At last, 2021 is drawing to a close. Or, as I like to call it, 2020 part 2. While the year wasn’t the best, I did have a pretty great reading year. According to Goodreads, I read 110 books this year. According to my own spreadsheet, I read 192. That 82 book difference is comprised largely of various long, spicy romance series that I didn’t want to have to review because I was consuming them so quickly, so I made the decision to not include them on Goodreads. But I wanted to acknowledge them here. This was the year of the romance novel for me. Romance has never been my genre of choice, but I found so much solace in it this year. For the first time, I truly understand why there are so many dedicated romance readers out there, and now I happily consider myself one of them. Four novels on this list are romances, in fact.
While I read a metric ton of romance, I think I read fairly widely this year. This list includes fantasy, mystery, thriller, horror, sci-fi, and literary fiction. One of the biggest common denominators on this list is actually Greek mythology. I’ve always loved mythology, and this year I read some amazing books retelling some of those myths in fun and refreshing ways. This is something I hope to find even more of next year.
As always, I’m following Petrik’s example here. – One entry per author. (But not always only one book. I’m cheating this year. You’ll see what I mean.) – Rereads aren’t included. – The books on this list were new to me, not necessarily new. They might not have been published this year, but this was my first time reading them. – All of these books were either 4.5 or 5 star reads for me.
Links to my Goodreads reviews of each book will be included below. And now, without further ado, here are my favorite books of 2021!
Picking up Krampus: The Yule Lord started out as a bit of a joke. I was reading A Christmas Carol, which has been my Christmas tradition for about a decade now, and decided to balance it out with something completely different. I went into Krampus fully expecting a horror novel that ripped Christmas apart. What I got was wildly different and infinitely more powerful. This book was profound and though-provoking and so much more emotional than I anticipated. Strangely enough, Krampus ended up being one of my favorite books of the year, providing a depth and nuance to famous and infamous figures that surprised me, as well as giving me a cast of new characters to root for. I have never been more pleasantly surprised by a book with such a disturbing cover. Which was also done by Brom. The man is an incredible artist. …
It’s that time of the year again, y’all. 2021 is ending in a week. This year, I managed to read 130 books. This number includes 72 traditionally published books, 21 self-published/indie books, 37 manga volumes (I’ve read so many more manga volumes but I’ve decided to only include 37 here.)
In comparison to the previous years, whether it’s by pages count or the number of books, this is my lowest reading performance so far. There are details behind this reason, but really when it comes down to it, it’s because this is the first full year I became a Booktuber. In addition to reading and writing reviews, now I also record, edit, and upload videos to my YouTube Channel. My reading “performance” definitely suffers because of it, but not going to lie, I’m happy to make that sacrifice. As for the quality of the books I read, this is another incredible reading year, so let’s get to it immediately. As usual, I will be applying a few rules into this list:
Please read this first. There will be three rules I set in this list in order for me to give appreciation to more authors rather than having only a few authors hoarding this list. These rules allow me to highlight more authors, and at the same time, I’ll also be able to include both new and older books (many of them still need attention) that I read within this year.
Rereads aren’t included.
One book per author.
The books listed here are not all exclusively published this year; the list consists of the top books I read for the first time within this year. Non-2021 published books on this list will have their first date of publication included.
Do note that although there’s a rank to this list, I HIGHLY recommend every book/series listed below because I loved all of them immensely, and they received a rating of 4.5 or 5 out of 5 stars from me. Without further ado, here are the top 20 books I’ve read in 2021! (All full reviews of the books listed can be found on Novel Notions and my Goodreads page …
Today, we’re here to bring you a beautiful cover reveal of A Black Deal, this is the second novella in the Pandemonium Rising series by Michael Sliter. I’ve read and enjoyed the first two books + a novella in the series, Solace Lost, Wisdom Lost, and Valley of the Free. It has become a tradition for me to keep on revealing the cover reveal to Sliter’s books, and I’m honored that he has continued to bestow me with the honor. I personally think that this is one of the most underrated grimdark fantasy series right now. If you love character-driven grimdark fantasy series, and yet haven’t read this series, I highly recommend this series to you! Without further ado, here’s the cover reveal to A Black Deal!
The Fall of Babel is not just a title; it is a state. A state where the quality of the series ends up.
Josiah Bancroft, please do not read this review. I love your previous books, and I would prefer your memory of my thoughts on your books remains that way; leave it in the state of innocence and happiness just like Senlin before he entered the Tower of Babel. Now, let’s get on with the review.
“You could resent yourself for your imperfect enjoyment of your life, but that seems to me like a never-ending chore. A thankless one, too. I think that if we really knew how good our lives were while they were good, we’d be too scared to do anything, change anything. We’d never take a risk, or explore, or grow. You can hate yourself for not fully appreciating your happy days while you had them, or you could look back and be warmed by the memory, couldn’t you?”
I received an advance copy of this novella from the publisher, Tordotcom, in exchange for an honest review.
“There are worlds where death itself is malleable, where anything can be rewritten, be undone, if the right approach is taken. Worlds where the air bleeds words and lightning can rewrite the past.”
Reading McGuire’s newest Wayward Children novella has become something of a Christmas tradition for me over the past few years. While my reading experience has varied book to book, it’s always cozy and enjoyable and transportive. I request very few ARCs, but this series is top among them and I’m always elated to receive the next installment. I was cautiously excited about Where the Drowned Girls Go, as it’s a pretty direct followup to my least favorite novella in the series, Beneath the Sugar Sky. However, this newest novella was absolutely fantastic; so much so, in fact, that it made me want to go back and reread Beneath the Sugar Sky to see if my opinion of it had changed. Where the Drowned Girls Go was a thoughtful, different addition to the series, and builds on and links every single one of its predecessors.…
This book, y’all. It was seriously just the sweetest thing. I’m going to be transparent and tell you that I didn’t think I’d be super interested in The Love Hypothesis when I first heard of it. I’m not a science person. Like, at all. But I am a Star Wars person, and I thought something about the cover looked familiar. When I heard that this book was originally Reylo (Kylo Ren and Rey) fan fiction, I could see it immediately in the cover art. I’ve always been a sucker for fan fiction in multiple fandoms, so my curiosity was understandably piqued. And I am so, so incredibly glad that I chose it as my Book of the Month pick, because it was absolutely delightful. …
Y’all. I am so blown away by this book. I enjoyed A Court of Thorns and Roses much more than I expected. But I absolutely adored A Court of Mist and Fury. My expectations were a good bit higher going into this second book, but those expectations were obliterated. I can’t believe I waited so long to read this series. I might be the most reluctant of Maas converts, but I have been won over entirely. This book is one of the most addictive, well-paced, romantic things I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve read all year. Not only am I excited to see what happens next, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have found a new series to add to my comfort-rereads shelf.
Be aware that I don’t know how to review this book without giving some details that spoil events in ACOTAR. So, there will be spoilers aplenty below. You’ve been warned. …