Every 5 Star Book I Read in 2020

11 Dec 2020 United Kingdom

When I had the idea to write this post, for the first time ever I'm thankful that I'm not someone who manages to read 100 books in a year because this would be a very long post! I've also never been a liberal 5-star giver, saving the top score for this life-altering reads but this year I realised how stupid that is. A book doesn't have to be life-changing to deserve the 5 stars. This year I've read some really great books and while not all of them were life-changing, it would be wrong to not shout about how their beautifully written, amazing reads that I will be recommending to everyone I know. 

If you're looking to 2021 and starting to put together your TBR, if you haven't read any of these I definitely urge you to add them to next year's TBR. So without further ado, enjoy this post of my 5-star reviews of my favourite books of the year! 

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

My Dark Vanessa is a 2020 fave for so many people and it's easy to see why. This debut novel from Kate Elizabeth Russell is a hard read and it sure leaves a lasting impression. A truly interesting and worthy read. I recommended this one for people who also loved Normal People

We follow the stories of Vanessa in 2000 - a bright student who becomes entangled with her English teacher - and Vanessa in 2017 at a time where allegations of powerful men taking advantage of women are all over the news. We see Vanessa toying with the facts and questioning her relationship with her professor. Such heavy topics tackled in a way that is so unique and so rememberable. 

Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Renni Eddo-Lodge

2020 has been an educational year for many and the Black Lives Matter movement has been at the forefront of many people's minds. This was the most informative and necessary book I read this year. While many like to believe racism doesn't exist in the UK or that "it isn't as bad as the US", this book shed light on those who believe this and how wrong they are. It explores the ongoing racism that goes beyond race and looks further at the role of gender. This gave me an introduction to black feminism that I've been wanting to read ever since my sociology lessons at college skipped over this strong of feminism and I'm ready to learn even more in 2021 on this topic. 

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

What a beautiful, emotional and just all-round great YA read. Felix Love is a teen living in New York, fully aware of the irony in his name when he says he has never been in love. When Felix receives anonymous transphobic comments from a fellow student, Felix sets out on a mission to find out who it is and in doing so, ends up in a complicated love triangle. 

This is a book exploring identity, self-discovery and acceptance. Such a lovely read that I recommend anyone to pick up.

The Muse by Jessie Burton

This was an unexpected favourite that I picked up on a bit of a whim earlier this year. Historical fiction is definitely not an area I thought I would enjoy but I was happily mistaken with this one! 2 stories intertwined over time - the story of Odelle, a newly appointed typist for Marjorie Quick at Skelton Gallery. The other is the story of Olivia Schloss, the daughter of a famous art dealer, and her relationship with Isaac Robles and Teresa who become part of the Schloss family. When a mysterious painting arrives for Quick in 1967, it's the story of Olivia that starts to piece together the secret history of the painting. 

I loved Jessie Burton's writing style and how these stories interweave. This was probably my most shocking 5-star of the year!

If you’re a Pisces, this book might just be for you! Check out a book recommendation based on your zodiac sign.

Heart Stopper Vol.1 by Alice Oseman

Such a sweet, heart-warming graphic novel! Charlie is a shy student and Nick is a friendly, rugby player. They both attend the same all-boys grammar school but it's not until they are put in the same tutor group that their friendship blossoms, or is it something more? 

This whole series of graphic novels is so adorable and this is such a comforting graphic novel. If you're looking for a graphic novel to up in 2021, I suggest starting with this one! 

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Last but certainly not least is my final 5 star of the year. This is another one that really pushed me out of my reading comfort zone but after reading the synopsis I was very intrigued and I ended up loving it! 

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is searching for a door he doesn't know he's looking for. After picking up a random, unknown book in his college library which strangely tells him a story from his own childhood, it sets him on a path that he could never have thought possible. 

Erin Morgenstern is a story-telling genius. She not only tells us one story within this novel but it has so many layers! Beautifully written, so intriguing and so worth the read. It sounds vague but this is a book-lovers dream and I assume if you're reading this then that's probably the case - aha! This is definitely one to read if you haven't already and is a fantastic winter read. It has definitely opened my eyes to new genres I wouldn't have thought I would be reading heading into next year. 

And that's it! 6 5 star reads of 2020. I've read so many fantastic books this year, I can't wait to see what stories I'll discover in 2021. 

What was your favourite book of 2020 (if you can choose!)? Any I should add to my TBR for 2021? 
Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x

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