My 2020 Reading Wrap-Up: Thoughts and Stats from a Very Strange Year

Sigh, what to say about 2020? I know so many of us, including myself, had so many big plans for this year before the metaphorical rug was pulled straight out from under us. However, it’s important to recognise the good things that came from this crazy year, no matter how small — I started my bookstgram, this blog and I met so many new, lovely people in the book community, none of which would have happened if I wasn’t stuck at home twiddling my thumbs.

A major upside of 2020 for me was that I had an absolute knock-out reading year! I read more this year than I ever have before, read out of my comfort zone and found so many new favourite books and authors to take with me into this year.

I see the annual Reading Survey pop up every year in the blogosphere and around booktube so I thought this year I’d have a go at using questions as prompts for my wrap-up! I’ll also be including stats from my Goodreads Year in Books and my own reading spreadsheet I kept throughout the year which was a template by Ali at HardbackHoarder.

This is going to be a very long post so maybe grab a brew, get yourself comfy and lets get started.

Quick Stats

Total Books Read: 50 Rereads: 1
Physical: 38 Audiobooks: 11 eBooks: 1
Standalones: 25 Series: 25

I’m really happy with how my reading went this year. My goal for the year was to read 35 books and I managed to hit that in October! This is the first time I’ve ever managed to surpass my goal for the year and I’m really proud to have done it. I only managed to get one reread in this year which was If We Were Villains, one of my favourite 2019 reads. I’m going to try to get more into my 2021 TBR but I like to annotate as I reread so they usually take me much longer to get through than other books.

My best months for reading were — shock! — the ones where the UK was in a lockdown and I was on furlough. In April, I completed Book Roast’s O.W.L.’s Readathon and managed to read 7 books, then in November I read 9 books while I was re-furloughed from work just before Christmas. For some reason though, I’m just never in the mood to read when it gets to summer! July was without a doubt my worst reading month – I finished a grand total of zero books, and you know what? That’s fine, too.

Unsurprisingly, the physical book reigned supreme once again for me this year — being a bookseller and having access to a discount means this one is pretty much guaranteed to always stay on top. However, my love of audiobooks only grew stronger this year and I even tried out a few books I’d previously dnf’d in their physical form, such as Illuminae and Welcome to Night Vale, with a new appreciation for them in this format. I also discovered eBooks at the end of the year, which I’ve never tried before, after finally deciding to make use of my long-neglected NetGalley account. I’m looking forward to continue using it in the new year, I’m already really lucky to have my hands on some of my most anticipated releases which I can’t wait to share my thoughts on.

Are you ready for some pie charts? (Who am I kidding? of course you are!)

I managed to really branch out this year when it comes to genres – if I had one of these in previous years, there would have been far fewer portions. I’m a little surprised by how few Sci-Fi books I read as its definitely still my favourite genre but I’m even more shocked to see Horror, Romance and Paranormal appear on here at all! I’ve never really taken interest in any of those genres before but found myself really enjoying this year.

This one, I’m super happy to see. I think we can get caught up sometimes in the expectation to — how do I put this? — not be too generous with ratings. But here’s the thing: I’ve been reading for a long time now. I like to think I’m pretty good at choosing books I think I’ll enjoy, so it stands to reason most of the books I choose to pick up end up being upwards of 3 stars. The fact that the 4 and 5 star reads occupy most of the chart is something I’m really pleased with. I only ended up DNF’ing two books this year, Kudos which was just not for me and The Goldfinch was without a doubt my least favourite book of the year.

The Highlights

Let’s take a look at just a few of those 5 star reads, shall we?

Jade City by Fonda Lee
— I read so many amazing books this year that it was really difficult to pick a favourite. However, I’ve given it a lot of thought, and it would be criminal not to give my Best Book of the Year title to Jade City by Fonda Lee. The world-building, the characters, the plot twists, this book literally had it all. I also really loved and appreciated the relationship between the Kaul siblings and the way that would risk everything for one another no matter what. I have so much love for this book and I’m so excited to continue on with what I strongly believe is set to become a new all-time favourite.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
— I know what your thinking: Quinn, how did it take you until 2020 to read The Song of Achilles? And, you know what? I don’t have an answer. I’m as shocked as you are, in fact I am kicking myself that I didn’t pick this one up sooner because I honestly cannot remember the last time a book made me cry as much as this one did. I remember finishing this just before dinner one day and literally sitting down with my family just numb from finishing the book and so overwhelmed by how much I loved it. If there’s one book from 2020 I reread this year, I’m determined to make it this one.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
— The main reason I decided to picked up this next one, aside from all the hype, was because it is my dear friend Cossette from teatimelit‘s favourite book. I’ve never been very interested in romance books before so this was definitely a bit of a wild card for me but to say I ended up loving it would be an understatement. I adored everything about this book, to the point where I ended up passing my copy on to 3 other coworkers just so we could all cry about it together. Such a beautiful story which gave me a love for both a brand new author and a whole new genre I’ve never thought to look into before. Catch me reading way more romance in 2021!

