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31 Days of Book Recs: A Bookish Countdown to 2021

Hello! First of all, I want to thank Mer (coffeeheadsbookshelf) for creating this amazing challenge that I think will give everyone some really cool and different recommendations, and also help me look back on this crazy year of books!

So, on December 1st, I will be updating a huge list of prompts for recommendations each day. It will end on December 31st as we say goodbye to 2020, and hello to 2021! As per the rules, I’m going to try my best to use as many books as I can and also not repeat them! 

Without further ado, here are 31 days worth of book recommendation for your 2021 TBR list. Enjoy!

  1. The first book you read during 2020

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. I absolutely loved this book. It definitely showed me that reading was a great way to get me through quarantine and lockdown and I think it was a great start to the year. This book was kind of incredible and I could not put it down. It’s probably one of my favorite contemporaries, and I recommend this to every romance/contemporary reader. It was so easy to get into and I loved the switching of points of view throughout the book. It really let me get to know each of the characters individually and together too which I liked a lot. Definitely a 5 star read.

  1. A book you bought during quarantine

Tons and tons of books. In quarantine, I found my love for reading again, and I found booktok. If anybody here is from booktok then you know how many recommendations there are, especially for YA. 

My first quarantine buy was A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. You’ve probably read my review for it, but if you didn’t then let me tell you, I adored this series. It’s probably one of my favorites of all time and it made me fall in love with Maas’ writing and her style. I ended up buying the next three books in the series too (A Court of Mist and Fury, A Court of Wings and Ruin, A Court of Frost and Starlight) and now I’m addicted and can’t wait for A Court of Silver Flames. 

After reading A Court of Thorns and Roses, I wanted to read more SJM books to I bought Crescent City. This was another level of amazing. The world-building, character development, I finished this book so fast and I fell in love with each of the characters and now, like the ACOTAR series, I’m addicted and waiting for the next book to come out!

To finish my SJM binge, I bought the Throne of Glass box set. Another amazing series that made me laugh, cry and scream all at the same time. This is also a series I’d definitely recommend!

Finally, I bought the entire Twilight series because of Midnight Sun. The Twilight Saga movies have always been my guilty pleasure movies and I figured that the new book meant I should probably read them all too. So I did! And I loved them, of course. You can’t really go wrong with a good Edward Cullen story.

  1. A book with characters that really represents you 

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Fangirl was a book I binge-read ages ago and I adored it. I think I’ve reread it about five or six times since and it just doesn’t ever get old. I mean the main character is literally a “fangirl”. She’s pretty much the same person as me. Cath loves to write fanfiction and read books. Pretty much me in a nutshell. She also adores the library. Also me. 

Another character that I think represents me is Cath from Heartless by Marissa Meyer. Cath started out as a character that loved to bake, spend time with her friends and was overall really sweet. I loved this version of her, but as the book went on, she was kind of haunted by the events that go down. She becomes someone completely different than who she began the book being, and that kind of represents me. I think that different events change my personality. Overall, this was an amazing book. I had never thought about the Queen of Hearts and her past until reading this and falling in love with her character and story. 

  1. A book that broke your heart in 2020

Heartless by Marissa Meyer. This book broke my heart and put it back together a million times. I don’t even know how to explain the pain I felt when reading this book. I won’t spoil anything, but if you’ve read this book then you know exactly what I mean. I fell in love with each and every one of these characters and I knew where the story was going but it just hurt even more! Along with all of this, it was my first Marissa Meyer read and I adored her writing style. I was hooked on this story and I definitely never wanted it to end. 

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas. This book. Just thinking about this book hurts my heart. I was completely and utterly addicted to this series and I never wanted to see it end, but, it was a good ending that made me laugh and bawl my eyes out!

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon also broke my heart. I was not expecting that ending for a contemporary romance and it was so different than my usual high fantasy reads. I completely binged this book and finished it in a few hours and it was so amazingly well written and I fell in love with the characters and their stories and points of view. It was such a good, easy romance, that also broke my heart at the same time. 

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell also kind of destroyed me. I read this book a long time ago, but I could not put it down! It was so well-written and unique, and it features abuse which I actually really liked reading about. It was intense at times, and easy at times and it was an overall amazing book that made me feel everything right down to my core.

  1. A book who’s cover you don’t really like 

Wicked as you Wish by Rin Chupeco. I haven’t actually read this book yet, but it’s sitting on my bookshelf and it just doesn’t look the most appealing despite its incredibly interesting description. 

Also, the Siren by Kiera Cass. I just hate people on covers, but honestly, I loved this book. It was quite different from Cass’s other books (The Selection), however, I did enjoy it. As a fan of Kiera Cass, I figured I’d give it a go and it turned out to be quite an easy read that got me through a book slump. It probably isn’t my favorite but I did come to enjoy each of the characters and the story was well-written too. 

  1. Your prettiest book

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I’ve had this book for what seems like ages and I still love looking at this cover. It’s just beautiful and motivated me to read it. Classics have never been my favorite genre, but you can’t go wrong with Pride and Prejudice.

