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2021 Wrap-up

While the second half of 2021 was slow for reviews and posts on the blog, I was reading so fast I didn't have the time or the energy to post anything here. But I am interested in laying out what I read last year. So here's my list of books I read in 2021.


Favorite Books of the Year:

Favorite books are the ones that stick with me after I'm finished. The ones where I want to continue living in the world after I've finished and can't seem to move on because nothing will take me back to the world and feeling I got from these books. As a picky reader, I'm always noticing things that pull me out of the story, but these books were solid all the way through, letting me enjoy them without thinking about writing style or plotting.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Honorable Mentions:

These ones will stick with me, but they all just had a little something missing to push them to the top of the list. I think of these as some of the most enjoyable reads of the year, but there were things about them that I didn't love. It's probably not fair for Heartstopper to make the list because I adored the story, but the genre left me wanting a deeper dive.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Expected More:

These are books that I was really looking forward to, had high hopes for, and had heard a lot about, but they unfortunately let me down. I didn't hate or DNF any of them, but I was left wishing they'd lived up to the hype and my expectations. They're books I might continue on with (if there's a series) to see if they get better, but I'm not jumping at the opportunity.

⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐

⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐


Least Favorite Books of the Year:

Founded on Goodbye by Kat Singleton

This was my first foray into TikTok recommended books (recommended by the writer, I should add), and I felt so let down by this. The author hyped this as a rockstar romance, but he was a popstar with choreography and all that. It was very Backstreet Boys-esque.

The romance was between him and one of his dancers, but I was frustrated that so much of it was fabricated by his management team, and I really felt that he deserved way more at the end of the book. I definitely felt that what she did wasn't redeemable, at least without a lot more work.



White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I read this early on in the year and was just not at all interested in continuing with Armentrout's books. It's an immature fantasy novel. I was so excited for a gargoyle romance, but I could've lived without White Hot Kiss.


When I found From Blood and Ash, one of my friends had to convince me to give it a chance after this. I don't think an author has ever been on my favorite and worst book lists of the year, but somehow she pulled it off. Her writing and plotting are night and day. This book isn't worth reading.


Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalo

I was really excited for this book. The premise sounded good and I really enjoyed Maniscalo's Stalking Jack the Ripper series. It made my favorites in 2019. But Kingdom of the Wicked was honestly just a let down.


The characters were weak and there wasn't too much characterization. The book felt like it was trying to be dark but couldn't pull it off. I really don't understand all the great reviews for this novel. I felt that Maniscalo could've done so much more with these characters.



King of Battle and Blood by Scarlett St. Clair

This was another novel that I was really looking forward to, but once I started it, I was almost instantly let down by the insta-lust. It felt like lust was the only thing that drew these characters together from the get go. I wanted to see more actual chemistry that led to these two enemies coming together. I wanted more of it on the page. Every time they were together, it was just sex, and there was a lot missing from their interactions.


The premise was really strong and exciting, but I think St. Clair fell into insta-lust and insta-love too quickly and didn't really work for it.


Rereads:

Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness is only of my all-time favorite book series. It's academic, intelligent, and well-put together. The series meshes fantasy and science so well that I'm always pulled back into the world-building and the lives of Diana and Matthew. They are so well-suited for each other that it's exciting to watch their connection build every time I reread this book.


Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard is another "academic" book that focuses on grad school and professors. It's a romance between a professor and one of his students (eek irl), and incorporates lore from Dante's Inferno as Gabriel struggles with his past demons. This book has some issues as it centers around purity vs evil (him corrupting her and putting her on a pedestal), but as a novel - and not in real life - I really enjoy this.


A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas really doesn't need much introduction. I reread the series so I could finally read A Court of Silver Flames, but my excitement sort of fizzles out every time I get in Nesta's head. I'm still bringing myself around to the idea that trauma allows people to act however they want, and I haven't made it far enough into ACOSF for Nesta to be redeemable to me (but I've tried twice).


Finding Home by Emilia Finn is one of the first books I found on Kindle Unlimited that I really love. I've talked about it in multiple blogs because the characterization of the main male lead is so well done. Bobby is a MMA fighter who runs a gym outside of training, but he's not some typical jock on the page. I really love the character, and I enjoy his two books the most every time I read the series.


Reading Goals for 2022:

  • Keep track of my DNF books: there are so many books that I pick up and decide not to read or that I start and decide not to continue with, and I'd like to have a record of what those books are and why I decided not to move forward. I read so fast that low-rated books and ones I moved on from start to blur together.

  • Use Goodreads consistently: I've never used Goodreads before because I struggled with the usability of the site and really had my own communities for books and reviews, but a friend of mine lives on there, and I've started to use it more since we met. I still want to track my books in my Bullet Journal, but having Goodreads as well could be useful.

  • Review more of what I read: this was my biggest failure in 2021. I read over 170 books, but barely reviewed anything. It was a year of transition for me, and I haven't had a lot of downtime, but I really want to make an effort to review more books. It'll also help me keep them all separate from each other and help refresh my memory about each book. I'd like to read around 200 books in 2022, so hopefully I can post about 60 reviews this year.


