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I picked up this title so long ago on the recommendation of a blogger – but now I can’t remember what it was about, or what enticed me to buy it in the first place. I love it when this happens and you get to go into a book with no preconceived notions. What is your best mood when approaching a new book: do you like to know a bit about it, of jump in with cold feet?

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My first venture into this author’s writing… a twisty thriller which I’m hoping will not disappoint. Have you read anything from S.K. Tremayne? And recommendations? Or have you discovered a new-to-you author recently that you think deserves more hype? Let me know in the comments 😀

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Recently finished reading ‘Midnight Sun‘ and it was like a stroll down memory lane, it brought up all those feeling that re-ignited my passion for reading. And it also brought me to the news that there is possibly another two books coming for this collection. Before ‘Twilight‘ I was strictly reading horror and sci-fi, it opened doors to YA, contemporary, queer lit and reading more diversely… do you have a book that broke you out of a comfort genre?

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Top 10 Standalones – Top 10 series

I thought I’d take a look back to recommend my top 10 standalones that I read in 2020, it’s a mixed bag but maybe you’ll find that new-to-you read!

I’ll Give You The Sun – yes this was released ages ago, and has been sitting on my shelf since, but in the past year I’ve been making a concerted effort to shrink my TBR and stop getting detracted by too many new shiny covers. This contemporary lived up to the hype I remember it getting when it first came out. Interesting characters and fantastic reveals that brought all the feels.

The Luminous Dead – On of the latest purchases, a sci-fi psychological thriller set in caves on a distant planet, the protagonist faces treacherous terrain, a controlling guide, alien nasties, and a few dead bodies. With a F/F romance to boot this was everything I needed and didn’t know it.

Famous Last Words – a contemporary mystery set in the Hollywood Hills. A young girl moves into a spanish estate that might be haunted, oh, and there might be a killer lurking about.

Highway Bodies – a zombie apocalypse that a diverse group of youngsters have to survive. Set in Australia, and a gem of a novel.

The Sky is Everywhere – Another contemporary romance from Jandy Nelson I let sit on my shelf for too long. Quirky characters painted with artistic flare.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue* – A historical rom-com as brother, sister and their best friend take a road trip across Europe and all sorts of hijinks ensue. This was a laugh riot. *Not a standalone, there are two more novels and a novella in this series, but I’m including it here because I’ve only read the debut.

Life Expectancy – Dean Koontz has been a favorite of mine since I was in junior high. This tale is a crazy twist of futures that keep getting intertwined: one is a family man, the other is a killer clown.

Pet Semetary – A re-read of an old classic that never fails to entertain and send a shiver down your spine. Bringing back the dead, indian burial grounds and a spooky wendigo… it never gets old (but parts of the story haven’t aged well – it fun to see how writing has evolved in the last 30-40 years)

Reckoning – the only non-fiction title in this list. Magda Szubanski, Australia’s first lady of comedy takes a serious tone exploring her family history: a father who was an assassin, her dreams of becoming a tennis star and falling into acting… and discovering her own identity in a time when being in the spotlight was a dangerous thing.

Cold Fire – A re-read that I didn’t know was one. I owned this book in high school and has lost it in my travels across the continent. I bought another copy thinking it was a title I didn’t have in Dean Koontz’s back catalog…. and the whole time I was reading it though ‘this sounds familiar.’ Still it was a great story of possible aliens haunting a man’s past who has the uncanny ability to foretell certain peoples deaths and goes out of his was to prevent them.

The top 10 series I completed (or nearly completed) in 2020 are:

This Mortal Coil – a science fiction future where the world is ravaged by genetically modified viruses, body modifications, and advanced technology. Warring factions for control and freedom, super soldiers… this really shows where a STEM education could take us. My no.1 pick for the year.

Warm Bodies – I finally completed this epic series, though it slowly left it’s satirical roots and turned philosophical. But is was fun to get answers to how the zombie apocalypse came about, and what the future holds for R and the gang.

The Rook* – There are still more installments to come in this series*, but this is all that is published for now. A spy thriller with supernatural powers set in England with a sense of humor! This collection has a special place in my heart (the television adaptation did not do it justice.)

Midnight Sun* – I got around to what I thought was finishing off the series I started back in 2007, but since have heard there is the possibility of another two books to come!? Nontheless this was a fun return to the beginnings of the Twilight franchise and the story of Edward and Bella (if a little long-winded) but I managed to read it in two days.

Impossible Times trilogy – a collection of novellas that is very timey-wimey. Set in England this has an echo of Doctor Who and mixes in a heavy dose of time travel. Well-written and a blast to read.

Death Works trilogy – Aussie author Trent Jamieson pens a great collection of novels about a Pomp (think grim reaper) guiding souls to the afterlife and fighting all sorts of supernatural nasties… but it’s all handled like a well-oiled corporate office. Best in my backyard : Brisbane, a story very close to my heart.

Proxy – another sci-fi dystopia with a gay main character where the wealthy can get a proxy to stand in for their punishments. A fantastic tale of class structure, technology and rebellion.

Zeroes*- A group of supernatural teens – crooks come heroes that have to navigate their powers, face the consequences of their actions and face-off similarly powered foes. It has a fun twist on the superpower genre, I just have to read the concluding novel to complete the series.*

One Man Guy – a contemporary romance duology featuring a M/M couple as they come out, and navigate romantic rivals, clashes of culture and class structures.

Nil* – a science fiction portal trilogy about a supernatural island that pits teens against the elements and predatory animals, but they have a year to untangle the mystery and catch a portal home before they die. Just have to read the concluding novel for this series*, but so far it has been one heck of an adventure.

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I got the bind-up of this trilogy and it’s been suggested for fans of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ so we’ll have to see how this measures up – and no need to wait for a sequel, it’s all right there. My summer holidays are looking great right now for reading material!

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Sufficiently spooky cover, dystopian adventure, I’m hooked! I found this in a local bookstore by an New Zealand born author who lived in Australia for a time before settling in Oregon – so I’m interested in what Alex Adams has to offer. Hoping to add this to my underhyped list when I get around to completing it.

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Another underhyped series… plus I love my science fiction. This has been suggested to fall under the space opera banner too, but we won’t know until I give it a read. But the blurb has already roped me in! On a side note: the dude with a ratstail on the cover is taking me back to the ’80’s, my brother had one for years. 😀

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Looking through my TBR shelves and starting to pick some titles that are piquing my interest – like this dystopian. Feels relevant right now and I haven’t read anything my Sarah Crossan yet. Might discover a new favourite author and underhyped title. But it will have to wait until next year as I already have my reading pile mapped out for 2020. Is anyone else this anal when organising their reading material? I am a mood reader, but pick a selection for a month or two that I have to finish before I can read anything else (or purchase any new reads.)

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I have to get to catching up on my Creekwood (or Simonverse) series to justify buying ‘Love, Creekwood.’ I have to admit, the tv show ‘Love, Victor‘ has played a great part in re-igniting my passion to read more from this universe. But nothing has topped ‘Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda‘ yet.