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Middle Grade

📚Emily’s Top 10 Books Read In 2020📚

2020 may have been a sucky year but it was actually my best reading year. I read 250 books in 2020 but these 10 stood above the rest. This was also the year I discovered my love of middle grade as I’m sure you will notice in this post. I hope 2021 will bring even more wonderful books into my life and I can’t wait to see what it holds. Let me know if you have read any of these books!

10. Keeper of the Lost Cities: Legacy

(Keeper of the Lost Cities #8)

By Shannon Messenger

Middle Grade

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5

Synopsis For KOTLC Book 1: Twelve-year-old Sophie Foster has a secret. She’s a Telepath—someone who hears the thoughts of everyone around her. It’s a talent she’s never known how to explain.

Everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who appears out of nowhere and also reads minds. She discovers there’s a place she does belong, and that staying with her family will place her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to leave behind everything and start a new life in a place that is vastly different from anything she has ever known.

Sophie has new rules to learn and new skills to master, and not everyone is thrilled that she has come “home.” 
There are secrets buried deep in Sophie’s memory—secrets about who she really is and why she was hidden among humans—that other people desperately want. Would even kill for.

In this page-turning debut, Shannon Messenger creates a riveting story where one girl must figure out why she is the key to her brand-new world, before the wrong person finds the answer first. 

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12842828-keeper-of-the-lost-cities?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=L07IQaG0y5&rank=1

9. Unbirthday

(Twisted Tales #10)

By Liz Braswell

Young Adult

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: What if Wonderland was in peril and Alice was very, very late?
Alice is different than other eighteen-year-old ladies in Kexford, which is perfectly fine with her. She’d rather spend golden afternoons with her trusty camera or in her aunt Vivian’s lively salon, ignoring her sister’s wishes that she stop all that “nonsense” and become a “respectable” member of society. Alice is happy to meander to Miss. Yao’s teashop or to visit the children playing in the Square. She’s also interested in learning more about the young lawyer she met there, but just because she’s curious, of course, not because he was sweet and charming.

But when Alice develops photographs she has recently taken about town, familiar faces of old suddenly appear in the place of her actual subjects-the Queen of Hearts, the Mad Hatter, the Caterpillar. There’s something eerily off about them, even for Wonderland creatures. And as Alice develops a self-portrait, she finds the most disturbing image of all-a badly-injured dark-haired girl asking for Alice’s help. Mary Ann.

Returning to the place of nonsense from her childhood, Alice finds herself on a mission to stop the Queen of Hearts’ tyrannical rule and to find her place in both worlds. But will she able to do so . . . before the End of Time?

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50358479-unbirthday?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=zeLBw6cqOb&rank=1

8. The Tyrant’s Tomb

(The Trials of Apollo #4)

By Rick Riordan

Middle Grade

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis For The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1):

How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favour.

But Apollo has many enemies—gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go… an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26252859-the-hidden-oracle?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=PeW3USjS0E&rank=1

7. The Ship of the Dead

(Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #3)

By Rick Riordan

Middle Grade

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis For The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase #1):

Magnus Chase has seen his share of trouble. Ever since that terrible night two years ago when his mother told him to run, he has lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, staying one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, Magnus learns that someone else is trying to track him down—his uncle Randolph, a man his mother had always warned him about. When Magnus tries to outmaneuver his uncle, he falls right into his clutches. Randolph starts rambling about Norse history and Magnus’s birthright: a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

The more Randolph talks, the more puzzle pieces fall into place. Stories about the gods of Asgard, wolves, and Doomsday bubble up from Magnus’s memory. But he doesn’t have time to consider it all before a fire giant attacks the city, forcing him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents. . . .

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15724396-the-sword-of-summer?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=wvUOnOK9vI&rank=1

6. Keeper of the Lost Cities: Nightfall

(Keeper of the Lost Cities #6)

By Shannon Messenger

Middle Grade

My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

5. Night of the Dragon

(Shadow of the Fox #3)

By Julie Kagawa

Young Adult

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis For Shadow of the Fox (#1): One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself. 

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44900350-night-of-the-dragon

4. Keeper of the Lost Cities: Neverseen

(Keeper of the Lost Cities #4)

By Shannon Messenger

Middle Grade

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

3. Keeper of the Lost Cities: Lodestar

(Keeper of the Lost Cities #5)

By Shannon Messenger

Middle Grade

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

2. Pride and Prejudice

By Jane Austen

Classic Literature

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Since its immediate success in 1813, Pride and Prejudice has remained one of the most popular novels in the English language. Jane Austen called this brilliant work “her own darling child” and its vivacious heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, “as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print.” The romantic clash between the opinionated Elizabeth and her proud beau, Mr. Darcy, is a splendid performance of civilized sparring. And Jane Austen’s radiant wit sparkles as her characters dance a delicate quadrille of flirtation and intrigue, making this book the most superb comedy of manners of Regency England.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35261321-pride-and-prejudice

1 Kingdom of the Wicked

(Kingdom of the Wicked #1)

By Kerri Maniscalco

Young Adult

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Two sisters.

One brutal murder.

A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…

And an intoxicating romance.

Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems… 

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52735921-kingdom-of-the-wicked?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=w3yHBnSFXJ&rank=1

Follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/28645541-emily

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📚Emily’s Top 10 Books Read in 2019📚

I ended up reading 106 books in 2019 but there were some favorites that stood above the rest. Here are the top 10 reads of my 2019 reading year!

