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The 2020 End of Year Book Survey!

Ok. So I know it’s technically 2021. but it’s not too late to do an end of year survey right? 2020 was an honest to god nightmare and I think were all glad to see the back of it, but reading wise it was pretty successful. I got through 112 books which is a massive record for me, so time to look back at my 2020 year of reading.

This survey is hosted by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner. All banners below are also hers.

2020 Reading Stats

Number of Books you read: 112

Number of Re-Reads: 11

Genre you read the most from: Fantasy

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Best Book You Read in 2020

If I can only pick one it will have to be The Once and Future Witches. This book really resonated with me as a reader, and I got ridiculously invested in the lives of the Eastwood sisters. Harrow was already a favourite author of mine after reading the Ten Thousand Doors of January in 2019, but this just blew me away.

Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

This was my first Mark Lawrence book and I just didn’t feel it at all. The writing, the characters, the plot. It all felt a bit off for me, and has made me a little wary about picking up his other works.

Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read? 

The premise for this book doesn’t really give much away, it was one I might have passed on had a friend not suggested a buddy read… and boy am i glad she did. It easily became one of my favourite reads of the year, the writing was simply beautiful & I loved the way the author dealt with grief.

Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

I don’t know if ‘pushed’ is the right word, but I did run a buddy read with a few other bloggers for this book. I was re-reading the series in preparation for the final book, but most of the others had never read it before and they seemed to enjoy it.

Best series you started in 2020? Best Sequel? Best Series Ender of 2020?

I adored every single one of these books! These Violent Delights was one of the best debuts I have ever read, I loved the authors twist on Romeo and Juliet and cant wait for book 2. Night is the second in such an underrated series. Set in an arctic like world with shape changers and steeped in Inuit folklore. It’s a rarity but I think I enjoyed this more than book one. The Empire of Gold was a chonk, in fact it was the biggest book I’ve read this year, but every single page brought me joy. I was sad that my time in this world was ending, but overjoyed with the ending Chakraborty gave characters I had come to love.

Favourite new author you discovered in 2020?

Oooh this is a tough one but I would have to say Zoraida Cordova. I was blown away by Incendiary. It had a completely fresh magic system and characters I got far too invested in. I am incredibly excited for the release of Illusionary this year, and have her other works on my TBR.

Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

It’s been a while since I’ve read anything resembling an adult thriller, and even when I used to I tended more towards the police and crime scene investigation side of the genre. However, Susan over at Novel Lives bent my arm and convinced me to give this one a go and I’m so glad she did because it was brilliantly written, and dealt with an explosive and controversial topic brilliantly.

Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Is anyone surprised by this choice? Squad 312 seriously know how to get themselves into trouble, and then make things worse when trying to escape. I think my heart was in my throat for most of this book and then that last chapter nearly did me in… bring on the final instalment.

Book You Read In 2020 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

This was the first in a sort of serial like series that was released monthly at the start of 2020. I remember really enjoying it and definitely want to carry on with the series, but I will be in need of a re-read because I also remember there being an awful lot of characters and things happening that I am bound to have forgotten.

Favourite cover of a book you read in 2020?

Just look at how beautiful this is! And the book inside is just as gorgeous. This is another book that made my top reads of 2020, and Roanhorse is a favourite author of mine.

Most memorable character of 2020?

Amari and the Night Brothers

I’m not usually the biggest MG fan but this book and Amari Peters herself stole my heart. She is incredibly resilient for a girl her age, and also willing to stand up for what is right. She easily wormed her way into my heart, and this is a series I am eager to continue reading.

Most beautifully written book read in 2020?

I remember doing a monthly wrap-up where this was one of my favourite reads, and saying that I wished I could just copy and paste the whole book into my ‘favourite quotes’ section because it was that beautifully written. I highlighted too many paragraphs and pages from this book, and still go back and re-read my favourites from time to time.

Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2020?

Maybe not life- changing but this book is definitely thought provoking. It asks the readers a lot of hard questions, questions about how far they would go to survive, would they doom all of humanity on the off chance they would make it out alive. It was brilliantly written and definitely left me with a lot of thoughts by the end.

Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2020 to finally read? 

This was one of my last reads of 2020 and a brilliant one at that. I have had this book on my shelf for I don’t know how long, so when Leah suggested a buddy read I jumped at the chance. It has a great host of characters and fresh and well built magic system as well as culture, and a brutal story line that has you gripped to the pages.

Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2020?

Ok so I’m going to cheat here and put three because one is one of my favourite romance quotes from The Court of Miracles, one is a quote a found really empowering from The Once and Future Witches and the other is from Addie LaRue & like I said before, if I could quote the whole book I would.

“I’ve never been able to fight your battles. I’ve not been able to lift my hand to protect you. I cannot risk dragging my guild into this war.’ His eyes are burning with emotion. ‘But if he kills you, I’ll take his head from his body and i’ll sit it on a pike in the middle of the Lords’ table in the Miracle Court and none will ever take it down. There it will rot, the worms will eat it to bone, and all who see it will remember you.’ His voice breaks.’ Even if Corday asks my life of me in return, I’ll do it I swear.”

“James Juniper is just a girl, most of the time. The rest of the sisters of Avalon are just maids or mill workers, dancers or fortune tellers, mothers or daughters. Everyday sorts of women with everyday sorts of lives, not worth mentioning in any story worth telling. But tonight, beneath the Rose Moon of June, they are witches. They are crones and maidens, villains and temptresses, and all the stories belong to them.”

“Estele’s face darkens. ‘The old gods may be great, but they are neither kind nor merciful. They are fickle, unsteady as moonlight on water, or shadows in a storm. If you insist in calling them take heed: be careful what you ask for, be willing to pay the price.’She leans over Adeline, casting her in shadow. ‘And no matter how desperate or dire. never pray to the gods that answer after dark.”

Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2020?

The shortest was a Bone Season Novella at 92 pages & the longest Empire of Gold at 766… told you it was a chonk.

Book That Shocked You The Most

I hadn’t read an Anna Stephens book before so was unprepared for the sheer brutality… there is literally a face peeling scene. Don’t get me wrong, the brutality absolutely adds to the story, but yea, some bits were a little unexpected and certainly not for the faint of heart.

OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Call me stupid, because they have like 3-4 scenes together but it has to be Nina and Montparnasse in The Court of Miracles. I will stan him until the day I die, he is so silently there for her when she needs them, and we barely got more than a touch, so I’m just hoping we get more in book 2.

Favourite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Yes yes! I know Eris and Clo were at each others throats for most of this book, but you can’t tell me their scenes together weren’t epic and some of your favourite ones of the book. Clo was the only member of the crew that knew Eris’ secret, and though she wanted to kill her, she also stopped herself from outing her and even protected her if the need called for it.

Favourite Book You Read in 2020 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

The latest book in Samantha Shannon’s Bone Season series ‘the Mask Falling’ was epic and heart-breaking. Paige worms her way into my heart more with every book I read, and seeing her resilience in this one just blew me away. But I need my hands on book 5 now!!!

Best Book You Read In 2020 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:

Susan had been on at me for an age to read this, so when I had a gap in my never ending ARC’s I gave it a try and loved it. Brilliantly dark, with a rag-tag group of characters and a wondrously fresh magic system. I’m so glad she pestered me until I gave in.

Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2020?

Montparnasse obviously! He was the silent but deadly assassin who stole my heart… and who I hope will steal Nina’s in the second book.

Best 2020 debut you read?

I’ve tried not to double up on these by ‘These Violent Delights’ just blew me away. I loved everything from the writing style to the characters. The author took Romeo and Juliet, modernised it and made it completely her own. Add in the mystical beast stalking the streets and a brilliant bunch of secondary characters and I was hooked.

Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Honestly, it was hard not to imagine that the crescent style continent that Roanhorse created actually existed she put that much work into building up all the different cultures and cities. I was absolutely blown away by the scope, and how much of it we got to travel.

Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

This series never fails to make me laugh. It is so unbelievable British, and the characters are absolute idiots, but lovable idiots.

Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2020?

Cry! Cry? This book had me weeping. I didn’t expect a happy ending, but I also didn’t expect to be absolutely destroyed. I was an emotional wreck by the end, and had to take a few days to recover before picking anything else up.

Hidden Gem Of The Year?

I read this for a Write Reads blog tour and it was so unbelievable good. I think it’s based in the same world as the authors other series, but earlier on. I loved Jack the main character, and it had a really well written love triangle. A brilliant take on Vampires and just a fun and fast read.

Book That Crushed Your Soul?

I knew it wasn’t going to be a happy ending, but boy did the end of this book still destroy me.

Most Unique Book You Read In 2020?

