Oh, 2020. You’re hated by so many, including myself, but aside from all the negatives, you’ve also allowed me to read more and find some amazing new authors. For that, I’ll always be thankful! To end the year on a high, I wanted to share something I’ve not yet done in my short reviewing journey – pick out my top ten of the year.
This year, I read 71 books, which isn’t bad going when I’ve had a job to go to each day, a puppy to raise, and finding some time to myself to relax! Picking out my top ten from this bunch has been incredibly difficult, especially as I rated so many five stars, but I’ve really thought about which stories and characters have stuck with me, which books left me amazed or emotional after that final page, and those which provide something unique or unusual that I haven’t seen done before.
Without further ado, here’s my top ten!
10. Safe – S.K.Barnett
This book was the story I’ve always wanted to read, and I was utterly speechless at how much it drew me in from beginning to end! With so many dark twists, completely unpredictable outcomes and a great big handful of deceit, this book has quickly become one of my all time favourites. Just when I thought I’d cracked the case, the author threw in another curve ball and simply amazed me with the plot even more. I’ve never felt so many emotions all at once when reading and there is enough character variation, disturbing scenes and unpredictable twists to satisfy anyone who loves this genre. See my full review here!
9. The Latecomers – Rich Marcello
This book had a incredible impact on me. The story was so deep and involving, and was told by an author who somehow knew the exact tone and style I love to read. Each sentence was delicately crafted to fit into the bigger picture, each page left me longing for more of both Charlie and Maggie’s story and ultimately, their destiny. The story filled me with pretty much every emotion, and I really have to applaud the author for doing everything right. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book if you’re looking for the love aspect of a romance, but also the suspense and adventure that comes with a good mystery. See my full review here!
8. The Memories We Bury – H.A. Leuschel
This book should definitely win an award or two! I can’t quite believe the journey I had with this one, but it was such an emotional reading experience. I connected to Lizzie and Morag’s characters so well, felt every emotion under the sun and was left in awe due to the author’s incredible story-telling skills. If you’re not ashamed of having a little cry, (because believe me, you will) and you’re looking for something that will hit you with powerful paragraphs, dialogue and all-round emotion, this is definitely one to add to your list. I felt like giving everyone in my family the biggest hug after this! An absolutely unforgettable book. See my full review here!
7. A Wish For Jinnie – Audrey Davis
As a huge fan of Audrey’s books, I had such high hopes for her third novel before I even began – it turned out to be better than I could have ever imagined! I loved the beautifully created characters, each with their own personalities, hopes and dreams, and there is a deep story of both love and friendship with two very unlikely characters. It’s filled with magic, and not the kind that makes you roll your eyes – it flows unexpectedly well with the rest of the story, and I couldn’t have asked for a better adventure to enjoy! See my full review here!
6. Crime and Justice – Martin Bodenham
This book was completely mind-blowing from beginning to end, and as someone who loves the ultimate twist in a book, I was certainly not disappointed with this one! Everything from the memorable characters to the suspenseful piecing together of information was perfect, each element of the book fell effortlessly into place and captured so many emotions in the process. If you think you have the whole plot worked out, think again! Incredibly clever storytelling through and through and a book that I’ll most definitely be reading again. I look forward to checking out more of the author’s work! See my full review here!
5. The Project – Stacey Potter
One of the most beautiful, meaningful and touching books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, and it really does put an awful lot of things into perspective. This book is a thing of brilliance – a beautiful journey which brings two generations together. Sabella and May influence each other’s lives in such a way that brings out so much emotion and forces readers to become so immersed in their journey. The author’s talent is extraordinary and I would urge everyone to read this! Nothing I write will ever be able to do this book justice, and I’m already getting impatient waiting for another book! Be prepared to laugh, cry and have your life changed by reading this story – heart-warming and unforgettable to the very core. See my full review here!
