I don’t know if it is because I am busier than I have been in quite some time or because I have a Big Thing coming up that I am focusing or what is going on but I swear to you this year is going by more quickly than any have before. Maybe it is getting older that is making me feel that way. What I do know is that I have continued to read more in 2021 than I ever have before in my life.
Let’s take a trip together back over the last three months of reading and see, well, what there is to see!
You’ve Read How Many Books?
Let’s jump straight on in with some stats! Over the months of April – June I have read 27 books! Add this to my total for the first quarter of 35 and so far this year I have read a grand total of 62 books. My yearly reading goal is set to 52 books and this is the earliest I have ever hit that goal before. Typically I am cruising around in November before I finally hit my goal. This is just crazy to me. I knew I had been reading more this year than usual, my previous monthly average was only around 4 books, but to see it like this is just nuts to me.
- For the Wolf (Wilderwood #1) by Hannah Whitten – This book is an adult fantasy retelling loosely based on Little Red Riding Hood. What it actually is is a phenomenally great fantasy debut by Whitten. I was sucked into the story on page one and just lived there in my head long after I had finished reading the last page. Was it a perfect story? No, every book has flaws, but the enjoyment I took from this story far overshadowed any flaws. 5/5
- Silver in the Wood and The Drowned Country (The Greenhollow Duology) by Emily Tesh – This novella duology is actually the very first two novellas I have ever read and they blew me away. The author manages to completely immerse you in the story from the very start and she doesn’t release her grip on you until the very end. How she managed to make such well rounded characters and an entertaining plot in under 200 pages baffles me. If you like novellas or even if you’ve never even tried them before I cannot recommend these enough. 5/5
- Neon Gods (Dark Olympus #1) by Katee Robert – Katee Robert is the queen of this particular brand of erotica. That brand being taking mythological gods and characters such as Hades, Zeus, and Hercules and turning their stories into something modern with a heavy dose of the sexy times. In my opinion this is her best story yet as we follow Hades, the overseer of his section of his Olympus adjacent city, as he rules with a firm fairness. He is both a fierce mob boss and an honorable man with a bone to pick with Zeus. When Persephone falls into his lap what is he to do? If you enjoy erotica that still employs consent and partner respect then what are you waiting for? Pick this book up! 4/5
- Scavenge the Stars (Scavenge the Stars #1) by Tara Sim – I’ll be honest, this book actually took me by surprise. This year I’m trying to read all of my backlist OwlCrate books and this one just happened to be plucked off the shelves in May. Scavenge the Stars is a YA retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo and while I have never read the behemoth that is the book, the movie takes up a large chunk of my brain space. Reading along I could feel the inspiration from the original story by Sim twisted enough to make it fresh and interesting while still keeping to the heart of things. The characters are vivid, the plot interesting and quickly paced, and I absolutely could not put this book down. 4/5
- The Crown of Gilded Bones (Blood and Ash #3) by Jennifer L Armentrout – This particular let down really made my soul hurt. I absolutely adored the first two books in this series, I’ve read them both four times! It never crossed my mind that this one would be anything less than fabulous. Of course I had to go and be wrong. It was as if the author stole the personalities from all of the male characters just to make them doormats for the women. All of the fizz went out of the book when the characters became as interesting as beige paint.
- The Jasmine Throne (Burning Kingdoms #1) by Tasha Suri – Here is another book I was pumped to read. So many of the early reviews from people I’ve come to trust absolutely gushed over this book! When I got approved for an ARC I jumped in feet first, ready to fall in love. I will say that the settings and concepts of this book were fantastic, I cannot fault a single part of that. However, I have never read such a slow moving plot. I couldn’t focus on reading this for more than a couple pages at a time because nothing was happening. Zilch. My attention span is minuscule so having such an achingly slow build up stole any joy from the story that I may have gotten.
- A Touch of Malice (Hades and Persephone #3) by Scarlett St. Clair – Here is another third book in a series that completely let me down. Hades retellings are one of my very favorite things and I very much enjoyed the first two books in this series as well as the companion series. This one was really very not good, much to my disappointment. It was as if all of the character development had been thrown out the window and we were back to square one with the female character not knowing or trusting herself and the male main character becoming a wet pile of card board. I could not.
- A Vow so Bold and Deadly (Cursebreakers #3) by Brigid Kemmerer – We have a bit of a theme going here. This is another 3rd book in a series, this one the concluding novel, that was just not what it could have and should have been. The characters throughout the first two books had been well set up and in this one it was as if all of the carefully built plot and nuance just got thrown in the dumpster. The characters weren’t acting as they had been set up to behave, the plot was practically non existent, and the conclusion was positively laughable. Massive, massive let down.
- Run Posy Run by Cate C. Wells – I have absolutely no shame in saying that I love a good erotic fantasy. This one was recommended by another reader with similar tastes as mine so I decided to give it a shot. Sadly, this book just wasn’t for me. I like my erotic fiction with a healthy dose of consent and partner respect and this one had neither. It was mostly just sexualized abuse; mentally, physically, and emotionally. It was, quite frankly, disgusting.
The Year so Far
Let’s take a look at some of my stats at this half way point in the year.
In this first graph you can see all of my books ratings so far, total, for 2021. I feel very lucky to have such a healthy amount of 4-5 stars in there. The second graph shows the genres I’ve read this year. Of course the bulk of my reads have been fantasy but the remaining chunk feels like a pretty solid mix. I’m hoping to add more mysteries and historical to that chart by the end of the year.
Here in the graph on the left you see a breakdown of the genres I’ve read so far this year. My goal was to read more NA/adult titles than YA in 2021 and I am very happy to say that I’ve been very successful at that! Most of the adult books I read are romance, erotic, historical, or mysteries with a few adult fantasies mixed in. The new adult titles are mainly all fantasy. I adore new adult fantasy and wish there was more of it.
The graph on the right shows where I get the books that I read. More than half of what I’ve read this year are books that I own in one form or another with another hefty chunk from Kindle Unlimited. Most years I read more library books but since the library in my area was closed from March 2020 – June 2021 I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to check much out. I’m hoping to change that this fall.
Here at this mid way point in the year I’m feeling pleased with how my 2021 reading is turning out. I’m reading more and the bulk of what I’ve read have actually been good books. There are some fall releases coming up later int he year I’ve preordered and can’t wait to add them to my yearly stats.
Third quarter I honestly don’t expect to do nearly as well. I know myself and every summer I practically stop reading entirely. Being overly warm makes me grumpy and irritable and when I’m grumpy I sure don’t want to read. Judith @ Dead Good Book Reviews said something that I feel perfectly encapsulates summertime brain. It is like trying to log into the old dialup internet and the only sounds you hear is that horrible screeching dial up noise. That is all there is in my head right now. I’ve got nothing.
I hope you all have a fabulous third quarter of this slightly whacky year. Stay safe.