Bookish Odds & Ends, Features

Most Anticipated Books of 2020 (May – December)


Hello bookworms!

Today I wanted to talk about some of the new book releases that I’m looking forward to in the upcoming months…

*All release dates subject to change*

» Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo



Genre: YA Contemporary

Release Date: May 5, 2020

In a novel-in-verse that brims with grief and love, National Book Award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.
Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…
In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.
Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered.
And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other. 

I’m a HUGE Elizabeth Acevedo fan.  After reading (and loving!) her first two books, The Poet X & With the Fire On High, I will read whatever she puts out.

You can read my reviews for those books here ⇒ The Poet X thoughts on Goodreads & With the Fire On High mini book review

» Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (NeverMoor #3) by Jessica Townsend



Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Release Date: August 18, 2020

Morrigan Crow and her friends have survived their first year as proud scholars of the elite Wundrous Society, helped bring down the nefarious Ghastly Market, and proven themselves loyal to Unit 919. Now Morrigan faces a new, exciting challenge: to master the mysterious Wretched Arts of the Accomplished Wundersmith, and control the power that threatens to consume her.
Meanwhile, a strange and frightening illness has taken hold of Nevermoor, turning infected Wunimals into mindless, vicious Unnimals on the hunt. As victims of the Hollowpox multiply, panic spreads. There are whispers – growing louder every day – that this catastrophe can only be the work of the Wundersmith, Ezra Squall.
But inside the walls of Wunsoc, everyone knows there is a new Wundersmith – one who’s much closer to home. With Nevermoor in a state of fear and the truth about Morrigan threatening to get out, the city she loves becomes the most perilous place in the world. Morrigan must try to find a cure for the Hollowpox, but it will put her – and everyone in Nevermoor – in more danger than she could have imagined.

I cannot wait for the next installment in this MG fantasy series!  This series gave me similar feelings to the ones I had while reading Harry Potter as a kid.  Highly recommend!

» Anxious People by Fredrik Backman



Genre: Adult Contemporary

Release Date: September 8, 2020

A bank robber on the run locks himself in with an over-enthusiastic estate agent, two bitter IKEA-addicts, a pregnant woman, a suicidal multi-millionaire and a rabbit. In the end the robber gives up and lets everyone go, but when the police storm the apartment it is . . . empty.
In a series of dysfunctional testimonies after the event, the witnesses all tell their version of what really happened and it’s clear we have a classic locked-room mystery on our hands: How did the robber manage to escape? Why is everyone so angry? And: What is WRONG with people these days?

I’ve read two of Backman’s books, A Man Called Ove & Beartown, and really enjoyed both.

You can read my reviews here ⇒ A Man Called Ove review & a few thoughts on Goodreads for Beartown 

» Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio by Derf Backderf



Genre: Adult History • Graphic Novel

Release Date: September 9, 2020

From bestselling author Derf Backderf comes the untold story of the Kent State shootings—timed for the 50th anniversary

On May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard gunned down unarmed college students protesting the Vietnam War at Kent State University. In a deadly barrage of 67 shots, 4 students were killed and 9 shot and wounded. It was the day America turned guns on its own children—a shocking event burned into our national memory. A few days prior, 10-year-old Derf Backderf saw those same Guardsmen patrolling his nearby hometown, sent in by the governor to crush a trucker strike. Using the journalism skills he employed on My Friend Dahmer and Trashed, Backderf has conducted extensive interviews and research to explore the lives of these four young people and the events of those four days in May, when the country seemed on the brink of tearing apart. Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio, which will be published in time for the 50th anniversary of the tragedy, is a moving and troubling story about the bitter price of dissent—as relevant today as it was in 1970.

The Kent State shootings were a horrific event in Ohio’s history, and I am looking forward to learning more about this event in graphic novel form.

» The Seven Sisters (Neverwhere #2) by Neil Gaiman


*Cover to be revealed*


Genre: Adult Fantasy

Release Date: September 15, 2020

*Synopsis to be revealed*

Neverwhere is probably my favorite Neil Gaiman book, so I was ecstatic when I found out that there is going to be a sequel!  I would not be surprised if this release date gets pushed back though since we don’t have a cover or a synopsis yet 😦

» The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab



Genre: Adult Fantasy

Release Date: October 6, 2020

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.
France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.
But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

V.E. Schwab is another favorite of mine, so I am definitely ready for a new book!  I was very excited to see that this book will have a (at least partially) historical setting, especially since that setting is France.  I cannot wait to get my hands on this one!

» Swamp Thing: Twin Branches by Maggie Stiefvater



Genre: YA Fantasy • Graphic Novel

Release Date: October 13, 2020

The #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle series) and artist Morgan Beem unearth the primal power of memory and how it twists the bond between two brothers.
Twins Alec and Walker Holland have a reputation around town. One is quiet and the other is the life of any party, but they are inseparable. For their last summer before college, the two leave the city to live with their rural cousins, where they find that the swamp holds far darker depths than they could have imagined.
While Walker carves their names into the new social scene, Alec recedes into a summer school laboratory, because he brought something from home on their trip—it’s an experiment that will soon consume him. This season, both brothers must confront truths, ancient and familial, and as their lives diverge, tensions increase and dormant memories claw to the surface.
Swamp Thing: Twin Branches is a story of shadows, both literal and imagined—and those that take form and haunt us.

Maggie Stiefvater in graphic novel form?!  Yes, please!

