My Top 5 Books of 2020-21


Cynthia Gonzalez

As the fall break approaches, taking time to read one of Cynthia’s top books of 2020-21 is a great way to spend the time.

Like most during this past year, I needed an escape from reality and my favorite one became escaping into books. I have read 26 books this year (just started tracking them in 2021), countless more since March 2019, and here are my top five favorite books of quarantine. 

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover has a reputation for writing heartbreakingly beautiful books, but this one just has something that the others don’t. “It Ends With Us” has been my favorite book that I have read this year, and probably for the rest of 2021 as well. 

The flashes between the past, when Lily was a teenager, and present, where Lily is an adult, always kept me on my toes and hooked me from the start. The flashbacks show her dealing with growing up, meeting a homeless boy and learning how to help him. The chapters in the present show her as an adult, how the things from her past come back and tie into her current life, and her going through a hard relationship.

The several “cliffhangers” that chapters would leave on definitely kept me up at night reading way past midnight, but it was so worth it. This book is written in such an amazing way that makes you step into the main character’s shoes, which makes you understand why these things happen in real life. While it was hard to read about some of the topics in this book, the story was amazing, and in true Colleen Hoover fashion, the ending was a huge surprise.

Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover

 Hoover takes the top two spots for my favorite books, with Heart Bones next up. I loved the family aspect of this book so much, because I think the topics it covered, like neglect, blended families, and reconnecting with others are topics that a lot of people can relate to. It was fun to read something with a happy ending, and the balance between those topics and the romance was perfect. 

Beyah, the main character was so relatable, and I love that the book shows the reality of being a teenager. The story is about Beyah, who moves back in with her father after not seeing him for years, and then meeting his new family, and becoming close with her step-sister, and her neighbor. 

The setting is written perfectly, and this book is great to read at the beach, or now that we’re all missing our summer vacation, if you want to feel like you’re back at the beach. Hoover is very well known for her plot twists, and this book was no exception. I was definitely not prepared for what happened in the least, and it was incredibly shocking. The fact that I had to purchase more sticky tabs since I annotated so much should tell you how much I enjoyed this book. Colleen Hoover’s writing is incredible in “Heart Bones.” This book was one of the first romance novels that I’ve read, and it truly set the stage for many of the other books that I read this year!

The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Without a doubt, taking the bronze for my favorite book this year is the New York Times Bestseller “The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo.”  Saying that the book is a masterpiece would be an understatement if you asked me. This being the first book I’ve read by Taylor Jenkins Reid (especially after hearing such great things about it), I had pretty high expectations, and this book VERY quickly exceeded them. 

It was an amazing blend of Hollywood and film-making, historical fiction, and the cold reality of how life for people of the LGBTQ+ community was during the early 1900s. I think everyone could get a lot out of reading it by gaining a new perspective on different aspects of that time period. The book starts with the main character, Evelyn, being interviewed by a journalist, and through it you get immersed into her story, and it is almost like you’re reading the memoir itself. I loved the style of writing, because it combined the two stories about Evelyn and journalist, and how she develops as a “side story” but comes full circle at the end and displays how their lives tie together.

It is such an impactful book, and it gave such an eye-opening perspective to the world of Hollywood, which has made me never look at things the same way after reading it. The pages of this book are certainly tear stained, and full of commentary from me, as well as so many life lessons and pieces of advice that I know I will carry with me for a long time.

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

When I first bought this book, I was not expecting it to be one of my favorites at all. This was one of the only mystery books that I read this year, and by far it has been the best one. This book started with a very interesting premise, of a girl inheriting billions of dollars from a complete stranger and his family, and the mystery only got better and better. 

The plot quickly went from what I thought was just a competitive scavenger hunt, to a full-blown man-hunt. The balance between the main character’s interactions with all of the different brothers in the family was so interesting to see, as well as the alliances that formed between them. The sequel was released September 7th, and I am waiting on my copy to see what happens in the next book!

The Song Of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Last but definitely not least, I have “The Song Of Achilles” which is based on the Greek stories of Achilles and Patroclus, and follows their lives in their kingdom and war. After being tormented by all of my friends who read it, I reluctantly bought the book. This book was very different from any of the other books on this list, in that it was more fantasy-based, which I usually never read. “The Song Of Achilles” combines elements from how life was in Greece in the Bronze Age, as well as elements taken from the stories of Achilles and Patroclus themselves. I truly enjoyed this book. It is a tragic story, and is great for people who love Romeo and Juliet, Greek mythology, and sad books. I will unquestionably be re-reading it this year, because of just how much I loved it.