2021 is coming to an end and I want to finish off the year going through my top 50. I’ve actually put them in order. All these books were I’m pretty sure all 5 star reads for me or books I would read again.
50. The Rot by Siri Petterson
YA Fantasy novel filled with mythology, Book 2 in the Raven Rings series.
49. Odin’s Child by Siri Petterson
YA Fantasy novel which is a high fantasy based in mythology. Book 1 in the Raven Rings series
48. The Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams
New Adult/Adult contemporary romance novel which is a standalone.
47. The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas
New Adult/Adult contemporary romance standalone novel.
46. Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy
Mystery contemporary fiction novel set in Scotland.
45. The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid
YA Fantasy novel. It is a historical fiction and a retelling.
44. Shrouded in the Dark by Aspen Black
New Adult paranormal fantasy romance.
43. The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik
Young Adult fantasy. Think dark Hogwarts. Book 2 in the series
42. Lightfall by Tim Probert
Middle Grade graphic novel. A fantasy adventure with beautiful illustrations and message.
41. Peanut Jones and the Illustrated City by Rob Biddulph
Middle Grade novel.
40. The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
New Adult/Adult contemporary romance set in college.
39. Jackaby by William Ritter
Young Adult Fantasy, historical fiction with the supernatural. Book 1 in the series
38. The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May
Young Adult fantasy with steampunk and fae. Book 3 in the series
37. The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May
Young Adult fantasy with steampunk and fae. Book 2 in the series
36. The Falconer by Elizabeth May
Young Adult fantasy with steampunk and fae. Book 1 in the series
35. Eros by Carly Spade
Adult fantasy romance with Greek mythology. Book 4 in the series
34. Apollo by Carly Spade
Adult fantasy romance with Greek mythology. Book 2 in the series
33. Ares by Carly Spade
Adult fantasy romance with Greek mythology. Book 3 in the series
32. Hades by Carly Spade
Adult fantasy romance with Greek mythology. Book 1 in the series
31. The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa
Contemporary fiction and Japanese literature with magical realism
30. Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim
Young Adult fantasy. It is a mythology retelling with romance and magic.
29. Midnight in Everwood by M.A Kuzniar
Young Adult Fantasy. It is a retelling of the Nutcracker.
28. House of Wolves by Casey L. Bond
Young Adult fantasy and it is the final book in the duology
27. The Last Legacy by Adrienne Young
Young Adult Fantasy with romance, adventure and pirates.
26. Blindsided by Amy Daws
Adult contemporary sports romance. This surrounds soccer.
25. From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata
Adult contemporary sports romance. This surrounds ice skating.
24. The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata
New Adult/Adult contemporary sports romance.
23. Kingdom of the Cursed by Kerri Maniscalco
Young Adult/New Adult fantasy romance with magic and witches.
22. A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair
New Adult/Adult fantasy romance. It is a Greek mythology retelling.
21. House of Eclipses by Casey L. Bond
Young Adult fantasy and the first book in the duology.
20. Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim
Young Adult fantasy. It is a high fantasy retelling with romance, adventure and magic. Last book in the duology
19. Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
Young Adult fantasy. It is a high fantasy retelling with romance, adventure and magic. First book in the duology
18. Close Quarters by Kandi Steiner
New Adult/ Adult contemporary romance.
17. Someone You Love by Kristen Granata
New Adult/Adult contemporary sports romance.
16. For the Wolf by Hannah F. Whiten
Young Adult fantasy. It is a fairy tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast and Little Red Riding Hood.
15. Gravebriar by Casey L. Bond
Young Adult fantasy with romance, magic and witches.
14. Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas
Young Adult fantasy. It is a contemporary retelling of Peter Pan.
13. Neon Gods by Katee Robert
Adult contemporary fantasy romance. It is a Greek mythology retelling and book 1 in the series.
12. Namesake by Adrienne Young
Young Adult Fantasy with adventure, romance and pirates. It is second book in the duology.
11. The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffen
Young Adult Fantasy. It is an urban fantasy with witches and romance. A refreshing take on how the magic system works.
