Oh boy, it’s the end of the year. And what a year it was… But let’s not dwell on that part of the past too much, let’s look back at my reading of 2020. Honestly, it’s been a good year for reading, if I say so myself. I surpassed my reading challenge by a lot and I read a lot of amazing books. Today I am going to share some highlights with you, via Jamie’s (The Perpetual Page-Turner) End of the Year Book Survey.
Number Of Books You Read: 270
Number of Re-Reads: 66
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy (96)
1. Best Book You Read In 2020?
I actually made a list of twelve books, one for each month of the year, because I can never pick just one favourite book (though maybe this year there might be one that is my nr. 1).
The Creeping Shadow and The Empty Grave by Jonathan Stroud, The Rise of Kyoshi by F.C. Yee, Aru Shah and the Song of Death by Roshani Chokshi, The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury, Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, Radio Silence and Loveless (my potential nr. one) by Alice Oseman, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab, Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger, Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria and Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson.
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
I’d been hearing amazing things about The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty – people absolutely loved it, I hadn’t seen a single bad review for it. Then I read it (or rather listened to it) and I just didn’t love it that much? I still gave it three stars, which is, of course, a good rating, but I had been expecting to give it a full five stars. Still not sure if I want to finish out the series.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
For me, I guess this one would be The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. It’s a mystery book but there was quite a focus on romance in this book as well, which I had not really expected and normally I don’t like books like that. But I loved this book and will definitely pick up the sequel, even if that one is more romance focused than this one (no idea honestly, we literally just got the title and release date for it).
4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
The three books that come to mind are The Inheritance Games (Jennifer Lynn Barnes), A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (Holly Jackson) and Loveless (Alice Oseman); three books I read this year and have been telling my friends to read as well.
5. Best series you started in 2020? Best Sequel? Best Series Ender of 2020?
I had to really look to see which series I started this year because I’ve been trying to not start as many series anymore (I failed) but I think the Good Girl books by Holly Jackson have been both the best starter and sequel I’ve read this year. As for series ender, I finished the Lockwood & Co books this year and I only cried a little bit…
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2020?
I discovered N.K. Jemisin, Holly Jackson, Jessica Khoury, Kate Alice Marshal and Roseanne A. Brown this year – I loved the books I read by these authors and will definitely read more books by them.
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
I’m going to be boring and mention contemporary books again – I read Radio Silence and Loveless by Alice Oseman this year and while I really do not enjoy contemporary, generally, I loved these two books partly because they have aspec characters in them (RS has a demisexual character and the main character in Loveless discovers she’s aroace).
8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
In October, I finally picked up Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria, a book I bought at the beginning of 2019 (because of the asexual rep, literally only because of that) and when I finally read it, I just couldn’t put it down. I love discovering amazing standalone fantasy books!
9. Book You Read In 2020 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
One of the books I definitely want to reread next year is Loveless by Alice Oseman, solely because I want to annotate it. This book made me cry so many times because I could identify with the main character so much, I just need to annotate my copy.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2020?
Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust hands down has the most gorgeous cover. I own the Fairyloot edition of this book, which is pink instead of grey and oh my gods that makes the cover look even more stunning!
11. Most memorable character of 2020?
Ever since I’ve read Ninth House, I’ve been thinking about Darlington daily. He lives in my mind rent-free.
12. Most beautifully written book read in 2020?
This one just has to go to The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab – I loved the way she wrote this book and I just couldn’t stop reading. I absolutely do not regret having two copies of this book now (I might resell one at some point in the future, but right now I just want to stare at them on my shelf).
13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2020?
14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2020 to finally read?
I mean it’s not been super long since it got released before I finally picked it up, but I wish I had picked up Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo the moment I received my copy. The bad reviews kind of made me hesitant, but I never should have doubted Leigh, because I loved it so so much.
15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2020?
“Give your friendships the magic you would give a romance. Because they’re just as important. Actually, for us, they’re way more important.” – Loveless (Alice Oseman)
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2020?
The shortest book I read this year, with only 9 pages is Leave the Window Open by Victoria Schwab. This was the little novella that came after the Dark Vault duology and was included in my bind-up of the two books.
The longest book I read this year, with 672 pages, is Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. This was a reread for me, and I still absolutely love these books.
17. Book That Shocked You The Most
18. OTP OF THE YEAR
Honestly, I think we didn’t get enough of Lucy and Lockwood in the Lockwood & Co. books. There was just a hint of something that was to happen but then the last book ended and I never felt more of an urge to pick up reading fanfiction. I don’t know if there is Lockwood & Co. fanfiction, but I need it right now.
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
20. Favorite Book You Read in 2020 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Let me stop mentioning one of the best series I read this year and mention The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud. He, of course, wrote the Lockwood & Co. series (here I go again) which I absolutely loved, but before that, he wrote the Bartimaeus series. I now own all four books and have read the first one, which I really enjoyed. Can’t wait to dive into the other three books!
