It’s my favourite time of the year! Yes, it’s the holiday season… but that’s not why it’s my favourite. It’s the top 10 lists that are everywhere I look! If there was ever a time to get book recommendations, this is it! I’ve found so many amazing books over the years through posts like this and I can’t wait to see what comes up this year. 2021 was difficult, but it’s been a fantastic year for books!
The top 10 books of the year post is always impossible to narrow down but so much fun to write. I normally try and rank them by number but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it this time around. All of these books made it on the list for different reasons – enjoyment level, writing, shock factor, and so many other things. To rank them by number felt like I was attempting to choose a favourite child… not going to happen! I’ve got a lot to talk about so let’s just dive into my top 10 books for 2021 (in no particular order).
UNDER THE WHISPERING DOOR by T.J. Klune
This book utterly destroyed me! I was worried in the beginning how I would feel about it… let’s be honest, the main character wasn’t the most likeable person! But, by the end, I was so hopelessly attached to all of these characters on such a deep level! Even the dog! The balance of this book was just perfect too. It was the right amount of humour and heartbreak, adventure and stillness, growth and consistency. The setting was quaint as hell and I wish I cold go to an eclectic tea house just like this. But that ending…. I was a freaking mess! I cried for literally hours, went through a ton of tissues and, when I woke up the next morning, my eyes were still puffy and swollen. Yeah, I cried THAT much. https://bionicbookwormblog.wordpress.com/2021/08/16/under-the-whispering-door/
A COURT OF SILVER FLAMES BY SARAH J. MAAS
We all knew this book was going to make the list lol. Out of all of the sisters, Nesta is my girl. She’s feisty, bold, blunt, angry, tormented, driven, stubborn, and lonely. Basically me except she’s fae and I’m human… and she’s far more bad ass than I am! I loved this book more than I thought I would. Nesta had been so broken in the beginning and I loved following her along her journey of recovery and finding her place in this new world. The steamy romance was also another selling point of course! But this book came at a time when I needed it the most. We had an attempted break in on our house. I heard the guy trying to break down the door and immediately grabbed a metal baseball bat and chased him away. Looking back, probably not my safest decision (it could have ended in a different way), but adrenaline does that to you. It made me feel confident and powerful yet terrified and anxious. I had (and still do honestly) PTSD about it and couldn’t sleep. This book kept me company and calmed my fears in a time I needed it the most.
THE MARROW THIEVES BY CHERIE DIMALINE
This book sat on my TBR shelf for a few months and I was excited for it but was waiting for the right time to read it. I knew it was going to hit my soul hard. Earlier this year, Canada made world news with the horrific discovery of hundreds of children’s bodies in the locations of residential schools of the past. HUNDREDS of children. And not just in one location either. Heartbreaking doesn’t begin to describe it. The loss of lives as well as the families that mourned them, never knowing what really happened to their kids… I can’t begin to imagine. This is a story based on those schools and the loss of identity within the native community. I was right in assuming it would go straight to my soul. It was so good and is such an important and beautiful story. It makes me happy to know that this book is being read in high schools now as we need to always remember the terrible past and never forget what was done to the native community and heritage. https://bionicbookwormblog.wordpress.com/2021/06/04/the-marrow-thieves/
WELL MATCHED BY JEN DELUCA
I love this series! I love it so much! It starts with the book Well Met and is all about a small town that puts on a Renaissance Faire every summer. Each book follows a new woman who is a part of the Faire and this one is by far my favourite! April is the sister of the woman from book one. She’s a single mother, super independent, and is looking forward to moving away from the small town to the city after her daughter goes off to college. She didn’t think there was any problem with pretending to be the girlfriend of the town flirt because she was moving soon anyway, right? I loved that we were inside the head of such a strong woman as we watch her learn to love and trust! https://bionicbookwormblog.wordpress.com/2021/10/11/well-matched/
JADE WAR BY FONDA LEE
I finished this one only a few days ago and that was one hell of a a brutal roller coaster!!! I liked the first book in this series, but this one….. this one took things up to a level I never could have imagined. I felt like we got to sit with the characters longer and the plot twists and deaths had my jaw on the floor. It wasn’t even that the events were surprising. They were surprising, of course, but they all made perfect sense. It just felt like this book was always 5 steps ahead of you and the brutality of it all….. Fonda Lee held NOTHING back and I’m still not sure if I’m ok! I desperately need to get to the third book soon! I’ll have the full spoiler free review up sometime in the early new year.
