2021 End of Year Book Survey

This was another year that felt like it went by much too quickly! 2020 was a weird one because it simultaneously flew by, but also felt like each month was a decade. 2021 was a bit different, since it seemed to go by before I’d even really realized that the year had changed. I guess it makes sense since really not much changed between the two years. To be honest, I didn’t hold too much hope that 2021 would be that much better given the way the pandemic was (and still is) going. Like 2020, this was another year where I didn’t complete any of my reading challenges, and didn’t really even come that close, but I had also designed them to be a 2-year challenge. In that sense, I think I succeeded since by the end of the year, I was around halfway through each of my individual challenges. I somehow feel like most of the year got away from me, so I’m not that surprised that I didn’t get to a lot of the books that I’d really wanted to read. I’m hoping to do a much better job of actually prioritizing the things I want to read this year instead! Either way, I was looking forward to using this End of Year Book Survey, which I found a few years ago on PerpetualPageTurner, as a way to sum up my year. All credit for the questions and the graphics in this post go to her.

Number of Books You Read: 168, which I was a bit disappointed to see was my lowest total overall since 2017! It’s still a ton of books so I’m not too upset, but I was hoping to read even more.

Number of Re-reads: 7. I re-read the first three books of the Shatter Me series as well as the Miss Peregrine series so I could finally complete the entire series by reading the new additions. I also reread Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh!

Genre You Read the Most From: This is still not something that I track very well. I would say most like fantasy (about 35 books) or thriller (about 29 books). That’s just from doing a quick count on my stats page from Goodreads, so I might be a bit off.


1. Best Book You Read In 2021?

As usual, I had trouble picking just one, so I’ve chosen one per genre, excluding re-reads:

Best YA Romance – Red, White and Royal Blue (technically, I’m not sure if this book counts as YA or not. I’ve seen it tagged as both)
Best YA Contemporary (non-romance) – The Cost of Knowing tied with Grown
Best Fantasy (from a series) – Darkdawn
Best Fantasy (standalone) – The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Best Graphic Novel – Book Love and Quiet Girl in a Noisy World, both by Debbie Tung
Best Fiction – My Dark Vanessa
Best Mystery or Thriller – Tie between Invisible Girl and The Whisper Man
Best Horror – The Sun Down Motel (I tend to consider it more of a thriller, but it’s tagged as horror on Goodreads so it’s a good opportunity to split the category and let me pick two!)
Best Adult Contemporary – People We Meet on Vacation

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

This was kind of a weird year overall. Even though I had a ton of 5 star books, I don’t really feel like I had quite a strong feelings about most of my books compared to previous years.

I think if I had to pick something that I really thought I’d love more than I did, it would be between Opposite of Always and Cinderella is Dead. Both were still 4 star reads, so I definitely didn’t hate them! I just thought they’d both be an easy 5 stars, and they weren’t.

Actually, now that I’m thinking about, I think the biggest letdown was The Project by Courtney Summers! Again, this still ended up being a great book and I gave it 4 stars, but after reading Sadie last year, I expected this one to easily top my favourites of the year, and it didn’t,.

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

By far the most surprising in a bad way was The Exit, which had an amazing premise but the writing just wasn’t good. It’s too bad because it really could have been an incredible thriller with the very dark turn it takes toward the end. I’d also been loosely meaning to read this one for a long time, so it was very disappointing not to like it much in the end.

The most surprising in a good way would probably have to be One of Us is Lying. I went into it with pretty low expectations after putting it off for so long, and I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up enjoying it!

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

I don’t know that I’ve specifically pushed anyone to read any of the books that I read this year. I recommended a few fantasy series to my coworker, but I don’t know if she’s actually read any of them yet. I definitely remember pushing her toward The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue a bit, but I don’t know if that counts since it was something she already had some interest in (and I also don’t know if she read it in the end!).

