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ARCHIVE 2020 > Alex's 2020 40 Book Challenge

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message 1: by Alex (last edited Mar 20, 2020 05:47PM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments My goal this year is to read 40 books. I am hoping to read a more wide range of authors and different genres than what I am used to. I will finish all of the Shadowhunter Chronicles books I have on my shelf.

I hope to reach my goal this year and enjoy what I read.


message 2: by Alex (last edited Jul 20, 2020 03:57PM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 1

4 stars

Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger
Started Dec 26
Finished Jan 2


message 3: by Alex (last edited Aug 04, 2020 08:51AM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 2

5 stars

Holding the Man by Tim Conigrave
Started Jan 6
Finished Jan 24


message 4: by Alex (last edited Aug 04, 2020 08:51AM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 3

5 stars

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Started February 24
Finished February 29

Listening to audio book

I love this book. I never thought I would fall in love with another magic book, but I have. I love how the story was written and I love having different viewpoints of the characters. My favorite part of the book was the building romance between Simon and Baz. Even though they despised each other for most of the book you could tell there was relationship blooming. Rainbow Rowell did a wonderful job with taking this fan fiction story from another novel and turning it into something entirely independent. I'm so excited to read book 2 in the series next and I am already awaiting book 3.


message 5: by Alex (last edited Jul 20, 2020 03:56PM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 4 (Favorite book of 2020, so far; probably won't change)

5 stars

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales
Started March 3, the day it comes out
Finished March 10

I'm rating this book with 5 stars but I would give it more if that was an option on Goodreads. This is a great, lovely feel good YA book that will make you cry, laugh and just smile all the way through.

There are not enough words to say how much I loved this book. I haven't read that much YA since 2018 so this was a nice start back into the genre. The author did such a great job with combining the high school troubles with a great love story. I really liked how there were several times that while reading I could picture the similarities with the movie Grease. The similarities were there, but the book was not a complete copycat of the movie.

I loved all of the characters. I fell in love with Ollie and Will and their entire relationship. All of the side characters were great as well. I loved Lara and seeing her growth with Ollie throughout the book was wonderful. (view spoiler)


message 6: by Alex (last edited Jul 20, 2020 03:56PM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 5

4 stars

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (because I need to finally get caught up with the Shadowhunter Chronicles.)
Started March 20
Finished April 2


message 7: by Alex (last edited Jul 20, 2020 03:56PM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 6

3 stars

Enter the Aardvark by Jessica Anthony
Started March 25
Finished April 2

This book was so good. I never thought I would fall in love with a character like an aardvark, but I did. This is a hilarious, satirical novel by Jessica Anthony that ties two love stories together. You have Titus Downing and Richard Ostlet and Alexander Paine-Wilson and Greg Tampico who have encounters with the titular aardvark in the novel. I love the way Jessica Anthony portrayed the characters in the book. It also has some repressed sexuality on one character because he tells you time and time again that he is not gay, even though he has been with men his entire life. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC of this book.


message 8: by Alex (last edited Jul 20, 2020 03:56PM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 7

(3.5 stars)

All the Better Part of Me by Molly Ringle
Started April 1

This book was so good. I loved all of the characters. I cried, laughed, and smiled the whole way through. I really love how Molly Ringle told Sinter's coming out story. The relationship between Sinter and Andy and also Fiona and Sinter was so greatly written. This book will definitely make you smile during these trying times we are living in. The book has great prose, characters that make you fall in love with them, and is a great little love story. I give it 5 stars.

The book really reminds me of Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger, which I read and loved this year.


message 9: by Alex (last edited Apr 17, 2020 07:47AM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 8

A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler (waiting on audiobook download from my library)
Started April 7


message 10: by Alex (last edited Jun 02, 2020 04:01PM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 9

Becoming by Michelle Obama
Started April 14
Finished April 22
I'm listening to the audio book version of this and it is so enjoyable to hear Michelle Obama tell her story.


message 11: by Alex (last edited Oct 27, 2020 12:11PM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 10

4.75 stars

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare
Started April 20
Finished May 9
Listening to this while also reading at the same time.

5 stars.

