blog roundups

best books of 2020 (so far) + welcome back

hello! it’s been a while. in case you forgot, or are wondering why you got a notification, i’m julia. i took a (read: very long) hiatus from blogging (& regularly reading), but have decided to try it out again!

my goal at the beginning of this year was to read 20 books. it seemed very ambitious at the time, especially since another goal was to read a classic every month as well. (i think i gave up on the classics thing in .. february? oops.) i’m a full-time journalism student in chicago, so free time where my brain is operating at a reasonable capacity is rare when i’m on campus. however, some WILD stuff happened in march (you were all there, so i don’t need to recap) and i flew home to new hampshire to finish the spring semester online. at the time, i had read about six books, most of them for a literature class. but when i got home, i started using my chicago public library card and ebook access a lot (A LOT) more, and as of right now (july 29) i’ve read 32 (new, not counting rereading) books total.

you could just go to my reading challenge on goodreads to see what i’ve read and my reviews, but that would be kind of boring, right? (i think so.) so here’s the plan: i’ll list my favorite books of 2020 so far, my rating and a one-sentence (ish) review. you can also purchase any (or all) of these books from, which supports local bookstores, here. ready?

“is everyone hanging out without me?” by mindy kaling (goodreads) | 4.5/5 stars | i could not read or even think about this book when anyone else was around because i was laughing uncontrollably and almost got in trouble at work

“dear girls: intimate tales, untold secrets, and advice for living your best life” by ali wong (goodreads / full review on study breaks) | 5/5 stars | this book is somehow more vulgar than ali wong’s standup but she’s so funny and insightful i want her to adopt me (sorry mom + dad)

“the fountains of silence” by ruta sepetys (goodreads) | 4.5/5 stars | i was sobbing for like 60% of this but the characters !! and the scene setting !! and the writing !!

“the flatshare” by beth o’leary (goodreads / full review on study breaks) | 5/5 stars | literally so cute and enjoyable but also adding depth to the romance genre that it desperately needs

“the unhoneymooners” by christina lauren (goodreads) | 4/5 stars | the enemies to lovers trope but in hawaii? i’m in

“a little life” by hanya yanagihara (goodreads) | 4.5/5 stars | 720 pages of pain and crying but also one of the best fiction books i’ve ever read

“six of crows” by leigh bardugo (goodreads) | 5/5 stars | heists and magic and a group of dumb teenagers is such a good mix and i love all of them

“red, white & royal blue” by casey mcquiston (goodreads) | 5/5 stars | i will forever compare contemporary romances to this book and i’m okay with that

“i’ll be the one” by lyla lee (goodreads) | 4/5 stars | plus-size, asian and lgbt+ rep all in one was truly iconic and such a fun read

“tweet cute” by emma lord (goodreads) | 5/5 stars | a true gen z hufflepuff book that was so fun to read and is my new obsession/favorite book ever (also made me very hungry)

!! we did it! obviously i’m having a ~swell time~ reading so much lately and i hope this helps you maybe find a new title to pick up soon! let me know if you’ve read any of these books or are in need of some recommendations—i’m happy to help 🙂

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