10 books i wanted to read in 2021 but didn’t..

Now that the year is over, it’s time to reflect on the books that I’ve read and those that I neglected because too many books, too little time! Past September, I didn’t pick up as many 2021 releases as I wanted since I was trying to check quite a bit of backlisted books. A lofty goal of mine in 2021 was to read as many upcoming releases as I could. On my Notion tracker, I indicated 274 books that were on my radar last year. Out of 274, I’ve read 164 of them so about 60% done! 😲 I don’t know how I managed to read that many but ✨ viola✨ ! While I definitely did read a lot, I still missed out on a bit of them. Here are just 10 books from the remaining 40%~

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the gilded ones (deathless #1) – namina forna

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.

First on the list is a debut novel. Planning to read this in 2022 before the second book, of the trilogy, is released in April but we shall see! The synopsis itself is intriguing. Why does gold blood equate to impurities? I’m ready for an adventure.

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a trial of sorcerers (a trial of sorcerers #1) – elisa kova

Eighteen-year-old Waterrunner Eira Landan lives her life in the shadows — the shadow of her older brother, of her magic’s whispers, and of the person she accidentally killed. She’s the most unwanted apprentice in the Tower of Sorcerers until the day she decides to step out and compete for a spot in the Tournament of Five Kingdoms.

Pitted against the best sorcerers in the Empire, Eira fights to be one of four champions. Excelling in the trials has its rewards. She’s invited to the royal court with the “Prince of the Tower,” discovers her rare talent for forbidden magic, and at midnight, Eira meets with a handsome elfin ambassador.

But, Eira soon learns, no reward is without risk. As she comes into the spotlight, so too do the skeletons of a past she hadn’t even realized was haunting her.

Eira went into the trials ready for a fight. Ready to win. She wasn’t ready for what it would cost her. No one expected the candidates might not make it out with their lives.

Started on the Elisa Kova journey with A Deal with the Elf King in 2021. She’s one of the authors I’m trying to catch up with the many series that are already published 😂

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made in korea – sarah suk

There’s nothing Valerie Kwon loves more than making a good sale. Together with her cousin Charlie, they run V&C K-BEAUTY, their school’s most successful student-run enterprise. With each sale, Valerie gets closer to taking her beloved and adventurous halmeoni to her dream city, Paris.

Enter the new kid in class, Wes Jung, who is determined to pursue music after graduation despite his parents’ major disapproval. When his classmates clamor to buy the K-pop branded beauty products his mom gave him to “make new friends,” he sees an opportunity—one that may be the key to help him pay for the music school tuition he knows his parents won’t cover…

What he doesn’t realize, though, is that he is now V&C K-BEAUTY’s biggest competitor.

Stakes are high as Valerie and Wes try to outsell each other, make the most money, and take the throne for the best business in school—all while trying to resist the undeniable spark that’s crackling between them. From hiring spies to all-or-nothing bets, the competition is much more than either of them bargained for.

But one thing is clear: only one Korean business can come out on top. 

Another debut novel on my list that I didn’t read in 2021. Made in Korea made appearances on my monthly TBR list multiple times but was always left unread. Not too sure why that is 🤔 Someone make me read this!!

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ace of spades – faridah àbíké-íyímídé

Welcome to Niveus Private Academy, where money paves the hallways, and the students are never less than perfect. Until now. Because anonymous texter, Aces, is bringing two students’ dark secrets to light. 

Talented musician Devon buries himself in rehearsals, but he can’t escape the spotlight when his private photos go public. Head girl Chiamaka isn’t afraid to get what she wants, but soon everyone will know the price she has paid for power. 

Someone is out to get them both. Someone who holds all the aces. And they’re planning much more than a high-school game…

trigger and content warnings:
  • racism, racist slurs, homophobia, outing of queer characters, murder, bullying, suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, stalking, emotional abuse, blood, alcohol consumption, drug use, car accident, panic attacks, death of parent. gun violence, sexism, forced institutionalization, vomit
  • taken from skylark lokota’s goodreads

Everyone has read Ace of Spades but me. This feels like quite a heavy book and while I’m a fan of mystery, the thriller genre scares the bejesus out of me. Regardless, I’m planning to read this in 2022 considering all the fantastic reviews.

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she who became the sun (the radiant emperor #1) – shelley parker-chan

In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two children are given two fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness…

In 1345, China lies under harsh Mongol rule. For the starving peasants of the Central Plains, greatness is something found only in stories. When the Zhu family’s eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a fate of greatness, everyone is mystified as to how it will come to pass. The fate of nothingness received by the family’s clever and capable second daughter, on the other hand, is only as expected.

When a bandit attack orphans the two children, though, it is Zhu Chongba who succumbs to despair and dies. Desperate to escape her own fated death, the girl uses her brother’s identity to enter a monastery as a young male novice. There, propelled by her burning desire to survive, Zhu learns she is capable of doing whatever it takes, no matter how callous, to stay hidden from her fate.

After her sanctuary is destroyed for supporting the rebellion against Mongol rule, Zhu uses the chance to claim another future altogether: her brother’s abandoned greatness.

trigger and content warnings:
  • starvation, loss of a loved one, death, murder, mass murder, gore, war themes, brief mention of cannibalisms, hurt to an animal, death of an animal, mention of slavery, non-consensual castration in past, mention of vomiting, plague, mass illness, quarantining, off-page torture, bombs, many mentions of alcohol consumption/maybe alcoholism, off-page death of a child, depression depiction, fear of being outed, misgendering (always in a negative light), and just a lot of internalized body/gender feelings
  • taken from melanie’s goodreads

Another book that everyone has read that I haven’t. She Who Became the Sun is going to be epic the moment I open up the pages. According to the reviews that I’ve read, this book is war-centric and I’m not such a voracious reader for such settings. Hence, why it’s taking me ages to pick up the book.

