What makes a good book a great book? One that is worthy of being remembered as one of the best books you’ve read in the last year, or even in your lifetime? For me, it’s a book that still stays with you after months or even years of reading it. It’s a book that still manages to impact you every time you think about it.
It’s no surprise that I read A LOT. I’m a quick reader. I would say I read on average 80-100 pages per hour. So a book that has on average 350-400 pages (which is the length of most books that I read), it will take me about 4-5 hours to finish it. On average month, I would say I read about 8-12 books depending on how I feel and how busy I am. My Goodreads goal for 2020 was to read 100 books, and I surpassed it by reading 104 books. So you can only imagine how hard it was for me to come up with my Top 10. A few were really easy to include in the list because they definitely stuck with me, even now after having read them over 6 months ago. But for the rest, it was really hard because honestly, I read a lot of great books this year.
So, without further suspense, and in no particular order, here are my Top 10 Reads of 2020.
FAKER, by Sarah Smith
Normally, I wouldn’t include a romcom in my top 10 because although I love them, I prefer including books that really strike an emotional cord or get a strong reaction out of me. However, I had to include this book in my list because for a romcom, it was absolutely FANTASTIC. It had everything I wanted and more. I purchased this book at my favorite bookstore because it was on sale and it the description seemed good enough for a lite romance book which I was in the mood for. I put it on my TBR shelf and it stayed there for MONTHS! Finally when the lockdown began in March and after weeks of boredom, I decided to pick it up and start reading it. And boy was I glad I did because I could not put it down. I actually pulled an all-nighter to finish this book (I may or may not have waited for my husband to fall asleep so I could sneak out of bed and finish reading it…). Never has a romcom surprised me so much and has stayed with me even months after finishing it. If you’re looking for a good romcom, this is the one you want to get your hands on.
THE WIVES, by Tarryn Fisher
I love a good thriller and this one was amazing. I mean it just had you guessing until the very last page and just when you think you know what’s going on, you’re hit with another bang that just has you back at square one. This book was one of the books I was most excited to read because of all the great reviews and I’m so glad it did not disappoint. I love it when a book has you hooked from the very beginning until the end and this book definitely did that. And the ending was just absolutely perfection. I’m still thinking about how this book ended months after having finished it.
NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA, by Chanel Cleeton
What can I say about this book other than the fact that it was absolutely one of the most beautiful books I’ve read in a long time. I love a good love story and this was one to last a lifetime. Next Year in Havana will have you travelling back in time in Cuba during the revolution and following a love story like no other. My favorite part about reading is when I get to travel to different countries and cultures through a book. This book not only had me traveling to Cuba, but it was filled with so much culture and not one, but two love stories. This is definitely a book that will stay with me for a long time and I’m so happy it’s part of a trilogy that I can’t wait to get my hands on.
THE LIGHT WE LOST, by Jill Santopolo
There are no words to describe how much this book touched me. It’s probably one of the saddest love stories I’ve read. The writing was just perfect and the story had me reaching for the tissues on more than one occasion. I read this book as one of my goals to get through all of Reese’s Book Club picks and I really didn’t expect to have such an emotional reaction to it. I don’t know what more I can say other than I just absolutely loved it.
THE HATE U GIVE, by Angie Thomas
I read this book a few weeks ago and I’m still reeling over it. Very few books have gotten such a strong reaction out of me and this one definitely makes the list. This is a book that I strongly recommend for everyone to read. I felt so many emotions reading this book: frustration, anger, grief, sadness. This book takes racial injustice to a whole new level and talks about one of the most crucial topics in today’s world: police injustice towards black people. It was such a powerful book and I have to hand it to the author for making me feel so many emotions and connecting so deeply with the main character. If there is one book that everyone should read to understand just how much racism is an issue in today’s world, this is it.
LOVE & OTHER WORDS, by Christina Lauren
Bring out the tissue box because you will need it to get through this book. Just when you think you have no more tears left to cry, this book will have you thinking twice. There are so many reasons why I loved this book so much and one of them definitely has to be because of the main character. I just connected with her on such a different level that I was feeling every single emotion alongside her. It was beautiful and sad at the same time (is that even a thing?). If there is one book you have to read by Christina Lauren, this is it. Just be warned: if you have a heart, you will be crying.
THE LIES THAT BIND, by Emily Giffin
This was one of the most anticipated books of the year for me. I was so beyond excited when one of my all time favorite authors Emily Giffin announced the release of her new book. I’ve been a huge fan of hers for quite some time because not only is she a fantastic writer, but she writes about topics that anyone can relate to. The Lies That Bind was a true masterpiece that I finished in one single sitting.
THE HENNA ARTIST, by Alka Joshi
Pack your bags, we’re travelling to India. This book had everything to be an instant bestseller. Strong female protagonist? Check! Set in an exotic country filled with culture? Check! Great storyline that will have the readers hooked? Check! Family secrets / drama? Check. You would think by the expertise writing and intriguing story that this would have been written by a seasoned writer who is used to being on the bestseller list. However, The Henna Artist was written by Alka Joshi and this is her first book ever. There are no words to describe just how much I truly enjoyed this book, so including it in my top 10 best books of the year was a no brainer.
WE WERE LIARS, by E. Lockhart
I’m a bit late to the game as far as this book is concerned. It came out over six years ago and I just got my hands on it this year. I hadn’t even heard of this book and would probably not have come across it if it wasn’t for my cousin who recommended it to me. I’m so glad I did read it though because it’s had such a huge impact on me. This book falls more under the YA category so I wasn’t to sure how I would feel about it. Even though the characters in the book are much younger, the storyline was just absolutely fantastic that I couldn’t help being captivated by it. Books like this are the reason why I love reading.
MY DARK VANESSA, by Kate Elizabeth Russell
This book is not for everyone. If you’re sensitive and have trouble reading about hard topics, then maybe you would be best not reading this book. However, if you’re looking for a book that is raw, dark and twisted, then this book is for you. There are no words to describe how much this book got to me. It’s been over seven months that I’ve read this book and I still can’t get it out of my head. This is definitely one of those books that will stay with you for months or even years on end. There were a lot of mixed reviews about this book, but I suggest you read it and make your own opinion. I have to say that this was definitely my most anticipated book of the year and the most memorable. If there is one book out of this list I recommend you read, this is it. But only if you can handle it.