Today, I’m back with my third & final favorite books post for 2021! I read so many fantastic books this year that didn’t (necessarily) fall into contemporary romance or Young-Adult, like non-fiction, contemporary (some with a thriller or mystery twist), & of course, the adult fantasy that everyone read this year (aka Sarah J.Maas). I’m going to use a little bit different of a style for this favorites post by just sharing the covers & listing my ABSOLUTE favorites.
My 23rd birthday is tomorrow & I plan on of course celebrating on the beach with a good book. It feels crazy to think that I’ve been book blogging since I was 18 aka meaning I’m coming up on my five year blog anniversary in early 2022 (!!). I also just readmy 22nd birthday postfrom last year and it is crazy to think how much has changed – since then, I’ve graduated from grad school, had more ‘normal-life-like’ hangouts with friends & family, started & finished my first teaching job at the high school level, and will begin teaching middle school English Language Arts full time in the fall!
To bring some birthday celebration to the blog this week, I’m going to be sharing 23 of my favorite books of 2021 so far. At the time of publishing this post, I’ve read 104 books, which is the most amount of books I’ve ever read at this point in the year. In favorites posts, I usually sharing some thoughts on the books I’ve chosen, but I’m just going to share the books by cover, since I’ve already talked about my spring favorites& my summer favorite reads will be coming in September. I’ve semi-categorized the grid by YA, contemporary romance, and contemporary reads.. and the 2 mysteries, 1 nonfiction, & 1 fantasy I have here.
What have been some of your favorite books of 2021 so far? Have you read any of my favorites? Share in the comments!
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!
I hope everyone has been enjoying time off over the holiday season. I mentioned last week in my favorite adult fiction and non-fiction books of 2020 post that I should’ve had a review posted on this past Saturday … but I’ll be totally honest & admit that I unexpectedly took a laptop break from Tuesday into Sunday afternoon. I’ve been off from school and work for the past 2 weeks, but it wasn’t until Christmas Eve Eve (yes, it’s absolutely a thing) that I really minimized my time on my laptop and ended up not turning it back on for nearly five days. If you’re someone like me who has been glued to her laptop screen between school and work this year, I highly recommend taking a break from the screen this week. I also completely admit I got distracted by a few books AND Bridgerton on Netflix!
Anyway, today I’ll be sharing my final favorites post of 2020 with my favorite contemporary romances of the year! I shared my favorite young adult books of 2020 last Wednesday. I decided to save my contemporary romance favorites for my final favorites wrap up because contemporary romance was my absolute favorite genre in 2020. So many of the books below had the perfect blend of fluff and distraction I craved, while also often having depth and really unique premises. Out of my three favorites post this year, I had the most difficult time narrowing down my favorite contemporary romances between absolute favs and honorable mentions.
Favorite Contemporary Romances of 2020
Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein
If there was only one book on this list I could put in every reader’s hands, it would be Hannah Orenstein’s Head Over Heels. Following a former elite gymnast who’s tasked with coaching an Olympic hopeful, this book was so strong as a contemporary itself because of its plot, setting, and character dynamics, but was so enriched because of the relationship between the female and male leads. Head Over Heels 110% solidified Hannah Orenstein as one of my all-time favorite authors.
You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
I chose one book as my ultimate #1 favorite in my 2020 YA favorites list, but my favorite romance of the year is seriously a toss up between Head Over Heels and Sarah Hogle’s debut, You Deserve Each Other. I often say that some of my contemporary romances have funny moments, but You Deserve Each Other is seriously the funniest and most sarcastic contemporary romance I’ve ever read. If only one book could have the ‘rom-com’ label, it’s this one. You Deserve Each Other follows two fiancés on the brink of separation – something I haven’t read in a book before- and I absolutely loved following this dynamic.
Beach Read by Emily Henry
Emily Henry’s Beach Read rightfully took the contemporary romance world by storm this summer and honestly throughout 2020! This summer romance between two writers might become my new annual kick off to summer reading & beach reading season.
