This is the post I dread the most each year, because I never know which books to choose from! I’ve read so many great books this year, but I choose only 20 to have on my top favourite books of the year list!
So here we go ~~
20 – 17
20. The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
- Decided to listen to this audiobook during a long night shift at work and ended up listening to three quarters of it in one sitting
- A young woman plans to woo the Shadow King, make him fall in love with her, marry her and then kill him and take his throne … but then she ends up falling in love with him
- So much fun! Not to be taken too seriously, but if you’re looking for a fun book, this is definitely it!
- I’d die for Alessandra and the King 😍
19. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- Didn’t think I’d enjoy this book but I ended up loving it
- A scientist named Frankenstein reanimates a human from a bunch of dead body parts and then becomes disgusted at what he’s done and abandons the creature, who then seeks revenge against Frankenstein
- The audiobook is narrated by Dan Stevens and he is phenomenal!
- Someone needs to tell Frankenstein that all the problems in his life were caused by himself 💀
18. Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
- This genuinely creeped me the hell out, but damn, it was so good!
- A marine biologist joins a crew searching for mermaids after her sister went missing years earlier searching for the same mermaids
- SAPPHIC ROMANCE 🚨 BI AND LESBIAN REP
- The mermaids were scary af
17. The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey
- This book is so tense and gothic, I felt like I was right there!
- A curator named Hetty is tasked with protecting the museum’s natural history exhibit during WWII in a large country mansion run by a tyrannic Lord. While there, she begins to fall for his daughter while mysterious things begin to happen to the exhibit
- Another sapphic romance! Adored these two women so much and not a day goes by when I don’t think of them
- CW: child abuse, pedophilia
16 – 13
16. Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger
- Non-stop ride of amazing worldbuilding and fantastic characters, I need a sequel bad
- Four different people — a crown prince, a soldier, a detective princess, and a thief — find their lives intertwining when an unstoppable killer who has formed a new kind of magic tries to kill them all
- ANOTHER SAPPHIC ROMANCE THAT I’D DIE FOR. Xiulan and Lee forever 😍
- The worldbuilding is so damn good, I still can’t get over it
15. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
- Another gothic horror in my favourites this year, what is happening to me?
- Noemí receives a worrying letter from her newly married cousin, so she goes to visit her at High Place, a creepy old mansion, deep in Mexico. There she meets her cousin’s new inhospitable family, discovers their disgusting obsession with eugenics, and begins to suspect all is not well at High Place
- I’d die for Noemí, she’s such a badass
- Discusses important topics, like eugenics, and misogyny against indigenous women
14. How Long ’til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin
- A collection of short fantasy and scifi stories, featuring Black characters, set in the future, in a Jim Crow version of the past and much more
- My favourite story was “The Necromancer”. I want a full-length novel about these amazing characters!
- Genres include: swords and sorcery, steampunk, time travel, climate fiction, and Afrofuturism
- I want to reread this book ASAP!
13. The Memory of Souls by Jenn Lyons
- This series just keeps getting better and better!!
- Kihrin, the chosen one (although no one’s sure if he’s meant to save the world or destroy it), has to convince the Manol vané to perform an ancient ritual that will strip them of their immortality but which will continue to stop the king of demons from rising from his sleep
- It’s so hard to keep track of all the characters in this series as they all die and are reincarnated into other people, but half the fun is trying to remember who is who
- I’d die for Kihrin, Teraeth and Janel! The author has confirmed they’re going to be endgame 👀
12 – 9
12. Brothersong by TJ Klune
- Final book in the Green Creek series. Completed destroyed me 😭
- Follows Carter, the eldest Bennett brother, as he travels to find his missing mate Gavin, and deal with the monstrous Robert Livingstone who won’t give Gavin up
- ALL THE FEELS! This book made me cry so damn much
- I adore all of these characters, but especially Gavin 💕
11. Mo Dao Zu Shi by MXTX
- Can’t believe I read this 1,500+ page book in like 9 days!
- Wei WuXian, the evil grandmaster of demonic cultivation, has died … and then comes back to life 13 years later in the body of a lunatic. Together with his old rival, Wei WuXian travels the countryside to find those who destroyed his life all those years ago while also falling in love
- Seriously one of the best books I’ve ever read, y’all need to get onto it!
