Blogmas 2020 · wrap up

2020 Wrap Up

Apart of me can’t believe that 2020 is coming to an end. This year has been… an experience.

I am really trying not to kick myself about how many books I read this year. I read 101 books in 2019 and I read 60 books in 2020. That is still a really good number, but because I read so many more in 2019, I am definitely feeling down about it. I’m trying to remind myself that I still did well and I managed to blog more than I ever have before and there are positives to come out of this. This also just gives me more to stride for in 2021: I want to read books that I love and I want a more consistent blogging schedule.

January

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Triology by Jenny Han

I started off 2020 on a very strong note. The first three days of the year, I read the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy. I really enjoyed the series. It is a perfect, light hearted, fun book series that I can see myself rereading in the future when I am having a bad month.

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Queenie started off my trend of finishing off the books that I had started the year before but had just never finished. I’ve spoken in length before about how terrible I am about starting books and then being distracted by another book and abandoning the one I just started. I enjoyed Queenie, it was such a thought provoking read.

Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

I am so glad I was able to get this one off of my TBR. I had been wanting to reach for it for a long time, but just never got round to it. I did really enjoy it at the time, though almost a year on from reading it, I do think I was maybe sucked up in the hype a little bit for it. I would like to reread it in the future and go in a little more critical with the intention of reviewing it, but I don’t see that happening for a while, if at all.

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis

This book for me is still incredibly memorable for the beautiful writing style. It is no secret that I am a big fan of this book and the way it was written. It was one that I read when I needed a good cry and I definitely got that! I still need to watch the film. Have you watched it?

Pillow Thoughts, Healing the Heart and Mending the Mind by Courtney Peppernell

I had read the first two poetry collections in this series, but wanted to reread before getting to the third one. I love Courtney Peppernell’s poetry and I am looking forward to continuing with the series.

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

I also read the second instalment in the Montague Siblings series. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the third one and honestly lost quite a bit of interest in the series since reading this. I don’t know whether I will be continuing with the third book when it comes out in November 2021. I would have to reread the first two books in the series and I am not sure I want to do that at this stage.

Adultolescence by Gabbie Hanna

I picked up Adultolescence after seeing a lot of hate surrounding the book. I used to watch Gabbie Hanna’s YouTube channel a while back, but no longer do. The amount of hate the book was getting it caught my attention, so I picked it up. It wasn’t good. In fact, I believe it was my lowest rating of the year. My sister really enjoyed it, so I was expecting the hatred around this book to be a little extreme, but I do kind of understand it. There was nothing original about the poems within the book and a lot of them I wouldn’t even class as poetry. I knew that she was going through a very particular style of poetry, but I don’t think this was executed very well.

February

Validate Me by Charly Cox

Charly Cox is my favourite poet and I finally got round to reading her second poetry collection. I really related to this collection – it was completely written on her phone and that is where I tend to start off writing my poems. It also discusses mental health in depth and I was truly able to relate to so much of the collection and I just loved it so much.

Break your Glass Slippers by Amanda Lovelace

Amanda Lovelace is another poet that I adore and I love reading her newest collections. I received an e-arc from Netgalley for this one and you can view my review: here. I’ve fallen a little out of date with her 2021 releases, so writing this post has actually reminded me that I need to look this up!

Heartstopper Volume One and Three by Alice Oseman

I know it seems a little weird that I only read Volume One and Volume Three, but I read Volume Three as it came out and then reread Volume One with the intention of rereading the series and… that never happened. I was going to review each of the graphic novels but I only got to Volume One (review here). I do plan on rereading the whole series in time for Volume Four to come out though! I don’t know if I will be reviewing them though, we will see.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Another intention of reading a series, and failing! I had planned to reread The Infernal Devices series before the first instalment of The Last Hours came out in March, but I never got round to it. In 2021 though, I would really love to reread all of The Shadowhunter books. I usually reread them all every year, but I didn’t manage to do that in 2020.

