My Years in Books

My 2021 in Books

Happy New Year!

In 2021, I read 39 books.

Not only did I achieve my target of 36 books, but I also exceeded it, and read the most books I have ever read in a year! At times, it seemed like 36 books was totally unattainable, but I pulled it back over the Summer, by which point meeting my target was inevitable!

January – 5 books

Rebel – Marie Lu





EDEN WING is a top student at his academy in Ross City, Antarctica. But most people still know him only as Daniel Wing’s little brother.

A decade ago, Daniel was known as Day, the boy from the streets who led a revolution that saved the Republic of America.

But when Eden finds himself drawn far into Ross City’s dark side, even his legendary brother can’t save him.

At least, not on his own . . .

My rating: 5⭐

Slated – Teri Terry

Kyla’s memory has been erased, her personality wiped blank, her memories lost forever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance – as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in the search for the truth?

My rating: 5⭐

Fractured – Teri Terry

‘With what I did yesterday, I should be dead: zapped by the chip they put in my brain when I was Slated.’

Kyla shouldn’t remember anything from before she was Slated, but dark secrets will not stay buried. Caught between Lorder oppression and the fight for freedom, her past and present race towards a collision she may not survive.

A charismatic but dangerous figure from her past forces Kyla to choose her own path as she navigates a new world of secrets and lies – but who can she trust?

My rating: 5⭐

Shattered – Teri Terry

When you don’t know who you are, how can you decide who you want to be?

Kyla was Slated: her mind wiped clean by the oppressive Lorder government. When forbidden memories of a violent past began to surface, so did doubts: could she trust those she had come to care for, like Ben?

Helped by friends in MIA she goes undercover, evading the authoritues who want her dead. But the truth Kyla desperately seeks is more shocking than she ever imagined.

My rating: 5⭐

Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon



Maddy is allergic to the world.

She hasn’t left her house in seventeen years.

Olly is the boy next door.

He is determined to find a way to reach her.

Everything, Everything is about the crazy risks we take for love.

My rating: 5⭐

RESULT: 2 books ahead of schedule! 🥳

February – 1 book

The Cousins – Karen M. McManus


Until it all falls apart. The four children are suddenly dropped by their mother with a single sentence: YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID. They never hear from her again.

Years later, when cousins Aubrey, Milly and Jonah Story recieve a mysterious invitation to spend the Summer at their grandmother’s resort, they have no choice but to follow their curiosity and meet the woman who’s been such an enigma their entire lives.

The teenagers are determined to discover the truth. But some secrets are better left alone . . .

My rating: 5⭐

RESULT: On track! 🥳

March – 1 book

Holding Up the Universe – Jennifer Niven

You are wanted.

You are necessary.

You are loved.

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, but no one’s ever looked past her weight to see who she really is. Since her mum’s death, Libby’s been hiding, but now she’s ready for high school.

I want to be the girl who can do anything.

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin too – sexy, aloof and too cool for school. But Jack’s swaggering confidence is hiding a secret he must keep at all costs.

Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Then Jack meets Libby. And their worlds change.

Because sometimes when you meet someone, the whole universe just comes into focus.

My rating: 4⭐

RESULT: 2 books behind schedule 😢

April – 2 books

The Word Keeper – Veronica del Valle

What would happen if words disappeared forever?

Set in a whimsical town called Inkwell, a place with an ancient secret history, this fairytale-like adventure will uncover the key to the power hidden within words.

The Word-Keeper is a tale about a savvy bookmark named Ben that unwillingly becomes an evil imp with only one objective: follow the orders of his master and destroy the words that live inside books.

Only one girl can stop him. Her name is Florence Ibbot. She is eleven years old, oddly eloquent and a quiet observer of the world. But above all, Florence is a keen logophile and is willing to sacrifice everything to protect the words.

She sets out to discover who is behind all this. The journey will take her to the origins of writing and inspiration. But she’ll also have to face the most treacherous adversary, Zyler, a ruthless sorceress whose sole mission is to ruin one of humankind’s most precious possessions: the gift of language.

As the final battle approaches, Florence will have to learn how to wield words instead of the sword. Is Florence brave enough to become who she was born to be?

My rating: 5⭐

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse – Charlie Mackesy

The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse are four friends who share a deep, unshakable bond. Through a series of brief but profound conversations, Mackesy teases universal truths and rich wisdom from the mouths of his characters, celebrating warmth and empathy in all its myriad forms. Exploring kindness through exquisite, sensitive artwork and delicate calligraphy, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse is a moving study in friendship and the perfect gift for those people that you hold closest to your heart.

