Wrap Ups

2020 End of Year Survey – Yearly wrap up: past & future goals, best of best in books and blogging, and more!

2020 has been… crazy. I don’t know any other way to put it. This year put all our lives upside down, taught us a whole new (less pleasant) way to live, and sadly was the worst year ever for some people. Fortunately I can say that while this year wasn’t the most positive for me, I’m ending it on a way better note than I expected it to, and I’m grateful for that.

I don’t want to start my post on a negative note, but there is no way for me to turn a blind eye to what’s been happening in the world during this year. Therefore, I’d like to ask you to please consider helping to the issues or movements currently happening in the world.


READING STATS

Books read: 72
Pages read: 27,250
Average rating: 4.2 (I don’t take 5-star ratings lightly I swear)
Most read genre: Fantasy (28 books)
Least read genre: Classics and Non-Fiction (one each)
Favorite books: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid and The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E Schwab (5 stars each)
Least favorite books: Wilder Girls by Rory Power (2 stars), Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson (2 stars), Imagine Me by Tahereh Mafi (2 stars)


BEST IN BOOKS

1. Best Book You Read In 2020

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – This was the first book I read this year, and quickly knew it was going to be very hard to top it. The unique plot, the rawness of the characters and the heartbreaking ending took my breath away while reading it –and oh boy, do I love books with empowered women as main characters.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E Schwab – This was the ONLY other book that made me question whether Evelyn Hugo was going to take the crown as my fav book read this year. I made a long review of it explaining why this book now has my whole heart and soul, but to make it short, the originality of the plot and the extremely well-written characters, along with its beautiful prose, made me love this book.

2. Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’t?

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – I had big expectations on this book, and sadly it was a bit disappointing to me. There were too many politics and economics descriptions for my taste, the pace was rather slow, and overall I was expecting it to be more action-packed and exciting.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

Beach Read by Emily Henry – In a good way, this book completely surprised me. I thought this was going to be another average adult romance book to me: entertaining, fun, enjoyable, but nothing else. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the sensitive topics it addressed and HOW the author did so, in a respectful and accurate way. I’d recommend this to everyone.

4. Book you pushed the most people to read (and they did?)

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E Schwab – I don’t know if they did… but I certainly yelled at everyone to read this book after I finished it.

5. Best series you started in 2020? Best sequel? Best series ender of 2020?

Best series started in 2020: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab – Another big surprise to me. I loved this book and though I haven’t had the chance to keep going with the series, it quickly became a big favorite to me.

Best sequel: Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim – This book was full of action and originality. The reading experience was so similar to watching a movie! You won’t believe how immersive this book is. This duology (The Blood of Stars) made Elizabeth Lim one of my auto-buy authors.

Best series ender: The only series I ended this year was Shatter Me and… let’s not talk about that… but if duologies count, then it’d be Unravel the Dusk as well.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2020?

Elizabeth Acevedo – I read all of her books this year for a reason. She’s my favorite Latinx author and I love how efficiently she portrays Latinx culture and Latinx families in specific. Another auto-buy author to me.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-García – Though I think I pretty much stick with my preferred genres this year (something I hope to change in the future), I read this book from the Horror genre and it was a brand new, fun experience (even when I got freaked out a couple times…).

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim – This isn’t a long book, it doesn’t even have 400 pages, but it felt like it had more (for a GOOD reason). Every time I went to put it down, another interesting, dramatic thing happened that encouraged me to keep reading. It’s fast pace doesn’t overwhelm readers, on the contrary, it gives us a very thrilling experience. 100% would recommend.

9. Book you read in 2020 that you would be MOST likely to reread next year?

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E Schwab – I can’t stress this out enough: I DON’T DO REREADS… except for those very, very few books I end up adoring. This is the one. I would say Evelyn Hugo too, but I reread it this year already.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2020?

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie
Lobizona by Romina Garber

Oh sorry… it had to be just one???

11. Most memorable character of 2020?

  • Julian Díaz from Cemetery Boys – He’s an intimidating cinnamon roll that should be protected at all costs.
  • Liz Lighty from You Should See Me In A Crown – I loved how she was fearless in the face of her school’s stereotypes, and how determined she was to make a change for the better in it.
  • Emoni from With the Fire on High – A Latinx superhero next door, that’s the only way I can describe her. She’s hardworking and dedicated and loving, and basically everything you can aspire to be in life.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2020?

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – Yes… yes everyone… again. But I bookmarked this over fifty times, so I can’t put any other book in here.

13. Most thought-provoking, life-changing book of 2020?

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven – This book hit so close to home for me. It’s so profoundly sad but at the same time, it’s impossible not to contemplate many things once you hit the last page. This book is a necessary pain.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2020 to finally read?

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – This was on my TBR since 2016 or so, so yeah. Cielo the procrastination queen.

15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2020?

“Please never forget that the sun rises and sets with your smile. At least to me it does. You’re the only thing on this planet worth worshipping.”

Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

I had so much more but I changed my phone and lost all my quotes… the pain is real.

16. Shortest and longest book you read in 2020?

Shortest: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (96 pages)

Longest: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas (803 pages)

17. Book that shocked you the most?

All This Time by Rachael Lippincott and Mikki Daughtry – The whole time I was reading this book I was like: It has so NOT expecting that. It has many things you would never expect from a YA Contemporary book.

18. OTP of the year (you will go down with this ship!)

The picture does not belong to me. All credits to the artist who made this drawing.

Roma and Juliette from These Violent Delights – The yearning guys, the YEARNING.

19. Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year

The picture does not belong to me. All credits to the artist who made this drawing.

Frances and Aled from Radio Silence – This is one of the best friendships I read about this year. And most of the book revolves around that, friendship, which makes it really special to me.

20. Favorite book you read in 2020 from an author you’ve read previously

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (I read Daisy Jones & The Six on 2019)

21. Favorite book you read in 2020 that you read based solely on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure/bookstagram, etc.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson – I found this book through book twitter, and the amazing recommendations made me read it on April. It definitely lived up to the hype as it’s my favorite mystery/thriller book of the year as well!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2020

This picture does not belong to me. All credits to the artist who made this drawing.

Roma Montagov from These Violent Delights – I couldn’t help falling in love with him, but can you blame me?? I mean, look at him.

23. Best 2020 debut you read?

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie
House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
…and of course, Addie LaRue.

24. Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting you read this year?

Crier’s War by Nina Varela – The worldbuilding created for this book was so original, so well thought and fresh that I fell in love with it. This book got me out of my fantasy-book-reading-slump, so that should tell you everything you need to know about my opinion on it.

25. Book that put a smile on your face/was the most FUN to read?

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren – This was SO fun to read. Josh and Hazel is the most adorable, swoony book I read this year and it just evokes a feeling of happiness and pure joy that I rarely got to experience with some books. There’s no sadness, no excessive drama or things that can get you stressed, it’s just a feel-good type of book to read in one sitting to have a good time.

26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2020?

You have to know that I’m a cry baby, so I probably cried on at least 60 of the 72 books I read this year. But I have to give it to To drink coffee with a ghost by Amanda Lovelace, as this poetry book is filled with bitter, sad and complex feelings from a daughter to a mother who’s no longer alive.

27. Hidden gem of the year?

Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie – I haven’t seen many people talk about this book, and I don’t know why! It has a beautifully made book cover and the witchy plot along with the French-inspired setting makes the perfect mix for an amazing book.

28. Book that crushed your soul?

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven – As I said, this is the saddest thing I got to read on 2020.

29. Most unique book you read in 2020?

Addie LaRue tbh.

30. Book that made you the most mad?

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins – I’m still bitter for this being a 5 star book for the first two thirds of it and then a 1.5 star book on the last third part.


YOUR BLOGGING/BOOKISH LIFE

1. New favorite book blog/bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2020?

Favorite book blogs: White Rose Stories / Mouse That Reads / Forever and Everly / Marshmallow Harmonies / Starlight Strands / Drizzle and Hurricane Books / The Quite Pond / Shut Up, Shealea / Word Wonders

Favorite booktubers: Chloe from Books With Chloe / Fadwa from Word Wonders / Myonna from Myonna Reads / Beth from Books Nest

2. Favorite post you wrote in 2020?

Here are my top three favorite posts of the year:

3. Favorite bookish related photo you took in 2020?

Since I don’t have much physical books (and didn’t have a decent camera until a few days ago), I didn’t take any bookish related pics on 2020…

4. Best bookish event that you participated in?

I didn’t participate in much bookish events this year since I found out readathons make me a little too stressed, lol. But I loved participating on the Magical Readathon in April.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2020?

Winning Best New Book Blogger at the 2020 Book Blogger Awards!! I definitely wasn’t expecting that at all, and I’m so very grateful to each and every one who has supported my blog.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Reading backlist books! I only read a few and plan to change that in the future, but I mostly got caught up on new releases and forgot a bit about those books I’ve been wanting to read for months or years.

7. Most popular post this year on your blog (whether it is by the comments or views?)

Turns out finding your most popular post on WordPress is more difficult than I thought it would be, lol. But without using the internet and based solely on my memory I’d say it’s the Are book bloggers underappreciated? (+see how much a book blogger earns) post.

8. Post you wished got a little more love?

I recently made a post on how readers should support other readers (whether by sharing book deals, taking note of triggers warnings, etcetera) that I wish more people would read. You can do so here.

9. Best bookish discover?

Book Trigger Warnings website – This amazing page created this year is so helpful before diving into a book, so you can be well informed in all the trigger/content warnings beforehand.

10. Did you complete any challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Yes!! I planned reading 65 books and I ended up reading 72 *insert little happy dance here*. Also, I wanted to start listening to audiobooks and I’ve listened to two so far. Finally, I planned reading more #OwnVoices books and successfully did it, as most of the books I read this year were OV.


