2021 End of Year Book Survey: Part I

It’s that time of the year again and I’m keen to look back on my year of reading with The End of Year Book Survey originally created by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner. Since this is a bit of a longer recap I’ve split the survey into two, combining parts 2+3 but that’ll also be going up later this week! And on that note, let’s dive straight in:

Screenshot of My Year in Books - 2021 from Goodreads. Image shows an open book with the text My Year in Books below it. Followed by: 62,038 pages read, 199 books read

Number of books read: 199
Number of pages read: 62,038
Number of re-reads: 3 (Illuminae, Gemina, Aurora Rising)
Genre(s) you read the most from: Romance and Fantasy

This is the first time I’ve checked the details of my reading stats on Goodreads but I love to see it! Interesting to see just how few 5-star reads I had in 2021—I know I had a few but I didn’t realise it was so few either! 😅 Despite that, my average rating was 3.7 this year, which is a surprisingly minor difference from 3.8 last year!

Goodreads status: 2021 Reads, ranking tier from 5 stars to 1 star and unrated reads.

Best book you read in 2021?

I really don’t think I can pick one for this prompt. I’m sorry! I made a Top 10 list but if I had to narrow it down to a Top 3 I think I’d pick: Jade City, The Goddess of Nothing at All, The Death of Vivek Oji, The Love Hypothesis and The Ones We’re Meant to Find.


Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn’t?

I buddy read Jade Fire Gold with Becky and unfortunately, we both didn’t end up loving it. It had potential but it fell short; the whole time I wanted more and sadly, we didn’t get it by the end.


Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read? 

I decided to look at a book that surprised me in a good way! I struggle with anthologies/short story collections but I really enjoyed Up All Night: 13 Stories Between Sunset and Sunrise. Lots of fun, feel good, nostalgic YA stories that gave me the warm fuzzies 🥰


Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did)?

Hmm… This is a tough one. I’m not sure that I managed to convince anyone to read anything that I gushed about? 😂 But the books I’m quite sure pushed the most were these three: Jade City, The Goddess of Nothing at All, and Sing Anyway! All were brilliant. *chefs kiss*

Book cover: Jade City
Book cover: The Goddess of Nothing at All
Book cover: Sing Anyway

Best series you started in 2021? Best Sequel? Best Series Ender of 2021?

Six Crimson Cranes

Book cover: Six Crimson Cranes

I love Lim’s writing and world-building and I’m so happy this story was gorgeous as its cover!

Jade War

Book cove: Jade War

I didn’t think it could get better than Jade City, but this sequel blew my mind!

Subtle Blood

Book cover: Subtle Blood

This was a great ending to an amazing series. I adore this queer historical mystery/ romance!


Favourite new author you discovered in 2021?

Ooh, there are so many new favourites including: Fonda Lee, Martha Wells, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Holly Jackson, KJ Charles, Brighton Walsh, Ali Hazelwood, Lucy Parker, Anita Kelly and Danielle L. Jensen.


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

Kept from Cages

Dark SFF is not usually my jam but this had a compelling mystery, intriguing powers and awesome characters! 😍

Shards of Earth

I don’t read much adult sci-fi but this book was wow! The world-building was amazing and the characters grew on me quickly. I became very *invested* 👀


Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

The Bridge Kingdom series was one of my more recent reads and I sped through this so quickly I surprised myself! The action steadily escalated, the romance became deliciously angsty and I adored every moment of it. 😍


I think I’d re-read Silver in the Wood before starting the next book in the series.


Favourite cover of a book you read in 2021?

So so many but here are a few:


Most memorable character of 2021?

Art by: C.J. Merwild

Just like last year, this year’s favourite is not just one person but one family from The Green Bone Saga! After craving fan art all year, I’m so glad so much exists now. This family portrait by C.J. Merwild is my favourite. Everyone’s just so freaking stunning—I can’t 🥲


Most beautifully written book read in 2021?

There were two books tied for this but A People’s History of Heaven won by a small margin. The prose flowed like magic. Subramanian really knows how to give life to her words because I was able to vividly picture everything!


Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2021?

Hmm… Well, I wouldn’t necessarily say that Before the Coffee Gets Cold was life-changing but it did make me think a lot about time and life, changes and chances. This hit really deep emotionally!


Book you can’t believe you waited until 2021 to finally read? 

I honestly can’t believe I didn’t read A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder before this year! I loved Poppy and the mystery had me hooked until the very end!


Favourite passage/quote from a book you read in 2021?

“Everyone loses their way at some point, and it’s not just because of their mistakes or the decisions they make. It’s because they’re horribly, wonderfully human. And the one thing I’ve learned about being human is that we can’t do this alone. When we’re lost, we need help to try to find our way again.”

T.J. Klune, Under the Whispering Door

Shortest & Longest book you read in 2021?

