I tend to try and decide what YA book was truly my #1 favorite out of the year, and it was no less easy to do so in 2020. 2020 was truly a fantastic year of YA contemporary. I really didn’t embrace fantasy in 2020, so it makes sense that nearly, if not all, of the books on this list are indeed contemporary. This might be more of a sentiment to share in one of my final 2020 wrap-ups, but 2020 (to say the least) was a year about embracing what you love as much as you can and for me, this was contemporary books!
I think this year’s favorites are truly books that have unique premises that also nail everything else I look for in my YA reads, mostly self-growth, relationships, family, and a good romance or two. My YA this year was also really about solidifying some authors as my favorite authors with their new releases and also introducing myself to some new-to-me authors that have also become auto-read authors too!
Favorite YA Books of 2020
Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
Thinking about Emma Lord’s Tweet Cute makes me want to make a grilled cheese and pan of monster cookies and then lay under a blanket and reread it! Tweet Cute is the first book on this list of many with the enemies-to-lovers trope that I absolutely loved – even though the leads, Pepper and Jack, were more rivals than enemies (if that makes sense) in my eyes because I truly just sensed the chemistry between them and little to no animosity. The family restaurant inspired premise and rivalry was executed so,so well.
More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn
Like many of the books here, More Than Maybe was honestly just a perfect read. It’s either hit or miss for me when it comes to YA books with such a music-inspired premise, but Erin Hahn’s writing also knocks this sub-genre in YA out of the park for me. I literally immediately starting reread You’d Be Mine after finishing More Than Maybe and I loved it even more this second time around. More Than Maybe was both so light and swoon-worthy while also tackling future ambitions and complicated family dynamics.
What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter
What I Like About You is the perfect love letter to book blogging and the YA community. I read What I Like about You honestly during the worst part of my personal life this year and it just bought me so much joy. Its romance was so fluffy and cute, and the book also delves into Halle’s friendship, family, and her relationship with Judaism. The book overall just captures so much of how I feel as a reader and blogger. While I got my blogging start in college vs. Halle getting her start in I believe high school, her feelings about blogging and reading bought me back to my teenage bookish self and my current blogger (and still reader) self. Also, make sure you have a cupcake close by as you read this one!
A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey
Speaking of books where you might have to a baked treat or five close by while reading, A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow made me want to eat its food & desserts right off the page. Following a girl whose dream is to run her family’s Cuban-inspired Miami bakery but is instead sent to England for the summer, A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow was this perfect blend of coziness while also tackling grief and self growth. I’m so happy so many readers are just loving this one and it totally deserves to be a Reese’s Book Club pick.Read More »