December and 2020 Wrap up

Hello hello hello friends, and welcome to (*drumroll please*) the end of 2020!
Wow, I cannot believe that we’re finally here! 2020 has been a crazy year of ups and downs–ha ha, I’m joking if there was an up please let me know because I cannot think of anything except the fact that I started this very blog.
Anyways, here’s how this wrap up is going to work. To spare you from having to read through my comments on all 181 books I read this year (and to spare me from having to write about all of them because–) the first part of the wrap up will be just December books. However, this month my ‘monthly wrap up awards’ will become my yearly wrap up awards so you can see what I thought of characters, plot, world building, etc. throughout the whole year!

In December I read ten books (sort of*). I had a lot of five star books which I’m super happy about! This was a really, really good month for reading.

*I actually read Fence, the graphic novel series as well but I won’t be talking about that

  • The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune. This is the second book by Klune that I’ve ever read and I really enjoyed it! It was a unique idea and the characters were awesome (Lucy was the best, I’m not sure why but I really liked him. He was very funny) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Throwaway Girls by Andrea Contos. This book was…okay. It had a VERY important message and it was a very eye opening book but I just found the actual plot and how it was written to be…less good. Still, I’d suggest you to give it a try! ⭐⭐⭐
  • Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu. I loved Moxie! It was such an empowering novel and I liked how it was written as well! We need more novels like this in our lives. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Shadow Magic by Joshua Khan. I thought this was a great book because it was LOTR-esque but much easier to read and one of the main characters was female! I’d been looking for a book like this for a while now and I read The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan earlier this year which was a bit like LOTR but this one was much better. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • The Only Black Girls in Town by Brandy Colbert. This was a really great middle grade book, I really enjoyed it! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron. This was a really great idea for a book but I just don’t think the actual plot was written that well. There was a lot of planning to do things and I just didn’t find that very interesting. Also…there was insta love which always makes me unhappy. ⭐⭐⭐
  • With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo. As always, Acevedo’s books are beautiful. This is the third book by her I’ve read and the first book in prose and I enjoyed it more than the others! I loved Emoni and Acevedo’s writing is just absolutely beautiful. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver. I loved this book so much it was so heartbreaking and adorable and amazing. It’s not often that you read a book with a non binary MC so that was also often to find in this book! Nathan was my favorite character because…Nathan. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. AAAAAAAAAAH hello I read this book in one sitting it was great now I cannot use punctuation because this book is great thank you.
    Okay, now for the thoughts that you can actually understand: I loved this book so much. It was so diverse and magical and the characters were awesome. Aiden Thomas’s writing, too, is amazing and I cannot wait for their next book, Lost in the Neverwoods. (also, Thomas has written another book pitched as Percy Jackson meets the Hunger Games and it’s queer and why is this not out right now). Sorry, I’m getting off topic. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Wild Beauty by Anna Marie McLemore. This book was….interesting. It was extremely different than any other book I’ve read and it was a fascinating idea, too. I’m honestly not sure what I thought of it. ⭐⭐⭐

My Bookish Awards (for the entire year!)

Oh dear, this will be hard, won’t it be.

Best Character: The best character I have read all year is Fie from The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owens. I loved Fie because she was this super strong and determined character and I also loved the magic she could do–maybe not exactly about her but still. She could do said magic.
Worst Character: The fact that this isn’t even a hard choice is sort of sad. This award easily goes to Asa from The Future Was Now by JR Harbor. My hatred of Asa is unmatched. He only cares about his girlfriend because she’s ‘the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen.’ and that’s only the first reason I hate him. I’ll shut up before I continue ranting but find the rest of my rant about this book here. It was one of the more fun posts to write.
Most interesting Character: OKAY FINE I didn’t want to do this one but since I can’t think of anything else, I’ll say The Claw from We Ride Upon Sticks. The Claw is a hairstyle….but in the book it had a personality. Also it was, like, magical??? So that’s certainly interesting.
Funniest Character: Well, I’m not entirely sure if this is the actual character or the character’s actions that are funny, but Nick from The Extraordinaries did a lot of really funny dumb things and he was funny as well and that book made me laugh a lot. (Find my interview with the author, TJ Klune, here, where we discuss Nick and writing a book)

Best villain: So…I have the perfect villain in mind, however this villain comes in about halfway through said book and I don’t want to spoil for anyone! But I will say that the villain in Crown of Feathers was probably the best villain I read this year since they were cruel and smart and it’s just a thrill to read them because it always seems so impossible that the main character would defeat them.
Worst villain: Villains in Spy School Revolution. Perhaps it’s a little unfair for me to put these people here since this is a middle grade book, but I just didn’t like the idea for them as villains and stuff.
Most original villain: Villain (more like villainous idea) in Four Dead Queens. THAT PLOT TWIST–no, Phoenix, shush, no one needs to hear you talk about THAT PLOT TWIST–
Anyways there’s a great plot twist read Four Dead Queens please and thank you.

