A RARE FEW NOVELS I ACTUALLY READ: BEST IN YEAR 2021

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As is the mantra of each year’s end, here we are and I cannot believe we’re at yet another end of year look back. Or as we like to refer to such things in this world, a peek at our favorite books of 2021. This list is pretty pathetic because of the way my 2021 reading life went. In fact, I nearly married this with my favorite films of the year list, but the organized part of me just couldn’t quite do that (even though I even wrote them together). This year making a big deal like normal just isn’t my thin and to be honest, my heart just isn’t in in plus I’ve had a massive love-hate relationship with entertainment this past year, including books. One of these days I will pick up a book, become engrossed and never look back. I know it will happen, all that needs to happen is picking up one of the books with the ability to do this.

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Despite the slim list, let’s still look at the book because, no matter the number, good books deserve a shout-out! At least in my space they do. With those words out of the way and opinions plentiful (why can I never keep things short?), we present our favorite books of 2021 list, so… let’s go..!


FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2021

As I said already, this is SLIM pickings.


1: JO & LAURIE, MELISSA de la CRUZ & MARGARET STOHL

It’s been something I’ve said many times and ways, but Jo & Laurie is THE book I didn’t know I needed. Historical YA that reimagines Little Women and I’m here for it. Goodreads

2: ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LARA JEAN, JENNY HAN

I mean I couldn’t not include the final chapter that is Lara Jean’s saga. Her stories are just all nostalgic cheer and fun – also, does anyone else know if Jenny Han is going to write something else? Goodreads

3: IN A FAR OFF LAND, STEPHANIE LANDSEM

To be honest, this really isn’t my typical kind of read. I’m kind of waffling on whether or not I liked it well enough to include here, but honestly… I did. It was a good reading experience at the time and I read it before reading was totally gone so there’s that. Plus, while I don’t love all the stylings of the book, I do admire that it’s different than the normal adult historical I read. The plot follows a farm girl who, to get ahead, loses her innocence in pursuit of becoming a Hollywood star. Goodreads

4: AFTER SHE FALLS, CARMEN SCHOBER

Full transparency, I haven’t quite finished this novel. I read it faithfully for several days in a row, before I read something and I had things going on that conspired together, and eventually I set the book aside. Needless to say, this is me taking turtle reading to a level I haven’t before. That said, while I don’t know this novel’s ultimate conclusion (yet!), I do admire the heck out of it. Its market genre unique and I respect the author for pushing boundaries (in good ways) and fighting back on the norm. I also appreciate Bethany House for not just publishing this book, but also for the brilliant and genre unique cover design. Have I mentioned how much I love the cover? The plot follows a woman who is being abused and her journey to separate herself and her daughter from that life all while rediscovering God. Goodreads

5: LET IT BE ME, BECKY WADE

Another Becky Wade and another sweet love story. Goodreads

6: SUNKISSED, KASIE WEST

More Kasie West on my favorites menu is always a must. This one features a girl who, while on vacation with her family, learns she and her uber popular social media sister don’t have any – gasp! – Wi-Fi! Goodreads

Your turn! What new favorite books of 2021 did you discover? Have you read any of these? What are your thoughts? Did you like or hate them? What did you like about the ones you read? Which books made YOUR favorites list of the year? Do you have favorite’s lists? (Let me know if so… you know I want to see them, too!) Comment all the comments down below – let’s get our book fan conversations on!

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A RARE FEW NOVELS I ACTUALLY READ: BEST IN YEAR 2021. Talking the *few* favorite books of 2021 that I actually read. Text © Rissi JC

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Linking up with That Artsy Reader Girl December 28: Favorite Books of 2021

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

38 comments

    1. It’s just a sweet and lovely little story. Definitely the right book for me at the time. :) I do hope you enjoy it if you take the time to read, Lydia.

  1. In a Far Off Land made my list too. I can’t say I loved it, but it stuck with me long after I finished which to me, is the hallmark of a well-written story. I’m dying to read After She Falls.

    1. I think you put it SO well, Brittaney. This is very true. I’m not sure I can say I *loved* “In a Far-Off Land” either, at least not in a traditional way, but there is something haunting and just good about it that yes, sticks with the reader. Ooo, let me know what you think of “After She Falls” if you read it! I just admire it for being different AND I think the story is super good too.

    1. The TATBILB books have a Christmas-y cozy setting in some ways, but in others, they’re perfect for any time of year! Her ‘Summer’ trilogy is all about the summer and as Amazon is adapting those I’m glad I finally read them too. :) Thanks, as always, for the visit, Rachel! Glad to chat with you.

  2. Awwww, yay for Jo & Laurie! This poor book took such a clobbering (before it was even released) from people who were offended by the premise alone, without actually understanding the nuance of said premise. I’m glad it was perfect for you. (The fact that THIS Jo isn’t quite THAT Jo is actually what kept it from being a 5-star read for me, but I still really liked it, especially the New York trip — that felt the most like Original Recipe Jo & Laurie to me and the joy in my shippy heart knew no bounds at that point.)

    And I just read my first Kasie West book this year (Lucky In Love, just barely missed out on my list), but I am very excited to get to Sunkissed one of these summers!

    I hope you are able to find some engrossing reads next year. A few really worthwhile books is often more satisfying than getting through fifty “just okay” ones to find the same handful of memorable reads.

    1. I thought “Jo & Laurie” was traditional in the ways that matter (meaning I thought it honored the story), while also putting its own unique spin on the tale. But of course, as I never read “Little Women” (I don’t think), I’m only judging by the many movies, so… that may be unfair. :) YAY! Hope you enjoy more of Kasie’s books if you read them. Glad to know you did enjoy “Lucky In Love” even with its best of miss. Well said and I agree. A few great ones is better than many “ok” books. :) Appreciate your thoughtful comment and visit! Thank you.

  3. I was on a work pre holiday chitchat call and someone asked what our favourite films of 2021 were, and I was just “what new films?!” I guess I must have watched some but I can’t think of any except the new Bond film, which we went to the cinema to see cause it was finally feeling OK to go for about five minutes. I have done better with books but I’ve not really tried to keep up with the hot new things. Hope your relationship with entertainment gets better next year.

    1. I haven’t seen the Bond film, but I know lots of people think it’s awesome. I’ll see it at some point… I’m sure. ;) But time will tell. Thanks so much for visiting, Ellie. :)

  4. I am glad you were able to read some gems despite the way the year has been going. I love the cover of In a Far Off Land. Someday I would like to give Jenny Han’s books a try. I saw the movie based on the first book last year and thought it was cute and funny. I hope next year will be better for you film and book wise!

    1. Thanks! Me too. I’m hoping there will be some great books to discover. Appreciate you taking the time to visit. Thank you.

      Also… enjoy Jenny’s books if you read them! They’re fun.

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