The book review of 2021

Hello everyone! Today is Steph and Jana’s special favourites edition of Show Us Your Books. Once again I am linking up in the form of this survey, which I got from Kezzie. The original is by The Perpetual Page Turner and has more/different questions.

Best book you read in 2021:

It’s a children’s book, but The Edge of the Ocean by L.D. Lapinski, book 2 of the Strangeworlds Travel Agency series was one of the few books I gave 5 stars this year.

Best children’s fiction:

Technically the answer to this should be the same as the above but to avoid repetition I’ll name another one that I loved. The Shark Caller by Zillah Bethel.

Best crime fiction:

No Way Out by Cara Hunter. I am really enjoying this series and book 3 was no exception.

Best classic:

I wasn’t sure I’d read any classics this year but looking back I found 3 that I think count. Of the three, I liked Of Mice and Men best although I didn’t exactly love that one.

Best non-fiction:

I read zero non-fiction books this year. I didn’t even finish the ones I started in 2020. Oh the shame!

Best dystopian fiction:

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel is the only dystopian book I read this year so that doesn’t leave me with much of a choice 😂. I gave it three stars.

Best YA:

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta. It was just a wonderful read with a fantastic main character and it really made me think about identity and how it is to be different.

Most surprising (in a good way) book read in 2021:

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman. When I started reading it I wasn’t sure I was going to like it but I ended up giving it 4 stars.

Book You Read In 2021 That You Recommended Most To Others:

 The only book I remember specifically recommending to someone that wasn’t one I read in a previous year is A Wolf for a Spell by Karah Sutton so that one I guess.

Best series you discovered in 2021:

I could give the same answer for this question as the next one but I prefer not to so for this one I’ll say the Three Pines series by Louise Penny although I’ve only read the first two so far.

Favourite new to you author you discovered in 2021:

Talia Hibbert. I read the entire Brown Sisters trilogy this year and really enjoyed them all.

Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love But Didn’t:

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. I didn’t hate it, I was just expecting something different and found myself bored in places.

Best Book That Was Out Of Your Comfort Zone Or Was A New Genre To You

Storm Front by Jim Butcher. Urban fantasy isn’t usually my thing but I really enjoyed this one.

Book You Read In 2021 That You’re Most Likely To Read Again In The Future:

I’ve changed this question slightly because I’m never going to re-read a book the following year (obviously excluding picture books that I fully expect to read to my child over and over!). I definitely intend to read The Pages and Co. series by Anna James again, either just for myself or with the baby in (quite) a few years. This year I read book 3 – Tilly and the Map of Stories.

Favourite Book You Read in 2021 by an Author You’ve Read Previously:

Show Us Who You Are by Elle McNicoll. Her first book was good but this one was even better.

Best Book You Read In 2021 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I wasn’t really interested in reading it but when somebody on Show Us Your Books said it read like a fictional version of the story of Fleetwood Mac I decided I was intrigued after all.

Favourite Cover of a Book You Read in 2021:

Perfectly Preventable Deaths by Deidre Sullivan The book itself was good but not great but I adore the cover. I would genuinely hang a print of it in my home.

Book That Had The Greatest Impact On You In 2021:

After the Fire by Will Hill. It’s such an uncomfortable read but absolutely riveting and gives great insight into life in a cult.

Book You Can’t BELIEVE You Waited Until 2021 To Read:

There aren’t really any. Unusually I actually read a fair few newer books this year and the older ones I read weren’t so great that I asked myself what took me so long.

Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Her One Mistake by Heidi Perks. I was not expecting the culprit at all!

Favourite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2021 (be it romantic, friendship, etc):

The relationship between Liz and her brother in You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson is so heartwarming.

Most Memorable Character In A Book You Read In 2021:

Kya from Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. She’s so resilient and very different to any other character I read about this year.

Genre You Read The Most From in 2021:

Fantasy – specifically 12 middle grade fantasy, 4 adult fantasy and 7 young adult fantasy for a total of 23 books, or 27 if you include magical realism as fantasy. Romance comes in second with 22 books (14 adult and 8 young adult).

Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2021:

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren was a fun read that really put me in a Christmassy mood (even though we didn’t exactly celebrate Christmas this year).

Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2021:

The ending of Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard made me cry.

Book You Read in 2021 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out:

Into the Grey by Celine Kiernan. I’m not sure how I came across it and I certainly haven’t seen anyone else mention it but it’s well worth a read.

Total books finished in 2021: 113 (compared to 185 last year!). I surpassed my goal, which was 104.

The longest book I read in 2021 was River God by Wilbur Smith at 672 pages and the shortest was Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck with 118.

The first book I read this year was Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert and the last book I read was Dumplin‘ by Julie Murphy.

And finally, this year I read 32 books by BAME/BIPOC authors, which is more than last year’s 29 but still way too few!

Okay, that’s it. I need to go now and figure out why my baby is crying! (Don’t worry – she’s with daddy, I haven’t just abandoned her). Check out the link up to see what everyone else has read an loved this year.

6 thoughts on “The book review of 2021

  1. What a list! Great job! 113 books is amazing! You will for sure be reading and rereading books to your daughter this year 🙂 M reads the same book 4 times in a row before moving on to another. LOL

  2. I bet you can’t wait to share books with Z! My friend Kathy (who is my other person apart from you, whose book recommendations I trust best) keeps telling me I must read Pages and co!
    Haha, I laughed at your zero non fiction!

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