2020 Reading Challenge: 100 One-Line Book Reviews

100 One-Line Book Reviews

Now that 2020 is nearly over (!!!!!!!!) it’s time for my annual reading wrap-up! I’ve always challenged myself to write one-line reviews* of books I’ve read throughout the year, and am continuing the tradition this year as well.

I had originally set myself a goal to read 52 books this year, but thanks to lockdown, I hit that pretty early. Then, I upped my reading goal to 100 books, and have since surpassed that as well. However, for the sake of my sanity (or at least what’s left of it), instead of writing a one-line review for every book I’ve read this year, I’m sticking to the first 100.

If you’re interested in seeing every single book I’ve read in 2020, feel free to check out my Goodreads. Otherwise, feast your eyes on the following 100 one-line book reviews.

And remember, I am writing most of these reviews months after finishing the books, so they aren’t necessarily good, but they are fun! (Get ready for the run-on sentences!)

*These reviews are more like the first thought that pops into my head when I think back to each book.

One Line Book Reviews

Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire

I started my year re-reading one of my FAVORITE books out loud to my partner and he, someone who doesn’t read a lot, said this book was amazing, so if that doesn’t convince you to read it I honestly don’t know what will.

Bloom, by Kevin Panetta

A cute little graphic novel about BAKERY BOYFRIENDS!

Ninth House, by Leigh Bardugo

This ADULT fantasy is the first in what’s supposed to be a series, and it is daaarrrrrk.

Come Tumbling Down, by Seanan McGuire

This is the fifth book in one of my all-time favorite series and it made me cry like a baby because it was so good.

The Majesties, by Tiffany Tsao

If you want a story about murder and family history told by an unreliable narrator, pick this one up.

Cast No Shadow, Nick Tapalansky

0/10 recommend because I found it problematic.

The Last Confession of Autumn Casterly, by Meredith Tate

A YA thriller that deals with some heavy themes, and is told from a dual point of view.

The Sun and Her Flowers, by Rupi Kaur

I know Rupi gets a lot of pushback for being an “Instagram poet” but I love her writing and this collection was beautiful.

Skim, by Mariko Tamaki

I enjoyed the illustrations in this graphic novel more than the story, but it was still a solid read.

Shit is Real, by Aisha Franz

This graphic novel reads like a fever dream and probably would have been better if I read it high.

The Very Last Leaf, by Stef Wade

A children’s book about a little leaf who needs to find the courage to fall off his tree and . . . die?

Sawkill Girls, by Claire Legrand

QUEER, YA HORROR!!!!!

Fence, Volume 1, by C.S. Pacat

I never thought I’d ever read a graphic novel about a sport, but then I found this series.

Fence, Volume 2, by C.S. Pacat

SWORD SPORTS and DIVERSE CHARACTERS and SLOW BURN ROMANCE (maybe, we’ll have to wait and find out)!!!

Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies, by Tara Schuster

This collection of essays centers around how to re-parent yourself and I saw so much of myself in it; I laughed, I cried, and I’ve recommended it to many friends.

Witness Protection Widow, by Debra Webb

After years of listening to friends tell me to read a Harlequin book, I finally did, and was very disappointed by the lack of sex.

All Systems Red, by Martha Wells

Murderbot is my favorite artificially constructed robot and I would die for them

The Burning, by Laura Bates

A witchy, feminist YA story that explores the impact of online slut shaming.

My Hero Academia, Volume 1, by Kohei Korikoshi

If you ever thought, “where are the books about people with weird superpowers?” then check out this manga/anime series.

The Blackbird Girls, by Anne Blankman

This middle grade story takes place in the backdrop of the Chernobyl explosion and centers around two young girls who, against all odds, become best friends.

Artificial Condition, by Martha Wells

Murderbot returns and spends an entire book bickering with a spaceship!

The Paper Bag Princess (40th Anniversary Edition), by Robert Munsch

I loved this story as a child, and I love it even more now, as a full-grown adult.

The Subtweet, by Vivek Shraya

A contemporary story that explores the power of social media, friendship, jealously, and the music industry.

Fence, Volume 3, by C.S. Pacat

The fencing action just keeps getting BETTER and BETTER!

The Honjin Murders, by Seishi Yokomizo

This book is perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, and is set in Japan.

Upright Women Wanted, by Sarah Gailey

QUEER LIBRARIANS DOING CRIME WHILE RIDING HORSES!

Darling Rose Gold, by Stephanie Wrobel

This is one of the most fucked up books I read all year and it gave me chills in the worst way possible.

Bourbon & Eventide, by Mike Spry

A short book of poetry that explores a failed relationship.

The Promised Neverland, Volume 1, by Kaiu Shirai

Another incredible manga/anime series that starts off all cute and innocent, but then takes a wicked turn for the worst.

RWBY: The Official Manga 1, by Bunta Kinami

BADASS GIRLS TRAIN TO FIGHT MONSTERS!

