HAPPY NEW YEAR, FRIENDS! 🥳
Sorry I’ve been a bit MIA over the last week. My desire to do the absolute bare minimum took over and I’ve done nothing but read (and game) since my last day of full-time work on Wednesday! It’s been grand but okay, it’s time to hop back on the horse! In my typical disorganised fashion, I’ve saved up all the “ending 2020″/wrap up posts for the first week of January, so if you’re sick of looking at wrap up posts now is the time to quit reading 😅
The End of Year Book Survey was originally created by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner. It’s a bit of a long one and when I did this for the first time in 2019, I split it into three parts, though I think for 2020 I’ll split it into two (combining two and three as they’re shorter)! On that note, let’s dive straight in:
Number of Books Read: 160
Number of Re-reads: 2 (Scythe, Thunderhead)
Genre(s) You Read THE Most From: Young Adult Fantasy, Romance
Best Book You Read in 2020?
I’ve been thinking this over a fair bit since making my top ten favourites but after some thought, I think the best book I read was The House in the Cerulean Sea.
Book You Were Excited About &
Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Oh, it pains me to say it but… Kingdom of the Wicked. I did enjoy parts of it and gave it ★★★ but I thought I’d for sure love it, and then ended up feeling on the fence about it. I’m pretty sure this is more “it’s me and not the book” though because I also ended up feeling “so-so” about SJTR.
Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
One of my December reads was the non-fiction Bad Blood and even knowing how praised it is, I was surprised by how I sped through it. I’ve got a mixed relationship with NF as most of the time I find them a bit of a slog to get through but I devoured this book in a span of 8ish hours? It was intense. It was amazing. I would definitely recommend it (especially the audiobook)!
Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
I think it’s a tie between two books and they’ll come as no surprise either. Plus, I don’t know if I’d say I “pushed” people to read them and also, I doubt it was me who convinced them to read them in the end? 😂 But I didn’t stop raving about both The House in the Cerulean Sea and Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow and often highly recommended them!
Best series you started in 2020? Best Sequel? Best Series Ender of 2020?
Oof… The best series started is so freaking hard to pick because there were so many that I started and absolutely loved this year… How am I supposed to choose?! 😩 I think I’m just gonna have to go with the first
one two three (cough) that popped into my head and that’s The Poppy War, The Kinder Poison and Amari and the Night Brothers. (I’m sorry it’s so hard to choose okay!!!)
For best sequel I’m going with Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow, which is book two in the Nevermoor series! For the series ender, I’m choosing Unravel the Dusk because it was a really satisfying conclusion to a beautiful duology.
Favourite new author you discovered in 2020?
I don’t think I can just choose one for this because I read so many books by new-to-me-authors that it’d be really impossible for me to pick one. I refuse. So here are some of my new faves: T.J. Klune, Jessica Townsend, Talia Hibbert, Chloe Liese, Kate Stewart, Teagan Hunter, Devri Walls, R.F. Kuang, Zoraida Cordova, June Hur. Basically, these authors are or are close to being auto-buys for me! 😂
Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Hmm… I think I’m going to also pick two books for this one. The first is Bad Blood, as I already mentioned this was a fantastic non-fiction and I’d highly recommend it, especially if you like true crime. The second is Children. Although this is fantasy, it was pretty dark and different to what I usually read. It was definitely out of my comfort zone but Larssen’s writing and characterisation were exquisite!
Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
I think this one goes to Amari and the Night Brothers. This was packed with action from the go and it was an absolutely thrilling adventure from start to finish. It was so much fun and 100% unputdownable (for me), and I can’t wait for the world to experience its awesomeness when it’s out this month (Jan 2021)!
Book You Read In 2020 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
While I can pick more than one, I don’t tend to re-read very often so it’s gonna be With the Fire On High. Acevedo’s writing is so evocative and Emoni’s story was so beautiful and touching. Not to mention the recipes and all the talk about food made me crazy hungry. I definitely want to re-read it!
Favourite cover of a book you read in 2020?
I’m not even going to pretend that I can pick just one favourite cover because there were so many that were gorgeous and I refuse to choose ONE. 🤣 So, feast your eyes on some gorgeous covers:
Most memorable character of 2020?