4. Under Your Skin – Rose McClelland
This book has been a first for me – I bought the paperback before I’d even finished reading! It’s one of those stories that leaves you sitting in silence long after reading, coming to terms with everything you’ve just experienced. I was in awe from start to finish, the plot is so unpredictable and the characters so believable and perfectly created. The author has stunned me with this book and I hope there will be many other thrillers to come. I can’t wait to check out more of her published work and I actually wanted to give this book more than five stars! I’d recommend this one to lovers of crime and thriller, but also those who love a heartfelt, emotional read too. See my full review here!
3. Vanishing Hour – Lisa King
This book was such a delight – I’m so thrilled to have the story of Matthew and Ruby cemented in my brain! Two strangers with very different stories do what they must to find answers and stay safe in a truly horrifying experience for the human race. It combines beginnings and ends, joy and sadness as well as gains and losses, and was honestly one of the greatest stories I’ve read in recent years. The author has created two perfectly lovable characters who you can’t help but keep close to your heart, and a plot which constantly impresses you no end. For me, I enjoyed every page – the writing style from page one grabbed me in an instant and held my interest to the final word. I’d definitely recommend this book to any reader and I’d be surprised if you don’t enjoy it as much as I did! See my full review here!
2. She Lies Close – Sharon Doering
This book is one of those that throws you off course constantly and absolutely wows you no end when you finish. I’m a little lost for words right now! An immense debut from Sharon Doering and if you love a book which messes with your head a little and makes you question everything, this is the one for you. Obsession, motherhood and an intense desire to protect is explored so deeply in this book and reading it was beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. My views on the main character were so back and forth and how she lives each day was concerning, yet fascinating. This is so much more than the story of a missing girl and when you read it, you’ll understand why. It’s so deep, powerful and detailed, and it’s the ultimate binge-worthy book. See my full review here!
1. Paper Dolls – Lisa Bradley
This book seriously set a new standard for the thriller genre. I don’t think I’ve ever read through a thriller as quickly as I have with this one before! It’s one of those books where you want to read it through again as soon as you finish to see if you can spot the things you missed out on before! Superb, relatable characters and such a mysterious backstory make this book one of the best of its kind. As a big fan of thrillers, new books have to be something pretty special to get up in my top three, but this one has wormed its way to number one effortlessly. Be prepared to unhinge your jaw with shock, fill up your heart with emotion and feel that chill you only get with such a frightening, captivating read. This book deserves a hell of a lot more than five stars – Lisa, you are the Queen of Thriller! See my full review here!
Other noteworthy authors!
I couldn’t end without noting some other books and authors from this year which truly deserve some recognition!
- JB Lexington – for her emotion-filled books that always leave me tearful and for being such a wonderful human being.
- Ian Patrick – for that incredible ending in How The Wired Weep!
- James Suriano – for a perfect thriller that made me a little speechless.
- Andy Slinger – for creating such an addictive children’s story so many will love. Looking forward to reading book 2!
- Lee Matthew Goldberg – for writing The Ancestor; an absolute masterpiece.
- Debbie Ioanna – For nailing Abberton House, a perfect horror story that gave me chills.
- CD Tavenor – for making me love Sci-Fi after a long time of avoiding it!
- And everyone else whose books I’ve reviewed this year – you’re all AMAZING people!
Here’s to 2021!
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank every author and publisher for gifting me copies of books this year (whether I’ve read them yet or not) and to all the authors who are waiting for reviews from me. The majority of you have been so understanding of the fact that I am only human and that I can’t read any faster! If I haven’t read your book yet and you’ve submitted, please don’t think I’ve forgotten about you, because I haven’t. You’re still on my review list and I’m looking forward to reading your books, giving you my thoughts and sharing your work with the community 🙂
Also a MASSIVE thank you in particular to Damp Pebbles, Love Books Tours, Random Things Tours and every publisher who has included me in blog tours this year – I’ve loved each and every one!
I hope everyone has a fantastic New Year ❤