Today’s New Year, New Blog post is going to be all about my favourite books of 2020. I read a lot of amazing books this year and I found it really difficult to just pick ten of them but I have managed to get it down however, I’m still not sure about the order so this list is not the final list. However, at this moment in time this is where I would place them at this moment in time.
10. Uzumaki by Junji Ito
So, coming in at number ten is a new to me author Junji Ito with Uzumaki. Junji Ito is a horror manga writer who creates weird and scary manga based on peoples fear but amplified. Uzumaki follows a town that becomes obsessed with spirals. It starts off with just a couple of people being consumed but eventually the entire town is overwhelmed by spirals.
I enjoyed this book so much; the art style was beautiful it really brought together the weirdness of the storyline. The story kept me wanting more and I read this in one big sitting I was that obsessed. The characters were really interesting to read about, and I cannot wait to get to some of Junji Ito’s other books in 2021.
9. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
Elizabeth Acevedo is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors. With the Fire on High was my favourite book in 2019 and now this one has become another favourite. Although this one was very different to With the Fire on High, I still loved Acevedo’s way with words. This book was written in verse which is a form of writing I had not experienced till this year but now I am obsessed with them. Clap When You Land follows two sisters that do not know the other exists. One lives in New York whilst the other lives in the Dominican Republic. After their dad dies in a plane crash, they discover each other exists and it sends their world upside down.
I loved the two sisters in this book; how they both had been brought up completely differently and their story of discovering how they are more similar then they realise. This book also tackles so many important topics that I think everyone needs to read more about. These characters and this story have stuck with me all year even though I read it all the way back in June.
8. The Diviners by Libba Bray
This is another book I read back in June and another one that I cannot wait to continue the series. The Diviners is set in the jazz age which is one of the reasons it is on this list; I love anything that is set in the 20’s era. The multiple perspectives really added to this book as you are following many stories that all come together eventually.
It was really interesting to see how they people with special abilities reacted and how they used their powers. I loved Memphis and Theta’s dynamic although they did not get nearly enough time together. The one thing I loved more than anything in this book is the atmosphere. The 1920’s jazz scenes, the dark and spooky elements at night especially the old mans whistling. That was the creepiest thing I’ve ever experienced.
7. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
I could talk for hours about this book. I had been so nervous and intimidated by this book that I did not pick it up for ages until lockdown gave me the full opportunity to fully invest my time into it. This book has so many points of view and it is a high fantasy standalone. I loved each and every character in this book especially Tané and Ead. This follows a kingdom filled with dragons where a dark force is returning. It focuses on a dragon-rider, a queen, a prioress, a professor and a nobleman.
I really want to write a full review of this book eventually. It was full of politics, war but also showing how everyone’s views are different and how people can come together in times of need. The thing I loved most about this book was watching relationships (not just romantic ones) form between characters and watching them develop. Of course, I also loved the dragons. The dragons were the best bit.
6. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
This is where my list gets a bit difficult to place. I loved this book. It’s all about the assassins and I love a good assassin book. It follows Mia a girl who’s gifted with shadows. She joins a keep of assassins where she must battle it out to become the best. I know the unusual writing style will not be for everyone, but I really enjoy the elements it added to it.
Mia Corvere is one of my new favourite characters of all time along with the no-cat Mr Kindly. She is vicious and on a road for vengeance and you’ve got to respect her for that. This book is bloodthirsty, character driven and just all around an amazing book. I can not wait to get into Godsgrave this year.
5. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
This book had me obsessed. I devoured it within a couple of days and then I sat and binged watched the TV series. It lives in my brain rent free. Harkness has created a beautiful atmospheric book with vampires and witches and various other creatures, and I love it. It follows Diana Bishop who was raised by her aunts after her parents were killed and is now a professor in Oxford. When she meets Matthew who she soon learns is a vampire she is pulled into the world of creatures she has tried to ignore for so long.