THE ATLAS SIX BY OLIVIE BLAKE
If you’re a part of the bookish community, I don’t think you’ve been able to escape this book in 2021. It was everywhere and with good reason! This book was incredible! The story line, the characters, the setting – all of it! The fact that it was a self published book getting this much hype was crazy! If you haven’t heard, it was actually picked up by a publisher and will be released in 2022. This is a book about 6 participants trying to get chosen as one of the 5 people who will gain access to the most important library in the world. The magical powers these characters had was so interesting and I wanted to lose myself in all of it. The best part was how the characters were written though! They were so different, unique and well written! When I was writing this post I realized that I never did a full review of this one… oops! I’ll have that up in the new year.
A MASTER OF DJINN BY P. DJÈLÌ CLARK
When I found out that this author was coming out with a full length novel I almost lost my mind with excitement! The prequel to this novel (A Dead Djinn in Cairo) is a short story, coming in at only 43 pages, and what was accomplished in those pages was mind blowing! There were well written characters, an intriguing setting, magic, plot, action… I have never read such an amazing short story! So continuing on with that in this novel was the best experience ever! I loved that this was a fantasy with magic and mystery, a futuristic Cairo, and a complex female female relationship! I will read anything this author writes! https://bionicbookwormblog.wordpress.com/2021/04/19/a-master-of-djinn/
THE GALAXY AND THE GROUND WITHIN BY BECKY CHAMBERS
Becky Chambers…. oh how I love thee!!! This is the final book to the Wayfarers series and it might just be my favourite. We have a planet that I can only describe as a rest stop planet. Not many people live there permanently – it’s more like the place you stop for fuel and provisions before you move onto your next destination. But disaster strikes and people are stranded, forced to spend time together with strangers. I love that her books are always so quiet and focus so much on the characters. It’s the characters, their interactions, their growth, and their understanding that has stuck in my soul since the day I turned the last page. https://bionicbookwormblog.wordpress.com/2021/04/01/the-galaxy-and-the-ground-within/
ONE LAST STOP BY CASEY MCQUISTON
After reading Red, White, and Royal Blue, I vowed that I would read anything this author wrote. That book was so far removed from anything I typically enjoy but I loved every minute of it. I figured that if she could make me love a story about public figures, then she could make me like anything. My heart was ready to implode with this one! The characters were incredible! There were drag queens, a mystery, a greasy diner, punk music, and randomly, time travel. The magical realism element was possibly the best part about this book… and that’s coming from a person who normally gets annoyed by magical realism! If you’ve read this book then you’ve met Jane, who I desperately want to be real so I can be her best friend!! https://bionicbookwormblog.wordpress.com/2021/07/08/one-last-stop/
EMPIRE OF THE VAMPIRE BY JAY KRISTOFF
You knew this was coming – don’t act surprised! It wouldn’t be one of my top 10 lists if there wasn’t a Jay Kristoff book! Out of all of his books, this is the one I was most anticipating. Vampire books are what got me into reading as a child (i’m twisted, I know) and they’re what got me BACK into reading as an adult. So to have my favourite author write a vampire book was like a dream come true! This wasn’t what I expected honestly. I went into it expecting blood, death, and constant action. All of those happened, but this was far more calm and steady than I predicted. I’ve never felt so completely connected to one of his characters and it was glorious! I could drown myself in his books and the multiple ways his character declare their inability to give a fuck lol. I don’t have a full review for this because I didn’t think I could possibly do it justice… and now I feel like it’s too late lol.
There they are folks! My top 10 favourite books of 2021. I’ve never been more thankful for books and authors to be honest. This year was rough in so many ways, and for so many of us. I’m thankful to have had books to lose myself in and just forget reality for a little while. I’m also thankful for the bookish community as a whole for letting me know that i’m not alone in the world!
What books made it to your favourites list for 2021?
Until next time, happy reading!