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  • Writer's pictureSelena | Beauty's Library

2021 Top 3s

A look back on some notable reads of 2021.

It's definitely been a year! Back in 2020, I started this blog as just something fun to do on the side, but it's definitely evolved into such a bigger thing than I imagined. Not only has it got me more passionate about reading, I've found such a welcoming community that also shares that same passion, and I've made some amazing friendships as well.

At the end of 2020, I had managed to read 100 books, my goal was 60. But given that we also had to deal with the unfortunate pandemic, I decided that 2021 wouldn't give me as much time for reading. That lead me to raise my reading goal to 80, being higher than my 2020 goal, but lower than what I had read for 2020. I surprised myself by ending up reading 120 books! Say what?! How did I read more? Who knows! I blame all of you! Just kidding, but you all definitely encourage me to keep reading!

I am definitely proud of myself for that amount of reading! But you know what? Whether you read 1 book, 5 books, 50 books, 200 books! It doesn't matter! Be proud of what you read! You're a reader no matter how much you read!

Back to my top picks for 2021!

I always find it hard to pick my top favorites. I've enjoyed so many books throughout the year. That's why apart from doing my Top 3s for 2021, I also decided to do my 2021 Superlatives list, which gave me an opportunity to feature some more books as well. Check it out here if you're interested!

And you can find my full list of books read during 2021 along with some reading stats on my Goodreads! Feel free to add me as well if you'd like! Here's a short summary of the stats I like to see, now I know the pages aren't exactly accurate but the approximate number is still nice to see.

120 books read. ~31,228 pages read Average book length: 260 pages My average rating: 3.9

I don't know how people do it, but there was no possible way I could just pick a top 10, let alone top 3. You mean I'd have to compare horror books to romance books? I can't do that. So instead I compiled a list of my top 3 for the main genres I read this year! Enjoy!

Genre List

Want to see a particular genre? Skip to them!

Top 3 Horror Total Books Read 28/120

Last year, I realized I didn't read very many horrors, well I fixed that this year! I got to 28 horrors this year! Enjoy my Top 3!

#1 ~ The Haunting of Ashburn House

This was easily my top horror read of 2021! This one checks all the boxes! It gave me chills, it's creepy, kept me up at night! It's one of the best haunted houses I've read! You can check out my full review of The Haunting of Ashburn House here.

#2 ~ Baby Teeth

Now this was my first every read that I was unable to rate. This was voted to be my October #EnchantedReadsBookClub pick and it definitely started a conversation. This was deeply disturbing and couldn't not be a part of my Top 3! Despite how disturbing it was, I found it captivating and couldn't put it down. You can check out my full review of Baby Teeth here.

#3 ~ Come Forth in Thaw

This was one of my earlier reads from 2021, but it stuck with me all year long! This indie takes the concept of the Japanese Suicide Forest known as Aokigahara, creating a fictional forest in America with the same pull, being a suicidal hotspot. It's amazing! It may be a short story, but it packs a punch! You can check out my full review of Come Forth in Thaw here.


Go back to the genre list here.

Top 3 Fantasy Total Books Read 19/100

I didn't read as many fantasy as I would have liked this year. But I did find some great gems this year! Enjoy my Top 3 for 2021!

#1 ~ The Night Cirus

Another #EnchantedReadsBookClub pick! This was my January pick. And I loved it so much! It was such a beautiful, descriptive fantasy that I didn't want to end. I definitely plan to reread this in the future. You can check out my full review of The Night Circus here!

#2 ~ Hidden Realm

Another amazing indie read I discovered this year! This was such a unique take on the Grimm Brothers. This retelling is an extraordinary dark fantasy. I can't wait to pick up the sequel! Review to come early 2022!

#3 ~ Crave + Crush

Putting this post together I realized I grabbed the sequel Crush, instead of Crave. But you know what! This series deserves to be here! I really enjoyed both of these books! Crave being a Twilight 2.0, but uniquely its own! And I enjoyed every single bit of it! And Crush while taking a completely different route in terms of plot, was such an entertaining read from beginning to end! You can find my review of Crave here, and Crush here.


Go back to the genre list here.

Top 3 Thriller Total Books Read 21/100

After reading so many thrillers last year, I did limit myself a wee bit. Here's my Top 3!

#1 ~ Verity

This was an easy choice! This one left me saying WTF practically all the way through. Highly recommend this one to anyone who enjoys dark thrillers! You can check out my full review here!

