Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Year in Review - 2020 Favorites!

 Hello guys and welcome to another post, my book year in review! I hope the new year brings us all a step closer to our goals and dreams, help us create new memories on the way there and of course, allow us to read more and worry less! The world is in a weird place right now, but I still believe that all obstacles eventually come to an end and their purpose is to teach us something, even if the pain and the loss we experience through them, doesn't allow us to see it that way at first. I live in Greece -for those of you who weren't aware- and we're currently in a state wide lockdown for the second time after the pandemic hit, which I'm handling a lot better than the first one, to be completely honest. This past year has been tough for all of us, but reading and books made it so much better than it would've been otherwise! So, here is Book Lady's Reviews

What was your best read of the year? Make sure to comment down below and share your yearly favorites!
So, obviously this is really difficult to answer, since I can't choose between my children... but *DRUMROLL* it has to be: Murphy's Law by Rhys Bowen, the first novel in the Molly Murphy series, which I cannot seem to get enough of! Highly recommend it if your a fan of Historical Mysteries! If you read my review, you might've noticed that I actually gave it a 3-star rating, just because of how short it was, but I changed it into a 5-star on Goodreads because it was a shame on me, myself and I to even think about rating this with less than it truly deserved!
Never judge a book by its cover, a fact that has been proven many times, but we obsess over a book's
plot as much as we obsess over its cover. We're bookworms after all and we do appreciated a stunning cover when we see one! This was even more difficult for me to choose because I'm obviously not limiting myself to the pathetic number of books I read this year, but here goes nothing: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett speaks to me in ways I cannot describe and even though I haven't read the book yet, I feel like it represents the plot perfectly. The synopsis speaks of a double consciousness that is explored through the cover and the vivid colors that could represent many things, including race, status, gender. I seriously can't wait to read it!
This is a category I really wanted to include, because I didn't finish a lot of books this year, which is a
topic I also discussed in a Discuss & Wonder post a while back! For me, personally, they don't count towards my reading goal, but I do write reviews sometimes, when I feel like they were a huge disappointment or detect some problematic aspects I want to point out. So, the biggest disappointment of the year was Heiress for Hire by Madeline Hunter. Historical romances are my guilty pleasure and I rarely end up not enjoying them, but I had such a hard time with this one. I could not, for the life of me, finish it and I was immensely bummed out about it! 

My choice for this one is kind of unexpected, but obvious! Geralt of Rivia portrayed by Henry Cavill was just too much for my little heart to bear. I started reading the books after watching The Witcher, which I rarely do, but it actually helped me visualize the characters and get a better understanding of this vast and fascinating world that was, in my humble opinion, perfectly portrayed in the adaptation!                                    
I even surprised myself with this one, but I knew I had to choose something other than the obvious, which would be Veronica Speedwell. It was a really close call, but I decided to go with Sloan Monroe from The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez! No spoilers here, but Sloan goes through something extremely traumatic, which actually takes place in its companion, The Friend Zone. The reason I chose Sloan is because of her character development throughout the novel, as well as her strength and determination! Her character growth was impressive and felt real, which is why I cannot recommend this book enough!

I thought about skipping this one, since I decided to include my crush of the year, but they're completely different based on my personal criteria for choosing them, so here we are! My hero of the year, in the more metaphorical sense of the word if you will, has to be Jordan from Sexing the Cherry by Jeanette Winterson. His character goes against gender norms and defies stereotypes, proving that they're just a construct society uses to create little boxes with labels on them for us to fit into. Winterson's writing will never cease to amaze and Jordan is a prime example of her being a literary genius that went against the predetermined paths of right and wrong, in order to create something entirely different and unexpected for her time, which is more that portrayed through Jordan!

Had to go with the Veronica Speedwell series by Deanna Raybourn for this one! Definitely an all time favorite that I cannot recommend enough, I finally got my hands on the fourth book and have already pre-ordered the fifth! This is one of the only series that has kept my interest throughout every single book and I seriously just wish that it'll never end! The sixth book has already been announced and I'll either have to buy the hardback, which won't much my editions, or wait even more for the release of the paperback, which won't be happening! If you enjoy historical mysteries with strong heroines, determined to go against the patriarchy in a questionable era of repression and no women's rights whatsoever, this is the series for you!

Thought I would include this category because, well most of the books I chose to read this year surprised me, both in good ways and sometimes, unfortunately, in bad ways. We're here to talk about the good ones though, which is why I really wanted to feature If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor! It was such a unique novel, written in a poetic kind of prose that seemingly didn't make that much sense, unless you really paid attention to it! Not something I'd usually read, which is why it pleasantly surprised me! 
I obviously had many to choose from for this one, but I couldn't ignore the fact that my copy of Sexing the Cherry is highlighted and annotated to the spine. There are so many quotes I'd like to reference from it in this post, but I'm going with the very first one that caught my eye!
At first, I thought this one would be difficult to answer, but I didn't have to think
hard about it after all. The answer came to me in a heartbeat. Disney's Mulan was such a masterpiece that I bawled my eyes out and have lost count of how many times I've watched it since then! It was magical, it was beautiful, it was more than I could've ever wished for it to be! I've always loved Mulan's courage, loyalty and determination, but I feel like the legend of Mulan and her story in general is usually overshadowed by the more magical aspects of Disney and what they entail in terms of representation, if that makes sense. The on screen adaptation was spot on, in my humble opinion, and the portrayal of Mulan and everything she stands for was executed in an extraordinary way in the movie!

Since I chose to include my favorite movie, it was only fair that I'd also include my favorite TV show of the year! This was a tough one, because I'm more of a series person and have watched many throughout the year that passed, but I just had to go for the CW adaptation of Nancy Drew. I was on edge of my seat throughout every single episode of the first season and I was ecstatic when its renewal was announced. I'm huge fan of Nancy Drew and this paranormal spin on the classic story, was genius! Its execution was extraordinary, the cast was made for this and I urge you to give it a go, in case you're on the fence about it!
That was it for today's post guys! This was just a small fraction of my 2020, but I hope you found it enjoyable! Make sure to let me know your favorites for the year and whether you have set a reading goal for 2021!

Until the next post,

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