Hello lovely reader! Last Wednesday I gave you my top 10 favourite books I read in 2020, and as promised in that post, today I’ll give you my top 5 least favourite reads of 2020. I know there’s always some controversy surrounding these lists, but quite frankly it’s my opinion and I can express that with freedom of expression and all, and if you don’t want to hear it, than don’t read this post.
Where there was a lot of change in my top 10 favourites of the year between my mid year and end of the year one, there’s not that much change on this one, which is definitely a good thing, so let’s go!
5. When It’s Real by Erin Watt
Under ordinary circumstances, Oakley Ford and Vaughn Bennett would never even cross paths.
There’s nothing ordinary about Oakley. This bad-boy pop star’s got Grammy Awards, millions of fangirls and a reputation as a restless, too-charming troublemaker. But with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley needs to show the world he’s settling down—and who better to help him than Vaughn, a part-time waitress trying to help her family get by? The very definition of ordinary.
Posing as his girlfriend, Vaughn will overhaul Oakley’s image from troublemaker to serious artist. In return for enough money to put her brothers through college, she can endure outlandish Hollywood parties and carefully orchestrated Twitter exchanges. She’ll fool the paparazzi and the groupies. She might even start fooling herself a little.
Because when ordinary rules no longer apply, there’s no telling what your heart will do…
This book sounded exaclty like a book 14-year old me would’ve loved reading on Wattpad. However it turns out that you might not like the same type of books when you’re 20 as when you were a young teen. Lesson learned, and I’ll probably never read any new releases that sound like young me would’ve loved reading.
If you want to hear more thoughts about this one, I’m redirecting you to me entire review (it’s written in Dutch, but you can translate it at the bottom of the page) here.
4. Orpheus Girl by Bryenne Rebele-Henry
Abandoned by a single mother she never knew, 16-year-old Raya—obsessed with ancient myths—lives with her grandmother in a small conservative Texas town. For years Raya has been forced to hide her feelings for her best friend and true love, Sarah. When the two are outed, they are sent to Friendly Saviors: a re-education camp meant to “fix” them and make them heterosexual. Upon arrival, Raya vows to assume the mythic role of Orpheus to escape Friendly Saviors, and to return to the world of the living with her love—only becoming more determined after she, Sarah, and Friendly Saviors’ other teen residents are subjected to abusive “treatments” by the staff.
I read this book more towards the beginning of the year and I can hardly remember anything that happens in here, so that already says something. The only thing I can remember is that it had some questionable statements in there that were quite biphobic and transphobic.
Once again, for more in depth thoughts I’m referring you to my review here.
3. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.
Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.
The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.
I’m so angry this book is on this list, because I really wanted to love it, but alas. Once again a lesson learned: I loathe romance heavy fantasies. There is so much I didn’t like about this book, that I’m redirecting you to Read With Cindy’s review, I agree with everything she says except I didn’t like the one scene she did like. Here is her review, but be warned, it’s spoiler filled.
2. Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson and Ellen Hagan
Jasmine and Chelsea are sick of the way women are treated even at their progressive NYC high school, so they decide to start a Women’s Rights Club. They post everything online—poems, essays, videos of Chelsea performing her poetry, and Jasmine’s response to the racial macroaggressions she experiences—and soon they go viral. But with such positive support, the club is also targeted by online trolls. When things escalate, the principal shuts the club down. Jasmine and Chelsea will risk everything for their voices—and those of other young women—to be heard.
Another book I had hoped to love, but is once again filled with homophobia, transphobia and a little bit of racism even though it’s cowritten by a black author. And one of the characters also just annoyed the heck out of me. I have a very long spoilerfree spoken review of this book in this blog post, where I also link some own voices reviews for the transphobia & racism.
1. Lie, Lie Again by Stacey Wise
All three women who live at 1054 Mockingbird Lane have secrets…and with a body at the bottom of their apartment building’s staircase, those secrets need to stay buried.
Sylvia Webb has a plan. And a potential Mr. Right. He’s sweet, simple, and dependably clueless about what she’s up to. The only thing unpredictable about him is his needy ex-girlfriend, who is this close to shattering Sylvia’s dreams. But Sylvia’s not going to let that happen.
Riki McFarlan has a good career and an amazing boyfriend who wants to settle down. If only she didn’t have feelings for her neighbor—who happens to be her close friend’s husband. With everything going so right, why is Riki flirting with something so wrong, so…dangerous?
This was my only one star read of the entire year of 2020, so it had to be my least favourite book of the year. Just thinking about this book frustrates the heck out of me. I have an entire spoilerfree review (and it’s quite long) of this book, you can read that here. But in short: this book just was not a thriller at all and it was pointless and boring.
And that’s it, sorry that this post is so repetitive of the mid year one I did. But to be honest, I’m quite happy I didn’t read many more books I didn’t like in the second half of 2020. Anyway, I’ll see you next week for another blog post!