» The Camelot Betrayal (Camelot Rising #2) by Kiersten White



Genre: YA Fantasy

Release Date: November 10, 2020

The second book in a new fantasy trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White, exploring the nature of self, the inevitable cost of progress, and, of course, magic and romance and betrayal so epic Queen Guinevere remains the most famous queen who never lived.
EVERYTHING IS AS IT SHOULD BE IN CAMELOT: King Arthur is expanding his kingdom’s influence with Queen Guinevere at his side. Yet every night, dreams of darkness and unknowable power plague her.
Guinevere might have accepted her role, but she still cannot find a place for herself in all of it. The closer she gets to Brangien, pining for her lost love Isolde, Lancelot, fighting to prove her worth as Queen’s knight, and Arthur, everything to everyone and thus never quite enough for Guinevere–the more she realizes how empty she is. She has no sense of who she truly was before she was Guinevere. The more she tries to claim herself as queen, the more she wonders if Mordred was right: she doesn’t belong. She never will.
When a rescue goes awry and results in the death of something precious, a devastated Guinevere returns to Camelot to find the greatest threat yet has arrived. Not in the form of the Dark Queen or an invading army, but in the form of the real Guinevere’s younger sister. Is her deception at an end? And who is she really deceiving–Camelot, or herself?

While I did not love the first book, I am intrigued enough to continue on with this series.  I LOVED White’s Conqueror’s Saga & The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, so I want to give this sequel a fair shot.  I see the potential in this story line, just wasn’t a huge fan of White’s execution of the first book.

You can read my review for the first book here ⇒ The Guinevere Deception mini book review

» The Burning God (The Poppy War #3) by R.F. Kuang



Genre: Adult Fantasy

Release Date: November 19, 2020

The exciting end to The Poppy War trilogy, R. F. Kuang’s acclaimed, award-winning epic fantasy that combines the history of twentieth-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters, to devastating, enthralling effect.
After saving her nation of Nikan from foreign invaders and battling the evil Empress Su Daji in a brutal civil war, Fang Runin was betrayed by allies and left for dead. 
Despite her losses, Rin hasn’t given up on those for whom she has sacrificed so much—the people of the southern provinces and especially Tikany, the village that is her home. Returning to her roots, Rin meets difficult challenges—and unexpected opportunities. While her new allies in the Southern Coalition leadership are sly and untrustworthy, Rin quickly realizes that the real power in Nikan lies with the millions of common people who thirst for vengeance and revere her as a goddess of salvation. 
Backed by the masses and her Southern Army, Rin will use every weapon to defeat the Dragon Republic, the colonizing Hesperians, and all who threaten the shamanic arts and their practitioners. As her power and influence grows, though, will she be strong enough to resist the Phoenix’s intoxicating voice urging her to burn the world and everything in it? 

The first two books in this series are among my favorite books of 2019, so I have big expectations for the third installment…

You can read my reviews for the other books in this series here ⇒ mini review for The Poppy War & my mini review for The Dragon Republic

» The Madness Blooms by Mackenzi Lee



Genre: YA Historical Fiction

Release Date: November 24, 2020

Love is a fever.
Holland, 1637. Lena Schoon is an orphan, sold to the owner of a flower shop, along with her older brother, Bas. When Lena and Bas’s master dies, Bas inherits the flower shop at the height of Tulip Mania, a time when single tulip bulbs were being sold for prices equivalent to that of Amsterdam’s finest houses.
Along with the shop come debts that threaten to uproot the siblings, leaving them without a home or a trade. In desperation, Lena hatches a plan to dress as a man and attempt to sell a fake Semper Augustus bulb, the rarest and most valuable tulip of the time, to the one merchant in town with the money to pay for it.
But when Lena meets the merchant’s daughter Elsje, she is smitten. And her plan to save her shop and her home is suddenly challenged, both by her heart putting down its roots, and also by questions about her own identity that emerge the longer she lives as a man…

While I don’t always love the plots in Lee’s books, I ADORE her characters, so I can overlook some plot issues.

» A Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes #4) by Sabaa Tahir



Genre: YA Fantasy

Release Date: December 1, 2020

Prepare for the jaw-dropping finale of Sabaa Tahir’s beloved New York Times bestselling An Ember in the Ashes fantasy series, and discover: Who will survive the storm?
Picking up just a few months after A Reaper at the Gates left off…
The long-imprisoned jinn are on the attack, wreaking bloody havoc in villages and cities alike. But for the Nightbringer, vengeance on his human foes is just the beginning.
At his side, Commandant Keris Veturia declares herself Empress, and calls for the heads of any and all who defy her rule. At the top of the list? The Blood Shrike and her remaining family.
Laia of Serra, now allied with the Blood Shrike, struggles to recover from the loss of the two people most important to her. Determined to stop the approaching apocalypse, she throws herself into the destruction of the Nightbringer. In the process, she awakens an ancient power that could lead her to victory–or to an unimaginable doom.
And deep in the Waiting Place, the Soul Catcher seeks only to forget the life–and love–he left behind. Yet doing so means ignoring the trail of murder left by the Nightbringer and his jinn. To uphold his oath and protect the human world from the supernatural, the Soul Catcher must look beyond the borders of his own land. He must take on a mission that could save–or destroy–all that he knows.

This is an excellent YA fantasy series that will conclude with this installment.  While I LOVED the first two books, I wasn’t as engrossed in the third book.  I am very excited to see how everything pans out in the conclusion.

You can read a few of my thoughts on the first book here ⇒ An Ember in the Ashes



Which books are you anticipating in the second half of 2020?

Comment below & let me know 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Most Anticipated Books of 2020 (May – December)”

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