Escaping reality through fantasy books

These 2020 Fantasy releases offer a distraction from the chaos of our world.

Novalea Verno, Co-Editor-in-Chief


The covers of each book.
Photo by Amazon.

With the uncertainty of the election, high political tensions, the threat of an invisible virus and so much more, our world has become a scary place to live in. The unknown future has caused a lot of anxiety among people and a yearning to be anywhere else but in today’s time. Luckily, escape is possible. Books offer people a chance to escape from the stress of modern-day life.  The fantasy genre is a favorite during this season because of the genre’s reputation for creating worlds much different than our own. Below are a few 2020 fantasy releases perfect to read when all you want is a break from reality.


“The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” by V.E Schwab is a book that gained a lot of hype prior to its release. The hype is still going strong as readers continue to rave about this story. This novel begins in 1714 France. Addie LaRue is a young woman in a desperate situation. She makes a bargain that gives her the ability to live forever but leaves her with a curse that makes everyone she meets forget her. The story follows her 300 years later where suddenly a young man working in a hidden book store remembers her. This novel is one of the darker ones on this list. Trigger warnings include attempted assault, abuse, loss of a loved one, depression and suicidal thoughts.

“This is the first book by V.E. Schwab that I’ve given five stars to, and I’m not sure a day has passed since reading that I haven’t thought about it…. this story, this main character, and the way everything was structured just really worked perfectly for me and my reading tastes,” said Goodread’s (a book review site) user Melanie.


“A Deadly Education” by Naomi Novik appeals to lovers of stories about magical schools and fighting evil. This novel follows a school for the magically gifted. El is a student at this strange school. Where other schools focus on academics this school focuses on survival. Students aren’t allowed to leave. There are no teachers or holiday breaks. The idea of friendship is a foreign concept. It is every man for himself. El possesses a strange power that could easily kill the monsters roaming the school… and all the students.

Goodread’s user, Nilufer Ozmekik, described this book as, “Hogwarts meets Deadly Class’ world-building with sassy, smart, humorous vibes… snarky, grumpy, sarcastic queen as a heroine and a clueless hero walking between the lines of being irritating and hysterical.”


“The House in the Cerulean Sea” by T.J Klune is the perfect book if you’re in the mood for a sweet read that leaves you feeling warm and happy. The novel follows a Case Worker for the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. Linus Baker lives a quiet and lonely life. His solitary routine changes drastically when he is assigned by Extremely Upper Management to a classified assignment. The assignment leads him to travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage to “check up on” six dangerous children: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian and the Antichrist. He is also tasked with making sure the caretaker, Arthur Parnassus, is capable of handling these misfits. What Linus wasn’t expecting was for Arthur to be charming, the children to be so endearing and for him to start questioning whether he wants to be lonely all his life.

‘The House in the Cerulean Sea’ is a nonstop pleasure. It flooded every corner of my mind with delight and warmth and made me feel reassured and nourished in channels of my heart which had stood scraped dry for weeks. It’s a feeling I wish I could put in a bottle to carry it with me through the dark,” wrote Goodread’s user Chai.


“To Sleep in a Sea of Stars” by Christopher Paolini is a sci-fi/fantasy hybrid. This book follows a girl named Kira as she discovers an alien relic while doing a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet. Kira is launched into an adventure she didn’t plan for as she tries to maneuver war and the force threatening humanity. This book is full of adventure, incredible world-building and of course aliens. 

“I really fell in love with this book! I love sci-fi, aliens… I loved the atmosphere the book gave off, no pun intended! There is something different in this author’s approach to first contact. A fresh new concept. Wonderful characters and [an] exciting plot. The ending was heartwarming and emotional,” wrote book reviewer Montzalee Wittmann.


“Woven in Moonlight” by Isabel Ibañez turns political fantasy on its head with this enthralling tale of courage and revenge. Ximena is a decoy- a stand-in for the last Illustrian Royal, Condesa. She also has the ability to weave moonlight. When the tyrannical Atoc demands Condesa’s hand in marriage, Ximena takes her place. Ximena uses this as a chance to search for a deadly relic Atoc is rumored to have carried. As she hunts for the relic using her magical ability, she is challenged by a masked vigilante, a warm-hearted princess and a healer. The only way to overthrow Atoc challenges her loyalty to the Condesa and her people.

“Such a unique story with lovable and interesting characters. I love how strong the lead character is! I read A LOT of YA books and some seem to just tell the same story over and over again I get so bored. This was NOT the case here! Woven in Moonlight creates a vivid and interesting world different from what I’ve read before,” wrote Sam Robinson.


If none of these sound right for you do not fear. There are millions of books out there to explore. Find one that fits you best and enjoy your brief escape into a whole new world.