Favorite Reads of 2020 // ft. books that helped me get through the chaos of 2020 + pie charts

Hey everyone!! I hope you’re having a lovely start to 2021 🌟

Today, I’m super excited to bring you my favorite reads of 2020 (as well as some pie charts)!! πŸ€©πŸ“š Honestly, I was debating whether I should even write this post, but since I’ve been really enjoying reading everyone’s favorite books of 2020 posts (and all of y’all’s end-of-year posts hehe), I was like, why not. you know me, i can’t pass up a chance to scream about books (especially my favorite books), i mean i literally am a book blogger after all hahahah. This post may be a little late (I realize we’re almost a week into 2021, oops), but better late than never, am I right 😌

So yes! Here I am, with my 4 books that I really, reallyy enjoyed amidst the chaos that was 2020 πŸ‘€ I read a total of 45 books in 2020, meaning that I read the exact amount of books I needed to achieve my 2020 reading goal – which I’m honestly so proud and happy about!! 😊 I didn’t reach my reading goal in 2019 (read 41/50 books), so accomplishing this in 2020 makes me happy. Most importantly, in a year that I felt so unproductive and unmotivated to do anything (lol thanks 2020), I’m so glad that I was still able to read a lot and accomplish my reading goal!! πŸŽ‰ also, as someone who doesn’t set new years resolutions bc she never follows through with them, i’m viewing my reading goal as a new years resolution of sorts – ONE THAT I ACTUALLY FOLLOWED THROUGH!! so yay :DD

Before we get into my favorite books of 2020, though, I want to share some of my reading stats with you! To track my reading for 2020, I used and modified Kal @ Reader Voracious‘ 2020 reader spreadsheet template, which was an absolutely wonderful resource. Thank you so much, Kal! (Here is the link to Kal’s 2021 Book Blogger / Reader Spreadsheet Template.)

Here are some lovely pie charts that showcase what I read in 2020: i love pie charts!! πŸ˜€

If I’m being completely honest, although 2020 was a good reading year for me in terms of quantity, it wasn’t the best in terms of quality. If you look at the 3rd pie chart above (Reading by Rating), you can see that I rated a decent amount of books between 2 to 3.5 stars (which aren’t such great ratings). And even for the 7 books I did rate 5 stars, 5 of them were rereads (4 from my PJO reread and 2 from my Arc of a Scythe series reread) – so I technically only discovered 2 new books that I deemed worthy of a 5-star rating :’) My average rating for 2020 ended up being 3.8, which some of you may consider relatively high, but for me, it went down from 4.0 in 2019 and 4.2 in 2018 πŸ‘€ I think over the years I’ve just become a slightly more critical/cynical reader (πŸ˜…), or maybe it was just. you know. 2020 :’) this year definitely affected my mood more negatively than positively. Anyway, fingers crossed that 2021 will bring me more 5-star reads than 2020 did!! ✨

Contemporary again reigns supreme for me – almost half the books I read in 2020 were contemporary :0 What can I say – it’s my favorite genre!! 🀩 I did pick up a lot more fantasy though, which I’m really happy about as well. I enjoy reading fantasy, although it does require more brainpower (aka brain cells that i do not have aklsdjfd) from me to understand the worldbuilding and plot, especially if it’s high fantasy. And that’s why I usually alternate between reading contemporary and fantasy, so I can give my brain a break, hehe.

I also want to give a shoutout to my local library and the Libby app for being basically the sole reason I’m able to read books!! As you can see from the 5th pie chart, I read 84.4% of these books in ebook format, all of which I borrowed using the Libby app. While I am tired of reading ebooks (my eyes are screaming help) (I still prefer physical books), I’ve also grown used to them, and I am definitely grateful for the privilege of having access to a library so that I can use Libby to borrow ebooks.

Now, onto the main point of this post!! 😊 Out of the 45 books I read in 2020, I chose 4 books as my favorites that I really loved this year, for a variety of reasons. Whether they made my whole heart smile or broke it, or helped me forget about my worries and escape to a different world for a bit, or reminded me I’m human and I have feelings, all of these books have so much meaning to me – I recommend them with my entire heart πŸ’“ Here they are in the order of date read:

Note: I’m only including new books I read in 2020, no rereads – but I also reread the Arc of a Scythe series and PJO series, which I definitely consider as some of my favorite books πŸ’—

1. You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

Date read: June 22, 2020

From the moment I saw that You Should See Me in a Crown had an ATLAΒ reference, I knew it was good, y’all πŸ‘€ (Hehe check out the quote below.) Honestly though, this book is absolutely heartwarming and adorable – I LOVED the f/f romance – and is 100% guaranteed to make you smile. This book really tugged at my heartstrings with its lovable characters (I was rooting for Liz Lighty the entire time) and supportive friendships (Jordan is the BEST). Reading about a queer anxious Black girl that gets her happy ending seriously made meΒ SOΒ emotional πŸ˜­πŸ’• I’m so so happy and proud of Liz – she is genuinely such a GOOD person down to her very core, and deserves everything good in the world. I love her so much :’) I highly recommend this book if you’re looking for an empowering contemporary that just fills you with all the joy!! With the most adorable f/f romance and supportive friendships!!

