We have come to the end of the year, you and I. It has been even quieter around these parts than last year at this time. And yet I find myself here once more, feeling the familiar and precious gratitude for this space and for all of these words. Despite it all. And so even in the quiet, I leave with you my best books of the year. They have been a light in dark places. Perhaps they also were for you. Perhaps they will be.
(listed in the order in which I read them)
The Sweetest Fix by Tessa Bailey
Roommate by Sarina Bowen
Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert
Fence: Disarmed by Sarah Rees Brennan
Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater
Subtle Blood by K.J. Charles
Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell
Peter Darling by Austin Chant
Bombshell by Sarah MacLean
Flirting with Forever by Cara Bastone
Portrait of a Scotsman by Evie Dunmore
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney
In the Ballroom with the Candlestick by Diana Peterfreund
The Geek Who Saved Christmas by Annabeth Albert
After Dark with the Duke by Julie Anne Long
The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green
FYI, that's 10 contemporaries, 6 historicals, 3 fantasies, and 1 nonfiction. Of those, 9 are romances, 3 are retellings, 3 are novellas, and 2 are mysteries. All are just lovely.
Best New Discovery of 2021
I was hopelessly charmed by Ali Hazelwood's debut novel, The Love Hypothesis. It had been awhile since a book made my heart feel so light. The banter is at once fizzy and deadpan, and it just merrily steamrolls over everything in its way. And yet she makes time for those impossible silences. The ones that stretch. I am such a deep and abiding fan.
What did Adam's fortune cookie say?"
"Mmm." Olive made a show to look at the strip. "Not much. Just 'Holden Rodrigues, Ph.D., is a loser.'" Malcolm sped up just as Holden flipped her off, making her burst into laughter.
"What does it really say?" Adam asked when they were finally alone.
Olive handed him the crumpled paper and remained silent as he angled it to read it in the lamplight. She wasn't surprised when she saw a muscle jump in his jaw, or when he slid the fortune into the pocket of his jeans. She knew what it said, after all.
You can fall in love: someone will catch you.
Best Books I Read in 2021 that were Published in a Different Year
To Sir Phillip, With Love by Julia Quinn
A Lady's Code of Misconduct by Meredith Duran
In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan
In the Study with the Wrench by Diana Peterfreund
Miracle on Ladies' Mile by Joanna Shupe
Happy New Year!