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Top 2021 Reads

I always love to think back over my favorite reads of the year. This year was a FANTASTIC reading year for me. My best ever. I somehow managed upwards of 85 books. I was only shooting for 70; even that felt like a daunting task.

I found a new reading routine that had me reading for 2-3 hours before bed each evening and that allowed me to devour books. Not only that, but books also became even more of an escape. Perhaps, arguably, an addiction. It was a challenge narrowing down 85 books into a select number of favorites. Especially knowing there are others out there that might be better than my favorites, but I just didn’t get to them in time. I decided to have two categories: favorite backlist book/series reads of 2021 and favorite new releases of 2021. I’ll list out each book with three bullets of what stood out and why I enjoyed it.

Note: I gave a couple of stars out to the series that I couldn't get off my mind for a second and couldn't stop reading. These are the books I abandoned my TBR for that turned into absolute 5-star reads.

Favorite 2021 New Releases (YA):

The Cruelest Mercy (Kinder Poison #2)

-Desert setting

-Fun love triangle

-Enemies to lovers

House of Hollow


-Unique contemporary world building

- Sister bonds

Six Crimson Cranes

-Sibling bonds

-Sweet romance line

-Beautiful Asian culture inspiration

Favorite 2021 New Releases (Adult):

Empire of the Vampire

-Dark, snarky, and slightly gruesome

-Jumps between present and past storytelling

-Cool take on vampires

A Court of Silver Flames

-Super steamy romance with enemies to lovers

-Strong character arc/character growth

-Set in the ACOTAR world

The Crown of Gilded Bones

-Super steamy

-Layers upon layers of world building

-A badass female MC who comes into her own power

Top Favorite Backlist Book or Series Reads:

⭐️A Discovery of Witches

-Amazing contemporary setting world building packed with history

-Excellent romance development

-Compelling, brainy, accomplished female MC

From Blood and Ash

-Interesting/different world building -Great romance development

-Strong female MC who must discover how powerful she is

⭐️Demigods of San Francisco

-Set in alternate reality with powerful demigod beings

-Super spicy enemies to lovers

-Strong female MC who discovers how powerful she is

A Deal with the Elf King (Married to Magic)

-Lovely fairytale feel with interesting magic and world building

-Enemies to lovers with arranged marriage

-Great female lead who has a unique set of skills with plants

⭐️Mercy Thompson/Alpha and Omega (Aspen Creek Fandom)

-Werewolf shifters, Vampires, Fae, oh my!

-Super strong female MCs that give courage to any reader

-Great murder mysteries to solve

The Black Witch Chronicles

-Tons of relevant deep and difficult themes set on a fantasy backdrop

-Enemies to lovers romance woven in

-Unique world building with various types of races/species

Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7)

-Tons of plot twists and turns

-Awesome battle scenes

-Great cast of unforgettable characters


-Female MCs that break the mold

-Fairytale style writing

-Compelling romance


-Raw, unapologetic writing

-Badass female MC

-Unique world building

Stalking Jack the Ripper

-Victorian era murder mystery

-Strong female lead who is ahead of her time

-Great romance dynamic


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