My rating: 5⭐

RESULT: 3 books behind schedule 😢

May – 1 book

The Conference of the Birds – Ransom Riggs

With his dying words, H, Jacob Portman’s final connection to his grandfather Abe’s secret life – entrusts Jacob with a mission: deliver newly contacted peculiar Noor Pradesh to an operative known only as V.

Noor is being hunted. She is the subject of an ancient prophecy, one that fortells a looming apocalypse. Save Noor, save the future of all Peculiardom.

With only a few bewildering clues to follow, Jacob must figure out how to find V, the most enigmatic, and most powerful, of Abe’s former associates. But V is in hiding, and she never, ever, wants to be found . . .

My rating: 5⭐

RESULT: 5 books behind schedule 😢

June – 1 book

Blonde Bitch – Annabelle Shaw

Ivy Lowell is trouble – a mystery to all but herself.

She is a girl full of venom, with many fellow students falling at her feet in the prestigious Bonnaire Prep School. But no one is perfect. Ivy certainly isn’t.

After a year abroad, Ivy has returned home. However, nothing is like it used to be. Her best friend is dating her boyfriend. Her mother is dead. Her father has remarried.

Join Ivy as she works her way through her new life, dealing with other spoilt students who are desperate to steal her title as most popular person at school.

Can she find love and friendship again? More importantly: can she get her crown back?

Expect the unexpected . . .

My rating: 5⭐

RESULT: 7 books behind schedule 😢

July – 6 books

The Official Highway Code – Department for Transport

When did you last read yours?

For over 80 years, The Highway Code has been the official guide to using the roads safely and legally. It has contributed enormously to road safety and better journeys and was one of the top 10 best-seling books of the last decade.

However, every day, on average five people are killed and around 70 people are seriously injured in road collisions. So it is as important as ever that all road users, including drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians, should update their knowledge of The Highway Code.

  • Latest rules of the road
  • A failure to observe any of the provisions of The Highway Code might be used as evidence in legal proceedings

The Highway Code – for life, not just for learners.

Spain: What Everyone Needs to Know – William Chislett

Spain is among the euro zone’s largest economies, and its high unemployemnt, burgeoning public debt, and banking crisis will be formative for the zone’s future. In Spain: What Everyone Needs to Know veteran journalist William Chislett provides political and historical context for understanding the country’s current state of affairs. He recounts Spain’s fascinating and often turbulent history and covers topics from the legacy of the early Muslim presence, the influx of immigrants and the separatist Catalan region, to the creation of the welfare state, the effects of austerity measures, the impact of European Economic Community membership, and the causes of the banking crisis. This engaging overview covers a wide sweep of Spanish history and helps readers understand Spain’s place in the world today.

My rating: 3⭐

The Mechanical Maestro – Emily Owen

London, 1857.

Brothers George and Douglas Abernathy are clockmakers who are barely scraping a living in their family’s shop. They are also brilliant inventors with a sideline building custom-built androids and other technology ahead of its time. Their sixteen-year-old sister, Molly, is also a genius, specialising in transformative plant biology, but earns her keep by sewing.

The Abernathys’ fortunes improve dramatically when the brothers invent a clockwork automaton composer named Maestro, whose musical artistry takes London by storm. But there are those who believe Maestro is a fake, and others who think him a monstrosity.

As Maestro tries to make sense of the world of London’s high-society which he is thrown into, he incites the interest of sinister figures who would go to any lengths to discover what makes him tick.

My rating: 4⭐

Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal – JK Rowling

“Turning the envelope over, his hand trembling, Harry saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger and a snake surrounding a large letter ‘H’.”

HARRY POTTER has never even heard of Hogwarts when the LETTERS start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in GREEN INK on yellowish parchment with a PURPLE SEAL, they are swiftly confiscated by his GRISLY aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry’s eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed GIANT of a man called RUBEUS HAGRID bursts in with some ASTONISHING news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY.

An incredible adventure is about to begin!

