Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore (2020). I read about the concept of this book and bought it immediately. I’m still obsessed with it - loaning out my copy and recommending it to everyone I know. It’s so fresh and unique - Oona is living her life out of order, meaning when she’s 18, instead of turning 19, she turns 51! She lives that year and learns about her condition, so on her last day of being 51, she knows she won’t necessarily wake up 52 the next day. I already want to re-read this book, and maybe even read it in as chronological of order as it can go.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (2020). Desiree and Stella are twins, light enough to pass for white. One twin embraces this and disappears into a privileged white life, not acknowledging her past. The other doubles down and ends up working hard, being a single mother to her darker daughter. This book totally lives up to the hype. I absolutely loved the story itself, but Bennett’s writing is so seamless that you get sucked in completely, and then a beautiful, profound line will stop you in your tracks.
The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans (2020). I’ve been reading a lot of story collections this year, and all of them have been so good. Evans blew me away, though. The stories are so fascinating yet realistic and have really stuck with me even after finishing the book. I got to hear her read part of a story at an online event and she was fantastic! I have her other collection to read next, but I know I’ll keep re-reading these stories and recommending them to everyone I can.
Writers & Lovers by Lily King (2020). I was in a reading funk until I opened this book. I absolutely loved it, and I want to read more like it and I already want to re-read it. Something about the everydayness of things drew me right in and kept me comfortable in the story. I think King captured exactly that uncertainty of relationships and writing and how they work together.
Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi (2019?). I absolutely love time travel books, and this one was all I ever wanted and more. There are so many rules about going back in time at the Funiculi Funicula cafe that made the story more suspenseful. A few different characters went back in time within the cafe's constraints, and it was very touching and thought-provoking to see how they dealt with their situations. I loved how all of the characters tied together. Amazing book.