I love starting the new year off on the blog with a final recap on my previous year reading with the End of Year Book Survey, created by Jamie of The Perpetual Page-Turner. This survey takes an in-depth look at some of my favorite (and not-so favorite) books of the year, books I’m excited about in 2022, and blogging life in general.
2021 Reading Stats
Number of Books You Read: 162 Books ; 3 Novellas
Number of Re-Reads: 4
Genre You Read the Most From: Contemporary/Contemporary Romance
Best Book You Read in 2021: Tie between People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry and The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? Mom Jeans & Other Mistakes by Alexa Martin
Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
Good Way:Rush by Lisa Patton – was way more addicted to this book than expected
Bad Way: Controversial opinion time! – From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)? Can I count the fact that I made my friends watch Bridgerton (The Duke & I by Julia Quinn) on Netflix??
Best series you started in 2020? Best Sequel? Best Series Ender of 2020?
Best series started: Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano
As we’re now fully in the last two months of 2021 (!!), it’s time to slowly but surely begin wrap-up season. December is always filled with posts about my favorite books of the year and my anticipated books for the new year, but I’ve kicked off the reflective season with the End of Year Book Tag for the past few years. This book tag is always a great way for me to think back on what I read this year (and yes, start forming my favorites posts) and do a little goal-setting for the rest of the year.
Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?
Since I’m publishing this post on a Monday morning, I thought it’d be fun to share the books I’m currently in the middle of and that I will finish by the end of this week (which means this year, haha) – I’m currently reading My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan – this contemporary romance had been on my TBR radar for a while since it’s written by audiobook narrator star Julia Whelan and it was recently mentioned twice in two of my favorite bookish podcasts, Bad On Paper and Friends to Lovers. I also have Dolly Alderton’s memoir, Everything I Know About Love, on my nightstand because I immediately needed more of her writing after finishing Ghosts two weeks ago. I’m sure this question will be a bit more pressuring during the week in between Christmas and New Years, as I hope to do a lot of reading since I’m off from work then. As always, I *try* to finish any book I’m currently reading by New Years’ Eve so I can start the new year with a fresh read, but sometimes that plan doesn’t work out depending on my NYE plans and my desire to always being currently reading something!
It’s no secret that one of the many reasons that I love summer is that I accomplish most of my reading for the year between June, July, & August. That was again definitely the case when it came to come summer 2021, having read the most amount of books I’ve ever read in the summer, let alone 3 months, at 65 books. At this point in the month this summer, I’d be at about 14-15 books already read while I’m ‘only’ at six books so far for September since I’ve been back to teaching full-time. I did theEnd of Summer Recap Book Tag for the first time in 2020& I enjoyed doing this tag so much that I decided to bring it back this year (and yes, more books mean more difficult choices about some of the books below!).
I absolutely loved one of my last reads of the summer, Suleika Jaouad’s memoir, Between Two Kingdoms. I totally believe that I read this memoir following Suleika’s cancer diagnosis & treatment beginning in her earlier twenties and the road trip she takes to meet the many people she met & who wrote to her while she was receiving treatment at just the right time. Her writing style was so impactful & addicting, and I want more & more people to keep picking the book up.
What genre did you read the most?
Contemporary, specifically with a fair mix of contemporary romances, beach/Elin Hilderbrand reads, and a few YA contemporaries.
I read 5 non-fiction books, meeting my reading goal of reading 1-2 nonfiction books a month, and a whooping 2 fantasy books with my rereads of Carry On & Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell.
Which book surprised you the most?
You know those books that you don’t realize how much you love until after you’re done reading it? I definitely had this feeling with Elle Cosimano’s comedy meets mystery, Finlay Donovan is Killing It. I am SO looking forward to the sequel in 2022!
I love the Anticipated Releases Book Tag because it lets me spotlight some of the books I’m the most excited for during the fall & let’s be honest, helps me somewhat selfishly get more organized for my most anticipated Fall 2021 books posts that I usually share in the second half of August.
