Design a site like this with
Get started

2020 Reading Recap // My Favorite (and Least Favorite) Books, Stats, and More

Unlike the rest of 2020, my reading year was actually not terrible!!

As I talked about in my yearly recap, 2020 was the year that I joined the online book community, and it impacted me in so many ways, from reading more books that represented me to finding books that will be favorites for years to come!

So today, I’m very excited to recap my reading year by sharing my favorite and least favorite books, disappointing and surprising books, and bookish stats. This took me a long time to write and format (and Google Sheets hates me so it took even longer for the graphs 😭), but it was still so much fun to do, especially because I love screaming about books and stats!



Eleanor & Park We Used To Be Friends by Amy Spalding Always Never Yours

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (1 star)

I’m not going to say anything about this other than this: please don’t support this racist author and book, it was absolutely terrible.

We Used to be Friends by Amy Spalding (2 stars)

This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2020, especially because I was so excited for a YA book centered on friendship rather than romance!! However, the characters frustrated me so much and the plot was extremely confusing to follow, so I didn’t end up liking it at all.

Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka (2 stars)

This book was also boring, and I couldn’t find myself connecting to the characters at all!! I honestly just skim read the last half because it was not interesting at all. 😳



The Weight of the Stars Lucky Caller To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1) Everything Leads to You This Is All Your Fault

The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum (2.5 stars)

This book is probably the one I’m most sad about being a disappointment to me, especially because literally everyone in the book community loves it!! However, I had high expectations for it and they were not met: I didn’t get the romance and the dialogue and plot all seemed really unrealistic to me. 😭 [read my review]

Lucky Caller by Emma Mills (2.5 stars)

I was really excited to pick up Emma Mills’s new book, especially I absolutely love two of her other contemporaries—Foolish Hearts and Famous In A Small Town!! However, I was severely disappointed by Lucky Caller, and I honestly don’t remember anything about it other than that it lacked the special heartwarming feeling I got from Emma Mills’s other books.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2.5 stars)

This book is so hyped, and I thought I would love it!! But going into it, I found that I really disliked Lara Jean as a protagonist—she didn’t feel 3-dimensional at all. In my review, I wrote “like, nothing really happened?” which I still agree with; I just didn’t get the point of this book! [read my review]

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour (2.5 stars)

I really enjoyed reading We Are Okay by Nina LaCour in 2019, so I thought I would love this one too! But I was just… so bored throughout it (it took me like 2 weeks to finish it, which is terrible considering I typically take 3-5 days to finish a book!!), I didn’t enjoy the romance, and the ending also felt so rushed. [read my review]

This is All Your Fault by Aminah Mae Safi (2.5 stars)

This was another one of my most anticipated 2020 releases that unfortunately fell flat! The writing style was so annoying, and I started to lose interest after around the 50% mark because the plot started to get really confusing as well.



You Should See Me in a Crown I'll Be the One Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1) Iron Heart (Crier's War, #2) The Girl and the Ghost

You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson (4 stars)

You Should See Me In A Crown is the kind of book that creeps up on you in the best way possible, and I’m so glad I enjoyed it. I honestly thought that I wouldn’t like this book when I started it, but as I continued reading, I grew to love the cast of characters, the themes and basically everything about it!! [read my review]

I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee (4 stars)

This book was so cute and I think I only read it in a few sittings because of how hooked I was!! I absolutely adored Skye as a main character, and the messages about standing up for yourself were so powerful. Also, the K-pop references were so fun. [read my review]

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim (4.5 stars)

This book was so, so gorgeously written, and I simply adored the worldbuilding and romance. I also read this in just a few sittings because it was so easy to fall in love with, and I cannot wait to pick up the sequel!

Iron Heart by Nina Varela (4.5 stars)

As I’ve talked about before, I didn’t love the first book in this series (Crier’s War) as much as I thought I would, but this sequel completely made up for that. The writing was even more beautiful than it was in the first, and I found myself absolutely adoring the romance!! (Crier and Ayla have my heart 😭)

The Girl and Ghost by Hanna Alkaf (4.5 stars)

This book succeeded in: (1) reminding me why I love middle grade so much, (2) making me tear up due to its themes and gorgeous writing, and, (3) being impossible to put down because I was so invested in the story! I loved it so much, and the ending also had me shocked!!



What I Carry Famous in a Small Town When the Moon Was Ours The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1) Picture Us in the Light

What I Carry by Jennifer Longo (5 stars)

This is such an underrated book, and I actually read it twice in 2020 to help me get out of a reading slump. The lovable characters, messages about family and friendship, and the way it was written with interweaving flashbacks all combined to make it an amazing read!!

Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills (5 stars)

The small town vibes in this book are so perfect, and what really made it a favorite were the characters—specifically their amazing friend group. I just LOVED the friend group in this!! I also adored Emma Mills’s signature humor and binge-worthy writing.

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore (5 stars)

Anna-Marie McLemore’s books are so, so gorgeously written and I especially loved this one!! The main characters Miel and Sam have such a lovely romance and I also adored the atmosphere and themes. (I’m planning on rereading this soon and I’m so excited!)

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (4.5 stars)

This book is really hyped, and now I finally understand why! The characters are SO well written, and I loved every single one of them because they just felt so real. Also, Roshani Chokshi’s prose is gorgeous and I highlighted so many beautiful quotes! [read my review]

Picture Us In The Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert (5 stars)

I know I never shut up about this book, because it was my favorite book of 2020, and is also probably my favorite book all time. (I finished rereading and annotating last week as my first read of 2021 and I cried!! a lot!!) So I’m going to keep this brief and just tell you to just GO READ IT. [read my review]



✧ ♡ ✧ ♡ ✧

Total Books Read: 78
Number of Rereads: 5
Average Rating (including rereads): 3.84/5

✧ ♡ ✧ ♡ ✧

Fun fact: I didn’t keep track of my 2020 books in any way other than Goodreads, so I had to go through all 78 of them a week ago and note down all this information in a spreadsheet!! It was… not an experience I enjoyed, which is why I’m definitely going to be using a spreadsheet for 2021.

Because of this, I was only able to track a little bit of information, so I only have 4 graphs for my stats!



I know I talk about loving contemporary a lot, but I was actually really surprised by these results?? I thought I would have read way more fantasy than I actually did. I also really need to start reading non-fiction more, because as you can see that I only read one nonfiction book in 2020!! Another thing I’m really disappointed with is that I read only 11 middle grade books, even though I absolutely adore MG books and how heartwarming they are.


2020 reading graphs

The ratings graph is a bit confusing, so just to clarify, the numbers on the actual slices are the amount of books I gave that rating to (ex. I gave 8 books a rating of 5 stars), and the labels and percentage are on the outside of the graph!

I’m not too surprised by this, because as you can probably tell from all these graphs, I was very limited in my reading for 2020 and the majority of the books I read were YA contemporary novels.

However, I thought I would have more 4.5 star ratings, because that’s a rating I found myself using so often!! (Also: I think the 5-star ratings is a little inaccurate because I reread quite a few 5-star reads in 2020, so apart from rereads, I actually only had 4 new books I rated 5 stars.) I’m still so glad that the majority of my ratings were 4 stars or above, though!!

Let's Chat

what were your favorite books of 2020? do we share any opinions about these books? do you enjoy looking at stats and graphs as much as i do or were you bored lol?


Instagram | YouTube Channel | Goodreads | Ko-Fi


36 responses to “2020 Reading Recap // My Favorite (and Least Favorite) Books, Stats, and More”

  1. saniya | sunnysidereviews Avatar

    I loved this! I totally agree with you about Eleanor and Park. I’m glad you gave a lot of book 4-5 stars!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      thank you so much, saniya!! 💖 and yes, eleanor and park was absolutely disgusting :((

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Books Teacup and Reviews Avatar

    Spin the Dawn and Unravel the Dusk both were my favorite books in 2020. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      ahh i’m so glad you loved them!! i can’t wait to read unravel the dusk 💞 thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ilsa Avatar

    Oh no i absolutely adored always never yours and everything leads to you 😦 But i agree with you on to all the boys, i re-read it this year and DID not enjoy (i found lara jean to be super immature and peter to be super annoying as well)
    famous in a small town had SUCH good vibes, i really enjoy emma mills books (though i’m passing up on lucky caller since most people didn’t enjoy it) i loved looking at your pie charts/graphics – other people’s reading stats are just so interesting to me haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      i’m glad you were able to enjoy them!! and yes, lara jean was so immature 😭😭 i’m so happy you also loved famous in a small town, it really did have the best vibes! and yeah, unfortunately lucky caller wasn’t emma mills’s best work :(( and thank you so much!! 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  4. beckythemothling Avatar

    I haven’t read any of these books, but I checked out You Should See Me in a Crown recently! I read the first chapter and wasn’t that hooked, but I’m glad you think it picks up! That gives me hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      i also wasn’t hooked by the first chapter of you should see me in a crown, but i would definitely recommend continuing to read – it gets much better!! 💖💖

