• obsessedwallflower

Top 10 books I read in 2020

This was the year I read the most in my life (76 books in total) but a lot of them were great books that didn't really stand out. That said, I found some all-time favourites and I can't wait to share those with you. If you want to see a round-up of every single book I read this year and their rating, you can go to this blog post, but here's my top 10 favourites, the creme de la creme if you will. Even though narrowing down a top 10 was relatively easy, ranking them wasn't as much, so take this ranking (particularly the top ones) with a grain of salt. These are all books that I loved and will stay with me for years and years.

10) Such a Fun Age, Kiley Reid


I struggled with this last spot because there were a lot of books I enjoyed the same, but I decided to go with this one because it's the one I kept thinking about and think more people should read. This is a story mainly about performative activism and white people believing they can "save" black people. The story sucked me right in, the characters felt like real people and the writing was beautiful, I'll definitely read every book Reid comes out with.


9) Nevernight, Jay Kristoff (Nevernight #1)


This is exactly the dark, assassin filled story I wanted. We follow Mia as she's training to become an assassin to get revenge on the people that killed her father. I was dying to read this and it did not disappoint. I will say, the footnotes sometimes slowed the pace but the narrator was so sarcastic, I loved them. I also loved that Mia was a heartless bloodlust character because there aren't many out there that are not villains, and the writing was incredible. I'm dying to read the rest of this series soon and I think this was an amazing start to a hopefully great series.


8) The Bone Season series, Samantha Shannon (Books 1 and 2)


This will not be the only Samantha Shannon on this list, and for good reason. Samantha's writing really speaks to me and her debut series were my last reads of the year, making their way straight to my favourites. The Bone Season is a dystopian/fantasy series set in Scion, a totalitarian republic that deems clairvoyants to be unnatural being and hunts them down. The characters in this series are fantastic, the story is so big I still have no idea where it's going and in book two the plot gets so amazing I couldn't put it down. I would've included book three in here but I finished it on January 1st so, technically, not a 2020 read. Still, I can't wait for the next book in this series and for all the books Samantha writes next.


7) The Inheritance Trilogy, N. K. Jemisin


Another new favourite author this year was N. K. Jemisin. I wish I'd managed to read more books by her, but I did read the entirety of The Inheritance trilogy and I adored it. This is a fantasy series surrounding the relationship between gods and humans and it is simply brilliant. Jemisin manages to weave social critiques into a fantastical setting seamlessly, the characters are outstanding and the story is incredible. I'm hoping to make my way through her backlist throughout 2021. Her Broken Earth trilogy is way more hyped than this one but I urge you to read this, especially if you already love her writing. I have a full review of this series here if you want to know more of my thoughts.


6) The Final Empire, Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn #1)


If you ask anyone a high-fantasy recommendation, they'll say Brandon Sanderson. I finally delved into the Cosmere world (sadly only read the first book because I ordered the other in March and they arrived in October) and I'm here to stay. Even if this is a high-fantasy I think his writing is very approachable and great for fantasy beginners. This first book in set in The Final Empire and follows a group of allomancers trying to overthrow the government. I loved the magic system based on the use of metals, the characters were amazing and the plot was enthralling. I can't wait to finish this series and read all the books in this world, I might even reread this one beforehand because it was *that* good.


5) The Priory of the Orange Tree, Samantha Shannon


This is the root of all my Samantha Shannon love. Priory is an epic fantasy set in such an intricate world it's hard to explain in a few lines, but it's set in a world divided by religion and politics, and hunted by the possible return of the Nameless One, a mighty fire-breathing dragon that nearly destroyed this world a thousand years ago. This has one of the richest fantasy worlds I've ever read, amazing characters, a slow-burning romance to die for, lots of magic and lots of action. I have a full review up here if you want more thoughts, but this is a marvellous book with intricate writing that left me speechless.


4) The Poet X, Elizabeth Acevedo


Ever since this book came out I've been dying to read this, and I'm so glad I finally did. This is a novel written in verse and following Xiomara as she's exploring her slam poetry but having to hide it because she knows her mother won't accept it. I listened to this on audio and, though I believe this is the perfect way to read it because Acevedo is the narrator and she's a slam poet herself, I need to own this book, to mark down all my favourite quotes and reread it over and over again. I related to Xiomara so much, the writing wove its way into my heart, and I found myself just stopping whatever it was I was doing and deeply listening to this. I'll read all the books she's published to date and read all the books she publishes in the future. Beautiful beautiful beautiful.


3) The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas


I read this book at the very beginning of 2020 and I cannot tell you how much I loved it. This explores police brutality when Starr's best friend is wrongfully killed by a cop. It is a beautiful exploration of what it means to be black in the US, and it's a fictional story that feels way too real. It is heartbreaking and enraging because you know how true it is, and I really hope everyone reads this. Angie Thomas' writing is full of emotion and sucks you right in, so much so that I read this whole thing in one sitting. Truly outstanding, I can't wait for the prequel coming out on January 12th and I will absolutely read Angie's other book, On The Come Up, very soon. I have a full review here if you want more thoughts.


2) The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, V. E. Schwab


I feel like every time I talk about this book I say something different, but now I've had enough time to marinate over it. This is a story about Addie LaRue, who makes a deal with the darkness to live forever, but in turn, she's forgotten by everyone she meets. And then, 300 years later, she finds a boy who remembers her. I say that I change what I say every time I talk about this because, even though it destroyed me and I loved it, I know that objectively, it isn't that wonderful of a book. V. E. Schwab is my favourite author and I think her lyrical writing truly shines in this one, but this is a completely character-focused story. The only reason I loved it so much is that I saw all the dark parts of myself in Henry, specifically, and I felt understood and was brought to tears multiple times, but I recognise that this is not for everyone. If you want more in-depth thoughts, you can go read my review of this here.


1) Cemetery Boys, Aiden Thomas


If you follow me on Instagram, you know I haven't shut up about this book. That's because I loved it dearly and have yet to find a single fault with it. Cemetery Boys is about a transgender boy who wants to prove himself as a brujo to his family who doesn't accept him. To do that, he tries to raise a ghost from the dead and ends up raising the wrong one instead. This is a heartwarming, wholesome YA story, with amazing Latinx and trans representation and it should be read by everyone. I love that kids will grow up being able to read this book. I love these characters so much it hurts, the writing is outstanding and this made me cry and laugh and just shout from the rooftops "READ THIS BOOK". No wonder it was my favourite, and it was the easiest choice on this list.


I absolutely love looking back on my reading year and seeing which books were my favourite. I'm so happy about finding several new authors that have become staples for me and I can't wait to see which books make it to my top 10 in 2021. Let me know which books were your favourites this year.


Love,

N.


Xx


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