I love reading 2021 reading summary posts and adding a bunch of books to my TBR! My Storygraph TBR grows everyday and is well into the 500s but there are too many good books and not enough hours in the day to read them all. What was your favorite book of 2021?
I found a lot of common themes in the book I read this year, so I’m structuring my 2021 reading roundup a little differently from last year. Here are the “vibes” I connected with this year (with a little visual inspiration of course.) If you have any books that fit into these categories, I’d love to hear them.
These aren’t all of the books I read in 2021, so if you want to see everything that I picked up, check out my 2021 reads on Storygraph!
A Special Place for Women by Laura Hankin: an underground club for exceptional women starts to unravel when a journalist threatens to burn their clubhouse to the ground. (4/5 stars)
Self Care by Leigh Stein: a female-founded wellness company’s unsavory history comes to light after one of their founders insults the president’s daughter. (4/5 stars)
My Friend Anna by Rachel Deloache Williams: former Vanity Fair editor and friend of the infamous Anna Delvey recounts her whirlwind friendship with the disgraced “heiress.” (4/5 stars)
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith: two teenagers meet in an airport and share an instant connection. What happens after love at first sight, though? (4.5/5 stars)
The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan: the ultimate Kate Middleton and Prince William fanfiction! This book brings me so much comfort and makes me believe in love. (5/5 stars)
One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London: a plus-size fashion blogger goes viral for her critique of a Bachelor-like dating show and ends up as the show’s next bachelorette. (5/5 stars)
Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch: after the death of her mom, Lina spend the summer in Tuscany while chasing down the secrets of her mom’s past (and falling in love, of course). (4/5 stars)
warm fuzzies but spicy
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood: I described this book as spicy scientists to my friend! I loved seeing modern academia showcased in a romance book. Also, I kind of want Olive to be my best friend. (4.25/5 stars)
The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams: After his wife says he wants a divorce, professional baseball player Gavin makes a plan to win his wife over again. I read this in two sittings! (5/5 stars)
The Marvelous Mirza Girls by Sheba Karim: a mom and daughter duo move to New Delhi, India and navigate love, history, and what it means to stand by each other. (3/5 stars)
it hurts but in a good way
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller: this book is so beautifully devastating! This retelling of Patroclus and Achilles is a serious must-read and deserves every inch of hype. (5/5 stars)
A Million Junes by Emily Henry: a Romeo and Juliet-style love story where the setting is so rich and whimsical, it almost feels like a character in and of itself. (4.75/5 stars)
Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín: Eilis Lacey travels to Brooklyn in the 1950s and finds herself torn between her Irish roots and the new love she’s found in the United States. (5/5 stars)
The Grace Year by Kim Liggett: for the readers who never really got over The Hunger Games. Tierney travels into the woods to burn off her “magic” and discovers that nothing is what she expected. (4.75/5 stars)
conversations with friends
Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan: Journalist Susannah details her debilitating experience with a mystery disease and the slow, life-changing recovery. (4.25/5 stars)
Wild by Cheryl Strayed: this iconic memoir chronicles Cheryl Strayed’s hike from from California to Washington state on the Pacific Crest Trail. (4/5 stars)
I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron: queen of rom-coms Nora Ephron reflects on aging, motherhood, and what it means to be a modern woman. (4.25/5 stars)
Dolly Parton, Songteller by Dolly Parton and Robert K. Oermann: the iconic and glittery Dolly Parton gives readers an interior look at the stories behind some of her most famous songs. (4.5/5 stars)
The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling: Vivienne accidentally hexed her ex-boyfriend nine years ago, and they have to work together to undo her spell. (4.25/5 stars)
Vampires Never Get Old by Natalie C. Parker and Zoraida Córdova: a collection of stories inspired by teh vampire tropes we love to hate. (3.75/5 stars)
These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling: teenage witch Hannah and her coven fight against an unknown threat in Salem, Massachusetts. (2.5/5 stars)
Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart: this book, which is told in reverse, unravels the mystery of why a girl named Jule is posing as her best friend at an exclusive resort in Mexico.(4/5 stars)
She’s Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard: a retelling of The Picture of Dorian Gray set in modern time where social media and the pursuit of art is more nefarious than it seems. (4/5 stars)
One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus: five students enter detention and only four of them leave alive; think of this book as The Breakfast Club mixed with a whodunnit murder mystery. (4/5 stars)
rootin tootin cowgirls
Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy: Willowdean enters her local beauty pageant in an attempt to show that beauty isn’t one-size-fits-all. (4/5 stars)
Outlawed by Anna North: after failing to produce a child, Ada becomes an outlaw in the Old West and meets up with the notorious Hole in the Wall Gang. (5/5 stars)
Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu: Vivian starts a secret zine to empowers the girls of her misogynistic school to rise up against the oppressive administration. (4.5/5 stars)
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: Alina discovers she is blessed and cursed with the powers to save her king and country from impending darkness. (5/5 stars)
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness: historian and secret witch Diana stumbles upon an ancient manuscript, which marks her as a target for other magical creatures. (4/5 stars)
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo: this retelling of The Little Mermaid follows a siren who’s on a mission to kill the prince. (4/5 stars)
The Wrath and the Dawn by René Ahdieh: Shahrzad seeks revenge on the murderous caliph who killed her best friend, but discovers that the myth of his ruthlessness is more than meets the eye. (4.5/5 stars)
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong: a retelling of Romeo and Juliet set in the mob-ruled streets of Shanghai, where the heirs to rival criminal empires must band together against a mysterious sickness attacking the city. (4.25/5 stars)
wtf just happened?!?
Above All Else by Dana Alison Levy: best friends Rose and Tate attempt to climb Mount Everest and uncover secrets about themselves as they ascend. (4/5 stars)
Bright Burning Stars by A. K. Small: two best friends at a famous Paris ballet school risk it all to achieve their ream of becoming professional dancers. (4/5 stars)
The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr: Flora has a memory defect that prevents her from forming new memories, until she kisses someone she shouldn’t and starts to remember things. (4/5 stars)
Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam: a New York family goes to the Hamptons on vacation, but a strange and unexpected series of events leave them questioning what’s happening outside their bubble. (4/5 stars)
The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave: Hannah’s husband disappears and leaves her to piece together his mysterious past while protecting his teenage daughter from an unseen harm. (4/5 stars)
One thought on “2021 reading roundup”
I’m interested to read more by Jennifer E. Smith. Field Notes on Love is her only book I’ve read. I loved it.
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