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not here to be liked – michelle quach

Eliza Quan is the perfect candidate for editor in chief of her school paper. That is, until ex-jock Len DiMartile decides on a whim to run against her. Suddenly her vast qualifications mean squat because inexperienced Len—who is tall, handsome, and male—just seems more like a leader.

When Eliza’s frustration spills out in a viral essay, she finds herself inspiring a feminist movement she never meant to start, caught between those who believe she’s a gender equality champion and others who think she’s simply crying misogyny.

Amid this growing tension, the school asks Eliza and Len to work side by side to demonstrate civility. But as they get to know one another, Eliza feels increasingly trapped by a horrifying realization—she just might be falling for the face of the patriarchy himself.

Not Here to be Liked popped up on my radar relatively later than the rest of the books in this list. I probably can finish reading this standalone within a day, especially since it’s a romance, but haven’t gotten around yet. Will 2022 be the year I actually read this?

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the bronzed beasts (the gilded wolves #3) – roshani chokshi

After Séverin’s seeming betrayal, the crew is fractured. Armed with only a handful of hints, Enrique, Laila, Hypnos and Zofia must find their way through the snarled, haunted waterways of Venice, Italy to locate Séverin. 

Meanwhile, Séverin must balance the deranged whims of the Patriarch of the Fallen House and discover the location of a temple beneath a plague island where the Divine Lyre can be played and all that he desires will come to pass. 

With only ten days until Laila expires, the crew will face plague pits and deadly masquerades, unearthly songs and the shining steps of a temple whose powers might offer divinity itself… but at a price they may not be willing to pay.

AHHHHHHH!!!! In preparation for the finale, I read The Silvered Serpents in September 2021 but work got so busy AND I DIDN’T GET TO READ THE BRONZED BEASTS YET. I’m upset, can you tell? 😭 I don’t know what Séverin is up to but can nobody die by the end? I don’t think my heart can take any more trauma.

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daughter of the deep – rick riordan

Ana Dakkar is a freshman at Harding-Pencroft Academy, a five-year high school that graduates the best marine scientists, naval warriors, navigators, and underwater explorers in the world. Ana’s parents died while on a scientific expedition two years ago, and the only family’s she’s got left is her older brother, Dev, also a student at HP. Ana’s freshman year culminates with the class’s weekend trial at sea, the details of which have been kept secret. She only hopes she has what it’ll take to succeed. All her worries are blown out of the water when, on the bus ride to the ship, Ana and her schoolmates witness a terrible tragedy that will change the trajectory of their lives.

But wait, there’s more. The professor accompanying them informs Ana that their rival school, Land Institute, and Harding-Pencroft have been fighting a cold war for a hundred and fifty years. Now that cold war has been turned up to a full broil, and the freshman are in danger of becoming fish food. In a race against deadly enemies, Ana will make amazing friends and astounding discoveries about her heritage as she puts her leadership skills to the test for the first time.

I meant to read Daughter of the Deep by the end of 2021 but didn’t get to it because life got the best of me. Also, I was in the mood for historical romances than anything else in December. Although this standalone has nothing to do with the rest of the mythological series that Rick Riordan has released, I’m just going to finish those up. The Ship of the Dead is the last one before I’m fully done with them.

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all of us villains (all of us villains #1) – amanda foody & christine lynn herman

The Blood Moon rises. The Blood Veil falls. The Tournament begins.

Every generation, at the coming of the Blood Moon, seven families in the remote city of Ilvernath each name a champion to compete in a tournament to the death.

The prize? Exclusive control over a secret wellspring of high magick, the most powerful resource in the world–one thought long depleted.

This year, thanks to a salacious tell-all book, the seven champions are thrust into worldwide spotlight, granting each of them new information, new means to win, and most importantly: a choice – accept their fate or rewrite their story.

But this is a story that must be penned in blood.

Been looking forward to All of Us Villains ever since I found out that the authors are working on the book together. I’ve read from Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody and The Devouring Gray duology by Christine Lynn Herman but this was published in November so I didn’t have a chance to pick it up before the year was over.

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the righteous (the beautiful #3) – renée ahdieh

Pippa Montrose is tired of losing everything she loves. When her best friend Celine disappears under mysterious circumstances, Pippa resolves to find her, even if the journey takes her into the dangerous world of the fae, where she might find more than she bargained for in the charismatic Arjun Desai.

Wasn’t expecting a continuation of The Beautiful duology so I’m not too sure about what to anticipate from now on. There are rumors of another book after The Righteous as well. Since this is from Pippa’s perspective, it’ll be different than the first two books that starred Celine. I can’t wait to find out more about Pippa and Arjun’s feelings too!

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That’s the end of 10 Books I Wanted to Read in 2021 but Didn’t! I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. ❤️ Bet I missed out some great books. Is there a novel that you would have loved to read in 2021 but didn’t have the time to read it?

12 thoughts on “10 books i wanted to read in 2021 but didn’t..”

    1. i feel like i’m doing a disservice to made in korea since i heard great things about it. 😂 i need to pick it up soon. glad to hear that you’ve read not here to be liked, hope you liked it. i’m really curious about that book.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. yes!! these two books are definitely high on my 2022 tbr pile. since i’m running out of rick riordan books (finally catching up with all the mythology series), daughter of the deep might just tide me through until nico’s book comes out.

      Liked by 1 person

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