If you love going back in time & revisiting some highly anticipated books in the past, I’ve also done the Anticipated Releases Book Tag in 2020 & 2019. The Anticipated Releases Book Tag was created by Ellyn of Allonsythornraxx.
Most Anticipated Release
I am beyond excited for Never Saw You Coming by Erin Hahn. Erin Hahn, one of my favorite YA authors & author of You’d Be Mine & More Than Maybe, has been sharing so much about the book on Instagram each week. The book is quite personal and deals with questioning religion and faith. The book’s main protagonist, Meg, was raised by conservative parents & after finding out a shocking family secret, takes a gap year to meet the family she’s never known existed and meet the son of a pastor, Micah. Never Saw You Coming comes out on September 7th.
Most Underhyped Release
I’m really looking forward to It All Comes Back to You by Farah Naz Rishi. This YA romance follows Muslim American teens Kiran & Deen, who once dated in secret and then broke up when Deen ghosted Kiran & are now forced to help plan their older siblings’ wedding. It All Comes Back to You comes on September 14th, 2021.
A Book You’ve Been Waiting On Forever
I wasn’t necessarily waiting on it forever because it was recently announced, but I have been wishing for quite a while for an Off Campus sequel. That being said, I’m really looking forward to Elle Kennedy’s novella collection, The Legacy, which will contain novella/where are they now? stories for each couple in the Off Campus series. The Legacy comes out on September 21st.
The time has finally come for the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag. A few of my blogging friends shared this book tag dedicated to sharing some of your favorite reads and reading plans for the rest of the year, since we’re at the halfway point for the year. If you want a tiny taste of how my reading has changed over my blogging years, check out my mid-year freak out tags for 2020, 2019, & 2017.
Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2021: The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon & People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
It’s probably no surprise that 1) I have more than one favorite book and 2) that they’re both contemporary romances. The Ex Talk is definitely one of my favorite enemies-to-lovers books, and I cannot get over the humor and coziness in Poppy and Alex’s relationship in People We Meet on Vacation
Some other favorites I had to share because I have no self-control as usual:
Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson, Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne, We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon, & Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter
Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far: Another tie because I just can’t choose 1! If we’re talking literal sequel (aka book #2) and contemporary romance world, it’s The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan. If we’re talking new book in a multi-book series, it’s obviously A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas… I also can’t help but mention Anna K: Away by Jenny Lee
New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To: Indeciveness/multi-book options always rules, including:
The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary , One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston, It’s Kind of a Cheesy Love Story by Lauren Morrill, & God Spare the Girls by Kelsey McKinney
It’s been a while since I’ve did an unpopular opinions-esque book tag. I recently watched Jess of Peace Love Books on BookTube complete the Anti-TBR Tag, which made me think of some books that I had no interest in reading (although I do admit it’s a little difficult to remember said books when actually responding to the tag!). Of course, I want to include a disclaimer by saying that just because I have no interest in reading the following books doesn’t mean that you may not enjoy them or be interested, nor should my disinterest influence your opinions of the books below. This Anti-TBR Tag was created by Nicole of Nicole & Her Books.
A popular book EVERYONE loves that you have no interest in reading?
I really wish I loved or had as much interest in this companion series as everyone else does, but I don’t see myself reading Talia Hibbert’s Take a Hint, Dani Brown anytime soon. Like nearly all of the series below, I wanted to LOVE The Brown Sisters series but struggled to connect with the writing style of book #1, Get a Life, Chloe Brown.
A classic book (or author) you don’t have an interest in reading?
I feel like this is shameful to admit as an English teacher – although I’m a big advocate of reading more modern classic or current books in English class – but I tend to not be the biggest fan of the classics. I will admit that some YA retellings of classics does have me interested in reading the classic inspiration – for example, I may actually pick up Anna Karenina one day thanks to Tash Hearts Tolstoy and Anna K. Never say never, but I’ve never been too interested in picking up Moby-Dick or A Tale of Two Cities.
