It has been a while since I wrote a post, talking about my favorite things, books books books! This year I am upping my reading goal for the year from 12 to 24. That may not seem like a lot to some, but for a few years I was in such a terrible reading slump. Nothing I picked up seemed to do it for me. The last half of 2020 I seemed to hit my stride. I managed 8 different books, back to back that I very much loved. Well the streak continued into 2021, and the first few books I picked up were AMAZING! Books will always be my first love and I’m so happy that I’m finally feeling renewed again by them. I’ll be updating this post as the year progresses, but I track all of my reading goals in Goodreads, feel free to follow along or share yours!

Currently Reading

TITLE: Cress by Marissa Meyer

DESCRIPTION: In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

TITLE: The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

DESCRIPTION: Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can’t seem to heal through literature is himself; he’s still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.
After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

TITLE: What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Oprah Winfrey

DESCRIPTION: Have you ever wondered “Why did I do that?” or “Why can’t I just control my behavior?” Others may judge our reactions and think, “What’s wrong with that person?” When questioning our emotions, it’s easy to place the blame on ourselves; holding ourselves and those around us to an impossible standard. It’s time we started asking a different question.
Through deeply personal conversations, Oprah Winfrey and renowned brain and trauma expert Dr. Bruce Perry offer a groundbreaking and profound shift from asking “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” Our earliest experiences shape our lives far down the road, and What Happened to You? provides powerful scientific and emotional insights into the behavioral patterns so many of us struggle to understand.
In conversation throughout the book with Dr. Perry, the two focus on understanding people, behavior, and ourselves. It’s a subtle but profound shift in our approach to trauma, and it’s one that allows us to understand our pasts in order to clear a path to our future―opening the door to resilience and healing in a proven, powerful way.

Previous Reads This Year

TITLE: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

MY RATING: ☆☆☆☆

MY TOP-LEVEL THOUGHTS:

  • Liked this one a lot more than Cinder
  • Very interesting dynamic with Scarlet and Wolf
  • I love that this takes place in real world cities in a future we’d all hope to avoid
  • Story line jumps between Cinder & Scarlet
  • A lot more action packed than Cinder
  • I love the way Marissa Meyer writes banter between her characters

TITLE: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

MY RATING: ☆☆☆☆☆

MY TOP-LEVEL THOUGHTS: 

  • LGBTQIA+ representation, in particular discussions around bisexuality erasure
  • Depictions on various types of love, not just passionate super-sexual love but the power of friendship and the family that you make
  • The unlikable main character was incredibly dynamic
  • I was NOT expecting the twist at the end!

TITLE: Atomic Habits by James Clear

MY RATING: ☆☆☆

MY TOP-LEVEL THOUGHTS: 

  • A lot of the things he recommends I was already doing to help curb my bad ADHD habits
  • The problem with sticking to habits has less to do with the action and more to do with the goal
  • Set yourself up for success by reframing your mindset about your goals
  • The end game isn’t to complete a task or hit a milestone, it’s to build sustainable habits that help you become the person you want to be

TITLE: The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

MY RATING: ☆☆ 1/2

MY TOP-LEVEL THOUGHTS: 

  • I don’t normally go for ghost stories but I was in the mood for something short and sweet
  • Less than 100 pages so easy to read in one sitting
  • It felt like it was being provocative just for the sake of it
  • No real resolution at the end, which isn’t necessarily good or bad but the reader is left wondering who the real “enemy” is
  • Overall wasn’t super impressed

TITLE: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

MY RATING: ☆☆☆  1/2

MY TOP-LEVEL THOUGHTS:

  • An interesting new take on an old tale
  • I love the use of technology in this book
  • Started to get a bit predictable
  • Some of the relationships seemed force and I could tell they were there as plot devices
  • The last act of the book was solid, I stayed up late to finish it!

TITLE: Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

MY RATING: ☆☆☆☆  1/2

MY TOP-LEVEL THOUGHTS: 

  • Really impactful for any audience member but I truly think that men, in particular, would benefit from the discussions around internalized shame they may not realize they’re carrying
  • I’m not a parent but this is definitely a book I’ll reference should I ever choose to become one
  • I think this can also benefit people in work environments to relate or connect with their bosses and peers

TITLE: Circe by Madeline Miller

MY RATING: ☆☆☆☆  1/2

MY TOP-LEVEL THOUGHTS: 

  • Months later and I’m still thinking about the power of this book
  • A beautiful depiction of life as a woman, mythological tale or not
  • The style of writing/prose was a bit difficult to get into for me but once I got used to it, I couldn’t imagine the story in any other tone
  • There is so much power and versatility in what it means to carry feminine energy

TITLE: The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin

MY RATING: ☆☆☆☆☆

MY TOP-LEVEL THOUGHTS:

  • Amazing book weaving the problems of climate change with a magic system
  • The MC has a piece of my heart
  • This book was written for any reader who was ever told they were ‘too much’
  • Your feelings don’t make you weak
  • Find forgiveness and grace for yourself to unlock your power
  • A love that lets you be wholly and completely yourself is the greatest magic of all

TITLE: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab

MY RATING: ☆☆☆  1/2

MY TOP LEVEL THOUGHTS:

  • LGBTQIA+ representation, especially bisexuality
  • Beautiful depiction of mental health & struggles
  • Writing is prose, bordering on poetic
  • It took my brain a while to get into the writing style (not uncommon for me & VE Schwab) but it packs a punch and is beautifully done
  • The chapters time jump from past to present, so pay attention to the chapter headers
  • Time waits for no one…well maybe just one

TITLE: All the Tides of Fate by Adalyn Grace

MY RATING: ☆☆☆☆☆

MY TOP-LEVEL THOUGHTS:

  • Not sure how she did it, but Adalyn Grace smashed it out of the park with the sequel to All the Stars & Teeth
  • Heart crushing depictions of grief, anxiety, and depression
  • Depicting various kinds of love
  • Amazing mythology and lore woven through the book
  • Betrayal and forgiveness are strong themes

TITLE: All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

MY RATING: ☆☆☆☆☆

MY TOP-LEVEL THOUGHTS:

  • You had me at pirate adventure
  • You doubly had me with a morally gray female lead who doesn’t shy away from things stereotypically seen as masculine
  • Shout out to just one line of the book helping to normalize discussions around periods
  • Brilliant magic systems & great mythological creatures
  • Amazing pace, action-packed but perfectly balanced with the emotional tones

TITLE: Lore by Alexandra Bracken

MY RATING: ☆☆☆☆☆

MY TOP-LEVEL THOUGHTS:

  • This book…THIS BOOK!!! Y’all, to start my year off with a 5-☆  read is unheard of for me.
  • Family, friendship, loyalty and tradition are big themes in this book
  • Trust is earned, lost, and won
  • Greek mythology meets the hunger games in the most amazing way!
  • The twist was so beautifully executed I legit teared up
  • Divine feminine power…this book is just beautiful

2021 TBR Books List

While my ‘to be read’ list is always growing, here are the books dropping this year that I’m excited for!

  • We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal
  • Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart
  • Jade Fire Gold by June CL Tan
  • God’s & Monsters by Shelby Mahurin
  • Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olson
  • From Little Tokyo, With Love by Sarah Kuhn
  • The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould 
  • Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
  • A Pho Love Story by Loan Le
  • For the Wolf (Wilderwood #1) by Hannah F. Whitten
  • People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
  • Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey
  • We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. This is at no extra cost to you and all products linked are ones I use personally and/or paid for myself 

Any books you’re excited for in 2021? Leave them in the comments below!