Feature & Giveaway: Favorite Reads of 2020 – Young Adult Books
The time of year has come for us to share our Favorite Young Adult Reads of 2020! This list is for 2020 releases only that we managed to read this year. You can check out our favorite backlist reads here.
We are also giving away your choice of any book from our Favorite Reads lists all month!
We have also created a Favorite Reads of 2020 Bookshop!
Kelly’s Favorite YA Reads of 2020
There were so many books I really wanted to read this year, and I wanted to get them all read before I made this list, but alas so many important books haven’t been read by me and I blame what is 2020 on my reading accomplishments. So this list is basically in order…because nothing topped these reads this year and yes 15 books because they were all of my 5 star reads and they all deserve a place on this list. Also, if you didn’t expect mostly LGBTQIA+ books then you haven’t been paying attention. I 100% prioritized queer books this year. I also mostly read contemporary, because fantasy wasn’t working with my mood for most of 2020.
- Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas – Hands down my favorite book of the year and if you didn’t already guess that then I have failed at this book influencing. Seriously this book owns my heart and it’s a hell of a ride! The audiobook was immersive and a must listen/read!
- Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender – I have so many feelings and all of them are that I want everyone to read this book!
- You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson – Pure Joy. Read it. Love it. Talk about it. Buy it for your friends.
- Darius the Great Deserves Better by Adib Khorram – I had a ton of feelings when reading this sequel – both books are Must Reads if you haven’t! Loved the mental health rep so much! Darius is a character that you root for from word one.
- All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson – This non-fiction is brilliant, impactful, and so important.
- Black Flamingo by Dean Atta – Loved this one & it is written in verse! Beautiful story of self discovery.
- The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski – I read this one on a whim and head over heels feel in love with the writing and the characters! There isn’t a lot of fantasy on my list this year, because 2020 – so this one made a big impact on me and was really easy to read and the world building wasn’t too complex.
- Camp by Lev A.C. Rosen – I really adored the writing and the message in this teen m/m romance about accepting yourself and eschewing toxic masculinity. Lev really has a way of finding wonderful ways to educate young readers about the perils of trying too damn hard.
- Music From Another World by Robin Talley – Historical f/f romance told from dual points of view around the time of Harvey Milk and the gay revolution in San Fran!
- The Faithless Hawk by Margaret Owen – This final book of the Merciful Crow duology is just as dark and gritty. This series is fantasy but you can read between the lines and feel the conversation about class and race and their importance in society.
- The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper – I loved the retro feel of being excited for space missions, yet the modern inconveniences of internet fame. Great mental health rep as well.
- Tweet Cute by Emma Lord – I laughed along with the characters and at the characters the whole way through this one. I was also extremely craving grilled cheese and blondies.
- Every Other Weekend by Abigail Johnson – Although I read this one late in 2019 as an ARC, it is not fair to leave it off this year’s releases of best reads. The feelings, the sadness, the pain, the love! This book is a must read for any contemporary fan!
- Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff – I have to make this the final book on my list and it was just fun, romantic, and the sci-fi stakes are high!
Christy’s Favorite Reads of 2020
I think this will end up being my highest year of reading and yet…I feel like I accomplished nothing. I have so many more books I wanted to read, so many that ended up being disappointing, and an overall feeling of BLAH to end out this year. With grad school next year, I need to take a step back and think about how I read (and buy) books. I imagine 2021 will look a lot different than the previous 5 years have.
That said, I read some AMAZING books and I am including adult picks here, too.
- Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour – This hauntingly beautiful book might be my fav by Nina, which I am SURE will change with every book she writes.
- Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas – I mean, is there anyone who doesn’t have this on their best of list for 2020?
- Home Before Dark by Riley Sager – This was the perfect mix of narrators, timelines, and reality vs paranormal. With Riley Sager, I never know what to expect and I am ALWAYS thrilled.
- Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer – Look, I did not think I would fall so hard for this book but I did.
- The Fell of Dark by Caleb Roehrig – But the reality is THIS is my fav vampire book of the year. SO GOOD.
- I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee – This book was just so wholesome and perfect.
- You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson – This book had everything. Romance. Healthy (and unhealthy) competition. Combating racism. I can’t wait to see what Leah does next.
- Meet Me at Midnight by Jessica Pennington – Jessica’s romances continue to be some of my favs and I absolutely loved this one.
- Little Universes by Heather Demetrios – YA so often gets substance use wrong but Heather totally gets it. This story of sisters is not to be missed.
- Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth – UGH THIS BOOK. Easily my favorite book of the year and waiting for book 2 is complete torture.
- Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – This book turned my opinion of the series around and now I’m left wondering what horror awaits next year.
- A Werewolf in Riverdale by Caleb Roehrig – That’s right, Caleb gets two spots on this year’s list. I loved his take on Riverdale!
- Between Burning Worlds by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell – These two live on reader’s tears so bring on book 3!
- The Rise of Skywalker by Rae Carson – I know I am in the minority of people who loved TROS and Rae’s version added just enough detail to make it even better.
- Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon – My fav Sandhya book yet. I can’t wait to continue this series.
- A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson – Definitely my fav YA book this year. Someone make this into a TV show!