Best Books of 2020 (Based on My Bookstagram Community)

We’re almost at the end of 2020! Can you believe that?! I certainly can’t. But there’s no going back now, and although we’ve had a roller coaster of a year, we’ve also been blessed with amazing books.

Now I know there are a lot of “Best Books of 2020” lists right now, and I wanted to do one of my own. But this time, I’m not just featuring my best books of the year. I invited my friends and followers over at bookstagram to come tell me their best books of 2020!

I wanted to know the books that truly left a mark for people this year and I wanted to feature them. Whether it be fantasy, contemporary, science fiction, or more. Anything!

So here you go: the best books of 2020 based on my bookstagram community!

Each of Us A Desert

#15 Each of Us a Desert

“From the award-winning author Mark Oshiro comes a powerful fantasy novel about finding home and falling in love amidst the dangers of a desert where stories come to life.”

All Boys Aren't Blue

#14 All Boys Aren’t Blue

“In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia.”

Clap When You Land

#13 Clap When You Land

“In a novel-in-verse that brims with grief and love, National Book Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.”

Written in the Stars

#12 Written in the Stars

“With nods to Bridget Jones and Pride and Prejudice, a charming #ownvoices queer rom-com debut about a free-spirited social media astrologer who agrees to fake a relationship with an uptight actuary until New Year’s Eve—with results not even the stars could predict!”

The Burning God

#11 The Burning God

“The exciting end to The Poppy War trilogy, R. F. Kuang’s acclaimed, award-winning epic fantasy that combines the history of twentieth-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters, to devastating, enthralling effect.”

Raybearer

#10 Raybearer

“Nothing is more important than loyalty.

But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?”

Cinderella is Dead

#9 Cinderella is Dead

“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.”

Aurora Burning

#8 Aurora Burning

“Our heroes are back… kind of. From the bestselling co-authors of the Illuminae Files comes the second book in the epic series about a squad of misfits, losers, and discipline cases who just might be the galaxy’s best hope for survival.”

Black Sun

#7 Black Sun

“From the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Resistance Reborn comes the first book in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic.”

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

#6 The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

“A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.”

Felix Ever After

#5 Felix Ever After

“From Stonewall and Lambda Award-winning author Kacen Callender comes a revelatory YA novel about a transgender teen grappling with identity and self-discovery while falling in love for the first time.”

The Extraordinaries

#4 The Extraordinaries

“Some people are extraordinary. Some are just extra. TJ Klune’s YA debut, The Extraordinaries, is a queer coming-of-age story about a fanboy with ADHD and the heroes he loves.”

You Should See Me in a Crown

#3 You Should See Me in a Crown

“But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz’s plans come crashing down . . . until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen . . . The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack…Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams . . . or make them come true?”

Cemetery Boys

#2 Cemetery Boys

“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.””

The House in the Cerulean Sea

#1 The House in the Cerulean Sea

“A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret…

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.”

And there you have it! I had so much fun knowing the best books people over at bookstagram have read. I hope I get to read these wide variety of titles soon! Also, it’s no surprise at all for me that The House in the Cerulean Sea received the most votes! This book was amazing!

I’m also including these books as honorable mentions:

  • Miss Meteor 
  • Crownchasers
  • Grown
  • The First Sister
  • Cute Mutants
  • Wicked As You Wish
  • Get a Life Chloe Brown
  • Mexican Gothic
  • Loveless
  • Plain bad heroines 
  • Slay
  • The Henna Wars
  • Only Mostly Devastated
  • Furia
  • We Are Not Free

How about you book nerds? What was the best book (or books!) of 2020 for you? Come tell me!

Rainbow Crate Unboxing: Paranormal Paramours September 2020

Hello book nerds! Seems like it’s been a while since my last unboxing post here, huh?

I tried not to avail book boxes because of a lot of recent shipping delays, plus life has been hectic these last few months that I wasn’t able to show the few ones that I received. But now I’m back with a new unboxing and it’s a special one! It’s my first ever rep box from Rainbow Crate!

Rainbow Crate is a new subscription box, focusing on queer books! Yes, queer books! How awesome is that? I loved their concept the minute I heard about them. I’ve been a subscriber since July, but then I made it to the rep team. I was so excited!

So here I am, about to show you the September box! Here are the contents!

Rainbow Crate September 2020 “Paranormal Paramours”

🌈 Gideon the Ninth glass tumbler
🌈 Timekeeper enamel pin
🌈 Our Bloody Pearl pillowcase
🌈 Monthly Collectible – Ox and Joe from TJ Klune’s Wolfsong
🌈 Featured e-book – The Key of Arcandus by Lauren Sefehik
🌈 Featured book – Cemetery Boys by @aidenschmaiden
🌈 with signed book plates and the secret book item: a metal bookmark resembling Yadriel’s portaje
✨ Spoiler card art print by @ace_artemis_fanartist
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We’ve got several awesome items here, but that Gideon the Ninth tumbler is so cool, it’s probably my favorite! And of course, I’m so happy to see Cemetery Boys as the featured book! It’s one of my favorite reads this year and it’s the perfect Halloween read! (See my review here!) Apart from the hardcover book, Rainbow Crate also has a featured e-book we can enjoy!
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I couldn’t have been more proud and happier about this box! It was so good! How about you? What item caught your eye?


Rainbow Crate November theme

Rainbow Crate “Self-love O’clock” now on sale!

Don’t miss out the November box! The featured book has To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before vibes, but make it gay and super body-positive! Fandom items include Autoboyography, I’ll Be The One, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, the featured book, and more!

