my favorite ever since I was like fifteen years old. The sixth and last book came out this year and because I was feeling very emotional about it I decided to reread the entire series. It’s hard to explain why I love it so much, especially after so many years of being obsessed with it, but I just love the characters so much. The characterization is perhaps one of the best ones I’ve ever read and the character development is truly amazing. Seeing the characters find happiness at the end of the really dark path they had to take was really especial to me. The writing of the series is also very unique and even though dramatic at times it’s just the kind of dramatic and flowery I love. And the romance is just the cherry on top. I think fundamentally this series is just one big love story and I’ve always been a huge sucker for romance. Also, I very rarely cry while reading books, but I did cry multiple times while rereading the series, so there’s that.

Lisa livote, editorial team

Instagram handle: @lisalivote

 

image via lisa livote

Favorite book of 2020: The Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek

What it’s about: It starts with the eruption of World War I and follows a Czechoslovakian solider. However, it’s a comedic novel, because the soldier, Švejk, is a “certified imbecile” and the whole book is about his crazy experiences and reactions going from a bar, to jail, to a madhouse, to the recruitment office, to a hospital, and finally to war.

Why it’s their favorite: It is my favorite because first of all, I was surprised by how hilarious it is, considering it is a Czechoslovakian novel published in the early 1920s and then has been translated to English. However, I was chuckling so much while reading this that my sister even told me to be quiet! I also love it because you spend the entire novel trying to figure out if Švejk is actually as stupid as he seems, or if he is acting that way to stir the pot and cause trouble for the Austro-Hungarian army (which many Czechoslovakian soldiers did not want to be a part of. Reminder: Austria-Hungary was broken up after WWI, so nationalistic feelings were also quite strong throughout the empire). Personally, I think he’s fooling everyone and is actually a genius, but I have debated with many people over this, so you’ll all have to read it and make your own decision on this!

 

Featured images via amazon