An author whose books you have no interest in reading?
Everyone knows that while I do enjoy a good fantasy or two, I’m not the biggest fantasy fan out there, so it may likely not be a surprise that I don’t have too much interest in reading Brandon Sanderson’s books. I sometimes felt like I HAD to read his Mistborn series back when I was really into BookTube a few years ago, and I’ve seen so many people pick up The Stormlight Archives and Skyward series, but I’m overall just not interested in their synopses.
An author you have read a couple of books from & have decided their books are not for you?
I don’t think I have a definitive author for this one, but I have a love-hate relationship with Colleen Hoover’s books, especially her latest releases. I LOVED Verity, but I have mixed feelings about and have little interest in her books since Verity’s release.Read More »
I was so swept up in the holidays and taking a small laptop detox in December that I didn’t consider if there was an evermore book tag floating around the book blogosphere. It’s been over a month since Taylor Swift’s second surprise album of 2020 came out, and I still can’t decide (not that it’s a high stakes decision) if I prefer folklore or evermore.Surprise, surprise, I love both so much! Right now, I’m leaning more towards folklore, but evermore has become my go-to car music lately. My current top favorite songs are “no body, no crime,” “marjorie,” and “ ’tis the damn season,” with much love for “right where you left me,” “dorothea,” and “long story short.”
willow – a book with a character you can’t help but fall in love with
I absolutely love The Russian/Vlad from Lyssa Kay Adams’ Bromance Book Club series, and I can’t wait for his own installment coming out this summer, Isn’t It Bromantic?, featuring his mystery wife, Elena.
champagne problems – a book with a broken relationship
In Five Years by Rebecca Serle – there’s a few in this book, and I think it’s even more coincidental that I believe the characters drink champagne at some point.
gold rush –a book you love with all your heart
Yes it’s 2021, and yes I’m still keeping my love for Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl alive and well.
Since it’s now time appropriate to do the End of The Year Book Tag, it also means that the 2020 wrap up season is beginning! I usually begin my 2020 wrap up posts in early December, which typically includes the End of Year Book Survey, my 2020 most anticipated releases for YA, contemporary romance, and some adult fiction, 2020 favorite books and TV shows, and likely more wrap ups I’m probably forgetting right now!
I enjoy doing the End of The Year Book Tag because it provides a tiny glimpse of my year in reading while also serving as a reminder for my reading goals for the rest of the year. I’ve shared the End of The Year Book Tag on the blog in 2017 and 2019. The End of The Year Book Tag was created by Ariel of Ariel Bissett.
Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?
I’m currently not the in the middle of any longer books that may take me the remainder of 2020 to finish up… although I am considering reading Barack Obama’s In a Promised Land and I KNOW that his book is going to take me a few weeks to finish whether I read a physical copy or listen to the audiobook. As always, I *try* to finish my current reads by New Years’ Eve so I can start the new year with a fresh read, but sometimes doesn’t work out depending on my NYE plans and my desire to always being currently reading something!
Do you have a book or autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?
I again adapted the question to not necessarily have to be an autumnal read, since fall is well upon us now and colder weather season has officially began where I live. I’ve already starting my holiday reading, but one holiday read I definitely want to pick up is Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory.
Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?
As of right now, there’s not! The rest of my most anticipated books for the year seemed to finish coming out last week. One recent release I just picked up from the library is Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch, the third book in the Love & Gelato series. Read More »
With Halloween coming up this weekend, it’s time to really break out the pumpkins and fall decor this week! I don’t have a costume planned for this year, but I am wearing a candy corn face mask for work this week to get into the Halloween spirit. I was tagged by The Book Bratzto do the Hallotober Blog Tag. The Hallotober Tag was created by Jordanne of The Life of a Glasgow Girl.