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

I still find this kind of question so difficult when I binge-read a series all in a row! The books all tend to blend together into one long one to me, and it’s hard to differentiate.

I think if I had to choose, I would probably divide it this way:

Best series started – A Court of Silver Flames, although it feels like cheating to pick this as a series starter. It’s technically the beginning of a new series, but it could also count as a sequel. If I had to pick something else, it would probably be Lady Midnight
Best sequel – Rule of Wolves
Best series ender – Darkdawn

 5. Favourite new author you discovered in 2021

One of my favourite things about my goal of prioritizing specific authors each year is that it helps me find some new favourites! This year, I would have to say my favourite new-to-me authors had to be Samantha Downing, Alex North and Casey McQuiston.

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

I read more non-fiction this year than I usually do, mostly thanks to listening to audiobooks while I did work at home sometimes. I think the standout non-fiction that I read this year would have to be Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability and Making Space. It’s not really that far outside my comfort zone since it’s a topic I already find very interesting, but non-fiction in general is not something that I usually like to read.

I also read a little more sci-fi than usual this year. It’s also not necessarily outside my comfort zone since I do tend to like it when I pick it up, but I pick it up so rarely. My favourite sci-fi book this year was definitely Lifelike by Jay Kristoff, but specifically the first book in that series. The other two were good, but the first was by far the best!

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

I think this is the question that really makes it hit home how different my reading felt overall compared to last year. In 2020, I had several books and series that I found nearly impossible to put down! This year, it was a much harder decision. I think the books I had the hardest time putting down were The Sun Down Motel, The Whisper Man, Grown and The Cost of Knowing.

I usually don’t re-read the same books again two years in a row unless I need to in order to finish a series, so I don’t think I’ll be rereading anything that I read. If I was going to reread something just for fun, it would probably be Book Love.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2021?

Definitely this one:


11. Most memorable character of 2021?

This is a tough one! I think I’d have to go with Addie LaRue (ironically, given the premise of that book) because I read it so close to the beginning of the year and she’s a character that still sticks with me.

I also absolutely loved the entire cast of characters in the Nevernight trilogy, as well as the Blackthorn family from the Dark Artifices trilogy.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2021?

Definitely The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2021?

I don’t know if I’d call it life-changing, but I thought Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed For Men brought up some very interesting points that I hadn’t really thought about before.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2021 to finally read?

Definitely One of Us is Lying! It has been on my TBR absolutely forever, and I’m glad I finally got to it. Also, to a degree I’d have to say Red, White and Royal Blue. It was so overhyped when it came out a couple of years ago that I just wasn’t interested, but it was definitely worth it!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2021?

I’m still not great at keeping track of quotes that I like! I made two posts earlier this year (here and here) of some of my favourite quotes, but here are a few more that stood out to me from some of the books I read recently:

“Tell a person they’re wrong, and they’ll cover their ears. Tell a person they’re right, and they’ll listen to you all day long” – Alice Feeney, His & Hers

“Look at your children, your friends, your wives, and your daughters. Don’t do what is right because they hold those titles. Do what is right because they are people” — Kalynn Bayron, Cinderella is Dead

“It’s important to take care of the past. To revisit it, to study and learn. Understanding the past helps us move through the present and discover the future” — Victoria Schwab, Tunnel of Bones

“The person who could be truly alone, in the company of no one but oneself and one’s own thoughts — that person was stronger than anyone else. More ready. More prepared.” — Simone St. James, The Sun Down Motel

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2021?

Shortest – The Day the Crayons Quit (30 pages)
Longest – Queen of Air and Darkness (912 pages)

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Goodnight Beautiful, which I read right at the end of the year, had a couple of twists that I just didn’t expect at all!

I would also say The Exit shocked me a lot because I just didn’t expect the author to go so dark, even if the writing wasn’t good.

