I have never been a reader. And I mean, never. I managed to get through college without reading a single book (thank you, Sparknotes!!). However, in 2021, I picked up a book, and never stopped reading. I discovered the magical world of fiction. I discovered that reading was just like watching a lengthy TV show, but better. All the details began to dance in my mind, and I fell in love.
In January, I set a goal to read 52 books this year. That equals one book per week. I honestly didn’t think I would make it, but I finished my 52nd book this week, and I’ve learned a ton about myself throughout this process.
There’s nothing I love more than sharing a good book with a friend. I personally received many recommendations from my good friend (and English teacher) Anna @bound.to.reading. She really helped me discover the genres that I couldn’t put down, and opened my eyes to some incredible reads.
Now, it’s my turn to recommend some of my favorite books to you! You will find my reading list from this year below. An * means I really liked the book. A double ** means I LOVED the book. No * means I would skip it.
Books in 2021
- The Invisible Life of Addie Larue- V.E Schwab**
- Midnight Sun- Stephanie Meyer
- The Guest List- Lucy foley*
- Firefly Lane- Kristin Hannah**
- Night Swim- Megan goldin*
- Goodnight Beautiful- Aimee molloy
- Behind closed doors- b.a Paris*
- The Breakdown- B.A. Paris*
- Dark places- Gillian Flynn
- Behind Her Eyes- Sarah pinborough**
- The Wife Between Us- Greer Hendricks*
- A Good Girl’s guide to murder- holly jackson
- You Are Not Alone- Greer Hendricks*
- And Then She Was Gone- Lisa Jewel*
- My Lovely Wife- Samantha Downing*
- Anxious People- Fredrick Bachman*
- It Ends with Us- Colleen Hoover*
- Verity- Colleen Hoover*
- Without Merit- Colleen Hoover
- Pretty Girls- Karin slaughter*
- The Midnight Library- Matt Haig*
- Big Summer- Jennifer Weiner*
- When the Stars Go Dark- Paula McLain
- Ugly Love- Colleen Hoover*
- Survive the Night- Riley sager*
- Maybe Someday- Colleen Hoover
- The Last Thing he Told Me- Laura Dave
- The Therapist- BA Paris*
- Lock Every Door- Riley Sager*
- Final Girls- Riley Sager*
- Felix Ever After- Karen Calender*
- Home Before Dark- Riley Sager**
- Come Closer- Sarah gran
- The Girl from the Well- Ron Chupeco
- Imaginary Friend- Stephen Chbosky*
- The People We Meet on Vacation- Emily Henry *
- Silent Patient- Alex Michaelides
- Finlay Donovan is Killing It- Elle Cosimano*
- The Last time I lied- Riley Sager*
- A Litter of Bones- JD Kirk
- The Devil’s Tree- Susan McCauley*
- The Other Passenger- Louise Candlish*
- Horrorstor- Grady Hendrix
- While We Were Dating- Jasmine Guillory
- The Grace Year- Kim Liggett*
- To Sir, with Love- Lauren layne
- The Handmaid’s Tale- Margaret Atwood
- My Best Friends Exorcist- Grady Hendrix*
- If the Shoe Fits- Julie Murphy**
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo- Taylor Jenkins Reid**
- The Reading List- Sarah Nisha Adams*
- Under the Whispering Door- TJ Klune*
These books took me on an adventure this year. They gave me an outlet, and helped me escape depressive episodes. I fell in love with reading this year, and I hope these help you fall in love with it too!
Here were my top books of the year:
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab tells the story of Adeline, a girl who makes a Faustian deal for her freedom on the night that she is to be wed. In exchange for her soul, she gets the chance to experience life to its fullest without aging or dying.
This book changed my life. What was going to be the start of a book club with my husband quickly turned into me reading late at night and crying into my pillow. If you need a book to get you hooked on reading, read this one.
Firefly Lane is a novel written by Kristin Hannah, who has written 20 novels. This novel takes place in the 1970s and tells the story of two women whose 30-year friendship becomes a stabilizing force in their lives. Firefly Lane tells the story of two best friends, Kate and Tully.
If you aren’t sobbing at the end of this book, then you’re doing it wrong. I LOVED this book (sooo much more than the Netflix series). I became obsessed with the lives of Kate and Tully, and never wanted to let them go. This book showed me how much I love a coming of age novel with 2 besties.
Behind Her Eyes
Behind Her Eyes follows the story of Louise, a single mother, whose world is thrown off kilter when she begins an affair with her new boss, David, and matters take an even stranger turn when she’s drawn into an unlikely friendship with his wife, Adele.
If you love thrillers, then this is for you!! The twists and turns of this book had my jaw on the floor up until the very end. Such a good read!
Home Before Dark
It focuses on the characters of Maggie Holt, via her first person narrative, and her father Ewan, through excerpts taken from a book. The book-within-a-book focuses on supernatural events that Ewan claims drove them to flee their home and never return.
Supernatural thriller fans, this book is godly!! Riley Sager is the perfect thriller writer in my opinion, and I enjoyed all of his books this year. I highly recommend them all, but specifically loved this one and how supernatural this story was. This book definitely scared me, but always had me wanting more. I was super sad when I finished this!
The Grace Year
A rebellious 16-year-old is sent to an isolated island for her grace year, when she must release her seductive, poisonous magic into the wild before taking her proper place as a wife and child bearer. In gaslit Garner County, women and girls are said to harbor diabolical magic capable of manipulating men.
This book is totally Handmaid’s Tale meets Hunger Games, and I am here for it!! I loved loved this book, and it is also well-loved by the whole book community.
If the Shoe Fits
Cindy Woods is an aspiring shoe designer who works for her TV executive stepmother, Erica. When Erica needs a last-minute stand-in for her reality dating show, “Before Midnight,” Cindy steps up, thinking she’ll be sent home early and can get right back to working on her own dreams in the fashion industry.
Reality Show lovers + Body Positivity activists will love this book (I know I did!). In this fantasy world, we finally get to see a thick girl on the Bachelor. This book left me feeling warm and fuzzy. 10/10
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a historical fiction novel by American author Taylor Jenkins Reid and published by Atria Books in 2017. The novel tells the story of the fictional Old Hollywood star Evelyn Hugo, who at the age of 79 decides to give a final interview to an unknown journalist, Monique Grant.
This is such a wonderful story, I never wanted to put this book down. I wish I could read this over and over- if you need a good escape, this is the book for you. I was lost in the stories Evelyn told, and had tears in my eyes at the ending. Just sooooo good.
Happy reading!! If you read and love any of these, please tag me on IG @hannahleelifestyle!