5 Highly Anticipated Reads of 2020

As the year is now winding down to a close, we enter a time of reflection of the joys 2019 held and begin to look forward to the future—a perfect time to look for new reads to brighten our 2020! Whether you are searching for new books to add to your TBR pile or a fun new book to gift to a friend or loved one, this list is guaranteed to fill your 2020 with delightful new reads. Some of these selections are beloved and long-awaited sequels, while others are relative newcomers to the bookish world, but all of them have something special to offer to every kind of reader.


The Kingdom of Back – Marie Lu. While Marie Lu is no stranger to the world of YA fiction, The Kingdom of Back is Lu’s first work of historical YA fantasy. This novel is centered around the two Mozart siblings, Nannerl and Wolfgang, and their love of music. Both siblings have a prodigious talent for playing and composing, but Nannerl’s ambition is hindered by the societal constructs of 18th century Europe that forbid women from composing. Wolfgang’s talents continue to grow and Nannerl’s hope dims further and further until a mysterious stranger appears offering her a deal that could cost her everything, or give her everything she’s ever wanted. This book tells a story of music, magic, and the unyielding bond between siblings.

Release Date: March 3, 2020


The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – Suzanne Collins. This selection holds a special place in my heart, as Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy was central to my literary journey as a middle school student. As of now, we don’t know much about what Collins has planned for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, but the novel will be a prequel to the trilogy, taking place sixty four years earlier than the events of The Hunger Games during the Tenth Annual Hunger Games. Although this novel will not include Katniss or Peeta (for obvious reasons) here’s to hoping that we might see some cameos of older characters from the original trilogy! This book is set to be released in May, giving us just enough time to reread the original books first.

Release Date: May 19, 2020


You Are Not Alone – Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. Hendricks and Pekkanen are already a highly-acclaimed writing duo, known for their top ten bestsellers The Wife Between Us and An Anonymous Girl. Their latest novel, You Are Not Alone, is centered around Shay Miller, a woman without a job, apartment, or a love life. Her eyes are opened when she witnesses an average woman make the decision to end her life by jumping in front of a subway train and realizes that she could see herself traveling down the same spiral. She soon meets a group of glamorous, put-together women offering to take her in with the promise, “You are not alone.” As Shay becomes more involved with the enviable Moore sisters, she finds her life getting better and better, but at a terribly high price. As the stakes continue to grow higher and higher, Shay finds herself wondering if “You are not alone” is a promise, or a threat. This psychological thriller is sure to shock and fascinate all varieties of readers.

Release Date: March 3, 2020


Imagine Me – Tahereh Mafi. Imagine Me is the sixth and final book in the explosive Shatter Me series. Try as I might, there are no words to accurately capture the beauty of this series. The series is set in a dystopian future and is centered around protagonist Juliette Ferrars. Juliette possesses a singular ability that makes her both powerful and feared: anyone who touches her feels immense pain and can be fatally wounded. Juliette uses her abilities to try and overthrow the tyrannical Reestablishment destroying her world. The prose of this series is especially noteworthy, as some lines and passages are crossed out to reflect Juliette’s train of thought. The Shatter Me series tells a story centered around love, resilience, and triumph over adversity. For those who have already read the other books in the series, I’m glad you can empathize with my bubbling excitement; for those that haven’t, you have almost four months to get caught up before the final book is released!

Release Date: March 31, 2020


The Authenticity Project – Clare Pooley. “Everybody lies about their lives. What would happen if you shared the truth?” This is the question that aging artist Julian Jessop wrote in a green notebook labeled “The Authenticity Project” before leaving it in a local cafe. When Monica stumbles upon Julian’s notebook, she adds her own story and aims to find a way to make Julian feel less alone. Soon, a whole cast of characters have added their stories to the green notebook, and even begin to meet in real life, where they’ll subject themselves to the terrifying ordeal of being known. The Authenticity Project promises to be a lighthearted and quirky yet candid and outspoken narrative on the nature of honesty and love. This book is highly recommended for those looking for a book about the human condition and who want to change the way they think.

Release Date:February 4, 2020

8 Sweet Summer Series

We all love a good summer book, but why stop there? A summer series means less getting up and more time with characters we grow to love—sounds perfect to me! Each of these eight sweet summer series follows a girl, or groups of girls, in enchanting settings throughout their summers, loves, and heartaches—all to discover their real selves and learn something about the world along the way.


First on the list is Jenny Han’s summer trilogy, The Summer I Turned Pretty, perfect for anyone wanting a story about the complications of summer love. Belly lives for the months of June through August, where she leaves her boring life behind for a summer at a beach house with her closest family friends. But now that they’re older, Cousins Beach isn’t just a simple place of friends and good times. Throughout the three books about successive summers, Belly has to discover what (and who) is in her heart and decide whether she will be true to herself.


This next trilogy from Jenny Han is less specifically focused on summer, but it’s still a perfect read for this season. The first book in this trilogy, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is now a famous movie, but it’s also a beautiful summer romance! For everyone who loved the story of Lara Jean confronting her past crushes, this summer is the perfect chance to pick up all three books and take the journey with her as she discovers what love really means.


The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is the quintessential summer series: full of vacations, camps, drama, and adventure. Four best friends pass around a pair of pants in their very different lives, with a sisterhood that endures through successive summers. Starting midway through high school and continuing past college, each of the four main books covers one summer, along with a fifth book showing the friends a decade later. You won’t want to miss Ann Brashares’ famous series this summer!


For readers who enjoy seeing a group of four close girl friends grow up together, Heather Vogel Frederick’s Mother-Daughter Book Club series is a wonderful choice. This beloved series follows the girls from junior high into college, accompanied by their great (and often classic) reads from the book club. Experience the New-England Concord life of Megan, Cassidy, Emma, and Jess, along with their mothers (and others) as they navigate through the crazy, wonderful, messy years of young adulthood.


Sophie Kinsella’s hilarious protagonist Becky Bloomwood has a huge presence, a gigantic shopping addiction, and an even bigger heart. For anyone looking to enjoy a little more time to read (and shop) this summer, Confessions of a Shopaholic and its sequels are the perfect companions for your outings! Fans of the first book (and/or movie) may be unaware that there are eight more Shopaholics books. Each of Becky’s stories are fast-paced with hilarious escapades paired with heart-warming relationships and important life lessons, all told in Kinsella’s trademark fun and compelling voice.


Jodi Lynn Anderson’s Peaches series, often described as The Breakfast Club meets The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, is the perfect Southern summer set in a special peach orchard in Georgia. Three best friends—Leeda, Murphy, and Birdie—experience a roller coaster of ups and downs throughout this trilogy of summer love and experience. Bursting with charm and humor, but also with poignant insights into love and friendship, the Peaches books are enduring summer classics to come back to over and over.


In Leah Rae Miller’s quick and fun The Summer I Became a Nerd, cheerleader Maddie tries to hide her secret comic book obsession; but, that doesn’t hold up when she starts to fall for a guy who isn’t afraid to be who he really is. As someone who kept re-reading Ready Player One, I really enjoyed this more romantic summer series that still had video game and comic book action! The second book, Romancing the Nerd, continues this fun combination but with new characters, telling the story from the guy’s perspective.


And last but not least…a series now becoming vintage but still beloved, at least by me: Ann M. Martin’s Babysitters’ Club! I reread this series every summer for years, going from Kristy’s Big Idea all the way to Super Special # 12. With literally hundreds of quick, fun reads about this group of friends in Stoneybrook, Connecticut, you’ll never run out of summer reading material again!