The Best Books I Read in 2021!

Hi all! This year, or rather last year, I read almost 50 books, which is probably the most I’ll ever read in a year. 😆 Today I’ll be sharing my top 5 novels of 2021! However, I’ll be sharing some honourable mentions as well because I read so many amazing books this year. Also, if you’ve recapped your 2021 in any way on your blog, do share the link in the comments. I’d love to see all the lovely books you’ve read in 2021 too. Alrighty, let’s get into it!

(PS: Click on the book covers to add them to Goodreads.)

5. Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

I loved loved loved Instructions for Dancing…until the ending. Unfortunately, it was too anti-climatic. However, the journey this book puts you through is incredible. The main characters are so lovable, and the writing was humorous yet heart-wrenching. Instructions for Dancing was the perfect mix of emotional yet funny, which in hindsight is an odd combination, but definitely a good one.

4. Made in Korea by Sarah Suk

Made in Korea | Book by Sarah Suk | Official Publisher Page | Simon &  Schuster Canada

Made in Korea was my first physical ARC, so it’ll always hold a special place in my heart. I also interviewed the author, you can find that post here! The banter in this book was phenomenally done, to the point where I even want to re-read it, and I never re-read! The entrepreneurial aspect was awesome too.

3. Rumaysa: A Fairytale by Radiya Hafiza

This book surprised me so much! It’s a middle-grade novel that features beautiful illustrations inspired by South Asia. (It’s not a graphic novel though, in case you were wondering. 🙂) Nevertheless, Rumaysa was amazing! The heroine was spunky, and the story was absolutely hilarious! However, it’s the important lessons of following one’s heart and helping others that really stuck with me…and also the delicious descriptions of desi food. *sigh* I’d really love a hot cup of chai and a samosa right now.

2. Once Upon an Eid by A Collection of Authors (Edited by S.K. Ali and Aisha Saeed)

Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices : Ali, S. K.,  Saeed, Aisha, Alfageeh, Sara: Amazon.ca: Books

Once Upon an Eid made my heart feel so full! It tells a variety of stories, all of which show diverse perspectives and traditions that happen during the month of Ramadan, and on Eid. I felt like I learnt so much about the world through this book. Overall, it was incredibly wholesome and very joyful. I highly recommend it!

1. A Castle in the Clouds by Kerstin Gier

A Castle in the Clouds: Gier, Kerstin, Fursland, Romy: 9781250300195: Books  - Amazon.ca

And now, in first place I give you 🥁*drumroll please*🥁 A Castle in the Clouds by Kerstin Gier! This was one of my first reads of the year, and it was amazingly cozy. It’s essentially a mystery set in the mountains, and I loved it! From the hilarious dialogue, to the warm writing, A Castle in the Clouds is the winter read you’ve been endlessly searching GoodReads for! You can read my full review here.

Honorable Mentions

In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens

Both of these books are adventure based, and are very easy reads. In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens was a sweet book with lovely writing. I definitely recommend! Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne was such a fun and enticing book that I recommend to anyone wanting to get into classical novels.

Feel free to read my interview with the author of In Deeper Waters here! I wish I could also interview Jules Verne, but sadly time travelling back to the 1800s will be a difficult feat. You can however, read my full review of Journey to the Center of the Earth here!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my favourite books of 2021. I’m grateful to have read such amazing books, and hope to expand my reading to new genres like fantasy and historical novels. What genres do you hope to read more of in 2022? Have a lovely day!

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The Mid Year Freakout Book Tag!

Hiya!! It’s been a while since I’ve done a tag, so I thought why not do one again? For those of you who don’t know, this tag is a bit like a six month bookish wrap up in tag form. I hope you enjoy!

The Best Books You’ve Read so Far

In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens

New Releases You Haven’t Read Yet, but Want To

Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of the Year

There are so many that come to mind! But here are the first three that I thought of. It All Comes Back to You by Farah Naz Rishi looks so fun! The cover is also stunning as well! The Lady or the Lion by Aamna Qureshi is a YA fantasy with a Pakistani setting. I’ve never read a fantasy inspired by Pakistani culture, so I’m super excited to read it! Not Here to Be Liked by Michelle Quach is another release I’m also very excited for!

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Biggest Disappointment

A Song Below Water: A Novel : Morrow, Bethany C.: Amazon.ca: Books

I had such high hopes for One Last Stop. However, it unfortunately missed the mark for me.

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Biggest Surprise

Rumaysa: A Fairytale: Hafiza, Radiya, Siddique, Areeba, El Touny, Rhaida:  9781529038309: Books - Amazon.ca

This is a middle grade retelling of three fairytales but with a desi (South Asian) twist. And I adored it! It was filled with girl power, fun plots, and amazing representation!

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Favorite New to You Author

We Can't Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon

We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon was my first book of theirs, and probably won’t be the last!

Favorite Debut Author

Made in Korea by Sarah Suk

Sarah Suk’s debut novel was one of my favorites this year. I didn’t think I’d love it as much as I did, but Made in Korea was so good!

Newest Favorite Characters

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

I really enjoyed reading about Evie and X from Nicola Yoon’s newest book Instructions for Dancing! They were both funny and charming.