10. Small Favors by Erin A. Craig
Young Adult fantasy. It is a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin with romance and horror elements.
9. The Gilded Cage by Lynette Noni
Young Adult Fantasy romance with magic. It’s book 2 in the series.
8. The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni
Young Adult Fantasy romance with magic. It’s book 1 in the series.
7. A Shadow in the Ember by Jennifer L. Armentrout
New Adult/Adult high fantasy romance. It is book 1 in the series.
6. The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout
New Adult fantasy romance. It is book 3 in the series.
5. A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout
New Adult fantasy romance. It is book 2 in the series.
4. From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
New Adult fantasy romance. It is book 1 in the series.
3. Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune
Adult contemporary romance with fantasy elements. It also has LGBT representation.
2. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
Adult contemporary romance with fantasy elements. It also has LGBT representation.
1. Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber.
Young Adult Fantasy romance with magic. It is book 1 in the series and is within the world of the Caraval series.
This year it was so hard to rank them in order and I could always move some books around but I’m quite happy with how these books are ranked. I read over 200 books this year so these are definitely my top 50.
Looking forward to what books I read in 2022.
The Chime Seekers is by Ross Montgomery, published by Walker Books Australia.
Step into a world of faerie tricks and hidden danger…
When an evil faerie steals Yanni’s baby sister and swaps her for a Changeling, Yanni is swept into a dangerous race against time to get her back. For faeries delight in tricks and rescuing her won’t be easy. With the help of his cousin, Amy, and the reluctant Changeling, Yanni must travel to goblin palaces and battle-swept oceans, discovering ancient treasures and secrets along the way. Yanni will need every drop of courage and even a few tricks of his own, if he’s to outwit the faerie and save his sister…
Such an interesting read. I enjoyed the setting of two worlds: human and faerie as well as the characters kids will be able to relate to, especially those with young siblings.
There was fantastic world building and I didn’t want to put the book down. There were parts where the story got a little dark but nothing too scary.
This book is thrilling, exciting, nerve-wracking, mysterious with the introduction of fantasy lands and a villain that they will detest.
The Warrior in my Wardrobe is by Simon Farnaby. It is another hilarious time-travelling adventure.
Join Rose, Merdyn the wizard and Bubbles the guinea pig in another hilarious time-travelling adventure. Rose must save her kidnapped brother from a Dark Ages Warrior!
Merdyn is the greatest wizard of the Dark Ages. Obviously.
Rose is his 21st-century descendent. Lucky her.
And Vanheldon the vandal warrior is FURIOUS! After all, last time they met, Merdyn turned his army to stone.
Seeking revenge, Vanheldon comes up with a way to kidnap Rose and transport her back to Dark Ages Transylvania, set on luring Merdyn into a terrible trap. Except – whoops! – his magical minion kidnaps Rose’s teenage brother Kris instead.
Rose, Merdyn and Bubbles the guinea pig must team up to save the day. But can they rescue Kris without creating historical mayhem? Will Rose’s wizard ancestor even remember her? (And want to help them?) And will Bubbles ever stop pooing?
This was a fantastic read and from the beginning Farnaby drew me in thinking about the Dark Ages and the possibility of magic. The main characters of Merdyn and Rose balanced each other out and I loved reading from each of their perspectives. I loved the added tension with trying to save Kris from a dark wizard.
Just like the Wizard in my Shed, younger readers will absolutely love The Warrior in my Wardrobe. The use of rhyme was fantastically used to add detail and whit to the end of some chapters.
A Heartfelt Christmas Promise is by Nancy Naigle.
Vanessa Larkin was supposed to be spending Christmas in Paris, France on a business trip she hoped to enjoy as a working vacation. Instead, she’s been assigned to Fraser Hills, North Carolina–home of the Best Fruitcake in the USA–to convert her company’s property into warehouse space and shut down Porter’s, the fruitcake factory. Offering retirement packages and selling locals on new job opportunities may not spread holiday cheer, but Vanessa believes she’s helping secure the town’s future. Mike Marshall’s family founded Porter’s.
