I read twenty-five books (not including manuscripts) in 2021. These are my nine favorite books of the year. Links to purchase from Roundabout Books are included below.
What are your favorite books of 2021?
Game Changer, Neal Shusterman
“Readers who were obsessed with the Scythe series will not be disappointed by Game Changer. Ash is a high school football player who is oblivious to the world around him until he takes a big hit on the field. He enters another dimension where everything is off, from the school mascot to how his friends are treated. If you loved Scythe because of the way it took you into another world with powerful messages, you will be sure to enjoy this.” — Deanna Bailey, Story on The Square, McDonough, GA
Circe, Madeline Miller
“This remarkable journey into mythology brings the ancient gods directly and viscerally into the present. Circe is a perfect mashup of elegant language, glorious storytelling, and exquisitely modern sensibilities. Miller’s telling left me awed and moved by Circe and her story, all while wishing I could invite her over for a glass of wine on the porch. How this amazing author so perfectly melds the human and the divine, creating a story both immediate and epic, is dazzling.” — Beth Albrecht, The Magic Tree Bookstore, Oak Park, IL
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, V.E. Schwab
“Epic, beautifully written, heartwarming, and heartbreaking, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a contemplation on life, death, what it means to make your mark on the world, and why we feel it’s important to do so. Addie makes a deal with a demon so she can live her life the way she wants to. But, like most deals, there are strings attached — and these strings make it so she is forgotten by everyone she meets. Dancing about time, the book shows Addie’s life over 300 years and takes a closer look at her modern life — after a boy in a bookshop remembers her. Months later, I’m still thinking about this book and how beautiful it is; my words don’t even come close to doing it justice. Read this book.” — Lindsey Pattavina, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT
The Other Black Girl, Zakiya Dalila Harris
“This is the tale of two Black women co-workers in the cutthroat publishing industry trying to determine if they are friends or enemies. A literary fiction tale with a side of suspense, this expertly woven critique on society is bound to keep readers on the edge of their seats.” — Kirsten Wilson, The Snail on the Wall, Huntsville, AL
We Are the Brennans, Tracey Lange
“Tracey Lange has created some truly memorable characters and a wonderfully moving experience in seeing this tight-knit family cope with conflicts, setbacks, and the disclosure of long-buried secrets.” — John Lynn, The Kennett Bookhouse, Kennett Square, PA
The Book of M, Peng Shepherd
“Eerie, dark, and compelling, [The Book of M] will not disappoint lovers of The Passage (2010) and Station Eleven (2014).” — Booklist
The House in the Cerulean Sea, TJ Klune
“The House in the Cerulean Sea is a heart-swelling wave of sweetness and hope. Mild-mannered government caseworker Linus Baker is sent on a secret assignment to an island orphanage he’s never even heard of. The astonishing inhabitants he gets to know there will change his life and make him reassess everything he thought he knew. This book will leave you believing in the good in everyone — even those society has given up on — and contemplating how huge changes have to start somewhere.” — Haley Stocking, Phinney Books, Seattle, WA
The Firekeeper’s Daughter, Angeline Boulley
“This debut grabbed me from the start and kept me totally immersed in the story of a strong, self-described nerdy young female struggling with the normal problems of belonging, with the added element of being half Native American. This novel offers a rich combination of a young person’s struggle with identity plus the unique challenges of being associated with a tribe and the problems of meth use and addiction. Add in a pulse-pounding mystery on top of it, and you have a true page-turner.” — Carol Putnam, Skylark Bookshop, Columbia, MO
Maybe He Just Likes You, Barbara Dee
“The novel’s all-too-familiar scenario offers a springboard for discussion among middle schoolers…Easily grasped scenarios and short chapters help make this timely #MeToo story accessible to a wide audience.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
I loved the new books by Jim Butcher and Brandon Sanderson this year. Audio books tend to be my jam now that I’m at-home parenting 3 kids.