  1. Your favorite classic book

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. This book showed me what it is to fall in love with the classics. It’s the first classic book I ever read and I just loved every second of it. I can definitely understand why it is so popular, and a well-known classic. It also helps that my copy of the book is really pretty! Definitely recommend this to any new classic readers. It’s pretty easy to get into and overall will have you hooked. It’s a great introduction to the classic genre!

  1. A book from a series you always go back too

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I actually hadn’t read the books from this series until 2020, but I have to tell you, the books are WAY better than the movies, (although they will always be my guilty pleasure movies). I feel like Bella has a lot more personality in the books and her character is a lot more well-rounded. This is definitely a book series I’ll probably reread whenever I need a break from other things, and with Midnight Sun now, I enjoyed the series a lot more. 

The Selection by Kiera Cass is also a series I constantly go back to. I reread this series at least once a year, and I think that it’s such a nice break from the intensity of some other books. Along with that, I think that the familiar story is really nice to go back to and I enjoy Cass’s writing style. 

  1. A book you binged during 2020

The Alchemist by Paul Coelho was a book I finished in a day. I definitely recommend this book to everyone. I think that everyone should read this at least once in their lifetime, no matter who you are. The life lessons I learnt from this book were unbelievable, and it honestly changed my entire point of view on life and my daily routine. Along with that, the book is short enough to finish in a few hours and it was really easy to follow along and get into. 

The Betrothed by Kiera Cass was another book that I finished in less that a day. This book was a rollercoaster of emotions. I loved Cass’ other books so I was super excited for this one, however, I have to say that I was incredibly disappointed. Of course, I’m still going to read the next book, and maybe this was a great book for some people! It just wasn’t my cup of tea. 

  1. A guilty pleasure read of 2020

The Selection series by Kiera Cass has been one of my guilty pleasure reads for years, so just like every year, I did a reread of the series and finished the books in the span of a few days. Definitely worth it, and I look forward to the annual reread every year!

  1. The book of your top ship from 2020

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer is definitely one of these books. Bella and Edward have held a big piece of my heart ever since I watched the Twilight movies, and Midnight Sun was no different. I loved Midnight Sun because we got to see Edward’s point of view. He became less of the “creepy stalker” vampire, and more of the “protective, in-love” vampire that I always knew he was. The book just proved to the world that Edward is a lovely character who wants to protect Bella, and he’d go to the ends of the Earth to do that for her. 

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas was another book that had one of my top ships from 2020. I had never read the ACOTAR series before this year, so obviously Feyre and Rhysand are high on my list of top ships this year!

  1. A book you had a hard time getting threw during 2020

The Three Dark Crowns series by Kendare Blake was a series I really struggled to read. This series had been recommended to me so many times by a ton of different people so I was actually really excited to read it, and while I did enjoy the story, it just wasn’t keeping me interested enough to sit down for long periods of time and read (like I usually do). Then again, the reviews for this series are quite positive, so go check it out, it just wasn’t for me.

  1. A book can be any book that gave you good life advice during 2020

The Alchemist by Paul Coelho. Like I mentioned on day 9, this book taught me a ton of life lessons and I’ve completely changed my point of view on my daily life. This is a book that everyone just has to read at least once in their lifetime and it will open so many doors to you. 

Along with this book, I read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens which I’ve had on my bookshelf for years. As a teenager, sometimes life gets hard, and this book kind of taught me how to manage it! If you’re a teenager, or someone you know is a teenager, then it might be helpful because it definitely was for me!

  1. A book that made you smile

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston was a book that had me feeling all sorts of things. I definitely laughed, cried a few times, and overall felt a rollercoaster of everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. This book is so hyped up and it’s soooo worth it. Probably one of my top contemporary/romances. 

  1. A retelling of a classic you read 

I’ve read a ton of classic retellings so here we go!

First of all, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas is a beauty and the beast retelling. Yes, it doesn’t have a ton of Beauty and the Beastish things in it, but the underlying story is there. 

While we’re on the topic of Beauty and the Beast, A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer is a retelling of that classical story! I absolutely loved this book. I read it in less than a day and the second book in the series is just as good, if not better. Also, if you’re looking for something with an upcoming book, A Vow so Bold and Deadly comes out in January! You won’t even have to wait that long!

In the Beauty and the Beast category I also have As Old as Time by Liz Braswell that I just finished. This one took me quite a bit longer to get into, but the story was super interesting and it was such a dark twist that I ended up really enjoying it.

  1. A book from your favorite genre

I have so many genres that I love that it’s so hard to choose just one, but fantasy is probably my closest to favorite. I haven’t mentioned the Throne of Glass series yet, so we can do that. If you haven’t read this series, do it right now! It’s pretty long but it’s soo worth it. Each book adds so much depth to this story and I read this at the beginning of the year and still can’t stop thinking about it. 

Side Note: DO NOT SKIP TOWER OF DAWN! It gets better, I promise!

