Books That Surprised Me in 2020

I love writing these end of year posts! It’s fun to look back at what I read during the year. Today I’ll be talking about some of the books that surprised me in some way.


Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

This is the first book in the Illuminae Files series which is written in an unusual epistolary format. The story is told through emails, messaging, security camera footage, and files, which are knitted together to tell the narrative. I wasn’t sure if I’d like the format, but I actually loved it! It was such a unique way to tell a story and I was hooked all the way through. There’s plenty of action and I was completely gripped. I gave this book 5 stars and I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did.


The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

This book wasn’t on my radar at all but I received it in Fairyloot’s February box. Having read the blurb, I wasn’t sure it was really for me, but decided to join in the readalong and give it a go. So, I was pleasantly surprised that I really enjoyed it! I loved Alessandra’s character, the scheming and the romance, even though some of it was a bit predictable. I gave it 4 stars as it wasn’t flawless, but this was unexpectedly a new favourite read for me. I wouldn’t have picked up this book if not for Fairyloot, so I am really glad I got that box!


A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

I looked at this book in Waterstones so many times before I eventually picked it up (that cover and shimmery spine definitely catches the eye!). There was a lot of hype around this book and I’m not massively into Beauty and the Beast retellings, so I wasn’t sure I’d like this one. However, I was surprised to find that I loved it. Harper is one of my favourite characters. She’s so fierce and fearless, but also kind, and I really appreciated the disability rep as she has cerebral palsy, and there aren’t many disabled characters in books, especially ones who go on adventures in YA fantasy. This book is also surprisingly dark at times which I really liked.  


Burn by Patrick Ness

I was expecting to like this book. I mean, it has dragons in, so I was already sold. But Burn was surprising in the sense that I really wasn’t sure what to expect going into it, and it was even more amazing than I had imagined. I don’t want to say too much because if you haven’t read it yet I feel like this is the kind of book you want to go into not knowing too much. Dragons in Cold War era America sounds really bizarre, but it really works. Patrick Ness did a great job with this book and I would thoroughly recommend it.


What books surprised you this year? Did you read any you weren’t expecting to like but ended up loving? Chat with me in the comments!  

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