This was a shitshow of a year, let’s be honest. But I read some absolutely amazing books! In total I had 21 five star reads (out of a total of 78 books) which isn’t too shabby! I spent some time trying to pick my favourite of the year but I really just couldn’t. These four all stood out above the rest but I couldn’t pick between them all. So instead, you get all of them, along with why I loved them and a link to my full review of them if you wanna delve more into my thoughts. Also, these are in no particular order. Well they are, but it’s just date order from which one I read first in the year to last. But I honestly cannot pick between them. So let’s get into the list!
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
This book took me so long to get through, and given that it comes in at over 800 pages I don’t think anyone blames me. But oh. My. God. Did I LOVE this book!!! I have a blog review of it here, but I also ended up making a standalone video for this book (which you can watch here). That’s how much I loved it!
We follow multiple pov from different countries across this world as they discover more about dragons and about the other nations in their world. My favourite pov has to be Ead who is located in a royal court as a spy for a religious group as also as a protectorate of the Queen, but I loved reading from everyone’s perspective.
With dragons, Sapphic love, fighting and feminism (and Shannon’s gorgeous writing), well what more could you be looking for?!
The Deep by Rivers Solomon
This book is one I kept seeing recommended through the end of 2019/beginning of 2020 and it sounded so utterly fascinating that eventually I just had to pick it up .
We follow Yetu, who holds all of the long term memories for her race of mermaids who live in Atlantic Ocean, descendants of enslaved Africans who had been tossed overboard on their passage to the United States. These traumatic memories would be too much for the populace to bare, so instead they allocate a historian to remember. This is Yetu. But these memories are traumatic for her too, and in trying to escape the pain they cause her, she flees to the surface.
This is an incredible book that I flew through and never wanted to put down. Check out my full review here.
Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Cafe by Toshikazu Kawaguchi and translated by Geoffrey Trousselot
The second book in the renowned series, we all knew I would be picking this one up in 2020 after having loved the first book in 2019 (my review of book 1). And unsurprisingly I adored this book.
The main setting of this book is a coffee shop where there’s rumours you can travel back in time. But you have to drink the coffee before it gets cold, or you’ll never come back. Following on from the first book, we follow some new characters, but also some familiar faces from the coffee shop as we learn more about the café and it’s history. (full review)
Trousselot does a beautiful job as this book is absolutely gorgeous in its prose and I’m so excited for them to translate book 3!
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
The wonderful Kari from Kari-ng for Books sent me this as a gift and I am so so grateful, she’s gifted me the entire series and I’m so excited to get to the rest of the trilogy!
Following Mia as she enters the Red Church, an unusual school for an unusual student. Already skilled in various disciplines from her time with a tutor, she is now up against the best. Only some of them will survive, and she’s determined one of them will be her. She must avenge her family.
This is an incredibly dark book filled with so much intrigue and magic that you’re gripped the whole way through. Every page is saturated with knowledge and I adored the footnotes from our narrator! Full review here.
And these were my four favourites of 2020, I really couldn’t pick between them in the slightest but I adored them all. One thing I did notice was that they are all fantasy books, I’m really delving back into my fantasy roots at the moment after having a few years of reading more widely round the genres and to be honest? I’m loving it! I’m hoping there are some absolutely amazing 5* fantasy reads waiting for me in 2021!