I read 57 books in 2020 and of those, nine were five star reads. There were a few more that I did rate at five stars but they were either childhood books or rereads so I didn’t want to include them here. If you’re interested in them, or anything else I read, you can check out my Goodreads.
I am VERY critical of the books I read so I have to really love a story to give it five stars. The majority of what I read falls into the three or four star categories but today I’m going to share with you the best of the best. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have any issues with these books; I just loved everything else about them enough to overlook any flaws. Let’s get started!
My first review of 2020 was luckily a five star read, The Twelfth Transforming by Pauline Gedge. This is the best Egyptian historical fiction that I’ve read so far. It brings the story of Akhenaten and Nefertiti to life with beautiful, descriptive writing. You can read my full review here.
Katherine by Anya Seton is another beautifully written and descriptive historical fiction. It tells the story of Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, the ancestors of most of the British royal family. It is such a well researched book that honestly borders on nonfiction. It also has an incredible romance with SO many ups and downs. You can read my full review here.
No other book surprised me as much as Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas. I like Maas’ writing but I wouldn’t call her a favorite so I didn’t expect much from this ridiculously long fantasy… I was so wrong. This book is MASSIVE but I was entertained throughout and even cried multiple times😂 If you’ve been looking for a really good New Adult fantasy, try this one. You can read my full review here.
House of Salt and Sorrows was Erin A. Craig’s debut novel and I loved it so much that all of her future releases will now be automatic buys for me. This book is a creepy retelling of the “Twelve Dancing Princesses” fairytale. It blends fantasy, romance and horror into one incredibly unique story. You can read my full review here.
If you’re a fan of New Adult fantasy, I’m sure you’ve heard of From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout. This book was incredibly popular this year and for good reason. I loved everything; from the steamy romance to the unique supernatural storyline. Unfortunately, I didn’t love its sequel, A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire, anywhere near as much but I can’t wait to see where this series goes. You can read my full review here.
“The King” by Jennifer L. Armentrout is the second novella in the Wicked spin off series. I feel weird including it and not including the other ones but this one is truly the best. I didn’t find the main series or the other two novellas in this spin off series to be quite as good as this one is; though, they are worth reading. This is another New Adult fantasy filled with fae and romance. You can read my full review here.
Last but not least, the Blood Rose trilogy by Kaki Warner. This series has made me obsessed with Western historical romances! Warner is a new author to me but she’s now one of my favorites. Pieces of Sky, Open Country and Chasing the Sun each tell the story of a different brother in the Wilkins family. These books are so well written, funny and have some of the best romances I’ve ever read. You can read my review for Pieces of Sky here, Open Country here and Chasing the Sun here.
There are three books that I gave four stars to that I still want to mention. All of these were really good and stuck with me but they just weren’t quite five star worthy.
First is My Faire Lady by Laura Wettersten. This book is the DEFINITION of a cute, YA summer read. It’s about a girl named Rowena Duncan who decides to spend her summer vacation working at a Renaissance Faire where there’s plenty of adventure, friendship and romance to be found. You can read my full review here.
Second is Lovely War by Julie Berry. This book is a unique mix of romantic historical fiction and Greek mythology. It’s primarily a love story that takes place during World War I but it has a unique twist. You can read my full review here.
Third is An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson. This would have been a five star read for me if it just would have been LONGER. It’s another fae fantasy but I think I like Rogerson’s take on fae more than any other author. You can read my full review here.
I am always looking for new books so please let me know what your favorites were this year and also let me know if we share any favorites! If you’re reading this at the time it’s posted, I hope you have a very merry Christmas!