THE BEST IN FICTION 2020: FAVORITE READS OF THE YEAR! Talking the best of fiction 2020 reading! What did you love this past year? © Rissi JC


December 28, 2020 26 Comments

It’s the end of another year, and as a result of this, it’s time to discuss some of our most favorite or best of 2020 reads!

LIST | The 10 Books I Hope to Read this Winter Season

To be completely honest, I have struggled to put together these lists over the last 3 or so years. Why I am not sure, but it’s been a doozy. Perhaps it’s because I’m more choosy or maybe because I don’t read that many books per year (when I say I’m a turtle reader, trust me, I am *note the under 50 Goodreads count*). Sure I read books like Going the Distance, which I did really like, but don’t feel is worth a “best of” tag. Or I read super popular novels I wanted to love, but couldn’t. Whatever the reasons, I just don’t find it easy to work up these types of lists. That said, I still love to curate them and discuss (even though I probably over discuss) said books. This is the precipice I find myself on today as I type this list.

Regardless of my confusion about a lacking number of books to place on a best of virtual shelf, I still read some GOOD books last year, but our topic today is the 2020 reads I discovered. Let’s have a look at what books make Finding Wonderland’s Best of 2020 list.


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1: Before I Called You Mine, Nicole Deese

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This novel is a delight from beginning to end. Really it’s the hero who is so NOBLE and good, and really who doesn’t love a good hero? Amazon | Goodreads

2: Whose Waves These Are, Amanda Dykes

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Read this with the 2020 INSPYs, and while everyone gushed over it in its release year (2019, as a debut), this is one I was late to the party for. That said, I still enjoyed it, late or no. Amazon | Goodreads

3: The Rise and Fall of Jane, Corrie Garrett

Rating: 3 out of 5.

*Rating is more of a 3-1/2

This Indie release sat on my shelf for quite some time and I really didn’t know what to make of it. I don’t see many (or any?) Jane Eyre re-tellings but on a whim I picked it up. It falters a bit in the end, which tries to bring in Bronte’s supernatural or Gothic chills, but overall I was impressed. Amazon | Goodreads

4: A Girl’s Guide to the Outback, Jessica Kate

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I liked this one better than Jessica’s debut novel; it’s just so fun and cute and entertaining. It’s definitely a comedy, but there are layers to the story, and I’m here for it all. Amazon | Goodreads

5: The Solid Grounds Coffee Company, Carla Laureano

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Pretty sure I’ve had all of these books by this author on my “best of” lists for three years straight now. They’re just so good, and interesting with mature romances that fit each story. Amazon | Goodreads

THE BEST IN FICTION 2020: FAVORITE READS OF THE YEAR! Talking the best of fiction 2020 reading! What did you love this past year? © Rissi JC

6: The Upside of Falling, Alex Light

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book is a ray of sunshine and exactly what makes me love reading. There’s so much cuteness in this faux dating romance, and I wish there were a million more books just like it. Amazon | Goodreads

7: Of Curses and Kisses, Sandhya Menon

Rating: 4 out of 5.

To be honest… I don’t love this book as much as the anticipation would have made me believe. Is it still good? Of course. But for some reason it took me a long while to really get “into” the story. Once I did however, it’s a solid and quite the entertaining fairy-tale retelling. Amazon | Goodreads

8: The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly, Jamie Pacton

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Really enjoyed this novel; it’s fun and reminds me of what I might encounter in the adult novel Well Met. Amazon | Goodreads

9: The Crushing Depths, Dani Pettrey

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I mean… I’m pretty sure I always have to include the yearly release by Pettrey. Her novels are always exciting but also take the time to focus on characters, too. Plus, who doesn’t like the team aspect each story promotes? Amazon | Goodreads

10: Stay with Me, Becky Wade

Rating: 5 out of 5.
stay with me book

This novel drew some harsh critics this year, but Stay With Me reads like a seasoned novel that’s not afraid to wander into the “messy” of life. I love this. I am a happy book kind of reader, but the way this story unfolds and goes is beautiful and fully embraces some of the not-so-good about life in order to earn and cherish the beautiful. Amazon | Goodreads

11: If For Any Reason, Courtney Walsh

Rating: 4 out of 5.
if for any reason

Read this one early on, and did enjoy it. I love the setting, and for me, it’s one of Walsh’s best. Amazon | Goodreads

12: Listen to your Heart, Kasie West

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I mean… you guys know I have to include Kasie West’s novel, right?? Her books are always darling and cute! I meant to read her last release in 2020, Moment of Truth, but ran out of time. Good news is, this indicates I’m not officially caught up on all of the novels West has released and so, I can still enjoy one more until her 2021 release comes out! Amazon | Goodreads

Now it’s all you! Tell me, what books did you love in 2020? Which made your best of lists? Comment all of your thoughts below.


THE BEST IN FICTION 2020: FAVORITE READS OF THE YEAR! Talking the best of fiction 2020 reading! What did you love this past year? © Rissi JC
THE BEST IN FICTION 2020: FAVORITE READS OF THE YEAR! Talking the best of fiction 2020 reading! What did you love this past year? @BeckyWadeWriter @KasieWest #BookNerd #Bestof2020 #Readers #Reading #TopTenTuesday Click To Tweet

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About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Greg December 28, 2020 at 10:48 PM

    I don’t always find it easy to make these lists either- I totally agree. Kasie West’s books always look so fun and summery. Glad these were so good! :)

  • Lex @ Lexlingua December 29, 2020 at 1:24 AM

    Can’t say I’ve read any of these books before, but The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly, Jamie Pacton looks really interesting. And if you’re looking for a few more Jane Eyre retellings, try out My Plain Jane / My Lady Jane / Calamity Jane series by Cynthia Hand. Happy TTT and Happy 2021 in advance!

