Well, it was a pleasure to say Goodbye to 2020 a couple of days ago but I have to say, my reading in 2020 was amazing. I read more books in a year than I ever have (since I was probably like 11 cause I started reading as a hobby again at age 18) and I read a lot of books I really enjoyed. Picking my favourites was really hard; if you’re ever curious of what other books I loved though, you can check out my shelves on Goodreads 🙂
Without further ado, let’s talk about my best books of 2020!
Top 3 Favourite Books of 2020:
Skyward by Brandon Sanderson is hands down a fantastic book. It was the first book in a long to get me hooked – like cannot put this down – hooked and gave me chills. It was an amazingly written YA fantasy and I’m super excited to read the sequel staring at me on my bookshelf right now. I’d highly recommend this book to anyone, especially if they love sci-fi like I do.
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson is honestly the book that inspired me to want to pick up every mystery/thriller book I laid my eyes on because it was so good. It was like Nancy Drews from my childhood but better. I couldn’t put this book down (and the sequel was just as good!).
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid was one of those hyped-up books I was scared to pick up. I read most of this on audio (amazing cast) but also read it physically and both were great experiences. I love this book so much and it was worth all the hype that it got, in my opinion, and Taylor Jenkins Reid is one of my top authors to watch and look out for in the future for their new releases cause this and Daisy Jones were total knockouts in the reading game.
Favourite New Author:
As I mentioned above, I love Holly Jackson’s Good Girl’s series and Taylor Jenkins Reid and Brandon Sanderson so those are obviously new favourite authors I’d read more from but another author I wanted to give special attention to – because none of the books I read of hers is on the rest of this post is: V.E. Schwab. I read A Darker Shade of Magic, Vicious and Vengeful this year and I LOVED them all. They were stunning books and V.E. Schwab quickly became a new favourite author. Her writing was stunning and the plot was well-executed with perfect timing, and it started to make sense as to why so many people call her their all-time favourite author.
Her next book on my radar is one of the most hyped-up books of 2020 – The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. I haven’t picked this up yet because I’m after a hardcover copy which hasn’t been released in Australia yet but that is my next read by this amazing author.
Favourite Re-Read: Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman
I adored Scythe, I adored Thunderhead and I loved it even more when I re-read Thunderhead this year. It was a buddy read with my SO; we are technically still currently reading The Toll together but my SO is in a slump so I’m screwed until he’ll pick up a book again. Long story short, LOVE this series, love this book in particular (total game-changer), love this author and I’d highly recommend this series!
Most Surprising Read: Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas
I read Catherine House for Yasminthereader’s book club and I was pleasantly surprised. I’m still putting together my thoughts for the review to come but I really enjoyed this book; it was addictive and mysterious. It really embodied my love for mystery, thriller and horror books and it seemed like dark academia got really popular in the community too.
Favourite Contemporary Books:
Daisy Jones & The Six was the first Taylor Jenkins Reid book I read in 2020 and it did not disappoint. I’ve loved books written in interview formats before but this on another level. Jenkins Reid wrote this so well I thought this group could’ve actually been real. The relationships, the plot, everything depicted felt real and enticing and I couldn’t put it down.
The Map from Here to There literally got me out of my blogging slump in early 2020. I read it, loved it, cried and I just had to talk about it and it was such a great sequel to The Start of Me and You (and I personally think that it’s better than its predecessor). It touched on a lot of mental health issues, coming-of-age themes and particularly anxiety that I could really relate to. It was beautiful!
Get A Life, Chloe Brown got on my radar as Talia Hibbert got super hyped-up in the book community and I really enjoyed it! It was such a cute and fun romance book and its made me really crave more romance books in 2021. I’m really hoping to get my hands on the sequels soon as well as Talia’s other books. It gave me everything I wanted and more.
Favourite Mystery Books:
The Disaster Tourist was a super short read I didn’t expect to enjoy so much. This was a strange mystery novel that was very thought-provoking and felt super intellectual like I wanted to write an essay about it because it was thematically interesting. The fact that it’s a book I still think about sometimes just emphasises its power and the messages the concept of this novel and the story conveys.
Favourite YA Fantasy Books:
Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody was on my TBR for SO LONG, that the series is already over and I bought it just as it came out years ago. I’m devastated that I slept on this book because it was stunning! It had such an intricate and interesting magic system and didn’t purely rely on explaining crazy card cards (which is why initially scared me cause I’m bad at card games). The sequel is one of the first books I’ll be buying in 2021 (whenever I start buying books again) and I’m very excited.
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong was probably my favourite ARC read of the year. Coming from a young debut Asian author, I felt so proud to be devouring every bit of this book. It was so digestible and interesting and didn’t put romance on the forefront of everything. The mystery, the 1920s Shanghai setting, the characters, the diversity, this book was amazing.
Favourite Adult Fantasy Books:
The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty honestly felt like one of the most hyped-up series this year and I finally got around to buying a copy for my birthday and reading it. To my lack of surprise, of course, I loved it. It was crazy and amazing and I really need the sequels in my hands but because it was so hyped, it’s been kind of impossible to buy (like Addie LaRue). Bookstores near me literally don’t have a copy for me, but soon I will acquire the rest!
House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas was an immediate favourite. The first of SJM’s adult books, I had to pick it up and I absolutely loved it. I’m SJM trash and love her writing style, her characters and how she can make me love these characters so much and make me cry. I’m highly anticipating this sequel and getting more thick books like this one from SJM.
Favourite Horror Books:
I almost forgot that I even read this book this year because it was the first book I finished in 2020 (started in 2019). Ninth House was a pleasant surprise from Leigh Bardugo because it was so distinctly adult compared to her previous YA books, but I LOVED IT. It was intricate, slow burn, scary and just super witchy and dark academia. It gave me the best ‘The Order’ TV Show vibes but way better when it came to execution. This sequel is highly anticipated and although it took about 50% of the book for me to get hooked, I’d still highly recommend it.
I may be a little biased because this was a friend’s debut novel but Helena was such a standout horror novella that gave me chills. The fact that it was so short yet so addicting made me crave more and this ghost-seeing protagonist honestly needs more love. The gothic atmosphere and setting did everything for me and made for a perfect October spooky read this year.
Favourite Graphic Novel:
I think that Nimona may be one of my all-time favourite graphic novels because it just felt like pure comic happy goodness with great humour. It made me chuckle and snort, the art style was adorable and the typeface was super easy to read. I wished I had read this book earlier and hope to purchase my own copy soon (this was a library book) so that I can reread it.
It is crazy to think that 2020 is over, I feel like I’m in slight denial but we did it. We made it through the year and I’m optimistic about 2021. I hope to read many more 5-star reads and discover even more amazing authors and stories.
What’s one of your best books of 2020? Did you love any of the books on my list?
Until next time,