Let’s talk about authors who are tried, true, and delicious.
As in…their books are delicious. Not the authors. We do not snack on A People here, it is not polite. So yesterday I wrote about new authors I’d discovered in 2020, but look…I always pick up the newest releases from authors I already know I love as well. It’s an almost guaranteed way to read a good book! I also love seeing how authors grow as they publish new things, and gah, don’t we crave the goodness of sequels and being reunited with old characters 😪🙌🏻 here for it.
But there’s also extra pressure. Will I still love this author’s work? What if their new book doesn’t suit me? What if the sequel lets me down?!?!?! What if I anGST. I absolutely hate falling out of love with an author’s work. But mostly that doesn’t happen 😂.
So let’s dive in and compare and analyse. 👀
Here are 10 books by authors I already know and love…and we’ll see if their new works lived up to my internal hype.
I thought the Cruel Prince world would be done with Queen of Nothing, but then Holly Black gave us a GIFT in our year of torment 2020 😭🙌🏻 She is the faerie queen and we are grateful. Now obviously I wish it had been longer (200 pages is not enough here!!) but it was illustrated, gorgeous, and so so satisfying. It gave us a bit of the fanficy moments we really craved: Cardan in the modern world, him and Jude lovingly hating each other, as well as Cardan growing up and how he was forced to become hateful to survive. It was perfect. 😩
Now you know I am an emphatic Shadowhunter fan…although I am less keen on TID and Will annoys me no end. But I did think I’d still like Chain of Gold, even though it features Tessa x Will’s kids. And….yeah no. 😐To me, there were so many characters who didn’t seem properly introduced (I felt like I should’ve known them all already?!) and I didn’t care about anyone. Plus the kids parents were all able Shadowhunters, so there was no pressure for the kids to DO everything. So I’ll just hang out until we get Wicked Powers 😭
So I actually read 3 books by Tiffany D Jackson this year (I previously had read her debut Allegedly) and I need to talk about Monday’s Not Coming purely because it so RATTLED ME. This book is dark, insidious, chilling, and real. It’s a thriller but also a contemporary, and it’s basically about how girls are so rarely believed, how kids slip through the cracks of care, and how horror can unfold slowly without being stopped. I’m still 😭😭not over it 😭Utterly brilliant storytelling.
So I hadn’t read a book by Jennifer Lynn Barns since…oh wow, 2015, when I read The Naturals?! I don’t know why I’ve missed so much of her work, because she his a phenomenal thriller author. I ADORED The Inheritance Games. It’s dark but also utterly compelling. A seemingly random girl suddenly inherits a billionaire’s fortune, while the rest of his family don’t get very much. And they want her dead 😂And she goes from living in a car to being like: “Oh I own an airplane….ahah help!” It’s fantastic and I need the sequel.
Okay apparently I was on a thriller kick this year and I’m not sad about it. But None Shall Sleep absolutely delivered what the title promised. Sleep!? Not me ever again :)) It’s about two teens trying to interview a teenage serial killer for advice on how to deal with another utterly chilling. It’s very factual in tone, but doesn’t stop your stomach-turning-over as the plot unfolds. It was so brilliantly told. (I also loved Ellie Marney’s Aussie Sherlock books! Which are much….chiller than this 😂)
So I’ve read nearly all of Katrina Leno’s books!! Her first few are some of my absolute favourites (like Everything All At Once and The Lost & Found). Horrid is a (surprise) horror that came out just in time for Halloween and it was so. so. chilling. The atmosphere was so fantastically creepy and it has a paranormal twist to it that I was so onboard with. The ending is very open, which I usually like, but this time it left me with a few “well what was the story meant to say” feels so. I still liked it, but not my favourite Leno book I think?
Okay but SASSY SCI FI. I have a weakness for it, I am discovering. I read The Disasters last year (also it’s getting a movie I think ahhhh) and Spellhacker delivers another disaster team of teen queers off to save the world they kind of, um, broke themselves. This one also mixes magic and science, and I like that. Super fun, lots of humour, lots of joking to keep from crying 😌👌🏻
So Darius the Great Is Not Okay was one of my favourites of last year, and lo and behold it got a sequel!! Contemporaries so rarely get sequels that this felt particularly special 😍Darius the Great Deserves Better is set in the US and is basically a slice of life, as Darius grows comfortable (and then uncomfortable) with his sexuality and also just figuring out how to fit into his world with his new found confidence. It still deals with depression and everyday family issues…and it’s very slow and very very quiet. I actually found it a little too slow without enough focus. But I still liked it? 🥺I am really attached to the family.
I really love Patrick Ness books, except for when I’m sobbing and throwing them at a wall 😭 I feel he’s the author who has most successfully wrecked me most often? ANYWAY. Burn was…weird. 😂His books always are, but it was a little too odd. There are talking dragons and an alternate dimensions or time travel? But look, I still enjoyed it because it was compelling and well-written and I liked the characters! Just so bizarre but good.
We’ll finish off with Loveless because there has never been an Oseman book I didn’t wholly pledge my heart too. SO GOOD 😭💛This one is finally about a teen, Georgia, who is discovering she’s aromantic asexual. Getting to read this rep still feels like a rare treat to me. I love love love Oseman’s group dynamics and how they are messy but epically tight, the kind you wish you were part of. It’s also set in university, so it was cool seeing how that works in the UK. I hope Roderick is doing well 😭🙌🏻
did you read any books from old favourite authors this year? what did you think?