My Favorite Books From 2020 // Books That Saved The Year!

So the dumpster fire of a year is finally over!! wow it has been a million years and also one day of a year and holy I think I speak for all of us when I saw I’m glad it’s over.

but there were some decent things too and those were good books! so as usual, I’m writing a wrap up post for my favorite books of the year!

also my last post is my list of my least favorites of the year so for the snark and rants go read that one haha. But this one is for gushing about the gems that genuinely saved 2020 for me!!

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10. The Downstairs Girl

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I’m surprised considering I don’t usually like historical fiction haha. But that’s a testament to how amazing this book was that I could fall so in love with a genre I usually dislike! This book was phenomenal! And I loved reading about a Chinese girl in US history too, for a change. And also we stan a Chinese hat making teenage girl writing an advice column from the basement and absolutely owning all the people prejudiced against her haha.

(also I will sell my soul for an ARC of Luck of the Titanic)

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9. Far From The Tree

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This was such a masterfully done book about three adopted siblings with their vastly different lives coming together, and I absolutely loved reading it! It was such a sweet, deep, compelling story about family and identity and friendships and the bonds with the people we love and I really bonded with and loved this book. Definitely hung around in my mind for quite a while after I finished reading, and I’m okay with that!

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8. The Surprising Power of A Good Dumpling

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This book is so underrated it needs to be on your radar now! I mean, dumplings, need I say anything else?? That was what enticed me to read it anyways haha but also it has amazing Asian diaspora rep, and mental health rep, and is a wonderful story about family and identity. Also I really enjoyed reading a contemporary set in Australia for a change, comparing it to high school in America. Also a swoon worthy romance. Also did I mention dumplings??

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7. Among the Beasts and Briars

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This book is a literal fairy tale and I mean that in the absolute best way! It felt like I had stepped directly into an enchanting whimsical world full of curses and spells and magic and I was so loving it! It was definitely the wonderful fantasy escapism we all needed this year, that’s for sure. Also I love Ashley Poston’s contemporary books so I wasn’t sure how she would write fantasy… anyways now we can rest assured that she’s an absolute queen who can write a masterpiece in any genre!

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6. Instant Karma

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Nobody is surprised to see this here since I am self proclaimed Marissa Meyer trash. At this point she knows me better than I know myself because I didn’t know I needed a sea rescue beach town marine biology enemies to lovers contemporary romance but I did and my life is better now that I’ve read it!! I read it this past fall and it was just the right dose of joy and fluff I needed to get me through midterms! Marissa Meyer = auto read and I haven’t been disappointed yet!!

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5. Ash Princess

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Meanwhile, this one is another surprise because yeah I thought I would like it but I didn’t anticipate loving it so much!! I devoured the entire thing in one sitting and then just stared at the wall and tried to comprehend my life tbh. Like I can’t even describe why but I just absolutely loved it?? I mean princesses, fantasy, romance, secret plots, I’m just throwing words around idk all I know is I loved this book.

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4. Loveboat, Taipei

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Part of why I loved this so much was inevitably because it’s about a Taiwanese dancer and I’m a Taiwanese dancer so yeah. But I’m sure even non Taiwanese dancers can love it!! I mean the setting was so enticing with all the bustle and life of Taipei! The description of food!! (obviously, I mean). The dancing pulled me right in! And the romance was certainly swoon worthy and I need to get my hands on the sequel asap to see what my beloved Asian babies are up to!

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3. The Mark of Athena

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This year was a Percy Jackson resurgence and it partly saved my year. I read the entire original series back when I was… 10? 12? Idk but I hadn’t thought about it in years and I randomly decided to reread it and then read the HOO series and holy zeus this book was intense and amazing and I am a percabeth stan. And the ending… the ending… THE ENDING!!! you’re not getting away from me… never again……. alksfjasklfjslafad I’m nOT OKAY!!

