The Best (and worst) of 2020

2020 was… a year. At this point, I don’t think any of us are upset that it is ending. Another good thing about 2020 ending is that everyone is wrapping up their year. And I don’t know about you but I love these end of year wrap up posts. So today I bring you my top and my bottom books I read this year!

The Best

1. These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

Is anyone surprised to see this one up here? As the only book to make me cry all year, my number one book has to go to These Violent Delights. It is just so amazing. You can read my full review here. If you don’t know about These Violent Delights, this is a Romeo and Juliette retelling set in 1920s Shanghai and it has everything. Enemies to lovers romance, roaring 20s setting, mysterious monster villain, hilarious, adorable, lovable side characters, and a badass female main character.

2. Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

Surprised to see this one? I don’t think I talk about Chain of Gold too much but I absolutely loved it!! I read it twice this year and I loved both times. Chain of Iron is my most anticipated release for 2021 and I cannot wait to get my hands on it! Chain of Gold is probably my second favorite Shadowhunters book, behind Lady Midnight. All of the characters are just amazing and I love them with all my heart, especially Anna Lightwood.

3. Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

I don’t think I talk about this one too much either, but I devoured this monster of a book in one day. It was soooo good. It’s told in mixed media format, which was so cool, and the story just gets more and more mind boggling with every turn. It was nothing like I expected it to be, but in a really good way. I still haven’t read the sequels because I am terrified they will not be as good, but they are at the top of my TBR for 2021. This is a sci-fi book about two kids whose planet is attacked and they are forced to flee. Cue high speed space chase mixed with intrigue, mystery, and just the right amount of sassy characters (I love Kady).

4. Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed

I also read this entire book in one day because I just could not put it down. Becky Albertalli is one of my favorite authors and she never fails to write the most adorable romances. This one was just amazing. Maia and Jamie are so cute and so perfect together and the political backdrop adds the perfect amount of tension to the story. Maia and Jamie are forced by their parents to go canvassing for the special election. Door to door. Like they have to knock on strangers doors and ask them questions (the horror). Anyway, I don’t want to spoil too much but please read this book!

The Worst

And now for the fun part.

1. The Wise One

It is no secret that I hated this book. I still consider dropping my rating to one star, but I did like some elements of the book so I’m going to keep it at 2 for now. This book started off so strong, and it just got weirder and weirder with every page. I talk about all the things I hated in spoilers detail on my Goodreads here. But to give you a taste of some of the weird: there was a horse in the lake, why? We don’t know. Also one of McKenna’s dads gets back together with her mom for no reason, seriously they had no chemistry, cheating on his partner, whom he did have chemistry with, by stripping naked and doing it with the mom on a public monument. Why? I have no idea. Does that feel homophobic to anyone else or is it just me? Please someone let me know. Anyway, I hated this. Moving on.

2. Girl, Serpent, Thorn

I really, really wanted to love this one and I was so upset when I didn’t. It started off so good, and then it just went downhill. I feel like nothing happened and it was so boring! The only thing that saved it for me was the romance, which was enemies to lovers and had so much chemistry. I rated this one 3 stars for that alone, although if it hadn’t been a f/f romance it probably wouldn’t be as high of a rating from me. But a lot of people loved this book, so if you want to try it please do. I am in the minority with this one.

3. All the Bright Places

I do not understand why people love this one so much. And how do people cry at it? Not a single tear was shed. I did watch the movie first, which may have tainted my experience, although I didn’t cry at that either. This book was so boring. The romance was the only thing that was happening, and there was no chemistry! I saw the ending coming from a mile away and I didn’t even care because I hated both of the main characters. I will never understand why this is considered one of the classics of YA.

And that is all for my best and worst of 2020! I would include a few others on the worst list, but I don’t think it is quite fair since I DNFed them, so I will be doing another post entitled “All the books I DNFed in 2020” So be on the lookout for that one! Thanks for reading.

What were your worst and best of 2020? Have you read any of these?

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11 thoughts on “The Best (and worst) of 2020”

  1. Ahh I just hauled These Violent Delights, so glad you loved it!! I’m so pleased to see Illuminae on the best list as well, I’ve heard a bit about the info dump but now am more encouraged to pick this up! Ah I spy a Jennifer Niven book, I haven’t read All the Bright Places but have read Holding up the universe and dnf-ed it 😦 Great lists Julia! 💞

    Liked by 1 person

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