The Split, by Sharon Bolton

This is the only book set in Antarctica I’ve ever read, and that was the only interesting thing about it.

Serpent & Dove, by Shelby Mahurin

Sorry to everyone who loved this book but I only read it for some laughs.

Follow Me to Ground, by Sue Rainsford

This book is bloody and gory and full of folklore and I absolutely loved it.

My Sister, the Serial Killer, by Oyinkan Braithwaite

I listened to the audiobook of this one and it was incredible.

The Grownup, by Gillian Flynn

A short story packed full of literary references that kept me entertained until the end.

Girls Save the World in This One, by Ash Parsons

I was super excited for this book but it was a little too juvenile for me, despite all the zombies.

The Field Guide, by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black

I never read The Spiderwick Chronicles as a kid and was so excited to finally try them out, and the first one did not disappoint.

The Test, by Sylvain Neuvel

This novella just keeps going, gets more intense with each page, and literally made me yell “OH MY GOD!!!” multiple times.

Tunnel of Bones, by Victoria Schwab

In this sequel to City of Ghosts we follow Cassidy Blake to Paris, France, where she has to battle ghosts in the creepy catacombs.

Sweet Tooth, Volume 1, by Jeff Lemire

Sweet Tooth stole my HEART and if this series doesn’t punch you in the gut I don’t think we can be friends.

Sweet Tooth, Volume 2, by Jeff Lemire

Volume 2 gives more backstory and really ramps up for the rest of the series.

The Crucible, by Arthur Miller

One of my favorite plays, and 10/10 worth reading so you can understand the memes SparkNotes posts on Twitter.

The Girl and Hawthorn and Glass, by Adan Jerreat-Poole

I really loved the characters in this book, but the plot was a bit confusing.

The Need, by Helen Phillips

If you’re in the mood for some speculative fiction with an unreliable narrator and a horrifying atmosphere pick this one up!

The Empress of Salt and Fortune, by Nghi Vo 

The writing in this book is absolutely beautiful and I can’t wait to pick up the sequel.

Riven, by Catherine Owen

A collection of poetry that deals with grief.

We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart

This book was perfectly fine and I as I was reading I kept thinking, “it’s a ‘meh’ 3-star for me,” but then the ending came and HOLY SHIT, the TWIST; I am still NOT OVER IT!

Out of Body, by Jeffrey Ford

Sleep paralysis, monsters, and other-worldly adventures!

Jujutsu Kaisen, Volume 1, by Gege Akutami

I read this manga before watching the anime and holy shit, if you want demons and lots of gritty action scenes, this one is for you.

Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement, by Nadya Okamoto

This book is literally a manifesto on periods and period inequality.

Date Me, Bryson Keller, by Kevin van Whye

I absolutely loved this book when I read it, but then found out there was a lot of DRAMA around how the author stole the idea from a manga series.

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, by Mary Roach

If you want to know how you can donate your body to science, or what happens to those human bodies, check out this book; it’s very educational, respectful, and has some jokes thrown in as well.

With the Fire on High, by Elizabeth Acevedo

A story about a teenage girl, who is also a mother and aspiring chef, with perfect descriptions of food and important themes and dialogue as well.

Again Again, by E. Lockhart

This book explores the idea of different timelines/dimensions, and what our lives may look like in them.

When We Arrived at the Castle, by Emily Carroll

A sapphic graphic novel with illustrations that will give you the best kind of nightmares.

American Midnight: Tales of the Dark, edited by Laird Hunt

A collection of short horror stories, all by American authors.

The Wonder, by Emma Donoghue

The slowest of slow burn literary thrillers.

The Girl from Widow Hills, by Megan Miranda

A predictable thriller that I was very excited for, but unfortunately cannot recommend.

Sweet Tooth: Book Two, by Jeff Lemire

I already yelled about this series but HERE WE ARE AGAIN, because it’s INCREDIBLE!

Sweet Tooth: Book Three, by Jeff Lemire

The final volume in this series made me cry like a baby because it wrapped everything up so well, but I still didn’t want it to end.

Miscreations, by Grant Loveys

This collection of poetry felt like something I would have had to begrudgingly read in university.

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, by Therese Anne Fowler

Even though this is fiction, I loved reading a book that was focused on Zelda instead of her husband.

Margot and the Moon Landing, by A.C. Fitzpatrick

This adorable children’s book is about a little girl that wants to grow up and become an astronaut.

We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Such a  tiny, important, powerful book.

Something is Killing the Children, Vol. 1, by James Tynion IV

I know I keep saying I’m going to stop reading horror stories that take place in the woods but HERE WE ARE, YET AGAIN, getting scared of TREES and the MONSTERS that live between them.

Half Life, by Lillian Clark

This book will make you question your morals and ethics, and think, “what would it be like having a clone of myself?”

Followers, by Raziel Reid

If you take all the best early 2000s teen dramas, and mash them together with more recent reality shows, you end up with this book.

