My Most Memorable Reads of 2020!

Since 2020 has been unlike any of the years that came before it, I decided to end my reading year I little different too. I didn’t have time to make a bunch of different too 10 list nor could I possibly narrow it down to just my 10 favorites. So I went with a Most Memorable of 2020 – while making this list I didn’t allow myself to look at my GoodReads to view the 500 😱 books I read this year. I just closed my eyes and reminisced on which books made me happy. Am I missing some books that I gushed about at one point ? Probably 🤷‍♀️ and not all of these were 5 star reads but they stood out In my mind for one reason of another. I so badly wanted to include ReReads but I had so many and so many great buddy ReReads that I couldn’t . But honorable mention to the Illuminae reread I did with Steph and the O’Leary reread with my bestie Katie. Therefore here are my most memorable in no particular order :

Title: Tin Man
Authors: Sarah Winman

Synopsis: This is almost a love story.

Ellis and Michael are twelve when they first become friends, and for a long time it is just the two of them, cycling the streets of Oxford, teaching themselves how to swim, discovering poetry, and dodging the fists of an overbearing father. And then one day this closest of friendships grows into something more.

But then we fast forward a decade or so, to find that Ellis is married to Annie, and Michael is nowhere in sight. Which leads to the question, what happened in the years between?

This is almost a love story. But it’s not as simple as that.

Favorite Quotes:

“And I wonder what the sound of a heart breaking might be. And I think it might be quiet, unperceptively so, and not dramatic at all. Like the sound of an exhausted swallow falling gently to earth.”

“There’s something about first love, isn’t there? she said. It’s untouchable to those who played no part in it. But it’s the measure of all that follows.”

Why was it Memorable ? – This story ruined me and I’ll never forget the tears. The lives of Ellis , Michael & Annie are heartbreaking and beautiful. 5 Star Must Read ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Title: The House in the Cerulean Sea
Authors: TJ Klune

Synopsis: A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours. 

Favorite Quotes: 

“Change often starts with the smallest of whispers. Like-minded people building it up to a roar.”

You’re too precious to put into words. I think … it’s like one of Theodore’s buttons. If you asked him why he cared about them so, he would tell you it’s because they exist at all.”

Why was it Memorable: How about how could it not be? Seriously it was utterly splendid. A found family that is unique, precious, loving and accepting to everyone’s differences. The world would be a better place if we all thought like the residents who live in the House in the Cerulean Sea.

Title: Cemetery Boys
Authors: Aiden Thomas

Synopsis: A trans boy determined to prove his gender to his traditional Latinx family summons a ghost who refuses to leave in Aiden Thomas’s paranormal YA debut Cemetery Boys, described by Entertainment Weekly as “groundbreaking.”

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie off some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

Favorite Quotes :

“Queer folks are like wolves,” Julian told him. “We travel in packs.”

“Why do you have to prove anything to anyone?”
“It{s just how it is, how it’s always been. In order for them to let me be a brujo—”
“You don’t need anyone’s permission to be you, Yads”

Why was it Memorable?: I was lucky enough to read an arc of this beautiful book and then proceeded to acquire two more editions and reread it after it’s release, enjoying it just as much the second time. Besides the rich story and wonderful characters , This is a fantastic #ownvoices book showing YA readers that being trans isn’t a choice it’s a truth. They are valid and deserve to be respected. It shows non-own voices readers some of the struggles, from wearing a binder to the people around them not acknowledging their correct pronouns, that transgender men and women face.

Title: A Sheriff’s Star
Authors: Makenna Lee

Synopsis: It was only supposed to be a temporary home…

He interrupts her plans…

When police chief Anson Curry returns a lost little girl to her frantic mother, his only goal is to ease the single mom’s anxiety. But it doesn’t take long for Tess Harper’s amazing child to have Anson wrapped around her little finger—and for Tess to have him thinking about a possible relationship. As for Tess, she’s tempted—even though she had planned to be in Oak Hollow, Texas, only temporarily. But after losing her father and brother in the line of duty, Tess thinks Anson’s job poses too much of a risk to her heart. And Anson has no plans to get involved with someone who’s planning on leaving.

Favorite Quote:

He scooped Hannah up and cuddled her against one shoulder.
Hannah opened her eyes and smiled . “My chief.”
“Go back to sleep , little one. I’ve got you.”

Why was it Memorable?:  This book is filled with so many ridiculously heartwarming moments. As a mother to a child with special needs, I could relate deeply with more than one of Tess’ struggles. Her ability to handle it all on her own was inspiring and her momma bear qualities made me proud. The story itself was Hallmark movie worthy. Heartwarming, sweet, and one or two slightly cheesy declarations of feelings but I can’t get over how happy this book made me. I don’t think I’ll be forgetting darling Hannah or the people who love her anytime soon.

