Here we are again! Today I am sharing with you my top 10 favourite reads of 2021. These were the best of the best. I’m so excited to discuss these books. I won’t dive too deeply into the plot. I’ll mainly outline how they made me feel. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
1.) The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell
This was the You’ll Read Too Bookclub’s pick for July 2021. Needless to say, I gave it a whopping 5/5 stars! This is one of the best gothic horror novels I have ever read. It started off slow but by 100 pages, I was deeply invested until the end. It was creepy, intriguing, fascinating and heartbreaking all at the same time. I really enjoyed the way it was told in different timelines. It is definitely worth multiple re-reads. The author did such an excellent job weaving alternative story-lines together. Not to mention that ending! I have nothing but good things to say about this book.
2.) The Haunting Of Ashburn House by Darcy Coates
If you haven’t already, check out my ranking post of all Darcy Coates’ works. I placed The Haunting of Ashburn House third and it’s the first book I read in 2021. I believe Darcy said in an interview that this was her most popular novel. I can see why. It is your classic haunted house story…with a twist. You could not pay me enough money to stay in that mansion. I was so scared, I struggled to sleep. It’s excellent. Definitely some of her finest work. I recommend starting here if you are keen to try out this wonderful author.
3.) Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I sound like a broken record at this point but I also ranked all of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s works. Her latest release, Malibu Rising, was perfection. It basically destroyed me. Trigger warning for those with deadbeat dads. I could really relate to the Riva children and saw my own mother in theirs. It was so well-written. My favourite parts involved the flashbacks of a young Mick and June meeting, falling in love and coming undone. There were so many beautiful and heartbreaking quotes. I almost highlighted the entire book! Malibu Rising proved that Taylor still has it. I don’t even care about surfing and yet, she made me excited about it. Magic!
4.) The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
This was our You’ll Read Too Bookclub pick for March 2021. I gave this 5/5 stars. I was surprised by how much I actually loved it. When I was 18, I watched the film for the first time and was completely traumatised. I was so scared, I didn’t absorb any of the story. Reading the novel forced me to focus on the actual plot, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I also re-watched the film in 2021 and had a much better experience. What I loved most about the novel was the investigative process into whether Regan was actually possessed or not. It was the perfect tale of hope, despair and a mother’s devotion to her child. If The Exorcist doesn’t frighten you, nothing will.
5.) The Southern Book Club’s Guide To Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
If I had to pick my absolute favourite read of 2021, it would be The Southern Book Club’s Guide To Slaying Vampires. I cannot believe it took me this long to pick up a Grady Hendrix novel. Vampire stories don’t tend to scare me but this one got under my skin (pardon the pun) and genuinely shook my little corner of the bed where I read. It wasn’t even that James Harris was a terrible creature. It was the way he completely took over Patricia’s life and gaslit her for so long. I was so triggered! Fantastic, phenomenal, amazing. If you only read one book on this list, let it be this one!
6.) Parasite by Darcy Coates
In my ranking post, I placed Parasite at fourth place. This is Darcy’s take on sci-fi/horror and quite frankly, she nailed the assignment. I love how it was split into five parts, each covering a different space station but fighting the same evil. I would advise not getting attached to anybody in this story and to read it during the day. You have been warned. It’s a wild ride that I could easily see being adapted to television.
7.) Hunted by Darcy Coates
In my ranking post, I placed Hunted at fifth place. This story is so different to anything Darcy has ever written before. It really sits apart from the rest of her bibliography and for that, it made my top ten. This is one of those novels you’ll most likely devour in one sitting. It is so fast paced and intriguing, you won’t be able to put it down until you learn the truth.
8.) Cursed Objects by J.W. Ocker
This is the only non-fiction novel on my list but boy was it everything I wanted and more. We read this as part of my best buddy’s bookclub on Instagram. If you wish to join, you can do so here. J.W. Ocker discusses cursed objects all around the world in the most interesting and engaging way. It inspired me to include my own in my upcoming horror novella: The Devil Within Me. I learned so much. I highly recommend checking it out. It’s an easy but fun read.
9.) Heartstopper Vol. 4 by Alice Oseman
Would it be a wrap-up if I didn’t include a Heartstopper novel? Vol. 2 & 3 were honourable mentions in last year’s list. This one hit me harder than the others because it focused strongly on Charlie’s eating disorder. There is a scene where Nick breaks down because he doesn’t know how to help his boyfriend and his mother just holds him as he sobs. I bawled like a baby. It provided advice on how to support somebody struggling with anorexia or bulimia. You all know by now that I’m obsessed with this series. It’s the most wholesome thing ever created. I’m so sad Vol. 5 will be the last.
10.) The Box In The Woods by Maureen Johnson
Last but certainly not least is The Box In The Woods by Maureen Johnson. I am a huge fan of the Truly Devious trilogy and this stand-alone, murder mystery novel is a continuation of that series. I loved revisiting these characters and getting immersed in such a summery thriller. It was full of twists, turns and laugh-out-loud humour. I hope the author keeps creating stories from this world.
I hope you enjoyed my wrap-up for 2021! Let me know your favourite reads of last year. Did you agree with my list? Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo