#AMonthofFaves 2020: Popular Books Worth the Hype

December 2, 2020

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That’s right: A Month of Faves is back, hosted by Tanya and Kim over at Girlxoxo. As of this writing, the official post isn’t up on the website yet, but the prompts are posted on Kim’s Instagram.


Today’s topic is popular books worth the hype, so let’s see how many popular books I actually read that were ~worth it~.

Book #1: Sadie by Courtney Summers

The hype:

New York Times bestseller!

An Edgar Award Winner!

Appearing on over 30 Best Book of 2018 lists including The Boston Globe, Bustle, Buzzfeed, Globe and Mail, Good Morning America, NPR, Publishers Weekly, and more!

A YALSA Top 10 Quick Pick

4 Starred Reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal, Booklist, Publishers Weekly!

Odyssey Award Winner Audiobook, Buzzfeed Best Books of the Year, NPR Best Book of the Year, Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year, Boston Globe Best Books of the Year, Audie Award Winner, Barnes and Noble Best New Books of the Year, Amazon.com Best Books of the Year, Edgar Allan Poe Award Winner


My review:

SadieSadie by Courtney Summers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I listened to the audio, and I love a full-cast audio, so this really delivered. Rebecca Soler (narrator of The Lunar Chronicles) narrates all of Sadie’s parts, and she is the actual best so that was A+++.

This was a very cool concept, and though I am not a fan/listener of true crime podcasts, I liked the way this was plotted and the way the timelines overlapped and converged. I also like that I could trust that Summers would come back to what seemed like dropped plot threads throughout the course of the novel.

I’m also very, very glad we actually got to hear from Sadie herself and not just people talking about and around her.

View all my reviews

Book #2: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

The hype:

Listen, you already know, but still, for posterity, here we go.

Published in 42 regions and countries, over 10 million copies sold worldwide

Azerbaijan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Catalonia, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Island, Italy, Korea, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, U.K., Ukraine, U.S., Vietnam

Over 4 million copies sold in the U.S.! as in series of 3 books

– Ranked 1st in Amazon.com!

– Ranked 1st in Amazon Canada!

– Ranked 1st in the New York Times for more than 27 weeks!

– Ranked 1st in the Wall Street Journal for more than 3 weeks!

– Ranked 1st in Barnes & Noble for more than 7 weeks!

– Ranked 1st in the Publishers Weekly for more than 3 weeks!

KonMari Books

It’s also a New York Times bestseller (obviously) and, of course, there is that little TV show. So, yeah, it’s kind of a big deal.

My review:

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and OrganizingThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is probably the best self-help book I’ve ever read. It’s grounded in spiritual practices like gratitude, and it has clear, actionable steps that can be taken immediately.

I listened to the audio, so A+ on the narration as well. This is a book in translation, so some of the terms were awkward to my American ears, but I got over that pretty quickly.

Also, my favorite part about this book is all of the stories about a tween Marie Kondo trying to tidy her family’s home, so it was like having a bonus middle grade story in the pages of a self-help book. Hot tip: I would 100% read a good middle grade novel about a girl trying to tidy up her family home while realizing that she really needs to deal with her own stuff instead. Come to think of it: that’s probably why I liked this book so much. I saw the adorable middle grade novel within. Also, of course, I can now easily find all my clothes because I use the KonMari folding method.

View all my reviews

Book #3: We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union

The hype:

LibraryReads Selection


Nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work

Named a Best Book of the Year by The Root

Chosen by Emma Straub as a Best New Celebrity Memoir

Library Journal (starred review)

Booklist (Starred Review)


My review:

We're Going to Need More WineWe’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. The essays were honest and, often, funny. Union reminds me a lot of my friends, and it honestly was like sitting down and listening to a friend tell you about her life. She is, as they say, a trip. Just as a heads up: she does go into detail about her rape, though that chapter is easy to skip.

Four stars instead of five because I listened to the audiobook and sometimes it felt/sounded like she was putting on an affectation. And also because, real talk, I wish she had name dropped so much more. I mean, the one chapter where she mentioned Dulé Hill and the other one with all the celebrities at Prince’s parties gave me life. I needed way more than that.

View all my reviews

Book #4: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The hype:

The Alchemist has become a modern classic, selling millions of copies around the world and transforming the lives of countless readers across generations.


Also, my students love it and my daughter has said it’s a good book that everyone should read. Also, my friend said the book freaked her out because it was like Coelho saw into her soul.

My review:

The AlchemistThe Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars, rounding up.

This is like every self-help book you’ve ever read except in an engaging story format–these are a few of my favorite things. Super easy to read, super fast and engaging.

View all my reviews

Book #5: You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

The hype:

Inaugural Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club YA Pick
2020 Junior Library Guild Selection
Summer/Fall 2020 Indies Introduce Selection
June 2020 The Bronx Is Reading Book Club Selection
June 2020 Well-Read Black Girl Book Club Selection
Cosmopolitan 15 Best Young Adult Books Of 2020
Publishers Weekly Best Books Of 2020
Marie Claire Best Books Of 2020
Parents.com 10 Best Books For Teens 2020
Amazon Best Books Of 2020
NYPL Best Teen Books Of 2020
Children’s Book Council Spring 2020 Champions of Change Selection

Leah Johnson

Also, my friend Jasmine said I would love it.

My review:

You Should See Me in a CrownYou Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, this was just a joy and a delight. And you already know that I am 100% in love with that cover.

Also, I super dug making the prom king and queen contest have higher stakes than just popularity. It made it actually make sense that people care so much about actually winning. (At my school, the king and queen were chosen out of a hat, so.)

View all my reviews


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1 Comment

  1. Kimberlykayl

    I read Sadie a couple of years ago and I remember liking it but I haven’t read any of the others.


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