Hello! I’ve finally got round to doing the end of year book survey for 2021. This is one mega post where I talk about all the amazing books I read last year, my blogging life as well as titles I’m looking forward to read in 2022.
2020 Reading Stats
Most Read Genre – Fantasy
Best Book You Read in 2021?
Gah! Start with an easy one why don’t you? I am SO BAD at narrowing things down to just one book, but if you’re making me choose, it would have to be Jade Legacy. It was the perfect ending to what has become one of my all time favourite series, and the scope of the books in general is just immense in both characters and time. I was so sad when it ended, and will definitely be returning to this world again soon.
Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
I had a few disappointing reads last year, but I think one of the worst was The Death of Jane Lawrence. I was so excited going into this book and, although it started off well it went down some really weird tangents and just bit off a little more than it could chew.
Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
I didn’t really have any expectations going into this one but, even though I’d been a little let down by stand alone’s, I really really loved this one. Ross managed to fit everything from character growth to a well thought out and explained magic system into this story and I was surprised at how much I loved it.
Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
I know a few people who ended up reading this series because of my reviews and just general love for it, and I also ended up gifting it to a few friends I knew would love it. It’s such a fantastic fantasy series, I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say they didn’t enjoy it.
Best series you started in 2021? Best Sequel? Best Series Ender of 2021?
These three were the perfect starts to, what I know will be, some of my all time favourite series. They couldn’t be less alike, except for them all being fantasy, and I seriously can’t wait to get my hands on the next books.
These three were the most emotional and epic series finales ever! I’m lucky that I buddy read them all because I needed someone to cry and whoop with, as well as just gush over how amazing they all were.
Favourite new author you discovered in 2021?
Little Thieves swiftly wormed it’s way into my heart, and onto my top reads of the year. Owen’s certainly has a knack for writing brilliant characters, and I just really struggled to put this book down. I laughed I cried and then I instantly went and bought her backlog of books to read.
Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
A friend of mine kept pestering me to read this and I am SO GLAD that she did! Mirrorland was such an epic and twisty book that had me horrified in parts. I just loved the overall atmosphere of the book and, even thought I’m a wimp, loved the dark and sometimes scary parts the most.
Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
It may not have been the most action packed… well not until the end anyway, but I seriously struggled to put this book down. It’s rare for the middle book in a trilogy to be better than the first, but this certainly was.
Book You Read In 2021 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I’m still sad that there hasn’t been an announcement for the next book in this series yet, but that just means I’ll have to re-read this to get my fix of Fatma and Siti. I adore the uniqueness of these books, as well as all the amazing characters, and could definitely see myself giving this a re-read.
Favourite cover of a book you read in 2021?
I can’t possible pick just one for this, so here’s some of my faves:
Most memorable character of 2021?
Every single character in this book was amazing, but my favourite has to be Lucy, the Antichrist and Talia, the Gnome with too fond a liking for murder. Their scenes had me cackling, as well as crying throughout the book and I just couldn’t get enough of them.
Most beautifully written book read in 2021?
I had no idea what to expect going into this book, but it just blew me away. I think I’d highlighted a good 50% of it because of how beautifully it was written, and seriously need the author to write another adult fantasy!
Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2021?
Maybe not life- changing, but the Maid certainly made me think about how Maids view us when we stay at hotels. Molly was a really unique perspective, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to had a maid clean my room in a hotel again lol.
Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2021 to finally read?
I was terrible for reading backlist books last year, but this is one I did pick up and found it to be quirky but entertaining. Anyone who wanted a little more fantasy in their Sherlock Holmes should definitely give this one a go.
Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2021?
This is impossible to pick just one, so here are a few of my faved:
The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina – “There were hundreds of things Marimar wanted to know. Why is this happening? Why can’t we stop it? Why didn’t you try to tell me sooner? Who are you? Why do this? What broke your heart so completely that it’s splinters found their way through generations.”
A Radical Act of Free Magic – “The dragon was above them when Hester stopped climbing and turned to face it. It’s neck pulled back and Fina saw the glow of fire in it’s chest. Hester’s voice was almost snatched away by the wind from its wings. But Fina heard her.
“Here I am!” She called. It was defiance and declaration and joy at once. It didn’t matter that the words were barely audible; it didn’t matter that the dragon had no language to understand them. It was the call with which Camille Desmoulins had set a revolution on fire and with which Toussaint Louverture had summoned a storm; the call of magic wild and free. Her eyes blazed with it. “Come to me.”
Our Violent Ends – “Juliette was not frightened. If anything, she was only resentful – not at Roma, but at herself. At wanting to lean in even while Roma was actively trying to kill her. At this distance between them that she had willingly manufactured, because they had been born into two families at war, and she would rather die at Roma’s hands than be the cause of his death.”
Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2020?
Book That Shocked You The Most?
This wasn’t a shocking book in general, but I was surprised by how much I loved it. It’s such an underrated gem and honestly, if you are a fan of Arthurian lore you definitely need to get this on your TBR. It’s epic in every sense of the word and I loved seeing all the well known characters in this wholly new and unique setting.
OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
This should surprise no one with how much I loved this series. Roma and Juliette were just perfect and their ending in Our Violent Ends had me a sobbing mess. I mean, just look at some of their interactions…
“I will fight this war to love you, Juliette Cai. I will fight this feud to have you, because it was this feud that gave you to me, twisted as it is, and now I will take you away from it.”
“I made a vow to you, Roma.’ She took a step forward. No one stopped her. ‘Where you go, I go. I will not bear a day parted. I will take a dagger to my own heart if I must.”