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
Next up on ‘Quinn reads outside her comfort zone’ is a horror pitched as Buffy meets Desperate Housewives, which means there is no version of reality that exists where I wasn’t going to love it. I honestly don’t think I stopped talking about this book for a solid month after I read it and it still makes giddy thinking out how amazing it was. It was a super quirky, fun read but with such dark themes and commentary

Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton
— The fact that thriller made it to my favourite books of the year is such a shock to me. Every one I’ve tried has either fallen flat or I haven’t been able to get into it and I just generally don’t find myself drawn to them very often. Three Hours was different. Three Hours is a book I couldn’t put down and haven’t been able to stop thinking about since the moment I did. This book is an absolute masterpiece and the fact that its so under hyped is insane to me. I think I might post a full review on here at some stage as I think I’ve had enough time to reflect on it now after reading but just know it absolutely blew my mind and I hope more people start picking it this hidden gem.

I’m so happy to have read so many titles in 2020 that I ended up loving it! I feel like I’ve really managed to pin point exactly what kind of books I’m going to enjoy this past year while still venturing outside of my comfort genres. I can’t wait to try out even more new genres, authors and series this year and hopefully find many more 5 star reads.

Phew, okay. We made it. I feel like this post is probably long enough at this point so I’ll leave it here for today. If you made it to the end of this post, thank you so much! Please let me know some of your thoughts on your own reading year in the comments. I’d also love to hear from you about your stats – do you track your reading as you go? Do you wait until the end of the year for your Goodreads wrapped? Let’s chat below!

Lots of love,
Quinn 💛

Review: The Ravens by Kass Morgan and Danielle Paige

Kappa Rho Nu isn’t your average sorority. Their parties are notorious. Their fundraisers are known for being Westerly College’s most elaborate affairs. But beneath the veil of Greek life and prestige, the sisters of Kappu Rho Nu share a secret: they’re a coven of witches. For Vivi Deveraux, being one of Kappa Rho Nu’s Ravens means getting a chance to redefine herself. For Scarlett Winters, a bonafide Raven and daughter of a legacy Raven, pledge this year means living up to her mother’s impossible expectations of becoming Kappa Rho Nu’s next president. Scarlett knows she’d be the perfect candidate — that is, if she didn’t have one human-sized skeleton in her closet…. When Vivi and Scarlett are paired as big and little for initiation, they find themselves sinking into the sinister world of blood oaths and betrayals.

Title: The Ravens
Author: Kass Morgan, Danielle Paige
Publisher: Hodder & Staughton
Intended Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Thriller
TW: Death, murder, cancer, blood, violence
Rating: ★★★★☆

We don’t choose our sisters, the magic does.”

The Ravens, Kass Morgan & Danielle Paige

Let me start off by saying this: this was a ride. I was very kindly sent an e-arc for review via NetGalley but then this beautiful copy (pictured above) from the December Illumicrate subscription box arrived in all its sprayed-edged glory and I couldn’t not share!

At Westerly College, a coven of witches hides in plain sight as the sorority sisters of Kappa Rho Nu, known around campus as the Ravens. Rivalry sparks within the sisterhood between our two main characters, powerful new pledge Vivi and Scarlett, the soon-to-be president who is tasked with showing her the ropes despite thinking she doesn’t have what it takes. However, old secrets haunt the Kappa house and the Ravens must come together to protect their sisterhood.

If I had to describe this book is one word it would be ‘page-turner’ – action-packed from start to finish and brimming with magic and mystery. Every plot twist and revelation brought with it just as many new questions as it answered, propelling the story forwards through a really fun blend of fantasy and thriller. 