I absolutely loved this book. The characters were well fleshed out and the story was great. I really loved listening to the audiobook as well because the actor did a wonderful job capturing Adunni's voice. This is one of the first books I read for 2020 and I really flew through it. I will definitely be looking out for other books by Abi Dare. I can't wait to see what she writes next.


message 12: by Alex (last edited Jun 16, 2020 05:48PM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 11
Boys of Alabama by Genevieve Hudson
Started May 27
Finished June 16


message 13: by Alex (last edited Jul 20, 2020 03:55PM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 12

4.75 stars

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Restarted June 17
Finished July 1
Finally getting around to finishing this book.


message 14: by Alex (last edited Jul 16, 2020 05:47AM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 13

Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert
Started July 1
Finished July 15

4.75 stars.

This is my first Annabeth Albert book I have read. I really loved this book. This book is just adorable. I'm really into reading the enemies to lovers trope in romance books, and it seems to be more prevalent today than ever. This is the first road trip book I have ever read and I really loved that aspect more than I thought. I love how the road trip was met with different issues and then gave Alden and Conrad time to really figure out their feelings for each other and figure how they were more alike than different. I love how the romance was built up slowly and that there were nice and sweet scenes between Alden and Conrad. Also the cast is very diverse and I really enjoyed reading and listening to the audiobook combined.

This book also dealt with some of the major topics as well. I like how the author included being gay with unsupportive parents, neurodiversity, being poor and needing medicine for asthma, deciding career paths, just to name a few. I also never thought I would really enjoy a gaming book, but I certainly did. This book has everything you want in a summer rom-com and it definitely doesn't disappoint. I really loved the side characters as in Jasper and Payton. I know that she is writing another book based on one of the characters, and I would hope we get books about the other gamers in the group.

Annabeth Albert did not disappoint with this book and I will be looking to picking up more books by her in the future.


message 15: by Alex (last edited Jul 02, 2020 11:31AM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 14

The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd
Started July 2

This book is about Ana, the wife of Jesus. Yes, that Jesus. Yes I know that this book already comes with some controversial issues. I was really interested in reading this because I really wanted to pick up a Sue Monk Kidd book. I am listening to this on audio and I am really intrigued by it so far.


message 16: by Alex (last edited Jul 22, 2020 07:06AM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 15

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Started July 16
Finished July 22

5 glorious stars!!!

I have no words for this book. It was beautiful, amazing, and gave me so many emotions while reading it. I listened to half of the book and hearing Elizabeth Acevedo read her own words was amazing. I highly recommend this book for anyone and it's a quick great read. I didn't know what to expect reading a book told in verse, but that makes it so much more enjoyable. I will definitely be reading more of Elizabeth Acevedo's work in the future.


message 17: by Alex (last edited Aug 14, 2020 12:16PM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 16
I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid
5 stars

This book.... is insane! I read this entire thing in about 2 sittings. It's just that good. My Goodreads stuff doesn't usually get updated that quickly.

The tag line on the back reads: "You will be scared. But you don't know why..." I can say for a fact that this book really plays up the fear and suspense factor. So excited for the Netflix movie coming September 4.

The book is about Jake and his girlfriend, we never get her name, as they are traveling back to his hometown to meet his parents. The girlfriend is the one telling the story and she keeps saying that she is thinking of ending things with Jake. There is a lot of banter back and forth and we learn a little about their relationship. (view spoiler)


message 18: by Alex (last edited Aug 25, 2020 09:56AM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 17
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

5 stars!

I loved this book. This is the second book by Elizabeth Acevedeo that I have read. There is something about her writing that just draws you in and makes you want more. I also listened to the audiobook a little and I just love the way she tells the story. She is one of the only audiobook readers that makes you feel like you are sitting right in the same room with them.
I really love the included element of food in this book. It really drew me in and made me want to make some of the recipes. I also found that I would get hungry when they talked about the different foods in the book, so my emotions were very strong while reading this. I also want to say that Elizabeth Acevedo writes very well, and fleshed out characters. All of the characters in this book had fully formed lives, and relationships.
I am really looking forward to reading her 2020 release and I am excited to about what she is writing in the future.


message 19: by Alex (last edited Aug 16, 2020 06:41PM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 18

This Town Sleeps by Dennis E. Staples

4.75 stars


message 20: by Alex (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 19

Small Changes over Long Periods of Time by KM Szpara
5 stars

I loved the world that was created in this short little novella. I'm excited about the continuation of this world in the book coming out in 2022 by KM Szpara.


message 21: by Alex (last edited Aug 22, 2020 02:12PM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 20

Release by Patrick Ness

That was just perfection. 5 huge stars. This book definitely made it into my top books of 2020.