March

A Strangely Wrapped gift by Emily Byrnes

I received an e-arc of this poetry collection from NetGalley to review (here). I liked it. It wasn’t a poet that I was aware of before. I think that is one thing that I have really enjoyed this year about blogging and using NetGalley is that I have found so many new authors/poets that I wouldn’t have read before.

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

I pretty much dropped everything when Chain of Gold came out. I am already looking forward to rereading it just before Chain of Iron comes out in March 2021. I just love the characters so much and I love the world and I can’t wait to be back in it.

Dear Girl by Aija Mayrock

This was another poetry collection that I received an e-arc from NetGalley to review (here). I really liked this – it was an empowering read and definitely a collection I wish I had when I was in sixth form.

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

I think I let the hype for this book get to me a little bit. I went into it with too many high hopes and I don’t think I enjoyed this as much as I could have. That being said, I did still like it. I would still read more of Cristina Lauren’s work. I still rated this novel really high at 4/5 stars, but I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as everyone else.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

I really stepped out of my comfort zone with this one and I am so proud of myself for doing so! I surprised myself and really loved it. I read it really quickly and the story has really stayed with me since I read it.

Nocturnal by Wilder Poetry

This poetry collection was definitely not my favourite. I just did not feel like there was any originality within it. It might be because it was very relationship heavy and about self-discovery and there really wasn’t apart of it that I could relate too. I do still standby that it wasn’t original, though I did really enjoy the illustrations.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Another very disappointing read for me. I started reading this in my first year at university around 2016/2017. I didn’t finish it though and then I decided that I needed to get it off of my TBR earlier on in this year. The longer I think on it, the more uncomfortable I get with the way mental health was handled in this novel. I think if I had finished it in 2016/2017, I would have felt differently and I probably would have enjoyed it a bit more.

April

If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman

I needed a book that I could cry to and If I Stay and Where She Went are definitely the perfect ones for me. I loved this series when I was younger, and I also wanted to see if I would still enjoy it now. I did. I still really enjoyed it – I probably didn’t enjoy it as much as before, but I do think I have some nostalgia attached to the series. I’m honestly okay with that!

Down Among the Sticks and Bones and Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

I explained a lot at the time about my troubles with this series. I didn’t particularly enjoy Every Heart a Doorway, however, I had already bought up to book four, so I did want to try it again but had trouble bringing myself to. I finally convinced myself and I read book 2 and book 3. I enjoyed them so much more – probably book 2 the most. I am now in a position that I am excited to continue with the rest of the series and will probably do a reread of the whole series and see if my opinions on book 1 has changed.

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

My only regret with my reading experience of his book was that I did not immediately start the third book. Thunderhead blew me away at the time. It had been a while since I had been completely stunned by a book – particularly the ending. I think I was so stunned that I didn’t continue onto the third book. I have forgotten key points now though, so a reread will be on the table before I read The Toll.

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

You might think that April is a weird time to read a graphic novel set in a pumpkin patch on Halloween and you would be right. I was taking part in the Easter Readathon and I was a month deep into quarantine. Do you need more of an explanation?

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

This was another one that I had started last year but never finished and then managed to get off my TBR in 2020. I was so happy to finally read this book – it had been on my TBR for years, ever since it came out. I really enjoyed it and it was unlike anything I have ever read before. I am really looking forward to reading more of McLemore’s work in the future.

May

Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmitt, Steven Levenson and Benj Pasek

We now reach the point in lockdown where I got very obsessed with musicals and this started leaking in to my reading choices. I did really enjoy reading Dear Evan Hansen, but I don’t think it compared to the musical or the soundtrack. If I had gone in without those influences, I probably would ave enjoyed it a bit more.

When the Curtain Falls by Carrie Hope Fletcher

I feel like I have been talking about this nonstop since I read it. I’m okay with it, sorry if you are not. I loved it – you can read my full review here. This novel also introduced me to a new genre, adult romance, that I want to continue reading more of in 2021.

It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne

Another one I was able to get off of my TBR! This was also my first Holly Bourne book – I have been a little overwhelmed since, trying to figure out what my next read by her will be. She has so many books! That being said, I did really enjoy It Only Happens in the Movies – you can check out my review: here.