For decades, the factory served as the lifeblood of the community until his grandfather sold the business to a Chicago corporation. The sale cost the town its independence–and the Marshalls their family ties. A horse farmer, Mike was never involved with his grandfather’s company, but still felt Fraser Hills lost part of its identity. And as a widower raising a teenage daughter, he’s suffered enough losses in one lifetime. News of the factory’s closing means losing another piece of the town’s legacy.
Far from the skyscrapers and rapid pace of the city, Vanessa finds herself enjoying the easygoing rhythms of rural living. With Mike as her guide, she learns to appreciate the simple pleasures found in shared holiday festivities among friends. Fraser Hills is a town she is growing to love–and Mike is someone she is falling in love with.
Now all Vanessa needs is a Christmas miracle to give her newfound friends and home a gift they’ll cherish for many New Years to come.
I absolutely loved reading A Heartfelt Christmas Promise. This is a perfect holiday read for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The characters were great and I loved their interactions.
Definitely reading again closer to Christmas.
A Shadow in the Ember is the first book in the Flesh and Fire series by Jennifer L. Armentrout.
Born shrouded in the veil of the Primals, a Maiden as the Fates promised, Seraphena Mierel’s future has never been hers. Chosen before birth to uphold the desperate deal her ancestor struck to save his people, Sera must leave behind her life and offer herself to the Primal of Death as his Consort.
However, Sera’s real destiny is the most closely guarded secret in all of Lasania–she’s not the well protected Maiden but an assassin with one mission–one target. Make the Primal of Death fall in love, become his weakness, and then…end him. If she fails, she dooms her kingdom to a slow demise at the hands of the Rot.
Sera has always known what she is. Chosen. Consort. Assassin. Weapon. A specter never fully formed yet drenched in blood. A monster. Until him. Until the Primal of Death’s unexpected words and deeds chase away the darkness gathering inside her. And his seductive touch ignites a passion she’s never allowed herself to feel and cannot feel for him. But Sera has never had a choice. Either way, her life is forfeit–it always has been, as she has been forever touched by Life and Death.
I absolutely loved returning to the world from the Blood and Ash series and meeting the characters that were mentioned in The Crown of Gilded Bones. The world and character building was fantastic and dived deeper into what we learned already form the Blood and Ash series. A Shadow in the Ember is a passionate romance with suspense and full of action.
Seraphena is such a strong character and I loved how she never gives up as well as having the weight of her people’s survival on her shoulders. Her interaction with Ash reminds me of Hades and Persephone which is one of my favourite characters. She is stabby just like Poppy and her relationship with Ash reminds of Casteel and Poppy.
Nyktos was amazing and I need more! I can’t wait for the next book.
Six Crimson Cranes is the first book in a new duology by Elizabeth Lim.
Shiori, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted, but it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.
Raikama has dark magic of her own, and she banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes, and warning Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.
Penniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and, on her journey, uncovers a conspiracy to overtake the throne—a conspiracy more twisted and deceitful, more cunning and complex, than even Raikama’s betrayal. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to contain—no matter what it costs her.
After reading the Blood of Stars duology, it was fantastic reading about the folktale that was spoken about in passing in the books. Six Crimson Cranes is set before the Blood of Stars duology.
I really enjoyed reading about Shiori who is trying to save her brothers and the kingdom as well as being the princess of Kiata.
I loved the world building and the magic that was described as well as the introduction of characters. It was well paced and had such interesting characters. I always enjoy reading story arcs of strong female characters with great interactions with others.
It was interesting meeting her finance and Sergu and seeing their relationships change. Her relationship with her brothers were all different and unique so it was always intriguing to read.
I cant wait to reading the next book.
Once Upon a Broken Heart is the first book in a new series by Stephanie Garber, the author of the Caraval trilogy.
Evangeline Fox was raised in her beloved father’s curiosity shop, where she grew up on legends about immortals, like the tragic Prince of Hearts. She knows his powers are mythic, his kiss is worth dying for, and that bargains with him rarely end well.