Title: BrotherSong
Authors: TJ Klune

Synopsis of Book 1 Wolf Song:  Ox was twelve when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.

Ox was sixteen when he met the boy on the road, the boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.

Ox was seventeen when he found out the boy’s secret, and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet, of Alpha and Beta and Omega.

Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his bloodred eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.

It’s been three years since that fateful day—and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them

Why was it Memorable? – Besides the fact that I reread the series 3 times in preparation for the final book , one of those being a buddy reread with my wolf pack, BrotherSong was was everything I wanted for the final book in the Green Creek series. This series more than consumes my soul and made this year unforgettable.

Title: Daughter of the Forest
Authors: Juliet Marulier

Synopsis: Lovely Sorcha is the seventh child and only daughter of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters. Bereft of a mother, she is comforted by her six brothers who love and protect her. Sorcha is the light in their lives: they are determined that she know only contentment.

But Sorcha’s joy is shattered when her father is bewitched by his new wife, an evil enchantress who binds her brothers with a terrible spell, a spell which only Sorcha can lift—by staying silent. If she speaks before she completes the quest set to her by the Fair Folk and their queen, the Lady of the Forest, she will lose her brothers forever.

When Sorcha is kidnapped by the enemies of Sevenwaters and taken to a foreign land, she is torn between the desire to save her beloved brothers, and a love that comes only once. Sorcha despairs at ever being able to complete her task, but the magic of the Fair Folk knows no boundaries, and love is the strongest magic of them all… (

Favorite Quotes

“All that he had of her was his memory, where he held every moment, every single moment that she had been his. That was all he had, to keep out the loneliness.”

“He was sitting not far away, watching me, and I surprised a smile on his face, the first real smile I had ever seen him give, a smile that curved and softened the tight mouth, and warmed the ice-cool eyes; a smile that brought the blood to my face and made my heart turn over.”

Why was it Memorable?– This was recommended to me by my trusted book friend Hollis and will never forget how lost in this fantasy romance that I became. It was one that I didn’t expect to love as much as I did and just know writing this I have a strong urge to revisit this beautiful story. 

Title: Big Bad Wolf Series
Authors: Charlie Adhara

Synopsis of Book 1 The Wolf at the Door :

A former FBI agent is partnered with the enemy in this suspenseful male/male shifter romance from debut author Charlie Adhara

Hunting for big bad wolves was never part of Agent Cooper Dayton’s plan, but a werewolf attack lands him in the carefully guarded Bureau of Special Investigations. A new case comes with a new partner: ruggedly sexy werewolf Oliver Park.

Park is an agent of The Trust, a werewolf oversight organization working to ease escalating tensions with the BSI. But as far as Cooper’s concerned, it’s failing. As they investigate a series of mysterious deaths unlike anything they’ve seen, every bone in Cooper’s body is suspicious of his new partner—even when Park proves himself as competent as he is utterly captivating.

When more people vanish, pressure to solve the case skyrockets. And though he’d resolved to keep things professional, Cooper’s friction with Park soon erupts…into a physical need that can’t be contained or controlled. But with a body count that’s rising by the day, werewolves and humans are in equal danger. If Cooper and Park don’t catch the killer soon, one—or both—of them could be the next to go.

Why was it Memorable? – The most obvious answer it because I read the last first and that right there I’ll never live down lol I read the series in the following order 4,1,2,3,4, and then was lucky enough to get an arc for the next book in the series. This series was just overall a great one with interesting plot lines and complex characters.

Title: Whispers and the Roars
Authors: K. Webster



When my eyes are closed, the monster can’t ever see me.
When I sing a song in my head, the monster can’t ever hear me.
When I pretend my bedroom is a playground where I play hide and seek, the monster can’t ever find me.

The darkness should frighten me.
I should worry I’ll find more monsters…monsters scarier than him.
But I’m not afraid.

It’s safe here.
When I’m inside of my head…

He. Can’t. Ever. Touch. Me.

Whispers and the Roars is a dark romance. Strong sexual themes and violence, which could trigger emotional distress are found in this story. The abuse written in this story is graphic and not glossed over which could be upsetting to some. Proceed with caution. This story is NOT for everyone.

Favorite Quotes: 

“I love you at your best, and I love you at your worst. I love every single part of you. I always have and always will. I even love the parts that I hate about you. How fucking weird is that? And I’ll continue to love you in every capacity, no matter how strange that makes me. I’ll fill in the missing voids of your heart with parts of mine. Together we’ll be whole.”