This cast of characters felt diverse and distinctive. The contrast between our two protagonists created such an interesting dynamic in their relationship as ‘sisters’, especially when we got to see their ongoing conflicts from both sides of the argument. The other sisters, though much less present in the overall story, popped in at perfectly placed points throughout to provide insight and encouragement which contributed so much to Vivi’s growth as she struggles to understand her new-found power. I also really loved the whole theme of sisterhood in general that ran throughout the book and the way that all the girls banded together to face whatever threats came their way. It felt very much ‘no witch left behind’ and it was really heart-warming to see them bond and learn from one another, whether it was tricky spell-work or greek life etiquette.

My one gripe with this book would have to be the inclusion of the love interests of both Vivi and Scarlett. Both plot lines felt a little weak compared to the drama of everything else going on and, although it was a nice reprieve in amongst all of that, I almost feel it would’ve been better had they been left out and keeping the story focused on the sisterhood. I did really like both of the love interests individually but with all the other action going on their respective romances didn’t feel as though they had enough time to grow naturally. 

I think this book would be perfect for fans of Karen M. McManus’s books, The Raven Boys and also anyone after a YA alternative to Ninth House. Overall, I really enjoyed The Ravens and would absolutely recommend it to anyone after a witchy thriller read with plenty of girl power.

Find this book on: Goodreads | StoryGraph | Waterstones | Barnes & Noble |

New Year’s Reading Resolutions

Happy new year, lovelies! 💛

Question for you: do you set yourself new year’s resolutions? Usually I only ever set myself a reading goal for how many books I want to read and a handful of personal resolutions but this year there’s a few things I’d really like to achieve with my reading. I’m going to try my hardest to hold myself accountable too, I even put a tracker in the beginning of my reading journal so I can reflect on whether or not I’ve met each goal every month.

In no particular order, here’s five of my reading goals for 2021:

Goal 1 – Read 50 books.

This first one is pretty standard – this year I’d really like read at least 50 books. I normally up my goal by 5 books every year but last year I actually managed to hit my goal of 35 and, for the first time, pass it! For 2021, I wanted to set a bit of a higher goal just to see if I can do it again. I’m not going to put to much pressure on this goal though, it’s quality not quantity that matters after all.

Goal 2 – Actively seek out more diverse works.

This one is the most important for me going into this year. Even though I feel like the books I read are quite diverse in genre and setting, I really want to make more of an effort to find and read more books by People of the Global Majority and own voices authors. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s only in recent years that I’ve realised the importance of consuming media that represents experiences outside of our own, particularly as a white, cis woman. By the end of the year, I’d really like to tip the ratio and have read more diverse titles than those by cis/straight/white/able-bodied/neurotypical/etc. authors. More than that, I want to use my blog and bookstagram to share as many of them with you lovely lot as I possibly can.

Goal 3 – Read more Non-Fiction books.

This was actually a goal I set for myself last year too and failed miserably at. I promise, I had the best of intentions but 2020 just got away from me. Before I knew it, November was here and I still hadn’t picked up any non-fiction reads at all. I definitely want to try and rectify that in 2021 and get through a fair chunk of the non-fiction on my tbr, especially because I’m really intrigued by all of the non-fiction books that I own and am genuinely excited to get to them… eventually.

Goal 4 – Complete the Buzzwordathon challenges for the entire year.

Last month, the amazing booksandlala announced the prompts for this year’s Buzzwordathon! The readathon will run for the whole of 2021 with a different ‘buzzword’ prompt for every month and a number of different ways you can participate. If it sounds like something you’d fancy, do check out Kayla’s video where she breaks down how it works and all the monthly prompts. I’d really like to try and read at least one book every month that matches the prompt but I might do a few proper readathons here and there where I try to read as many as I can for that month’s buzzword.

Goal 5 – Less buying, more reading!

This one is a major problem for me. I love to own books which means I love to buy books. The sheer amount of books I bought in 2020 was ridiculous so I’m definitely going to be trying to cut down on buying them in the new year. I think because I have a bookseller discount I lull myself into a false sense of security that I’m not spending that much because I’m paying less? When I need to remind myself that that doesn’t count if it means you buy twice as many books…

Let me know what your resolutions are for this year, reading or otherwise, in the comments below!

