• Nichelle

Everything I Read in 2021 (Part 2)

Updated: Mar 10



The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Romance

Summary: The melt your heart story of a woman from Korea being brought to the states to be a potential bride for this lady's son.

Helen Hoang's book manages to be both incredibly heartwarming and sweet, and spicy. Loved this one!


The Female Persausion by Meg Wolitzer

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Contemporary

Summary: This book took me a LONG time to finish, but I thoroughly enjoyed it! Surprisingly, my favorite character was not one of the women, but the boyfriend who had to move home to take care of his mom.


The Love that Split the World by Emily Henry

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: YA Magical Realism

Summary: A girl is slipping between dimensions and must save a boy and then she falls for him.

This book made me weep! The ending was very ambiguous and all I want to know is if Beau got his front porch!


Carnal Urges by J. T. Geissinger

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Mafia Romance

Summary: The sassy best friend from the last book gets kidnapped and falls in love.

Guys, this book was a treat from cover to cover. A girl gets kidnapped by a mafia boss and then they fall in love, it isn't going to be winning any literary awards, but it wins an award in my heart for the best time.


A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: It's Hogwarts if there were no professors and lots of monsters trying to kill everyone all the time.

I love the concept of this book, but the world is more interesting than the characters, tbh.😬




Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Contemporary

Summary: When the favorite child is found dead, the rest of the family must come to terms with the way parental expectations have led to her downfall.

There is a reason everyone and their mom loves Celeste Ng. Her books are beautiful and thoughtful and moving.


The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: TBT to Celaena's time before the salt mines where she fought against slavery and helped young women and loved Sam Courtland. 😭

Sam Courtland 💔 This book is full of so many nuggets that reappear in later books and honestly, upon reread, I might bump up the star rating.


The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: YA Fantasy

Summary: Jude is a human living her teenage life in the world of the fairies and turns out bullies are worse when they have access to magic.

Cardan is such an ass, but we love him anyway. Holly Black was like they want teen fae? I'll give them an actual sixteen-year-old instead of a five hundred year model and what a delight.


The Push by Ashley Audrain

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Thriller

Summary: Wow being a mom seems like maybe the worst.

I think I would have liked this book more if I wasn't coming directly off of A Little Life because this book was WAY darker than I expected it to be. But it was also very good.


What Kind of Woman by Kate Bauer

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Poetry

Summary: A collection of poems about being a woman.

Kate Bauer's poems are simple but really beautiful. I have "To Take Back a Life" hanging above my desk as a reminder that "this is not a dress rehearsal before a better kind of life."



A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Sci-Fi

Summary: The sequel to An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, that's essentially a very insightful and revealing commentary on the effect the social internet is having on communities, but disguised as a save the world adventure.

I'm not sure that there is anyone better at understanding the interpersonal implication of the social internet than Hank.


Heartstopper V3 by Alice Oseman

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Graphic Novel

Summary: Nick and Charlie face some challenges while being the best.

Nick and Charlie face some tougher issues in this volume and although I still loved it, it wasn't as cozy of a read.


One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Contemporary

Summary: The boring part in Castaway when Tom Hanks gets off the island, except the girl's perspective.

Y'all I sobbed while reading this book. This is the kind of book where there is literally no way for everyone to get a happy ending, even though really no one did anything wrong. It broke my heart more than once.


Infinite Country by Patricia Engel

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Contemporary

Summary: A family emigrates from Colombia and the novel chronicles their journey over the proceeding decades.

This book packs so much story and emotion into a relatively short package. Certainly an important story about immigration and the people behind the news stories.


The Takeover by T. L. Swan

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Romance

A DCOM from the parents' perspective about falling in love with a widow with three boys (but spicy).

This year I learned that I love a single-parent romance. I didn't think I would, but I've enjoyed every one I've read this year. There's something special about watching kids fall in love as their parent does.




