Top 5 Favorite Reads of 2020

Holy moly. 2020 was...a doozy. In more ways than one. Everything was a shit show - epic in some ways and horrible in ginormous proportions in others.

I wrote more than 500,000 words and shared six different stories with you - that's thousands of pages of awesomeness!

Because of you, I hit some awesome rankings, including:

The Darkest Winter

#1 in Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction

#1 in Women's Adventure Fiction

#1 in U.S. Horror Fiction

The Savage North Chronicles

#1 Release in LGBT Science Fiction

I completed the Savage North Chronicles, with Midnight Sun, Fading Shadows, Untamed, and Unbroken, participated in my first science fiction anthology, and finally co-wrote the beginning of the next chapter in The Ending Series, World After, the first book in the Ending Legacies spinoff.

We built a homestead and fortified a prison, preparing for General Herodson in Midnight Sun. We went on a vision quest, had our hearts broken alongside Beau, met Bear and the Untainteds in Untamed. And in Unbroken we revisited The Ending Series crew and went on a road trip through the pacific northwest, craving honey and a happily ever after along the way.

And for as much time as I spent writing last year, I tripled the amount of reading I normally do, and not just because of my co-hosted No Shelf Control podcast. My goal for 2020 was to read more, and somehow I managed to do so with flying colors - I had a goal of 20 books and I made it to 65! Hooodyhooo!

So, needless to say I read some amazing books last year. These are my top reads for 2020.

Here are my top 5 reads (not in any particular order)

for 2020.

1) TJ Klune - Wolfsong (and the entire Green Creek Series)

This is a paranormal, LGBT romance unlike any I've read. It's what I crave in a book - it's long (as in 20-hours-of-listening long), it has realistic and relatable characters that are well developed with patience, not rushed to get to the end or the steamy bits. The world building is great, nothing is over the top, and there aren't cookie-cutter stock characters. Overall, it's an authentic and beautiful story of love and family and friendship. I'm already listening to book 2 and loving it! I would say T.J. Klune is the Sarah Lyons Fleming of the LGBT romance world.

2.) Madeline Miller - The Song of Achilles

Miller does it again! I LOVED her whimsical, imaginative tale of Achilles, Patroclus, and Briseis. Her story is wonderful - her prose are lovely and her characters come to life on the pages. If you enjoyed Circe and love Greek mythology, you won't be disappointed with this one. The audiobook narration is beautiful on this one.

3.) Amy Harmon - The First Girl Child

I loved this book! It's my first Harmon book, and I was not disappointed. The world is rich, the characters are unique and wonderful, and the prose themselves are beautifully written. I kept finding reasons to continue listening to the audiobook. I didn't want it to end.

4.) Kresley Cole - The Arcana Chronicles series

I'm not sure if this is truly considered young adult or not, but it's a fun take on the apocalypse - tarot cards and magic and zombies (if you can call them that). It's an engrossing, end-of-the-world story with plots and characters that are well thought out and complex. This was my introduction to Cole, recommended by one of my post-apoc readers, and I wasn't disappointed. The writing is great. It was witty, and wonderful, and is the best post-apocalyptic series I've read in a very long time!

5.) Glendy Vanderah - Where The Forest Meets the Stars

This story is beautifully written and the characters were so endearing. The plot kept me guessing the whole time. I recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Where the Crawdads Sing. It's that type of story, mixed with the magical realism of Sarah Addison Allen.

6.) The Bromance Bookclub by Lyssa Kay Adams

I listened to this in audio and LOVED it! It's a clever spin to a romance novel, and it was fun to see the both sides of the coin/relationship. I always enjoy it when authors include a bit of realism in their romances, making their stories more relatable to real people, whether it's family issues or learning disabilities, etc. I'm almost scared to read the other books in this series, knowing they can't possibly be as fun and wonderful as this one. Men and their relationship woes is one thing, but forming a romance book club in order to navigate said woes? What a brilliant idea!