      Liked by 1 person

  5. erin Avatar

    I 100% agree w/ Always Never Yours being SO boring! I also skim read the last half, sadly. I adore Emma Mills’s other books – I’ll have to read Famous In a Small Town soon! Loved seeing your stats! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      ahh i’m so sorry you didn’t like it either but i’m glad to have found someone else who agrees 😭 and i hope you enjoy famous in a small town!! thank you for reading 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dezzy @ The Thoughtful Voice Avatar

    wonderful post, Ash!! haha i LOVE looking at stats and graphs too, it’s so satisfying and fun for me to reflect on my year of reading in a visual manner through pie charts 🤩 i’ve used a spreadsheet to track my reading since 2018/2019 and i definitely highly recommend it – hope it works out for you this year :)) my most-read genre in 2020 was also YA contemporaries hehe, it’s my favorite genre to read as well ☺️ i also want to read more MG in 2021 bc they’re so heartwarming and full of joy :’) 💞

    i’m so happy to see that you enjoyed You Should See Me in a Crown (it was one of my favorite books of 2020, so cute and heartwarming 😭) and Iron Heart (i haven’t read it yet, but i loved Crier’s War and i must read this soon). i also enjoyed Famous in a Small Town, although Foolish Hearts is my favorite Emma Mills book (i really wanna reread it bc it gave me sooo much serotonin ahh). wishing you the best for 2021, i hope this year brings you a lot of wonderful new reads and lovely memories! 💓

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      thank you so much, dezzy!! and yesss, it’s so fun 😌 i’m so glad reading spreadsheets work for you, and i’ve only started using mine but it’s so nice to track my read and i already love it haha! 😅 contemporaries and mg are truly amazing ahh!!

      omg yes i hope you enjoy iron heart, it was so good 😭 and yesss, foolish hearts was one of my favorite books of 2019 and i reread it in 2020 purely for the serotonin 🥺 i hope you have a beautiful 2021 as well, thank you!! 💖💖

      Liked by 1 person

  7. emme @ a literary latte Avatar

    I haven’t read any of Emma Mills’ books but I definitely need and want to! I’ve heard so many good things about Famous in A Small Town especially so I can’t wait to get to it. I haven’t read nearly enough books set in small towns so it’s definitely a priority on my tbr list. Gilded Wolves is another priority too – I’ve been meaning to get to it for ages!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      yesss they’re all so good, i hope you enjoy them if you get the chance to pick them up!! hope you have a lovely reading year in 2021 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Caro @ bookcheshirecat Avatar

    Loved seeing your stats and opinions about your 2020 reads ❤ I also loved The Gilded Wolves so much! The characters truly stole my heart 🥺🥰 Have you read the sequel yet?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      thank you so much, caro!! and i haven’t read the sequel yet because i’m so intimidated by it and i know it’s going to break me lmao 😭😭 but i’m planning on reading it soon after i reread tgw!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Caro @ bookcheshirecat Avatar

        The sequel is definitely a lot darker! I’m here for you, we can suffer together 🥺

        Liked by 1 person

  9. april | lostinthebookstacks Avatar

    I think your graphs are so interesting! I’ve never tried charting my reads like that before, but I think it’s a great way to visualize your reading experience. I might try that for 2021!
    Also, totally agree with your assessment of El*anor & P*rk. That book belongs in the trash. I remember trying to read it in middle school and I DNFed it because I just…thought it was kind of terribly written? But I hadn’t even been at a point where I could think critically about the racist themes in it. It really sucks when middle grade books are like that because the age group they’re geared towards haven’t always fully learned critical thinking skills yet and might take the messages of the book at face value.
    I’m surprised you didn’t like TATBILB, as that’s one of my favorite books, but I can totally understand where you’re coming from! I think part of my attachment to it is nostalgia haha, since it was one of the books that introduced me to YA. I think the way you described the book is a really good way of putting it and pretty accurate!
    I’ve been wanting to read The Gilded Wolves, and now it’s even higher on my TBR list! 🤩 I can’t wait to read it and I’m glad you loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      ahh yes, i would definitely recommend using graphs to track your reading!! and oh my god yes… it was so disgusting and i’m so sorry you had to go through reading it too 😭😭 and exactly, i don’t understand why it was published!!

      haha i’d heard so many amazing things about tatbilb before reading, and i agree that i might have liked it more if i was younger!! i’m glad you loved it though 💖💖 and i hope you enjoy the gilded wolves, it was truly amazing!! 🥰 have a lovely new year, april! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Morgan @ Morgan Is Reading Again Avatar

    I love graphs, so you’re definitely not alone in that!

    I’m glad you enjoyed You Should See Me In a Crown, I also really liked it! Super excited for the author’s new release in 2021.