My rating: 5⭐

Pleading Hearts – S.J. Hopewell

Determined to honor her late father’s memory, twenty-two-year-old Anna Fitzgerald embarks on a journey through Virginia’s top law school: Ashcroft University. With the love of her mother, younger sister Margaret, and faithful dog Jasper, Anna is unstoppable. Until she unexpectedly finds herself at the mercy of oncoming traffic. Cue Justin Goldman – her ruggedly handsome, intellectually charming classmate with warm, hazel eyes and a surprisingly relatable past. Justin jumps to Anna’s rescue, pulling her to safety in his arms. The only problem? Justin has a girlfriend. As Anna advances through law school in denial of her growing feelings for Justin, neither could possibly predict the tragedy that would soon strike the beloved city of Manderley.

My rating – 4⭐

Instructions for Dancing – Nicola Yoon

The cover of Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

If Evie Thomas knows one thing, it’s that love doesn’t last.

When she sees a couple kiss, she gets a vision of their whole relationship, from the moment they first catch each other’s eye to the last bitter moments of their break-up. It’s more than enough reason for her to keep boys at arm’s length.

But then, at La Brea Dance Studio, she meets X – tall, dreadlocked, fascinating. And as they dance around and towards each other, Evie finds herself wondering if, after all, love might just be worth the risk . . .

My rating: 5⭐

RESULT: 3 books behind schedule 😢

August – 9 books

The Desolations of Devil’s Acre – Ransom Riggs




The fate of all peculiardom hangs in the balance as Jacob and his friends face deadly enemies and race through history’s most dangerous loops in this epic conclusion to the #1 bestselling Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series.

My rating: 5⭐

The Case of the Missing Treasure – Robin Stevens

The cover of The Case of the Missing Treasure by Robin Stevens

“I, the Honourable Daisy Wells, have decided to give an account of another mystery the Detective Society has faced in recent weeks. It was very exciting, and very heroic, and I was very brilliant and brave . . .”

A daring thief is robbing London’s most famous museums – and Daisy and Hazel have worked out where they’ll strike next! The girls must crack codesand unravel clues to solve the mystery, with help from their friends (and rivals), the Junior Pinkertons.

My rating: 5⭐

The Case of the Drowned Pearl – Robin Stevens

The cover of The Case of the Drowned Pearl by Robin Stevens


“My heart was beating fast. This felt very much like the beginning of an excellent murder investigation.”

On holiday at the seaside, Daisy and Hazel discover A BODY ON THE BEACH. They soon realize this is Antonia Braithwaite: a famous swimmer, nicknamed THE PEARL. It appears she has accidentally drowned – but, MYSTERIOUSY, she smells not of the sea, but of soap . . .

My rating: 4⭐

Once Upon A Crime – Robin Stevens

The cover of Once Upon A Crime by Robin Stevens

Discover some of the GREATEST CASES EVER SOLVED by Daisy Wells, Hazel Wong and their friends, including four stories that have never been shared before . . .

Daisy and Hazel face an artfully sinister villain in THE CASE OF THE SECOND SCREAM and a threat to those they hold dear in THE CASE OF THE UNINVITED GUEST. They crack fiendish codes in THE CASE OF THE MISSING TREASURE, and the Junior Pinkertons take the lead in THE HOUND OF WESTON SCHOOL. THE CASE OF THE DROWNED PEARL makes waves in a seaside resort, and the outbreak of the Second World War doesn’t stop May Wong’s ambition to be the greatest spy ever in MAY WONG AND THE DEADLY FLAT.

My rating: 4⭐

Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman

The cover of Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

“So you are going to kill me . . . You set me up so your friends could capture me. You’re real good at letting others do your dirty work . . .”

Sephy and Callum have been friends since early childhood. And that’s as far as it can go. Because theirs is a world full of prejudice, racism, distrust and mounting terrorist violence.

Despite this all, a romance builds between the two friends.

But this is a love that could lead both of them into terrible danger . . .

My rating: 5⭐

An Eye For An Eye – Malorie Blackman

The cover of An Eye For An Eye by Malorie Blackman

In a world where the two classes are divided by colour and never treated as equals, Sephy – a Cross and daughter of a top politician – is six months pregnant. The child’s father, Callum, is a Nought, but worse, he is dead and Callum’s brother is out for revenge. Can two wrongs make a right?

My rating: 4⭐

Callum – Malorie Blackman

The cover of Callum by Malorie Blackman

In a hostile alternative society, the pale-skinned noughts are treated as inferiors by the ruling dark-skinned Crosses. Callum’s a nought. Sephy’s a Cross. In their world, they simply don’t fit – it’s as clear as black and white. But their childhood friendship has grown into intense, burning love. They have to find a way to be together. Then Sephy’s kidnapped, and Callum’s faced with a choice– his love for Sephy or his loyalty to his brother. Once that choice is made, there can be no looking back. An explosive and passionate short story, set during the timeline of Malorie Blackman’s original dystopian bestseller, Noughts and Crosses.