21. Best Book You Read In 2020 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:
One of the books that was continuously recommended to me was The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend, which I finally read for Believathon in November. I really enjoyed it and will definitely continue reading the series! As I’ve mentioned before, I also read The City of Brass due to people constantly talking about it and recommending it, but that one I didn’t love as much, unfortunately.
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2020?
Again, I’ve mentioned it before – but Darlington from Ninth House lives in my mind rent-free.
23. Best 2020 debut you read?
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown is definitely the top one, other than that I can’t really recall if I’ve read any 2020 debut books.
24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
The Kyoshi novels by F.C. Yee just immediately transported me back to the world of Avatar and I loved being back there. I finished rewatching Avatar this year and have started Legend of Korra for the first time and I am just riding on that ATLA wave right now.
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
I read a book called Zeus is a Dick by Susie Donkin, which is a hilarious retelling of the Greek myths. I also read many of Rick Riordan’s books which always make me laugh out loud, as well as Mythos by Stephen Fry. I guess mythology books just exist to make me laugh (in a good way).
26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2020?
Well, do you have a moment? The Creeping Shadow, The Empty Grave, Ruin and Rising, The entire Hunger Games trilogy, The Last Olympian, The Hobbit, Crooked Kingdom, A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Tomorrow When the War Began, Gemina, Obsidio, A Killing Frost, Loveless, Darkness Be My Friend, The Mark of Athena, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, My Best Friend’s Exorcism, The Blood of Olympus, Beneath the Citadel, Rogue One, The Dark Prophecy.
But honestly, I’m ok.
27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
I read a book called Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti. I haven’t really heard anyone talking about it, but I got the ebook from Scribd and read it very quickly. I have since added both sequels to my Scribd library because I really enjoyed this book!
28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
I don’t have a soul but it was still crushed when I finished Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria. Some things happened near the end that I had not seen coming and it just made me sob in the middle of the night.
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2020?
I would definitely say that Thirteen Storeys by Jonathan Sims was pretty unique. It’s a book composed of thirteen stories that don’t really seem to have anything to do with each other until you start to see some small connections. I’m sure there are more books like that around, but this is one of the first I’ve read that is like that.
I also read Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick, which was told from two perspectives – one through normal storytelling, the other through images. I got through that 600+ page book within a day because of that storytelling.
30. Book That Made You The Most Mad?
A book that pissed me off that I rated only one star was Mayan Mythology by Bernard Hayes. I barely learned anything about Mayan myths because there was a lot of repetitive stuff and talk about other religions/mythologies throughout. That’s not how you write a mythology book.
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2020 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2021?
All of the Fairyloot books I got this year that I still haven’t read. I tried to participate in the readalongs Fairyloot organises each month but I just failed at each and every one of them. Next year, I am going to make an actual effort to participate!
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2021 (non-debut)?
I am very much looking forward to Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo, the second and final book in the Nikolai duology. Also, Jonathan Stroud is releasing a new book called The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne – no idea what it’s about, but it’s Stroud so I’ll read it anyway.
And of course, Sebastien de Castell is releasing not one, but two books about Ferius Parfax from the Spellslinger books. Way of the Argosi is coming in April and Fall of the Argosi comes out in October!
3. 2021 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
I’m usually not really up to date on debut novels coming out each year, but I have one on my TBR at the moment. The Reckless Kind by Carly Heath and the only thing I know about this book is that there is an asexual character. Other than that, I’ll see what comes on my path.
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2021?
I’ve already mentioned Rule of Wolves, but I’m also highly anticipating Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell, Aru Shah and the City of Gold by Roshani Chokshi, Bridge of Souls by Victoria Schwab, We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal, Heartstopper vol. 4 by Alice Oseman, A Psalm of Storms and Silence by Roseanne A. Brown and The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2021?
I hope to read more and buy fewer books. I currently have way too many books on my TBR, and I want to drastically bring that down nest year. Preferably to maybe 250 books in total (maybe even 100 ebooks & 100 physical books in total). We’ll see.
6. A 2021 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):
I’ve read three graphic novels that will be released in 2021 – Dryad, vol. 1 by Kurtis Wiebe, which I gave 3 stars; Delicates by Brenna Thummler, which I gave 4 stars; and The Tea Dragon Tapestry by Katie O’Neill, which I gave 4 stars as well. So yeah, I definitely recommend the last two. Dryad was alright, but personally, it felt too similar to Saga.
I also read Black Widows by Cate Quinn, which, according to Goodreads, has been released as an ebook in 2020 (and in Dutch, for some reason) but won’t be released physically until February 2021. I gave that one 4 stars.
And that concludes my End of the Year Survey for 2020! How did your reading year go? Did you reach all the goals you wanted to read?