It is that time of the year where all readers look back on their top 10 books from the past year. I love looking back on the books I’ve loved throughout the year and thought I’d join in and share my top 10. Here are my top 10 books of 2021!
Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas
If there’s one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it’s that a real man takes care of his family. As the son of a former gang legend, Mav does that the only way he knows how: dealing for the King Lords. With this money he can help his mom, who works two jobs while his dad’s in prison.
Life’s not perfect, but with a fly girlfriend and a cousin who always has his back, Mav’s got everything under control.
Until, that is, Maverick finds out he’s a father
This is the first book that I gave 5 stars to in 2021. Angie Thomas is such an extraordinary author and I did have high hopes for this book. It somehow managed to exceed them all. It is heart-breaking, heart-warming and extraordinary.
Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean
Izumi Tanaka has never really felt like she fit in—it isn’t easy being Japanese American in her small, mostly white, northern California town. Raised by a single mother, it’s always been Izumi—or Izzy, because “It’s easier this way”—and her mom against the world. But then Izzy discovers a clue to her previously unknown father’s identity… and he’s none other than the Crown Prince of Japan. Which means outspoken, irreverent Izzy is literally a princess.
In a whirlwind, Izzy travels to Japan to meet the father she never knew and discover the country she always dreamed of. But being a princess isn’t all ball gowns and tiaras. There are conniving cousins, a hungry press, a scowling but handsome bodyguard who just might be her soulmate, and thousands of years of tradition and customs to learn practically overnight.
I remember being incredibly surprised by this book because going into it I was not quite sure what to expect. I loved it though! It has enemies to lovers and such an intriguing story. I absolutely adored it and cannot wait for the sequel. My full review of this book can be found here.
The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe
For five years Nora’s been playing at normal. But she needs to dust off the skills she ditched because she has three problems:
#1: Her ex walked in on her with her girlfriend. Even though they’re all friends, Wes didn’t know about her and Iris.
#2: The morning after Wes finds them kissing, they all have to meet to deposit the fundraiser money they raised at the bank. It’s a nightmare that goes from awkward to deadly, because:
#3: Right after they enter bank, two guys start robbing it.
The bank robbers may be trouble, but Nora’s something else entirely. They have no idea who they’re really holding hostage…
I bought this one after hearing so many amazing things about it and it is safe to say I loved it. I read it incredibly quickly and it had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. It also has endometriosis representation which makes me very happy. I’d highly recommend this one!
This Can Never Not Be Real by Sera Milano
WITH NOTHING IN COMMON,
BY AN ACT OF TERRORISM,
CAN’T SURVIVE THE NIGHT
WITHOUT EACH OTHER.
In the unremarkable town of Amberside, the unthinkable has happened: Terrorists have attacked a local festival. No one knows why, and no one knows who the attackers are, but that doesn’t matter. What matters first is survival. And what matters after that is survival, too.
This is a book I’d heard nothing about until a proof copy arrived at my front door. I picked it up immediately and finished it within hours. It was a 5-star read that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. This book is extraordinary, heart-breaking, thrilling and incredibly fast-paced. If you haven’t read this book yet I highly recommend it! My full review of this one can be found here.
Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar
Everyone likes Humaira “Hani” Khan—she’s easy going and one of the most popular girls at school. But when she comes out to her friends as bisexual, they invalidate her identity, saying she can’t be bi if she’s only dated guys. Panicked, Hani blurts out that she’s in a relationship…with a girl her friends absolutely hate—Ishita “Ishu” Dey. Ishu is the complete opposite of Hani. She’s an academic overachiever who hopes that becoming head girl will set her on the right track for college. But Ishita agrees to help Hani, if Hani will help her become more popular so that she stands a chance of being elected head girl.
I adored Adiba’s first novel so had to give her second a read and I loved that one too. I’ve recommended this one to so many people ever since. Adiba Jaigirdar’s books are extraordinary and I always fly through them in a couple of sitting. If you haven’t read this one yet you are really missing out. I wrote a full review of this book which you can find here!
