Wondering what to read now? If you’re looking for book suggestions, look no further! Here are all the hot new January 2020 book releases for you. I’ll let you know what I’ve read, what I can’t wait to read, and what’s getting all the attention this month.
Welcome to the new decade!
In December, all my posts were about looking back: at my reading list, at my reading challenge update, at the best books of the year, and the top books of the decade.
Now, it’s time to look ahead, and I have no better place to start than with the January 2020 book releases. 2019 was a great year in the book community, but I foresee that 2020 will be even better.
The highlights of the month:
- Two intense stories about the war on drugs
- A touching coming-of-age survivor story
- Two sequels to bestselling Young Adult novels
- Four light historical fiction novels
Have I got you interested? Then keep scrolling to see our picks for the best of the January 2020 book releases.
January 2020 book Releases – Already Read
On June 12, 2013, on a flight from New York City to Los Angeles, 191 people are killed in a plane crash. The sole survivor, 12-year-old Edward Adler. Although Edward recovers physically, learning to deal with the fact that he is alive while so many others, including his parents and older brother, are not is a slow and painful process. With split narration between Edward’s post-crash years and the time leading up to the fatal accident, Dear Edward shows that surviving is just the beginning.
Napolitano hits the emotions just right in this novel, making you deeply care about Edward’s progress while not turning the story into a full-blown tearjerker. A touching tale, Napolitano perfectly conveys Edward’s complicated coming of age years, giving you hope that even amid such tragedy, joy can be found. Certainly a must-read among the January 2020 book releases.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Random House through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
All the Ways We Said Goodbye
Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White
A trio of authors tell a trio of stories about women taking control of their lives. 1914: Fierce heiress Aurelie finds herself falling for a German soldier. 1942: Helpless Daisy, wife of a Nazi collaborator, decides to join the French Resistance. 1964: Recently widowed awkward Babs searches for a mysterious woman from her husband’s past.
The story alternates between the three timelines, which means that at first, it’s difficult to keep the story straight. Plus, if you happen to stop reading for a while, it’s hard to want to start again. All three stories interlink in extremely predictable ways, with connections so obvious you guess them at the slightest hint.
Aurelie’s World War I tale was the only compelling one of the lot. Watching her struggle with her emotions and finding her voice kept me reading. Timid Daisy with her caricature of a husband was mildly interesting, though all the characters fell flat. On the other hand, Babs’s story was cheesy beyond belief, and I ended up skimming her chapters.
If you aren’t expecting brilliance from the plot or writing, I think you’ll find this an acceptable fluffy historical fiction read. However, if you like well-written books, this one’s not for you.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harper Collins through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Big Lies in a Small Town
While serving time for a DUI conviction, Morgan Christopher is given an astounding offer. She”ll receive an early release if she can restore an old art mural in two months by the request of the will of a famous painter. When the mural is revealed, Morgan discovers that not only is it badly damaged, but also it contains bizarre imagery. Morgan’s story arc proceeds in an utterly predictable fashion all the way to her happily-ever-after.
The only saving grace of Chamberlain’s novel is the story of Anna Dale, the artist who painted the mural in 1940. Figuring out what happened to Anna to transform her perfectly normal mural into a horrific nightmare will keep you engaged with the novel. Of all the January 2020 book releases, I would only recommend this one if you are in the mood for a predictable happily-ever-after tale where everything wraps up in a nice bow.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Long Bright River
Since I had already read Dear Edward, for my December 2019 Book of the Month box I chose Liz Moore’s new thriller. Estranged sisters, Mickey, a police officer, and Kacey, a drug addict, live completely different lives in Philadelphia. When Kacey goes missing and drug addicts begin dying, Mickey becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to her among the opioid-riddled streets.
From the description, I was expecting much more of a gritty detective thriller, but Long Bright River proceeds more like a family drama. The slower pace draws you into Mickey’s world of being a single mom and police officer while the flashbacks build a relationship between the sisters. Moore does an excellent job slowly revealing layers of her story, building connections that interlock in surprising ways. While the ending has some action, the story’s strength lies in the characters making this a thoroughly enjoyable read.
Book of the Month – January 2020 Selections
Receiving my blue box from Book of the Month Club is a highlight of every month.
Here’s how it works – each month, they pick 5 books and you get to choose one book or skip until the next month. If you want to add any extra books, then you get them at a discounted price.
Each month is usually a mix of new releases and advance copies of unreleased books. If you are interested in joining, you can use my Book of the Month Club affiliate link to get a discount on your first book!
Here’s a look at the January Book of the Month selections.
The Most Anticipated January 2020 Book Releases
One of Us is Next
Karen M. McManus
Although the book cover of last year’s standalone novel Two Can Keep a Secret seem to be marketed as one, this January 2020 book release is the actual sequel to One of Us is Lying. Since Simon’s death has left a gaping hole in Bayview High School’s gossip circuit, a new Truth or Dare game has sprung up with dangerous consequences.
In Mexico, bookstore owner Lydia is charmed to meet Javier, a man who shares her taste in books, only to find he is the local drug lord. When her husband exposes Javier’s secrets, the wrath of the cartel falls upon her family. Lydia and her son Luca must flee from his wrath – all the way to American soil. Of all the January 2020 book releases, I’m most excited to read this one.
A Long Petal of the Sea
Fleeing the Spanish Civil War, pregnant widow Roser marries her brother-in-law out of necessity. Starting over in Chile, Roser and Victor find a way to make work a marriage neither one wanted. I always love a good multi-generational family drama, so I know this January release will be right up my alley.
A Heart So Fierce and Broken
Last January, Brigid Kemmerer’s A Curse So Dark and Lonely emerged as a favorite new Young Adult Fantasy series. Now Brigid Kemmerer is back among the January 2020 book releases with book 2 in her Beauty & the Beast retelling. Although the curse is now broken, troubles are not over for Prince Rhen. Rumors are spreading that Grey is the true heir of Emberfall. Where exactly does Grey’s loyalty lie and what is he willing to do for the good of the kingdom.
Light Changes Everything
Nancy E. Turner
Author of the bestselling novel These Is My Words, Nancy Turner returns with a new spin-off of her Sarah Agnes Prine series. In 1907, Mary Pearl, niece to Sarah Agnes Prine, dreams of finding a love like Mr. Darcy. She briefly courts a wealthy suitor before attending Wheaton College. I have no idea if this January release can live up to the original, but I’m willing to give it a try.
What January 2020 Book Releases are You Most Excited to Read?
What books can you not wait to get your hands on this month? Did I miss any January 2020 book releases that you are anticipating? As always, let me know in the comments!
More New Book Releases:
I cannot wait to read American Dirt, although I’ll have to wait a little while since I’m on a buying ban for January. I’m also looking forward to Big Lies in a Small Town – I’m thinking this one is going to be right up my alley and have an ARC to get to soon.
I’m also super excited to read American Dirt. I decided the blog can afford a small book budget, and this might be the first title I buy.
CJ | A Well-Read Tart says
Sadly, nothing here really intrigues me. BUT I saw the cover for The Sun Down Motel, which I am very excited for since I love Simone St. James. 😀
Sheree @ Keeping Up With The Penguins says
I’m keen for American Dirt – I heard it was this century’s The Grapes Of Wrath, and I was sold! My copy is on its way to me right now and I’m super excited I also just finished Such A Fun Age, which was a great read, and so timely!
I debated including Such a Fun Age, but since it technically came out in 2019 (Who publishes a book on the last day of the year?) I decided to leave it out.