Favourite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year?
Sibling Dex and Splendid Speckled Mosscap’s relationship is one I could just never get enough of. Seeing them open each others eyes and make them view the world, and themselves in a different light was special and hilarious in parts.
Favourite Book You Read in 2021 From An Author You’ve Read Previously?
I’m sure you all know how much I love Silvia Moreno-Garcia by now! She’s one of the few authors who have got me to read out of my comfort zone, proved again by this book. Historical Romance isn’t usually my jam, even if this did had a teeny bit of fantasy in it, but Nina and Hector stole my heart.
Best Book You Read In 2021 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.
I think this book was a mixture of all the above. I had had a friend tell me that I would love it and then I just saw it everywhere. After reading a few trusted bloggers reviews I picked it up and absolutely loved it.
Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2021?
Hilo gave me definite dilf vibes throughout this series, and even when he was murdering someone, or planning a murder or… well you get the jist, I just felt this pull towards him. He’s a character that looks like he could kill you & could actually kill you, but I love him all the same.
Best 2021 debut you read?
This was such a fun and intriguing read. I loved everything from the rag-tag group of characters to the unique magic system and just wish it was a little longer so we could spend more time in the world.
Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Whew does this series have some top-notch world building. Absolutely everything is vivid in these books, the world, the magic system and the characters. I love how, even with how much info we are given, it never get’s dumpy in anyway.
Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Andy Weir’s book in general never fail to put a smile on my face, but there was a specific character in this book that just made it so much more fun. Rocky is the side-kick I never knew I needed, but he absolutely made this book for me.
Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2021?
I wont lie, I cry at everything, but this book? this book broke me. As soon as I hit the plot twist I knew it wasn’t going to be a happy ending, but I still wasn’t quite prepared for what happened. Let’s just say I was a sobbing mess by the end.
Hidden Gem Of The Year?
This book get’s nowhere near as much hype as it deserves. Set in a fantasy Persian based world and focused on some truly broken characters I blitzed through this in a mater of hours, and desperately need to get book two on my hands asap.
Book That Crushed Your Soul?
This shouldn’t really be a surprise. I laughed, I gasped, I curled up into a ball and sobbed for a ridiculous amount of time. It’s Romeo and Juliette. I knew it wasn’t going to be a happy ending, but I wasn’t expected to feel as broke as I did after I finished.
Most Unique Book You Read In 2021?
Another book that’s a little out of my comfort zone, and definitely one of the more unique books I’ve read, but Williams manages to pull together the weirdest group of characters and make them into a family I would quite happily join. It’s dark, a little scary in parts, but he gives just enough humour to his characters so we never feel too bogged down.
Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
I was so disappointed in this book. I loved the first one, but this kind of went on it’s own little tangent and only around the last 15% of the book dealt with the events from book one.
Favourite post you wrote in 2021?
I’m so bad at selling my own posts, but these are a couple I was proud of.
Review – The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina
General Post – 50 Fantasy releases of 2022
Discussion post – The Benefit of Glossaries in Fantasy Novels
Favourite bookish related photo you took in 2021?
Not having a bookstagram I am notoriously bad at taking bookish photos, but I did like this one I took of my Moreno-Garcia collection… until I noticed the bloody envelope on the bottom shelf that is!
Best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, etc.)?
In person events just didn’t happen last year, but I did enjoy a few online ones including the Harper Voyager 2022 showcase… I can’t tell you how many books it added to my TBR.
Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2021?
Ooof I don’t know! I did find out I’m number 34 on this list of amazing bloggers by Feedspot which was awesome! I try not to get too bogged down in the stats side of my blog, so as long as I’m improving year by year, then I’m happy.
Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
Just life in general I suppose. Going from Lockdown to everywhere being open was weird because, as much as I wanted to go out, it just didn’t feel safe.
Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
General – My Favourite Fantasy Enemies to Lovers
Review – The Boy With Fire by Aparna Verma
Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
Gah, just my reviews in general I guess. As with most bloggers, they always end up being less interacted with than other styles of posts, but they are some that I put the most effort into.
Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
So the lovely Leah included this website in one of her TTT posts and I couldn’t believe I’d never heard of it. Not only does it already have a really great list of books that the have handily re-capped for you, but you can put requests in for books or series you want a re-cap of. Game changer!
Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I try not to give myself too many ‘goals’ to achieve, mainly because when I fail I will always get annoyed. I did, however, smash my goodreads goal which I am very happy about.
One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2020 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2022?
I think I put this off because I just wasn’t emotionally prepared enough for it. I just know it’s going to break me. I did just buy the kindle book though so fingers crossed I should get to it soon.
Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2022 (non-debut)?
I’ve just managed to snag an arc of this and it is a chunk! I loved Sim’s previous series and this one just sounds amazing, really excited to pick it up.
2022 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
I feel like this book has been on my TBR for ages and I’m so happy it’s finally being released! It’s got everything I love from mythology to a fantasy quest and I can’t wait to finally get a copy in my hands.
Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2022?
I can’t tell you how much I loved Black Sun and I am desperate to get my hands on the sequel. Roanhorse created one of the most unique fantasy worlds with this series and I can’t wait to return to it, and the characters that inhabit it.
One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2022?
As I said before, I try not to set any goals when it comes to my blog, mainly because I enjoy reading and don’t want it to turn into some sort of competition. I have set my usual Goodreads goal at 80 books this year, and have also taken part in the 12 friends, 12 months, 12 books prompt on twitter so would love to get those read this year. Other than that I just hope to continue to enjoy blogging, reading and interacting with all the amazing blogging friends I have.