My rating: 4⭐

Knife Edge – Malorie Blackman

The cover of Knife Edge by Malorie Blackman

“Live or die, one way or another, I’ll still have my revenge on you, Sephy Hadley. Even if I have to return from hell itself to get you. That’s a promise . . .”

Where there had been love, now there is hate.

Two families have been shattered by the divided and violent society they live in. Sephy Hadley – a Cross, powerful and priviliged – has tied her life forever to the McGregor family. The McGregors are a family of noughts: inferior and persecuted.

Jude McGregor blames Sephy for all the tragedies his family has suffered. He is determined to force her to take sides, and destroy her life . . . just like she destroyed his.

My rating: 5⭐

Checkmate – Malorie Blackman

The cover of Checkmate by Malorie Blackman

“My mum is a Cross – one of the so-called ruling elite.

My dad was a Nought.

My dad was a murderer.

Every time my mum looks at me, she wishes with all her heart that my dad had lived – and I hadn’t . . .”

Growing up with dual heritage in a world of bitter prejudice has meant some tough times for Callie Rose.

The more she learns about her own history, the more she realizes just how much has been hidden from her . . . But she could never have guessed the danger she is about to be dragged into.

My rating: 5⭐

RESULT: 2 books ahead of schedule! 🥳

September – 6 books

La Casa De Bernada Alba – Federico García Lorca

The cover of La Casa De Bernada Alba by Federico García Lorca

The House Of Bernada Alba is Federico García Lorca’s last and possibly finest play, completed shortly before he was murdered by Nationalist sympathisers at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Inspired by real-life characters and described by Lorca as ‘a true record of village life’, it is a tragic tale of frustration and explosive passions in a household of women ruled by a tyrannical mother.

Double Cross – Malorie Blackman

The cover of Double Cross by Malorie Blackman

“In that moment, we both desperately needed to touch and be touched. We both needed to know that just for a few moments life wasn’t a journey that had to be travelled alone . . .”

Callie Rose knows too much – too much about violence and family feuds, too much about revenge and retribution. And knowing so much about the past makes her afraid for her future.

Tobey wants a better life – for him and for Callie Rose. He wants nothing to do with the violent gangs that rule the world he lives in. But when he’s offered the chance to earn some extra money, just this once, would it hurt to sat ‘yes’?

One small decision can change everything . . .

My rating: 4⭐

Nought Forever – Malorie Blackman

The cover of Nought Forever by Malorie Blackman

“I’ve never been shot before. But I can’t pass out, not now. Then I’ll be dead for sure . . .”

Dan is on the run – hiding from a ruthless Nought gand who want him dead.

“It’s one of those nights – when, if my hatred were fuel, I would light a match and watch the whole world burn . . .”

Eva just wants to be left alone. But when a badly wounded Dan crosses her path, she’s compelled to help.

Both are hiding dark secrets from their past. Both have reasons to fear the other. But before the night is over, Eva will be forced to choose: betray Dan, or protect him – whatever the cost.

My rating: 4⭐

Crossfire – Malorie Blackman

The cover of Crossfire by Malorie Blackman


Years have passed since the love between Sephy – a Cross – and Callum – a Nought – destroyed their world and changed their families and society forever.

Life seems very different now. Being a Nought or a Cross isn’t like it used to be: people aren’t divided by race or class anymore – at least on the surface . . .

For the first time ever, a Nought Prime Minister, Tobey Durbridge is in power – but he;s just been framed for murder. To free himself he’ll have to turn to his oldest friend – Callie Rose. But the divisions between their families are deep, and when two young people close to them are kidnapped, everything they’ve fought for is put in the firing line.

Because when you’re playing a game as dangerous as this one, it won’t be long before someone gets caught in the crossfire . . .

My rating: 5⭐

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder – Holly Jackson

The cover of A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson


Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it.

But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final-year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pippa from the truth?

My rating: 5⭐

Endgame – Malorie Blackman

The cover of Endgame by Malorie Blackman


The first Nought prime minister, Tobey Durbridge, is about to go on trial for the murder of notorious ganglord Dan Jeavons. Tobey insists he is being framed. There were ten seats at Dan’s dinner party the night he was killed and each guest had their own reasons for wishing him dead.

