My Favourite Books of 2021 (so far)

15 September 2021

It’s so strange to think we’re into September and I’ve not spoken to you about my favourite books throughout the year. I mean, considering I haven't been blogging it isn't that strange, but I still find it weird that I could make a reference to a book and you will have no clue that I loved it because there has been no opportunity for me to declare my love for it. I had initially expected to do a whole series of catch up reviews to help you learn what I've been enjoying reading through 2021 but I cannot be bothered to write a detailed review for each of them. Hear me out, yes I've enjoyed each and every book here, but I wasn't writing the same notes and comments to myself after finishing reading while I wasn't blogging. Even when I thought it would be a few weeks break from blogging, it's like I subconsciously knew that I wouldn't be around for a while. It does help that at the start of the year when the blogging hiatus began I hardly read a thing and when I started to read again, I didn't want to worry about reviews, I just wanted to enjoy reading.


I do still want to give you some highlights because these books deserve some love and they honestly helped brighten up my year when I needed it. I might have escaped into more TV shows than books but I have still been enjoying reading and these are the books I've loved and a few honourable mentions of books I liked but won't be placed on a favourites list.

The House in the Cerulean Sea – TJ Klune

I feel like every other blogger in the world, who hasn't enjoyed this book over the past year? It was actually Vera, from Wordy and Whimsical, who first put it on my radar. I'd seen it about and loved the cover but she was the first person to say to me it was really good and recommend it. I thought it would be like usual, someone tells me a book is good and I refuse to read it. It was actually my final Scribd audiobook before I cancelled my subscription as my phase of listening to audiobooks ended for no apparent reason.


This book begins slowly, it is far more about the character's journey than some epic plot, but that is what made it so wonderful. Every single child at the orphanage won me over and I was crying listening to this. There were actual tears while I was working and listening! It could have been embarrassing but I just thought it was utterly charming. I have even bought the Illumicrate exclusive edition that came out (even though I vowed not to) because I can see myself returning to this book over and over again.

The Widow of Rose House – Diana Biller

I bought this book in 2020 because I'd seen it on Twitter and then I saw that Nick of The Infinite Limits of Love liked it and we all know Nick just has to mention a book and I'm ready to buy it because I know her readings tastes are pretty similar to mine. I tried to read it last year during one of my many book slumps of the pandemic but ended up putting it to one side. I figured new year, new me... Or new year, new reading attitude? I don't know, but I figured it was time to give it another chance and I am so glad I did. I already knew that my abandoning it last year was very much a me issue rather than a book issue, but you do worry sometimes. I think the fact I’d purchased a physical copy from Words & Kisses added another level of pressure to love it because I owned an actual copy! Thankfully, the second time was the charm and I really did love this book. I thought Alva was an amazing main character who I cheered along the way. She deserved nothing but amazing things so when she met Sam I just knew they were going to be an amazing couple. She might not necessarily agree with that assessment but she soon began to care for Sam. I mean, who wouldn’t? The slightly creepy vibes in the house were perfect. I definitely feel like this would be the perfect spooky season read for those who don’t want anything too scary, this one won’t give you nightmares but has the perfect creepy vibes to it.

Act Your Age, Eve Brown – Talia Hibbert

It took me forever to finally read my preorder of this book. I knew I would love the book, how could I not? But I had been slow to pick it up, I think I was just scared to leave the Brown sisters and wanted to prolong my time with the family. I worried that Eve wouldn't be to my tastes, she had always been a little all over the place, but as soon as the book started I was ready to slap myself, Talia Hibbert only writes brilliant characters. Of course, I was charmed by her and I loved every moment of this book. I can't wait to reread all three books and am obviously eagerly anticipating my next Talia Hibbert read. Well done me for not having caught up on her backlist yet.

The Roommate – Rosie Danan

This was another Nick motivated purchase. I feel like Nick had read this month's before it was ever released so when I saw that there were signed preorders at Words and kisses I was ready to preorder mine. I then proceeded to not read it for months until I realised the next book in the series was already out and it was ridiculous to keep waiting. As soon as I started I didn't want to stop. A romance involving a porn star shouldn't work. It should be ridiculous, but I loved it. I was hooked and it was fun and interesting and I then regretted not reading it when it was released because why wasn't I part of the hype for this one? I got there eventually, though.

