Let’s start off by addressing the enormous elephant in the room – the fact that this post [which I’ve been teasing for ages] is WAY overdue. As in two months overdue. Whoops.
I think we can all agree that 2020 was a weird year and by the end of it, I just needed a break.
But, despite the fact that 2020 was an actual dumpster fire, today we’re taking a look back at all the books that saved everything. Because let’s face it, while the world went to
shit, we were graced with some truly amazing books. Some got me through quarantine, others through post-lockdown exhaustion.
Anyway, without further ado, let’s celebrate the best books of 2020…
Best Book of 2020 – Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
Why I loved it: Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood marks Sarah J. Maas’ maiden voyage through adult fiction and urban fantasy. It’s a sprawling, complex novel of epic proportions that blends urban fantasy with a murder-mystery/buddy-cop twist. Not only did I leave Crescent City with a serious book hangover [one that I nursed for weeks] but I lived for the sheer amount of cursing and swearing. Crescent City is a masterpiece
Best Standalone of 2020 – Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson
Why I loved it: Journey to the River Sea is the sort of book they should teach in school. Not only is it gripping and compelling, but it’s practically guaranteed to spark an interest in the Amazonian Basin. Boasting a diverse cast of eccentric characters, Journey to the River Sea is a sweeping adventure along the Amazon, River reminiscent of classic adventure novels.
Best Classic of 2020 – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Why I loved it: A Christmas Carol might have made this list by default [it was the only classic I managed to read in 2020] but it’s still one of my favorite books. One that I read every Christmas. The story of Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim inspires us to rediscover the true meaning of Christmas. It’s a story about hope, love and charity, whose message of redemption is still very much relevant today.
Most Binge Worthy Series of 2020 – The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Why I loved it: The Lunar Chronicles have been on my radar for eons and Melbourne’s stage four lockdown finally gave me an excuse to splurge on those gorgeous hardcovers. And I’m glad I did because the Lunar Chronicles literally saved quarantine and provided the perfect adventure to keep me distracted. This series takes our favorite fairy tales but adds a futuristic, science-fiction twist. The stakes are high and the action full-throttle [even if the whole plague thing was a little too soon].
Favorite Book Couple of 2020 – Edward Cullen and Bella Swan, Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer
Why I loved it: I had seriously high hopes for the long awaited Midnight Sun and it did NOT disappoint. I mean, returning to this world twelve years later with was such a gift and an emotional experience I’ll never forget. Midnight Sun is basically Twilight reimagined from Edward’s perspective. The tone is decidedly darker, drawing on the myth of Hades and Persephone. Basically, Midnight Sun is a gift to the Twihards and it was well worth the wait.
Best Romance of 2020 – Well Met by Jen DeLuca
Why I loved it: Well Met is my newest favorite Rom-Com. It’s sinfully addictive and more than a little steamy featuring a delicious in-character flirtation at a Renaissance Faire. But romance aside, Well Met has substance. Emily is very much a young woman struggling with trust issues, hot off the heels of an abusive relationship. It’s a charmingly wholesome story about home, family and finding your feet.
Best Fantasy Book of 2020 – Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin
Why I loved it: At this point, I’m probably the last person alive to read Serpent and Dove. What can I say? I’ve never been one to follow the hype train. But Serpent and Dove was PHENOMENAL. Dark and complex, Serpent and Dove explores ignorance, prejudice and tolerance with some seriously heavy religious overtones. There’s violence, sex, swearing and a whole ton of badassery.
Best Science Fiction Book of 2020 – The Other Side of the Sky by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Why I loved it: I’ve still yet to write a complete, coherent review for this book because there are no words to properly do it justice. I mean, the romantic tension! The adventure! THE FREAKING BINDLE CAT! The Other Side of the Sky is such a vivid and immersive reading experience – a seamless blend of science fiction and fantasy. Basically, past meets future and worlds collide when Nimh, a living goddess meets Prince North – a boy who literally falls from the sky.
Best Re-Read of 2020 – The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Why I loved it: I’m pretty sure we all know that I have a complicated history with this series. Originally, I downright LOATHED The Cruel Prince. And yet, I always knew at some point I would give it a second chance. Now, here I am swallowing my pride and admitting that The Folk of the Air has wormed it’s way into my favorites because I freaking LIVED for these books. The character’s are deliriously complex and morally grey, the world is brutal and lush and I’ll probably be re-reading it again in 2021.
Worst Book of 2020 – Crave by Tracy Wolff
Why I hated it: Sigh. Okay, I admit I was totally sucked in by that Twilight-esque cover. Say what you want about this book but the marketing team knew what they were about. But Crave is easily one of the worst books I’ve ever read. And I’ve read some questionable books. Which is why I honestly can’t understand the hype surrounding this series. There’s nothing original, the prose reads like a twelve-year-old’s fanfiction and the pacing’s super choppy. Suffice to say, I won’t be picking up Crush.
Anyway, I know it’s late but let me know what books saved your 2020 in the comments below. Happy reading and good luck with your 2021 TBRs!