End of Year Book Survey 2021 – part 1

Normally I’d do a quick round up of what I’ve read at the end of the month, but since we’re reaching the end of the year I wanted to do a bit of an end of year tag.

Amy very kindly sent me the link to this annual reading survey from Perpetual Page Turner, though I am using last year’s questions as this year’s didn’t seem to be up yet when I started writing this. It’s also super long, which is great as there’s loads to look back on, so I’m going to split it down and post a bit each day on the last few days of 2021/first few of 2022!  

Number of books read: 125 (126 if I finish Midnight in Everwood this week!) I beat my goal by 25! And really a few more since there’s a few very early chapter books I didn’t count. And if we added in the picture books too…!!

Number of re-reads: 4

Genre you read the most from: I don’t know but I’d guess at middle grade fantasy or mystery.

1. Best book you read in 2021?

Really?! One book?! I’ll get back to you…

2. Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love but didn’t?

Two witch themed books here, one adult – The Manningtree Witches, and one children’s – The Forest of Moon and Sword. I love witchy fiction usually, so I was excited for both of these but Manningtree was Dull with a capital D, and Forest was just…lacking.

3. Most surprising book you read?

I’d have to pick out a books I read for work here – Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth. I don’t read much contemporary, especially not teen contemporary as it tends to be melodramatic romance with ISSUES and characters I want to throttle. This is pretty much what I was expecting here BUT I was so wrong!

 I thought the voice was brilliant – sassy, dry and very, very funny but with so much heart behind it. Sharply written, utterly hilarious, cleverly plotted with an understated warmth, this was great!

  4. Book you pushed the most people to read (and they did)?

Honestly, I do not know! Have I recommended a book that you’ve picked up this year? Let me know in the comments!

5. Best series you started in 2021?

Amari and the Night Brothers by B B Alston. Probably. It just had everything – incredible world building, action, intrigue, magic, great characters, tension, twists… Bring on book two!

You can read my full review here.

6. Best sequel of 2021?

There are loads of books I could choose for this  but ultimately I think I have to go for The Swallows’ Flight by Hilary McKay (a follow up of sorts if not exactly a sequel to Skykarks War). Sensational!

You can read my full review here.

P.S It was such a close call, I just have to give The False Rose by Jakob Wegelus, translated by Peter Graves a mention too because of my days how much do I love Sally Jones and her adventures!

7. Best series ender of 2021?

I read lots of sequels and continuations of series this year, but not many final books. However, of those I did read I’d have to pick The Storm Keeper’s Battle by Catherine Doyle. This was the perfect ending to this series – so tense and exciting right to the last with brilliant moments for all the characters we’d got to know. Loved it.

You can read my full review here.

8. Favourite new author you discovered in 2021?

It’s hard to answer this I think because even if you absolutely LOVE a book, how do you really know you’re a solid fan of that author til you’ve read more than one of their books…?

That said, I have read SO many amazing books by new and new-to-me authors in 2021! There’s lots I could choose but I’m going to go for Douglas Stuart. Shuggie Bain was so hyped I was sceptical but this is a definite case of BELIEVE THE HYPE. It was one of my absolute stand out books of the year and I’m SO excited for Young Mungo next year!

9. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/out of your comfort zone?

I’d reiterate my answer to question 2, Not My Problem, but in the interest of variety, I’ll also pick out The Amazing Edie Eckhart by Rosie Jones.

I don’t normally read contemporary MG either, but read this for work and it was great. Funny, relatable, huge appeal for kids and such positive and much needed disability rep (I thought!)

10. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable read of the year?

To me unputdownable is for lots of different reasons which would only widen the pool of answers further so on the action-packed/thrilling front…

I could definitely pick out Amari again, but since I’ve already mentioned that, I’ll cheat and choose two others –

Uki and the Ghost burrow by Kieran Larwood which is NERVE-WRACKING, exciting and brilliant. I love this series and the way this ends and the way it ties into the rest of the books was masterful. If you’ve not yet been to the Five Realms, you’ll want to remedy that!

Fireborn by Aisling Fowler – a blistering start to what promises to be a fast-paced and action-packed series. There were some brilliant baddies/creatures leading to some even better battles, escapes and nail-biting situations.

Have you read any of these? What would you have chosen? And have you read anything I’ve recommended this year?!


6 thoughts on “End of Year Book Survey 2021 – part 1

Add yours

  1. I can certainly say that I’ve read books you’ve recommended this year Rachael…I love reading your reviews and always value your judgement on books. I totally agree with you about The Stormkeeper’s Battle and The Swallows’ Flight; two of my favourite books of the year. Thanks for highlighting Not My Problem, I shall get that as some light relief from A level studies for the youngest, who generally does not like issues-based YA. Sending you every good wish for the New Year and I shall be following your recommendations eagerly 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Veronica 💜
      Not My Problem is brilliant! It does contain some ‘issues’ – alcoholism, pressure to do well/fear of failure, relationships – BUT they’re not overly dramatised and feel like part of the character’s lives rather than the point of the book/sensationalist extras if you see what I mean? And the wit and tone and humour keep it light. I hope your youngest enjoys it! Another good one would be Mud by Emily Thomas if they’ve not read that. Have a happy new year!xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve loved reading your answers to these. I really need to read The swallows’ Flight. I adored Amari and Fireborn too and am so looking forward to the next in these series. Think Amari is due for release in April. I’m also excited that Catherine Doyle has a new release this year!

    Liked by 1 person

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