  1. A book you didn’t think you’d like but you ended up loving 

Crowned a Traitor by Kate Callaghan definitely falls under this category. I got this copy from Netgalley (thanks Netgalley!) and it did take me awhile to sit down and want to read it, but once I did, I fell in love with this story. The writing style was so unique and I loved the characters and how I didn’t really know the entire story until our main character actually thought it out in her head. Overall, great book.

  1. A book you wish more people would read

The I am Number Four series by James Frey and Jobie Hughes were some of my favorite books. I’ve been wanting to reread them for a long time and they are the series that showed me what it is to read fantasy. Honestly, it’s such an underrated series and I think it deserves a lot more hype. It’s so thought-out, and each of the characters are so easy to love. 

  1. A Book by A POC or LGBTQ author

I gotta mention Red, White & Royal Blue again. Casey McQuiston is incredible for writing this book and giving me this masterpiece to read! 

The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon is another author in this category and I adored her books!

  1. A book you read because bookish social media said you should

A Court of Thorns and Roses series, and I loved it! As I’ve mentioned above, I adored these books and I’m definitely going to reread them for the upcoming release of A Court of Silver Flames. 

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young was a book that I had to read as part of a book club and I also don’t regret this one bit. It was such an interesting storyline and I’ve never read anything like it before!

  1. A book you read in 2020 but would be reluctant to read again 

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good book, it just isn’t good enough for me to want to reread it. It held my interest just long enough to get me through the book and no longer.

  1. A book that was better than the screen adaptation of it 

Divergent by Veronica Roth. This book, I have to admit I did enjoy the first one, however the series just went downhill after. I did enjoy the movies though. The ending to the last movie was wayyyy better than the movie for the last book, and overall it’s a good dystopian type story.

  1. A stand-alone you wish was a series

Lore by Alexandra Bracken. This book actually comes out in January of 2021, however I was fortunate to receive an ARC of it from Netgalley, (Thank you Netgalley!). This book was…well it was incredible. I could not stop reading it and it was so creative and different. Honestly it was such an interesting book and I couldn’t put it down. The characters were amazing, the entire story was so well-built that it blew me away. I loved how the book ended, however, I’d totally read it if it was a series too!

  1. A book with POC and/Or LGBTQ characters

Red, White & Royal Blue has been mentioned a lot, but it’s one of my favorite stories under this category! Casey McQuiston writes this love story so well and it was such an addicting read. The book has been so hyped up and it is so worth the read. “History, huh?”

  1. A book that has food or beverages you wish you could enjoy

America’s strawberry tarts from the Selection series by Kiera Cass. These strawberry tarts make my mouth water just reading about them! How could you not be obsessed?

  1. A book you easily binged

Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard. I have to admit that I enjoyed the first book wayyyy better than the other ones, however, it was a good series and I stuck through it till the end. This series was one of the first booktok recommended I had read this year and I was super excited about it. I really enjoyed the first book and finished it in about a day and while the second book was a lot harder to get into, I did enjoy it too. 

  1. The cheapest book you bought 

I was able to buy two of the twisted tales series by Liz Braswell on my Kindle for $0.99. I definitely think that’s a score considering how well thought-out these books are and I loved both of them! 

I was also able to win a giveaway from Goodreads. (Thanks Goodreads!). This book was the Sisters of Straygarden Place by Hayley Chewins and I loved this read. It was short enough to hold my interest and was so interesting that I read it in a day. This is definitely a more middle-grade book, however, I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

  1. A book that pokes fun of its self or other things 

So I don’t have a ton of recommendations for this category, however, all I can think of is Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell! I was OBSESSED with these books as a kid, so if you’re looking for something to gift then this is a great read for children!

  1. Your favorite series of the year 

Throne of glass by Sarah J. Maas was definitely one of my favorite series of the year. If you haven’t read this series yet, then get on it! These books were incredible and I loved each and every one of them. The characters and world-building had me hooked and I felt lost in the world that Maas created. It was amazing. 

 Twilight by Stephenie Meyer will always be one of my top faves. Guilty pleasure reads are the best!

A Court of Thorns and Roses, also by Sarah J. Maas, was another great series I read this year. Another series that will have you hooked by the first chapter and you won’t be able to stop reading!

  1. A book where the characters deserved better

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas is one of the first books that comes to mind here. I mean..come on. If you’ve read this book then you know exactly what I mean, and if you haven’t, well…good luck!

  1. Your favorite book of the year! 

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas was absolutely one of my favorites this year. It made me laugh, and cry, and go on a complete emotional rollercoaster. It was the perfect ending to a series that personally, I invested a lot of emotion into and it was just an incredible story. 

I also really loved A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas too. This book will be part of the series I will reread starting January in preparation for A Court of Silver Flames!

Finally, I loved Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer. It was one of those books that brought back a ton of nostalgia and was good for clarification on the story too. 

Overall, I read so many books that I thoroughly enjoyed but those are my top three!

I hope you love each and every one of these recommendations! Be sure to check out my reviews for any of them (linked on the title of the book). Happy 2021 reading!

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