I know this post is coming a few weeks into January of 2020, but like, I was procrasting this post for so long! I am still in absolute shock that we are in a new year already and a freaking new decade, like dude, what the fuck? How did we get here?
Anyway, I have been seeing these types of posts everywhere on twitter as well as on BookTube and it inspired me to get my ass into gear and write my own. I decided to keep it to 19 books that I rated 5 stars and absolutely loved with a few 4.5 stars thrown in there because I really adored them also.
To ensure this post is not thousands of words long, I’m going to keep my thoughts/feelings on each book to a few sentences and if you want me to extend my thoughts on any of the books mentioned, let me know in the comments!
The books will be in order read; so chronologically – and then at the end of the post, I will write my top 5 of the year.
Let’s get started, friends!
1. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Even almost a year later, I struggle to find the words to adequately describe how this book made me feel. All I will say, all I can say, is that this book irrevocably affected me to the point that I sobbed into my mother’s arms in the aftermath of finishing it. It’s a book that has stuck with me ever since.
2. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas
The finale of the Throne of Glass series freaking killed me. I loved everything about the conclusion of this series. This series means a lot to me in the sense that it triggered my renewed love of young adult fiction back when I first started the series, thanks to my sister from another mister, Hannah. Kingdom of Ash was just a 1000-paged rollercoaster that made me sob uncontrollably (THAT SCENE WITH MANON’S THIRTEEN LIKE WHY), and I loved it so so much.
3. Your Heart is the Sea by Nikita Gill
I feel so much when I read Gill’s work and honestly, this collection was organised amazingly well and did so in a manner that was thematic and also portrayed the process of healing. The poetry was incredible, understatement, but I love when she incorporates space and the stars with survival and healing and self-love. It’s a beautiful collection.
4. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
When I first heard about this book, I think it was in 2018, I remember thinking HOLY FUCK YES I CANT WAIT THIS IS THE BOOK THE WORLD NEEDED.
And I stand by that claim.
This book will have you smiling, laughing, crying and gushing. It is absolute perfection. The writing is sophisticated, mature and hilarious. The characters, all of the characters, are unique and individual, who will take a piece of your heart. The way that the story builds, the way in which you witness Alex and Henry’s friendship turn to love, is fucking beautiful and one of the best hate-to friends-to lovers, I have ever read.
5. Death Note, Book I (v. 1-2), by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata
Light Yagami is one of my favourite anti-hero/villains of all time. His character is so freaking complex and the way in which Tsugumi Ohba has made me care for this little psychopath is mind boggling because I am so incredibly emotionally invested with Yagami’s story. I cannot wait to continue reading this series.
6. I Am Change by Suzy Zail
If there was one book I wanted you to take away from this post as a book that you must read, it would be this one. I wrote a full-length review for this book as part of the blog tour and I highly recommend you to read that. This book was incredibly powerful, it hit me so hard in a way that was more about being a woman and the ways in which women, especially women of colour, have to deal with the micro-aggressions and macro-aggressions of men. Many times I had to put the book down because it was incredibly intense and overhelming.
7. The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
So freaking cute and adorable with an important message at its core. Read it.
8. With the Fire on High by Elizabethh Acevedo
Elizabeth Acevedo is one of my favourite authors. At this point, she is an automatic buy type of author, that’s how much I adore her writing. This bookw as no different. I think for me, Emoni’s voice was incredibly powerful and her experience as a women of colour as well as a teen mum, was so complex and I am so happy that we finally have a young adult book that centres on this. It was beautiful.
9. The Perks of Being Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
All I can say is that this book is absolutely stunning. I read this for the first time in 2019 and I am both so happy that I read it last year but also I wish I read it when I was a teenager because it would have helped me understand my anxiety so much better. It was a beautifully written book that fundamentally changed me as a person. One of my all time favourites!
10. Heartstopper, v. 1 & 2 by Alice Oseman
SO FREAKING CUTE. This graphic novel series has my heart. I have already pre-ordered the third volume. I love the writing, the characters, the art – everything. It made me laugh, it made my cry – these characters own my heart and soul. I love them so much.