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10. Tiger Queen

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By Annie Sulivan

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: From Annie Sullivan, author of A Touch of Gold, comes Tiger Queen, a sweeping YA fantasy adventure that tells the story of a fierce desert princess battling to save her kingdom. Fans of Rebel of the Sands and Meagan Spooner will devour this retelling of Frank Stockton’s famous short story, “The Lady, or the Tiger?”

In the mythical desert kingdom of Achra, an ancient law forces sixteen-year-old Princess Kateri to fight in the arena to prove her right to rule. For Kateri, winning also means fulfilling a promise to her late mother that she would protect her people, who are struggling through windstorms and drought. The situation is worsened by the gang of Desert Boys that frequently raids the city wells, forcing the king to ration what little water is left. The punishment for stealing water is a choice between two doors: behind one lies freedom, and behind the other is a tiger.

But when Kateri’s final opponent is announced, she knows she cannot win. In desperation, she turns to the desert and the one person she never thought she’d side with. What Kateri discovers twists her world—and her heart—upside down. Her future is now behind two doors—only she’s not sure which holds the key to keeping her kingdom and which releases the tiger.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42281646-tiger-queen?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=5cOdoVgrHj&rank=1 

 

9. Peter Pan

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By J.M. Barrie

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Neverland is home to Peter Pan, a young boy who has never grown up. On one of his visits to London, Peter makes the acquaintance of young Wendy Darling, whom he invites to travel with him to Neverland and become the mother of his gang of Lost Boys. Flying through the night sky to Neverland, Wendy and her brothers John and Michael soon become caught up in marvelous adventures with the Indian Princess Tiger Lily, the loyal fairy Tinker Bell, and Peter’s nemesis, the sinister hook-handed pirate known as Captain Hook.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22784968-peter-pan 

 

8. Spin the Dawn

(The Blood of Stars #1)

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By Elizabeth Lim

My Rating🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42815556-spin-the-dawn?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=4O8e8o8OSf&rank=1

 

7. The House of Hades

(The Heroes of Olympus #4)

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By Rick Riordan

My Rating🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Hazel stands at a crossroads. She and the remaining crew of the Argo II could return home with the Athena Parthenos statue and try to stop Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter from going to war. Or they could continue their quest to find the House of Hades, where they might be able to open the Doors of Death, rescue their friends Percy and Annabeth from Tartarus, and prevent monsters from being reincarnated in the mortal world. Whichever road they decide to take, they have to hurry, because time is running out. Gaea, the bloodthirsty Earth Mother, has set the date of August 1 for her rise to power.

Annabeth and Percy are overwhelmed. How will the two of them make it through Tartarus? Starving, thirsty, and in pain, they are barely able to stumble on in the dark and poisonous landscape that holds new horrors at every turn. They have no way of locating the Doors of Death. Even if they did, a legion of Gaea’s strongest monsters guards the Doors on the Tartarus side. Annabeth and Percy can’t exactly launch a frontal assault.

Despite the terrible odds, Hazel, Annabeth, Percy, and the other demigods of the prophecy know that there is only one choice: to attempt the impossible. Not just for themselves, but for everyone they love. Even though love can be the riskiest choice of all.

Join the demigods as they face their biggest challenges yet in The House of Hades, the hair-raising penultimate book in the best-selling Heroes of Olympus series.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12127810-the-house-of-hades?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=CJeM9gdAmT&rank=1 

 

6. The Blood of Olympus 

(The Heroes of Olympus #5)

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By Rick Riordan

My Rating🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Nico had warned them. Going through the House of Hades would stir the demigods’ worst memories. Their ghosts would become restless. Nico may actually become a ghost if he has to shadow-travel with Reyna and Coach Hedge one more time. But that might be better than the alternative: allowing someone else to die, as Hades foretold.

Jason’s ghost is his mother, who abandoned him when he was little. He may not know how he is going to prove himself as a leader, but he does know that he will not break promises like she did. He will complete his line of the prophecy: To storm or fire the world must fall.

Reyna fears the ghosts of her ancestors, who radiate anger. But she can’t allow them to distract her from getting the Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood before war breaks out between the Romans and Greeks. Will she have enough strength to succeed, especially with a deadly hunter on her trail?

Leo fears that his plan won’t work, that his friends might interfere. But there is no other way. All of them know that one of the Seven has to die in order to defeat Gaea, the Earth Mother.

Piper must learn to give herself over to fear. Only then will she be able to do her part at the end: utter a single word.

Heroes, gods, and monsters all have a role to play in the climactic fulfillment of the prophecy in The Blood of Olympus, the electrifying finale of the best-selling Heroes of Olympus series.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18705209-the-blood-of-olympus 

 

5. Aurora Rising

(The Aurora Cycle #1)

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By Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

My Rating🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30075662-aurora-rising?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=nNA93hOwfT&rank=1 

 

4. The Unhoneymooners

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By Christina Lauren

My Rating🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42201431-the-unhoneymooners?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=DqOMNGyK1V&rank=1 

 

3. The Wicked King

(The Folk of the Air #2)

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By Holly Black

My Rating🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26032887-the-wicked-king?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=n261zeFcPi&rank=1 

 

2. The Beautiful

(The Beautiful #1)

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By Renee Ahdieh

My Rating🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful. 

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42265183-the-beautiful?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=lSCmvr6nzC&rank=1 

 

1. The Queen of Nothing

(The Folk of the Air #3)

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By Holly Black

My Rating🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: He will be destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne.

Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power.

Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril.

Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics.

And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity…

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, comes the highly anticipated and jaw-dropping finale to The Folk of the Air trilogy.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26032912-the-queen-of-nothing 

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