I can’t believe we’re in February already and I haven’t yet shared my Top 10 Reads of 2020 – what an absolute travesty. January was a difficult month for me mental health wise so blogging was pushed aside – along with this post. 2020 was a great year in terms of my reading – and frankly, not much else. In 2020, I read 124 books covering a number of genres and authors. I’ve discovered that I am a massive fan of Fantasy fiction and read more than my fair share in 2020. It was quite difficult to choose my top 10 but I’ve narrowed it down to these amazing books. They’re not in any particular order – barring book 1 on the list, which was definitely my favourite of the year.
My Top 10 Reads of 2020
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong was actually one of the last books I read in 2020 – it was bought courtesy of my Fairyloot subscription and not only is my copy truly stunning, but the story itself was absolutely spectacular. These Violent Delights is set in Shanghai and follows Roma and Juliette, two members of opposing gangs. Sound familiar? You’d be right in thinking so as These Violent Delights is a Romeo and Juliet retelling. I’ve reviewed the book fully here if you want to hear more of my thoughts on the matter but the book was an easy 5* read and meant that I ended the year on an absolute high and was absolutely number one of my top 10 reads of 2020.
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
A definite close second. Another fantasy read following Tarisai, a young girl who has been cursed to kill the heir Crown Prince by her own mother. This book gave me feels that I’ve honestly not felt in a long time – beautifully and intricately woven, the story is absolutely phenomenal, it has own voices representation and is written by a POC author – plus there’s a cute little romance unlike the one I was expecting. I honestly finished this and felt like crying because it was over, it was that good. I’m DYING for the sequel already.
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
I don’t think there’s such a thing as a bad Matt Haig book and it’s fair to say that The Midnight Library is one of my favourites that he’s written so far. As is usually the case with all of Matt’s books, The Midnight Library is quite a heavy read, dealing with difficult themes. For those who require trigger warnings, this has suicide implications and drug use as two series themes. It focuses on Nora, a woman who truly believes that she has nothing more to live for. After taking a copious amount of prescription drugs, she finds herself in the Midnight Library, a place where she has the opportunity to change certain details of her life to see if she prefers that version of her life. A heartwarming and thought-provoking response occurs.
Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibanaz
Woven in Moonlight was a book that I bought on a bit of a whim for a buddy read – but alas, it’s made it into my top 10! I love a descriptive book that allows you to truly imagine everything that’s going on and this book is definitely that. Ximena, the hero of the story, is placed from birth as what is known as a ‘decoy’ condesa. When troubles are high, she travels to visit the Aroc in the Condesa’s place and finds much more than she bargained for there. This is one of those stories that you just have to read – the writing is beautiful and the descriptions are detailed enough that you can imagine everything that is going on exactly as it happens. The second book in the series, although not a sequel as far as I’m aware, Written in Starlight is released in hardcover on February 26th 2021 and I’ve already pre-ordered my copy ahead of the released – and needless to say, I can’t wait to see if it holds a light up to Woven in Moonlight.
Beach Read by Emily Henry
If you’re more of a fan of contemporary romances than you are fantasy books, then Beach Read by Emily Henry is the one for you. I received a digital ARC of this book and was over the moon to read and love this book – focusing on 2 authors both going through very different battles, the beach euphoria they were expecting was thrown completely up in arms. Augustus and January were at university together, and it’s fair to say that they didn’t like each other all that much. When January moves into a beach house owned by her father after his untimely death, the last thing she wants is to be next-door neighbours with Augustus – but you don’t always get what you want. My full review is posted here for your perusal.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
I love an enemies to lovers plotline and The Hating Game by Sally Thorne is definitely one of those. Lucy absolutely loves her job at a publishing house – except for the fact that, after the merger of her company with another, it means she has to work with Joshua Templeman. When a promotion at work that she’s a shoo-in for goes up for grabs, she finds herself competing with the one guy that she hates the most. Annoyingly, he’s VERY good at his job and her closest competition for the rule. Frustrated, they decide to make a debt – whoever doesn’t get the job, has to resign and from there onwards, chaos ensues. A must-read for lovers of cute contemporaries.
A Court of Thorns and Roses / A Court of Mist and Fury / A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
HOW did it take me this long to read this trilogy? I am honestly so disappointed in myself – but thankfully, I have rectified the situation entirely and I read the entire series in a matter of days in 2020, just in time for the new book that’s being released this month. I couldn’t possibly just like the one book – although if I had to choose A Court of Mist and Fury would absolutely be my favourite. This series is truly remarkable – expertly written with all the excitement and intrigue that you would expect from a fantasy series. Just read it – even if you’re not a fantasy fan. Just do it. You won’t regret it. Especially if you like a bit of the old smut.
After I do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Another contemporary romance book that I read and absolutely adored was After I do by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I’m a massive fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid and her books – arguably she’s my favourite contemporary writer at the moment and After I Do is definitely her best in my opinion. Another book I reviewed in 2020, After I Do follows Lauren and Ryan, a married couple who are on the verge of divorcing. Instead of putting that final nail in the coffin, they decide to take a year apart from each other with absolutely no contact, to see if that resolves the issues that they have been having and allows them to appreciate each other again. Anything goes – they can form new relationships, travel, do whatever they want to do; they just can’t actually speak to each other… But there are other methods of checking up on each other, of course. This book is an absolute tear-jerker – I cried, a lot, and I’ll be surprised if you don’t too.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
This book is quite a well-known one and I believe it’s going to be turned into a movie too – and rightly so! Where the Crawdads Sing was the last book I read before we went into the first lockdown – so naturally, lots of happy memories are attached to the book. Kya Clark, otherwise known as Marsh Girl, has been an intriguing and mysterious figure on the North Carolina coast and she’s often scapegoated where the blame may not have lain with her. When popular and handsome Chase Andrews is found dead – murdered, even- immediately the public eye falls on Kya. Particularly when it’s made apparent that she and Chase may have been more than just friends. A whodunnit with a twist and most beautifully written.
Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco
Another back-end-of-2020 read courtest of Fairyloot – they don’t half smash it with their choices, do they? Kingdom of the Wicked is honestly phenomenal – set in Italy (Sicily, specifically) the story follows Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria, streghe, or witches, who are completely inseparable. When Vittoria is murdered (not a spoiler! this is in the blurb!), Emilia finds herself needing to do absolutely everything possible to avenge this death – even if it means summoning one of the Princes of Hell. Truly spectacular and another one that I’ve already pre-ordered the sequel for. I’m PRAYING that Fairyloot does another special edition for this release. Order it now; an easy addition to my top 10 reads of 2020.
Have you read any of these books? Let me know what your Top 10 reads of 2020 are in the comments below!