2020 in Review

We did it, guys. We made it to the end of 2020. What was supposed to be a fantastic start to a new decade, turned out to be a pretty dismal one, especially here in America. Though one thing affected the entire world this year: COVID-19. America handled it…poorly, per usual. Not only has COVID killed hundreds of thousands of people in the US alone, but also further divided our country on the matters of mask-wearing and social distancing, which have somehow become political debates. It’s been a rough year, to say the least.

I don’t want to diminish the bad things and the impact they’ve had, because there are horrible and critical things happening in our country, but I do want to mention the good this year has brought. Maybe the good can’t make up for all the bad, but it certainly brought a little light to my own life, and I’m very lucky for that. I don’t usually mention personal things in my ‘year in review’ post, but this year I’m making an exception, because I think we all should remind ourselves of the good 2020 brought, in spite of all the bad. For me, most notably, I started going to therapy, I had an amazing quarantine birthday, I got engaged, and I moved out of an apartment and into a house. I missed seeing my family this year, but I’m thankful for phone calls, FaceTime visits, and good health all around.

Okay, now let’s get to the books. I know this is really what you’re here for. Per usual, I’ll be posting about my Goodreads Reading Challenge as well as sharing my answers to a Statistics Survey I found on Read and Treats‘s blog back in 2016.

Goodreads Reading Challenge 2020

This year, my reading goal was 65 books. Last year I read 62, and I wanted to read juuuust slightly more than that. Well, I made it, and even surpassed my goal by 3 books. Usually I like to read up until New Year’s Eve, but this year I’m stopping while I’m ahead and taking a break. I’d like to spend time with my family, watch movies and TV shows, and play video games. I’m really proud of myself for meeting my goal.

