Good Morning! How’s everyone’s week been? This was my first full week back at work this year, I decided to ease myself in and just do Thursday and Friday last week. How’s everyone managing with another lockdown? It’s not much different for me to be honest, I’ve been working from home since the first lockdown in March, and since Scotland introduced the Central Belt lockdown and then the tier system way back they stopped all but essential travel between council areas, which is a pain when most of your friends live in different council areas – I’ve not been able to see any of my Edinburgh friends in so long. Fortunately you are still allowed to cross boundaries to stay with your extended household so I’ve not been completely isolated but I won’t lie it’s tough!
Right onto the post you actually came here to read!
Books I Wish I’d Read In 2020
2020 was not a good reading year for me. I’m fortunate that generally my mental health is pretty good, but like everyone it took a bit of a hit with all the isolation that 2020 brought. For me that meant my reading took a hit, I had a lot of reading slumps, I just couldn’t focus on a book for long periods of time so I only read around 40 books last year. This means there were an awful lot of books for me to choose from for this post! I have managed to narrow them down to just six though!
Camp by L. C. Rosen
From the author of the acclaimed Jack of Hearts (and other parts) comes a sweet and sharp screwball comedy that critiques the culture of toxic masculinity within the queer community.
Sixteen-year-old Randy Kapplehoff loves spending the summer at Camp Outland, a camp for queer teens. It’s where he met his best friends. It’s where he takes to the stage in the big musical. And it’s where he fell for Hudson Aaronson-Lim – who’s only into straight-acting guys and barely knows not-at-all-straight-acting Randy even exists.
This year, though, it’s going to be different. Randy has reinvented himself as ‘Del’ – buff, masculine, and on the market. Even if it means giving up show tunes, nail polish, and his unicorn bedsheets, he’s determined to get Hudson to fall for him.
But as he and Hudson grow closer, Randy has to ask himself how much is he willing to change for love. And is it really love anyway, if Hudson doesn’t know who he truly is?
I really loved Jack Of Hearts (And Other Parts) so when I discovered Camp was due for release in 2020 I added it to my pre-order pile. It arrived release day and I had such good intentions to get this read within a couple of weeks but it never happened… I hear wonderful things about it though!
Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.
Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .
This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.
I’ve actually had this for a month longer than most UK readers as I accidentally managed to pre-order the US version so this reached me in July rather than August, shamefully I still haven’t read it… I need to get to this soon though as I’d love to have it read by the time Kalynn’s next book is released. I’ve seen the cover for This Poison Heart and it’s stunning!
The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed
This coming-of-age debut novel explores issues of race, class, and violence through the eyes of a wealthy black teenager whose family gets caught in the vortex of the 1992 Rodney King Riots. Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. It’s the end of senior year. Everything changes one afternoon in April, when four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a black man named Rodney King half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the black kids.
As violent protests engulf LA and the city burns, Ashley tries to continue on as if life were normal. With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of LA, is left to question who is the us? And who is the them?
I’ve heard of the LA Riots but it’s not something I’ve ever really looked into in any detail around it. I was pretty young when they happened and being in the UK it’s not something that’s really covered in the school curriculum. I’ve owned this since August but I’ve not really been in the right headspace to read this up to this point. I think it’s a really important read so I must try to get to it soon.
Mic Drop by Sharna Jackson
It’s October half-term and pop star, TrojKat is filming a music video in the The Tri, the high-rise block home to slueths Nik and Norva. When tragedy strikes the famous singer under mysterious circumstances, Nik and Norva set out to solve the case, with their friend George, and their impressive detective skills. The sequel to HIGH-RISE MYSTERY, another whodunnit in the phenomenal mystery series by Sharna Jackson.
I loved High Rise Mystery when I read it last summer and I had planned on moving onto this one pretty much straight away but it didn’t happen for some reason. I hope to get to this early in 2021 though!
Midnight’s Twins by Holly Race
The first novel in a lyrical, endlessly inventive urban fantasy trilogy from debut author Holly Race.
Fifteen-year-old Londoner Fern is about to uncover a place that she could not have imagined in all her wildest dreams. Annwn is the dream mirror of our world, a place where Dreamers walk in their slumber, their dreams playing out all around them. An enchanted, mysterious place that feeds our own world – as without dreams, without a place where our imaginations and minds can be nourished, what kind of humans would we be?
But Annwn is a place as full of dangers as it is wonders: it is a place where dreams can kill you. Annwn and its Dreamers are protected by an ancient order known as the Knights – and when Fern’s hated twin Ollie is chosen to join their ranks, Fern will have to do whatever she can to prove she is one of them too.
But the world Fern discovers in Annwn, in this dream mirror of her London, is a fragile one, threatened by vicious nightmares. Nightmares that are harder and harder for the Knights to defeat. Something dark is jeopardising the peace and stability of Annwn, something that must be rooted out at all costs. And gradually, Fern realises that the danger lurking inside our sleep is more insidious and terrifying than any nightmare. Because if you can influence someone’s dreams, you can control their thoughts …
I read a teaser chapter for this back in 2019 in Hot Key’s YALC sampler and pre-ordered this as soon as I could but I’ve not got around to reading this yet, I even put it on a challenge TBR but only got part way through the TBR before I burnt out, and never made it to this one. I know the sequel is due out this year though so I really should try and get to this before A Gathering Midnight is released!
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
Nothing is more important than loyalty.
But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?
Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?
This is another fascinating sounding book that I’ve had sitting on my shelf since release date. I pretty sure a sequel is due so this is another one I need to get to soon!
They were my #SixforSunday! If you’ve taken part leave a link to your post below and I’ll be sure to check it out!