This book is a lovely example of why contemporary is my favorite genre πŸ‘‘βœ¨πŸ’œ

“You’re very Book One Prince Zuko β€” all honor and determination and stuff. You could use some guidance from an old pro to ease you into Book Three Prince Zuko: more relaxed, more open to adventure, better hair.”

2. Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales

Date read: July 12, 2020

Pitched as “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets Clueless in this boy-meets-boy spin on Grease“, Only Mostly Devastated was another contemporary that I absolutely loved!! I genuinely smiled and chuckled SO MUCH while reading this, it gave me all the feels. Ollie is a very entertaining, funny, and messy narrator, and I had such a fun time reading in his POV hehe. Honestly though, reading in Ollie’s POV and experiencing his overthinking & messy emotions felt like taking a peek inside my own head…..i didn’t ask to be attacked like this :’) As much as I laughed while reading this book, it also almost made me cry at a certain part 😭 (the RANGE this book has!!) I would also like to say that this book got me out of a reading slump – I practically flew through this in 1 day. I love lovee loveee Sophie Gonzales’ writing – it feels so relatable and genuine and REAL πŸ’—

Thank you Ollie & Will for the serotonin <33 they deserve the world πŸŽΆβ˜€οΈπŸ’š

β€œThat’s the beautiful thing about the universe. It puts you through trials, but it never gives you anything you can’t handle. We grow from these things.”

3. The Kyoshi Novels by F.C. Yee

Date read: July – August 2020

(I know this is technically a book series, not a book – but it’s only 2 books, so shhh it’s okay πŸ‘€) So I know I already screamed about how incredibleee these books are in a previous post (Percy Jackson book tag) BUT! I could honestly go on forever about how much I love The Kyoshi Novels 😌😌 What a wild, emotional, heartbreaking, and captivating ride :’) Kyoshi is such a strong and fantastic Avatar, and I truly enjoyed (read: got emotionally destroyed) reading her tumultuous journey of carving her own path in a world that doesn’t welcome her. And of course I can’t scream about these books without mentioning how much emotion the scenes between Kyoshi and Rangi gave me πŸ‘€πŸ˜­ we love powerful girlfriends trying to save the world together

The Kyoshi Novels satisfied my craving for ATLA content in the best way possible although now i want more Kyoshi and Rangi pls :’) β›°πŸ”₯🌈

β€œWhat you do when no one is guiding you determines who you are.”

4. Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

Date read: December 12, 2020

Okay haha I also already talked about Raybearer in the same previous post (Percy Jackson book tag) but, again, I truly cannot sing this book’s praises enough. Raybearer is such a beautifully written, West-African-inspired YA fantasy and, without a doubt, one of the best YA fantasies I’ve ever read 🀩 The characters are the heart and soul of this book. I felt so invested in the main character Tarisai’s journey from the very beginning to the last page of the book. Her character growth & arc is beautiful to witness – I felt so empowered and emotional omg 😭 And don’t even get me started on all of the other characters!! This book had such a rich, diverse cast of amazing characters – every single one of them had their own distinct, unique personality and added something special to the story. Dayo has such a big, genuine heart and deserves the world (honestly all of the characters do); Sanjeet suffered through so much pain at the hands of his father when all he wants to do is protect the people he loves (my heart hurts for him); Kirah is a wonderful friend and healer, and her wits and intellect are so admirable. I love all of them so, so much πŸ’› Please read Raybearer and fall in love with these wonderful characters as I have, they will brighten your days 😌

This book is definitely a RAY of sunshine sorry i had to alskdjfkd β˜€οΈπŸ‘‘πŸ

β€œUniformity is not unity. Silence is not peace.”

