2021 was a bit of a funny year for me. We moved to a new house in a new county which took up most of my time last year. Our new home was also built last year which wasn’t as big a job as it sounds but it was big enough. I had a lot of family stuff going on as well that I won’t go into here but it was a big distraction. It was an all-around hectic year that I am so grateful for but it did mean I read significantly less than usual. Out of the 40 or so books I read in 2021 I’ve picked my six favourites. Not all of these books received a 5-star rating but I enjoyed each one of them and will likely reread each at some point.
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My Favourite Books from 2021
A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair
I love a hate-to-love story especially when it has Beauty and the Beast vibes or Hades and Persephone which is exactly what this is. This series reimagines the Greek Gods as contemporary beings with celebrity status. I hate any type of celebrity in a book but it was fine here. They were celebrities because it would be impossible for them not to be if they existed now not because they wanted to be famous. The love story in this book is one that will stay with me forever. I just adore how they came together Pride and Prejudice style but with all the myth and magic of a Greek legend.
Pestilence by Laura Thalassa
Another hate-to-love story (I did say I love them). The Four Horsemen have begun their ride around the world trailing the apocalypse behind them. All four arrive first with a warning and then Pestilence returns alone infecting everyone he encounters with a deathly sickness. Sara, our leading lady, decides to take him out before he can get to her home not knowing that as a Horseman he can’t be killed. I’m sure you can imagine how annoyed he is at her attempted assassination. The stakes are much higher in this dystopian romance. There are solid reasons to want Sara to succeed in offing Pestilence but, my god, does he win you over! There’s a sweetness in him that he doesn’t quite understand and uses his anger and disappointment in humanity to protect himself. In her attempts to save the world, Sara introduces him to aspects of humanity he never dreamed of.
Beach Read by Emily Henry
Hate-to-love again. I’m beginning to think I should write a post all about this trope. Beach Read was a big hit last summer but it passed me by. I’m a bit funny about reading hyped books. I’m so glad I eventually picked this one up. The title and cover imply a book leaning towards romantic comedy but there’s a lot more going on here. It reminded me of Marian Keyes books where there is a yummy romance, humour, and some emotional heaviness. It felt like more of a realistic love story to me. When you meet the person that doesn’t blink or pity you over all the ugliness in your life and wants to be there for you. I loved reading about Gus and January helping each other to heal emotionally and professionally.
Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco
OK, I swear, I did not intentionally pick books with a hate-to-love romance plot for this list but here we are. This is young adult fiction which always feels a bit lacking to me hence the 4 stars instead of 5. I’m not sure what it is about YA but it almost always annoys me a bit. I love the setting for this book. Italy is one of my favourite places in the world and having it set in 19th century Italy just makes it more intriguing. Food is one of the first things to my mind when I think of Italy as well so I loved the restaurant and descriptions of food.
How to Save an Undead Life by Hailey Edwards
I would give this series as a whole 5 stars but the first book would be about 3.5 stars. It’s the first in a series with an over-arching story so it suffers a bit with world-building and character introductions. I still really enjoyed it and ended up binging the next five books in the series. This is urban fantasy at its finest.
Getaway Girl by Tessa Bailey
There’s something about romantic comedy movies that make me “ugh” but when it’s in book form I love it! I don’t want it is… Maybe it’s because the characters are always better developed in books and you get a better understanding of why they do the silly things they do… Either way, I adored this contemporary friends-to-lovers romance. Addison acts as Elijah’s getaway driver after he’s stood up at his own wedding to her cousin! The two become fast friends always trying to deny the feelings they have for each other. The sexual tension in this book is real.
All Books Read in 2021
And just in case you were feeling a little bit nosey, here are all the books I read last year.
|Sparrow Hill Road||Seanan McGuire||Ghost Roads #1||2014||312||28-Jan||3|
|Two Stories||Sally Rooney||2020||66||19-Feb||4|
|You and Me On Vacation||Emily Henry||2021||368||22-Feb||5|
|Graceful Burdens||Roxanne Gay||2020||21||23-Feb||5|
|Ark||Veronica Roth||Forward Collection||2019||33||23-Feb||3|
|This Telling||Cheryl Strayed||2020||32||26-Feb||4|
|Shadowspell Academy: Year of the Chameleon||Shannon Mayer||Shadowspell Academy #4||2021||300||28-Feb||4|
|The Shortest Day||Colm Toibin||2020||31||5-Mar||4|
|That Old Country Music||Kevin Barry||2020||208||11-Mar||4|
|Kissing the Witch||Emma Donoghue||2013||228||16-Mar||4|
|Kingdom of the Wicked||Kerri Maniscalco||Kingdom of the Wicked #1||2020||372||10-Apr||4|
|Year of the Chameleon 2||Shannon Mayer||Shadowspell Academy #5||2021||300||12-Apr||4|
|The Bone Witch||Ivy Asher||The Osseous Chronicles #1||2020||304||16-Apr||5|
|The Blood Witch||Ivy Asher||The Osseous Chronicles #2||2021||278||19-Apr||5|
|How to Save an Undead Life||Hailey Edwards||The Beginners Guide to Necromancy||2017||240||24-Apr||4|
|How to Claim an Undead Soul||Hailey Edwards||The Beginners Guide to Necromancy||2017||284||28-Apr||4|
|How to Break an Undead Heart||Hailey Edwards||The Beginners Guide to Necromancy||2018||278||1-May||5|
|How to Dance an Undead Waltz||Hailey Edwards||The Beginners Guide to Necromancy||2018||308||4-May||5|
|How to Live an Undead Lie||Hailey Edwards||The Beginners Guide to Necromancy||2018||310||12-May||5|
|Wicked||Jennifer L. Armentrout||A Wicked Trilogy #1||2014||379||13-May||4|
|The Price of Pride||Abigail Reynolds||2020||364||17-May||3|
|The Warlord Wants Forever||Kresley Cole||Immortals After Dark #1||2006||163||20-May||5|
|Getaway Girl||Tessa Bailey||Girl #1||2018||284||22-May||5|
|A Touch of Darkness||Scarlett St. Clair||Hades & Persephone #1||2020||354||26-May||5|
|Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy RadioDrama||Douglas Adams||Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy||1979||216||30-May||4|
|Make You Mine||Molly O’Keefe||2021||56||31-May||4|
|From Blood and Ash||Jennifer L. Armentrout||Blood and Ash #1||2020||625||20-Jun||4|
|The Bound Witch||Ivy Asher||The Osseous Chronicles #3||2021||235||22-Sep||3|
|One Wilde Night||Jenn Stark||Immortal Vegas #0.5||2015||87||26-Sep||5|
|Stillhouse Lake||Rachel Caine||Stillhouse Lake #1||2017||286||25-Sep||4|
|Pestilence||Laura Thalassa||The Four Horsemen #1||2018||406||29-Sep||5|
|Flowers in the Attic||V.C. Andrews||Dollanganger #1||1979||389||14-Nov||4|
|Petals on the Wind||V.C. Andrews||Dollanganger #2||1980||439||17-Nov||4|
|Beach Read||Emily Henry||2020||361||30-Dec||5|
Reading Stats for 2021
Here are my reading stats for 2021. I took this information from the Reading and Books Tracker Spreadsheet.
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