Reading List for 2021:

  1. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  2. The Pack by Kristen Coley (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐

  3. The Alpha by Kristen Coley (Kindle Unlimited)⭐⭐

  4. Fangirl; the Manga Vol. 1 by Rainbow Rowell and Gabi Nam (Paperback)⭐⭐⭐⭐

  5. Vampire Knight vol. 1 by Matsuri Hino (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  6. Villain by LJ Shen (Kindle Unlimited ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  7. Written on his Skin by Simone Stark (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐

  8. High Risk Rookie by Odette Stone (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  9. Famine by Laura Thalissa (Kindle Unlimited)⭐⭐

  10. Vampire Knight vol. 2 by Matsuri Hino (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  11. Vampire Knight vol. 3 by Matsuri Hino (Paperback)⭐⭐⭐⭐

  12. Vampire Knight vol. 4 by Matsuri Hino (Paperback)⭐⭐⭐⭐

  13. Vampire Knight vol. 5 by Matsuri Hino (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐

  14. Vampire Knight vol. 6 by Matsuri Hino (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐

  15. Vampire Knight vol. 7 by Matsuri Hino (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐

  16. Vampire Knight vol. 8 by Matsuri Hino (Kindle) ⭐⭐⭐

  17. Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe (Webtoon) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  18. Vampire Knight vol. 9 by Matsuri Hino (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  19. Vampire Knight vol. 10 by Matsuri Hino (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐

  20. Vampire Knight vol. 11 by Matsuri Hino (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐

  21. Midnight Poppyland season 1 by Lilydusk (Webtoon) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  22. Devil's line vol. 1 by Ryo Hanada (Kindle) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  23. Devil's line vol. 2 by Ryo Hanada (Kindle) ⭐⭐⭐

  24. Devil's line vol. 3 by Ryo Hanada (Kindle) ⭐⭐⭐

  25. Devil's line vol. 4 by Ryo Hanada (Kindle) ⭐⭐

  26. Devil's line vol. 5 by Ryo Hanada (Kindle) ⭐⭐

  27. Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  28. Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  29. Mortal Instruments graphic novel vol. 1 by Clare and Jean (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  30. Mortal Instruments graphic novel vol. 2 by Clare and Jean (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  31. Mortal Instruments graphic novel vol. 3 by Clare and Jean (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  32. Mortal Instruments graphic novel vol. 4 by Clare and Jean (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  33. Book of Life by Deborah Harkness (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  34. Tithe by Holly Black (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐

  35. Crave by Tracy Wolff (Hardcover) ⭐⭐

  36. Spellmaker by C.H. Holmberg (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  37. Whispering Pines by Lang & Bartkowski (Hardcover) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  38. Defying Kurosaki-Kun vol. 1 by Makino (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  39. Defying Kurosaki-Kun vol. 2 by Makino (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  40. Defying Kurosaki-Kun vol. 3 by Makino (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  41. Defying Kurosaki-Kun vol. 4 by Makino (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  42. Defying Kurosaki-Kun vol. 5 by Makino (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  43. Defying Kurosaki-Kun vol. 6 by Makino (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  44. Defying Kurosaki-Kun vol. 7 by Makino (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  45. Defying Kurosaki-Kun vol. 8 by Makino (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  46. Defying Kurosaki-Kun vol. 9 by Makino (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  47. Defying Kurosaki-Kun vol. 10 by Makino (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  48. Defying Kurosaki-Kun vol. 11 by Makino (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  49. Defying Kurosaki-Kun vol. 12 by Makino (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  50. Defying Kurosaki-Kun vol. 13 by Makino (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  51. Defying Kurosaki-Kun vol. 14 by Makino (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  52. Defying Kurosaki-Kun vol. 15 by Makino (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  53. Flock by Kate Steward (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  54. Exodus by Kate Steward (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  55. The Finish Line by Kate Steward (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  56. Gabriel's Rapture by Sylvain Reynard (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  57. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  58. Daughter of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐

  59. One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐

  60. Corrupt by Penelope Douglas (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐

  61. Pas de Deux by Wynter SK (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐

  62. Fighting Silence by Aly Martinez (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐

  63. White Hot Kiss by Jennifer Armentrout (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐

  64. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐

  65. Cruel Saints by Michelle Heard (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐

  66. The Sweetest Oblivion by Danielle Lori (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐

  67. The Darkest Temptation by Danielle Lori (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  68. Wait With Me by Amy Daws (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐

  69. We Germans by Alexander Staritt (Hardcover) ⭐⭐⭐

  70. By a Thread by Lucy Score (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐

  71. Mama and the Alien Warrior by Phillips and Mclyn (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐

  72. Son for Alien Warrior by Phillips and Mclyn (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐

  73. Riley Thorn and the Dead Guy Next Door by Lucy Score (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  74. Riley Thorn and the Corpse in the Closet by Lucy Score (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  75. From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata (Kindle) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  76. The Wall of Winnipeg by Mariana Zapata (Kindle) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  77. Under Locke by Mariana Zapata (Kindle) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  78. Lune and the Lie by Mariana Zapata (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  79. All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata (Kindle) ⭐⭐⭐

