My Top Ten Best Reads of 2021
Below are my top 10 books of the year! They may have made it on this list for different reasons. A relationship finally consummated. Love found. Strong women, honorable, respectful men. Funny. Emotional. Intriguing. For these reasons, and so many more, these books below are my top ten of the year.
10 (Loved) - 1 (Obsessed to an unhealthy degree)
10. Fated Throne
by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti
Why: I started out having a really hard time with this series, because it starts off as a bully romance, and the first few books cover a week or two at a time, making the bullying last WAY longer than it needed to, in my opinion. By Fated Throne, I was HOOKED. Everyone is going through hell in this book, and it ends with you emotionally crippled - but the opposing sides of the first few books have bonded together, and makes this series worth the read. Of course its slightly ridiculous at times, but that is part of the fun!
9. Grace & Glory
by Jennifer L Armentrout
Why: I fell in love with this trilogy halfway through the first book. Trinity is a delight, and as someone who felt like Zayne needed a better ending in Jennifer's Dark Elements series, I was thrilled to see he was getting his own series. His own love story. But hell, Jennifer, why did these two have to go through ALL OF THAT for their HEA? WHY? haha. That being said, I loved the ending for this series.
by Raven Kennedy
Why: Raven Kennedy has created a world here that is one of the most unique I have read. It may have started out as a King Midas retelling, but it snowballed into a story that grabs a hold of you, and takes you with it. I can't wait for the next book in the series next year.
7. It Happened One Summer
by Tessa Bailey
Why: Tessa Bailey has this undeniable way of writing a rom com that will make you laugh AND cry, with likeable and relatable characters, but also is steamy as hell. It Happened One Summer surprised me with how much I loved it, and I can't wait for the next book to come out, featuring her sister and his best friend.
6. Josh & Hazel's Guide to Not Dating
by Christina Lauren
Why: Another rom-com on my top 10 list. I know. But honestly, I'm so glad Josh and Hazel were my first book to read by this iconic author/best friend duo. The first page, and I was hooked. I was LAUGHING. And not mentally laughing, if you know what I mean, but really laughing. I immediately read some passages to my best friend the next day, and she knew she had to read it too. I loved how funny and sweet this book was. I loved how real the characters felt. I loved almost everything about this book. I can't wait to read more of their work next year.
5. The Traitor Queen
by Danielle L Jensen
Why: I know most people like The Bridge Kingdom more than The Traitor Queen, but honestly, I loved this conclusion to their story. This is a story about someone who is angry, and horrified by the person he loves actions, but finds forgiveness despite it all. Despite others opinions. This is a redemption story. This is a story about a woman giving her all for her husband and king, and for her country. I honestly just loved this story because it was so obvious that under all the pain, they loved one another.
4. The Crown of Gilded Bones
by Jennifer L Armentrout
Why: I know many have complained that this book missed its marked, because most of it was banter and not a lot of plot. I actually won't disagree on that. There were some definite flow issues. The first 100 pages are super intense, then everything it super slow, till the last 100 pages. I get it. But we do find out a lot about Poppy, the start of the way, the Gods and Isbeth. We discover draken! And we end off on one of the best declarations of war I have read. And we get a lot of Poppy/Casteel moments, and Poppy, Cas and Kieran vibes that makes this book one of my favorites of the year.
3. A Court of Silver Flames
by Sarah J Maas
Why: I agree with a lot of readers that were disappointed in the lack of plot Silver Flames suffered from. But there was a lot in this book I loved as well, which is why it made it on my list. Frankly, Sarah wrote in an elegant way Nesta's journey through depression and PTSD. Out of all the characters in ACOTAR, I probably relate to Nesta the most. Perhaps I am not as mean as she can be, but I am definitly guilting of taking out my emotions on others. The element of chosen family, and friendship, was a big thing in this book that I adored. We don't get enough books of women being friends, true friends, with other women. Nesta finds Gwyn and Emerie when all three of them need someone, and their friendship with one another is one of the best I have read. And I know a lot of people disliked the training montage, but I liked it. I felt like we were setting up for a bigger story to come, and now we have a new group of powerful warriors in the mix that can really do some good. And come on ... I know a lot of people don't like Nesta, but Cassian ... Cassian gets a HEA. And I think him and Nesta are actually a pretty good match.
2. Mad World
by Hannah McBride
Why: Mad World ALMOST got the top pick this year for me. I wasn't sure if I was going to like it as much as I love Hannah's Blackwater Pack series, but holy shit. I loved it more. It's not just romance. It's a mystery. It's a bit of a thriller, because you don't know where its going. It's edgy, and interesting, and OH MY GOD I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEXT ONE, because that cliffhanger. ERMAGAWD.
Sorry. But seriously, read this book.
A Shadow In The Ember
by Jennifer L Armentrout
Why: I was worried I wouldn't love ASITE as much as FBAA, but I might like it more. The characters are much more complicated, the setting is the same, yet different, and while I felt the banter was very similar to FBAA, I honestly didn't care, because it was soooo good. I fucking loved that we got a kick ass heroine who is, quite frankly, dark and complicated. She isn't an innocent little flower. I love Ash. I love the draken, and this incredibly rich world. And the things we learn. The prophecy. Oh my god, the Blood and Ash and Flesh and Fire books are going to be epic. I just know it.
Thanks for the emotional hangover, Jennifer!