Shortest: 52 pages (Surrender: An Erotic Short)
Longest: 672 pages (Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2))


Book that shocked you the most

Credence was pretty taboo and it definitely won’t be for everyone but it wasn’t the forbidden elements that shocked me. It was more how much I enjoyed the story! 😂


OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

I didn’t even have to take a second to think about it: Olive and Adam from The Love Hypothesis. They’re so precious and aah, I squee thinking about them! 😍

Honourary mentions: Sylvie & Dom (Battle Royal), Lara & Aren (The Bridge Kingdom), Will & Kim (The Will Darling Adventures), Gianna & Christian (The Maddest Obsession), Mac & Hudson (Captain Heartbreaker)


Favourite non-romantic relationship of the year

I loved the ride or die friendship between Olive and Lucy. Their relationship was my favourite aspect of this Love & Hate series.


Favourite book you read in 2021 from an author you’ve read previously

Chloe Liese is one of my favourite romance authors and I adored both books by her that I read this year: Ever After Always and With You Forever.


Best book you read in 2021 that you read based solely on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure/bookstagram, etc.

I’d seen a few of the Havenbrook series covers circulate on book Twitter throughout the year and all the threads gushed about how awesome they were so of course I had to find out for myself! It’s become one of my favourite small-town romance series and I can’t wait to read more by Brighton Walsh in 2022!


Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2021?

Ooh, this is a toughie. I read so many romances with swoontastic heroes that swept me off my love-drunk feet! I’m gonna do my best to narrow it down to a Top 5… I was a sucker for Zaf, Adam, Dominic, Hudson and Rahul! 😍😍😍😍😍


Best 2021 debut you read?

I still can’t believe The Hand of the Sun King was a debut with its immaculate world-building and stunning prose! The Love Hypothesis is also another stunner of a debut and I can’t wait to read more by Hazelwood ASAP!


Best world-building/most vivid setting you read this year?

I only read a few fantasies this year but I would have to say The Green Bone Saga books had the best world-building. It’s so intricate and vivid that I felt like I was there experiencing it myself!


Book that put a smile on your face/was the most fun to read?

Chef’s Kiss was one of the only graphic novels that I read in 2021 and I was constantly smiling as I read! It was so cute and relatable and ah, happy heart sighs. 🥰


Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2021?

I’m an emotional reader so once I become invested in characters and their stories, it doesn’t take much to make me laugh, cry, scream at all the injustice… Anyway, it’s safe to say I cry easily while reading but these are the books that made me ugly cry.


Hidden gem of the year?

I feel like I haven’t seen enough people talk about Skin of the Sea in 2021 and it’s a gorgeous YA fantasy debut that deserves all the love!


Book that crushed your soul?

The soul-crushing honour definitely goes to The Goddess of Nothing at All. This book absolutely wrecked me and I felt so bereft when it ended 😭 (and obviously I mean all of this in the best way)!


Most unique book you read in 2021?

I can’t remember the last time I read a story from an animal perspective and Pighearted was a heartwarming story about family and belonging, told partially through the eyes of J6, a little pig who thought he was human. So cute!


Book that made you the most mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

As Good As Dead took a turn that I really didn’t expect or wish for the main character and it frustrated me because why was she done like this?! I don’t mean it in a bad way either but just in a heartbreaking way, I guess?


And that’s a wrap on part 1!

2021 was a pretty weird reading year. I read more than I did in 2020 but I also feel like I read less impactful or memorable books too—or more like they left less of an impression on me? I’m still pretty happy with what I read though and I’m looking forward to (hopefully) more amazing reads in 2022!

How was your year of reading in 2021? Did you do the End of Year Book Survey too? What was your favourite book(s)? What about the book that surprised you the most?

33 thoughts on “2021 End of Year Book Survey: Part I

  1. OK so what I got out of this post is that I NEED to read the Green Bone saga! That art!!! I’m in love!
    I’m really excited to see how much you loved Brighton Walsh. She’s criminally underrated in the romance community so it makes me happy to see her get love. I’m also very pleased at alll the romance in your reading this year!
    I hope 2022 is just as great!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES, NICK! YES! Read the Green Bone saga! If you like audios then I would highly rec the audiobook cos the narrator is awesome! 😍 And yes, I can’t wait to read more Walsh but also Lucy Parker! I hope you have a great reading year in 2022 as well ❤️

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    1. I would highly rec the audiobook for Jade City if you like audios! Haha, I’m glad I’m not the only who enjoyed Credence even though the tropes aren’t normally our jam 😆 Hope your 2022 is full of great reads!