June

Nineteen by Mackenzie Campbell

I was sent an e-copy of this poetry collection by NetGalley for review which you can view here. The poetry collection centres around heartbreak and healing. It was a really beautiful collection.

All That She Can See by Carrie Hope Fletcher

When I finished When the Curtain Falls I bought all of her other adult fiction books. All That She Can See is the only one I have finished so far. I didn’t enjoy it as much as When the Curtain Falls, but I did still really enjoy it. I love her writing style and her story lines are never straight forward. I always feel like I know where the sty is going and then I get thrown in another direction.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

The Flatshare was one of my favourite books of the year! I really loved this novel – I was apprehensive at first going into it just because of how hyped up this book was/is. However, in my opinion, it live up to all of the hype. I think it is such a wonderful read. I was caught by surprise a little because I was expecting a really light-hearted read, but there are some really pressing issues discussed and dealt with. It made the characters even more real to me and it was brilliant.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

I am happy that I at least got to read one book from The Mortal Instruments series, however, I did hope to get to the rest of the series. 2021 though, I do plan on reading a lot more of the series, if not all of it.

I then didn’t actually read anything for two months (we love a two month reading slump…)

September

The Fourth Turning: What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny by William Strauss and Neil Howe

If you had told me at the beginning of the year that a non-fiction book about American society would be the book to get me out of a reading slump, I probably would have laughed in your face. I really pushed myself out of my comfort zone with this one. I had heard about the book on The Chatty Broads podcast and just picked it up on a whim. It was really interesting – probably not the best escapism for 2020, but thought provoking nonetheless.

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

Little & Lion was actually quite a surprising read for me. I was expecting to enjoy it, but not love it nearly as much as I did. I picked it up because of all of the representation within the novel: a black main character, a mixed race household, bisexuality rep and bipolar disorder rep. I love reading contemporary novels where there’s a lot of representation, but it is also seamless and flows so naturally. I can’t wait to read more from Brandy Colbert – I was just gifted The Voting Booth by a friend and I am looking forward to getting to it in the new year.

Five More Minutes by Shannon O’Connor

Shannon O’Connor is a self published poet and I really love her poetry collections. She has been releasing a couple every year and Five More Minutes is the latest one that I have picked up. I am really looking forward to buying her other collections. If you are looking for poetry following the ups and downs of relationships, then Shannon O’Connor is definitely a poet to check out.

Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz

My musical obsession continues and Alex and Eliza was my next read! I adored it, it was exactly the fun historical novel I was after. I still haven’t managed to get to book two or three and I am so excited to get to them in the new year. I am holding off of them for now because whilst I am in a fantasy mood, I am going to take advantage of it and devour all of the fantasy novels; but I will return to the series after that!

Why I’m no Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

I had been wanting to get to this non-fiction book for quite some time, and after reading The Fourth Turning inspired me to read some more non-fiction. This book taught me so much, and I hope to return to it soon to get more out of it – if I could learn that much from a first read, I can’t imagine how much I could learn in a reread.

October

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

Another surprising read for me! I fell in love with Leah Johnson’s writing style and I think she may have become an auto buy author for me now. It feels weird because she has only had the one book out, but I have already preordered her second novel and I’m excited for her to announce more novels in the future!

November

Poet X

Chameleon Skin by Breanne Weber

I was lucky enough to receive an e-copy of this poetry collection by Raine Publishing – you can check out my review here. It was a wonderful collection that focused around healing and self-discovery whilst exploring a monochrome world and how colours affect this. It was a really interesting read.

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

The TBR took another hit, and I was able to get The Poet X off of my TBR! This had been sitting on my shelves unread ever since it’s release and I finally managed to get to it. I read it in one sitting too, and was definitely one that I knew I was going to love and reached all of my expectations.

Candy Hearts by Tommy Siegel

I was provided an e-arc of this graphic novel via NetGalley – my review for it is coming late January! I thought it was hilarious and really put a humerus twist on dating – with even mentions of dating during the pandemic. Look out for my review next month!

