Hello and happy new year everyone!!
For most people 2021 is over. Done with. No looking back. But not for book bloggers. For us, January of any new year is a month full of looking back on the previous year. I genuinely love this time of the year, just for all the bookish content.
Today I’m going to be starting on a positive foot and looking back on my favourite books of 2021!!
Overall I read 100 books in 2021. I’m pretty happy withe everything I read. With that being said, it was super easy to pick out my favourites. Chances are you’ve heard all about these book already, but I’m excited to talk about none the less. (these are in no particular order btw).
Never Saw You Coming by Erin Hahn
Not only does the tradition of the “positive mental attitude cute dog” gif live on, but so does the tradition of a Erin Hahn book being a favourite of the year.
Never Saw You Coming follows Meg, a home schooled girl raised with religion, who finds out her dad isn’t her dad and her entire childhood was a lie. Deciding to take a gap year before college Meg travels up north to meet the other side of her family she never knew she had. There she meets and grows close to Micah, son of a disgraced pastor. Together they work through a lot of religious trauma, childhood trauma, and find themselves.
My favourite thing about Hahn’s books is how her passion is so evident in her writing, whether that’s music or in this case religion. It makes her books so enjoyable to read.
Meg and Micah made for a really cute couple. I had a lot of fun reading about their romance, but I also liked their individual journeys. They supported each other but it was never a case of “love can solve all our problems”, instead they put in the work themselves and came out the other side better for it. I will be probably be re-reading this in the new year. No shame.
Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell
When a book makes me laugh out loud and smile ridiculously wide as much as this one did, it deserves a spot on my favourites list.
I’m sure everyone knows what the Carry On series is all about: Chosen One trope with a twist, enemies to lovers, vampires, magic, etc. I’m in the unique position of starting this series once the sequel was already released and third book announced. I went into these books reading them as a series as opposed to a standalone and I think that benefited my reading experience.
I really liked the ups and downs in Simon and Baz’s relationship. I like how realistic everything was handled in turns of Simon dealing with not knowing his purpose outside of being the Chosen One, how he reacts when that’s taken away. I had a Hell of a lot of fun with this final book and have already begun forcing my friends to read it.
As Many Nows as I Can Get by Shana Youngdahl
I love it when a book I know barely anything about proves to be one of the best. That was the case with As Many Nows As I Can Get.
This is a difficult one to describe and sum up. In my opinion it’s a really beautiful but brutal character driven story. It follows mainly Scarlet but also David as they navigate their relationship with each other but also realise that while they main be a big deal in their home town, going off to college is a whole other ball game.
I really liked how it was told. We jump around the timeline going from different moments in the past to the present. It took me a minute to wrap my head around it but once I did it worked in the books favour. This does tackle some heavy topics though such as: drugs, alcohol, overdose, teen pregnancy.
I would have balled my eyes out a fair few times while reading this if it hadn’t been for the fact that I was on a train.
My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
It feels weird to say that I enjoyed this simply due to it’s contents but you all know what I mean right? It’s not like I had fun reading this. It wasn’t all laughs and giggles. In fact it was visceral reactions of disgust and discomfort. But the fact that I had those reactions and was invested is what earns it a place on this list.
This book is heavy as it follows a women who’s looking back on her past relationship with a teacher when she was a teenager following allegations brought against him. It flip flops between her as a teenager as the “relationship” is developing and happening, to modern day.
Like I said, this was a hard one to read but that’s what made it so good.
Off Campus by Elle Kennedy
Something I was not expecting to do this year was to read an entire hockey romance series in about a weeks time and yet that’s exactly what happened.
The plan was to only read the first book, The Deal. I kept seeing this all over Tik-Tok and then Goodreads and when I saw the first book was free on Kindle, I checked it out … and became hooked.
Each book follows a different romance with four college hockey players who are all besties and live together at the centre. While they do follow different characters in each book, I still recommend reading them in order because they do kind of follow on from each other timeline wise.
I loved everything about these books. I don’t even know if I could pick a favourite. They’re all equal in my heart. An indicator to how much I enjoyed this is that I continued onto the spin-off series (not as good but okay enough) and have had to stop myself from re-reading these four books a fair few times. Instead I went in search for other college hockey romances which didn’t live up to what I wanted. The likelihood of me reading these again in 2022 is high.
One of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus
This is actually the last book I completed in 2021 so it really only just squeezed itself onto this list. I am very glad I managed to read it though because I had a lot of fun.
I really liked One of Us is Lying back in 2018 but wasn’t expecting it to get a sequel so the mere existence of this book was a nice surprise. Apparently there’s going to be a third book which is even better!
One of Us is Next takes place a year after the event of the first book but follows different characters as a new game of Truth or Dare takes hold of Bayview High: do the dare, or have a truth revealed about you.
I’m always hesitant about sequels of books I loved following new characters because are these newbies going to live up to their predecessors? In this case, yes they did. I really warmed up to Phoebe, Maeve and Knox. That being said, I did like the cameos we had from the OGs. Nate is still going strong as my fictional crush while I also simultaneously ship him with Bronwyn.
If This Get’s Out by Sophie Gonzales & Cale Dietrich.
I read this book so long ago despite the fact that it only just came out in December. I just couldn’t stop myself from reading it when I recieved an ARC despite not really knowing anything about it.
If This Get’s Out is about two members of a super popular boyband falling in love. If that’s not enough to get you interested, I don’t know what else to say.
I actually read this very close to reading I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman. These two books have quite similar plot-lines but I think out of the two, this is the one I enjoyed more.
The romance itself was super cute and fun to read about. Genuinely think it might be one of the healthiest relationships if all of Young Adult literature. There was communication and no annoying misunderstandings! I finished this book and just wanted more!!
These Violent Delights + These Violent Ends by Chloe Gong
It feels so wierd that I only read this series this year. It feels like a lifetime ago I read These Violent Delights when in reality it was only in the summer. (I was slightly late to the party).
If you don’t know how you wouldn’t know what this duology is about since it’s been literally EVERYWHERE since it’s release last year. But, if you have been living under a rock, this is a Romeo & Juliet retelling set in 1920’s Shanghai with the heirs of two rival gangs teaming up to take down a monster that’s brutally killing people.
This is an example of ridiculously good writing. The descriptions and dialogue are on point. When I started this series I didn’t realise it had a paranormal elements and my god was those creepy. Made me feel very itchy. Make of that what you will.
Okay, while I have you all here, I also want to talk briefly about my blog 🙂
I hit 450+ followers this year which is crazy to me, I really appreciate it. I’ve had a lot of fun writing blog posts in 2021.
It’s been a bit of a stressful year and being able to have somewhere to rant and distract myself has been a god send. I feel like how much fun I’ve had is reflected in my blog posts. There’s been some that stand-out to me and I figured I’d share my favourites that I wrote this year :))
- The Modern Day Christmas Song Book Tag (Original) – I took inspiration from the fact I was playing the same 5 Christmas songs on repeat since November and created my own tag.
- Bookish things that make no sense to me – You don’t understand how therapeutic this post was for me. It’s basically a collection of things that have been in my mind for a while that, weeks later, still make no sense to me!
- Thoughts I had while reading “I See London, I See France” by Sara Mlynowski ✈ – Writing this opened my eyes to how I can maybe start reviewing books in a different way.
- Reading New Moon as a 19 year old who knows better – Going back and re-reading the Twilight series now that I’m older is an Experience to say the least. You’ll be happy to know that I’m documenting it here.
- My impromptu trip to Barcelona // Reading + Travel Blog (?) – This was something very different to what I normally write. Like the title suggests, this was a very out of nowhere trip and I figured I’d take the opportunity to write about it.
- I got my drivers licence yesterday so … Sour Album – Olivia Rodrigo Book Tag!! – Not only was I obsessed with the Sour Album this year, I did this book tag to celebrate passing my drivers test. Please ignore the fact that it’s been 5 months and I’m still too scared to drive on my own 😀
- Ok but the real question is … Dean, Jess or Logan?? – I often have the sudden urge to rant about my feeling surrounding the Gilmore Girls love interests and finally did something about it. Another therapeutic post.
So there we have my favourite books, and my favourite blog posts I wrote this year! I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these books you’ve read, as well as what your favourites of 2021 have been! Thank you for reading 🙂