YOU GUYS!! Can you believe there’s only a few more days left of 2021 😳 this year felt like the longest ever, but at the same time flew by really quick.
There were a lot of firsts. I moved into an apartment, did my first in-person semester of college, and inevitably, made a lot of new experiences there, some good and some bad. Regardless of how this year turned out, I know it’ll be a memorable one for so many reasons.
All that being said, I’m ready to say bye to 2021.
This might be a bit of a longer post because I just have SO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT! Because of this little thing we have going on called the ~pandemic~, I’ve been consuming a lot of media in all of it’s different formats. No regrets, because I’ve discovered some amazing pieces that have shaped my life and mindset. Safe to say, I am not the same person I was at the start of 2021 and I’m thankful for it!
I read some truly great works this year. Here are just a few of the works that made this year a little more bearable. I’ve included less than 10 because these are really meant to be the top of the bunch, all time faves. That’s not to say there weren’t so many more amazing books I read and enjoyed! Check out my December wrap-up, which will likely be posted after this, to see my end of year reading stats!
OTHER WORDS FOR HOME by JASMINE WARGA
Gosh, how do I even put into words just how much Other Words for Home means to me?? I read this one all the way back in January, and I still think about it from time to time. The pure feelings of hope and optimism this book exudes is something so special and helped me appreciate my life and sense of self so much.
It’s books like these that remind why I love to read and why it’s so important to encourage young readers as well. I wish I had a book like this when I was in middle school, because I have no doubt it would have taught me so much. Clearly, I can’t recommend this enough!
HOUSE OF EARTH AND BLOOD by SARAH J. MAAS
In general, I find Maas’s books to be alright, but nothing special or what I’d consider to be my favorite. This one, however, really blew me away and I was shocked that I loved it so much.
For me, this book just had all the right elements in the perfect ways. I thought the character dynamics were great, but more than that, the characters were so strong on their own too, and their likability didn’t depend on their relationships with each other. The way the story developed and the plot unfolded was amazing as well, and I’m eagerly anticipating book 2 now!
EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU by CELESTE NG
Hot take, but I enjoyed this book so much more than Little Fires Everywhere. It is so poignant and very much a character-focused story.
I feel like this is one of those book where you either love it or you don’t, mainly because the writing style is very,,,different. I just appreciate all the subtle nuances that Ng incorporated into these pages.
I have a full review up here where I go more in depth with my thoughts and the parts of this book that got to me if you’re interested!
GROWN by TIFFANY D. JACKSON
Ugh, it is no secret that Tiffany D. Jackson is one of my favorite authors. I will read anything she writes and eat it up, and Grown was no different.
This book felt different to the other ones by her I’ve read, although they all deal with very real, heart-breaking situations that are inspired by reality. I love hard-hitting contemporaries like this one, so it was no wonder I gave it such a high rating.
I don’t really have much to say about this one because it’s a very powerful story that’s best if you just read it for yourself!
A WOMAN IS NO MAN by ETAF RUM
If I had to pick one all time favorite for this year, it would be A Woman is no Man. I absolutely loved Etaf Rum’s writing style. It’s so beautiful and had a lot of lines that made me just pause and think about what I’d read.
There are so many important social commentaries in this novel, many of which hit very close to home for me. I think just being able to relate to a story (which, I feel most people could with this one), makes a book stand out more for me. Obviously it’s not the most important thing and I very much enjoy also reading from diverse perspectives I don’t necessarily know much about, but in this case the story was so emotional.
TWEET CUTE by EMMA LORD
I cannot shut up about this one. Seriously. Here is my full review if you’re interested, it’s basically just me fangirling over Pepper and Jack 🤧
The fact that there’s a romance on this list is very surprising, because as much as I can appreciate the genre, I usually find it hard to rate those kinds of books anything more than 3 stars. It’s not something I really gravitate to, and my expectations in terms of what I’m looking for from these books are kind of higher than other genres.
ALL THAT BEING SAID, Tweet Cute is amazing and hit all the marks for me. Loved it!
SUCH A FUN AGE by KILEY REID
No doubt, if you stay up to date with bookish news or spend any time on the “book side of the internet”, you have 100% heard this title being praised by a lot of people.
I think what makes this book stand out and appeal to so many is the fact that it’s brutally honest and raw in regards to how issues of race in America are handled. It brings up tokenism, performative activism, and more in depth discussions about the subtleties of racism.
I definitely understand why this won’t be for everyone, as it does not beat around the bush with these discussions and is written in a pretty straightforward way. But I still recommend at least giving it a try!
FURIA by YAMILE SAIED MÉNDEZ
I read Furia during the last week of the year and WOW what a way to end it! In this story, we follow our main character who loves to play soccer and wants to follow her dreams in pursuing the sport as her full time career. However, her family and society disagree, and she has to fight against sexism to do this.
I loved the main character, Camila, so much and really was rooting for her from the start. She is so strong, and brave, and passionate, which makes her easy to love. There’s also a bit of a romance, but I’m glad it didn’t take away from the main storyline and acted as more of it’s own subplot.
BLOG POSTS 💻
Aw man, I discovered so many STUNNING bloggers this year! There is no way I’ll be able to fit all the amazing posts I read on here because everyone is just so talented, it’s actually incredible 🥰 Also doesn’t help that I have the memory of a fish. Please don’t take it personally if I forgot to include you on here! Honestly, I have so much appreciation for EVERYONE who writes about books. Bloggers spend so much time and energy and, in my opinion, are very underrated in the book-sphere.
If I’ve interacted AT ALL with your post(s) this past year, just know it stood out to me and is among my favorites as well ⭐️
Ahaana | My Top 12 Favourite Young Adult Books, and What They Mean to Me
Cherelle | If You Liked That Marvel Movie, Read This Book
Bertie | 10 Sci-Fi Books For Beginners
Emily | I Programmed a Twitter Bot to Shout out Book Bloggers | Reflections on Joining Book Twitter
Saima | 6 thing I learnt after 6 months of blogging
Morgan | Recommending books by Asian authors
Asic | scam of the century || what i actually want for christmas
Lotus | Let’s Talk Bookish: Top Dos and Don’ts For New Bloggers
Caro | 8 Books About Mental Health
Anoushka | An Olive’s Guide to Celebrating Christmas
Maddie | Diversifying you reading // Why its important, tips, and recommendations
Karla | my favourite audiobooks
Ashmita | poetry recommendations for people who don’t read poetry
Sam | not the sequel I wanted | the hawthorne legacy – arc review
Sanah | Books to Read on Campus // autumn + start of the school year recommendations
Jessica | Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner | book review
Cherry | I read the Grishaverse books and now I want an emotional support goat
Rachel | Books As Road Trips // a random post that emerged out of the void
Kaya | The Best Books I’ve Read Every Summer For The Past Four Years!
Amy | Merlin Read-a-thon TBR – 2021
Nadia | The SOUR Book Tag
Gauri | Review: SHE WHO BECAME THE SUN by Shelley Parker-Chan
Rania | Recommending Books Based on Their Levels of Sass // where all I do is gush
Ariel | Let’s Talk Bookish: Reading Slumps
Sofi | Top 10 | 5-Stars Worthy High-Fantasy Books
To conclude this post, it would mean so much to me if you could fill out this feedback form below! I am always trying to improve my content and as I plan for next year, any input from you would be greatly appreciated 💖 Here is a LINK to the same form as well.
I hope you all had a fabulous 2021, or at least, as good as it can get in a crazy year like this one. I hope your 2022 is happy and filled with lots of warm moments and great books.
What were your favorite books from the year? What do you want to read in 2022?