Best Books of 2021 // the perfect combination of indecisiveness and bookish love

Turns out I am indecisive as hell. I thought having a running list throughout the year would help, but nope. I ended up with nearly 30 titles on my best of year list. Which simply will not do. When attemping to whittle down the list I asked myself one main question: what books will I remember for years to come?

From that came my list. Of the top 15(ish) but who is counting, really? I read nearly 175 books this year, let me have this, ok? I simpily could not pick 10. We are going to count down this list, ending with number one (which I’m sure many of you can predict at this point.) Ok? Ok. Lets do this.

This is how fake dating is done. Sunshine x grumpy, exploration of toxic friendships, and absolutely guaranteed to make you smile. This is book is an absolute joy and seals the deal on the fact that I will read everything Adiba Jaigirdar ever writes. 

Somehow this book makes insta love work. Because it becomes about the future, identity, and building a relationship from there. With a sun/moon dynamic and a found family to literally die for, this book truly is heartbreaking, heartwarming, and simply everything

 Y’all. This is the lost princess mixed with a bodyguard romance. Not to mention some of the best voice i’ve read in YA this year. With themes of identity and all the royal drama one could possibly hope for, Tokyo Ever After is the perfect read to kick back with on a summer day.

 This is a book about intersectional feminism at it’s finest. “Because everyone loves a girlboss until she tries to tell you what to do.” Yep, yep, yep. Add in a super sweet romance and amazing character development, this book is immaculate.

Wow wow wow. Once again balancing romance with incredibly serious subject matter, Garrett knows the story she wants to tell and tells it with the perfect combination of heart and skill. Everything about this book, just yes.

I mean, first off wow. This book is full of heart. And a healthy dose of pain. Throughout the entirety of it, you can’t help but root for the characters as they claim their own narrative and grapple with abuse within the music industry. I just love this book so much.


I swear this book spoke to me in a way I totally did not expect. I was expecting a romcom, not to be called out in a portrayal of grief that hit so close to home. Because damn, did the portrayal of grief hit close to home. So many of Emily’s thoughts and feelings mirrored my own and really made this book a punch in the gut. In the best way possible. Emily’s journey to discover herself and continue moving forward in the wake of her mother’s death was just such a journey. 


Spooky and spectacular! The characters are absolutely delightful. Even though this is a single POV narrative, each character manages to come alive through their characterization and voice. The hype was once again strong with this one, but let me tell ya, Cemetery Boys swept me off of my feet. This disaster! at the graveyard delivered in every way. 


It’s no secret that I love pirates, but I have to say my favorite pirate duology of them all is hands down the Fable duology. And Namesake truly sealed the deal on this one. Upping the stakes of its pressessor, adding in more schemes, court drama, and betrayal to make a gripping final book. Add in Young’s captivating writing and imagery to DIE FOR and you’ve got a top book of the year.


This character driven NA novel reinvented the meaning of the words “personal growth.” Wow wow wow. Grace’s journey with academia, mental health, and relationship with some random girl she married in Vegas is beautifully captured. And I still can’t get over the fact that Rogers did it all in LESS THAN 300 PAGES??? What is this emotionally-destroying-sorcery?!?


I refuse to pick just one, because they are both absolute gems of books. angsty romance, political intrigue, a Romeo and Juliet retelling that is so perfect, yet keeps you on your toes at every turn. Every character, every word, every chapter of this book is crafted with such care and it shows. This duology is an absolute showstopper and needs to be in the hands of fantasy lovers everywhere. 


Everytime I think of this book, my heart swells and I want to cry. Happy or sad tears depending on what day it is. Down Comes the Night is dark, enthralling, and packed to the brim with romantic tension. I cannot even begin to fully explain my love for this book, it is simply wonderful. 


Ciara Smyth might be one of the funniest people to walk the planet, literally ever. I love the voice, humor, and authenticity she brings to every story. This coming of age story is the perfect mix of laugh out loud hilarity (yes, hyena on helium level) (i mean, THE ENTIRE GETAWAY SCENE!) (and literally every time Kavi spoke) and serious topics. Love, love, love. 


Schemes! Dragons! Waffles! Bardugo knows how to weave a story. With faves like Nina and Nikolai reamerging and new faves, like Zoya, taking center stage, King of Scars is a perfect balance of characters and plot. Reading this book brought me unexplainable amounts of joy and might even be my favorite book in the entire Grishaverse. 


Number one takeaway from this year, Alice Oseman is a word wizard. I love all of their works, but Heartstopper has got to be my fave. The characters and romance just make my heart so warm and fuzzy. I have honestly lost track of how many times I’ve reread this one, but each time is like the first, always making me grin like an actual idiot. 


This book is not only my favorite book of the year, but my favorite book ever. It speaks to my soul. Everything about this book is brilliant. Seriously, I cannot even begin to articulate how much this book means to me. The humor, the exploration of biphobia, the characters. Just everything about this book. I love it with my whole heart. 

Y’all. I’m just blown away by how many good books I’ve read this year. So many great ones, but these ones really hold a special place in my heart. Ok, I think I’m just going to call this post a wrap before I start rambling in that generic-and-basic-cheeseball-post-ending way that I do.

What are some of your top reads of the year? Any I should put on the priority tbr?

27 thoughts on “Best Books of 2021 // the perfect combination of indecisiveness and bookish love

  1. Omg what you said about Not my Problem, SO, SO, SO TRUE!!! That book is PERFECTION and literally every single thing about it!! IS SO AMAZING!!! April, I love this post so much!!!


  2. Haha i was getting worried because I honestly have not read all that many of the books on this list but I’ve read all of the top four (and several were on MY favorites list) so we’re all good!!! Aaah but perfect on paper and not my problem are both SO good and I’m happy you loved them too!!!


  3. Ahh king of scars has been on my TBR forever, I don’t know how I’ve avoided it for so long 😂😂 and HEARTSTOPPER!!!!! One of my favourite comics ever, Alice oseman an is a genius.
    Great post!


  4. For a moment there i thought I was reading my own favourites post because TVD! Not my problem! Perfect on paper! King of scars! Cemetery Boys!
    All of them are AMAZING reads and definitely deserve all the love they get. And I’m desperate to read if this gets out and down comes the night because I know i’ll love them, hopefully in January 🤞


  5. I’ve heard how fun Tokyo Ever After is, glad to see that you loved it! And ooh yes, These Violent Delights, definitely one worth all the hype! I really need to get to Perfect on Paper, so happy that you found a read this year you loved so much! Great post April, and here’s to many more excellent books in 2022! 😚


  6. Yay, These Violent Delights and Not Here to be Liked made it to your top favs of 2021. I’m too hyped for Down Comes the Night (sadly the ebook is not available in India) and Perfect on Paper.


  7. I’m so so happy that you read so many wonderful books this year!! ♥ I also read (and sobbed) over These Violent Delights and Our Violent Ends and also enjoyed Perfect on Paper – it was so cute!! Can’t wait to see which books blow you away in 2022!!! (:


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