Picking out my favorite books of the year is always a really hard task for me. There are so many good ones and I want to talk about them all. Unfortunately I have to narrow it down. These books really stood out to me for different reasons and I wanted to spotlight them for all that are looking for a great read to start off their 2021 reading list.
When You See Me by Lisa Gardner
Lisa Gardner will forever make my top books of each year because she is one of the greatest thriller writers of all time. Every year she comes up with a fantastic, twisty, suspenseful story that makes you wish the book was bigger because you want to keep reading. When You See Me is part of her D.D. Warren series, which is my favorite character she has written. All of her books are wonderful, but this one was phenomenal. She tops herself each year and no matter what you pick up from her, you will not be disappointed. This specific story wraps up the Jacob Ness storyline when breadcrumbs lead Detective D.D. Warren, FBI Special Agent Kimberly Quincy, and Flora Dane to the hills of Georgia where nefarious acts are at play. You won’t be able to put it down!
You can read my review of When You See Me by Lisa Gardner HERE.
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
This was one of the best Young Adult/Teen Fiction Mystery novels I have ever read, which is why it made my top five for the year. The story follows Pip as she uses a class project to look into the mysterious disappearance and suspected murder of popular girl Andie Bell by her boyfriend Sal Singh, who then killed himself. Pip goes into full detective mode with some unlikely companions along the way to figure out who really killed Andie and to let her little town settle for the first time in years. Holly Jackson is such a phenomenal writer. This story was well written and intriguing. I had to know who was guilty and the ending left me shocked, which is hard to do. So many intricate pieces and just when you thought you knew, Jackson threw another twist at you. Definitely not a disappointing book and all lovers of YA Fiction or Mystery would love this.
You can read my review of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson HERE.
The Rural Diaries by Hilarie Burton Morgan
Non-fiction is not always my favorite because I like to escape reality, but when I heard Hilarie Burton Morgan was releasing a book about her life, I had to read it. I’ve loved her since her days on One Tree Hill and find her life to be a bit fascinating. Tell me how many Hollywood celebrities you know that up and move to upstate New York and buy a farm? I’ll wait…. Her book was such a good read. It was raw and real and gave us all the dirty, gritty details of her life and how she ended up where she is now. These are details she by no means needed to share with anyone, because they are private, but I think she knew these stories would help others. Sometimes it’s nice to hear that you aren’t the only one going through things and man… she went through things. I’m so appreciative to this story and to Morgan for telling it. I hope she writes more someday!
You can read my review of The Rural Diaries by Hilarie Burton Morgan HERE.
The Violinist of Auschwitz by Ellie Midwood
I am not sure how a book can be so beautiful and yet so heartbreaking and dark at the same time but The Violinist of Auschwitz definitely did it. This book made my top books list because I’m very interested in stories from the days of Auschwitz and the concentration camps. I like hearing the stories of the strong willed individuals who had to endure life inside these camps. I am sure I would not have lasted a day. This story followed Alma who was cooped up in Auschwitz. She was a world renowned violinist and the soldiers sure did enjoy their music. Alma used her power as the director of the the orchestra to gain perks for her girls that helped many of them survive inside the camp. This story will break your heart, but show you the true power of a person’s will when needed.
You can read my review of The Violinist of Auschwitz by Ellie Midwood HERE.
The Summer I Drowned by Taylor Hale
This book made my top five list because it was a really well written YA Fiction Mystery novel. I said it before when talking about a previous book, but it is more rare to find a really well written mystery novel from a YA or Teen standpoint because you have to be careful of the content included in those books because of the age range of this reading it. The story follows Olivia as she returns to the town she almost drowned in years before. Fitting back in with her group of friends seems a bit difficult and it feels like secrets are being hidden away. This story was scary at times, full of suspense and lots of twists and turns. I really enjoyed it and plan to read more from Taylor Hale in the future.
You can read my review of HERE.