Sephy Hadley was one of the guests that night. Haunted by the idea that she didn’t do enough to stop the death of her first love, Callum McGregor, Sephy will not sit quietly and wait for accusations to fall onher now. She has her children to protect . . .

It’s time that actions spoke more loudly than words.

Time for the truth to be unearthed. Time for the Endgame.

My rating: 5⭐

RESULT: 5 books ahead of schedule! 🥳

October – 1 book

She-Wolves – Helen Castor

The cover of She-Wolves by Helen Castor


In SHE-WOLVES, celebrated historian Helen Castor tells the dramatic and fascinating stories of four exceptional women who, while never reigning monarchs, held great power: Matilda, Eleanor or Aquitane, Isabella of France and Margaret of Anjou. These were the women who paved the way for Jane Grey, Mary Tudor and Elizabeth I – the Tudor queens who finally confirmed what it meant to be a female monarch.

My rating: 5⭐

RESULT: 3 books ahead of schedule! 🥳

November – 1 book

La Casa de Bernada Alba – Federico García Lorca

The cover of La Casa De Bernada Alba by Federico García Lorca

The House Of Bernada Alba is Federico García Lorca’s last and possibly finest play, completed shortly before he was murdered by Nationalist sympathisers at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Inspired by real-life characters and described by Lorca as ‘a true record of village life’, it is a tragic tale of frustration and explosive passions in a household of women ruled by a tyrannical mother.

RESULT: 1 book ahead of schedule! 🥳

December – 5 books

El Libro de Arena – Jorge Luis Borges

The cover of El Libro de Arena by Jorge Luis Borges

“He told me that his book was called The Book of Sand, because neither the book nor the sand has a start or finish.”

The first of the reunited tales here takes up the double theme: the protagonists of “The Other” are different enough to be two and are similar enough to be one. “Ulrica” is the story of an ephermal love. “The Congress” describes a business so big that it’s confused with the cosmos and with the sum of the days “Undr” and “The Mirror and the Mask” are stories about secular literature that consist of a single word, whilst other parts imagine inconcievable objects like a book with infinite pages; an unpredictable volume, and at the same time monstrous: The Book of Sand.

My rating: 4⭐

The New Spaniards – John Hooper

The cover of The New Spaniards by John Hooper

Modern-day Spain has changed at bewildering speed. John Hooper’s masterly portrayal of the country and its people, revised and updated, explores the causes behind these changes, focusing on everything from crime to immigration and from gambling to sexual mores. It is the essential guide to twenty-first-century Spain.

My rating: 4⭐

The Yearbook – Holly Bourne

Grace is such an amazing person (lie)

Laura steals people’s boyfriends (lie)

Paige is totally unloveable (also a lie)

Paige is used to keeping quiet in the face of lies – at school and at home. But she’s finally had enough. When she starts to find love through the pages of a book, she finds her voice too. Now she is going to rewrite her story – and the Yearbook is the perfect place to do it.






My rating: 5⭐

Mistletoe and Murder – Robin Stevens

The cover of Mistletoe and Murder by Robin Stevens

“These attacks are not merely pranks or accidents,” said Daisy gravely. “They are intended – and I believe something truly terrible will happen before Christmas Day.”

Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are spending the Christmas hols in snowy Cambridge. Hazel has high hopes of its beautiful libraries and inviting tea-rooms – but there is danger lurking in the dark stairwells of Maudlin College.

Two days before Christmas, a brutal accident takes place – but the Detective Society suspect murder. Faced with fierce competition from a rival agency, they must use all their cunning and courage to find the killer (in time for Christmas Day, of course).

My rating: 5⭐

Good Girl, Bad Blood – Holly Jackson

The cover of Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

Someone is missing. Nobody’s talking. But this time, EVERYONE is listening . . .

Pip Fitz-Amobi is not a detective any more. Her true-crime podcast about the murder case she solved last year has gone viral. Yet Pip insists her investigating days are behind her.

But she will have to go back on her word when someone close to her goes missing and the police can’t do anything about it. If they won’t investigate, then Pip will, uncovering more of her town’s dark secrets along the way. But will she find the answers before time runs out?

My rating: 5⭐

RESULT: I beat my challenge by 3 books! 🥳

My average rating in 2021 was 4.6⭐

What books did you read in 2021?

Thank you for reading this post.


5 thoughts on “My 2021 in Books

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