[TBR] Books & Tea 2020 Reading Challenge

I’m jumping onto the bandwagon a little late, seeing as it’s already February. However, I wanted to join a reading challenge this year to spice up my year and I found Books & Tea.

Let me tell you that I searched high and low for a challenge I can get behind. I don’t like being told what to read, so finding a challenge that wasn’t crazy specific was difficult. I also wanted a challenge that would hit as many books that I already have as possible, while piquing my interest. Not an easy task.

But I found Books & Tea’s 2020 Reading Challenge! One of the rules is to make a TBR, which I’m always down for. If you’d like to join the challenge, here’s a link!

The Challenges

  1. Match the Dragon Queen – book with a purple cover
  2. You Might Not Have Known – an author’s lesser known book / a lesser known author
  3. Why Haven’t I Read This Yet? – a book you’ve owned since 2017
  4. Awesome, Of Course – books by authors of colour
  5. In Satan we Stan – a book with 666 pages or longer
  6. Full of Pride – LGBT+ books and authors
  7. Highly Recommended – a staff members favourite
  8. A Fresh Look – a book that has an adaptation this year
  9. Star’s the Limit – set somewhere otherworldly*
  10. New Kids on the Pub(lisher) – 2020 debut author
  11. IM DYING TO READ THIS BOOK … yet you haven’t!
  12. Small Stories – an anthology or book that’s shorter than most

Match the Dragon Queen

For the purple cover challenge, I chose Beautiful Creatures by Kami Grcia & Margaret Stohl. When I first chose this book, I thought it was a duology.

I was wrong.

Apparently there are two more books that I was not aware of. So, I’ll be carving out a month to read through this series at some point this year.

Admittedly, I don’t know much about this book. I thought it was a book about vampires.

Again, I might be wrong.

It seems like this book is about a girl named Lena, whom is having trouble controlling her power. She’s trying to stay hidden in this small town and it doesn’t seem possible any longer. All while this boy named Ethan is having dreams about Lena, a girl he’s never met before. When they finally meet, he’s determined to figure out their connection.

This is not exactly what I thought the book would be about, but it’s been on my bookshelf for way too long. I have to read it and figure out what this paranormal romance looks like.

You Might Not Have Known

I don’t know if Parker Peevyhouse is on anyone else’s radar, but she definitely wasn’t on mine. I’ve never heard of her before, so I figured The Echo Room would be a good fit for this category.

This is a survival, young adult horror type of book. So, yes… I had to put it on my TBR. You don’t see a lot of YA scary books, so I’m dying to try this one. We meet Rett, who is trapped in a room with a girl named Bryn. They don’t trust each other and they have to figure out a way to escape this room they’ve both been put in.

I read some of the reviews on Goodreads and this book kind of confuses me. One of the reviewers say it’s targeted at middle school kids, but it’s supposed to be a thriller. I hope I’m not signing myself up to read some R.L. Stine style of writing, which I loved as a kid… not so much as an adult.

Why Haven’t I Read This Yet?

You’re supposed to include a book that’s been on your shelf since 2017 for this category; I have many. So, I chose the one that’s been there the longest (probably). I’ve had The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke on my TBR since the seventh grade. We watched the movie one day in class, but we never read the book. I wanted to read the book since seventh grade. I need to do this.

Some descriptions are just too good to paraphrase.

“Two orphaned brothers, Prosper and Bo, have run away to Venice, where crumbling canals and misty alleyways shelter a secret community of street urchins. Leader of this motley crew of lost children is a clever, charming boy with a dark history of his own: He calls himself the Thief Lord.

Propser and Bo relish their new “family” and life of petty crime. But their cruel aunt and a bumbling detective are on their trail. And posing an even greater threat to the boys’ freedom is something from a forgotten past: a beautiful magical treasure with the power to spin time itself.” – Amazon

The movie was captivating and I cannot wait to read this book. I have to keep in mind that this book may be aimed a little lower than YA, so I have to keep my mind open while reading it.

Awesome, Of Course

Tomi Adeyemi became one of my favorite authors after Children of Blood and Bone. Last year, she released the sequel: Children of Virtue and Vengeance. I’m going to have to re-read the first one before jumping into the second, since I haven’t read it in over a year and I’ve forgotten a lot of the details. My memory sucks.

If you haven’t read the first one, do not read this description. Go read the first one! Now! Read!

In the first book, Zelie and Amari brought magic back to Orisha. Yay! This book is going to be about a civil war because of the magic that was brought back. I don’t want to dwell much on what happens in this book because I like the surprise. I’m weird with sequels that way. If I liked the first one, I’ll blindly pre-order the rest in the series and read them.

In Satan We Stan

It was incredibly difficult finding a young adult book that has more than 665 pages. I had to google a list and hope that I had one of the books on that list. Luckily, I did! Ellen Hopkins writes novels in verse and Impulse is no exception.

Despite her writing style, she typically writes books about heavy-hitting topics. Impulse is about three teens fighting their demons, which is fitting for this category. After experiencing various life events, three teens end up in Aspen Springs, a hospital for those that have tried to commit suicide.