I think the thing I love most about this book is the setting. I love Oxford; my great nan used to live here and ever since I read this book, I’ve wanted to go back so bad. Marcus was my favourite character; he was witty and kept the story going altogether. The one thing I disliked about this book was the insta-love and how Matthew was a ‘little’ (a lot) overprotective at times otherwise I can not fault this book in my eyes.
4. The Beautiful/The Dammed by Renée Ahdieh
This series is beautiful. The romance, the setting, the story. I went into it with not many expectations, but I ended up adoring it. This is another vampire novel set in New Orleans in 1872 which follows Celine after she goes to New Orleans to join a convent. It’s there she meets La Cour des Lions and their leader Sébastien Saint Germain. After murders begin occurring it becomes clear that a serial killer is on the loose and is targeting the group.
This book is so atmospheric. The setting of New Orleans is so beautiful and dark it really brings the story together. The characters are so unique it really adds life to the story; Bastien is so dark and mysterious. Also, I loved how as a reader this book kept you guessing; you never knew what was coming next or when. It was all about the plot twists. I read both books back to back and I can not wait for the next book which will hopefully come out next year.
3. Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles
This book was the definition of my perfect book. It was Phantom of the Opera meets Moulin Rouge! I am a huge musical theater girl and Moulin Rouge is one of my ultimate favourites. The visual aspects of this book are beautiful, the description. This book is another book which is based around a competition; it focuses on finding the new headline act for a circus group in a city where magic is not as accepted. It follows three characters throughout all with different additions to the story.
Kallia who is a showgirl down to her soul, all she wants to do is perform and prove herself to the world. Jack, her old mentor who is attempting to get his star performer back despite lying to her all her life. Demarco, a judge of the competition who no longer can keep hiding who he is. This book is dark, mysterious and full of twists but also just a lot of magic. It’s one of those books you can read, and it makes you invested but also just happy whilst reading.
2. The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi
These last two I have been swapping and changing until I posted this blog post, but I think this is my final decision. This book is the second book in the Gilded Wolves series and this book started a few months after the tragedy in the last book. I do not want to say too much about it, but this book had me hooked from start to finish. I could not put it down. Unlike the last book which was set in Paris this one was set in Russia. I love snow. Everything about this. So, this really added to the enjoyment story for me.
I love the characters in this series. They are all so different and add so much to the dynamics of the story. They work so well together in the story especially the romances. Watching the couples grow and adapt but also how they cope with situations is so enjoyable to read about. My favourite characters must be Laila and Severin especially when they interact with one another. I can not wait for the final book in this series to be released at some point next year.
1. House of Earth and Bloody by Sarah J. Maas
This book was a masterpiece. The plot kept me hooked the entire time and I could not put it down. So many things happened in this book that I almost wanted it to be longer because it is so entertaining. The characters, the love interests and even the world building was done brilliantly. In this world especially the mix of medieval weapons such as swords yet the use of modern technology. The side characters especially are such a lovely thing to read about especially Lehabah and Syrinx; I would love both creatures for Christmas.
This book is full of fae, werewolves’ angels and demons, as well as a modern-day city setting. Bryce and Hunt are such problematic characters, but I am so here for it. The way Hunt is described as an ‘alpha hole’ but ends up watching TV and cooking with Bryce. Also, the enemies to lovers. This reminded me why this is my favourite romance trope. It literally had me so invested. Danika did deserve more time in the book, but I loved what to see of her character. Also, Ruhn. Ruhn just needed a big hug and I was so ready to give him one. I do not want to say too much about the plot because I can not say much without ruining the first third of the book, but I just think everyone should pick this book up. Even if you’re not a Sarah J. Maas fan there is something in this book for everyone.
So, this is my top ten books of the year. I had a really good reading year this year and I couldn’t fit them all in this list. Some special mentions are The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, which is a thriller novel, The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta which is a drag queen origin story written in verse and Crave by Tracey Wolff which is a vampire story set at a boarding school. I hope next year is just as successful for reading but I will definitely be rereading some of these some time soon.