Here are some honorable mentions (books that I really enjoyed but didn’t make it to my top favorites):

I hope you enjoyed hopefully coherent rambles about my 2020 reading stats and favorite books of the year!! πŸ“š Thanks so much for reading and supporting my blog, I appreciate every like and comment and I always have so much fun interacting with y’all, the bookish community 😊 I said this recently in my previous posts, but I’m genuinely just so happy to be back because the book blogging community is one of the kindest and most welcoming spaces I’ve had the honor of being a part of – y’all are truly the best πŸ’“

Also I’m shook and honestly impressed with myself tbh that I was able to write another blog post in one sitting, once again, haha. I’m on a rolllll 🀩 although, sadly, i don’t think this is gonna last, once classes start back up :’) But it’s okay, I’ll enjoy this (my burst of motivation to blog & create content) for as long as I can ☺️ And I hope you all do too hehehe

What were your favorite books of 2020? Least favorites? Disappointments? I’d love to know! ✨

What genre did you read the most in 2020? The least? Do you prefer physical books or ebooks? How do you keep track of your reading? Do you like pie charts as much as I do?

Hoping that January treats you kindly and that you’re able to find joy in the little moments πŸ’“ and of course, I hope that you discover many wonderful books in 2021 🌟

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20 thoughts on “Favorite Reads of 2020 // ft. books that helped me get through the chaos of 2020 + pie charts

  1. Ooh I want to read Raybearer this year! & my favorite books of 2020 were Nevernight, Legendborn, and the Renegades trilogy πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • ahh Prutha i’m so glad you agree!! You Should See Me in a Crown truly gave me all the feels πŸ’œ omg i must read The Poppy War sometime this year and see why everyone loves it so much. and YES Starfish is a simply wonderful book, so happy you loved it ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yay!! It was so great to see all your favourite reads of the year. I’m glad you were able to achieve your goodreads goal (yess thank you to libraries). I’m sorry that you didn’t find as many books to love LOVE this year. I’ve noticed I’ve became a more critical reader too but I would love to find more books to love like I used to.
    You Should See Me In A Crown really was a great read and I loved the ATLA reference too, it made me smile !! It was such a happy book with lots of emotions too. I would love a movie adaptation now, haha !!
    I’ve heard a lot of good things about Only Mostly Devastated and the whole plot premise around Grease sounds super interesting !! I’m glad you enjoyed it.
    I hope you are able to find lots of great reads in 2021 πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    • aww thank you so much Sophie!! 😊 yeessss libraries are the best and i’m so grateful to have access to one! and right?! i feel like the more books we read, the more critical of a reader we become because we understand our book tastes better + what makes a book good or bad. but i hope we both find more books to love LOVE this year too, that’s truly the best feeling and i miss it haha :’)

      aahhhh i’m so glad to hear that you loved You Should See Me in a Crown too!! 100% agree hehe, i’d love a movie adaptation of it, it’d be so fun and cute πŸ‘€ and YES i hope you enjoy Only Mostly Devastated if you ever choose to read it – it’s wonderful :)) thank you so much for your thoughtful and kind comment, Sophie, i really appreciate it πŸ’“

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  3. omg dezzy my average rating for 2020 was 3.1 so definitely did better than me haha. i am a hundred percent what you would refer to as a cynical reader :”) and i only had one five-star read in 2020. i am so happy you loved raybearer so much—i really enjoyed that one too! & you should see me in a crown is just the perfect contemporary. it’s diverse & tackles some important topics, but it’s also so fluffy and easy to fly through! netflix needs to adapt it ASAP

    Liked by 1 person

    • omg hahah Caitlin!! you read so many books in 2020 though, i could never πŸ€―πŸ˜‚ (you’re amazing!!) i hope that 2021 brings you more 5-star reads than 2020 did, though, fingers crossed hehe.

      ahh i’m so glad to hear that you liked Raybearer too, truly such a beautifully written fantasy 😭 and yeessss i’d love to see a movie adaptation of You Should See Me in a Crown, it’d be so fun and cute :)) thank you for your lovely comment!! πŸ’“

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  4. ahhh, 2020 was super rough with 5 stars for me too. i read a lot more than i’m used to but mostly ended up being 3 stars and i didn’t even have that many least favorites either. i hope 2021 gives us both more 5 stars!

    like you put it, ollie was the best part of the reading experience of only mostly devastated. he was such a relatable messy narrator and i loved him! i also really liked the real-ness of the friendships and it makes me hyped that i’ve found a new favorite author (i’m hoping to really love perfect on paper as well).

    vicious and loveless are both certainly amazing. i hope 2021 is a much better reading year & you find a lot more favorites, dezzy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • aww i’m sorry to hear that you didn’t have a lot of 5-star reads in 2020 either! i feel like, because 2020 was such a strange year, a lot of people are in the same boat :’) but yeessss i hope that 2021 brings us more wonderful books and 5-star reads hehe πŸ’•

      omg yeessss exactly, Ollie’s narration truly felt so REAL and i loved that. i can’t wait to read Perfect on Paper (my friend has read it already and she absolutely LOVED it – i trust her taste so i’m super excited haha) and i hope we both love it too!!