Lots of love,
Quinn 💛

2021 Most Anticipated Releases

There are so many amazing books due to come out in 2021 and I for one cannot wait to get my hands (and eyes) on them all! Although it may clash slightly with my goal to ‘buy less, read more’ this year, here are a few that I will definitely be tempted to break my buying ban for…

Jade Legacy by Fonda Lee
— Published 2021

Goodreads doesn’t even have a date for this one yet! And you know it’s a strong series when you’re already anticipating book three when you haven’t even read book two yet. I loved Jade City so much when I read it in November and I really do think this has the potential to become one of my all time favourite series! Its got everything; mafia meets magic with family feuds, turf wars and siblings who would (and do) kill for each other. If you haven’t picked up the Greenbone Saga yet, I cannot recommend it enough.

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
— Published 2nd March, 2021

Never Let Me Go is the book I credit with getting me back into reading in my teens. I’ve always been really apprehensive to read anything else by this author since incase I didn’t enjoy it as much as that one but when I heard the synopsis for this one I knew I had to include on this list. It seems like a return to the vague sci-fi style that I loved so much about Never Let Me Go and I am so excited to get my hands on it.

That Way Madness Lies by Dahlia Adler
— Published 16th March, 2021

I am obsessed with the idea of this – a short story collection of Shakespeare retellings? Sign me up! I was really thankful to have won a NetGalley arc of this from Flat Iron’s instagram so I don’t have to wait as long as I thought I would to tear through it. I’m particularly looking forward to seeing The Tempest and Much Ado About Nothing reimagined as those are my favourite plays, plus the author line up for this one is spectacular.

Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey
— Published 18th May, 2021

You had me at You’ve Got Mail meets Morgan Matson, no further explanation necessary. I’ve really gotten into romance and new adult genres in 2020, much more so than in previous years, and this one sounds right up my street. Enemies to lovers? Not only that, but employees of rival bookstores? Just take my money.

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo
— Published 30th March, 2021

This is the big one. I was so behind making my through the Grishaverse books, having only finished the original trilogy this time last year and getting around to King of Scars back in April, but now that I’m finally caught up the wait for this next one is killing me. Plus, they finally released the teaser trailer for the Shadow and Bone tv show, so I’m definitely in the mood for more Grishaverse magic, asap.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
— Published 27th May, 2021

There aren’t enough words in the dictionary to describe how excited I am to read this book. Of the three Taylor Jenkins Reid books I’ve read, two have been five star reads and have become firm favourites so to say I am anticipating the release of Malibu Rising is an understatement. I was actually lucky enough to receive an arc of this one from Penguin which I’m planning to buddy-read in January with the lovely Celina and Cossette which only makes me more excited to pick it up!

We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon
— Published 1st June, 2021

Another romcom I can’t wait to get my hands on! I read Today Tonight Tomorrow by this author this year and had the best time with it so I’m really looking forward to this new release from her. A cynical wedding harpist and a hopelessly romantic caterer work together to save people’s special days – sold. Also, our main character has a pretty cool name, if I do say so myself…

The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo
— Published 1st June, 2021

I read The Great Gatsby for then first time back in 2019 and I remember myself being so drawn to Jordan Baker’s character, despite the fact I didn’t even really like her all that much. So, when I heard about a reimagining of the classic told through her eyes, I was very intrigued by what sounds like an exciting, magical debut.

What are some of your most anticipated releases for next year? Let me know if I’ve missed out your number one!

Lots of love,
Quinn 💛

2021 Reading Journal Set-Up

I’ve been keeping a reading journal for about two years now – I use it to keep track of what I’ve read throughout the year, to understand my own thoughts about the books I’ve read and to plot out my reviews for them. This is just one of the many ways I keep track of my reading (keep an eye out for a blog post on that soon) but it’s definitely my favourite method I currently use. I’ve always really enjoyed then physical act of writing things down, if I could hand-write blog posts and instagram captions I would, so I much prefer this to note-taking apps or word docs. It’s super practical for me but, like a bullet journal, it also allows me to get a little creative with my spreads.

The journal I’m using for 2021 is from Notebook Therapy, a Tsuki ‘Pastel Edition’ Bullet Journal in Lilac Taro. I normally exclusively use a Leuchtturm1917 journal as I really like how flat they lie and the quality of the cover. However, I’ve found them to be quite bad for ghosting and bleeding with a lot of the pens I like to use. I’m hoping the thicker pages of this new journal will be a lot better, which they definitely have so far.

