Recent Reads //(An Attempt to Not Fail My Reading Goals For 2020)

Hello again, my dear readers. I don’t know about you, but I have found myself sighing over the stage of my reading challenge for 2020 and desperately attempting to read more. So far, I am failing and still reading at a slower rate than I would like, but I am gaining (some) ground and while doing so have found quite a few reads that I got through quickly. As I tried to decide what to post on this rainy December day, I kept coming back to this post. So..here we are.

*A quick note before we begin, younger readers beware books that are marked with a heart, these are book I would rate as PG-13 rather than PG.


With The Fire On High Elizabeth Acevedo ★★★ (❤)

After reading Clap When You Land, I could not wait to read another Acevedo book. I was under the impression that WTFOH was written in verse when I first picked it up, but was sadly proven wrong. After I got over my minor disappointment, I found myself enjoying this story.I loved the characters, Emoni who shares my love of cooking, Babygirl who is adorable and Malachi who is rather sweet.

All in all I enjoyed this book and I am eagerly awaiting another Acevedo read.


Furia – Yamile Saied Méndez ★★★ (❤)

I picked up Furia on a whim after looking at a list of #ownvoices YA books, and although I don’t regret it, I was not blown away either. 

I appreciated being exposed to the Argentinian culture through the eyes of a, rather progressive, Argentinian young woman. It was interesting and deeply saddening in a way.  

I enjoyed the characters and the plots and although a solid 3 star read for me, I wouldn’t be opposed to reading another of Méndez’s books.


Before the Ever After – Jacqueline Woodson ★★★

I was really excited for this book and sadly it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. 

Before the Ever After, is written in poems, and is about a young boy, who’s father is struggling with the consequences of a career playing football. It was heartbreaking to read about how hard it is for the MC to watch his young, strong father lose his mental capabilities and begin to forget who his son is. 

I absolutely recommend this read to anyone looking for a quicker read in verse (with a beautiful cover).


City Spies (1): Ponti, James: 9781534414914: Amazon.com: Books

City Spies – James Ponti ★★★★

City Spies is a fun, fast-paced read that kept me flipping pages at a record speed. The story line was enjoyable, if not always realistic, and the characters were interesting and lovable. 

After taking months off of reading MG books, I absolutely fell in love with the category once again. I forgot how much fun a story can be without romance (not really , but almost, considering it is a given no matter the genre in YA, why??). 


Storing Up Trouble Jen Turano ★★★★

This wonderful story, reaffirmed Turano’s place on my mental list of all-time-favorite-authors. I had doubted that Turano could top Diamond in the Rough, but she managed to do it.

Beatrix and Norman’s dialogue is Turano classic, enjoyable and hilarious. Their story is unusual to be sure and they have their fair share of (slightly unbelievable) adventures, but it still manages to feel meaningful. Character growth and the focus on the suffrage movement plays a large role in keeping the story serious (ish) enough.

The side characters were, as usual, masterfully written in a quirky lovely way that left me eagerly awaiting Turano’s next release. Bottom-line, I just absolutely love this book. 


Where are you at with your reading goals (if you have any)? Do you have any shorter book recommendations for me? Have you read any of these books? What are you currently reading?

18 thoughts on “Recent Reads //(An Attempt to Not Fail My Reading Goals For 2020)

  1. I’ve found on my own blog that book posts are great to go ahead and do on days when I’m not sure about posting something else! And I’m always glad to chat about books 🥰
    I haven’t read any of the ones you reviewed in your post, but I enjoyed seeing what you thought of them!
    Well… my reading habits have been odd in 2020 to say the least, for two major reasons. 1. My library was closed for months (and that’s where I get the majority of my books), and 2. I’ve been going through a genre transition for a while. So even when I have been able to get to the library, I’m not quite sure what I want to read. 🤔 this has led to dabbling in various fiction and nonfic genres, which has helped but was inconclusive. The transition for me from YA books to adult fiction… I feel like I can’t find many books that suit my interests best. Maybe it’s more about me and less about books. But I do miss reading! So I keep trying 😂
    What are some genres and authors you’d recommend? I’ll look into them! I’d so love to read more consistently in 2021. That would make me really happy ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I absolutely understand strange 2020 reading habits and transitioning with reading. I know for me, that for the first half of the year I was reading mostly non-fiction, and when I wanted to read fiction again it was tough. I have definitely learned lot from my weird reading year, even if I have read less.😂
      That’s a hard question, there are so many books I can think of, but ultimately I think (1) don’t feel like you have to force the transition, no matter how old we are I think it is important to spend time with MG reads and picture books 😀(2) have you read any of Ruta Sepetys’ books? I would particularly recommend Fountains of Silence. If you like clean, contemporary reads I would recommend Rachel Hauck and all of her books, they are always interesting and layered.
      Let me know if you need more ideas and if you end up reading any of these!
      Thanks for commenting.❤️

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, it was an unexpected transition with reading year for me, with book availability as well as my interests shifting. Yes it’s been informative! 😂 I read less but learned more about myself. Pretty cool. lol
        I’m so glad you said that! I recently read Pollyanna for the first time (and loved it 😍) and I’ve been wanting to read An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott but I hadn’t done it yet. I decided to start reading it again now! ❤️no I haven’t read books by either of those authors! I’m going to look into their books 😄💜 thank you! And I totally will!
        You’re welcome 💚

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this post Esmeralda!! I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on all of these books. Before the Ever After sounds so heartbreaking and so good!! I’ll have to look into it 🤩 Good luck with that reading challenge!! 💕

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  3. Book posts! The best kind. 🙂

    Ah Before the Ever After sounds so good! Yet so sad! I love books in verse, so I may have to check that one out.

    City Spies is SUCH a fun book! And it’s so true, stories without romance can totally be (and usually are) amazing! *glares at YA authors*

    I’ve been reading a lot of long things recently, so I don’t have any good recommendations…but I hope you meet your goals!

    (And hi! I’m Samantha! I’ve read a couple of your posts, and recently started following your blog. I have a Blogger blog, and have been slowly starting to find and follow the world of WordPress bloggers. :D)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Haha, definitely!

    I blog at samsbookshire.blogspot.com (Aka Bookshire). I would be honored if you would check it out. 🙂

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  5. These all sound like interesting reads! I am always on the hunt for books to check out (even if I have 50+ Ebooks on my laptop that I haven’t read yet XD), so I will look into them. “City Spies” is actually on my TBR list, thus, I am excited to read it since you said it was good!

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  6. Pingback: Top Reads of 2020

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