Best plot: Oh hello how on EARTH am I going to choose??? I’ve read so many amazing books this year! But finally, after much contemplation (and disagreement within myself) I have decided on Eight Will Fall by Sarah Harian. This was such an interesting story and it really hooked me! I loved this book and you all should definitely check it out!
Worst plot: Maybe this isn’t actually true but I read so many books in 2020 and can’t possibly remember the plots of all of them. I just remember really disliking this book because of what was going on in it and stuff. I’m going to say “Let the Storm Break” by Shannon Messenger. I’ve read KOTLC by Messenger so I tried her other series and I just–meh. I got through the first book and read the second and I really struggled to get through it because the plot was so slow and just not what I wanted to read it. I never picked up the last book.
Craziest plot twist: PHOENIX DON’T SAY I–FOUR DEAD QUEENS. *pause* Are any of you surprised? Sorry, I just had to say this here.
Most original plot: Okay for this one I think I’m going to go with Dread Nation by Justina Ireland. I thought that it was such an interesting concept and VERY different than other things. Basically, it was about zombies (called shamblers in this book) who rose from the dead in the Civil War. Now (a little bit after the Civil War ended–it was cut short by this new zombie development), our main character Jane goes to a school to learn to cut down Shamblers and protect others (read: rich white people because, well, America). That being said, this book also brings attention to important things like slavery and racial inequalities in this United States. We also have great diversity–both main characters are POC (Jane is biracial) and our two main characters are bi and ace/aro. So get out and read this book!!!

Best world building: WHY DO I CURSE MYSELF TO THIS. Okay, it’s a tie between Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim and Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Scavenge the Stars never gave an info dump and there was a lot of different countries and places that were fitted into that. And, of course, Six of Crows is…Six of Crows. The grishaverse is so well thought out and complex! (Scavenge the Stars review)
Worst world building: How am I supposed to decide which world I hated the most??? I mean, there were worlds I hated but those worlds were meant to be hated (Like in Cinderella is Dead where women are literally forced to marry a man when they’re, like, 18).
Okay, I know I said this last month but since I can’t think of anything else, I’ll say it again: the world from House of Dragons. Basically nothing was explained. There was an island. There was an ocean. There were estates and there was a city. Where were they in relation to each other? I don’t know! (well, the island was in the middle of the sea, that’s for sure).
Most interesting world: For this one, I’ll go with the world from The Winter Duke by Claire Eliza Bartlett. This book was definitely not my favorite but it had a very unique world. The world the character lived in, or at least the kingdom, was basically all ice. On top of a gigantic lake. Then, under the ice, in the water…there’s another world!

Best romance: I’m…not really a romance person. I mean, of course I’ll read romance in books because it’s hard to find a YA book without romance, but I don’t pay attention to it much and don’t like when it’s a big part of the book. That being said, I do DEFINITELY ship some couples. Nick and Seth from The Extraordinaries (try to come up with a good ship name though, I dare you. I don’t want to ship ‘sick’). Jesper and Wylan from Six of Crows (SHIP SO HARD) and Yadriel and Julian from Cemetery Boys (I….guess I like m/m ships a lot??? Don’t exactly know what that’s about but okay then).
Worst romance: Do I really need to rant about this book again? Well, okay, it’s Asa and Eve from The Future Was Now because honestly the fact that Eve saw appeal in Asa–I feel like that’s just the author’s wishful thinking. ASA ONLY EVER TALKED ABOUT HOW BEAUUUUUUUTIFUL SHE WAS. It’s like it was her only trait!!! (it wasn’t her only trait, it was just the only one Asa could see, apparently) And there was NOTHING about him that was likeable. Plus it was insta love. AAAAAAH
Most unexpected romance: I feel like romances are pretty suspectable these days but…I guess I’ll say the romance in Four Dead Queens (the not main one, I don’t want to spoil but it gets revealed part way through the book?)

Most diverse book: How am I supposed to choose the most diverse book I read this year? I really don’t think I can so I’ll just put a few in here.
Tarnished are the Stars by Rosiee Thor
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Least diverse book: Well I mean, there are still a lot of books out there that don’t have any rep of any kind at all or write rep VERY badly. I have read some of these this year and I’d probably say that the worst rep goes to The Future Was Now (I don’t know if that was a badly failed attempt to have LGBTQ+ characters or it was just outright homophobia) or any of the spy school books I’ve read this year.

Okay now how on earth am I going to choose.
Yeah, I really cannot. But the books I enjoyed this year the most were Cemetery Boys, I’ll Give You The Sun, The Merciful Crow and Six of Crows among other things.
Worst book overall: You guys are probably bored of me saying this by now honestly. And you can DEFINITELY guess what I’m going to say here.
*drumroll* (but not really)
Just check out my post if you want to see my problems with it….
Most interesting book overall: Interesting as in unique idea, that is. For this one I’m going to have to go with We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry. Field hockey team in the late 1980’s who dapple in dark magic to try to win the state championships? Well that’s certainly…unexpected. And there’s so much more about this book to discover!