This is My Truth by Yasmin Rahman
Best friends Amani and Huda are getting nervous about their GCSEs – and their future beyond school, which they’re both wildly unprepared for. Shy, quiet Amani has an outwardly picture-perfect family – a father who is a successful TV presenter, a loving mother, and an adorable younger brother – while confident and impulsive.
Huda has grown up with over-affectionate foster parents who are now expecting a baby of their own. Both girls are jealous of each other’s seemingly easy life, without realising the darkness or worries that lie underneath. Then Huda witnesses Amani’s father hitting her mother, and Amani’s biggest secret is suddenly out. As Amani convinces Huda to keep quiet by helping her with her own problems, a prank blog starts up at school, revealing students’ secrets one by one. Will this anonymous blogger get hold of Amani’s secret too? Will Huda keep quiet?
Yasmin Rahman is an absolutely incredible author. Her books are always hard-hitting, eye-opening and beautifully written. This book was extraordinary and I read it in a matter of sittings. I cannot recommend this book enough. I wrote a full review of this book which you can find here.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?
Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.
Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
2021 really was the year of Taylor Jenkins Reid books for me. I started reading her books at the beginning of the year and got round to reading this one in August. I am still thinking about it to this day. This book needs to be read by everyone it is spectacular. It destroyed me but I would not have it any other way. Please pick this book up!
Green Rising by Lauren James
Gabrielle is a climate-change activist who shoots to fame when she becomes the first teenager to display a supernatural ability to grow plants from her skin. Hester is the millionaire daughter of an oil tycoon and the face of the family business. Theo comes from a long line of fishermen, but his parents are struggling to make ends meet.
On the face of it, the three have very little in common. Yet when Hester and Theo join Gabrielle and legions of other teenagers around the world in developing the strange new “Greenfingers” power, it becomes clear that to use their ability for good, they’ll need to learn to work together. But in a time of widespread corruption and greed, there are plenty of profit-hungry organizations who want to use the Greenfingers for their own ends. And not everyone would like to see the Earth saved…
As they navigate first love and family expectations, can the three teenagers pull off the ultimate heist and bring about a green rising?
I don’t think I would be me if Lauren James’ books didn’t make it onto my favourites of the year list. I like the angle that this one takes with a climate change story and some activist main characters. I feel like this is one that we should all read to open our eyes about climate change, I would highly recommend this one. You can find my full review here.
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the real reason why they split at the absolute height of their popularity…until now.
Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go-Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.
Another band getting noticed is The Six, led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.
Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.
Another Taylor Jenkins Reid book on my top 10, of course! I adored this one. I was blown away by this book and thought its formatting was so intriguing. It did make me cry which I was not expecting but I loved it so much. Give this book and Taylor Jenkins Reid’s other books a read!
Stay Another Day by Juno Dawson
The McAllister house on Arboretum Road has seen 120 Christmases since its completion.
This year, FERN is bringing her gorgeous boyfriend home and she wants everything to be perfect.
But her twin brother ROWAN would rather go on the pull than pull crackers with the family.
And their younger sister WILLOW is terrified of Christmas Day.
With FOUR sleeps till Christmas,
THREE secretive siblings,
TWO hot houseguests,
And ONE juicy secret …
This Christmas, there will be some BIG surprises under the tree.
Sometimes at Christmas, you don’t get what you want, you get what you need…
I had this one saved for the festive season and absolutely adored it. It has Juno’s signature dark humour and tackles some incredibly important topics. Despite all this it is an incredibly festive book that got me right in the festive spirit. I would highly recommend this one to get you in the festive spirit. I wrote a full review of this one which you can find here.
There you have it, my top 10 books of 2021! Did you enjoy any of these books and what were your top 10 books of 2021? Let me know in the comments below!