In Love & Other Pajamas by Catania Chetwynd

Another graphic novel that I was kindly provided an e-arc for by NetGalley. This review is also coming late January, just in time for it’s release early February. It’s a graphic novel that highlights all of the fun and adorable moments in a long-term relationship – it was very cute.

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

I reread Pumpkinheads this year too, as well as reading it for the first time! I don’t think I was yet able to let go of the Halloween season, and wanted to cling to the Pumpkin patch as long as possible. It is such a cute graphic novel and definitely gave me the kick I needed to more on to the Christmas season.

My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff

With perfect timing, I read My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff. I read this in preparation for Blogmas where I reviewed it here. It feels like forever ago! I can’t quite believe that I am on day 30 of blogmas and that there is only one more day left! I honestly thought by now that I would have given up, but I am very proud of myself for continuing the whole way through!

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

I closed off my November with my worst read of the year! I did not like this book at all – you can read my review and my full thoughts here. I don’t even know what to say without going into a full rant, so just check out my review!

December

The last month of the year turned out to be a really good reading month for me! On top of reading eight books, I also finally got back into reading a genre that I haven’t been able to read in a long time. In recent years, I have really been struggling with reading fantasy, however this month seemed to change that for me! I don’t know whether it was all of the Christmas lights and decorations creating such a cosy environment that I could fully dive into the fantasy world or the I just needed some extra escapism this month. Regardless, I am so happy I’ve finally been able to read some fantasy and hopefully this will continue into the new year!

The A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J Maas

I reread the three books in this series, and the novella, in just under a week. I can’t quite believe that I did that, but I really missed the characters! I am actually planning on starting 2021 with another reread of the series as part of a book club a few youtubers are hosting. I am really excited to dive back into the series, even so soon after this reread, and I am even more excited for the new instalment coming out in February!

Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Yet another one that I was able to get off of my TBR! A few years ago, I was gifted the box set for Christmas, but I had just been putting it off and putting it off until finally this year I read them! I did really enjoy them. I found the second book really slow until the last 200 pages where it really won me over. I have since gone out and purchased all of her other books in the Grisha Verse – except the novellas. Really looking forward to getting to them in the new year.

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

If I had read this book about five years ago, I would have loved it whole heartedly. For me, it fell a little flat. You can read my review here. Whilst it was still enjoyable, I didn’t get the same impact that everyone else did – I definitely don’t have the same love for it that everyone else does. I am glad I read it though and will eventually give the TV show a try.

Hunted by Meagan Spooner

2020 really was a year that I got books off of my TBR that had been on there for years. Hunted finally got read! I loved it. Even after all this time, I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. It was such an amazing Beauty and the Beast retelling. I have ordered Spooner’s Sherwood and I am hoping that that retelling also lives up o Hunted!

These are all of the books that I read in 2020! Kind of… there was one book on here that I haven’t counted because the e-arc I was sent was not a good copy, so I couldn’t finish the book, but it did still count towards my GoodReads goal because I had to review it. Also, I am currently reading The Court of Miracles and I haven’t finished it in time for this blog post, but I could potentially finish it before the end of tomorrow. It is a weird balance at the moment where The Court of Miracles could be my last book of 2020 or the first book of 2021!

How many books did you get to this year? Also, let me know your surprising favourites of 2020! I’m really interested to know!

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15 thoughts on “2020 Wrap Up

  1. I read more than i thought. One of them was started a year ago.

    1. The Iliad- that one began in 2019
    2. Wind in the Willows
    3. The Odyssey
    4. Shades of Magic Trilogy
    5. Secret Garden
    6. Tom Sawyer
    7. Little Women
    8. Bleak House
    9. A Christmas Treasury
    10. Pour Your Heart Into It

    Just a list for now- loved all of those. Surprisingly, one of them was nonfiction.

    Like

    1. I did! The more I think on it, the happier I am with it! I did manage to finish the last book, so my total ended on 61! How many did you get to in 2020?

      Liked by 1 person

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