At the end of 2021 I, quite honestly, got a little overwhelmed. The holidays just hit differently this year and I needed a little break so I took a purposeful step back in December 2021. With that in mind, all of my end of the year 2021 things are coming to you in early 2022! May this year be better than the last two.
However, in 2021 I did end up reading a bunch of great books! Also some real duds but we’ll talk about those later. For now, let’s take a peak back at my favorite reads from 2021.
- The Mask Falling (The Bone Season #4) by Samantha Shannon – I had been waiting on this book to be released for years. The Bone Season was the book that got me back into reading as an adult and I fell head over heels in love with the series. The Mask Falling is a fantastic installment in the series and you really get a deep look inside what makes Paige tick. You are there with her through her suffering after the events at the end of The Song Rising and watch her metamorphose into a new person. It is a stunning book.
- Malice (Malice Duology #1) By Heather Walter – Back in February, I had the opportunity to read this book as an ARC and I really wasn’t sure what I was getting into. A Maleficent origin story could have gone in so many directions. Walter, however, knocked it out of the park with this book. Each character on the page came to life. Even though you know how our lead character’s story ends, watching her evolve from neglected young woman in want of acceptance into a force of vengeance manifested from her own pain…it is a powerful book.
- Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw – I’ve yet to touch a Shea Ernshaw book I haven’t liked. Honestly, the description for this one didn’t do a lot for me but I love her writing enough that I gave it a try anyway. So very happy I did. This book had layers (insert Shrek reference here) and each one swept me away. Winterwood isn’t so much about the ghost story and the mystery of the woods but it is instead a story of a young woman finding herself and her place in the world and her acceptance of it.
- For the Wolf (Winterwood #1) by Hannah F. Whitten – Hello. I fell in love with this book. Fantasy romance with a side of perilous peril is absolutely my thing. This Little Red Riding Hood retelling had everything that speaks to my heart. Danger, mystery, forbidden romance, and a female lead ready to do whatever it takes to save her people. I cannot wait for the second book to be released!
- Iron Widow (Iron Widow #1) by Xiran Jay Zhao – This book is AMAZING! This sci-fi/fantasy world feels so fresh and interesting. So many SFF books that get published have that Europeanesque setting and Iron Widow is one of the few I’ve seen that threw that to the birds. The lead female isn’t what you typically find in SFF either. This woman has a lot stacked against her and instead of coming out smelling like roses and taking the higher ground she kicks ass, takes names, and tramples anyone who gets in her way. Boss. Bitch.
- The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells – I’ve read the first 4 books in this series and I love each one more than the last. These sci-fi novellas are told from the perspective of a robot who was built to protect humans, got annoyed with that, and just wanted to watch TV and avoid people. He is perfect. Watching him learn more about humanity, its failures and triumphs, and what it means to be human is simply a joy. If you haven’t read this series, do it now. Perfection.
- Defy the Night (Defy the Night #1) by Brigid Kemmerer – In Defy the Night I have returned to my roots of YA fantasy romance. What gets me is that I nearly didn’t read this book. I absolutely HATED how Kemmerer ended her Cursebreakers trilogy and, in a fit of anger, vowed to never read anything from her again. Of course I am fickle and picked this book up anyway and really loved it! Yes, it is very stereotypically YA fantasy romance but that is what I love about it. Give. Me. Those. Tropes. I will eat them up.
- Kingdom of the Cursed (Kingdom of the Wicked #2) by Kerri Maniscalco – Hi. This is another book I vowed never to read because I DESPISED Kingdom of the Wicked. But I am nothing if not a sucker and picked this up from the library and, y’all, I’m glad I did. Prince of Hell fantasy romance. You can not write anything that more encapsulates my tastes than that.
Did any of my favorites from 2021 make your lists? Do you think I am an idiot and read terrible books? I’m all ears!
Happy reading 🖤