TOP 20 OF 2020

It’s that time of year when book bloggers everywhere start to share their top ten reads of the outgoing year. However, as 2020 was the year of not going out, I had even more time on my hands for reading than normal, and picking just ten books was going to be an impossible task, I have gone for my favourite twenty this year (plus a top twenty of 2020 just has a nice symmetry to it, doesn’t it?). Even picking twenty books proved something of a challenge, because even whilst everything else fell apart in 2020, it really was a year of excellent books! At one point, my top twenty had fifty books on it! After much deliberation, here are my favourites (in no particular order), some of which I have reviewed already and some I still need to actually write the reviews for.

The Cake Fairies – Isabella May – I love every single one of Isabella May’s foodie books, and I had the privilege of sandwiching (do you see what I did there?) 2020 with a new book at either end. The choice between including cake or chocolate on this list was a tough one, but in the end it was the sheer joy that The Cake Fairies baked into every creation that made this book the one for my top twenty this year.

Victory Day – Rachel Churcher – This fifth and final book in the Battle Ground series brings our time with Bex and Ketty to a suitably dramatic conclusion. I loved this entire series and I am excited for Rachel’s latest projects.

Captive – Madeline Dyer – This collection of poetry about Madeline’s health battles is raw and devastating, but at the same time has am amazing beauty and strength to it.

The Night Country – Melissa Albert – The Hazel Wood was one of my top twelve books of 2019, so I went into The Night Country with great anticipation. It was just as brilliant as The Hazel Wood, and I am now itching to get my hands on Melissa Albert’s latest book, Tales From The Hinterland, which I currently have on pre-order.

The Guest List – Lucy Foley – With a hint of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None about it, this was a real edge of your seat thriller that kept me guessing right to the end.

Unborn – Rachel McLean – This was a “read in one-sitting” book for me, and was just as thought-provoking and scarily within the realms of possibility as Rachel’s previous books.

The Familiars – Stacey Halls – This really appealed to my inner historian, being based on the real Pendle Witch Trials. The main character, Fleetwood, is charmingly endearing, and I loved her view on everything that was going on during this tempestuous period of history.

Mageborn – Jessica Thorne – The first book in the Hollow King series, this book couldn’t have been more up my street if it had been written specifically for me. I have the second book in the series waiting to be read, and I am really looking forward to it.

And The Stars Were Burning Brightly – Danielle Jawando – This heartbreaking novel is one that I would urge everyone to read. It isn’t easy reading, but it is important. #burnbright

Son of Secrets – N.J. Simmonds – This is the long-awaited second book in the Indigo Chronicles, and it was well worth the wait. I reread The Path Keeper, the first book in the series, before reading this, and had forgotten how much I enjoyed it. This is just such an original series, and I know it is one that I will return to many times.

The Court of Miracles – Kester Grant – Les Miserables is one of my favourite musicals, so I had very high expectations of this reimagining of Eponine’s world. I was totally swept away by Kester Grant’s version of the famous story and I am very excited to read the next instalment.

Empire’s Reckoning – Marian L Thorpe – I loved the Empire’s Legacy trilogy, and was so happy when I heard there was going to be a follow up series, Empire’s Reprise. Empire’s Reckoning is the first book in this series, and tells the tale of Sorley, one of my favourite characters from the original series.

Girl, Serpent, Thorn – Melissa Bashardoust – This is a totally captivating book inspired by Persian fairy-tales, and it really does have the feel of being a folkloric story handed down through the generations.

Raven Storm – Emma Miles – The third book in the Fire-Walker series, this is my favourite of all the books in the series so far. I have fallen in love with the world that Emma Miles has created and all of the characters that reside within it.

The Calling of the Trinity – Brittany Elise – This is the second book in the Trinity Cycle and I was keen to read it ever since reviewing Awakening the Trinity all the way back in January 2019. I am so excited to find out what happens in the next instalment

The Stolen Sisters – Louise Jensen– You will already know by now that I am a huge Louise Jensen fan and I swear that every book she writes is better than the last. The Stolen Sisters is no exception to this, and is my new favourite of Louise’s.

The Vine Witch – Luanne G. Smith – I have owned this book for a little while and for some reason had never got round to reading it. When one of my favourite authors, Isabella May, recommended it to me for a non-scary Halloween read, I knew I had to bump it straight to the top of my reading pile and I wasn’t disappointed. The second I finished it, I had to download the remaining books in the trilogy right away!

Vampire of Moscow – Caedis Knight – Honestly, it was a toss up between this and Caedis Knight’s other book, Sirens of Los Angeles, as to which would make my top 20. In the end, it came down to the fact that I just can’t resist a man who can dance.

The Girl and The Goddess – Nikita Gill – I am not sure how this happened, but this was the first of Nikita Gill’s books that I read, and now I just need to get a copy of everything she has ever written. This book absolutely blew my mind.

The Once And Future Witches – Alix E Harrow – I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley, but as I have only just finished it, I haven’t written my review yet. Suffice to say, having an ebook of this just wasn’t enough. It is a book that demands to be held (and maybe sniffed) so I was over the moon to receive a copy of the hardback as a Christmas present.

What were your favourite books from 2020? Let me know and I will add them to my list to read this year.

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