A Book That Made You Cry

Turtle Under Ice by Juleah del Rosario

Juleah del Rosario’s Turtle Under Ice was incredibly heartbreaking and emotional. It’s about a mother’s death and sisterly love, and was just so beautiful.

A Book That Made You Happy

A Taste for Love: Yen, Jennifer: 9780593117521: Books - Amazon.ca

A Taste For Love by Jennifer Yen was such a fun book on food and familial relationships. It definitely put a smile on my face!

Favorite Post You’ve Done This Year

In January I did a post where I gave recommendations based off of people’s favorite Avatar the Last Airbender and Legend of Korra character. Feel free to read the post here!

Books You Need to Read By the End of the Year

I hope you enjoyed the tag! Here are some lovely people I nominate to do this one as well. (This is just for fun, so if you don’t feel like it, than no worries!) Also, if you’ve done this tag before, feel free to link it in the comments so I can read yours as well. 😀

I tag…

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June Wrap-Up

Hi everyone! Today I’ll be talking about all the books I read in June. Much to my surprise, I read 12 novels, two of which were carry over books from May. I also completed my goodreads reading challenge of 25 books, which I never thought would be possible! Anyways, let’s get right into it!

Novels I Read

(ARC) We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon: (4.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was my first Solomon book, and will definitely not be the last! You can read my review here.

Once Upon an Eid by A Collection of Authors: (5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I loved this so much!! It’s incredibly joyful and educational. I l highly recommend it. Review to come!

(ARC) Rumaysa by Radiya Hafiza: (4.75 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was a huge surprise, but in the best way possible. If you love fairytale retellings, than this is a must read! Review to come!

(ARC) One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston: (1.75 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐ After hearing such great things about the book, I was super excited when I got around to reading it. But One Last Stop was such a disappointment. Feel free to read my review here. –Buddy read with the amazing Calliope!

Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes: (3.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐ This was both fast paced and educational! Which I’ve come to know is my favorite combination.

Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan: (3.25 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐ I’ve been meaning to get into Dugan’s writing for quite a while now. And well, this was just okay. Review to come! –Buddy read with the amazing Calliope!

A Taste for Love by Jennifer Yen: (4 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ A Taste for Love was such a surprise! I adored this one immensely. Review to come!

The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons: (3.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐ I enjoyed my time reading this one, but it wasn’t very memorable.

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney: (3.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐ Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry was one of my most anticipated releases of 2021, and well, it was just meh. I loved the witty banter and lists, but nothing stood out to me unfortunately. Review to come!

May the Best Man Win by Z.R. Ellor: (4 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was the most conflicted rating I’ve ever given. The main characters weren’t likeable at all, but it was such a whirlwind of emotions. Review to come! –Buddy read with the lovely April @ Booked Till Midnight!

Your Heart My Sky by Margarita Engle: (3.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐ Your Heart My Sky is an incredibly heart wrenching story told in verse. I learnt a lot about Cuba in the 1990s, which was great! However, the ending was too unclear.

Graphic Novels and Manga read

Blue Lock Volume 12 by Muneyuki Kaneshiro and Yusuke Nomura: (4.25 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This volume was really interesting! However, it didn’t stand out as much as the previous ones.

Blue Flag Volume 6-8 by Kaito: (4.75 out of 5) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This series is incredibly eye opening and emotional, so I’m sad to see it end. My only complaint is that some questions where left unanswered. Nevertheless it’s still such a great manga that I highly recommend!

Moriarty the Patriot Volume 2 by Ryōsuke Takeuchi and Hikaru Miyoshi: (3.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐ While I admired certain concepts, others didn’t make much sense and seemed unnecessary. It’s still a great series though!

Spy x Family Volume 2 by Tatsuya Endo: (4.25 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Spy x Family is such a cute and fun series! And this volume definitely proved that statement.

A Sign of Affection Volume 3 by Suu Morishita: (4.75 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I really enjoyed this volume! It was super relaxing to read, if that makes sense. 😆

Shortcake Cake Volume 8 by Suu Morishita: (4.25 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ I think I put the wrong picture but essentially, this volume was really gripping!

Sugar in Milk by Thrity Umrigar and Khoa Le: (4.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was such a stunning story with beautiful art. It was like a warm hug!

The Floating Field: How a Group of Thai Boys Built Their Own Soccer Field by Scott Riley, Nguyen Quang, and Kim Lien: (5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I LOVED this!! It’s an incredible picture book with a beautiful message. I definitely recommend it!

Total Number Of Books Read: 24

Total Number Of Posts Published: 

Average Rating: 7/10 or 3.5 out of 5 stars

I didn’t have enough time to hop over on the blogsphere last month. So if I missed any of your posts, feel free to link them down below!

First, let’s recap! Last month I said I’d read four novels, read three netgalley ARCs, and drink more water. Luckily, I read over four novels, and got through three of my Netgalley ARCs! Did I drink enough water though…Maybe?

Some of my goals for July include…

  • Finish two netgalley ARCs
  • Read 10 novels
  • Drink lots of water

And that’s a wrap! I hope you enjoyed reading about my June in books, I’d love to know about yours too! If you’d like, you can read last month’s wrap up here. Have a lovely day!

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