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: Winter by Marissa Meyer

DESCRIPTION: The fourth and final book in ‘The Lunar Chronicles’.

Princess Winter is admired for her grace, kindness and beauty, despite the scars on her face. She’s said to be even more breath-taking than her stepmother, Queen Levana…

When Winter develops feelings for the handsome palace guard, Jacin, she fears the evil Queen will crush their romance before it has a chance to begin.

But there are stirrings against the Queen across the land. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even find the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter claim their happily ever afters by defeating Levana once and for all?

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: The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron, PhD

DESCRIPTION: For those people who have a keen imagination, are labelled too shy or too sensitive, who perform poorly when being observed even though they are usually competent, have vivid dreams, for whom time alone each day is essential, and find they are quickly overwhelmed by noise and confusion, crowded parties, hectic office life. This is the book to help them understand themselves and how best to cope in various situations.

Highly sensitive people are often very bright and creative but many suffer from low self esteem. They are not ‘neurotics’ as they have been labelled for so long. However, high sensitivity can lead them to cease to engage with the outside world. The book offers solutions for a happy and fulfilling life. Particularly in the way an HSP perceives his or herself: the book helps to ‘reframe’ past events, such as a difficult childhood, or how they see themselves

Previous Reads This Year

TITLE: Cress by Marissa Meyer

MY RATING: ☆☆☆

MY TOP-LEVEL THOUGHTS:

  • Found Cress’ character endearing at some moments & annoying at others
  • Very interesting take on the Rapunzel tale
  • Great space elements and introduction to a few new characters
  • Still not sure how believable I felt the semi-lukewarm love scenes were

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

MY RATING: ☆☆☆ 1/2

MY TOP-LEVEL THOUGHTS:

  • Very impactful discussions on the different views of trauma & its impact
  • Important for parents to read, solid conversations on how what one person may not view as traumatic someone else might see it differently
  • Important to take breaks & work your way through this book in case it stirs anything up in you emotionally
  • Recommend the audio book, Oprah’s voice is so soothing

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!
  • Some of her descriptions about being biracial and the identity issues we experience don’t sit well with me

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 V.E.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!