- And also watch the TV show, The Untamed! Got me through lockdown tbh
10. Shadows Return by Lynn Flewelling
- It took me four months to read the first 100 pages, and then one day to read the remaining 350
- The fourth book in the Nighrunner series, Alec and Seregil are captured and sold into slavery. Unbeknownst to them, they’re “sold” to the same master but kept apart: Seregil, to be tortured by a person from his former life, and Alec, to be used for his special blood
- Super depressing but so unputdownable. Literally didn’t stop reading!
- I adore Alec and Seregil so much 😭
9. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
- The sweetest, loveliest book I’ve read all year
- Linus is sent to Marysas Island to look in on orphaned children with special powers, after his bosses worry about their abilities. While he’s there, he begins to fall for the children and their mysterious foster father
- Feels like a big hug from someone you love where and then you just start crying
- TJ Klune never fails
8 – 5
8. The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
- Such a tense gothic-type novel that I literally read in a day and a half
- Set in the 1600s, during a storm, a tiny island town’s entire male population is killed and the women need to fend for themselves now. In the midst of this, a new priest, and his obedient wife, shows up and attempts to tame the island women by suspecting many of them of witchcraft
- Another sapphic romance! It’s so soft and takes forever to develop, the slowest of slow burns
- So beautifully written!
7. A Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson
- Comes out January 31st 2021, I was so lucky to get an ARC!
- Constanta is killed by a gang of warriors and is turned into a vampire by the man we know as Dracula. Together, Constanta and Dracula live through history, and eventually he finds another wife and husband. All three of Dracula’s brides have to learn to walk on eggshells around him as he becomes more and more controlling
- The writing? Impeccable. The characters? Incredible. The plot? Sublime. Y’ALL NEED THIS BOOK
- I ship Constanta, Magdalena, Alexei and Dracula so bad, even though Dracula is a massive ass
6. Fence: Striking Distance by Sarah Rees Brennan
- ABSOLUTE PERFECTION
- Set in between the comics, Fence follows Nicholas as he gets a scholarship at Kings Row, a fencing college. His team is notorious for not working together, so their coach forces them to do team building exercises and soon the boys are getting caught up in antics and romances
- I ship Aiden and Harden so freaking bad! I need them to get together 😭
- Sarah Rees Brennan really knows how to write teens
5. Tian Guan Ci Fu by MXTX
- Still can’t believe I read this 2,050 page book in 20 days
- Xie Lian, a trash god who has risen to godhood three times after falling twice, is sent on a bunch of adventures with his last true believer, the Demon Ghost King Hua Cheng, who is madly in love with him
- I can’t get over how beautiful this book is and how different it is from MDZS
- XIE LIAN AND HUA CHENG! That is all 😭
4 – 2
- I’m not the biggest fan of Schwab’s writing or books but couldn’t pass this one up because of the plot. Boy, am I happy I didn’t!
- Addie accidentally makes a deal with the Darkness to live a truely free life forever — but he tricks her and gives her the immortality but ensures she will be forgotten by everyone she will ever meet. Then one day, in the twenty-first century, Addie meets a boy in a secondhand bookstore who remembers her
- This book has definitely been marketed wrong, it’s not a romance with the devil, but still such an incredible book
- For once, I actually like Schwab’s writing!
3. Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall
- Omg, I adored this book so much!! 😭😭😭
- Luc is the son of an ageing rockstar and popstar whose had his fair share of embarrassment in front of the paparazzi. So when he has another one that jeopardises his career, his boss tells him to get a fake boyfriend so he can fix his reputation. Then he meets Oliver …
- I ship Luc and Oliver so much, they’re so good for each other!
- Also this book is freaking hilarious
2. Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
- I can’t believe how phenomenal this short book is! Still reeling over it
- Piranesi has only ever lived in the House, with one person: the Other. They are the only two people in the whole world. Then the Other tells him another person has entered the House, and Piranesi soon learns a terrible truth about the world
- So unique, I’ve literally never read a book like this before! Need to reread
- I love Piranesi so much!
1. The Persian Boy by Mary Renault
- The best book I’ve read this year! Why did I put off reading it for so long?
- The second book in the Alexander the Great trilogy follows Bagoas, Alexander’s lover, who charts the last seven years of Alexander’s life as the King conquers country after country, faces mutiny and assassination attempts, and eventually, dies
- Bagoas and Alexander have such a beautiful relationship, they’re so good for each other
- I literally start crying whenever I think about the very last page of the book. Really shows how the only person who has ever loved Alexander for himself, and not his titles, was Bagoas 😭
- This beautiful quote won’t make much sense without context but I still have to share it:
‘I would follow you to the last shores of the world, if it were a thousand miles.’
He said, ‘Stay with me here instead.’