      ahh thank you so much Lais!! i hope that you discover a lot of great books in 2021 too 🀩

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ahhh it sounded better in my head! even if it’s just in your honorable mentions, I’m so happy to see this book here. I love it so much and find it cruelly underrated. I loved the main character SO much in this book.
    I really need to read you should see me in a crown, this book sounds so good! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • ahhhh Marie i actually read It Sounded Better in my Head because of you, so thank you so much for the recommendation 😊 i 100% agree that it is so underrated, it was such a wonderful contemporary – reading it felt like a big, warm hug to quiet, anxious introverts like me πŸ˜­πŸ’• the main character was truly so relatable.

      i’m so excited for you to read You Should See Me in a Crown!! i’m sure you’re gonna love it, since it seems like we have such similar taste in contemporaries hehe πŸ’ž thank you for this lovely comment!!

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  6. i agree that reading other blogger’s reading recap posts is so fun hehe 😌 and congratulations on reaching your reading goal, that’s amazing!! πŸ’–πŸ’– also same, half of my five star reads this year were rereads because i’m so picky about five stars lmaooo. and yes to contemporary!! i don’t have the braincells to read mostly only fantasy either 😭

    YES the atla reference in you should see me in a crown definitely made me realize i was going to love it!! and ahh liz was truly such a lovable character πŸ₯Ί i’m so glad you enjoyed the kyoshi novels as well, i can’t wait to read them!!

    omg you wrote this post in one sitting, i could never lmao!! i really enjoyed reading this and i hope you have an amazing reading year in 2021 πŸ₯°

    Liked by 1 person

    • hehe right?! i’m so glad you agree – it’s just so much fun to read about what other bloggers’ enjoyed and read in the past year 🀩 and omg sameee i feel like i’ve become a more critical reader over the years, i’m now SO picky over rating books 5-stars,, like i keep rating books 4.5-stars bc of one small thing that i didn’t like and it’s an actual problem lmao :’) and YEESSSS contemporary is the best!!

      ATLA is wonderful and thus any book that references it is going to be wonderful too 😌 i’m glad that was true for You Should See Me in a Crown haha. happy to hear that you loved it too 😭 and omg i canNOT wait for you to read The Kyoshi Novels, i’m sure you’re gonna love them!! (and possibly have your heart broken aslkfjd)

      HAHA omg i have such a terrible work ethic and i am only productive in short bursts,, so i’ve been making myself write and finish blog posts in one sitting (cuz if i don’t finish writing them in one sitting, i may never finish them lolol). ahh thank you so much for this wonderful comment Ash, i really appreciate it! i hope 2021 brings you a lot of fantastic books and more 5-star reads πŸ’“

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  7. I SEE SO MANY BOOKS ON HERE THAT ARE MY FAVES TOO!! (or at least an honorable mention hahaha.) i’m so happy you loved both you should see me in a crown and the kyoshi books — they’re both so wonderful and made me simultaneously happy but also tear up!

    i also read so many ebooks last year because of overdrive/libby, it definitely saved my reading lmao. and omg we should start a only two 5-star books in 2020 club because same 😭 i hope in 2021 we’re both able to find more 5-star worthy books!! and i love seeing you back in my feed so much πŸ₯Ί

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    • AHHHH MAY I’M SO HAPPY TO HEAR THAT hehehe, i feel that our book tastes are very similar and i love that 😌 yeessss You Should See Me in a Crown and The Kyoshi Novels both made me feel soooo much :’)

      omg right i never could have read so many books without Overdrive/Libby, i’m so grateful to have access to a library :’) and omg sdlkfsdkj i feel like a lot of people had only a few 5-star reads in 2020, probably bc it was such a strange year lmao :’) ahh same to you, i hope that 2021 brings us more 5-star books haha (or at least more 4.5-star ones? hopefully?). and omg thank you SO much, i’m really happy to be back and interacting with you too πŸ’—

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Omg, love this post Dezzy!! I haven’t posted my stats post yet (literally working on it rn) but we’re the same when it comes to ebooks and contemporaries. I read SO MANY ebooks last year, my Kindle has literally become my bestest friend hehe. And also read all the contemporary, mostly adult romance to be specific.

    Also, love your list of faves. I’ve only read Only Mostly Devastated (which um don’t hate me but I DID NOT like) and The Flatshare (which I ADORED and also made my faves lost) from your list but all the others are def on my tbr. Especially excited about You Should See Me In A Crown, Vicious, Raybearer and Loveless.

    Lots of love xoxoxo

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