mini reviews | lots of 5-star reads this fall

Today, I’m catching up on allll the reviews I’ve compiled since my last mini-review post in August.  I’ve had a really good reading record and have mostly 5 stars on this list!

Here are my 2020 fall mini reviews.

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
After reading Illuminae, I thought there was no way Kaufman and Kristoff could write a novel more engaging and adventurous.  Thankfully, I was so wrong; Gemina was absolutely riveting.  I love the design elements of this novel as well; it’s structured like a dossier of evidence against the malevolent company Beitech.  I also think this series is great for readers who don’t often pick up sci-fi novels; it’s pretty approachable and a great way to jump into the genre.  5/5 stars.

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Glad to report that this book is worth every bit of hype it’s received!  I loved the back-and-forth perspective between aging movie star Evelyn Hugo and Monique, the plucky young reporter Evelyn hand-picks to pen her biography.  Reading about Evelyn’s life and love were so enchanting and had a beautifully heart-wrenching ending.  5/5 stars.

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The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
I have only good things to say about this series!  Rereading these books has been such a treat and I’m excited to continue with the Heroes of Olympus, which I haven’t read yet.  I love how the Percy Jackson books definitely have a middle-grade tone, but are still relevant for adults.  5/5 stars.

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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I’ve been on a major Pride and Prejudice kick since watching the movie a few months ago and the book did not disappoint.  I think watching the movie before reading the book helped me enjoy the book more because I was able to have visuals of each character and scene.  Also, if anyone knows where I can find a man like Darcy, please let me know.  5/5 stars.

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Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
This book smacked of early 2010s paranormal romance and I wasn’t mad about it.  I’ve been enjoying this genre in particular because it’s easy to get lost in the tropes and just enjoy the story.  The main character is part-angel and finds herself wrapped up in a love triangle between the boy she’s supposed to save and the boy she can’t stay away from.  Parts of this book didn’t age well, but it was a quick, easy read.  3/5 stars.

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The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
Excuse me for a moment while I rant about how much I freaking love this book.  Ava is born with wings and recounts the turbulent and whimsical history of her family tree and her childhood.  The story is just plain gorgeous.  Above all, this is a book about love and how it can take different shapes for different people.  I’m recording a whole podcast episode this week about Ava Lavender because I kind of want to be her best friend.  5/5 stars.

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With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Elizabeth Acevedo can do no wrong, y’all.  Her prose is so strong and poetic at the same time.  This beautiful and raw story of a teen mom who pursues her passion for cooking is simply gorgeous.  There’s something to love and hate about each character and I love that ambiguity.  5/5 stars.

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The Merciless by Danielle Vega
This is the first proper horror book I’ve read and it was way more approachable than I anticipated.  It’s your classic high school girls performing an exorcism and watching it go wrong in about a million different ways.  The story is pretty campy, but I think that makes it easier to read as a horror novice.  4/5 stars.

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Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting
Like Unearthly, this book falls into the 2010s paranormal romance category that we all know and love.  The story continues with Violet, who has the ability to sense the bodies of those who died before their time.  I definitely recommend this book if you want something quick and easy that’s a little bit spooky; I think I read it in less than 24 hours.  3/5 stars.

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What do you think of these mini reviews?  Have you read any of these books?

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