Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good Christmas, mine was very quiet, as always, my family mostly spent the day eating and watching TV (I mean what else are you supposed to do at Christmas!). Cambridge is now in Tier 4 lockdown, so we won’t really be doing anything for New Year, just staying in and waiting for 2020 to be over!
Anyway, it’s Tuesday, which means another Top Ten Tuesday courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s the last Tuesday of 2020, and as always on the last Tuesday of 2020, I’ll be sharing my Top Ten (really twelve) favourite books of 2020. 2020 has been a dumpster fire year for almost everything else but I have read some really great books this year, so it will be fun to share them with all of you:
- Men Who Hate Women-Laura Bates-5 stars
My only 5 star read of this year (I’m super picky so don’t read too much into that, I’ve still had a lot of books I really enjoyed this year), I will definitely be reading more of Laura Bates’ books in the future, it was a really insightful, interesting and honestly kind of terrifying read. I mean you know that men on the internet can be creeps, but I didn’t realise the full extent of a lot of these extreme misogynist groups until reading this book.
2. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue-VE Schwab-4.5 stars
Would it be an end of year favourites list without at least one entry from VE Schwab? I don’t think so, she’s appeared on every single one of these lists since I started doing them in 2016 (incidentally the same year I started reading her books). Addie LaRue is a gorgeously written story, so emotional and I can honestly say it’s unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I cannot wait for Schwab’s next adult book, she always knocks them out of the park and I’m super excited to see what she does next (I’m hoping for Threads of Power!).
3. A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder (A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder #1)-Holly Jackson-4 stars
I’m so hard to please when it comes to thrillers, I rarely find myself being actually surprised by them? Basically Dangerous Girls set the bar way too high for truly shocking thrillers! But anyway, A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder was a really pleasant surprise for me, it was really well plotted out, the twists worked well and it was generally a fast and gripping read. I’m really looking forward to reading the sequel, hopefully next year.
4. The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1)-Roshani Chokshi-4 stars
Found family? Historical fantasy? Heists? This book ticked all of my boxes! The world building and the magic system were a tad confusing (which is why it’s not a 5 star) but I LOVED THE CHARACTERS SO MUCH and they had the best group dynamic. It also had a lot of humour and the plot with all the heists was really enjoyable. I’m so excited to read the sequel, it’s my #RockMyTBR challenge read for February and I’ve heard such good things already, I can’t wait to be back with Severin, Laila, Enrique, Zofia and Hypnos.
5. The City of Brass (Daevabad Trilogy #1)-S.A. Chakraborty-4 stars
I tore through all of the Daevabad books this year, but the first one was definitely my favourite, the world in this is super immersive, it definitely allowed me to forget about lockdown whilst I was reading it. The characters are also awesome, I loved Nahri and Ali so much. Also YES FOR CHARACTERS IN THEIR LATE TEENS/EARLY TWENTIES IN FANTASY, I NEED MORE OF THESE PLEASE.
6. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin #1)-Roseanne A. Brown-4 stars
The characters really made this book for me. Malik and Karina were really well drawn, especially Malik and his anxiety was so well handled and such an important part of the story which I really loved. Karina was messy and complicated and I really liked how Brown handled the “bratty princess stereotype” because she was so much more than just that. The magic system and world building were a little confused, and the plot actually moved a little too fast in places, but overall it was a really engaging story and I can’t wait for the sequel next year.
7. Cinderella Is Dead-Kalynn Bayron-4 stars
I’m not usually a Cinderella fan, but I loved what Bayron did with her retelling, I liked that she created something completely new with the Cinderella tale rather than just directly telling the same story with different characters. It was a really engaging story, I flew through it in less than two weeks (that’s fast for me!) and I can’t wait to read her next book, the cover looks gorgeous!
8. The Dead Queens’ Club-Hannah Capin-4 stars
Surprise, surprise, Tudor nerd Jo loved this book! It was super funny and filled with lots of wonderful Tudor Easter eggs and nods. Transplanting Henry VIII into a high school setting worked super well since the Tudor court probably had even more drama than your average teen drama show!
9. The King of Crows (The Diviners #4)-Libba Bray-4 stars
The King of Crows was a largely satisfying series finale book, the pacing was a little off in places and I would have liked to have seen more of the whole gang together but I do love the characters a lot and I was ultimately pleased by how things turned out (and I’m seriously hoping that ending means that there will be more Diviners books in future!).
10. The Lady’s Guide To Petticoats and Piracy (Monatague Siblings #2)-Mackenzi Lee-4 stars
I loved Gentleman’s Guide last year and was really excited for Lady’s Guide. I did really enjoy it, though not quite as much as the first one, the pacing wasn’t quite as good and I think Monty was just more funny as a narrator. Still there was a lot that I really did love about this book, female friendship was central, internalised misogyny was explored in a really interesting way, and it was super fun to read. I’m looking forward to reading the final book next year.
11. Night Spinner (Night Spinner #1)-Addie Thorley-4 stars
I’ve never read a Hunchback of Notre Dame retelling before, in fact I’ve not read the original, only seen the Disney film, but I really liked what Thorley did with it, she definitely made the story her own. The world is super unique, a kind of arctic tundra-esque setting and I really loved the main character Enebish and her development throughout the book.
12. Circe-Madeline Miller-4 stars
I’m a massive Greek mythology fan so obviously this one was great for me, Madeline Miller’s writing style is super gorgeous, I loved how she interwove different Greek myths into Circe’s story and at its heart, this is a story about women and power which is always something I’ll love. I definitely want to read Song of Achilles at some point soon because I’ve heard such good things about it.
So that’s it, my favourite books of 2020! What were your favourite books this year? Have you read any of mine? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments!
I’ll be back next week for my first Top Ten Tuesday of 2021, it’s our annual Most Anticipated Releases For The First Half of 2021 which is always a fun one to start the year with.
In the meantime, I’ll have more of my annual end of year posts over the next couple of days, my End of Year Survey should be up tomorrow and I’ll be posting my End of Year Check In on New Years’ Eve. Some of the stuff I’d planned to post this year will probably be transferred into January now, but that’s okay, I needed the Christmas break!