Can you believe we are more than halfway through 2021. Unlike 2020, I feel that this year is flying by. It doesn’t help that between work and my personal life, we have been staying busy busy busy. I finally had a chance to sit down and reflect on what I have read so far this year, and have put together my 2021 Halfway Top Ten list. To put this list together, I pulled up my list of what I have read between January through June of this year. While many of these books are 2021 releases, this list is inclusive of older releases as well. All are books that I have read in the first six months of 2021, and though it is now August, does not include books I have read in July or August.
If you are looking for some great reads to take into the Fall with you, than you are in the right place. Also be sure to click on the REVIEW links for full reviews of all of these books.
Top 10 of 2021
What a story. If you are looking to get your heart broken than this is the story for you. Whitaker has created such a beautiful story about life – the good, the bad, and the unfair. I received an audio copy from Macmillan Audio, and the narrators was done wonderfully, just don’t listen to it on your commute to work or you willl be wrecked for the day.
What Comes After is a stunning debut novel, that explores human emotions and how we react to grief and lose. It’s a bit of a slower read but don’t let that deter you from picking up this beautiful story. It is classified as a thriller but it’s best to think of this more as a Contemporary fiction read that includes a mystery. Personally, having a Thriller genre tag, really does this book a disservice.
I actually do not read a ton of Family drama type books. I get pretty annoyed with most of them, however Tracey Lange’s debut is one I’ll make an exception for. Following a Irish Catholic family, we follow the Brennans as they come to terms with events that happened five years ago, and learn to forgive. I enjoyed the way the chapters and the various narrators seamless transitions. My only compliant was how short the story was, but highly recommend for those looking for a quick family drama.
Finlay Donovan is Killing It, is outrageously funny. Totally unrealistic but is a hilarious mystery that follows newly divorced Finlay Donovan. This is the first in a series, and I cannot wait for book 2 Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead, which is set to come out February 2022.
House of Hollows was not originally on my radar at all this year but when Penguin Teen asked if I’d be interested in reviewing this book, I figured ‘why not’. If you love the original Grimm’s Fairytales, or other dark stories with a bit of magic, than this is the perfect book for you. If you enjoyed Melissa Albert’s Hazelwood series, than you will totally enjoy this Young Adult story.
Confession, this has been on my shelf since it came out as a Book of the Month pick back in November of 2019. Don’t ask me why it took me so long to read, I have zero idea. This is the first in The Brown Sister series, and follows Chloe Brown, who suffers from a chronic illness. I’m not a huge romance fan, but this was a perfect mix of substance and steam for me. After reading, book 1, I ended up binging both Take a Hint, Dani Brown and Act Your Age, Eve Brown. While I loved all three, Chloe was my favorite as I also suffer from chronic pain, and it was nice to see the representation around it.
This was my first Kristan Higgins read, and it will not be my last. This is the most emotional romance I’ve read in a very long time. I basically cried throughout this entire book and highly highly recommend it.
Set in a bookstore, this is an incredibly written story about moving on. While our main character is a prickly fellow, the cast of characters Forman has put togethr will make you fall in love with this story. It’s a easy read and is perfect for teen readers.
I am a huge True Crime fan, and The Babysitter while a memoir, read just like a fiction mystery. I loved the back and forth between Rodman’s memories and research. I had never even heard of Tony Costa or his murders, and this was a very well written account.
I listened to A Bad Day for Sunshine, last summer and I am hooked on this series. Realistically, this book has all my favorite things. A stellar mother-daughter relationship with very Gilmore Girls type banter. A heart pounding mystery. A bigger mystery which we’ll get answers to as the series progresses. Great supporting characters that are well defined and a suspenseful storyline. Oh and also a secret society. What else could you want!
I hope you found a book or books that you are truly excited about in this post. Let me know what books have been your favorite so far this year by commenting below or by messaging me on Instagram @speakingof_books. Don’t forget to follow me to get weekly updates and new reviews!
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