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  2. Amazing post Dini! I’m so disappointed we didn’t end up loving Jade Fire Gold, but fingers crossed our next buddy read will be better. You’ve made me excited/nervous to read Goddess of Nothing at all 😂 that’s a lot of hype! But I’m sure if you loved it that much I will too. I just finished reading Under the Whispering Door and loved you chose that quote, I think I’ve highlighted about 60% of the book tbh 😂. YES to the Kauls, they are one good looking family & I can’t wait till you read Jade Legacy… you are not ready! I hope you have a fantastic reading year in 2022 😊

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  3. This is a cool post! It’s fun to see what everyone has read by the end of the year. My reading for 2021 was slower than the year before but it was still great!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We have already gushed about Hazelwood together, so I will comment on other stuff. Do you know I didn’t read the final Good Girl book. I thought the series got a bit too dark in book two, and I heard it got darker. I wanted Pip from book one back. And talk about tears! The Yoon book destroyed me. I remember talking about it with Jen Ryland, and we were perplexed by reviews calling the book fun and cute. It was deeply emotional, and the ending, painfully beautiful, but still painful.

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    1. Ooh, good call on the Good Girl book. I mean, the second in the series was my favourite but the third book definitely took a very *very* dark turn that I didn’t expect or want for Pip! It was a little disappointing but I’m glad I finished the series. Also, people called the Yoon book fun and cute? I mean, there were definitely some cute, funny and swoony moments in the romance, but deeply emotional but painful is way more accurate! 😂

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  5. Nice wrap up Dini and so detailed. Looks like you had a great year of reading. I love Skin of the Sea, the main character in that book was one of my favorites of 2021. And I’m definitely going to get on it with reading Jade City and The Love Hypothesis. 🙂 Here’s to more amazing books in 2022!

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    1. Thanks, Yolanda! It is very detailed and it took ages to put together, haha! 😂 But it’s nice to see a proper wrap up of my year. Skin of the Sea is such an underrated gem. I hope more people read it! And YES! I hope you love Jade City and Love Hypothesis 🥰 Have an amazing reading year in 2022!

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  6. Your love for Jade City series definitely came out in this post but it’s absolutely warranted!! It was one of my favorites of the year! I’m so glad you had such a great reading year. This is an awesome and detailed post. I might have to do it next year!

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    1. Hahaha, I don’t think I will ever stop gushing about the Green Bone Saga books 😂 It’s definitely a detailed wrap up but I definitely want to try for one with more pretty stats next year lol I hope you have a great reading year in 2022, Leslie! ❤️

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      1. Yeah, I think I want to find something much more detailed and prettier for my end of the year too. I didn’t even do one this year. I just didn’t have the brain space and I sucked at reading anything the last half of the year! Thank you, I hope we both do!! ❤

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    1. Yeees! Brighton Walsh is so great and I can’t believe that it took me so long to discover her books. Havenbrook has become one of my favourite small-town romances 😍 I hope you get around to reading her in 2022!

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  7. Wow 199 books is incredible!! 😍 I am so happy to see all the love for the green bone saga series because I love it sooo much!! I read the whole thing in 2021 and I’m obsessed!!
    I so need to check out Chloe Liese’s books!!
    I hope you have a great 2022 reading year 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m definitely chuffed with my reading year! It’s so much more than I thought I’d read last year 😂 I’m sad that I didn’t get around to reading Jade Legacy in 2021 but I can’t wait to finish it this year. SO EXCITED but I know I’m not gonna be ready at all for the devastation Lee will bring! Haha. Also, highly recommend Liese’s romances if you enjoy diverse romances! She’s one of my favourite authors 😍 I hope you have a fab 2022 reading year as well, Sophie!

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  8. You’ve read so many different types of books! My reading was just romance, few exceptions, and more romance haha. Battle Royal made it to my top 10 books, and I basically need to read Green Bone Saga based on everyone’s praises haha.
    Hope you have a good reading year in 2022!

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    1. I usually read a few more genres but last year was hands-down the year of romance! 😂 I think that 2022 is gonna end up much the same way, haha. I’m so glad that you enjoyed Battle Royal too—I feel like it’s such an underrated romance? Also, I hope you enjoy GBS if you try it! I can’t wait to finish that series in 2022. It’s so amazing and worth all the praise it gets! I hope you have an amazing reading year in 2022 😍

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  9. I can’t believe I have read NONE of these…when the previous year we had so many books in common. Ha! But, you’ve definitely made my tbr grow more. And I am one of those who you convinced to add Jade City. Now I just need to pick it up. 😉 Congrats on 199 books! Wow!

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    1. Haha, I can’t believe how different 2021 is in terms of our reading! A lot of the books you read are on my TBR though I just didn’t get around to reading what I “planned” to (as much as a mood reader can plan what she reads LOL)! I’ve picked up a few more books on my TBR this year because of you as well. I hope you have an amazing year of reading in 2022, Dedra! ❤️

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  10. Great year wrap-up, Dini! 😀 I definitely need to read the Green Bone saga! I also waited until 2021 to read A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. 😂 I need to read book 2 and 3 but I’m scared about your book 3 comments. Congrats on your 199 books read! 😀

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