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2. Harley in the Sky

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I read this book in January and I predicted then that it would be my favorite book of the year and was I wrong?? No I was not because 100 books later this book still stands out! It was so dreamy and whimsical, and I was completely captivated and swept away to the enchanting circus! The characters were so amazing and I loved them all! The family themes were so wholesome and powerful. And best of all, the absolutely best multiracial rep (and also incredible mental health rep!) I’ve ever read, and I just felt so happy, so loved while I read it ❤ ❤ ❤

(also I will sell my soul for an ARC of The Infinity Courts)

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1. These Violent Delights 

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There is only one (1) book that could have dethroned Harley in the Sky and that is These Violent Delights!! This book was so violently delightful and delightfully violent!! I first heard of it in June and it’s been living rent free in the back of my mind since then and then I read it in September and it’s been living rent free in the front of my mind since then and it’s been mONTHS and my life is a mess because I canNOT think of anything else!! I mean Romeo and Juliet set in 1920s Shanghai??? YEs pLEASE!!!

(also when the time comes I will sell my soul for an ARC of 2 Violent 2 Delightful)

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Let’s Chat

Have you read (and loved???) any of these books? Or are you interested in reading them? What was your favorite read from 2020, a good book to save a shitty year? I’d love to chat in the comments below!

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52 thoughts on “My Favorite Books From 2020 // Books That Saved The Year!

  1. Wonderful list! I really enjoyed Among the Beasts and Briars, and Mark of Athena is one of my all-time favorites! I can’t wait to read These Violent Delights, and The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling definitely just made it on my TBR! Happy New Year! ❤️🎉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ahh i haven’t read ANY of these books other than mark of athena!! i just got a copy of instant karma, and among the beats and briars though, so i’m looking forward to start those!! these violent delights is also the january pick for a book club i’m in, and my copy is supposed to arrive tomorrow, so i’m super hyped to read it!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. omg instant karma!! there have been some mixed reviews ahh but i am so happy to see it on your list, and my faith in marissa meyer is even more assured haha! ahh i loved ash princess too, it was the last book in the trilogy that completely blew me away! i have yet to read these violent delights and your passion for it is making me excited haha! great list kay!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. AHHHHH KAY ADORE YOUR LIST!!!! Omg there are so many great ones on here.

    I definitely need to read Instant Karma in 2021 ahh SO EXCITED. And you talking about Harley has made me even more hyped, hoping to read Starfish pretty soon and I know I’ll want to read all of Akemi’s other books asap. I also can’t wait to read The Surprising Power of A Good Dumpling which I have on kindle and have not gotten around to yet, it sounds brilliant.

    Ugh we LOVE TO SEE THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS!!!! And indeed “violently delightful and delightfully violent” sums up the whole book ahahah

    Liked by 1 person

  5. i read far from the tree in 2019 and it was definitely one of my favorites from that year too. i didn’t love maya’s POV, but i really appreciated the relationship between the siblings and the discussion of how you can see your future when you don’t know much about your past.

    i am glad you enjoyed and related so much to love boat, taipei! unfortunately, it wasn’t much for me and i found the romance to be a bit too tropey, but i know how much it means when we can see ourselves in a book and i’m glad that love boat taipei was that for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fantastic list, Kay! The only one I have read though is These Violent Delights and wow, it completely deserves its place at the top of your list! It’s stunning for all the reasons you could possibly consider 😍 Hope you read lots of amazing books in 2021 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. These are such great choices, I’ve been meaning to read Ash Princess for the longest time but.. Now that I’ve seen Among the Beasts and Briars, I’m super curious. Thank you for the wonderful list!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. AHHHHHH INSTANT KARMA WAS AMAZING AND I CAN’T BELIEVE I LEFT IT OUT OF MY OWN POST??? I was not expecting the direction Marissa Meyer took – it was such a deep story for a YA contemporary. I also swooned so hard at the romance [and cried so hard when it all fell apart 😭]. I’m thinking a 2021 re-read is inevitable! 💙

    Liked by 1 person

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