My goal for the year was to read 40 books. According to Goodreads, I've read 49 which is pretty great. I definitely wouldn't have read as much if it wasn't for being newly single and being in quarantine. This year, I definitely read less thriller novels and more fiction/non-fiction books which I was happy with; for a while there, I was all thriller all the time. 

I can honestly say I enjoyed almost every book I read with the exception of two or three. However, there were only a handful of books I loved... books that rocked my world, changed how I felt, and couldn't stop thinking about for days, or even months after I finished reading them. 

These are books I read in 2020, not books that were necessarily released this year, however most of them were! I've also done book review posts on all of them and will link them. 

Let's get into it... 

My Favorite Books of 2020

Verity by Colleen Hoover

I started off 2020 strong when I read "Verity" in January. I had heard so many people talk about this novel and never picked it up... but once I was finished I was wondering what took me so long. This was my first Colleen Hoover book and it set the bar very high. This domestic, twisted thriller seemed sort of ordinary at first and then midway through the book you are thrown for a loop. The ending is what makes Verity so wonderful, so intense and so perfect. It's truly what makes it a must-read. 

To give you a quick summary, Lowen is hired by Jeremy, Verity's husband, to finish the last few books in her contract. Verity is unable to write them as she is permanently injured after an accident. Lowen moves in with Jeremy, Verity and their son, Crew. While there, she discovers what she assumes is an autobiography of Verity's and it's truly disturbing. That's when things start to get weird and Lowen starts to believe something sinister is going on. 

Throughou the book, you read Lowen's POV and then the bits of Verity's memoir and you can see why Lowen is so taken back. It unravels from there and is so exciting and enticing. 

You can read my full review of the novel here but I can confidently say, thrillers will never be the same after you read 'Verity'. It is unlike anything else and my #1 book of 2020. 

*I've seen that Hoover is contemplating a sequel... or another book in the Verity universe and I cannot wait to scoop that up whenever it comes to life. 

No Filter by Sarah Frier

As a social media professional, it's my job to stay up to date on technology and trends, but as a regular person, I truly enjoy it. I love technology (I always have) and I'm fascinated by how we use social media and how it has transformed the world. 

When I heard about "No Filter", the true story of Instagram I knew I was going to read it... and I did, and I loved every moment of it. I love reading about 'history' I lived through because it makes it more real. As I was reading the book, I remembered every moment of Instagram's development and it was just very interesting.

Sarah Frier, a journalist who has covered tech and Instagram for years, is the author and she did an excellent job on this book. You really get into the nitty gritty of Instagram and you begin to understand things a little better. It's also uber relevant right now as Facebook is at risk of losing it's ownership of Instagram. 

"No Filter"  is on all the 'best of 2020' lists and there was no way it wasn't going to end up on mine. This is a book I would reread over and over, and one that even though I have the Kindle edition, I feel like I need the physical book. 

You can read my full review here.

The Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella 

"The Ghosts of Harvard" can be classified as psychological thriller, historical fiction, and paranormal. It had a little bit of everything and that is exactly why I loved it so much. It made me think, made me second guess everything I was reading, but also really entertained me. 

Cady is a freshmen at Harvard, partly because she wanted to attend the esteemed school and partly because she wants to figure out why her brother killed himself at the school the year before. Cady's freshmen year is a balancing act; trying to juggle school work, her broken family, her new friendships, a budding romance, and the ghosts she is hearing in her head... yes, you read that -- ghosts. Add in the extra layer of trying to find out what drove her mentally ill brother to jump from his dorm room window, and you've got a recipe for a great novel. 

It touched on romance, family dynamics, mental illness, and good old fashioned mystery. Out of all the mystery books I read this year, this one really stuck out because it had so many layers. When the book started, you definitely have no idea how it's going to end up. The writing is excellent and the story is super well thought out. I just loved it so much! 

Read my full review here.

Followers by Megan Angelo

This was another thought provoking book and not going to lie, a little scary in the sense that this novel could actually be a premontion to what the future holds. 

What would happen if influencers were government mandated? If influencers had no choice but to share their entire lives with us -- if the government dictated what happened to them? What would happen if every piece of information ever shared online was spilled out for the world to see? What would happen if technology collapsed and the world was in complete darkness?

That's what "Followers" is all about and it can be anxiety inducing yet very interesting. The story combines the past and the present...and eventually they meet in the middle and the entire plot comes together. It can be a bit confusing at first but once you really get a grasp on the story, it all makes sense. This is a novel that needs your full attention.

"Followers" was one of my favorite books of the year because it was one that I'm still thinking about months later. It made me look at social media differently and was unlike anything I've ever read before. 

Read my full review here.

In A Holiadaze by Christina Lauren

This is different from the other books on my list because of the light hearted, romantic nature of the plot. It's also the most recent book I've read but I knew I had to put it on this list. 

I've never read anything by Christina Lauren but I figured a holiday book was a good place to start. "In a Holiadaze" takes place during Christmas, and only over the course of a few days. Mae is our main character and she is reliving the same day over and over again; she takes it as a sign from the universe 

This book made me irrationally happy. I was in the best mood after reading it (I read it in 3 hours) and smile whenever I think of the story. It kind of made me hopeful and inspired me to live my life differently. Those are the best kinds of books... when they aren't meant to make you think seriously but do anyway. 

"In a Holidaze" is a holiday book but at the core, it's a story about a lost girl who is trying to figure out what makes her happy. Once she realizes it, she goes after it and doesn't stop. It's about fate, hope, faith and just really going after what you want out of life. It was so good and I couldn't not have it on this list.

Read my full review here

A few honorable mentions: 

What were your favorite books of the year?
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