So this book takes place over one day in the lives of the people in the town of Frome. I loved the main character Adam Thorn. He is going through his life with a lot of different things that are weighing on him. He has great friends, a wonderful boyfriend, and he might still have some feeling for a boy he used to mess around with. This book is heartfelt and lovely. Patrick Ness' writing is just so amazing. I also loved the added bonus of the supernatural element to the book.

(view spoiler)


message 22: by Alex (last edited Aug 25, 2020 04:21PM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 21

And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness

3.75 stars

"For there are devils in the deep, but worst are the ones we make."

This is a re-imagining of the famous Moby Dick book from the viewpoint of the whale. It was interesting to read from the viewpoint of whales hunting people. The art in the book is beautiful and wonderful and really helps with tying the story together.


message 23: by Alex (last edited Sep 24, 2020 06:50AM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 22

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

5 glorious stars!!!!


message 24: by Alex (last edited Sep 30, 2020 01:23PM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 23

The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult
Started September 24
Finished September 29

5 glorious stars. Jodi never lets me down.


message 25: by Alex (last edited Oct 01, 2020 01:14PM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 24

Box Hill by Adam Mars-Jones
Started September 28
Finished September 29

5 amazing stars. This book tells the story of a BDSM relationship between Colin and Ray. I really enjoyed the story and it was a fast read. The book explored a lot of different things and really helped with showing that even in a BDSM relationship, true love can come from it. I really love Mars-Jones' writing.


message 26: by Alex (last edited Oct 06, 2020 08:08AM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 26

Meet Cute Club by Jack Harbon
Started September 20
Finished September 23

3 stars

I really enjoyed this book and thought the story was very cute and sweet. I really had a hard time trying to get past the constant scene changes between paragraphs and sometimes even sentences without explanation.


message 27: by Alex (last edited Oct 09, 2020 05:45AM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 27

The Bright Lands by John Fram
Started October 1
Finished October 8

Listening to the audiobook


message 28: by Alex (last edited Oct 16, 2020 11:09AM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 28

On the Horizon
Started October 9
Finished October 9

5 stars

This was a lovely tribute to the people who lost their lives in WWII. I especially loved how Lois Lowry wrote the reflections in poetry and also included illustrations. She is an amazing writer and I think this is such a wonderful book.


message 29: by Alex (last edited Oct 16, 2020 11:09AM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 29

Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Started October 8

Switched to the audiobook for this one because I have so many books I want to read this month.


message 30: by Alex (last edited Oct 17, 2020 05:58PM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 30

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson
Started October 16
Finished October 17

5 amazing stars.

I started this book because I wanted something different to read after reading the thrillers I had planned for the month. I thought that I was going to really just dive into this story because I really didn't read what it was about. I had so many emotions reading this book.

This book packed a lot in a short amount of pages. I am definitely not the intended audience for the book, but I know that the topics discussed were heavier than I expected. You have six characters but two of them are central to the story: Haley (narrator mixed race girl and Esteban whose father's disappearance starts the story).

The book takes place over one school year with six kids named Haley, Holly, Amari, Esteban, Tiago, and Ashton. All of the kids come from different walks of life and different family backgrounds. Their teacher takes them to a room one day that one of them names the ARTT room (A Room To Talk). The jumping off point in the room starts the first chapter with, "We think they took my papi." This starts the conversations of several angst they all have in their lives. Never did I think that a novel written for middle grade would pull so much emotion out of me. I loved all of the characters in the book and I really like how Jacqueline Woodson wrote all of them. The kids soon realize at an early age that the world is a dark place. The book takes all characters and shows all of their stories and really represents them all well.

