‘Tis the time of the year when all the lists are written so, today I’m here with a list of books that surprised me – in a good way and… in a not so good way.
I have read significantly more things in 2020 (thank you lockdown) than last year, and I have enjoyed most of what I have read. In order to keep my Best Books I read in 2020 list on the short side, I made some decisions and several books didn’t make the cut. However, I still want to highlight those books because I really enjoyed reading them and, even if they are not my favorites of the year, I still want to recommend them.
On a different note, I also wanted to mention some books that disappointed me this year. Not because they were the worst thing I have ever read (they’re not) or because I hate the authors (I don’t, actually two books on the list are from favorite authors) but because I expected to love those books and for different reasons, they didn’t work for me. In a way, they were also the most surprising books of the year, just not in a good way…
To keep this post short and sweet, I have decided to describe each book in 5 words, if you want to know more about a specific book, I have linked the reviews I have posted about all the books mentioned in this post.
The good surprises
The Light Years by R.W.W. Greene – REVIEW
Quiet and introspective. Fascinating Characters.
Beneath the Rising by Premee Mohamed – REVIEW
Quirky geniuses saving the world.
Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh – BOOK DISCUSSION
Teenagers in Space. Terrifying. Brilliant.
The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell – REVIEW
Epic. Zambia. All the Genres.
Burning Roses by S.L. Huang – Review
Emotional sapphic fairy tale retelling.
The Wall by Gautam Bhatia – Review
Contemplative. Poetic. Revolution. Friendship. Horizon.
The not-so-good surprises
The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson – REVIEW
Too long, too messy. Bit Boring.
Gideon the Night by Tamsyn Muir – REVIEW
Can Gideon please shut-up?
Cage of Souls by Adrian Tchaikovsky – REVIEW
Interesting ideas but stale story.
The Rush’s Edge by Ginger Smith – REVIEW
Felt like a first draft.
I also just realized that almost every single book in the Good Surprises category is a debut novel while only one is present in the Not-so Good. I guess 2020 was the year of solid debuts!
If you have read any of these books, I would be curious to know what you thought about them! 😀