Top 5 Books I’ve Read in 2021
If you follow me on Instagram, it will be no surprise to you that I have been reading much more this year. When I was younger, I spent a lot of time reading and I enjoyed it so much. At the end of 2020, I decided to join several book clubs (some virtual) and one in real life in Tucson so I had some serious commitments to uphold this year when it came to reading. My goal was to get back into reading. I definitely think I've done a great job holding my end of the bargain when it came to the book clubs, but I've taken it beyond that because I really love specific authors and have been enjoying diving into even more books. I keep telling Aaron that if anyone asks what to get me as a gift for the holidays, I just want a Kindle gift card so I can keep adding to my library. For some people, movies and TV shows are the only way they can enjoy their free time, but I love disappearing into a good book and reading an author's writing to understand their character development, the twists and turns and also the entertainment through the various situations. Better yet, I love when someone has jokes that translate well to the written word. It is a true art to write something entertaining enough for people to read cover to cover, but even more incredible if there are jokes and the reader can literally laugh out loud reading. Enough on my love for reading, let's dive into some of my favorite books that I've read this year. Out of about 25 books I've read, I had to pick just a few I think you absolutely need to add to your "To Be Read" list, which is also known as the TBR List for those inside the reading bubble.
Verity by Colleen Hoover
One of my favorite Colleen Hoover books, as it's something slightly different from her usual romance novels. The element of mystery and adventure really drew me in, and this is definitely a romantic thriller which combines two of my favorite genres.
With so many twists and turns, this was definitely a storyline I did not expect. As the story developed, it was really something I couldn't get more of. Not to mention I had a lot of unease throughout all the scenarios as there was an eerie air to a lot of the happenings, and the house was large and seemed to have some sort of darkness to it. 4.5/5
Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino
A wholesome book that explores true love, difficult family dynamics and how people can find each other later in life. Someone you know from elementary school could potentially become someone you work with and cross paths with later on in life. With this story, you got a bit of that nostalgia and it is definitely something you understand, admire and almost yearn for.
Truly a beautiful story about struggles that could bind two people together for life. Not to mention "letting something go because you love it" has never been truer. There was such a beautiful story, and Renee really crossed her t's and dotted her i's. Tied the entire story with a bow and made it all come full circle at the end. I don't care what anyone says. We all love love. 5/5
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
One of my favorite books of all time. The message behind this is so important, and it really goes into the nitty gritty of how we excuse people we love for things we really shouldn't. We would excuse their wrongdoing, make excuses, justify their actions, even when they don't deserve it. It's because we love them, and our love and care for them makes us protective. Even at our own expense. This book may be a trigger for some due to domestic violence, but it is just so good.
You have the love story, but there's also so many elements to the story that just come together to form a diverse set of characters with a bit of a similiar twist like I enjoyed with Swear On This Life by Renee Carlino. Love a little nostalgic element. 5/5
The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
Not my usual genre, and definitely not a typical storyline that I would personally reach for. Honestly it was an intriguing read, and because it's completely outside of my usual reading material, I was blown away because it is definitely a great pick.
This was a historical novel about a dancehall girl and an orphan boy whose fates entangle over an old Chinese superstition about men who turn into tigers. The superstitious nature of this story really drew me in, and the complexity of the story was endearing. Not to mention a lot of the characters took me multiple chapters to really understand who they were, what their life was like and which part of the story they fit in. A lot of character development, but I will say that there was more I wanted at the end. Just like in lots of movies, I wanted the story to tell me more of what happens after the drama has been resolved 4/5
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
This was a tough book to put down from the very beginning. The allure of it was that we all have thoughts of "what if I did this?" and "what if I hadn't done that?" and the what ifs start to add up. The premise of the story is a lot of what if scenarios of the main character who chooses all the various verticals her life could have gone. When you're considering which life path you could have been on had you done just 1 thing differently, you really start to consider other outcomes. After reading a few chapters, I couldn't help but keep wondering if there is an alternate universe where the current version of us is next to another version slightly off in that other dimension.
This introspective, curious and inquisitive mode I turned on, was a lot of fun to process and digest because it gets you thinking about the possibility but it also helps you understand that no matter what you had done, sometimes the outcome would have still been the same.
While it was well written and really kept me entertained, it had a sadness throughout because the main character is going through all her regrets and sadness so it wasn't light and careful but I would certainly read it again and again! 4/5