Why was it Memorable?: It opened me up to a new sub genre that I then went searching for other books about , sadly came up short and only found one as good as this one. Not much I can say without spoilers but this book is heavy and dark and not pretty most of the times. Ugh it hurt my heart 😩 this book is definitely not for everyone but it was unforgettable to me.

Title: Tallowwood
Authors: N.R. Walker


Cold cases, murder, lies, and an unimaginable truth.


Sydney detective August Shaw has spent the last decade of work solving cold cases. Since the death of his boyfriend eight years ago, August works alone, lives alone, is alone — and that’s exactly how he likes it. His work is his entire life, and he’s convinced a string of unsolved cold-case suicides are linked to what could be Australia’s worst ever serial killer. Problem is, no one believes him.

Senior Constable Jacob Porter loves his life in the small town of Tallowwood in the middle of the rainforests in northern New South Wales. He runs summer camps for the local Indigenous kids, plays rugby with his mates, has a close family, and he’s the local LGBTQIA+ Liaison and the Indigenous Liaison Officer.

When human remains are found in the camping grounds at Tallowwood Reserve, Jake’s new case turns out to be linked to August’s cold cases, and Jake agrees they’re not suicides at all. With Jacob now firmly in August’s corner, they face one hurdle after another, even when more remains are found, they still can’t seem to gain ground.

But when the body of a fellow police officer turns up under the same MO, it can’t be ignored anymore. August and Jake must trace the untraceable before the killer takes his next victim or before he stops one of them, permanently.



Favorite Quotes

“You just need someone who knows how your puzzle goes back together.”

“When you lose someone you love, something in you changes. You can’t get the pieces to fit together again because the picture of you has been changed. They need to understand your pain and how it changed you before they can understand how the new you needs to be loved.”

Why was it Memorable?: Not only was this a fantastic thriller, edge of your seat mystery but it had a romance that will make your heart happy. It also introduced me to N.R. Walkers writing and I have since read many of her books and always enjoy them.


Title: Hunt & Cam 4Ever Series
Authors: Adira August

Synopsis of MatchStick Men:

SEX, GAMES & MURDER ~ Want to play?
It was munch night at the most elite underground BDSM club in the Rockies. Relaxed and informal, highlighted by the weekly Matchstick Challenge game.

Detective Sergeant Hunter Dane, reigning champion, looked forward to a relaxing evening to start his 3 days off. A few beers on the deck. An interlude with a sweet sub. Stumping a challenger with a new puzzle. Home early for a decent night’s sleep.

Some people are SO deadly serious about their games.
Now Hunt has a fresh body and a new puzzle to solve in twenty-four hours if he wants to find a killer.

A 48k police procedural with a liberal dose of M/M hotness. Which means our fave full-metal Dom shows up to collect on Hunter’s offer of his … coffer. So to speak.

There are puzzles for the reader and mysteries to be solved. Based on characters introduced in the short story On His Knees. For adults. 

Favorite Quotes:

“The world was Cam. Powerful, merciless, grunting his extreme arousal at my suffering. My helplessness. My need for him to shred everything that kept me from myself.”

Why was it Memorable?:  Most people reading my list won’t enjoy this series but I couldn’t not include it. This was not an overall five star series for me, my rating for each book ranges from 3 to 5 stars. Matchstick Men is an erotic BDSM MM mystery crime romance that is very heavy on the BDSM. While I had problems with the writing at times , I couldn’t get enough. When the mysteries are solved I’m left wanting more. I want Hunter and Cam to make it work , I NEED it, currently after the last book there relationship is in a hard place and that kills me .

Title: The Raven Cycle
Authors: Maggie Stiefvater

Synopsis of Book 1 The Raven Boys : It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Favorite Qoutes

“She recognized the strange happiness that came from loving something without knowing why you did, that strange happiness that was sometimes so big that it felt like sadness.”

“Adam smiled cheerily. Ronan would start wars and burn cities for that true smile, elastic and amiable.”

Why was it Memorable? – For multiple reasons. This is the first series where I enjoyed the audios as much as reading it the paperback. While this isn’t a five star series to me it’s had 5 star characters who I feel in love with. Ronan oh Ronan my complex boy who I just want to smother in affection and Noah who had less of a staring role but was nonetheless important and heartbreaking.

2 thoughts on “My Most Memorable Reads of 2020!

  1. the sound I made when you reminisced about your out of order reading experience for Adhara.. oh man, I will never forget it. so funny. also aaaa I loved reading why these were memorable for you, not the least because it includes some of my favourites!! this was such a fabulous way to do this kind of retrospective. xx – H


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