2021 Bookish Hype Train

2020 was trash, but brought us many, many gifts in terms of books that came out. Here are the presents coming to us in 2021 that I’m personally far too excited to read.

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My 2020 in Reading

I read 153 books this year in a 50/50 split between audiobooks and other formats. Being unemployed helped that along, didn’t do much for me in terms of my mental health. But there were so many good reads consumed and published this year, I had to make two lists. Enjoy!

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June 2020 Reading Recap


June was my birthday! I wound up reading a whole bunch of ARCs, a few new favorites, and even interviewed K.A. Doore to celebrate the release of the Chronicles of Ghadid finale, The Unconquered City.

In addition the blog, you will now be able to find my reviews on The StoryGraph, in addition to Goodreads. My handle is JoReadsBooks

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ARC Review: A SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN by Roseanne A. Brown (2020)

Rating: 5/5 stars
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Year Release: June 2020
Source: Edelweiss eARC
Buy links: Bookshop | Unabridged Books | Barnes and Noble

Read an Edelweiss Arc

This book had me physically reacting to every plot beat. In A Song of Wraiths & Ruin, we follow Mailk and Karina. Malik brought his sisters to the city of Ziran with him, fleeing turmoil in their homeland, only to have his younger sister Nadia kidnapped by vengeful spirit Idir. Karina is the crown princess overseeing Solstasia, a once-every-50-years celebration of a comet’s return, but there might be more magic to it than that.

I loved both the main characters. They had such compelling storylines and particularly the representation of anxiety and migraines for Malik and Karina, respectively. The way magic tied into it and affected their character arcs at all stages really worked for me. In addition, Brown crafts a swoony enemies-to-lovers story between them, as they both want to sacrifice the other to save their families. The side characters also kick as, and, again, I audibly gasped at the reveals throughout the way.

The world-building in this one is a delight for anyone looking for dubious politics, betrayals, and intrigue. The framing of the Championship helped give the story a strong sense of pacing. As most people know, I am a fan of attempted necromancy and spirits that speak to the main characters.

An epic tale inspired by West African folklore with all of my favorite tropes wrapped into one fantastic package.


June 2020 TBR

I read most of May’s TBR. Check out this month’s reading list, trying to crunch through my ARCs and things that are in progress according to Goodreads. Things with a * are from last month’s TBR.

Hard Copies

  • Bent Heavens by Daniel Kraus*
  • The Deep by Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes
  • The Never-Tilting World by Rin Chupeco*
  • Scapegracers by H.A. Clarke (ARC)*


  • The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant (ARC)*
  • Flotsam (Peridot Shift #1) by R.J. Theodore*
    • In progress
  • The Glass Magician by Caroline Stevermer (ARC)*
  • Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (ARC)*
  • Ring Shout by P. Djeli Clark (ARC)
  • Seasons of the Storm by Elle Cosimano (ARC)
  • Steering the Craft: A Twenty-First-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story by Ursula K. Le Guin*
  • A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown (ARC)


  • Highfire by Eoin Colfer*
  • The Name of All Things (A Chorus of Dragons #2) by Jenn Lyons
  • Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall*
  • The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
  • Walk Among Us by Genevieve Gornichec, Cassandra Khaw, Caitlin Starling
  • White Tears by Hari Kunzru

In terms of other reads, I have a novel and a short story to beta read. My own work will continue marinating in the back of my head as I prepare for the rewrite.

2020 Bookish Hype Train

2020 Bookish Hype Train

I did a lot of good reading in 2018 and was introduced to new favorite people, authors, and series. Here is a list of 19 books I’m really excited to read or see out in the world.

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