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

It’s actually hard to choose since many of these were couples that I already knew about from previous books in the series. I think if I had pick some that were newer to me, it would be Cassian and Nesta from A Court of Silver Flames, and Emma and Julian from The Dark Artifices. I also really liked Lou and Reid from the Serpent & Dove series!

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

I loved Nesta’s friendships with Gwyn and Emerie in A Court of Silver Flames, and also the friendship beetween Juliette and Kenji (and his grudging friendship with Warner) in the Shatter Me series. I also really loved the sibling relationship in The Cost of Knowing and the best friends relationship between Q and Jamal in Early Departures.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2021 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

This is so hard! Most of the books that I read this year were from authors that I’d previously read and loved. Aside from Grown and The Cost of Knowing, since I’ve already mentioned those a few times, I’d also have to pick Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell, Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas and People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry.

21. Best Book You Read In 2021 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

It’s a toss-up between Felix Ever After, Cemetery Boys, and Red, White and Royal Blue!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2021?

I don’t really get fictional crushes, but I really liked Julian Blackthorn from The Dark Artifices series, and Zafir from Take a Hint, Dani Brown.

23. Best 2021 debut you read?

Apparently none of the 2021 releases I read this year were debuts, so I’m not really sure how to answer this one. I guess the closest equivalent would be the best debut novel that I read in 2021, so in that case it would be My Dark Vanessa.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

I think I’d have to pick the Nevernight trilogy because of the sheer level of detail Jay Kristoff put into the worldbuilding, especially with all the footnotes included throughout the series.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Honestly? The Day the Crayons Quit! This book was just adorable and I really didn’t expect to care about it at all. I read it because I had a prompt for the shortest book on my TBR, and it was so much fun.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2021?

It’s so rare that I literally cry from any book, but I think the two that came closest this year would definitely have to be The Cost of Knowing and Early Departures.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Definitely The Cost of Knowing! It seems like no one really knows about this book, and it’s so good!

If I had to pick one that I haven’t already mentioned repeatedly, it would probably be Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer. I can see this not really being for everyone, but I loved it.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

I still don’t know what the difference is between this one and a book that made me cry, since it seems like that answers would very likely be the same. For the sake of some variety, if I had to pick something else, I’d have to go for My Dark Vanessa, because it was such a heavy topic.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2021?

I think I’d have to give this one to the Themis Files series because of their unusual format, or The Humans by Matt Haig because it was told from the perspective of an alien inhabiting a human’s body.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

I can’t really think of anything that made me very mad this year, although there were definitely some characters who were very frustrating to read. I think if I had to choose, I’d say Grown made me mad because of the people around Enchanted who likely knew what was happening and did nothing about it.


1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2021?

I haven’t really been reading other blogs this year! For some reason, I feel like I’ve just been perpetually behind on everything this year, and following blogs has definitely been one of the areas where I fell the most behind. I think the one channel that I’m fairly certain that I started consistently watching this year, although it’s possible it was in 2020, is CariCanRead on Youtube.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2021?

I’ve only wrote one review this year, which was for the Netflix adaptation of Shadow and Bone so I guess by default that has to be my favourite. I don’t really enjoy writing reviews in general. I think the closest I come is my Recent Reads series, since it gives commentary about some of the books I read lately but I don’t think it really makes sense to pick a favourite of those.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

I only wrote one post that was tagged as a Discussion this year, which was about the challenges of mood reading and ratings, and I had a great time finally writing that since it’s something I’d been having a hard time putting into words for a while.

I think my other favourite posts to write this year have been most Most Anticipated books lists, since it’s been so much fun to look at upcoming books and get excited for all of them (even if I didn’t end up reading the majority like I planned)!

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I’ll have to go with the same answer as last year: The only thing I really participate in is the list-making process for the Goodreads Around the Year Challenge, so I guess that would have to be my favourite. To be fair though, I didn’t love the process as much as usual this year since I found most of the prompts that were getting through were on the vague/generic side. I ended up being excited for the challenge anyway once I plugged in the books I wanted to read, but there was definitely a point where I wasn’t even sure how much I wanted to prioritize that challenge.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2021?