What’s the worst Halloween candy?
I am a huge chocolate fan, but I never really liked ‘sugary’ candies, with Laffy Taffy as my least favorite.
What is your favorite horror novel or short story?
It’s definitely not considering a straight-up horror book, but I love, love Carmen Maria Machado’s short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties.
What was the last halloween costume you wore?
I dressed up as a mermaid last year – if I somehow have to dress up again this year, I’ll probably throw the mermaid scale leggings back on!
What is your favorite fall snack?
I don’t think I change up my eating habits too much in the fall – I definitely reach for pumpkin spice coffee, but I’m not a fan of pumpkin-flavored foods (yes, this includes pumpkin pie). I’m definitely more of an apple fan over pumpkin, so I feel like I do tend to eat more apples in the fall, and I’ve been planning on making an apple pie with coffee crumb topping soon.
Do you carve pumpkins?
I tend to paint them instead of carve!
Do you prefer horror movies or stories?
You might know that I’m not the biggest horror fan in general, but I’d rather take horror in book over movie form.
What is your favorite halloween memory?
I can’t think of a particular moment, but until about seventh grade, I always went trick-or-treating with my two younger sisters. I probably got bratty at times for not being able to go trick-or-treating with my friends, but looking back, I’m so glad we got to have those memories together. We always loved coming home and dumping all of our candy on to the table and dividing it into categories while we ate dinner. There were actually 2 years we didn’t go traditional trick-or-treating because we spent Halloween weekend in Hershey Park!Read More »
Summer is my favorite reading season of the year. I tend to read the most during summer between the time off from school and reading alongside my favorite summertime activities, aka going to the beach & hanging by the pool. I also really dive into contemporaries I’ve been holding off from reading to save as the perfect summertime reads! With the exception of a few summer-like days, fall weather has arrived where I live. My friends and I are planning a weekend to go apple or pumpkin picking! I made the most delicious apple pie with coffee crumb topping from apples I picked last year, and I cannot wait to recreate it.
With fall officially starting tomorrow, I wanted to take some time to reflect on my summer reading with the End of Summer Book Tag. I saw this tag on Kristin Kraves Book, and I thought it was the perfect way to wrap up my summer reading without listing all the books I read or choosing 20 favorites (see the end of this post for some favorites though). While my summer definitely starts in May and does wrap up in September, today’s books are from the summer months, June, July, & August. During Summer 2020, I read 44 books!
If there’s one book that I can’t stop thinking about because I’m trying to get all my friends IRL to read it, it’s none other than Kate Stayman-London’s One to Watch. If you’ve been on the blog this year, you’ll know that for better or worse, I got into The Bachelor franchise. I loved this book’s Bachelor vibes – picture Bachelor meets Love Island with a female lead who’s a blogger & plus-sized. One to Watch felt so relevant to the conversations and issues surrounding diversity on Bachelor. As soon as I finished One to Watch, I immediately texted my friends in our Bachelor group chat and told them to pick it up. Otherwise, I’m thinking this might be everyone’s holiday gift in December?
Which book would you rather not have read?
I thought I was going to LOVE Tessa Bailey’s Fix Her Up because so many people I know have adored this one, but I really wish I had actually DNF’ed it. Never have I ever disliked a male romance protagonist so much…. until I picked up the sequel companion, Love Her or Lose Her, and disliked that lead even more…
What genre did you read the most?
Contemporary as usual! I haven’t tracked my reading stats in a spreadsheet (yet), but after doing a quick tally, I did read more adult & new adult contemporary than YA this summer.
Which book surprised you the most?
Maybe it’s because its election season and let’s face it, an extremely heated political time in the U.S. right now, but I can’t stop thinking about Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld. I wasn’t necessarily surprised that I loved it, but I’m still in awe of how this book felt so real and was based on Hillary Rodham Clinton’s life, but at the same was fictional and had so, so many what-if moments.Read More »