My Top Five Favorite Books of 2020
We are officially in a new year! While I usually don’t like to reflect and dwell too much on the past, I do want to share my top five favorite books I read last year. Last year was a pretty good reading year for me; I read about two to four books per month, and I enjoyed most of them. As a result, it was very difficult for me to choose my favorite books, but eventually I did it. They’re ranked from most favorite favorite to least favorite favorite. I hope you enjoy the article!
1. “Red, White and Royal Blue” by Casey Mcquiston
I am a very indecisive person when it comes to books, but I think I can confidently say that this is my favorite book of all time (at least until I find a new favorite). Technically, this wasn’t a new read this year. I actually read it last year for the first time, and I immediately loved it. I decided to read it again this year, so I could really figure out if it’s truly my favorite book of all time. I loved it the same amount, if not more, the second time I read it.
Set in a fictional world where a woman, Ellen Claremont, won the 2016 election, the book follows her son, Alex. The book starts out in 2019, when Alex attends the Royal Wedding in England and gets into a rift with the also fictional Prince of Wales, Henry. To avoid an international scandal on the brink of a reelection, Alex’s mom orders him to become friends with Henry. The friendship eventually forms into a romantic relationship between Henry and Alex, which is extremely adorable.
2. “Turtles All the Way Down” by John Green
I’ll be honest that I was hesitant to read this book. I loved John Green when I was in middle school, and I was scared this book would disappoint middle school me. However, it did not, and in fact it quickly became a favorite of mine. It might even be, dare I say, John Green’s best book.
The book follows a 16-year-old girl named Aza as she tries to navigate high school life. There are the basic teenage tropes of a childhood friend-turned-crush and best friend drama, but neither of those themes earns the spotlight of the book. The story’s main focus is on Aza and her struggle coming to terms with her father’s death and getting a hold on her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). However, John Green structures the novel in a way that makes it clear that Aza’s sole defining feature isn’t her OCD and that she is just a normal teenager.
3. “The Gray Wolf Throne” by Cinda Williams Chima
This book is the third book in the “Seven Realms” series, and it is my favorite book in the series. I read the first two in 2019, and I finished the series this past year. I was worried that the second half of the series wouldn’t be able to live up the first half, but it did not disappoint at all.
Since this is the third book in a series, I’m not going to summarize it (spoilers!). Instead, I’m going to summarize the first book, “The Demon King.” The first book establishes the fictional world of the Seven Realms and introduces us to two main characters, Raisa and Han. Raisa is the princess and queen apparent of one of the kingdoms in the world, and she feels muzzled by the royal world. Han is a lowly thief, but one day he comes into the possession of a wizard’s amulet, throwing him into a world he never wanted to be a part of. As the series progresses, we kind out more about the world, the characters and the magic system, making each book more interesting than the one before.
4. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky
I originally read this book in 2017, but to be honest I didn’t remember much about the plot. But, as a huge fan of the movie, I thought I should give the book another read. It was an interesting book to read because it’s written exclusively in letters by the protagonist and it also provided more context for the movie. The book follows Charlie as he enters high school and makes friends. It’s a very good book because although it is relatable, it still feels like a different world. Because the book is set in the 1990s, it has a very different vibe than many realistic fiction novels from recent years. It also provides a glance into what high school was like a few decades ago.
5. “Far from the Tree” by Robin Benway
I decided to pick this book up because it was highly recommended to me by a few of my friends as a sad but beautiful read. They were definitely right; this book was very good and heartwarming but very sad (I did cry at a few parts). The book follows three siblings, who have the same mother but were adopted/fostered into three different families. After Grace, one of the three siblings, gives up her baby, she goes looking for her biological siblings to connect with them. She first meets her younger sister Maya, who is dealing with her own struggles as her parents are on the rocks and she feels out of place in her family. Then, together they find their older brother Joaquin, who has had a very different life than his two sisters. Together the three siblings try to find a way to bond while each trying to figure the struggles in their lives.
I hope you guys enjoyed this article, and I highly recommend all of these books!