I was on a blog tour for this and it’s such a brilliant and unique read. It’s told as an almost travel guide to different worlds, some ones we might recognise and others new to us, but through it all we also have the mystery of what happened to the author… really fun and the footnotes are hilarious.

Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Whew did this book make me angry in parts. It really shows how being a little different makes you entitled to less, less trust, less support than the ‘golden crowd’. I genuinely didn’t care if Harper had killed him, but the more I read the angrier I got with how people were treating her in the town after she admits what happened to her.

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New favourite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2020?

Oh! I found so many new blogs this year. Some of these I have been following for a while, but only recently started interacting with the bloggers 😀

Shelves of Starlight

Leah’s Books

DiniPandaReads

Read to Ramble

Favourite post you wrote in 2020?

Gah! I’m so bad at choosing these… maybe my ‘Book Characters as Avengers‘ for a Top Ten Tuesday because it took me an age to try and match the characters with the avengers, and I was quite proud of the end result.

Favourite bookish related photo you took in 2020?

I take very few bookish photos, but I do like this one I did for my Folio Society copy of Howl’s Moving castle, with the vouchers I won through BBNYA!

Best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events,  etc.)?

In 2020! Really? I did do an online event for the release of Seven Devils which was quite fun, but unfortunately no in person author events this year.

Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2020?

Oooh not sure on this one… Laura Lam did RT my review of Seven Devils and took a quote out of it for the tweet which was pretty damn cool.

Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

I don’t really think I found blogging challenging this year, if anything it helped me get through lockdown and kept me being productive in a year when my productivity was at a low. Being able to interact with other bloggers etc really helped break up the monotony of a crappy year.

Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

That would be my review for Empire of Gold which is my best post ever with 450 views. I was very proud of this review, so I’m happy it’s done so well.

Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Errrm maybe my review for The Once and Future Witches, it’s another review I’m proud of, although I wouldn’t say any of my posts have done especially badly.

Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I’ve found a few new Etsy sites that I love… my bank balance not so much.

Miss Bohemia

Jessica Jade Designs

And I also found a shop that does custom book embossers which look amazing, and I seriously want one!

Stamp Boss Art

Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I very rarely take part in reading/TBR challenges because I’m too much of a mood reader to stick to them. I did, however, complete my Goodreads reading goal for the year… in fact pretty much the only good think to come out of 2020 was the amount of books I managed to get through.

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One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2020 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2021?

I really enjoyed Gravemaidens and was hoping to get to this before the end of the year, but alas I failed. It will definitely be high on my reading list for 2021 though.

Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2021 (non-debut)?

Ahhhh I cannot wait for this book! Give me all the vampire smut and blood and death and terror… if it’s anything like the Nevernight series I can see this becoming a favourite read.

2021 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

This book sounds amazing and I squealed with joy when I was accepted for an ARC on Netgalley. Mulan is one of my favourite Disney films , add in ancient China ( you know me and mythology) and what sounds like a lot of pining and I am ready for it.

Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2021?

I am so incredibly excited for this one! It seems an age since I read Bloodwitch and I can’t want to get Isuelts book into my hands… especially after the ending of book 3.

One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2021?

I don’t think there is anything specific I would like to accomplish? Maybe to knock a few more books off my physical TBR? I’m quite happy to just continue reading/blogging and interacting with all my lovely friends.

10 replies »

  1. Becky, this is such an awesome post! I’m so glad that we connected in 2020 and I really enjoyed buddy reading and just interacting with you. Your reviews are always so interesting to read, and you’ve singlehandedly increased my TBR so much already. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your posts in 2021 and hopefully doing some more buddy reads!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Leah! I’m so glad we ‘met’ this year! Always glad to find a new friend & buddy reader. Glad to hear I’ve added a few books to your TBR cause I can definitely say it’s been mutual. Here’s to more buddy reads and chats in 2021 ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The Once and Future Witches looks so good! I’m hoping to read a lot more this year and seeing all these great books you’ve highlighted makes me really want to get back into reading. Great job, I hope 2021 is just as great for you book-wise. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this post! I love retellings but agree that Chloe Gong really made the tale of Romeo and Juliet her own.

    I hope to read some of these this year so I can experience their awesomeness for myself. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh what a brilliant post, Becky! 😍 We have a few books in common here for sure, The Once And Future Witches and These Violent Delights were two of my absolute favourite 2020 reads, they were sensational. I loved your answers to all these questions ☺

    Liked by 1 person

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