Pro-tip: You can DM me on any of my social accounts for a discount code you can use!

Book Review I'll Be The One

Book Review: I’ll Be The One

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title: I’ll Be The One
Author: Lyla Lee
Genre/s and Tags: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Rom-com, LGBTQ+ rep, Bisexual MC, Asian rep, POC cast
Content Warnings: Fatphobia, Emotional abuse, panic attack, online bullying/harassment
Goodreads synopsis:

The world of K-Pop has never met a star like this. Debut author Lyla Lee delivers a deliciously fun, thoughtful rom-com celebrating confidence and body positivity—perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Julie Murphy.

Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn’t dance. Wear bright colors. Shouldn’t call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she’s about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her.

She’ll challenge thousands of other performers in an internationally televised competition looking for the next K-pop star, and she’ll do it better than anyone else.

When Skye nails her audition, she’s immediately swept into a whirlwind of countless practices, shocking performances, and the drama that comes with reality TV. What she doesn’t count on are the highly fat-phobic beauty standards of the Korean pop entertainment industry, her sudden media fame and scrutiny, or the sparks that soon fly with her fellow competitor, Henry Cho.

But Skye has her sights on becoming the world’s first plus-sized K-pop star, and that means winning the competition—without losing herself.

PicsArt_05-02-02.12.14

Big thanks to Epic Reads for sending me a finished copy of this book! Of course, it did not affect my overall opinion of the book.

This book immediately caught my eye early on! I was so excited for it because it features a fat, queer, Asian girl as the main character. I mean, hello, just look at the cover! I already loved this book for that. However, once I read the whole thing, I found myself loving it for more and more reasons.

I’ll Be The One is a fun and wonderful book, brimming with romance, confidence, and body positivity. Safe to say, it’s exactly what I needed in my life.

My thoughts on I’ll Be The One

This book was just so good and so enjoyable. It was a quick read, but it never lacked spark or excitement for me. From the story, to the romance, to the way it tackled fatphobia and body positivity, to the characters themselves, it was so good and I loved it!

It was so easy to immerse myself in the story from Skye’s perspective. We also have a lot of things in common, so I had no trouble connecting with her character immediately. Skye was fierce and hopeful, and I found myself cheering for her overall attitude and personality. I absolutely loved seeing a fat, queer Asian girl who’s confident and not afraid of taking up the space she deserves!

The way this book tackled fatphobia hit too close to home. Skye getting drastic and consistent fatphobic and body-shaming comments from a family member was too damn relatable, because I’ve experienced that, and I’m sure others did, too. Seeing Skye own who she is and be confident of herself was everything. It gave me so much hope and warmth, because as a fat girl myself, I admit there are times when I struggle with confidence, too.

Loved the romance in this book as well! I loved Skye and Henry’s chemistry, and I love that they exude such a wholesome and fun relationship. (More of this in YA please!)

I also love the queerness of this book! Henry and Skye are the bi icons we deserve. There were also queer minor characters who were amazing in their own way! My only grievance was that it wasn’t talked about more. Skye’s parents seemed to be in the dark about her sexuality, and Henry’s family were against his. It would have been nice to see the story expound on that and see the characters overcome this particular conflict.

And last but not the least, another thing why I loved this book? It has all the love and praise for BTS and I can’t help but agree! (I started reading this book because I was on a BTS high after watching so many videos and listening to their songs. Have to say, it was definitely a great decision.) Of course, this book also dived into the world of K-pop, highlighting both the good (the amazing artists, their music, and how far they’ve come) and the bad (how fatphobic it can be, and how other people fetishizes the culture). Kudos to the author for this!

Overall, I’ll Be The One is such a fun and thoughtful book, one that has a special place in my heart. I wish there were books like this when I was younger. Still, I’m very thankful that this book exists now and I had the chance to read it and fall in love with it. (Also very grateful that I received a signed copy from the author! Will forever cherish that copy!)

Quotes from the book 

​“I’m fat and I take up space, but that’s okay… I’m allowed to take up space just as much as anyone else.”

​​“​​I want to show people that it’s okay to not be model-thin and exhaust yourself to the point of hospitalization. That girl failed me, so I want to be my own hero.”

“You are beautiful… Don’t let anyone, not even yourself, tell you any different.”


Buy I’ll Be The One

Amazon | Book Depository | Bookshop


Have you read this book as well? What did you think of it? Come talk to me in the comments!

Also, feel free to check out one of my latest blog posts where I recommend YA books based on BTS songs! I’ll Be The One is one the books I recommended! 😉

Thoughts While Reading The Ikessar Falcon

Hello book nerds! It’s another tour stop day! Welcome to my stop on the The Ikessar Falcon Book Tour aka #DethroneTheDragonlord hosted by Caffeine Book Tours!

I have wanted to read The Wolf of Oren-Yaro for so long after hearing a lot of great things! When I found out that Shealea @ Caffeine Book Tours is hosting a blog tour for the sequel The Ikessar Falcon, I knew I had to try and join! And well, here we are! I read the two books back-to-back, and let me tell you it was a ride.

Today though, it’s all about The Ikessar Falcon!

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Always Human: Review + Fave Quotes + 15 Thoughts While Reading

Hello book nerds! I’m back with another tour stop with Hear Our Voices Book Tours! This time it’s my tour stop for the Always Human Book Tour! Follow the tour and the other hosts, so you don’t miss any review, interview, and other creative content!

When I found out this book was for #ownvoices pansexual and queer WLW, I was immediately ecstatic! And then I also realized, it was a graphic novel. That’s even better! I knew then I was going to love this story, and let me tell you, I was right.

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