Chapter 20 really resonated with me. I really appreciate how Jacqueline Woodson included a white character in the book. Ashton is being picked on at the school and being called names like Casper, Wonderbread, Ghostboy, and Paleface by some students at the school. Ashton says he always just viewed Amari as a friend when he met him. Ashton says in Chapter 21 that they were all different, but Haley says they believe the teacher when she says that they are all special. They even tell him that he is lucky because of his skin color there are certain things that he can do without being prejudged. I really was drawn to his chapters because I can relate to him the most.

Will definitely pick up more of her books in the future.


message 31: by Alex (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 31
The Girl in the Mirror by Rose Carlyle
Started October 17
Finished October 19

4.5 stars

Thank you to William Morrow and Goodreads for the ARC copy I received. Trying to get to this before the release date. Also preordered a physical copy. This book comes out on Tuesday, October 20.

Update: I flew through this book. This is a debut thriller from Rose Carlyle and I will definitely be picking up more books from her in the future. The twists and turns will keep you guessing. The four stars are for the slow start at the beginning and some of the twists that I guessed. The final twist really got me though and I literally gasped out loud. This book also made me glad I don't have a twin. If you don't already have this on your TBR I would suggest adding it.


message 32: by Alex (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 32

The Black Flamingo
Started October 23
Finished October 26

5 glorious stars!!

I absolutely loved this book!! This book is told through verse/poetry and is a great read. I absolutely love how we follow Michael through his life up to this important part of his life. I love his relationship to his mother and also his half sister. I will definitely be picking up more books by the author.


message 33: by Alex (last edited Nov 05, 2020 07:02AM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 33

Memorial by Bryan Washington
Started October 27
Finished October 31

5 stars.

Wow this book gave me so many emotions. I loved the alternating points of view throughout with Benson and Mike. I think that Bryan Washington did a fantastic job with the story and made it very intimate.


message 34: by Alex (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 34

Vampires Never Get Old: Tales With Fresh Bite edited by Zoraida Cordova and Natalie C. Parker
Started November 7
Finished November 17

This is the first anthology I have read and I can say that I really enjoyed it. I will go through and rate all of the stories individually and then give my final rating. Final rating is a 4.

Seven Nights for Dying by Tessa Gratton- 3 stars. This is the start of the anthology and I really liked the story. The characters fell somewhat flat for me, but overall the writing was great.

The Boys from Blood River by Rebecca Roanhorse- 5 stars. I absolutely loved this story. I felt the characters were well developed and I just love Rebecca Roanhorse's writing.

Senior Year Sucks by Julie Murphy- 5 stars. I really loved Julie's story. I like the representation that is in this story. With a fat vampire slayer you really can't go wrong.

The Boy and the Bell by Heidi Heilig- 4 stars. This story had a great plot and the writing was great. I really enjoyed both of the characters in it as well.

A Guidebook for the Newly Sired Desi Vampire by Samira Ahmed- 4 stars. This story had great humor and was really well written. I really liked the way that it was broken up.

In Kind by Kayla Whaley- 3 stars. This story was great and I loved the characters. Really wish we could have gotten a little more.

Vampires Never Say Die by Zoraida Cordova and Natalie C. Parker- 4 stars. This was the story written by the editors of the anthology. I thought it was well written and greatly paced.

Bestiary by Laura Ruby- 3 stars. I really liked the way that Laura Ruby included the animal portion in her story.

Mirrors, Windows & Selfies by Mark Oshiro- 5 stars. This is my favorite story from the anthology. I really love Mark Oshiro's writing. He really drew you in with the characters. I really liked how he included the whole trust thing with his story. I really ship Cisco and Kwan.

The House of Black Sapphires by Dhonielle Clayton- 4 stars. This story was good and I really liked the writing.

First Kill by Victoria "V.E." Schwab- 4 stars. I really think that this was a great way to end the anthology. I really like her writing and storytelling.

Overall this was a good anthology. I think I have now begun something because I now want to read all of the anthologies out there


message 35: by Alex (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 35

Surrender Your Sons by Adam Sass
Started December 1

Listening to audiobook.


message 36: by Alex (last edited Dec 11, 2020 01:38PM) (new)

Alex | 59 comments Book 36

Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson
Started December 10


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