My Favourite Reads banner 2020

Welcome to the goodness that is My Favourite Reads! This month we have fewer books than in my August update, but so what? Fabulousness beats numbers read any day.

I had one DNF (did not finish), disappointingly from a favourite author, and another that I read all the way through but which I’m too annoyed with to talk about.

I’m still grumpy with myself for persevering with that book. I should have set it aside when I first felt it going backward. Instead I carried on and ended up mired in a depressing slog and a totally ‘meh’ climax.

I don’t know about you, but I DO NOT need to be mired in depressing and ‘meh’ right now. There’s enough of that on the news.

Which brings me to my happy reads!

Oh, there were many. But my absolute favourite by far was…

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The Nancys by RWR McDonald

The Nancys by RWR McDonaldI’d thought The Nancys might be a good read when I first heard about it – the premise sounded very cool – but I hadn’t expected this. What. A. Blast.

The Nancys caught me in its charms from the opening page. Every character was brilliant. Vivid and alive and so much fun. Tippy, the heroine, was a sweetheart and a joy to spend time with. Her mum was a hoot, her neighbours quirky, but it was Tippy’s Uncle Pike and his boyfriend Devon who really stole the show. I loved them so much.

While essentially an amateur sleuth murder-mystery, The Nancys is so much more. It’s about grief and families and friendship and love and diversity and small towns and… Nancy Drew!

I cannot praise this book enough. The Nancys was charming and adorable, and made me laugh and cry and feel all warm and fuzzy. Fabulous.

Can’t wait to see what RWR McDonald comes up with next.

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The Shadow Friend by Alex NorthThe Shadow Friend by Alex North

I enjoyed North’s debut novel (under this name), The Whisper Man (I talk about that here) so much that I grabbed the paperback of The Shadow Friend as soon as it hit my local Big W’s shelves.

Wowsers, what a book! As with The Whisper Man, in The Shadow Friend North has created a spine-chilling, page-turner of a mystery where nothing is as it seems. He’s great at atmosphere. The whole book has this marvellously claustrophobic feel. Everyone is trapped – in the past, in the trauma of the current.

Looking forward to his next.

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Marry in Scandal by Anne GracieMarry in Scandal by Anne Gracie

Ooh, I’m enjoying this series SO MUCH. Like Marry in Haste, book one in Anne’s Marriage of Convenience series, Marry in Scandal was utterly charming. Lily is such a likeable heroine and Ned is wonderfully heroic.

I loved that Lily didn’t shy from taking care of herself. She had true backbone, which was especially nice given the sheltered life she’d led. And who can’t resist a tortured hero? Oh, and don’t get me started on lovely grandpa.

Book four, Marry in Scarlet, is already on my shelf, having arrived early, so now all I’m waiting on is book three, Marry in Secret, to turn up. Hope it gets a wriggle on!

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Nevermoor - The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica TownsendNevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s a kid’s book. So what? Harry Potter was a kid’s book too and it made me very bloody happy and any book that makes me happy is a splendid thing in my reading world.

The Trials of Morrigan Crow certainly did that! This was a lovely fantasy, loaded with adventure, quirk, danger, friendship, and magic. Morrigan herself was great company and I’m completely intrigued by Jupiter, but I was intrigued by all the players, even the villains.

Great fun.

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One To Watch by Kate Stayman-LondonOne To Watch by Kate Stayman-London

A writer buddy recommended this contemporary romance, calling it possibly the best book she’d read so far in 2020. With that kind of praise, I had to buy it.

One To Watch proved an excellent read indeed. I devoured this in just over a day which is super speedy for me. Bea, the book’s plus-sized fashion blogger heroine, has been signed as the star of a reality tv show similar to ‘The Bachelorette’ (although having never watched ‘The Bachelorette’ I could be wrong with my comparison here) and while I wouldn’t call it my best read of the year so far, it was certainly a fab one. The book had a lot to say about diversity too, which was cool.

Plenty of plot twists kept One To Watch entertaining and there were well-drawn characters to cheer on or narrow my eyes at. I wasn’t so sure about the ending but once I’d thought about it I realised it was spot on.

Highly recommended.

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The Last Migration by Charlotte McConaghyThe Last Migration by Charlotte McConaghy

My second favourite read of the month.

The Last Migration was beautiful – haunting and heartbreaking and intense. McConaghy had me feeling I was on Franny’s impossible journey with her, and I was so invested Franny’s broken character that I really wanted her to succeed, despite her flaws.

I’m not sure what else to say about this book, except that it was gorgeously written, highly topical, deeply emotional, and an outstanding read.

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What have you enjoyed reading lately?

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