Supplies used: → Uni Pc1MR Posca Marker in Gold
→ Uni Pc3M Posca Marker in Gold
→ Tombow Dual Brush Pen in Black
→ Uni Pin 0.5 Fine Line in Black
→ Papermate Non-Stop mechanical pencil
→ Staedtler Mars 57601F circle template

The first thing I knew I wanted to incorporate this year was tabs – I do a lot of spreads at the start of my journal so I wanted to make it easier for myself to flip back and forth between them. To do this, I just cut along the first line of the dot grid on the edge of the page, leaving out a little tab – super simple but I think they look really cute and hopefully they’ll be super functional for me throughout the year.

New year, new journal! Starting off with my title page for 2021, I wanted to keep my theme quite minimal and plain, one that I knew I wouldn’t get tired of looking at for the whole year. You can probably tell I have a love for all things starry and celestial so it was an obvious choice to go for a golden starry theme for my reading journal! The shine doesn’t show up so well on these pictures but trust me when I tell you the way these Posca markers show up is so pretty, I’m really pleased with how this little page turned out.

After the title page I have my 2021 reading goals page, but as I’m going to be doing a separate blog post dedicated to this I’m going to skip over that one for now and move onto my anticipated releases spread! I’ve seen people do this ‘year at a glance’ style of spread in their bullet journals for important dates like birthdays and events and thought it would be perfect for tracking my anticipated releases for the coming year. I think if I could do it again I might do three months to a page instead of six – I only put a few on to take this picture and May is already nearly full… oops.

Next up is the books read tracking page; this one is pretty standard but I always like to include it in all my journals. I didn’t have a number in mind when I started drawing out the spread but I have enough space on it for 72 books. Even though I’m not sure I’ll get anywhere near that, I didn’t think I’d hit 35 this year and I ended up going way past that with nowhere to write them down! I also have a key in the top left to colour them according to the format of book I read but I haven’t decided what colours they’ll be yet.

This one is a direct copy from my 2020 journal! I really enjoyed being able to track my favourite books of each month and see them all lined up next to each other so I knew I definitely wanted to carry it on for next year. You can see where I’ve left a little pencil mark for where I’ve mapped out where I want the book covers to go so I’ll just be printing them out throughout the year and sticking them in as I go.

My series tracker is here to remind me to stop picking up firsts in a series when I have so many unfinished ones! I’m so bad at reading series – I either binge the whole lot in one go or wait months between reading each book. I’ve listed a few of the series I really want to finish or get up to date with this year to hold myself accountable.

My Buzzwordathon spread is a brand new one for 2021. Kayla over at booksandlala announced a year-long version of her Buzzword readathon so I wanted a place I could refer back to without having to keep skipping around through her announcement video each month. I’ve left a little circle to either tick or write in the number of books I completed that fit the prompt for the month.

I’m hoping I won’t need to use this last spread too much, which is exactly why I knew I had to put it in! I purposely only gave myself one page for my haul log because the plan is to buy far less books in 2021 than I have in previous years. The lack of space on this page is also very symbolic of the lack of space on my bookshelves so hopefully by keeping one clear I can stop the other from getting out of hand.

I really hope you enjoyed this little peak inside my reading journal! Please let me know if you’d like to see more of these throughout the year – I could maybe share my monthly spreads or show you how these first ones fill out as the year goes on? Always open to hearing your thoughts.

Have lovely day or night, everyone!
Quinn 💛

Welcome to the Blog!

Hello, lovelies!

Welcome to my very own corner little corner of the bookternet. My name is Quinn and I’m a 22 year old bookseller from the UK. I run the bookstagram account @pagesofquinn so if you’ve stumbled over here from there – hello, thank you for joining me!

I started this blog as a place to share my more in-depth thoughts about all things bookish! Bookstagram is still my home platform but sometimes when I want to scream about a book I need bit more space than my beloved instagram captions can give me. I’d love to use this blog to post proper reviews, recommendations and other bookish content that (hopefully) you lovely lot will enjoy.

Thanks again for checking out my blog, watch this space for new posts or, if you fancy, use the button in the sidebar to subscribe and get updates sent straight to your inbox.

Lots of love,
Quinn 💛

Got any suggestions? Let me know in the comments below!