You Had Me At Hola – Alexia Daria

I feel like this book was everywhere when it was first released. I ended up treating myself to the book at some point and then promptly didn't read it. Then, one sunny day in my mom's garden I figured why not? I am pretty certain it was during a mini-heatwave in the UK, it might have even been after I got my first vaccine injection, as I did spend the whole day after that reading and enjoying myself. And this is the book I was reading (I think). It was just pure escapism, exactly the kind of book I want to read on a sunny day and lose myself in. I thought the romance between the characters and then the characters they were playing on the show was genius. I had thought it might be awkward, but it was executed really well (in my opinion).

How to Talk to a Goddess and Other Lessons in Real Magic – Emily Croy Barker

I don't think I've ever talked enough about my love for the first book in this series, The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic. I borrowed it years ago from the library and adored it, I was then horrified to learn there was no sequel out. I have been following along to the author's website and social media for updates so I was overjoyed to finally hear the second book had been released. Sadly, it was released in audio first but I usually want to read books rather than listen since I'm not listening to audiobooks much when I work. Thankfully, the ebook wasn't too far behind the audio. I actually decided to read the first books again, just to see if it aged well for me or was actually awful and I should skip the sequel. I adored it completely and bought the second book so fast after finishing.


Sequels are a daunting prospect, especially when this one was so highly anticipated. It was years in the making! It met all expectations and I read it as fast as I could. I would have happily skived off work to finish. This book even forced me to take lunch (something I often work through at home) just so I had more reading time. Even getting up at 6:30 seemed reasonable to get in as much reading time as possible. I don't want to spoil anything but this book was good. Even though I would have liked the romance to be more in focus than it was, that's just me. It was still really good. Now I just have to see if there is another long wait for another book in this series as there is so much more story to tell.

Empire of Sand – Tasha Suri

I was in the fantasy romance mood at this point and every time I googled to see which books fit that category this book appeared. I had bought it after seeing some hype about it on Twitter and then I promptly read nothing about what it was about and it was left to gather dust on my Kindle. I am so glad I finally pulled my finger out (as you can see, there's a general theme with my reading) I loved it. This book was amazing with a strong female character and such an interesting world was built here. And it was all done within one book. So many books rely upon it being part of a series to wrap up the plot and develop the world as the series goes along, but here there is a wonderful story and well-developed world and characters all finished within the book. There is another book to the series but it focuses on different characters. I 100% recommend this one to people, it completely transported me to another world.

One Night Stand with the Sexiest Man Alive – Ainslie Paton

I couldn't decide if this book was a favourite or an honourable mention. I decided I enjoyed it enough it deserved to be a favourite because it reminded me how much I love Ainslie Paton's writing and it was a surprise read for me as I had practically forgotten I owned it until I used a random number generator to pick my reads. It was fun, interesting and had me swooning (and laughing). Honestly, this book has all the things I look for in a good contemporary read, and it did all that along with being a short read so my attention span could handle it. I am definitely reading the other two books in this series (although, who knows how long it'll take me to get around to them knowing me) and I will happily recommend it to the others looking for a fun quick read too.


Honourable Mentions

When I was writing this post I looked back through my reads of 2021 and there were so many books I would have talked about on my blog at some point but wouldn't necessarily call a favourite and I wanted to give them a chance to shine too. The above books are my honourable mentions, I may not adore them completely but I really enjoyed reading for various reasons or feel like the book will stay with me for a while. Like My Dark Vanessa, that is not a favourite and it was like nothing else I've read this year, but it lingered. It was such a dark read and very emotional seeing this woman come to terms with the fact her first love actually abused her the lasting impact that had upon her. It won't be a book for everyone but it was such a captivating read all the same. Then there are books like Acting UpThe Accidentals and The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting. All three are romances and I really liked them, but they won't win places on a favourites of the year list for me. I really enjoyed them, though. I mean, Acting Up and The Gentle Art of Fortune hunting introduced me to new authors and I will definitely be reading more from each and I would say to others check them out too.

Have you read any of the books which I’ve mentioned? What have been your favourite books of 2021 so far? And do you have any books which aren’t necessarily favourites but you think deserve some attention all the same?

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