Last year was a GREAT reading year for me. I had the goal of reading 100 books and I read 112. This was the first time I had hit my goal of 100 books for the year. As the year wrapped up, I wanted to figure out what my top books were in 2021. I couldn’t narrow down my list since I read so many amazing books during the year, so for fiction books I have a list of my top 20. All of them were 5 stars for me!
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- #20 Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan – this novel is a dual timeline with one time in the 1800s, about a ship that sank off the coast of Savannah, called the “Titanic of the South” and modern times where Everly, a researcher, tries to figure out the mysteries of the ship and the sinking. I loved the dual timelines and the history of Savannah in this one.
- #19 We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz – this book was about best friends Emily and Kristen who take annual trips around the world. They are in Chile and Kristen ends up killing a man in self-defense. The odd thing about this is, something similar happened the year before, to Emily. This was a fast-paced thriller, making you wonder what is going on the whole time.
- #18 People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry – Poppy and Alex have nothing in common, but they are the best of friends. They take a vacation together every summer…until two years ago when they ruined everything. I loved this romance and the timeline.
- #17 The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed – This story is about a black high school student in LA in the 1990s. She and her friends just like to have fun but everything changes when the four LAPD officers were acquitted after beating Rodney King. I loved this one because although I was about an hour away from when this really happened, I do not have the same perspective of what it meant as the main character, Ashley, has in this book.
- #16 The Last Summer at the Golden Hotel by Elyssa Friedland – This is the story of two families, the Goldmans, and the Weingolds, who have owned the Golden Hotel together in the Catskills. However, the Catskills have changed, and so have the families. Can the hotel be saved? This was such a fun summer read!
- #15 A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas – This is the 2nd book in the ACOTAR series, which starts off as a Beauty and the Beast retelling. The 2nd book was my favorite in the series, and I loved it so very much!
- #14 When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain – This book is about a missing girl in Northern California in the 1990s. This book takes place close by where I used to live and mentions the real-life Polly Klaas case that happened in Petaluma in 1993. This is a must for any true crime fans!
- #13 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand – In the summer of 1993, Mallory inherits a beachfront cottage on Nantucket from her aunt. She then agrees to host her brother’s bachelor party. His friend Jake attends and a bond is formed that lasts decades. I loved how this book went year to year from the 1990s to modern times, sharing the story of Mallory and Jake.
- #12 Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid – Nina is the daughter of legendary singer, Mick Riva. It’s 1983, and the day of her annual end-of-summer party. The book is all about Nina, her parents, and her siblings, all coming together on an unforgettable night. I loved how we got to go back and forth from the party to the Riva’s past, and learn about their family dynamics.
- #11 The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – Avery Grambs just wants to get through high school, but all that changes when billionaire Tobias Hawthrone dies and leaves her almost all of his fortune. Only, she has no idea who he is. I loved the puzzles and mysteries with this one.
- #10 The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner – Sophie is a young Irish immigrant, who answers a mail-order bride ad and agrees to marry a man she has never met who needs a mother for his 5-year-old daughter. This all takes place around the time of the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco. I loved this book because of the setting and the characters. Susan Meissner is one of my favorite authors too.
- #9 Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson – Pheby is born on a plantation in Virginia and has lived a pretty sheltered life. She is shielded because of her mother’s position as the medicine woman on the plantation. She is then forced to leave her home and finds herself at the infamous Devil’s Half Acre, a jail in Richmond. This book was tragic and heartbreaking, but such a good read and an important story to be told.
- #8 Kindred by Octavia E. Butler – Dana, a modern black woman is celebrating her birthday with her new husband when she suddenly goes back in time to the Antebellum South. I love this story of time travel and survival and the realities of the past.
- #7 Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir – Ryland Grace is the only survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission. If he fails, humanity is doomed. Except, he doesn’t know any of this and can’t even remember his name. This book drew me in and I didn’t want to put it down. What a fantastic story!
- #6 Falling by T.J. Newman – This heart-stopping novel is about a pilot whose family gets kidnapped and he is given a choice. Crash the plane and save his family, or not and they die.
- #5 The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke – Two sisters go missing on a remote Scottish island. 20 years later, one is found, only she is the exact same age she was when she left. I loved the setting of this book as well as the plot.
- #4 Legendborn by Tracy Deonn – 16-year-old Bree Matthews ends up in a residential program for bright, high school students at UNC-Chapel Hill after her mother dies in an accident. She soon finds out there is something magical going on there. This one was such a great story, within the setting of an older college. I can’t wait for the next book in the series!
- #3 The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah – Elsa Wolcott, who is looked at as too old to marry in 1921, meets Rafe Martinelli, and decides to change the direction of her life. It is then 1934, and the world has changed. Elsa works tirelessly to help her family survive and has to decide to fight for the land she loves or travel to California to find a better life.
- #2 From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout – Poppy has been chosen from birth to be a Maiden. The entire Kingdom is on her shoulders. But…that isn’t what she really wants, is it? I LOVED this fantasy book and so glad it is a series.
- #1 The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood – Olive Smith is a 3rd year Ph.D. candidate who doesn’t believe in long-lasting romantic relationships. Adam Carlsen is a young hotshot professor. Olive convinces him to become her fake boyfriend. I loved this romantic comedy so much!
What did you read in 2021? What were your favorite books???