Which books did you read this year that you saw all over blogs, your friends were pushing or it was praised to the high heavens by the critics? Did you agree that the books deserved the praises being heaped on them?
✭ Believe the Hype ✭
The Viscount Who Loved me (Bridgertons #2), Julia Quinn
Reviews / Ratings on Goodreads – 267,000+ | 4.04. This series of books probably wouldn’t have come across my radar if I hadn’t seen the first season of the Bridgerton TV series on Netflix. I loved it so much I decided to read the 2nd book before watching the 2nd season, and it definitely lives up to the hype (both the book and the tv series). I wasn’t sure if I would like it because of the “2 sisters 1 man aspect”, but it was really well done by the author, so I felt no animosity towards any of them. It’s a cute feel good story that I adored.
Apples Never Fall Far, Liane Moriarty
Reviews / Ratings on Goodreads – 235,000+ | 3.80. Similar to Three Wishes, Apples Never Fall is a cute family drama type of novel. The author really excels with characters, and the family dynamics of the Delaney family including 4 grown children, kept me reading. They are so dramatic! Although there is a mystery here, this book is really about more about the backstory – and we get a lot of it. It’s a slightly slower pace novel than we’ve seen from Moriarty, but a really good read nonetheless. The family is also heavily into tennis, and how much they loved it (some more than others) reminded me of Bear Town, Fredrik Backman.
The Last Anniversary, Liane Moriarty
Reviews / Ratings on Goodreads – 132,000+ | 3.78. As I mentioned above, Moriarty has a way with characters and this is another book where that is the highlight of the story.
Sophie Honeywell always wondered if Thomas Gordon was the one she let get away. He was the perfect boyfriend, but on the day he was to propose, she broke his heart. A year later he married his travel agent, while Sophie has been mortifyingly single ever since. Now Thomas is back in her life because Sophie has unexpectedly inherited his aunt Connie’s house on Scribbly Gum Island — home of the famously unsolved Munro Baby mystery.
There was one particular story line involving adultery / cheating that I was less than thrilled with and I suspect this choice was written to evoke that feeling in us. If you’ve read it – how did you feel about it?
House of Earth and Blood, Sarah J. Maas
Reviews / Ratings on Goodreads – 325,000+ | 4.48. This is the first book in the Crescent City series, and it is as popular as the author’s A Court Of Thorn And Roses series (which was on last year’s list of Popular Books Worth the Hype). Be forewarned this is 800 pages … but I’m agreeing with everyone else that this 800 page fantasy novel with an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars deserves to be read! The pace took just a little bit to get going for me, but once it did – I was hooked.
One of Us is Next (One of Us is Lying #2), Karen Magnus
Reviews / Ratings on Goodreads – 163,000+ | 3.96. I’m not usually one for books that feature high schoolers, but for some reason the plot twists and deviousness and cleverness in this book did it for me. It’s a quick, fast paced read that’s easy to get through. But I will say I enjoyed the first book in the series a little more.
The Sunbearer Trials, Aiden Thomas
Reviews / Ratings on Goodreads – 3k+ | 4.45. After loving Cemetery Boys and being unable to finish Lost in the Never Woods, I was unsure what to expect from Thomas’ third novel. Thankfully it completely exceeded my expectations! I’d describe this as a mix of Percy Jackson and Hunger Games with some really great mythology mixed in. A lot of fun!
Welcome to The Sunbearer Trials, where teen semidioses compete in a series of challenges with the highest of stakes. Teo, a 17-year-old Jade semidiós and the trans son of Quetzal, goddess of birds, has never worried about the Trials. Until the day that Sol chooses him to compete. If he looses he will be sacrificed to the sun God himself.
The Love Hypothesis, Ali Hazelwood
Reviews / Ratings on Goodreads – 799,000+ | 4.27. I feel like romances are tricky because people are particular about what tropes they enjoy and don’t enjoy. But as someone who doesn’t usually like romances at all, it was a lot of fun to actually love this book!
As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees. That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend.
Legendborn, Tracy Deonn
Reviews / Ratings on Goodreads – 73,000+ | 4.41. So much buzz for this one and it’s follow up Bloodmarked and rightfully so. I couldn’t put this down and I loved the characters. There’s so much depth to this story that I’m not sure I can even try to guess where book 2 is going to take me. I can’t wait to read it though!
After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus. A flying demon feeding on human energies. A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down. And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.
Tell us which books you felt deserved the hype this year and add your link to the linky below! And here are some other popular books that deserve the hype from previous years.