It is finally time for my penultimate favorites post of the year: my favorite new releases. Basically, all my favorites from the books that were released this year and I also managed to read this year (with a couple exceptions, which I will explain below). If I’m being honest, I didn’t read nearly as many 2020 releases as I had planned to. I didn’t even read as many books as I had planned to. Still, I did read some really good ones, so here are my favorites:
Dear Edward by Ann Napoitano
This is a 2020 release, but I actually read an advanced copy last year. Which doesn’t mean I liked it any less, but it does mean I very nearly forgot to include it in this post. This book is about a twelve-year-old boy who is the sole survivor of a plane crash that killed his family. This book looks into the lives of the others on the plane as well as what happens to Edward after he survives. It’s a really poignant book about how your life changes drastically after such a massive loss. If you’re into books that are both slightly depressing and hopeful, definitely check this one out.
Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire
I love the Wayward Children series so much! And I was so excited to read the fifth installment. So, naturally, I let it sit on my shelves for months after it came out in January. But I did finally read it, and I think it just might be one of my favorites so far. I just really love Jack and Jill’s story. I also love how diverse this series is, and I cannot wait for the next one (which, thankfully, will be out in just a few weeks). There are so many characters in these books whose stories I want to read, I just want more. I’ve been pretty bad with keeping up with series in recent years, but this is one I always have time for.
A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore
I actually read both books in The League of Extraordinary Gentlewoman series this year. I absolutely loved Bringing Down the Duke (it changed my mind about historical romance, which, up until this year, was pretty much the only thing I never really read). So, naturally, I had to pick up book two. If I’m being honest, I didn’t love this one quite as much as the first one, but I did still really enjoy it. This is just a really fun series, and I’m definitely looking forward to book three!
Burn Out Bodies Down by Rory Power
You probably know by now that I really like reading weird books. And no one writes books quite as weird as the ones Rory Power writes. Wilder Girls was absolutely crazy, but fantastic. This book is even weirder. My brain would never have come up with the plot for this book in a million years. It’s insane, but so, so good. I don’t want to say too much about this because, if you haven’t read this yet, you will never see the twists coming, but it is easily the most bizarre thing I’ve ever read. And I loved it.
Sin Eater by Megan Campisi
This book was nowhere near on my radar at the beginning of this year. But, thanks to a Buzzfeed quiz and a weird post idea, I picked it up. This is an alternate history set in Tudor-era England. I’m usually not really a fan of alternate histories. But somehow, this worked. I found the whole premise of sin eaters fascinating (they were real, I did some Googling after reading this). There are cameos by Queen Elizabeth I and Shakespeare, which was fun. And this was a surprisingly good read. Definitely dramatic, but also kind of fun. I was also impressed with how good this was for a debut, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what she does next!
Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel
The author doesn’t outright say it, but I’m pretty sure this book is based on Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose Blanchard (who also inspired show The Act, if you’ve seen that). Munchausen by proxy is one of the craziest and saddest things that could happen to someone, and this book definitely explores that. But it also explores the aftermath. If I’m being completely honest, the ending of this book wasn’t totally my favorite, but it was still a nice twist. Very reminiscent of the movie Run. Overall, a pretty great thriller with an interesting spin.
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Yes, I know this is technically a 2019 release, but since it came out on literally the last day of the year – and won a Goodreads Choice Award this year – I’m counting it. I’ve made it a point to read books that address racism this year (though I still have a long way to go and a lot of books to read), and I think this is the one that impacted me the most. Because most people don’t experience outright or violent racism. They experience little, everyday acts of racism. And I think this book is a great take on who white people tend to not handle it well (which is most people, even those who think they’re helping). Very timely, but also just a really great book. Another debut author who I really want to see more from.
Katheryn Howard: The Scandalous Queen by Alison Weir
Last but not least, we have the fifth book in a series I’ve been reading for a while and absolutely love. The Six Tudor Queens series is all about Henry VIII’s wives. Each gets their own novel in which they are the main character. This one is obviously all about Kathryn Howard. I knew pretty much nothing about her going in, but wow this book was amazing. Definitely scandalous, but also kind of heartbreaking. I’m kind of sad that this series is ending next year, but I cannot wait to read more.
And that’s it for my favorite new releases of this year. There are so many I wish I’d gotten to that I’m sure might have made this list, but I just had a bad reading year. Not only did I not read very many new releases, I also read a lot of duds. But these books stand out as the highlights, and it was fun looking back on them.
What was your favorite new release this year?