Statistics Survey

  • Number of books read…
    • Under 250 pages: 17
    • Between 400-449 pages: 11
    • Between 450-499 pages: 5
    • Over 500 pages: 6
    • Over 1000 pages: 0
  • Number of…
    • Audiobooks: 23
    • Re-reads: 4
    • DNFs: 1
  • Number of books rated…
    • Five Stars: 25
    • One/Two Stars: 10
  • Number of authors met in 2020: 0 (thanks, COVID…)
  • Number of book events attended in 2020: 0 (still looking at you, COVID…)
  • Number of books you read in one day: 18
  • Number of books that made you cry: 9
  • Number of 2021 books you have on pre-order: 0 – though I’m dangerously close to pre-ordering Empire of the Vampire so I can get a *signed copy*.
  • Book read furthest away from home (vacation reads?): COVID-19 pretty much cancelled all vacations this year (for sensible people, at least). I was hoping to travel to Canada to propose to my girlfriend, but that didn’t happen. Well, Canada didn’t—the engagement did. I never even left the state this year. So I can’t really think of a book read away from home, because I never left my home.
  • Book that took you the longest to read: Flowers in the Attic. I was reading it in January, but my loan expired, so I couldn’t pick it back up again until April. I didn’t finish it until May. It’s not that it was bad, it was just…a lot.
  • Book that you personally connected with the most: We Are Okay. I really related to the main character and her story. I read it at the perfect time in my life, I think. It was very much like “right book, right moment.” It left me in tears.
  • Book that made you love the villain: The Cruel Prince. I wouldn’t say Cardan was the “villain,” but he was definitely a villain to the main character Jude. This is definitely an A+ enemies-to-lovers story.
  • Book you said you’d come back to but still haven’t picked up again: Moby Dick. I started it in 2016 and still haven’t gotten past the first 200 pages. In fact, I haven’t picked it up since 2016… But one of my goals for next year is to finish it, so hopefully you won’t see Moby Dick as my answer to this question a year from now.
  • Book you read waaaay before it’s publication date: I wouldn’t say “waaay” before its pub date, but I read The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss a few weeks before it was published. I received an ARC. It was actually the last book I read in 2020!
  • Book you read on your birthday: The Hunger Games. I wanted to re-read the entire series before I read the prequel, and I started it just before my birthday.
  • Book with a character who shares your name: Alyssa isn’t a very common name. I feel like I did read a book with a random side-character named Alyssa, but it must not have been very impressionable because I don’t remember.
  • Book you weren’t entirely truthful about when rating (Fluff up any ratings? Rated even though you didn’t finish?): None. I definitely am honest in my reviews.
  • Book you read in 2020 but already want to re-read: Carry On, hands-down. Will be re-reading early next year before book 3 is published.
  • Book you borrowed from a friend a long time ago and still have: I borrowed Dracula from my very first boyfriend and never gave it back. I haven’t even read it yet.
  • Book you which you could go back and read for the first time again: The Wicked King. That ending left me SHOOK and I would love to feel that shock again.
  • Most books read by one author this year: 6 – Jay Kristoff
  • Happiest & saddest: Heartstopper, Vol. 2 | The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
  • Longest & shortest…
    • By page number: Monsters of Men | Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom
    • By title: How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories | Artmeis
    • From buying to reading: If re-reads don’t count, then… Watchmen | How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories
  • Best & worst…
    • Average rating on Goodreads: Heartstopper, Vol. 3 | In the House in the Dark of the Woods
    • Books you read/your rating: Carry On | Die for Me
    • Series enders: Darkdawn | Die for Me
  • First & last…
    • Reads of 2020: The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 3 | The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss
    • Books on your bookcase (1st book on the top left and last book on the bottom right): The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy | The Lucifer Effect
  • Most disappointing & biggest pleasant surprise: Artemis | The Raven Boys
  • Series you picked up & series you quit: MANY series I picked up: Shades of Magic, Simon Snow, The Nevernight Chronicle, The Aurora Cycle, The Magicians, Heartstopper, Killing Eve, One of Us Is Lying, Dash & Lily (I’d already read the first book years ago, but I re-read it and then continued with the rest of the series), The Folk of the Air, The Raven Cycle. Put down: These Witches Don’t Burn (after reading book 2) and Red Queen (after reading book 1).
  • Most hyped & furthest under the radar that you read: The Hunger Games – 7,971,377 others shelved on Goodreads | The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss – 3,434 others shelved on Goodreads
  • Book you read that is red: Free Will by Sam Harris – I read multiple red books but this was definitely the reddest
  • Starts with X, Y, or Z: None
  • Book you hugged when you finished it: Carry On
  • Book you wanted to throw across a room: Nevernight. I did throw it across the room when a certain character died. I absolutely did. Then probably Darkdawn as well, when a certain character chose a certain character over a certain character. Thanks, Jay.
  • Food you craved while/after reading a certain book: Cookies and cake while reading Always and Forever, Lara Jean. Lara and I would be best friends and bond over baking, I just know it.
  • Book that became an instant go-to recommendation: Carry On.
  • Furthest out of your comfort zone: Codename Villanelle. This is the first book in the Killing Eve series. My fiancé became obsessed with the tv show and begged for the books, and then wanted me to read the books. I’m not really a spy thriller reader, and the show looked quite uninteresting, but I promised her I’d read them. The first two were bearable, to say the least, but the last one was unbearable. Overall, did not have a good experience leaving my comfort zone.
  • Read on a recommendation (that you may not have picked up yourself): The Raven Boys. These books are my friend Heather’s comfort reads, and though the synopsis did not sound very enticing, I trust Heather’s opinion. She has not steered me wrong thus far, and her reputation continues because I became absolutely enamored with The Raven Boys. Thanks, Heather.
  • Forced yourself to finish: In the House in the Dark of the Woods. It sounded spooky and interesting, but it was just awful. I almost stopped so many times, but it was so short that I begged myself to finish it.
  • Series or author’s works you binged (whether all at once or throughout the year): Oh, gosh. I binged Jay Kristoff, Rainbow Rowell, and Holly Black this year. Binged lots of series, too: Shades of Magic, The Nevernight Chronicle, The Hunger Games (including the prequel), The Magicians, Heartstopper, Killing Eve, The Folk of the Air. There are other series I binged, they’re just not finished yet, so I’m not counting them.

So that’s it! That’s my 2020 recap. And once again, I was responsible enough to schedule this post the day before NYE so I’m not rushing last-minute to get it posted. Though I did take the day off work, and also no party thanks to COVID… Oh well, more time to video games. Hope you all had a good 2020 despite the bad, and that you all have a happy, safe New Years. And feel free to link your own recap posts in the Comments—I’d love to see yours!

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