I think I’d have to say branching out a bit more with my content and trying some new styles of posts. Another part of feeling perpetually behind on everything this year was being very aware of just how much time the blog was taking up. I didn’t want to step away because I knew once I got out of the routine, I’d likely stop doing it altogether, but I needed to make some changes. I started switching some of my posts to showing covers only instead of trying to write lengthy paragraphs every time. I ended up really liking the variety, and it’s definitely made keep the blog going much more sustainable.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Well, I could definitely pick the exact same answer for this one and say that maintaining the blog in general was a challenge. Instead, I’ll go for a reading life challenge and pick the very high cost of books! It’s been another year with no library access, so I’ve been buying a lot of books. Luckily I’m in a position where I can afford to buy books relatively easily, but I still really don’t want to pay $35-$40 for new hardcover releases! It ends up becoming a challenge to get some of the books I want in a timely enough manner to actually prioritize reading them for some of my goals, since I need to wait until they drop significantly in price or show up on Book Outlet.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Embarrassingly enough, I still have done absolutely nothing about the fact that I can never remember how to check this! In general, I feel like I’ve been getting comments a little more often this year, but it’s been a challenge to keep up since WordPress does not load my notifications correctly. It means I have to consciously remember to get into a separate part of the site to check for any comments, which means I don’t check as often as I should.

As far as I can tell, the posts this year that got the most views were my Top 10 Tuesday about Fictional Crushes, which is weird since I really didn’t like that topic! The next best on after that was The Hardest Game of “Would You Rather” for Book Nerds.

As far as I can tell, the posts that got the most comments were my Pile of Shame from this December, my 10 Books to Read if You Love Picture Books from November, and my Bookish Pet Peeves from October. I have absolutely no idea why these posts got the most comments, but to be fair it was only about 5 each.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Every year, I say that I wish most of them did, and I think that’s still true. Given the amount of time it takes to update so frequently, it would be nice if my posts got a little more love, but I also don’t really go out of my way to promote myself either so I guess it’s only fair.

I can’t think of anything completely brand new to me this year, except maybe the Pick Your Poison reading challenge. I discovered it sometime earlier this year when it was too late to really change my reading challenge plans, but it’s a very interesting one!

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I have another post coming soon that will be a more detailed wrap-up of this year’s goals (most likely next weekend), but the short answer is that I only accomplished a few! I was very bad at actually prioritizing some of the books that I’d planned to prioritize, and I don’t even know why!


1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2021 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2022?

There are many! I think if I had to pick one it would have to be The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman because I’m kicking myself for not getting to it! It was one of my most anticipated books of the year and I have a copy, so there’s really no excuse for why I didn’t end up reading it other than I was waiting for the “right” time when I could focus on it properly, and that never came.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2022 (non-debut)?

I have a ton of anticipated books for 2022! I think my top two most anticipated books would have to be House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas and An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X.R. Pan.

3. 2022 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I think the majority of the books that I’m most anticipating this year are by authors I’ve tried before. If I had to pick one that was completely new, I’d have to go for The Maid, which I only really started to anticipate recently and I’ve actually already preordered!

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2022?

Aside from House of Sky and Breath, and the next Ninth House book (if that happens in 2022, which I doubt), I think I’m most anticipating Bloodmarked, which is a little weird since I haven’t even read Legendborn yet! I’m also very highly anticipating Seasonal Fears, which is the sequel to Middlegame.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2022?

Make more of an effort to actually prioritize the books that I’m most anticipating reading. I think I got a little stuck in a mindset this year that I had to space these books out and not read them all at once, and that if I didn’t read it at the “right” time, it was somehow too late. I actually want to make sure I prioritize the books I’m most excited for!

6. A 2022 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

N/A. I don’t get ARCs.


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