On October 27th it started. The Goodreads Choice Awards for 2020. It had Best Books 2020 in the browser, but lets be real, it is a popularity contest. It is also hard to call it 2020 when there are 2 months being conveniently left out.
Even so I still voted along the way and I thought I’d look again this year at what I voted in the opening rounds, along the way, and what ended up winning
The Opening Round
I voted in eight categories this year. I actually added the category of horror for myself this year. Three guesses as to who was the cause of that.
Fantasy was the first category I voted in and while going through the books I have read some (Addie LaRue, A Deadly Education and The Once and Future Witches) but certainly not one that I’d vote as best (and I’m trying to forget about Mark Lawrence after that whole debacle earlier this year. I can’t quite look at his books the same way). So I wrote in The Archive of the Forgotten!
Science-Fiction was next and it is always the question if I even read anything for this category. Just the one, Network Effect, which I loved so I didn’t feel the need to vote something else in.
Horror is not usually a category I normally vote in but I even read 2 books that were already listed. The Book Club’s Guide and of course Mexican Gothic. You all know what I voted.
Skipping a few categories I ended up at Graphic Novels and Comics. I only read Heartstopper of the listed. I tried writing in the Tea Dragon Tapestry but goodreads wouldn’t take it (I have since learned that the release date has been moved to 2021!). But luckily I also really like Hearstopper.
Debut novel is always such a hard category because I never knew who is actually a debut and who is not. I didn’t read Cemetery Boys until October 30th, but I still voted for it before I read it. And I’m glad I did.
Young Adult fiction is another category that I don’t always read in since its mostly contemporary here. But Clap When You Land was listed and that certainly deserves a vote.
I was not feeling the selection for Young Adult Fantasy and Science-Fiction this year. I read Girl, Serpent and Thorn and I already voted for Cemetery Boys. So I decided to write in Raybearer. I was actually surprised to not see it on this pre-list already.
And lastly there was Middle Grade and Children’s. I haven’t read Hollowpox or the last Apollo book and they are going to get plenty of voting anyway. So I voted for Ghost Squad.
With fantasy my write in didn’t make it and not much is standing out to me to vote. So I decided to vote for The Burning God. I haven’t read it yet since it wasn’t even out at the time of the semifinal round. But I loved the previous two, and quite frankly its not fair its been put into this years voting.
Science Fiction went to Network Effect of Course. And horror to Mexican Gothic. No contest there. With Graphic Novels I changed my vote to Magic Fish since I read it since and fell in love with it.
The last four were the same as my intial votes. Cemetery Boys for debut. Clap When you Land for YA. Raybearer for YA SFF and Ghost Squad for Middle Grade. I was pleased to see that Raybearer has been written in so well.
The final round started on November 17th.
The Burning God didn’t make it to the final round which makes sense because it didn’t come out until November 17th. Which is what made it so unfair to begin with. I have read 3 of the books in Fantasy but I don’t feel inclined to vote for any of those so my vote remains open this round.
With Science-Fiction my final vote went to Network Effect and horror to Mexican Gothic. The Magic Fish didn’t make it to the final round of Graphic Novels so my vote went back to Heartstopper.
Debut novel still went to Cemetery Boys. Best Young Adult Fiction to Clap When You Land. Unfortunately Raybearer didn’t make it to Best YA SFF (which I really don’t understand) so my vote went to Cemetery Boys.
And my vote to Best Middle Grade and Children’s went to Ghost Squad again!
Having a quick look at the winners, three books I read were winners, one book I want to read is a winner. And I am not at all interested in the rest. Which is interesting because I voted in 7 categories, and 8 in previous rounds. Lets look more at that.
For Fantasy Sarah J. Maas won which isn’t really a surprise. I do find it surprising that Addie LaRue is so close in votes. The House of the Cerulean Sea did really well as well which is nice to see. It is one of the books I’d still like to read. And surprisingly Brandon Sanderson only became 4th. The Once and Future Witches, that I also read, came in sixth. My vote, the Burning God, came in eleventh.
Sci-fi is the next category I voted in. I’m kind of surprised to see that Paolini won. It didn’t quite feel as if that book was much talked about. My vote came in third which I find interesting considering the buzz the Murderbot Diaries seems to have within sci-fi reading community. I’m very curious about The Space Between Worlds. You can also see how sci-fi is a much less voted for category compared to Fantasy.
Horror is next. My choice won! Yeay! And well deserved for Silvia Moreno-Garcia! My other horror read came in third. I am super curious about The Year of the Witching and I am glad that it came in fourth.
Yeay for Hearstopper winning graphic novels and comics. I have to be honest and say that I haven’t heard anything about the other three top votes. Like I know Fangirl. Had no idea there was a graphic novel coming out. Sad that The Magic Fish came in last vote wise. Its such a good graphic novel. But I guess it makes sense since it didn’t come out until October and there wasn’t that much buzz.
I have never heard of any of these other debut novels. Never ever heard of Such a Fun Age. Don’t know how it managed to beat Cemetery Boys but it certainly can’t have been better according to my very biased opinion.
The one YA Contemporary 2020 release I read and it won. Yeay for wonders. I am also glad to see Felix Ever After scoring high overall. I haven’t read it and I don’t know if I will but I know the book meant a lot to others in the bookish community.
YA Fantasy is looking very white. Very unsurprising. It are the typical names. I’ve only heard people shit on The Ballad and Midnight Sun but here they are. Will forever be salty that Raybearer didn’t make it to the final round.
Children’s fiction and Middle Grade doesn’t quite have a surprising winner. Rick Riordan tends to win most years. Not completely undeserving of course. I am surprised that Hollowpox didn’t come in higher but I guess that is because it came out later into the year. My pick, Ghost Squad, came in 9th. I wish it had come in higher because it deserves that but compared to some other books it didn’t receive the same amount of buzz throughout the year.
How do you feel about this years Goodreads Choice awards? Did any of your favorites win?