My Top 10 Reads of 2021

This year I’ve really tried to keep up with new releases. And the good news is there have been some great new releases! Thanks to That Artsy Reader Girl’s Top 10 Tuesday prompt this week, here are my 10 favorites of the year.

1. The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr.

Of course I have to start off my list with this one, as my only 10/10 read this year. The well-developed characters, compelling romance, and incredible sense of community gave this book incredible emotional impact, and I absolutely would recommend it to everyone.

2. When the Reckoning Comes by LaTanya McQueen

When I first picked up this one, I was interested by the premise – the ghosts of enslaved people get revenge on the descendants of the families that once held them captive. I wasn’t wholly prepared for the impact of this book. Yes, the revenge was there, but it was so much more than that. This book looks honestly at the horrors of slavery, and focuses heavily on all the hurt that was inflicted. It was an incredible read, and I absolutely would recommend it.

3. Raising Resilient Children with a Borderline or Narcissistic Parent by Margalis Fjelstad and Jean McBride

For those of you that have followed my personal journey, you may already know that I had a difficult divorce a few years ago. Co-parenting with my ex-husband has been difficult because of his own mental health struggles. I picked up this book hoping that I would get something out of it, even if I wasn’t sure what that might be. It turned out to be healing as well as helpful. This book focuses on the particular struggles associated with narcissism and BPD, and how to counteract those experiences for your child. The biggest thing I have gotten out of it is a better understanding of my ex-husband’s struggles with change: if I anticipate that he will have a hard time with changes, I can better prepare my kids for his reactions, and I can come up with a plan in advance, rather than just reacting.

4. White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

This was probably my most anticipated read of 2021, and it turned out to be just as good as I wanted it to be. It’s inspired by The Haunting of Hill House, which is one of my all-time favorite TV shows. The characters were interesting and well-developed, and the haunting/mystery drew me in almost immediately.

5. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

This book completely caught me off guard – I didn’t hear anything about it until I happened across it on Libby. It was a long book but I still got through it pretty quick because the premise was interesting and the characters were relatable. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an interesting, unusual fantasy.

6. The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Ali E. Harrow

This was actually a book club read this year, but I absolutely devoured this book. I read it all within just a couple of days, and it honestly set a new standard for young adult fantasies for me. It had all of the whimsy that I love out of a good fairytale, while still working in real diversity in the characters, and some heavy, relevant adult topics.

7. Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

This was the final book in the Brown Sisters trilogy. I always thought I wasn’t a fan of romance novels, but it turns out I’m actually just not a fan of romance novels with one-dimensional characters that all also happen to be white. I loved the characters in this, and the romantic tension held my attention start-to-finish.

8. The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

I have a special place in my heart for books that jump back and forth between two timelines, so this book jumped out at me from the start and I enjoyed it just as much as I expected. It is about a young woman who goes to a small town in hopes of researching her long-missing aunt’s fate, and it nailed the time skips as well as the contrast between the two characters and their two timelines.

9. The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher

I just found this one when I was looking for a good horror book, and it absolutely delivered. The setting was unique and rich in imagery, the worldbuilding was subtle but thorough, and the characters were interesting and relatable. I absolutely would recommend this to other horror fans.

10. Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

This was another highly anticipated 2021 read for me. I read The Hate U Give several years ago, and Maverick was possibly my favorite character, so I was really looking forward to seeing how Angie Thomas would portray him in his teen years, before he has time to settle into adulthood. I loved how his character development successfully spans two books at two drastically different age ranges.

4 thoughts on “My Top 10 Reads of 2021

  1. I love Talia Hibbert’s Brown Sisters trilogy, I’m glad you enjoyed it! I agree that romances should be diverse with multidimensional characters. I also loved Addie LaRue and pretty much everything by Angie Thomas, T. Kingfisher and Alix Harrow (have you read Once and Future Witches?). I’m going to check out When the Reckoning Comes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Sun Down Motel made my list, too! Dual-timelines are a favorite of mine, and I thought it was a fun choice to make the present-day character had to do so much of her research the old-fashioned way, not able to just hop online and get all the answers.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s