Aside from reading all the amazing books, one of my other favorite things to do is talk about all the great books I’ve read. Today, I’ll be sharing my favorite books of 2021 so far, aka favorites from the books I read in January, February and March. I read a total of 30 books over the first 3 months of 2021! I’m beyond content with that amount, given my hectic IRL schedule, but I’ve really prioritized reading over anything else (sorry TV) when I do have free time. While quantity can feel rewarding, I also just genuinely enjoyed most of the books I’ve read, as there’s only been maybe a handful that I’ve felt mixed about. This amount also sets me up quite nicely for my my reading goal of at least 100 books in 2021.
I thought about sharing a post with just my favorite books of January and February, and then saving my March faves for my spring best books… but I honestly read so many of my favorite books so far in March & I didn’t want to wait any longer to share. I’ll likely end up doing another best books post in June to discuss the best books I read in spring/April & May.
We Came Here to Forget by Andrea Dunlop – As you go through my favorites, you may start to notice that books set abroad from my native US is a theme with some of my favorite books, including Andrea Dunlop’s We Came Here to Forget. The book switches between Katie’s past as an Olympic skier and her present as a tour guide in Buenos Aires, putting together the pieces of her sister’s mysterious behavior and the downfall of her skiing career. I loved both settings and this book’s plot & mystery was really unique.
Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli – I feel like I’m cheating a tiny bit here because Kate in Waiting doesn’t come out on April 20th, but I was fortunate enough to receive a review copy of Becky Albertalli’s upcoming release. This book reminded me so much of my favorite Becky Albertalli book, The Upside of Unrequited. I loved the focus on friendship & personal growth.
Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes – Evvie Drake Starts Over screams quiet contemporary read. There was a perfect blend between light and warmness, as Evvie rents out her spare bedroom to an ex-major league baseball player hiding away from the spotlight, while dealing with heavier themes surrounding loss and grief. This book also made me want to rent a house in Maine ASAP.
The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany by Lori Nelson Spielman – If you want a fun read that screams wanderlust, look no further than The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany. Emilia accompanies her estranged aunt on a trip to Italy to help reunite her with the love of their life, while trying to override a curse placed on second-born daughters in their family. I was little hesitant going into this one because of that ‘curse,’ but the book really had nothing to do with ‘magic.’ Instead, Emilia learns how to break out her shell and the expectations set by her family…while maybe she’s not cursed to never fall in love after all…
A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas – This is likely one of the least surprising favorites on here, if you know me as the huge SJM fan that I am. Nesta and Cassian were my two favorite characters from ACOTAR even before they got their own installment, so I loved both of their journeys and relationship development in this one. ACOSF made me so much more intrigued about what SJM will be doing in the rest of the series!
You Have a Match by Emma Lord – I honestly knew from Tweet Cute alone that there was a very likely chance that Emma Lord would become one of my favorite YA authors. My prediction became true when I fell in love with You Have a Match. I loved the summer camp setting, and the sister dynamic – Abby and Savannah find out their sisters through a DNA service – was so unqiue and well-developed.
28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand – If there’s one book that I could absolutely not put down while reading, it’s Elin Hilderbrand’s 28 Summers. I definitely had to suspend some of my disbelief and ignore some of the shadiness of Mallory and Jake’s relationship, but I loved the story-telling so much. Make sure this one is in your beach bag this summer if you haven’t read it yet.
The Switch by Beth O’Leary – The Switch was one of those books where my love for it snuck up on me about 80 pages in and I was hooked the whole way through. The Switch contemporary respectively follows grandmother and granddaughter, Eileen and Leena, who decided to switch places for 2 months after experiencing a family tragedy not too long ago and both needing a change of pace. This book was also really fun and light while dealing with grief and personal growth. I’m currently reading Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare and enjoying that book as well!
Float Plan by Trish Doller – Not only have some of the books on this list made me want to travel to other countries, but they’ve also made me want to get on a boat and sail to them myself, much like Anna in Float Plan. This book was super unique, following Anna’s journey sailing from Florida to Puerto Rico after the death of her fiancé and is soon joined by an Irish sailor, Keane. I loved traveling from place to place with Anna and Keane and seeing their relationship grow stronger with each place – there also might be an adorable dog involved in their journeys.
Kisses & Croissants by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau – Kisses & Croissants made me want to travel to France ASAP, but I guess a croissant or two will have to do for now. If you’ve been wanting an adorable YA contemporary set in Paris since you first read Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss or Stephanie Kate Strohm’s Love à la Mode, then this is the book for you! Mia spends the summer in Paris at a rigorous ballet school, falling in love with a forbidden boy, and trying to solve a family mystery involving one of her great aunts and a famous painter.
The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon – If I had to choose just one book on this list as my favorite, it’d most likely be Rachel Lynn Solomon’s The Ex Talk. This contemporary romance from one of my all-time favorite authors nailed everything I love in my romances, following two workplace rivals who are forced to pretend to be exes and host a radio show about dating together.
The Marvelous Mirza Girls by Sheba Karim – I really enjoying reading mature YA books or YA books following slightly older/post-high school age characters. Combine that with travel and Gilmore Girls and there’s the explanation for my love for Sheba Karim’s upcoming The Marvelous Mirza Girls. A year after losing her aunt, Noreen takes a gap year to go to New Dehli with her mother, hoping to bring back her love for writing. The Marvelous Mirza Girls comes out on May 18th.
Our Italian Summer by Jennifer Probst – I guess books set in Italy is also a theme among my favorite reads. Our Italian Summer is told in a similar vein as The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany, with a slightly bigger emphasis on family and the Italian setting. Told from the perspective of three generations of women from the same family, Sophia forces her daughter, Francesca, and her granddaughter, Allegra, to go on a month-long trip to family to resolve their relationship issues. The descriptions of all the places the Ferrari women visit were so detailed and made me crave pasta and bread while reading.
What have been your favorite books of 2021? Have you read any of the books that I mentioned? Share in the comments!