My Favorite Books From 2021

favorite books from 2021

My Favorite Books from 2021 (that you can read in 2022!)

Another year, and another reading challenge has come and gone! 

For me, 2021 was the year that I got back into the reading groove. After a pretty depressing 2020 (I think for all of us, right?!) I actually started avoiding books because of my emotional state.

So it was a breath of fresh air to crack open a book and start turning the pages on a new chapter in my life. To find that enjoyment again in sitting down and and reading instead of laying in bed each night worrying about the world.

Not only did I start reading again, but I set a goal for the Goodreads Reading Challenge, met it, and exceeded it, reading 38/25 books. Boom.

Oh, and I also opened an online used bookstore :) So there's that, too.

Want to know which books left me stuck in my feelings and raving about them long after the final page? Keep reading, and - you can add some of these to your 2022 reading list!

My Top 7 Favorite Books I Read in 2021

(in no particular order)

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis > A string of disappearances have a peaceful suburb on edge. Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing; a young, new mother who never came home from a late-night jog, followed just weeks later by Meredith Dickey and her six year old daughter, Delilah.

Is it a coincidence that Shelby and Meredith knew each other? And that they were both testifying against the same person in an upcoming trial?

The case goes unsolved until eleven years later, Delilah returns. Sparking new questions among the mission to find out what really happened to Shelby, Meredith, and Delilah all those years ago.

Why I Loved This Book > I couldn't turn the pages fast enough and I loved Kubica's writing style, story-telling, and the details among all the characters. I can't wait to dive into another book by her!

If you like spoilers, you can check out my Book Chat edition of Local Woman Missing here. If you don't like spoilers, definitely don't click that link.

If you want to purchase this book for yourself, I may still have a copy left here!

How Lucky by Will Leitch

How Lucky by Will Leitch

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis > Daniel is your typical twenty-something male with a job in social media, a love for football, his hometown of Athens, Georgia, and a best friend who is more like a brother. He considers himself to be a pretty happy, pretty normal guy; despite the fact that he suffers from a terminal and debilitating illness that has left him unable to speak or to move without the use of his wheelchair.

Daniel's life is pretty ordinary. Until one day he realizes he's the sole witness in a kidnapping, and the only person in communication with the lead suspect. How can the one person with any knowledge of what really happened help when he's trapped in his own body and quickly becoming a target himself?

Why I Loved This Book > Oh my heart. How Lucky was clever, poignant, and a breath of fresh air. I laughed, I cried, I laughed and cried simultaneously, and then I hungrily turned the pages for more. In How Lucky, we get to meet Daniel, a young man living with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a degenerative disease that is similar to ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease).

Diagnosed when he was a child, Daniel's life has been split between living as normally and as fully as possible, while slowly watching his capabilities decline. Confined to the limitations of his body, the one thing that has remained strong is his mind.

Getting to know this character was an absolute treat; I found myself constantly cheering and wanting to know more about his life. This was definitely not my typical book choice, but it is, by far, the best book I've read in 2021 and maybe the only one I gave a 5 star rating to? 

You can read my full book review of How Lucky here.

Shop a copy here.

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

people we meet on vacation by emily henry

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

Synopsis > Poppy and Alex couldn’t be more different. She’s carefree and wild, he’s reserved and dresses only in khakis. But they say opposites attract, and this pair can’t help but instantly be the best of friends.

Every year, for the last twelve years, Poppy and Alex take an epic summer trip together. Until one night ruins it all. Now, Poppy is on a quest to make things right and get back the most important relationship she’s ever had.

Why I Loved This Book > PWMOV was funny, emotional, and gripping enough that I found myself feeling like I was falling in love all over again for the first time. While I was slightly disappointed in "the fight" that took place between Alex and Poppy that lead to their two years apart before reconnecting.. I absolutely adored this story and really teetered on the edge of giving it 5 stars. Because I'm stingy with my stars, I finally settled on 4.5. But one thing remains true: this is one book that needs to be moved up to the top of your TBR stack, pronto!

