Monday, February 7, 2022

One of our favorite things to do every year is to share a round-up of the books that we loved most. Due to the pandemic, we accidentally skipped 2020, but now we're back! Here are the stories -- mostly YA, but some adult and Middle Grade too -- that captured our hearts and minds in 2021:




Gilded by Marissa Meyer -- This book was perfection. I loved the rich world building and lyrical writing. The villain was haunting and legitimately scary, and the love interest is my favorite I've read in years.

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyde Jones -- Beautiful Welsh-inspired mythology and a zombie goat that made my heart happy.

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee -- Dark and twisty and witchy. Mystery that made me gasp out loud at one point.


A perfect bookish story for bookish people. The MC was quirky and endearing, I appreciated that the female friendships took up as much space as the romance, and I was giddy about the inclusion of a big, unconventional family--which can be tricky to pull off but was well executed here. Bonus if you love classic literature, but this is a lovely, light read either way.

Historical fiction set in the dust bowl era. Intense and authentic mother-daughter relationships. A riveting story of family and survival. There was so much good stuff packed into this novel, including a visceral sense of place that completely transported me to Texas and California in the 1930s. The audio narrator was amazing and the author interview at the end was as engrossing as the book itself. 

After watching the Netflix series two or three times, I found the novel and wanted to see how far the show had deviated from it (not too much, actually, but enough to make it worth reading and re-relishing). I absolutely adore this story and these characters, and believe this is one of those rare gems that has a truly universal appeal. 


Honestly, due to limited time, I was very selective about what I picked up, so every YA book I read last year was pretty good! Thus it's very, very hard for me to pick a top 3... 

I probably have to give the #1 spot to WHEN WE WERE INFINITE by Kelly Loy Gilbert, because it struck so many chords with my personal experiences in high school.

After that, it's like a 6-way tie...

I also want to give a shout-out to two excellent Middle Grade books: FRONT DESK by Kelly Yang and THE SHAPE OF THUNDER by Jasmine Warga.


Please tell us (because we never have a big enough to-read pile, haha!) what were YOUR favorite reads of 2021?


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about us

Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.



on the shelf

The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
Froi of the Exiles
Days of Blood & Starlight
Every Day
Jellicoe Road
Finnikin of the Rock
Guitar Notes
The Dead-Tossed Waves
The Crown of Embers
New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
The Fault in Our Stars

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