This book seems like it’s going to be uplifting at the end, with the teens banding together and finding a will to live. Suicide is often a soft spot for most people, myself included. I’ll have to ready myself for this one, but I’m excited to finally read it.

Impulse has a sequel as well, Perfect. This category is a two-part deal, too.

Full of Pride

The first book I thought of when I saw this category was Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I’ve been dying to read this book and I haven’t had the chance to. I’m thrilled to make this book a priority.

One of the reasons this book speaks to me is because it’s described as a “geek romance.” Yes! I’m in. This is another description that can’t be paraphrased (well).

“Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Incredibly funny and poignant, this twenty-first-century coming-of-age, coming out story—wrapped in a geek romance—is a knockout of a debut novel by Becky Albertalli.”

I didn’t even know that it was Albertalli’s first book. I guess it’s fitting that this one will be the first that I read of hers. I’m expecting to love it.

Highly Recommended

I saw Wilder Girls by Rory Power on the recommendation list and knew that’s the perfect one for this category. I’ve been trying to get myself to read this book for a long time. Good excuse!

Wilder Girls takes place at Raxter School for Girls, an all-girls boarding school. Raxter gets quarantined after the Tox breakout. It started killing off the teachers and then the students became infected. It seems like Tox changes things about your appearance and even the way you act. The girls have to fend for themselves, being cut off and secluded on their island. They don’t dare go past the fence, however, because Tox turned the surrounding woods dangerous.

This book looks brutal and amazing. I cannot wait to sink my teeth into it.

A Fresh Look

Netflix just adapted P.S. I Still Love you by Jenny Han earlier this month and I want to watch it! I haven’t read or seen the first one, so I need to start there.

Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series has three books in it and I need to read all of them. This series was actually recommended to me by a student years ago. I haven’t gotten around to reading it, but now that it’s being adapted, it’s become a necessity.

I don’t want to describe what the second book is about without reading the first one. In general, the series is about (to the best of my knowledge) a girl named Lara Jean Song. She writes letters to all of the guys she falls in love with, five in all. These letters are not for anyone else’s eyes, until they are mailed without her permission.

I am a sucker for a cute romance and this seems like the perfect set up for one. Super excited about this series.

Star’s the Limit

Now, science fiction is not my genre. At all. Fantasy, yes. Scifi, no. However, I found that The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey interested me. It seems to fit this category because it definitely seems otherworldly.

“After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother–or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.” – Amazon

Aliens! I’m not a fan of alien books, but this one looks pretty good. There are three books in the series, so I’ll have to time this series out, too. The books aren’t short either. I’ve heard amazing things about this series, though, so I’m hoping that I’ll enjoy the read.

New Kids on the Pub(lisher)

I love debut authors. I try to read as many of them as possible throughout the year because it’s important to support new authors. I am currently reading (at the time of writing this post) All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace. I’m almost done with it and it’s amazing.

Amora is Princess of Aridia and she runs into trouble when her soul magic turns on her. She escapes with Bastian, a pirate in disguise, and makes a journey to right her wrongs, and the wrongs of her kingdom.

I love the cover of this book and it’s been a great read. I highly recommend it, so far! If the ending is crap, I’ll let you know in my review.

I’m Dying to Read This Book!

I have a thing with ending a series. I have a hard time reading the last book of a series I love. I was physically forced to read the last book in the Harry Potter series, just to give you an idea. Same for the Twilight series way back when.

I loved the Hush, Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick when I was in high school. It was my favorite series above everything else. The last book released, Finale, and I couldn’t read it. I have it. I’m staring at it right now. I’ve never read it because I didn’t want to the series to end. I’m going to read it this year.

Of course, I have to re-read the series for the full effect. 😉

Hush, Hush is like the Twilight series, only better. It’s written better, has a better plot, more captivating characters… just better. Hush, Hush is a romance series between Nora and Patch. Patch is a fallen angel and Nora is a human. It’s amazing. Read it.

Small Stories

I wanted to read My True Love Gave To Me last season, but I didn’t get around to it. So, I’d like to read for the winter season this year. This is a young adult anthology featuring twelve stories by twelve amazing young adult authors.

“If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies,…”

Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes!

“…you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers (Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de La Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, Laini Tayler and Kiersten White), edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins. Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice…”

Hey, that’s me!

“…or Kwanzaa, there’s something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.” – Amazon

Oh, I love winter and the stories that come with the season. I’m thrilled to end 2020 with this read. Something to look forward to.


So, there you have it! These are twelve of the fifty two books that I’m planning on reading in 2020! Well, technically… if you count all of the series these books are attached to, it’s much more than twelve. 🙂

Sarah

Hi, everyone! I have worked in the field of education since I was nineteen and have a passion for literature. I have five years of experience as a library media specialist (paraprofessional), 2 years as a substitute teacher, and I am currently a general education paraprofessional. I have a Bachelor's in Library Media and Science, which I intend to use to eventually become a youth services librarian. I'm a proud book nerd, writer, gamer, hiker, and baker.

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