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Top 10 Books of 2020

It’s that time of year again! Would you believe this is the eighth time I’ve published a round-up of my top books of the year? I started in 2013 and have shared my top 10 annually ever since. Just in case you’re curious about my previous favourites, here’s a quick list of links to help you find them:

Top 10 Books of 2019
Top 10 Books of 2018
Top 10 Books of 2017
Top 10 Books of 2016
Top 10 Books of 2015
Top 10 Books of 2014
Top 10 Books of 2013

Sadly, 2020 was one of my worst reading years ever! I read 26 books, which is lower than 2019’s 34 and 2018’s 33, and significantly lower than the 46 I managed most years prior to that.

I’m forgiving myself though – it’s been a strange and challenging year, hasn’t it? I just haven’t had the right headspace to sit down and sink my teeth into a good book. I’ve read more books than ever before on the Kindle app on my phone, and I even listened to some audiobooks on Borrowbox for the first time.

Last year, every single book in my top 10 was a five star book for me. I read so many gems, so it was brilliant writing those up in my yearly round-up. This year, just five of the books I read were five star reads and I’m not even going to include two of them in this list because one was a reread (The Hunger Games) and one was a kinda niche parenting book (The Montessori Toddler) which I don’t think belongs here. Seven of my reads this year were three stars! Last year only four out of the 34 books I read were three stars, so it really hasn’t been the best year for books at all for me.

I’m going to stop being a negative Nancy and crack on with my top 10 books of 2020, in reverse order with number one being my absolute favourite of the year.

10. I Was Here by Gayle Forman

4/5 stars
A short, sad, sweet contemporary TA about an 18-year-old dealing with the guilt she is left with after her best friend’s suicide. Gayle Forman never disappoints.
Goodreads | Amazon

9. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

4/5 stars
Friendship, sexuality, self-acceptance. I really enjoyed this wholesome novel penned by two incredible authors.
Goodreads | Amazon

8. Flight of a Starling by Lisa Heathfield

4/5 stars
Oh goodness, this was sad. I loved these characters and the unusual circus setting, which felt well researched (but I’m no circus expert so others may disagree). I read it in just a few days and couldn’t put it down, but it broke my heart. It’s captivating, insightful and beautiful, but don’t say I didn’t warn you about the heartbreak.
Goodreads | Amazon

7. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

4/5 stars
This is the highly-anticipated prequel to The Hunger Games, unravelling the story of a young Coriolanus Snow. Honestly, it really could be better! It has some slow moments and feels a bit like a book for the sake of it, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I just wish it had a bit more of the action and adrenaline we came to love from The Hunger Games trilogy itself. I might even write a full review of this one just because I miss writing book reviews and have a lot to say about it!
Goodreads | Amazon

6. In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

4/5 stars
I read this on my Kindle app after downloading it for 99p in an Amazon sale. I had absolutely no clue what to expect from it and purchased it on a whim, but it really surprised me. It’s full of friendship and heartbreak and mystery, with a very slight fantasy twist to it. The story wasn’t at all what I expected, but I mean that in a good way! One for chick lit fans looking for something a bit different.
Goodreads | Amazon

5. The Enemy by Charlie Higson

4.5/5 stars
I really enjoyed this fast-paced, gruesome and kinda scary YA dystopian. The problem is this probably wasn’t the best year to read it – its storyline is a bit too close to home. A devastating disease has ripped through the world, killing everyone over the age of sixteen or turning them into something resembling a zombie. See what I mean? But really, it’s excellent and I can’t wait to read more of this six book series.
Goodreads | Amazon

4. This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay

4.5/5 stars
Incredibly funny and utterly heartbreaking in equal measures, this is a real eye-opener, especially considering current events. NHS workers are heroes.
Goodreads | Amazon

3. Vicious by V.E. Schwab

4.5/5 stars
Science, powers, villains and not-so-bad villains. Vicious explores what it means to be a hero. I thought this was going to be a five star read to begin with, but it was lacking a little something and suffers from a slightly slow middle. Don’t get me wrong though, I really enjoyed it and it definitely deserves a spot right up here near the top of this list. It made me excited to read more from this author, too.
Goodreads | Amazon

2. Unmumsy Mum by Sarah Turner

5/5 stars
Non-fiction doesn’t feature often on the blog, largely because I don’t normally read much of it, but this year I’ve taken a liking to it more than ever before. The Unmumsy Mum was a perfect read for me early in the year when I was still getting to grips with becoming a parent and was struggling with all the emotions. It’s laugh-out-loud funny and oh so relatable. It felt like chatting with a friend.
Goodreads | Amazon

1. Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Thunderhead Book Cover

5/5 stars
I absolutely loved this sequel to Scythe and cannot wait to read the trilogy’s conclusion. It’s dystopian with a high fantasy feel, which makes it both surprising and unsurprising that it’s number one for me this year. Dystopian often features in my top ten, but high fantasy is very rare. This is the perfect blend for me – not too much of a stretch of the imagination but an incredible take on what our future could look like if twisted far beyond what we know now. Mortality is now a thing of the past and only Scythes have the power to end a life. There’s an epic ending to this one that leaves your jaw on the floor, too.
Goodreads | Amazon

Honorable Mention

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge – I don’t want to rank this one because I just think everyone should read it. It’s educational, important and eye-opening, and was one of my five star reads this year. Find it on Goodreads and Amazon.

What was your favourite read of 2020?


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