You can read my full book review of People We Meet on Vacation here.

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis > Things have been going wrong for Mr. and Mrs. Wright for awhile. When Adam and Amelia win a weekend away to a remote home in Scotland, they think it might just be the answer to save their failing marriage. 

Adam Wright has lived with facial blindness his entire life. He can't recognize anyone's face, not even those closest to him, including his wife. 

Every year on their anniversary, the couple exchanges traditional gifts, and Adam's wife writes him a letter that she never lets him read. Until now. 

They both know this weekend will either heal or break their marriage.

But the truth is, this trip wasn't a random win.

One of them is lying. And someone doesn't want them to live happily ever after.

Why I Loved This Book > If you know me then by now you should know that Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney is by far one of my favorite thrillers. Sad to say, her other books haven't quite lived up to the same hype. Although good, they haven't hit me the same way SIL did.

But RPS was a close second. I LOVE (and equally am disappointed in myself) when I can't guess an ending. And this ended left me blindsided. I had to go back and re-read pages just to try and understand HOW I MISSED IT!

I don't have an official review of this book on the site but if you love a plot twist, you need this one added to your TBR (and there may be one copy left here!)

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

a good girl's guide to murder by holly jackson

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis > The case has been closed. There's zero reason to reopen it. Except Pip Fitz-Amobi isn't buying what the media is selling.

Five years ago, fellow classmate Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh. 

But growing up in the same town consumed by this heinous crime, something just hasn't sat well with Pippa all these years. 

When she chooses the case as the topic for her senior year project, she starts digging into secrets that someone in town has been desperately trying to keep hidden.

If the real killer is still out there, is Pip only putting herself at risk?

Why I Loved This Book > Okay I lied. I did give another book a 5 star rating this year and this was the one!

I didn't realize this was a YA novel when I purchased it, but it didn't matter - I do enjoy a good YA book every now and then. But this one blew me away!

The story was witty, smart, engaging, and kept you hooked from page one. 

Even better? It's the first in a three part series so I will for sure be buying the other two and finding out what happens next! 

You can buy a copy of A Good Girl's Guide to Murder here

The Collective by Alison Gaylin

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis > Camille Gardner is a grieving and angry mother, who five years after her daughter was murdered, is still obsessed with the man she believes to be responsible.

When a sudden media outburst attracts the attention of a secret group of grieving mothers, The Collective, Camille is drawn into the dark web where these women share stories of loss, along with the sinister desire for justice. 

Fueled by mutual rage, these women stage their own anonymous acts of revenge killings. 

As Camille struggles to understand if this group is a role-playing release or a terrifying reality, she must decide where her morals stand. As she becomes more deeply involved, she'll learn truths about these women, herself, and the fact that she may not be able to survive.

Why I Loved This Book > This story was as heartbreaking as it was gripping, and it contained yet another ending that I'm disappointed (yet secretly love) I didn't see coming.

Pay attention to this one, folks. Don't let this ending pass you by blindly, either. The clues are there all along. 

Shop a copy here! 

best books of 2021

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis > Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam are at the top of their careers in the world of finance. Invited to participate in an escape room challenge to boost team-building, the competitive group of co-workers are eager to prove themselves.

But as they crowd into an elevator of a deserted building, they quickly find themselves stuck, without power, and it becomes clear this competition isn't what they believed it to be. Instead, it's a game of survival. 

Why I Loved This Book > The Escape Room reminded me of a tamed down version of SAW (have you seen those movies?) It's not a horror, it's not gory, but it's like - everyone has a secret and only the person behind this escape room knows what they are. 

I really loved the back and forth story telling between present day and the events leading up to the elevator ride, and while I started to guess the ending about halfway through, I definitely wasn't disappointed with how things turned out.

Shop your own copy here

Your turn! What were your favorite reads from last year?!

 

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