But when Evangeline learns that the love of her life is about to marry another, she becomes desperate enough to offer the Prince of Hearts whatever he wants in exchange for his help to stop the wedding. The prince only asks for three kisses. But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’s pledged. And he has plans for Evangeline that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy…
Stephanie Garber has done it again. I absolutely loved Once Upon the Broken Heart. It was amazing to jump back into the Caraval world again with a book following Jacks and with a new main character, Evangeline. It is a fantastic story about unrequited love and broken hearts, about curses and the lengths people will go for a happily ever after.
The character were fantastic. Evangeline Fox is so unique with her rose gold hair and her outlook on life through making uncanny bargins with the Fates but throughout the book we still believes in hope. Jacks is still the same Jacks we remember from Finale but you can’t help but feel for him in this book.
I absolutely loved the ending! I need more!
Lakesedge is written by Lyndall Clipstone. I want to thank Pan Macmillan Australia for the review copy.It’s publication date is the 31st August and RRP is $24.99.
There are monsters in the world.
When Violeta Graceling arrives at haunted Lakesedge estate, she expects to find a monster. She knows the terrifying rumours about Rowan Sylvanan, who drowned his entire family when he was a boy. But neither the estate nor the monster are what they seem.
There are monsters in the woods.
As Leta falls for Rowan, she discovers he is bound to the Lord Under, the sinister death god lurking in the black waters of the lake. A creature to whom Leta is inexplicably drawn . . .
There’s a monster in the shadows, and now it knows my name.
To save Rowan, and herself, Leta must confront the darkness in her past, which includes unravelling the mystery of her connection to the Lord Under.
Clipstone has written such an amazing story. I loved the setting and the characters as you got to know them throughout the story.
I really enjoyed this dark gothic fantasy. I don’t typically read dark fantasy but after reading Lakesedge I want to dive right in.
The magic and romance in the book was fantastic with the inclusion of the death god and his underworld.
This is a book I’ll definitely read again!
Den of Vipers is by K.A. Knight.
Ryder, Garrett, Kenzo, and Diesel—The Vipers.
They run this town and everyone in it. Their deals are as sordid as their business, and their reputation is enough to bring a grown man to his knees, forcing him to beg for mercy. They are not people you mess with, yet my dad did. The old man ran up a debt with them and then sold me to cover his losses.
Yes, sold me.
They own me now.
I’m theirs in every sense of the word. But I’ve never been meek and compliant. These men, they look at me with longing. Their scarred, blood-stained hands holding me tight. They want everything I am, everything I have to give, and won’t stop until they get just that. They can own my body, but they will never have my heart.
The Vipers? I’m going to make them regret the day they took me.
This girl? She bites too.
Den of Vipers is a 18+ reverse harem romance which contains references of abuse/assault. It is also a mafia story with such a good mix of personalities and characters.
Roxy is an independent, tough and she isn’t afraid to stand up to the four guys.The guys all have different personalities and have different roles within the group.
I enjoyed the storyline and how their background stories play a role in the story and how they all connect with each other.
I’m interested to see what else happens if there is another book.
Dance For Me is the first book in the Club Avalon series by Kay Elle Parker.
Down on her luck, Boadica McGee Is desperate for a job. Bills to pay, a roof to keep over her head, and vultures for parents leave her with few options. When her best friend offers her a dream opportunity she has to weigh dreams against survival and her own morals. The pay is good, the people are nice…but working in a BDSM club just isn’t her thing. Angry, repressed, Brodie is afraid of who she’ll become in that environment, especially when one man in particular gets under her skin.
Are all her secrets safe?
Braun Fitzpatrick isn’t a fool. He knows Boadicea’s special when she walks into his club. She offers him the perfect challenge, the chance to chip through the walls the fiery little female has built around her. Undeterred by her bark or her bite, Braun is content to guide her through the labyrinth of self-discovery.
When danger strikes and the music stops, will Bodie still dance for him?
What a book! I really enjoyed Dance For Me. I liked the plot and the fast paced nature of the bool.
The characters are interesting and I loved how Boadica held herself in different situations.