    Finally someone else who didn’t like To All the Boys I’ve Loved! I think that book was just mediocre, and the main character really annoyed me. The Netflix movie was cute though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      ahh yay!! graphs are so fun to look at 😅 yesss, i can’t wait for rise to the sun especially after how amazing you should see me in a crown was 😭😭 and exactly, it seems like everyone loves tatbilb and i just… did not get the hype :(( i’m glad you enjoyed the movie, though, i hope i can watch it soon! 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  11. El Avatar

    Congrats on the great reading year! Reading was definitely a savior for 2020 so I’m glad you had some really great reads 💞 Here’s to a good 2021!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      thank you so much, el!! hope you have a beautiful new year 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  12. May @ Forever and Everly Avatar

    i enjoyed reading this post so much!! i know i’ve already said how happy i am that you loved wtmwo and picture us in the light but 🥺🥺 i’m really excited to reread picture us in the light later this year, can’t wait to cry again lmao! and i’m so sorry you had to subject yourself to eleanor and park 😭

    i shall ignore the weight of the stars slander (jk but i’m sorry you didn’t love it!) and move on to joining you in complaining about lucky caller! it just… didn’t have that emma mills Feeling and i didn’t connect to the characters as much :(( i hope you have a great reading year in 2021! i’m with you in needing to read more nonfiction this year haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      thank you so much, may!! and yes those two were so good, thank u again for the recs 🥺💖 omg please lmk when you do reread picture us in the light so we can sob together!!! and ah i wish i hadn’t picked it up but read it at the beginning of the year before i knew how disgustingly racist it was 😭😭

      lmaoo i wanted to love it so bad, especially because i know you and so many others adore it, but it just didn’t work :(( my reading tastes were a lot different at the beginning of 2020 though so i might try picking it up again? and ah i’m sorry you didn’t enjoy lucky caller either but yess, the characters and basically everything else were really disappointing. thank you so much, i hope you have a wonderful reading year as well! 🥰🥰 and i hope we’re both able to pick up more nonfiction 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  13. erin @ Reading On A Star Avatar

    love this wrap up so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      thank you, erin! hope you have a great 2021! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Stephen Writes Avatar

    This is a lovely post, Ash! I really enjoyed finding out about your 2020 reads. You Should See Me In A Crown was a really nice read, and I agree, Roshani Chokshi’s writing style is gorgeous. I hope 2021 is an amazing reading year for you 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      thank you so much, stephen!! i’m so glad you enjoyed you should see me in a crown 💖 and yess roshani chokshi is amazing! i hope you have a wonderful reading year in 2021 as well 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Ruby Rae Reads Avatar

    Eeeeep Ash this post was so much fun and this is kinda obscure but I love how it all looks!! I love your favourite lists so much. I haven’t read all that many from any of your categories (oops) apart from… literally only TATB. Bigger oops. But I’ve been so excited to read from Anna-Marie McLemore, Roshani Chokshi and especially now Kelly Loy Gilbert xoxo

    And yay that the majority of your reads being 4 star and YA, I miss that feeling lmao. 2020 was a ride for me tbh. But moving on. Sending lots of love friend!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      thank you so much, ruby!! 😭😭 u are too kind!! and haha i really hope you’re able to pick up books by those authors and love them 🥰 (definitely lmk when u do!!)

      ahh i really hope you have a better reading year in 2021 filled with tons of 5 star reads!! love you lots 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  16. sophie Avatar

    agh saaame!!!! you should see me in a crown was such a pleasant surprise this year! i did not expect to like it as much as i did! also you’d be glad to know that *clears throat* i’m adding picture us in the light to my tbr bc you said so!
    and lolll not at both of us being fools and not tracking our reading stats and have to figure it out for our 2020 stats blog posts aksdjhfa we so stupiddd pls T.T

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      i’m so glad that you should see me in a crown was a surprising read for us!! and YES READ IT JFDDJKJKA (and tell me when you do so we can scream about it!!) 💖💖 and haha noooo i’m happy i’m not alone but rip us 😭

      Liked by 1 person

  17. JANUARY RECAP // hello 2021 ft. content planning & much reading - Ruby Rae Reads Avatar

    […] posted her 2020 reading recap and it was such a delight to encounter not only marvellous superlatives but also PIE […]

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Monthly Wrap-Up – January 2021 – Stephen Writes Avatar

    […] Ash also wrote a brilliant 2020 recap. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  19. the sunshine blogger award | book tag Avatar

    […] | erin @readingonastar | ursareads | erin @rinsreads | katie @whisperingpages | ash @starlightstrands | rafaela @theportuguesebibliophile | ahaana @windowstoworlds | lais @thebookishskies | dezzy […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: