I read a lot of filler in 2021, but I also read a few of what have become my favorite books of all time. I don’t like reading long book reviews – they seem to give too much away. So here are my top 5 reads of 2021 reviewed in 5 sentences (or less).
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
This is my favorite book of all time, hands down. I never really bought into the idea that a book could change my life, it always felt too simplistic, but this novel honestly did. My entire way of thinking has been undergoing a change since I read it, and I fully intend on reading it again this year.
This book did not change my entire way of thinking, but it did get 5 stars from me. I think it’s my favorite cryptid-focus book of all time – it’s truly gripping and I was on the edge of my seat for much of it. I don’t understand how Max Brooks makes everything feel so real, but he did the same in World War Z, so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. If you’re into Bigfoot, cryptids in general, or just a good horror story, this is quite probably something you’d enjoy. Now I want to read this again as well.
The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon
Apparently I was really into hotel-based horror novels, because this and the next book on the list are exactly that. I will say that it’s more atmospherically creepy and not outright horrifying, but the setting is so on point I couldn’t leave it out. I absolutely love suspenseful mysteries, so this is right up my alley. Family secrets, lies, death, mysteries, and a creepy hotel? Count me in.
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
Hotel horror part 2 – this time with the addition of paranormal shenanigans. Strangely, this novel also deals with a missing aunt, so it’s not surprising I get them confused periodically. Simone St. James is one of my favorite authors *of all time* – I’ve read every one of her books and have the next one on pre-order – so I was never not going to read this and I’m thrilled that it lived up to my expectations. She writes some of the best creepy, atmospheric, romantic ghost stories I’ve gotten my hands on. Excellent Halloween read for later in the year if you’re looking for one.
A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem (A Lady’s Guide #1) by Manda Collins
This is just a super cute, fun, historical romance/mystery that I really enjoyed, and I’ve been looking forward to reading the second one in the series. Is it a completely historically accurate portrayal? Probably not. Do I care? No.