The Honey Don’t List by Christina Lauren
I’ve mentioned before on the blog that while Christina Lauren’s newer releases tend to get mixed reviews (especially from early CLo fans), but I’ve been such a fan of their newer books, including The Honey Don’t List. This Fixer Upper inspired romancefollowing a fictional home renovation show’s two personal assistants totally met its synopsis – how can I a bookworm not love a book about a book tour?? – and introduced me to my new favorite CLo protagonist.Read More »
If you couldn’t tell by the title, today is my twenty-second birthday. To say the least, it’s definitely a weird birthday thanks to our current reality. I’ll be going out shopping – in mostly outdoor shopping outlets –for the first time since January and I have plans to celebrate with friends later on this week. 21 was a big growing up year for me, and despite the events of the last five months or so, I loved being 21. I think 22 is going to be another big growing up year for me, as I navigate post-college life, real working world and grad school included. I’m trying to be more optimistic and less stressed in August, and I want to do my best to carry out this attitude this year!
I wanted to bring some birthday cheer to the blog today, so I’ll be sharing 22 of my favorite things that have brought me so much joy this summer, in the forms of books, TV/movies, and podcasts – you’ll likely recognize a few repeats from my monthly wrap-ups but I can’t stop gushing about them so much! I also didn’t want to share strictly books because I recently shared my favorite reads of 2020, and let’s be honest yearly wrap ups or a summer wrap up will be here before we know it!
Some books that I’ve LOVED but haven’t shared too many details about yet or full reviews for include:
The Heir Affair (The Royal We #2) by Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks – I feel like I’ve mentioned The Heir Affair in so many blog posts this summer, but I officially read & finished it last week… and I can’t stop thinking about this sequel to The Royal We! I actually got too impatient to wait for a physical copy from the library, so I borrowed a digital copy and devoured it on my Kindle in about 2 days. The Heir Affair was everything I wanted in this sequel, and while I’m really content with the way it ended, I seriously would not mind a third book.
Anna K by Jenny Lee – Anna K is hands-down one of the best YA books I’ve read in 2020. I’ve come to realize that I don’t want to use the Gossip Girl meets Crazy Rich Asians comparison because while it has GG vibes (and honestly not really CRA), it is such a story of its own. I loved its Anna Karenina retelling, and it just felt so mature. I seriously cannot wait to get my hands on the upcoming sequel.
It’s hard to believe that summer is halfway over, let alone 2020. I’ve read 60 books and 2 novellas so far (mid July) this year. I’m pretty content with how much I’ve read given the varying states of everyday life in 2020. 60 books was actually my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal, but my personal reading goal is to read 100 books. Again,given 2020, I won’t be too upset if I don’t reach 100 by the end of the year, especially because I feel like I’ve read so many quality books.
Since we’re reaching the midway point of summer and 2020 this week, today I’ll be sharing some of my favorite books of 2020. I won’t be going into too much detail because I’ve already gushed over so many of these in reviews & other posts, and there will of course be a 2020 favorites reads post or two by the end of the year.
You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
You Deserve Each Other is the funniest & most sarcastic enemies-to-lovers contemporary romance I’ve ever read! It features an engaged couple, Naomi & Nicholas, who maybe want to cancel their upcoming wedding but neither wants to be stuck with the nonrefundable bill.
Beach Read by Emily Henry
Beach Read is seriously the must read (beach read) of the summer. Beach Read combines so much of what I love in contemporary romances and in all of my contemporary reads: summer, the beach, writing, enemies-to-lovers, self-growth, and a romance scene or two.
Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon
There are SO many amazing YA books on this favorites list, but I think my YA heart belongs to Rachel Lynn Solomon’s upcoming Today Tonight Tomorrow.
2019, you were filled with so many books- 125 books as of today to be exact. Having read so many great reads this year, it was really hard to narrow down my favorites. The first draft of this post originally had over 40 books,! I decided to be on trend and narrow it down to my top 19 favorite books.