Vampires in the Lemon Grove, by Karen Russell

A collection of truly weird and wonderful short stories.

The Swap, by Robyn Harding

This thriller follows the story of two couples who swap partners for a night, and then dives right into the consequences of their actions.

Mujirushi: The Sign of Dreams, by Naoki Urasawa

This manga was really weird and quirky, so of course, I loved it.

Walk With Wings, by Tene Edwards

A collection of short poems centered around self-love.

Burn Our Bodies Down, by Rory Power

I absolutely cannot write only ONE SENTENCE about this book because it was easily one of my favorites of the entire year so PLEASE go read my full review I AM BEGGING YOU!

Snotgirl, Vol. 3, by Bryan Lee O’Malley

I love Snottie Lottie, and am so excited to see where this series goes because it’s starting to get pretty dark and mysterious.

Split Tooth, by Tanya Tagaq

This book is a coming of age story told in both poetry and prose that you can easily read in a sitting or two.

Ghost Wood Song, by Erica Waters

This book has HAUNTED HOUSES and MUSIC and a QUEER LOVE TRIANGLE and ya, I’m sure you guessed, I LOVED it.

Beneath the Sugar Sky, by Seanan McGuire

Beneath the Sugar Sky (#3 in the Wayward Children series) is full of nonsense and candy and bright colors, and is a wonderful adventure through the world of Confection.

Four, by Veronica Roth

I revisited the Divergent series by listening to the audiobook of this short story and it provided a quick escape from reality, if nothing else.

Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer

YES HI HELLO, WHERE IS MY HOT VAMPIRE BOYFRIEND?

New Moon, by Stephenie Meyer

A HOT WEREWOLF BOYFRIEND WOULD ALSO BE NICE, I AM NOT PICKY WHEN IT COMES TO SUPERNATURAL ROMANCE.

Mayhem, by Estelle Laure

I went into this book expecting a coming of age, witchy thriller, but ended up bored.

Once Upon a Time I Lived on Mars: Space, Exploration, and Life on Earth, by Kate Greene

I thought this collection of essays would be more about space and less about the author’s life.

Deadly Texas Summer, by Colleen Thompson

This was my second Harlequin novel, and it had more sex AND cowboys.

Ever After, by Olivia Vieweg

The illustrations in this graphic novel are absolutely beautiful, which is a stark difference to the story itself, which is about a zombie apocalypse.

Flyaway, by Kathleen Jennings

This novella is gothic, creepy, strange, and beautiful all at once, and it takes place in Australia.

More Than Us, by Ryan Jones

This debut novel focuses on mental health, love, loss, and grief, and made me cry a LOT.

Fangs, by Sarah Anderson

This graphic novel is about a vampire and a werewolf that fall in love and it was everything I didn’t know I wanted.

The Daughters of Ys, by M.T. Anderson

A graphic novel re-telling of a Celtic legend.

Eclipse, by Stephenie Meyer

Yes, I continued re-reading this series throughout the year, and after finishing Eclipse I am now on Team Charlie.

Some Kind of Animal, by Maria Romasco Moore

This YA book is slooooow, and follows a girl and her twin sister who lives in the woods.

Clown in a Cornfield, by Adam Cesare

This book is basically a fast-paced slasher film, full of chainsaws, pick axes, shotguns, blood, gore, and yes, creepy-ass clowns.

Killer Kung Pao, by Vivien Chien

A cozy mystery where, despite what the title hints at, no one is poisoned.

Venus in the Blind Spot, by Junji Ito

I honestly don’t know why I keep reading manga by Junji Ito because it always scares me to death.

Watch Over Me, by Nina LaCour

This book is full of grief, ghosts, and such vivid writing that I perfectly pictured every scene in my mind while reading.

Moon of the Crusted Snow, by Waubgeshig Rice

What seems like a routine power outage turns into a much more serious, frightening situation in this post apocalyptic novel.

Some Are Always Hungry, by Jihyun Yun

A collection of poetry that explores survival and immigration, with a lot of descriptions of food and eating.

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, by Robin DiAngelo

If you’re white and have literally never stopped to check yourself and reflect on racist behaviors, this is a good place to start, but it absolutely needs to be followed up with work/writing by BIPOC authors.

Punching the Air, by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam

This is an incredibly powerful story about a wrongfully incarcerated teen, co-written by one of the Exonerated Five.

Kissing the Coronavirus, by M.J. Edwards

This short story was fucking terrible in so many ways, but it was highly entertaining and worth the $1.50 I spent on it.

Burning Roses, by S.L. Huang

A fast-paced novella that brings together Eastern and Western fairy tales.

The Great Gatsby, by F. Sott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby is my favorite book OF ALL TIME—it’s beautiful and sad and makes me yearn for a different time—and I will continue re-reading it every year for the rest of forever.

Full reviews of many of these books can be found on my review page. If you’re interested in more one-line book reviews, you can check out what I read in 2019, 2018, 20172016, and 2015.

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