Surprise surprise, I think I’m gonna go with… The cast of my favourite book this year! I loved Linus, Arthur and all the kids in this book. They won my heart big time ❤️
Most beautifully written book read in 2020?
Ooh, this one was a really tough pick but in the end I think Words in Deep Blue takes this one. This book was so deeply touching. It was beautifully written and made me feel ALL THE FEELS. It’s a gorgeous book!
Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2020?
These books really made me think a lot about history and the society we live in, especially with the murder of George Floyd. The Nickel Boys and The Black Kids are really important, impactful and timely reads that are so worth your time!
Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2020 to finally read?
I have a tendency to put off hyped books (or, well, many books but mostly hyped ones) because the hype is intimidating a lot of the time, but I was so annoyed with myself for putting off reading Well Met until earlier this year. It’s SUCH a great romance! The banter, the character development, the faire! I loved it so much and can’t wait to read the next book set in this town!
FavoUrite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2020?
“Words matter, in fact. They’re not pointless, as you’ve suggested. If they were pointless, then they couldn’t start revolutions and they wouldn’t change history. If they were just words, we wouldn’t write songs or listen to them. We wouldn’t beg to be read to as kids. If they were just words, then stories wouldn’t have been around since before we could write. We wouldn’t have learned to write. If they were just words, people wouldn’t fall in love because of them, feel bad because of them, ache because of them, and stop aching because of them.”Cath Crowley, Words in Deep Blue
Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2020?
Shortest: 56 pages (The Straw King)
Longest: 631 pages (The Toll)
Book That Shocked You The Most
It’s not just the brutality of certain scenes that shocked me in The Poppy War but I was also shocked by how much I loved it! This was definitely one heckuva dark read, especially as the story goes on, as Kuang does not shy away from the gruesome details of war. But it’s brilliant writing!
OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
Omg, why is this so hard? Lol I mean, there were so many wonderful couples that I would do this for like Ren & Frankie, Citra & Rowan, Meg & Reid, Yadriel & Julian, and Chloe & Red because I love all their loves… But I think Maia & Edan take the OTP cake this year! So swoon. *sigh*
FavoUrite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
I’m a sucker for the found-family trope and strong friendships, and there were some really great ones in the books I read this year but I have to say that my favourites were from Nevermoor. The relationship between Juniper and Morrigan and also the friendship between Morrigan and Hawthorne filled my heart with such joy and warmth. These relationships made me fall even more in love with this book/series!
FavoUrite Book You Read in 2020 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Vengeful. I love Schwab and I honestly wasn’t expecting to love Vengeful more than I loved Vicious because that book was *chefs kiss*. It was so great to come back to the devious characters I loved in the first book and I can’t wait to see what else Schwab has in store for these ‘Villains’.
Best Book You Read In 2020 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.
Get A Life, Chloe Brown/The Brown Sisters series has been hyped everywhere (blogosphere, bookstagram, book twitter, booktube) and y’know what? Even though I’ve only read Chloe’s story, I know the praise is so well deserved. The banter, the romance, the diversity, the disability rep, THE STEAMINESS *fans self*. Ooh, I can’t wait to continue the series!
Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2020?
Ryder from Only When It’s Us. Um, yes, hello. THIS GUY. Ryder had me from the beginning even at peak broody mountain-man mode. That gruff exterior but soft interior is such a weakness for me. But I loved the disability rep in this book (and the series overall). Also, there’s this scene that involves Ryder + Pride & Prejudice and oh my heart, how I melted and swooned! 😂
Best 2020 debut you read?
It’s honestly hard to believe that The Silence of Bones is June Hur’s debut because it is so beautifully done. I’ve never read a book set in 1800s Joseon Dynasty Korea but the writing made it so easy to picture the historical setting perfectly. The inclusion of the sociopolitical climate of the time was intriguing and the mystery kept me on my toes! Plus, this cover? I LOVE! 😍
Best World building/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
There are three books in the Venators series (so far) and Walls amps up the world building with each book we read and it’s done amazingly. I love that we get to explore so many different areas of this world in such great detail. It’s so easy to picture it all coming to life before my eyes and it doesn’t hurt that the characters and plot are fantastic as well!
Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
The Good for Nothings was such a treat to read and I’m so glad it got put on my radar! It had me laughing out loud so often because the characters, their banter and their many shenanigans were so entertaining. This was a fast-paced, action-packed space drama that I absolutely loved!
Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2020?
I’m just a *bit* of an emotional reader (read: a big one) so it actually isn’t that hard to make me cry 🤣 Haha what can I say, I’m weak with the emotions! The book that probably made me cry hardest was The House in the Cerulean Sea because FEELS, but also The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones, The Mountains Sing and The Poppy War made me pretty freaking weepy, too! 😅
Hidden Gem Of The Year?
I’m shouting four books that I really enjoyed reading this year (I gave all of them 4-5 stars) but haven’t seen a lot of on the blogosphere. I haven’t spent *that much* time on bookstagram or booktube so I don’t know if they were mentioned there, but I think all of these deserve much more attention: Tristan Strong Punches A Hole in the Sky, The Silence of Bones, The Puppetmaster’s Apprentice, and The Kinder Poison.
Book That Crushed Your Soul?
I really think it’s gonna be The Poppy War. I mean, this book just forking devastated me emotionally especially towards the end. It was… Wow. A lot. It was definitely worth it though! LOL
Most Unique Book You Read In 2020?
Oh, easily the biggest standout for this is Big Girl, Small Town. This was easily the most unique book I read in 2020 especially because it combines so many elements that tend to frustrate me in books, but instead I ended up loving this and the MC, Majella. I learned a lot about The Troubles and the simple, every day life in Northern Ireland. It also made me ridiculously hungry!
Book That Made You The Most Mad
(doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
There were actually a few books that made me quite mad this year and I loved all of them! I got mad at the blatant discrimination and bullying in these books, especially when it’s directed towards a child by the “adults” in the book. I wonder that I can still be surprised at the cruelty of humans when terrible and infuriating situations happen so often (even IRL)!
And that’s a wrap, folks!
Oof, despite all the crazy that happened this year, there’s no doubt that some really amazing books were read and many new favourites were discovered. I’m really hoping that 2021 will continue to be an amazing year for books and blogging! Stay tuned for part 2 & 3 of the End of Year survey which I’ll hopefully post tomorrow! 😉 Hope you’re doing well, taking care and staying safe, friends! ❤️
How was your year of reading? Did you do the End of Year Book Survey too? Have you read any of these books? Any favourites?
19 thoughts on “2020 End of Year Book Survey: Part I”
Oh I love this!! House in the Cerulean Sea was one of my absolute favorites this year! I had 11 I thought the best…and then 2 that split the top spot for me!!!
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It was definitely a great year for reading! There were so many great titles and it was so hard to pick/narrow down 😂 I’m just checking out your favourites video now and I have to read quite a few to read. I’m really looking forward to checking out From Blood and Ash and ASOWAR 😍
Amazing post Dini! I really need to pick up The House in the Cerulean Sea ASAP because I just know I will love it. Also Silence of the Bones sounds amazing so I definitely want to check that one out. Glad you enjoyed Poppy War, I agree on the brutality but it’s SUCH a good series. Hope your 2021 is bigger and better ☺️
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Thanks Becky! And YES, you really do need to pick up The House in the Cerulean Sea ASAP!!! It was so amazing and I think a very great way of kicking off your 2021 😉 Haha I’m looking forward to finishing The Poppy War series in 2021 and I know it’s going to absolutely slay my feels but we’re totally here for it 🤣
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Haha ok you’ve convinced me to bump it up once I get through this months ARC’s ☺️. It will absolutely slay your feels, but you’ll love it 😂
I’m glad Well Met stood up to the hype. I loved that book.
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I can’t wait to read Well Played! 🙂
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I adored it — maybe even more than Well Met!
I’ve just added like a bazillion books to my TBR! 😂🙈 Poppy War is definitely on my 2021 reading list!
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Haha YAY! I really hope you enjoy The Poppy War. It’s definitely a heavy read but wow, the writing, the characters, the story. SO AMAZING! I hope you enjoy it 🙂
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Amazing recap, Dini! Also, I totally get wanting to veg out and do nothing–just coming off an entire weekend spent in my pjs so…lol. Hope you have a fantastic New Year!
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