I read the most books in a year that I ever had in 2019. A lot of this was in thanks to my summer reading, basically reading (and yes, watching Netflix) during any free time that I had in between working two summer jobs and catching up with my best friends. While my school life was supremely busy both in the spring and fall, I’m very content with the fact that I was able to read at least four books each month- sometimes five to seven depending on how many papers I procrastinated on. In between the holidays, work, and Netflix, I’ve also spent time eating up some romantic contemporaries this December as well.
Despite the amount of books I’ve read, and the amount of favorites & honorable mentions on this list, I feel like I’ve become a more critical reader and ‘favorite book’ evaluator in 2019. Earning 5 stars was pretty hard in the Fangirl Fury book this year. At the same time, there are some 5 star books that I’ve read that aren’t exactly favorites of mine, and there are books that I didn’t give 5 stars that still stole my heart and became favorites.
American Royals by Katharine McGee
Katharine McGee’s American Royals was the Princess Diaries 2-like book I didn’t know I needed until upon reading. I’ve seriously fallen in love even more with this book in the months after I’ve finished. Set in a United States with a monarchy instead of a democracy, American Royals was the perfect blend of romance, politics, and family drama with such an addicting writing style.
Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett
If there’s one book on this list where I absolutely loved every element within, its Jenn Bennett’s Serious Moonlight. I definitely need to do a reread of all of Jenn Bennett’s YA books, but Serious Moonlight may just be my favorite book of hers! I related so much to the protagonist, Birdie, and I loved this book’s atmosphere and premise so much.
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Ninth House instantly become one of my favorite reads of 2019 as soon as I read its final sentence. I read and love a lot of books, but something about that ending made me realize that it had been such a long time that I had ‘this feeling’ of loving a book so much immediately right after finishing it. Ninth House is such an incredible blend of fantasy and literary fiction. I’m so excited to see where this series goes.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
The crowd favorite of the year, I loved Red, White & Royal Blue even before the hype really began. Like many of the books on this list, RWRB perfectly balanced all its elements, from political drama, family, friendship, and of course, the romance.
The Goal (Off Campus #4) by Elle Kennedy
New adult (and adult) romance is for sure one way to label my 2019 reading year, much in part to Elle Kennedy’s Off-Campus series. I particularly fell hard for the last book in the series, The Goal. I read The Goal over the course of two sittings, in love with the two main character’s chemistry and overall story. And yes, my fictional crush on Tucker likely has something to do with my love for this installment. Imprison the Sky (The Elementae #2) by A.C. Gaughen
Imprison the Sky is such a fantastic follow-up novel to A.C. Gaughen’s Reign the Earth. I’m usually not a fan of pirate books or books set-at-sea, but Imprison the Sky completely changed that for me. I loved how it interwove elements and charatcers from book #1 while introducing us to a new cast. The world-building and twists constantly kept me on the edge of my seat. Although I’m so sad that there are currently no plans for books #3 and #4, I highly recommend picking up these books!
Lovely War by Julie Berry
Julie Berry’s Lovely War is hands-down my favorite historical fiction read of the eyar. I didn’t read as much in the genre as I would have liked, but Lovely War easily made up for itself. Julie Berry’s writing style is absolutely beautiful. The book is narrated by Aphrodite and other Greek Gods, following four characters whose lives are interwoven with one another over the course of World War I.
In honor of Top Five Wednesday Rewind Month, my T5W topic for today is a throwback to February 2017. It may be bit of a surprise but I do have interests outside of books… for the most part. While reading is my #1 hobby way of life, you won’t always find me lost in the books. I love watching monthly favorites videos on Youtube, so it ‘ll be fun to channel my inner lifestyle blogger today.
Coach-Many thanks to my mom to giving me this obsession, but Coach is hands-down my favorite brand when it comes to bags. Being that Coach can be a bit on the pricey (but considerably low side for designer) side and I live that #brokecollege student life, the two bags below have both been treat yo ‘self gifts that I bought both at my local Coach outlet. I also don’t mind putting out a bit more money for Coach because I know the bags will last for a very long time. I’ve been using the tote to hold my laptop and personal items when I go to my internship, and the cross-body has been my go-to bag for city trips and days out with friends. I’ve also found that both bags compliment almost any outfit!