#2 ~ A Nearly Normal Family

Another favorite thriller I discovered this year! This had been sitting on my shelf forever! I finally picked this up for a buddy read and it had me guessing all the way through! You can check out my review here.

#3 ~ The Winter Sister

Another backlist read! This was another book that had been sitting on my shelf for like ever. After about 3 months... okay more like 5 months, of me saying I'm going to read this, I finally forced myself to just pick it. And it turned out amazing! You can check out my review here!


Go back to the genre list here.

Top 3 Science Fiction Total Books Read 18/100

I had wanted to read more fantasy, but I ended up just reading way more science fiction. I guess that counts, right? They're subgenres for each other! Here are my Top 3!

#1 ~ This is Not a Test + Please Remain Calm

This was definitely my favorite Sci-Fi read for the year. This rekindled my love for zombie fiction. And its sequel was just as amazing! Please Remain Calm gave me all the emotions, I hated it but loved it. My emotions are still a mess after these two. You can check out my thoughts on This is Not a Test here, and Please Remain Calm here.

#2 ~ Ready Player One

Hyped books always make me nervous. But this was 100% worth it. Another #EnchantedReadsBookClub pick, this was not only a fun read, but the discussion was just as entertaining! You can check out my full review here, it's also got a fun little rant too!

#3 ~ Age of the Almek

This chonker was worth those 5? months I spent reading this. It was such a rollercoaster of a read. There are so many things I can say about this indie, but really I just think you should read it! You can check out my full review here!


Go back to the genre list here.

Top 3 Historical Fiction Total Books Read 9/100

Historical Fiction is something I want to read more of. While I didn't read many for 2021, I still found some amazing reads. So, here are my Top 3!

#1 ~ The Matchmaker's Lonely Heart

This was such an amazing read. This was part romance, part mystery, and absolutely adorable. I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys historical fiction. You can check out my review here!

#2 ~ A Captain for Caroline Gray

This was my first proper romance and now I want more! This was such a cute romance to follow. I wish I could read it again for the first time. You can check out my review here!

#3 ~ Stalking Jack the Ripper

I had been eyeing this book ever since I joined bookstagram. It just looked so much fun. The covers for this series are absolutely gorgeous. When I received this book during one of my book exchanges, I immediately picked it up. It was just as fun as it looked. This horror, thriller, historical fiction takes an interesting spin on Jack the Ripper. You can check out my full review here!


Go back to the genre list here.

Top 3 Romance Total Books Read 8/100

I love reading romance, but I never read it that often. But I had enough to pick a Top 3, so here it is!

#1 ~ The Love Hypothesis

This was my last book club pick for 2021, and it was amazing! I can't find enough good things to say about it. I loved it from start to finish. I would have read it one sitting if I could have! Review to come 2022!

#2 ~ Confess

Colleen Hoover, I never know what to expect from you. All I know is I will enjoy it. This was such a beautiful read. I loved it from the first page. You can check out my review here!

#3 ~ This Time Next Year

My first read of 2021. One that I thought of all year long! It still makes me laugh just thinking about it! A perfect rom-com! I definitely want to reread again! You can check out my full review here!


Go back to the genre list here.

Top 3 Contemporary Total Books Read 9/100

I think next year, I would like to read more contemporary reads. Anyways, I found some great reads this year that fall under contemporary! Here's my Top 3!

#1 ~ Never Saw You Coming

This was such a cute romance contemporary read. I loved every minute of reading this. It was everything I didn't know I needed! You can check out my review here!

#2 ~ We Are the Brennans

I don't know if I would have picked this up if I had not received a surprise ARC. This was an amazing read and I would recommend it to anyone! You can check out my review here!

#3 ~ The Existence of Amy

Another amazing indie! This was so good! I read this in one day, I loved following Amy. This is a beautiful read that showcases mental health. You can check out my full review here!


Go back to the genre list here.

Top 3 Covers

Now these are my Top 3 Covers for 2021! I definitely judged all my books by their covers again for this one! And these were the winners!

Ironically these are all greek mythology books! But if I were to rate these for that, I reverse the order.

That being said, I won't go into details on what I thought about them but I will share direct links to my reviews of them!

#1 ~ Circe

You can check out my short review here!

#2 ~ Lore Olympus: Volume One

You can check out my review here!

#3 ~ Lore

You can check out my review here!


Go back to the genre list here.


Thank you so much for all your support this past year! Happy reading!


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