  • Davida Chazan December 29, 2020 at 1:39 AM

    Excellent! Here’s hoping that 2021 has many more great books in store for you!

  • Stefani at Read with Stefani December 29, 2020 at 4:29 AM

    Some great sounding titles to wrap up the year. Happy holidays and happy reading!

  • Michael @ The Book Lover's Sanctuary December 29, 2020 at 4:55 AM

    Great list and lots of inspiration for 2021! These were my favourite reads of 2020 if you wanted to check them out! Have a Happy New Year!

  • Lydia December 29, 2020 at 6:31 AM

    Before I Called You Mine was an excellent read.

    My post.

  • Angela December 29, 2020 at 6:39 AM

    Kit Sweetly is one I’ve been meaning to get to since the fall!

  • Hamlette (Rachel) December 29, 2020 at 8:01 AM

    I am so behind on reading Courtney Walsh’s books! I’ve read 2 or 3 and really liked them — I’ll have to see if the library has some I haven’t read yet. The Solid Grounds Coffee Company looks like something I’d dig too :-)

    I finally did a TTT again, after months of missing it! It’s here :-)

  • Lindsey @ Lindsey Reads December 29, 2020 at 9:42 AM

    Such a fun list! I’m looking forward to reading The Upside of Falling and The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly :)

  • Brooke Lorren December 29, 2020 at 10:41 AM

    Of Curses and Kisses almost made my list this year. I would call it an honorable mention. Listen to Your Heart was good, and I would like to read The Life and Medieval Times of Kit Sweetly at some point. Great list!

    Brooke Lorren recently posted: Favorite 2020 Releases
  • Ashley S. December 29, 2020 at 11:00 AM

    I loved Whose Waves These Are. I keep hearing how awesome Before I Called You Mine is. I’m gonna try to read that one next year. :)

  • Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse December 29, 2020 at 11:57 AM

    I loved Listen to Your Heart. That was such a great book. I love seeing it on your list.

    Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse recently posted: Review: The Wrong Family (Tarryn Fisher)
  • Christopher @ Plucked from the Stacks December 29, 2020 at 12:43 PM

    It looks like you discovered a lot of great books to help get you through this year! The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly has been sitting on my TBR pile for a bit. It sounds fantastic.

  • Jess @ Jessticulates December 29, 2020 at 2:03 PM

    Great list! The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly is one I’d really like to try.

    Jess @ Jessticulates recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday | Best books of 2020!
  • Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense December 29, 2020 at 4:21 PM

    Hope your 2021 is full of many wonderful books!

  • Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight December 29, 2020 at 10:13 PM

    Oh I agree, the “best” lists are HARD. It’s funny, this year I read very few bad books, but also didn’t have as many stand out favorites. The only one on your list I have read is Kit Sweetly, but I did think it was cute! Hope you find more wonderful books in the coming year!

    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted: 2021 Discussion Challenge Sign Ups!
  • Amber Holcomb December 31, 2020 at 12:41 PM

    Great list, Rissi! I also loved Whose Waves These Are, and Before I Called You Mine was definitely a compelling read. I agree with you that Kasie West’s books are delightful; glad you got to enjoy one this year! And your thoughts on The Upside of Falling make it sound so good!

    I hope you and yours have a blessed 2021, friend <3

    Amber Holcomb recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Reads of 2020
    • Rissi JC January 11, 2021 at 7:11 PM

      Amber, hey! So lovely to see you over here. :) Hope you’re doing well.

      Amanda’s book is wonderful as is Nicole’s. Both are equally good reads for very different reasons. Kasie’s books are always fun and if you like her books, I think you’d enjoy “The Upside of Falling” as well. :)

      Same to you! Happy 2021.

  • Nicole @ BookWyrm Knits December 31, 2020 at 4:49 PM

    You may have found it difficult to write the list, but the end result is great! You have good reasons for your picks, too. And now I’m more excited to read Kit Sweetly! I picked that one up earlier this year, but haven’t gotten to reading it yet.

    Nicole @ BookWyrm Knits recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday ~ Favorite Books of 2020
    • Rissi JC January 11, 2021 at 7:12 PM

      Aw, thank you, Nicole. It’s become more difficult each year to write because I read so few books per year, but still, there’s enjoyable parts as well. (And part of the non-enjoyment is my own fault because I wait until the last minute ;D) Glad you stopped by. Thanks!

  • Aj @ Read All The Things! December 31, 2020 at 7:37 PM

    I’m glad you read some good books! I’m a slow reader, too. My sister reads a book a day, and I’m like, HOW? Have a good 2021!

    • Rissi JC January 11, 2021 at 7:13 PM

      WOW. Your sister needs to teach us her ways. ;) I just cannot sit for that long without getting up to do other work (even if that’s computer work).


  • Dedra @ A Book Wanderer January 2, 2021 at 2:21 PM

    I haven’t read any of these yet, but I do enjoy a good Kasie West book. I’ll have to check this one out. Happy Reading in 2021!

    Dedra @ A Book Wanderer recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday/Bookending Winter: My Favorite Books of 2020
    • Rissi JC January 11, 2021 at 8:06 PM

      Kasie’s books are so lovely. They’re always such cute reads, which is what I love. :) Thanks for the visit, Dedra.


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