  80. Lingus by Mariana Zapata (Kindle) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  81. Kulti by Mariana Zapata (Kindle) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  82. The Deal by Elle Kennedy (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  83. Defending the Rush by Jamie Bennett (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  84. Anthem, Chord, Malykhin by Mariana Zapata (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐

  85. The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas (Kindle) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  86. Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt (Libby) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  87. Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore (Libby) ⭐⭐⭐

  88. Notorious Pleasures by Elizabeth Hoyt (Libby) ⭐⭐

  89. Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt (Libby) ⭐⭐⭐

  90. Forever, Never, Always by Hannah Holt (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐

  91. Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Claire (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  92. Touch of Ruin by Scarlett St. Claire (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  93. Touch of Malice by Scarlett St. Claire (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  94. We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal (Hardcover) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  95. The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  96. Founded on Goodbye by Kat Singleton (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐

  97. We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal (Hardcover) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  98. Heartstopper vol. 1 by Alice Oseman (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  99. Gabriel's Redeption by Sylvain Reynard (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  100. Gabriel's Promise by Sylvain Reynard (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  101. Punk 57 by Mariana Zapata (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐

  102. Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐

  103. Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalo (Hardcover) ⭐⭐

  104. From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Hardcover) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  105. Kingdom of Flesh and Bone by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Hardcover) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  106. Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Hardcover) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  107. The Devil Wears Black by LJ Shen (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  108. Heartstopper vol. 2 by Alice Oseman (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  109. Hearstopper vol. 3 by Alice Oseman (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  110. The Lady by Finley Fenn (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐

  111. ACOTAR by Sarah J Maas (Hardcover) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  112. ACOMAF by Sarah J Maas (Hardcover) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  113. ACOWAR by Sarah J Maas (Hardcover) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  114. ACOFAS by Sarah J. Maas (Hardcover) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  115. Alliance by Natalia Lourose (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐

  116. Nikolai 1 by Rosie Rivera (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  117. Nikolai 2 by Rosie Rivera (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  118. Ivan by Rosie Rivera (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐

  119. Giant by Natalia Lourose (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐

  120. Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  121. Wait for It by Mariana Zapata (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  122. Too Late by Colleen Hoover (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  123. These Monstrous Ties by KV Rose (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐

  124. That's Me by Dave Lowry (Kindle Unlimited) -

  125. Dead Aaron by Mariana Zapata (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  126. Canary by Tijan (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  127. Bitter Heat by Mia Knight (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  128. A Ruin of Roses by KF Breene (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  129. Shadow Beast Shifters by Jaymin Eve (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  130. Reclaimed by Jaymin Eve (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  131. Reborn by Jaymin Eve (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  132. Keeper by Amy Daws (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  133. Finding Home by Emilia Finn (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  134. Finding Victory by Emilia Finn (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  135. Finding Forever by Emilia Finn (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  136. Finding Peace by Emilia Finn (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  137. Finding Redemption by Emilia Finn (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  138. Finding Hope by Emilia Finn (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  139. The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh (Hardcover) ⭐⭐

  140. The Damned by Renee Ahdieh (Hardcover) ⭐

  141. The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazewood (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  142. Pawns by Emilia Finn (Kindle Unlimited Reread) ⭐⭐⭐

  143. Pretend You're Mine by Lucy Score (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  144. Breaking the Rules by Lucy Score (Kindle Unlimited)⭐⭐⭐

  145. Crossing the Line by Lucy Score (Kindle Unlimited)⭐⭐⭐

  146. Hooked by Emily McEntire (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐

  147. Lemonade by Nina Pennacci (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐

  148. Ruthless: House of Rohan by Anne Stuart ⭐⭐⭐

  149. Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas (Libby) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  150. Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas (Kindle) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  151. It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleypas (Kindle) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  152. Scandal in Summer by Lisa Kleypas (Kindle) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  153. What I did for a Duke by Julie Anne Long (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐

  154. Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  155. Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  156. Cutie and the Beast vol. 1 by Yuhi Azumi (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐

  157. Cutie and the Beast vol. 2 by Yuhi Azumi (Paperback) ⭐⭐

  158. The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  159. Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypass (Kindle) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  160. Cutie and the Beast vol. 3 by Yuhi Azumi (Paperback) ⭐⭐

  161. All the Feels by Olivia Dade (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  162. Vicious by LJ Shen (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  163. Bane by LJ Shen (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  164. The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller (Hardcover)⭐⭐⭐

  165. Devil in Disguise by Lisa Kleypas (Kindle) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  166. If the Fates Allow by Rainbow Rowell (Audiobook) ⭐⭐⭐

  167. Never Kiss a Rake by Anne Stuart (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐

  168. There are No Saints by Sophie Lark (Kindle Unlimited) ⭐⭐⭐

  169. Time's Convert by Deborah Harkness (Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  170. King of Battle and Blood by Scartlett St. Clair ⭐⭐




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