Happy new year booksicles!
This year has been like no other and it was hard for us all to varying degrees. Now that it has come to an end I will be reflecting in this post on how this year has been overall in terms of my reading and blogging.
Although I didn’t read as many books as I had hoped to at the start of the year I did find a lot of new favourites and I am proud of what I did manage to achieve in this year of turmoil and uncertainty.
To do this, I will be using the End of Year Survey made by Jamie @ Perpetual Page Turner— thank you so much Jamie for making such a detailed and interesting survey!
2020 READING STATS:
Number Of Books You Read: 53
Number of Re-Reads: 0
Genre You Read The Most From: fantasy (who would have guessed it)
Best in books:
Best book of 2020:
I have read many amazing books this year but I’d say Mirage by Somaiya Daud was the best because it was the first book I have ever read with Moroccan and Amazighi representation. As someone who is half Moroccan and Amazighi it meant so much to me— especially as it was so beautifully done. It’s the book of my heart!
A book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’t:
I was so excited to read All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace but it fell so, so flat for me.
The most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read:
The Damned by Renée Ahdieh surprised me very much because of how unexpectedly different it was to the book before it in both good ways and bad ways.
A book you “pushed” the most people to read (and did they?):
It was probably These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong. I have been endlessly recommending this book to just about everyone and the people I have convinced to read it have loved it!
What was the best series you started in 2020? The best sequel of 2020? The best series finale of 2020?
Best series I started: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown
Best sequel: The Kingdom of Copper by S. A. Chakraborty
Best series finale: The Burning God by R. F. Kuang (the ending of this trilogy still haunts me)
Favourite new author you discovered in 2020:
I think it would be Chloe Gong. I love her writing style and creative online book promo— I can’t wait to read what she writes in the future!
Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone:
Punching the Air by Yusef Salaam and Ibi Zoboi was a brilliant and powerful novel in verse that I’d highly recommend. I’d never read a novel in verse before reading this book so it was a very new experience and I loved it.
Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year:
Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn was full of action and adventure and it was a lot of fun to read.
A book you read in 2020 that you would be most likely to re-read next year:
I barely ever re-read books but I guess I would most likely re-read A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown because it was just that good.
Favourite cover of a book you read in 2020:
Court of Lions by Somaiya Daud (which is the sequel to the book I mentioned earlier, Mirage) because of all the Moroccan and Amazighi cultural details in the book cover. It is truly stunning!
Most memorable character of 2020:
Kallia, the protagonist of Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles. I loved her vibrancy and determination, she was a force and I adored her.
Most beautifully written book read in 2020:
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong… I think some people will have found it a bit too much but I loved the writing style and was thoroughly immersed in it.
Most thought-provoking/ life-changing book of 2020:
Punching the Air by Yusef Salaam and Ibi Zoboi was extremely thought provoking in the way it took on themes like institutional racism, gentrification and hope surviving in the depths of despair.
Favourite passage/quote from a book you read in 2020:
This passage is from the anthology Once Upon an Eid, specifically from the short story Creative Fixes by Ashley Franklin:
“It’s hard to see the beauty in things when you can’t see past your insecurities”.
Shortest and longest books you read in 2020:
I got this from by Goodreads ‘year in books’.
Shortest book: The Drowning Faith by R. F. Kuang (I know it’s not technically a book but *shhhh*)
Longest book: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas (yes I actually read this 800 page smirk fest sometimes I question my life choices)
The book that shocked you the most:
There were several contenders but I think Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko takes the cake… those plot twists!
OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship):
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)
I feel like I’ve talked about These Violent Delights too much already but I loved Juliette and Roma’s childhood friends to lovers to enemies to lovers to ??? romance and I will go down with this ship!
Favourite non-romantic relationship of the year:
Rin and Kitay from The Burning God by R. F. Kuang. The relationship between these two was the highlight of the book for me. The way they were inextricably intertwined in each others lives, clinging onto each other to cope with the horrors they had committed and experienced, the way they would do anything for each other until the very end made me feel all the emotions. I’ve never seen a m/f friendship so close without romance in a book before so it was also very refreshing!
Favourite book you read in 2020 from an author you’ve read previously:
Wicked as You Wish by Rin Chupeco, this is the second book by this author that I’ve read and I loved how imaginative and wild it was.
Best book you read based solely on a recommendation from somebody else:
I wasn’t planning on reading Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko but I saw lots of people recommending it on Twitter and that was what convinced me to read it!
Best world building/most vivid setting you read this year:
The world building in A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown was incredible— especially for a YA fantasy novel because they usually have less.
A book that put a smile on your face/was the most fun to read:
Love is for Losers by Wibke Brueggemann made me laugh so many times with its dry humour and relatability.
A book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2020:
The book that got closest to making me cry was probably The Empire of Gold by S. A. Chakraborty.
The book that crushed your soul:
My first thought when I read this was Attack on Titan because it definitely crushed my soul but then I remembered it was an anime so not applicable. The *book* that crushed my soul was The Burning God by R. F. Kuang with its unending despair and pain.
The most unique book you read in 2020:
Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin because I found its writing style very unique.
The book that made you the most mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it):
Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed made me SO MAD and I didn’t like it at all. It made me mad for many reasons, which will all be in a review coming to you sometime soon, but the main reason was the casual sexism rife throughout the book.
Blogging/ bookish life:
New favourite book blog/bookstagram/YouTube channel you discovered in 2020:
SO MANY! Here are a few amazing blogs/ booktube channels that I discovered this year:
- The Tsundoku Chronicles
- Myths N’ Misadventures
- Evidently Bookish
- Imanewreader TV
- Izzies Busy Reading
- Em’s Bookish Musings
Favourite post you wrote in 2020:
It would be this recommendation post about books for fans of Avatar: the Last Airbender because it was really fun to write.
Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year:
It was definitely the pandemic. Even though I had so much extra time over lockdown in which I could have read lots of books and written lots of posts I didn’t because it drained all the motivation and productivity out of me. I couldn’t do a thing. I was reading so much at the start of the year and as soon as lockdown was officially announced I read and blogged much less which seems very counterintuitive but that’s what happened.
Most popular post this year on your blog (whether it be by comments or views):
The recommendation post I wrote in Ramadan about SFF books by Muslim authors.
A post you wished got a little more love:
My review of These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong because I put a lot of time and passion into it!
Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year:
I completed my Goodreads challenge to read 50 books!
One book you didn’t get to in 2020 but will be your number 1 priority in 2021:
Not including review copies it would be The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winters.
The book you are most anticipating for 2021 (non-debut):
The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He!
2021 debut you are most anticipating:
She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan!
A series ending/sequel you are most anticipating in 2021?
There are four sequels I am anticipating: A Psalm of Storms and Silence by Roseanne A. Brown, Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong, When Night Breaks by Janella Angeles and Broken Web by Lori M. Lee.
One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2020:
Blog. More. Consistently.
A 2021 release you’ve already read and recommend to everyone (if applicable):
I’ve already read Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart which comes out next year and it was so good please preorder it and give it as much support as possible!