How is it mid-2021, already? Yikes! I’m notoriously bad at doing wrap-up posts for what I read, but I’ve seen this one around on a few blogs and I thought it would be fun, so here goes:
Best book you’ve read so far in 2021:
Asking a book blogger to pick their ‘best’ anything is cruel, so here are my top five:
- The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
- Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (you’ll see I’ve been catching up on some long-recommended faves)
- The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
- The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley
- Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2021:
Jade War by Fonda Lee. I’m both excited and terrified for the finale.
A new release you haven’t read but want to:
I’m surprised I didn’t drop everything to read One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston the minute it downloaded on my Kindle, but I haven’t been in the mood for romance and I don’t want to spoil it.
Most anticipated release for the second half of 2021:
It has to be She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan, and I will cry if it doesn’t live up to the pedestal I have built for it in my mind.
I’ve read a few books I wished I loved more than I did this year, but in terms of the cover: content ratio, unfortunately I have to pick The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He. Please don’t let that stop more publishers putting BIPOC girls front and centre.
I thought A Dowry of Blood by S. T. Gibson would be good, but I wasn’t expecting it to be a 5-star read that blew me away with its unique approach to the story of Dracula (even if we’re not calling him that).
Hench didn’t quite make my list of faves, but I will pick up anything else Natalie Zina Walschots writes, because she has a real knack for deadpan, cynical humour and I’m curious to see what she writes next.
Adam Parrish from The Raven Cycle. The Dream Thieves is my favourite book in the series and is definitely a story about Ronan Lynch, but Adam is the character I can’t stop thinking about, and I love his eggshell optimism, his journey towards self-respect and his desire to live life on his own terms.
Made you cry:
I don’t cry much at books, but I did occasionally get emotional about Legendborn by Tracy Deonn, which has one of the best depictions of living with grief that I’ve read in a very long time.
Made you happy:
Ten Thousand Stitches by Olivia Atwater is exactly the kind of story I like: a wholesome romance featuring kind-hearted, competent characters who deserve all the good things.
The most beautiful book you’ve bought:
I picked up a full set of Melissa’s Caruso’s Swords and Fire trilogy at the secondhand book store for the price of a single book (I’m yet to read them, of course) and the covers look absolutely splendid when lined up together – I love the striking colours.
Books you need to read by the end of the year
I’m focusing on a combination of r/fantasy bingo, book club books and ARCs for the rest of the year, but five books I know I’ll get to that I’m excited about:
- Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer
- A Master of Djinn by P. Djeli Clark
- Blackheart Knights by Laure Eve
- Redemptor by Jordan Ifueko
- The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin (don’t judge me for how long it’s taken me to read this series)