A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: YA Fantasy

Summary: Laia and Elias travel through the desert and Helene is trying not to get literally everyone killed.

This is the second Ember in the Ashes series and for me, where things start to get complicated. We start to learn a bit more about our villain and he may be my favorite part of the whole series.


Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Contemporary

Summary: Lucy falls in love with a toxic guy when she's in college and ruins her own life for a couple of years falling for his shit.

LUCY you should have taken that class on the French Riveria. I'm still mad about it.


To Hate Adam Connor by Ella Maise

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Romance

Summary: Creeping on your celebrity neighbor can only have one outcome: love.

Another single dad romance. It's so cute!


An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: YA Fantasy

Summary: A teen girl is forced to spy at a military academy to save her brother from prison, while a boy competes to become emperor.

It's strange to look back at this series and recognize this is where it all started. Things really go wild after this book.


Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Romance

Summary: Two people who had a week-long fling as teens reunite and have loved each other all along.

If anyone said to me the things that Shane says to Eva, I would die on the spot. It's so romantic and really beautifully written. I read it on the beach in Malibu and it was my favorite moment of the year.



Scythe by Neal Shusterman

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: YA Fantasy

Summary: Two teens are interns for a government-sanctioned murderer (it's complicated).

True confessions: I still haven't finished the second book in this series. Oops...


Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Thriller

Summary: When a mother of two goes to Panera and is accidentally hired to murder someone, she obviously gets the babysitter involved.

One of my favorite covers of the year. (My favorite goes to Malibu Rising). I want to watch the TV version of this book. I love a lighthearted murder show.


The Herd by Andrea Bartz

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Thriller

Summary: When the ultimate girlboss disappears, her best friends have to figure out what happened to her and if she was really who she said she was.

I don't remember much from this book, except that it takes place at a place like The Wing...?


Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: At Yale secret societies use magic and abuse privilege and Alex (who can see ghosts) is supposed to keep them in line.

Despite this sitting firmly in the center of the pack, I'm really looking forward to the sequel, whenever that's announced. I loved the world that Bardugo created and I can't wait for more.


The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Romance

Summary: When you really need a plus one to a family wedding and your only option is your coworker you hate, your only choice is to fall in love with him, in Spain.

This book is one of the cheesiest books I read this year (which is saying something given the sheer number of romances I've read). But it was really fun.




Under Locke by Mariana Zapata

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Romance

Summary: A grumpy tattoo man falls for the sweet receptionist and there are motorcycle gangs causing problems.

I would read tattooed grumpy men books from Mariana Zapata for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy.


Poison for Breakfast by Lemony Snicket

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Mystery

Summary: Lemony Snicket finds a note with his breakfast letting him know he's been poisoned.

I was so excited to find this Lemony Snicket book. It features his signature writing style and is the kind of book that begs to be shared and read aloud.


Survive the Night by Riley Sager

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Thriller

Summary: Charlie makes the dumbest decision while a murderer is on the loose and somehow she survives???

Charlie is the dumbest girlie I've ever read in a thriller.


Thomas Aquinas by Denys Turner

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Nonfiction

Summary: Thomas Aquinas thinks some thoughts about theology.

I'm in a theology and philosophy group (I know, I'm very very cool) and this is what we read for most of 2021. It's a great intro to Thomas Aquinas if that's something you are looking for.


It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Romance

Summary: A rich girl falls in love with a fisherman when she is exiled to the Pacific Northwest.

Brendan 😍


A Touch of Malice by Scarlett St. Clair

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: Hades and Persphone get married and Demeter is throwing a fit.

I could not tell you the plot of this book if you held a gun to my head. Will I be reading the next one? Absolutely.




Savage Hearts by J. T. Geissinger

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Romance

Summary: Girl gets kidnapped by Russian Mafia assassin, but it's cool because she always wanted to hang out in rural Russia.

This book truly does sound like a nightmare situation. Like this should be a truly harrowing horror/thriller, but it's a romance and I believed it.


Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Thriller

Summary: A woman is accused of murdering her elderly boss and this is the police interview.

You've got to do the audiobook for this one. It's the way it's meant to be consumed.


The Magic of Found Objects by Maddie Dawson

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Contemporary

Summary: Phronsie decides to marry her best friend after having a terrible time dating.

The ending of this one lacked some luster for me, but I still had a good time.


Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Genre: Romance

Summary: Former baseballer returns to his hometown and falls for his best friend's little sister who is a literal clown.

She's a literal clown. Her goal is to be taken more seriously... I'm not joking. But the romance was excellent.


The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle Jensen

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: Lara is a trained murder princess who marries a rival king, so she can murder him.

I'm so mad that this book isn't a five-star read. This book had so much potential. I loved the characters I loved the world, but the book was so rushed. There was no depth to the side characters or exploration of relationships. I wanted more!!!



The Traitor Queen by Danielle Jensen

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: Lara really hecked up and now she has to save the day and her love story.

TBH, I read both of the books in this duology in a single day and I can't tell you where one ended and the other began. I won't be continuing in the series.


Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Classic

A scientist creates a monster, but the scientist was the real monster all along.

Mary Shelley is a queen and Frankenstein is a masterpiece. She's invented horror to critic the male ego and I will hear no critics.


Emma by Jane Austen

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Classic

Summary: Emma tried to find her poor friend Harriet a husband with terrible results, but marries a nice guy in the process.

Emma is my favorite heroine. She's the worst and I love her, but her romance is no Fitz and Elizabeth.


The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Contemporary

Summary: A woman's fiance dies on her birthday and then you are dragged through her grief as she visits another world where he's still alive in her dreams.

I'm not sure I've ever cried so hard while reading. Like I was swollen in the morning the nights I read this before bed. I cried through 85% of this book. I'm not sure that makes it good...


They Never Learn by Layne Fargo

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Thriller

Summary: A women murders asshole men in a college town.

We love a murdery lady! It was fun, but nothing that will really stick with me.




The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Romance

Summary: Kissing random men in the hallways is assault, but also a great way to find love with a very tall man.

Everyone was obsessed with this book and I found it to be middle of the road romance. We love a woman in STEM and a man that will punch another man for you, but beyond that it was forgettable.


You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Thriller

Summary: I remember what happened? But I don't remember the plot? Someone jumps in front of a train and then they're like a culty girl-club.


The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: Casteel and Poppy are finally back in Atlantia and they run a bunch of errands and talk like they are college students in 2013.

This book broke my heart. It was bad. Like it managed to get a 3.5, not because of its own merits, but because I love this series.


The Ivies by Alexa Dunne

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: YA Thriller

Summary: At a boarding school a girl is murdered after getting into Harvard.

I think I would have adored this book when I was in high school and slightly psychotic. It was a fun little read.


Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Fantasy

Summary: Celeana is now the king champion, but the king's the worst, so she's got to be sneaky.

Book 2 is one of those books that you've just got to get through to get to the rest of the series. Important stuff happens.



Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: YA Fantasy

Summary: Alina can control light, which is a neat trick, and everyone is obsessed with her and how she could possibly save the world.

The TV show is excellent!


Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: YA Fantasy

Summary: Celeana, the best assassin, is released from a salt mine prison camp to compete to become the king's champion.

Throne of Glass may be my favorite series, but the first two books are merely okay...


The Final Girls Support Group by Grady Hendrix

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: Thriller

Summary: A therapy group full of slasher survivors confront a new killer and discuss the problematic nature of true crime.

I bristle anytime a man heavily criticizes women's obsession with true crime (even though I agree it can be problematic).


When the Sky Fell on Splendor by Emily Henry

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Genre: YA Fantasy

Summary: After a gang of kids witness a weird object falling from the sky they start to get powers and learn about sadness.

My least favorite Em Hen book (sorry!), but still a beautiful exploration of communal grief.



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