LOOKING AHEAD

1. One book you didn’t get to read in 2020 but will be your number 1 priority in 2021?

The Poppy War by R.F Kuang – I can’t promise it’s going to be the first book I’ll read in 2021 (it most certainly won’t), but I really want to read this one as everyone on the blogosphere has loved it, and I can’t wait to see if it lives up to my expectations.

2. Book you are most anticipating for 2021? (non-debut)

How The King of Elfhame Learned To Hate Stories by Holly Black – This is freshly released, but it won’t be a 2021 debut! I didn’t have the chance to read it on November or December so I really want to do it in January, as I really liked The Folk of Air trilogy.

3. 2021 debut you are most anticipating?

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas – ACOTAR is one of my favorite series ever, and I wasn’t really excited about Nesta’s story… until I read the sneak peek of this book at the end of A Court of Frost and Starlight. Now this is all I can think about. (However, I have a long list of very anticipated releases, and hopefully I’ll share it with you in a few days/weeks!)

4. Series ending/a sequel you are most anticipating in 2021?

Bone Crier’s Dawn by Kathryn Purdie – This series definitely deserves more love! Go check out my review of it (my first ever post!) if you’d like to know my thoughts on it.

Chain of Iron by Cassandra ClareChain Of Gold set free all of my love for The Infernal Devices again, and after that cliffhanger I cannot wait to see how James and Cordelia’s story continues.

5. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2021?

I’ll kindly write 5 goals for next year down below… let’s see if I can make them happen!

  • Read 70 books (at least 50 of them diverse!)
  • Reach 1500 followers (by December 2021)
  • Finish Throne of Glass and Shadowhunters series.
  • Create some new sections on the blog.
  • Read more sci-fi and non-fiction books.

That’s all for this post! I can’t believe the year is over. It has gone by in a rush. Thank you so, so much for your support during 2020, and here’s to a 2021 of great reads, new beginnings and good vibes only!

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7 thoughts on “2020 End of Year Survey – Yearly wrap up: past & future goals, best of best in books and blogging, and more!”

  1. I’m so glad to hear that Evelyn Hugo was one of your favorites of the year, since it’s one of my fave books as well 😀 And Elizabeth Acevedo cemented herself as a favorite author for me too this year ❤ Ahaha I felt the same way about Mexican Gothic—it was a departure from my usual reading and I really enjoyed it even if it definitely did freak me out 😂

    Best of luck with all your goals and reading in 2021, and happy new year!!

    Like

  2. Congrats on reading 75 books! Fantasy is usually my top read genre as well! I am sad to hear you didn’t like Sox of Crows all that much, it is one of my favourites!
    I hope you get to read The Poppy War and enjoy it – the series is one of my favourites!
    OMG YES I love Roma too!

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  3. Wonderful answers, Cielo! 🥰 Yes to Elizabeth Acevedo, she is absolutely one of my favourite authors. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder and These Violent Delights were two of my best books of the year as well. And don’t worry, I’m still procrastinating on Six Of Crows! I’m hoping to read it soon before the Netflix series is released. Congratulations again on your award, it was so well deserved ❤

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  4. Ah what a fantastic post, I love these questions and your answers so much. And thank you for mentioning me, I’m so honored and grateful that you like my work 🥺🥺
    I loved Elizabeth Acevedo’s With the Fire on High this year and can’t WAIT to read more now. I’m also so, so glad to hear you loved the world building in Crier’s War, I am so eager to read this book, hopefully this year I will!
    Have a lovely January!! 🙂

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  5. Loved reading this post! The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is on my tbr and I’m excited to get to it! V.E. Schwab’s writing is so beautiful too (even though I’ve only read the This Savage Song duology (book 1 of which is one of my all-time faves). I’m sorry that Six of Crows didn’t live up to the hype though! That and Crooked Kingdom is probably my favourite book but I totally get the disappointment when books don’t live up to all the hype – that’s the main reason why I only read it in 2020 too! Elizabeth Acevado is also another author with stunning writing – I’ve only read With The Fire on High but it was amazing! I loved that Emoni was a teen mum too I think that was so interesting to see because it’s a perspective I’ve never really read before.

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  6. Omg Cielo this post is AMAZING!! I can so tell how much effort you put into it and I love all of your sections!!

    So so many of the ones you’ve been talking about are def on my 2021 tbr, especially Addie LaRue hehe and also Good Girl’s Guide!! So glad you loved Evelyn also, I really want to reread that one. And eeeep These Violent Delights and Beach Read are both on my list too, UGH I LOVED THEM SO SO SO MUCH!!! Also twinning because I too haven’t read The Poppy War and I have FOMO lmao

    Also so excited for you and happy that you won that award. It’s seriously so well deserved friend <3<3 sending all the love your way.

    Like

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