October 2020 Book Recommendations

October 2020 Book Recommendations: What to Read & What to Skip

Welcome to my regular round up of mini book reviews for my October 2020 book recommendations! It was somehow a terrific reading month, so I’ve got lots of book reviews coming your way. 

In my list of October 2020 book recommendations, I include everything I’ve read recently no matter what.  I like to share both my five star reads and any misses to help you get a better idea of what you should read or might want to skip.

As always, I love to hear if you agree or disagree with my ratings! Let me know in the comments what you thought of my October 2020 book recommendations.

I’m linking up with Jana Says /Life According to Steph and Modern Mrs Darcy as usual to share what we read this month!

*Disclosure – I earn a small commission for any items purchased through the links above at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my book blog!!


October 2020 Book Recommendations

Physical Books:

the house in the cerulean seaThe House In The Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

My endless thanks to bookstagram for bringing this to my attention! A sweet, touching fantasy about accepting yourself and others that is easily one of my favorite books of the year.

Linus is tasked with inspecting an orphanage that is home to some very unusual and dangerous children. During his time there, he learns there may be more to life than the endless, safe routine of his job. 5 Stars | Amazon





I was toldI Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman

Abbi Waxman made a splash last year with The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, but her 2020 novel is the first of hers I’ve read. I immediately fell in love with her writing style. A mom and her daughter clash while on a college exploration trip. 

She captures the dialogue (both inner and speaking) of a mom and teenager perfectly. I could relate to both characters and it made it all the more meaningful to read about their relationship. 4.5 Stars | Amazon




the boyfriend projectThe Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

When this novel was selected as one of the Book Of the Month picks over the summer, I waffled over whether I should get it. I ultimately made the terrible decision of not grabbing it, but thankfully my library came through for me!

Samiah becomes friends with two other women after they discover they are all dating the same guy. They swear off men to focus on their passion projects, but of course the new guy at her work is sexy, smart, and interested in her. 4.5 Stars | Amazon





the returnThe Return by Nicholas Sparks

Thanks to Grand Central Publishing for sending me a copy of this to read and review! It’s been ages since I read a Nicholas Sparks book, so I was excited to find this contained the same unexpected connections and heartfelt story I’ve come to expect. 

The lives of Trevor, Natalie, and young Callie are intertwined after Trevor inherits his late grandfather’s home. Natalie is the attractive but mysterious local and Callie is his teenage neighbor who seems to be hiding lots of secrets. 3 Stars | Amazon





darling roseDarling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel 

When I saw this at my library, the stunning cover and genre caught my eye. Fall seems like the perfect time to read a psychological thriller. Rose Gold’s mother was incriminated for poisoning her daughter throughout her childhood. Now, her mother is out of jail and Rose Gold wants revenge.

Although this contained a decent plot twist, I was able to figure it out fairly early on and it wasn’t any sort of jaw dropping experience. However, I did enjoy reading about the twisted minds of both the mother and daughter and their relationship with each other. A good choice if you like this type of book, but there are plenty of other excellent mind benders out there. 3 Stars | Amazon




cinderellaCinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Barron

I thought the cover and concept of this YA fantasy were incredible. Unfortunately, the execution didn’t live up to my hopes. In this dystopian world, the Cinderella story is the basis for life. All women are supposed to strive to be as perfect as Cinderella in a kingdom where men have control of everything.

This lacked the enthralling action that you’ll usually find in YA fantasy. Everything felt a bit too easy and there wasn’t any sort of page-turning suspense or meaningful, satisfying conclusion. The end wrapped up remarkably quickly and as a whole the story and plot weren’t robust enough to be believable. 2.5 Stars | Amazon






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October 2020 book recommendations




eBooks (reading from Netgalley / Library):

holidazeIn A Holidaze by Christina Lauren

This well-known romance writing duo created another hit!! In this Christmas version of Groundhog Day, Mae is forced to relive her week with family and friends over and over again. Since she asked the universe what makes her happy, she now has to figure out if that means a career change, taking a chance on her lifelong love, saving the beloved cabin or something else.

At this point, a bit of ridiculousness is always expected in my holiday rom coms, so the time loop aspect was just another delightful part of the story. I loved Mae and Andrew’s friendship and the possibility of more between them. Plus, the backdrop of Christmas and the group’s holiday traditions make this a perfect cozy winter read. 4 Stars | Amazon




twelve dates of christmasThe Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss

I happened to win a copy of this eARC through a publisher giveaway and I’m so glad I did!! I want to tell everyone to go out and read this charming Christmas novel. 

Kate reluctantly agrees to her friend’s suggestion of signing up for “The Twelve Dates of Christmas.” She’ll be matched up with twelve different men, for a different group date each weekend. Soon her whole village is invested in the outcome, including her skeptical friend Matt! 4 Stars | Amazon





If you’d like to track and analyze your reading, check out my Reading Tracker!




Reading Tracker Analysis (Data: Jan – Present)

Since I created my Reading Tracker (available for $5 in my store), I decided to showcase a few of the graphs each month. I’m an accountant, so books + Excel is my dream combo 🙂

Romance/chick lit is by far my most read genre of the year, but it’s interesting to see it’s not one of the highest ratings! I usually love these books but rarely rate them at 5, since they typically follow a fairly standard formula. I’ve read some amazing historical fiction and fantasy books this year so I’m not surprised to see those rank highly!

average star rating



What was the best book you read recently?


For more mini book reviews, check out What I Read in September 2020!






  1. I loved The Boyfriend Project! The characters were great and she definitely set it up for more from the trio. I have to pick up Cerulean Sea already- I haven’t read a bad review yet!

  2. Darling Rose Gold has come in and gone for me twice at the library and I haven’t picked it up. I like the cover but am meh about this book.

  3. i am about to start in a holidaze, i’ve heard such good things 🙂 i’ve also heard nothing but good things about The House In The Cerulean Sea so i really need to get to that one asap!

  4. I liked I Was Told It Would get Easier, but not as much as some of her other books. I’m currently reading Darling Rose gold. In a Holidaze is on my radar for December reading and now just added The Twelve Dates of Christmas as well!

  5. I usually love reading a fun Christmasy book this time of the year and the cover of The 12 Dates of Christmas is so cute. I have In a Holidaze to read, hopefully soon- so glad to hear you enjoyed it. I’m curious about how my star ratings compare to the genre– I’ve never really thought of that.

  6. The House of the Cerulean Sea sounds delightful 🙂 I always love looking at your graphs – yay data! Thanks for sharing and enjoy your month.

  7. I have been waiting for my hold on Overdrive for The House on the Cerulean Sea. Crossing my fingers it will be available soon, especially since you have such a glowing review!

    Linking my recent reviews in my name, if interested!

  8. Thanks for the Christmas recommendations! I enjoyed House on the Cerulean Sea too. Putting the Abbi Waxman on my list now.

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