Favorite Books of 2020

Happy New Year’s Eve! Guys, 2020 is almost over.

What a year. A lot has happened to and for everyone, and my mental health has never looked so grimy. Thankfully, I’ve had books to keep me company. I’ve always been a reader, but this year, what with everything that went on, I became a reading monster.

Here are the quick stats of everything I read this year:

# of books: 62
# of pages (Kindle + print):
# of fiction:
# of non-fiction:
# of other (poetry, graphic novel, play, etc): 4
Most read genre:
Least read genre:
Magical realism

Of these 62 books, 13 of them have left me in some sort of condition, whether it be shock, in tears, or saying “WTF” in a good way. Here are 13 of my favorite books I’ve read this year. All of them have gotten 5 stars from me. Yes, they’re that good.

Favorite Books of 2020

*in order of read date

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Genre: humor, play

My favorite play of all time. Absolutely hilarious with endearing characters and quick dialogue. I swear, my copy of this book is half filled with pink highlights! The play is short but is chock full with memorable quotes and an intriguing twist at the end.

The Escape Room

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin
Genre: thriller, revenge

This book left me shook. I could not hold anything in my hands because they were shaking so badly. Simply put, I would not be able to do what Sara did. You have to suspend some disbelief, especially at the end, but that doesn’t mean this book is not an amazing wild ride.

The Family Upstairs

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
Genre: thriller, Gothic

Henry is one of my favorite characters of all time. He’s as morally gray as they get, with a streak of villain – you should hate him, but you don’t. You can’t. The plot itself, too, is intense and a bit tragic, depending on how you look at it.


Recursion by Blake Crouch
Genre: sci fi, thriller

Recursion is about time travel and absolute power – overall, not the most unique of plots out there, BUT there is a ton of emotion in this book that makes you root for the characters. The ending killed me a little.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Genre: literary, historical, romance, LGBTQ+

This book changed me as a person. So much happens, and you end up hating Evelyn Hugo but also loving her for who she is. This book glints with old Hollywood glamour, but there are other themes as well: love, loss, grief, and doing what is right.

The Master and Margarita

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Genre: literary, translation, historical, absurd, satire

This book is a satire about the Russian government, and while I understood that, I still didn’t understand a lot of it. Thus, I mostly took this book at face value: it’s absurd, it’s contemplative, and it has some oddball characters that I grew to love.

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
Genre: graphic novel, memoir, humor

The illustrations are wonderful, the stories are hilarious, and the heart of this book beats strongly as Brosh talks about a range of subjects, from family to mental health. I related to her struggles with depression, and it was lovely to see her enlighten a taboo subject.

Mexican Gothic

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Genre: Gothic horror, historical

I love Gothic horror, and this one did not disappoint. It’s horror in not just subject matter but also in its themes of colonialism, racism, and eugenics. I absolutely loved the eco aspect of the horror as well – not anything I’ve seen so far.

Last Tang Standing

Last Tang Standing by Lauren Ho
Genre: chicklit, humor

I got laughter cramps reading this book. Andrea Tang is crazy in the best way possible, except I don’t understand how she doesn’t have liver failure at this point. Also, can I just say how amazing the Asian rep is in this book?

Bronze Gods (Apparatus Infernum, #1)

Bronze Gods (Aparatus Infernum #1) by A.A. Aguirre
Genre: steampunk, fantasy, procedural

Bronze Gods made me want to read more steampunk! It has everything I like: detectives, magical creatures, a murder, action, and a hint of romance. It also has subtle discussions of women in the workplace, which I greatly appreciated.

Lore and Lust (Queer Vampire Romance #1)

Lore & Lust (Lore & Lust #1) by Karla Nikole
Genre: vampire, romance, LGBTQ+

A much-needed twist on the ole vampire story. Here, vampires feed on other vampires! Oh, and yay for Asian vampires! While the romance is a big part of this book, so is the worldbuilding. I’m excited to read more of this world and Nino and Haruka.

Goodnight Beautiful

Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Molloy
Genre: thriller

This book subverted my expectations again and again. I read a lot of thrillers, and yet, for this one, I didn’t get 90% of the twists. It’s not your typical domestic thriller; in fact, it’s kind of tragic with mental health (and a very good depiction of it) as one of the focuses.

Fevre Dream

Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin
Genre: vampire, horror, historical

Abner Marsh and Joshua York are like Shrek and Donkey – they shouldn’t work but they do. This book made me feel many different things, and I’m still kind of reeling from the ending. I knew it was going to happen, but when it did, gah.

You can read my full review here.

Honorable Mentions

These six books are books that are not 5 stars but are ones that have dug holes into my brain and won’t let go.

Kings Rising (Captive Prince, #3)

King’s Rising (Captive Prince #3) by C.S. Pacat
Genre: fantasy, military, romance, LGBTQ+
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

King’s Rising is a worthy conclusion to the Captive Prince trilogy. It’s fast-paced, politics galore, and made my heart squeeze more than once. Some events didn’t seem as probable as they should have been, but whatever. Damen and Laurent are now together and in peace.

Fugitive (Northbridge Nights, #2)

Fugitive (Northbridge Nights #2) by Jackie Wang
Genre: romance
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Fugitive is not only a surprising book of 2020 but also one of my favorites because it’s not just your regular romance. No, it has action, suspense, and just the right amount of angst. Kieran is great, but Rachelle is awesome because she grows so much.

American Psycho

American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis
Genre: literary, historical, horror
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This book made me feel lonely but in a way that helped me understand that I was not alone. There is this passage near the end – when Patrick and Jean are talking about his status in the world – that I absolutely adore and relate to. WARNING: A LOT OF GORE.

Lock Every Door

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
Genre: thriller, horror
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I don’t know why Love Every Door is categorized a thriller because all of the twists are SO EASY. Instead, it should be horror with suspense because the horror part is *chef’s kiss*. There is something so sterile about the way Sager writes this brand of horror that left me chilled.

Little Secrets

Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier
Genre: thriller
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I initially gave this book 3 stars but upped it to 4 because I could not stop thinking about it. Besides the fact that I essentially got all the twists, the sheer emotion in this book is as raw and tangible as this laptop that I’m writing on is.

The Incendiaries

The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon
Genre: literary
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I didn’t like Will or any other character because everyone is a cardboard cutout. The plot, too, leaves much to be desired. Yet, it made me reflect on a topic – religion – that I haven’t given much thought to in a hot minute.

You can read my full review here.

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