Just a few more things:
First of all, I don’t know how far this is going to make it or if this is going to do anything but I just wanted to let all of you know that my 2020 book tag, a tag that I created in late December, can be done after 2020 is over. I wasn’t clear about this at all on my post and I can see how people might think it can only be done in 2020, but it’s just a tag whose questions mirror the events in 2020, it doesn’t have anything to do with when you post it. So you can do it whenever!

Some posts that I loved reading this month:
– The Quiet Pond posted 20 diverse and modern retellings of old classics.
– Cherelle @A Bolt Out Of a Book wrote a discussion post about redemtion arcs and what makes them good or not.
– April @Booked Till Midnight wrote a letter to her past self and the things she could have done better on her blog.
– Ahaana @Windows to Worlds wrote a discussion post about her favorite tropes in YA fiction.
– Riddhi @Whispering Stories created a new feature on her blog–blogger interviews!
– Ahaana also introduced a project she’s working on with Becky @Dusts of Magic–basically a book club that writes fanfic after they finish the book!
– And lastly, both Katie @Whispering Pages and May @Forever and Everly posted anticipated releases for the first half of 2021 and I am so excited for all these books! (Katie’s post) (May’s post)

My new years resolutions (aka the bookish things I want to do in 2021)
– Well, first of all there are a LOT of books I want to read in 2021. I keep getting recommendations and I say, ‘I’ll get to it eventually’ and then I never do.
– I also want to read more of the books that I actually, you know, own because usually when I get books for holidays or my birthday, I’ll put them aside because I’ll always own them whereas library books I can only get for 14 days and sometimes there’s a line to get them. And then…I never read the books at home.
– Something really important to me this year is to read a lot of diverse books especially books with main or at least important LGBTQIAP+ characters. OwnVoices please!
– As well as the bookish things above, I want to figure out how to balance my time with reading, school, blogging and other things. I’ll probably cut back on my posting from twice a week to once a week so I have more time to do those things.
– Similar to the above goal, I want to be able to write a lot more this year. I have some awesome book ideas (in my opinion) but because of school and blogging I haven’t really been able to write them much. I’ve really made some progress over winter break though!

And that, my dear friends, is the end of my last post in 2020. I really hope you enjoyed it! What did you think of this post? Have any opinions on my opinions? Please, talk to me in the comments, I’d love to heard what you think!
Thank you all again for loving my blog and interacting me–I love all of you! As always, stay safe and keep reading!
See you next year!


21 thoughts on “December and 2020 Wrap up

  1. Haha I loved the bookish awards! I have not read most of them, but pique my interest they have.
    Yess I totally agree with the instalove in Cinderella is Dead! It just happened and I was like, can y’all slow your roll for a hit sec?? It had so much potential to become a favorite but it felt kind of rushed and meh to me.
    With the Fire on High and Moxie are both on my tbr! I hope I can get to them soon because I’ve heard such great things!
    Thank you for mentioning my post!
    Best of luck with your goals in the new year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m glad that you enjoyed them and I hope you read some of those books soon!
      Yeah…she just meets Constance and bam, in love. Ugh, Insta love always makes a book go waaay down for me.
      Oooh I hope that you read them soon, they’re awesome books and such important ones as well!
      No problem, I loved reading it!
      You too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. …I honestly don’t remember if I said it was the worst before (probably did) and I’m sorta too lazy to check right now (ha!) so I’ll just say it again: insta love is indeed the most terrible book trope whatever out there.
        Yay! I hope you enjoy it!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. i’m so glad you enjoyed cemetery boys! so many people have loved it, but i’m kind of scared that i won’t 😭 definitely a book i need to get to this year though! i’m glad you enjoyed the house on the cerulean sea too, i’ve heard only the best things about it and i can’t wait to get around to it! thanks so much for linking to my post, and good luck on your 2021 bookish resolutions ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, Cemetery Boys was definitely my most anticipated book from 2020 and I was really afraid that I wouldn’t like it as well. Let me tell you, it wasn’t exactly what I expected…honestly, the one thing that I didn’t exactly like was that the villain and, like, them stopping the villain didn’t really happen till the end. It seemed like more of the book was just them walking around trying to decide what to do with Julian and then at the end BANG, yeah this is happening too. BUT the entire book is basically The Land of Queer (*throws rainbows*) so I very much enjoyed that ha ha.
      No problem, I LOVED reading your anticipated releases for 2021! Good luck on your reading in 2021 as well!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s like…yeah. Not the worst insta love (okay how could there be worse insta love than Romeo and Juliet) but like as soon as Sophia sees Constance she’s like, ‘wow, she’s pretty,’ and little stuff like that so yeah. I’ll Give You the Sun was one of the best books I read this year (obviously, since it was in one of the best posts I read this year ha ha) and it was just…written so well and beautifully and it was totally amazing! I hope you read it soon!

      Liked by 1 person

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