11. Sadie by Courtney Summers
I knew this book would be a five star read not even halfway through. It was phenomenal, absolutely breathtaking. Courtney Summers writes with no care to sugar-coat, no pretence; only the rawness of reality. For me, this book had such a punch to it because of the fact that it was not a story about some magical, fantastical evil beast that needed to be conquered. The villain/s were human, entirely human, who were the evil, the dregs, of our society. Men who kill, who prey on little girls, who abuse women, who are evil incarnate in a mortal, human, body. Again, this book has quickly become one of my all time favourite books. It was stunning.
12. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
This book honestly blew me away. It took me at least 100 pages to get fully absorbed into the story, but after the story got going, I could not put the book down at all. It was engaging, the cast of characters were interesting, the plot of great – I just love books about witches. And this was one of my most anticipated of 2019 and it did not disappoint!
13. Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini Singh
AAAAHHHHHHHH. Fuck. Nalini Singh just knows how to play with my heart. You all know I love Nalini Singh, she is one of my favourite authors and this book fucking killed me. I loved it. Elena and Raphael are my parents, I love them and I want to be a part of their family. DON’T JUDGE ME.
14. Archangel’s War by Nalini Singh
This book was absolutely fantastic. It was the book in which the big ‘battle’, so to speak, actually happened and it was so wonderfully written. Nalini Singh writes action like nobody’s business – it’s fast paced, thrilling, edge-of-your-seat freaking amazing. This would have to be one of my favourite books in this series, which is saying alot since I freaking love this series so much. It just hit harder and it also hit in a different way. Also the ending!!!! My heart.
15. Saga, v. 1-3 by Brian K. Vaughn
I HAVEN’T FINISHED THE SERIES YET I AM READY TO BE HEARTBROKEN. I love this comic book series so much, it captured my attention and my heart incredibly quickly. Love it!
16. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Darlington was my favourite character. He was a darling.
Do you get it?
I really freaking enjoyed this book. Although, HUGE TRIGGER WARNINGS, so definitely check out my review on Goodreads for those. Though this has recieved a lot of mixed reviews, I really enjoyed it. It was engaging after you go over the 160-paged hurdle, and the plot twists were awesome and I had a really good time reading it. I love Leigh Bardugo’s writing, so I think that is why I committed so fully to finishing this book, and I’m thankful that I enjoyed it as much as I did. I fully recongise its faults and the reasons people would not enjoy it, but I loved it. Alex was a really intricate character, that some may think would be boring, but I enjoyed reading from her perspective and understanding her personality and the way in which she regards the world and the people within it.
17. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH MORE THAN I ANTICIPATED.
I love it. I wrote a full length review about this book last week, so go check that out here. It was beautiful, a masterpiece, literary genius by the hand of a literary goddess. That’s it. Freaking gorgeous writing with incredibly flawed characters – it was a party. A party that my introverted, anxiety-ridden self actually loved. Read it!
18. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
What do I say about this heavenly book that will give it justice? The way Oscar Wilde writes absolutely blew me away – it was immersive and powerful as well as engaging. It would have to be one of the most engaging classics I have ever read. I am so happy that I read it and I want to thank the beautiful Ash at iinktrialss for inspiring me to read one of her favourite books because this book affected me more than I can properly articulate.
Because of the fact that it was written in a specific time period, there are so racist and sexist comments – which is why I rated it 4.5 stars.
19. Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno
I was surprised at how much I actually thoroughly enjoyed this novel? I borrowed it from my local library on a whim and I fell in love. I think overall, I enjoyed how magical it was, I loved the characters and the way it was centred on family, I loved the diversity and the ending of the story was phenomenal. I did write a mini-review on Goodreads that you can check out.
We’ve reached the end! If I have to say my top 5 of the year, they would be: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, The Secret History by Donna Tartt, Sadie by Courtney Summers and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
Last year would have to be one of my best reading years! I read 162 books and I think my average rating was 4.2 stars. I hope 2020 is the same! That reminds me, what are you’re most anticipated books of 2020? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time, happy reading!
Lots of love,