Hello friends, it’s Vera here today. 💛 Something I’ve mentioned here before is that, as a mood reader, I’m horrible at following a to-read list. To avoid wasting my own time as well as to avoid being disappointed in myself, I don’t tend to create TBR lists for myself. However, at the beginning of 2021, I decided to take a chance and create a list of 21 books that I planned to get to during 2021. Today, I’m here revisit this list and see how many books I was able to tackle last year.
I’ll admit that, as the end of 2021 was getting closer, I realized that I hadn’t read as many books of this list as I wanted to, so it was during November and December when I read multiple titles from the list. So with my 2022 TBR, which I’ll be posting in about two week’s time, my main goal / resolution will be to read a few books from my list every month instead of forgetting about the list for months at time. Anyhow, without further ado, let’s jump into the post and see how I did with my 2021 TBR!
GIRL, SERPENT, THORN didn’t disappoint, even if it didn’t manage to get the magical fifth star from me. (I say this as if I was super-strict with ratings… I’m not, lmao.) I loved that Soraya, the protagonist, was a morally grey and complex character and I also enjoyed the f/f romance, even if it was a less prominent part of the book than I originally expected. ★★★★
The Duke Who Didn’t is an enjoyable romance novel, but it’s not my favorite book by Courtney Milan. There wasn’t anything overly wrong with the story, but I couldn’t help but feel like there was something missing from it. Still good, though and Milan is still one of my favorite romance authors. ★★★★
Today Tonight Tomorrow was a fun novel I read basically in one seat, so it was definitely engaging and enjoyable, however, I didn’t like it quite as much as I hoped I would. So far I’ve read three novels by Rachel Lynn Solomon – this one being my favorite – and each time I felt somewhat disconnected from her characters, so I don’t think I’ll be trying more books by her. ★★★★
For this section of my post, sadly, there is no reason to write about each book separately.. because I haven’t read either of them. I did start 1984 as an audiobook, but I wasn’t able to concentrate on it that way, so I put it on hold for now and will get back to the physical version of the book someday soon (I hope).
In 2022, my plan is to read more classics as I have quite a few I’m looking forward to / have high hopes for.
Books by Authors I Already Love
A Curious Beginning: I was incredibly excited to get to it because Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julie Grey is one of my all time favorite series – I love the suspenseful plot, the characters, and the slow-burn romance in that series and I was hoping for something similar here. Unfortunately, I was to be disappointed. Not only did I struggle to care about the characters but I also found the plot to be weirdly paced (to the extent that it felt disjointed), boring, and ridiculous at parts. ★★
Going Bovine: I’m a cheating a teeny-tiny bit here as I finished Going Bovine on January 1st, 2022, but I did read most of it in 2021, so I think it’s only fair to include it here. Anyhow, as much as I adore Libba Bray, I struggled to get into this novel and it’s definitely my least favorite title by Bray so far. ★★★
The Buried Giant: I haven’t read this one, BUT I want to give myself props for reading another book by Kazuo Ishiguro: An Artist of the Flooding World. That was my third book by Ishiguro and so far I’ve rated each book of his five stars, so I have really high hopes for the rest of his books, including The Buried Giant.
Hyped Books That Have Been on My TBR For Ages
The Nightingale is a book I’ve owned for years, and yet, it took this list for me to be motivated enough to pick it up. It’s not my favorite book of the year, nor one I’ll be pushing at people, but ultimately, I’m happy I read it because the hype around this one is unbelievable and I’m glad I got to read it for myself. ★★★★
Dark Matter is, sadly, a book I haven’t managed to get to, even though I have really high hopes for it, especially after Sabrina loved it. Hopefully, I’ll be able to tackle it in 2022.
The Winter Sea is a novel I was very conflicted about upon finishing it. On the one hand, I enjoyed the premise and found it a comforting read. On the other hand, it was incredibly slow-moving and I wasn’t super invested in the characters or their story. ★★★
When Villains Rise was just as good as I hoped it would be! I love The Market of Monsters trilogy to the moon and back, and I can’t recommend it enough for anyone who wants to read about truly morally grey, or more like villainous characters. ★★★★★
Iron Heart was another sequel / conclusion that lived up to my expectations! I loved seeing Crier and Ayla’s development, both as individuals and as love interests, and I have a blast reading this book as the plot was truly captivating. ★★★★★
The Brightest Night was one of my most awaited reads from my 2021 TBR, so it breaks my heart that it ended up being one of my most disappointing reads of the year. The main issue is that this series was supposed to be 3 books long, but was extended, so to me, this book felt like a filler book, with not much happening in it. ★★
The Stone Sky: I’m so mad at myself for not having read this one yet! I’m incredibly excited and I adored the first two books, so I’m sure it won’t disappoint. This is going to be a priority in 2022.
The Burning God was a really good conclusion to the series, although I still think that the first book is my favorite from the trilogy. ★★★★
Sapphire Flames: Sadly, this is another one I haven’t yet gotten to, but this will also be a priority in 2022, so hopefully I can get to it then.
China Rich Girlfriend was just as good – maybe even better – than Crazy Rich Asians. I love how fast-paced and entertaining these books are, and I’m excited to get to the third one in 2022. ★★★★★
Courting Darkness: In my 2021 TBR post, I wrote that the reason why I hadn’t gotten to Courting Darkness was that I was scared it wouldn’t live up to the original trilogy. Unfortunately, I was right to worry because Courting Darkness and Igniting Darkness were both disappointing compared to the original books. ★★★★
The Darkest Legacy: I’m sad and ashamed to admit that I still haven’t gotten to this book despite having owned it for years and being really excited for it. I’ll get to it soon, though.. I just have to.
I managed to read 13 out of the 21 books I chose for 2021, so that’s a 62% result. It could be better, but at the end of the day (or year, in this case) I’m satisfied with that number! Like I said above, I don’t tend to create TBRs for myself because I’m a mood reader and I usually struggle to follow a TBR, so this is actually a pretty solid result for me. Here’s to hoping I’ll do even better in 2022.
Did you have a list of books you really wanted to get to in 2021? How successful were you with it?