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Since 2022 is already in full swing, I thought I’d make my first post of the year about my favourite books I read in the past year. According to Goodreads, I managed to read 56 books in 2021! One more than my goal of 55! These were the ones I liked the best:

(Note, this is ‘books I read in 2021’ and not ‘books which were published in 2021’)

  1. The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

I do love a good Norse-inspired fantasy, and this one didn’t disappoint. Tova is a relatable ‘out of place’ protagonist, hated by her community yet completely essential to them. The romance between her and Halvard was a little sudden, but I loved how it played out in the end.

2. Steel Rose by Kathryn Ann Kingsley

I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy a ‘villain romance’ at first, especially since this is essentially the romance between a freedom fighter and a quasi-communist leader (I live in Finland and we don’t exactly like communists). But this book surprised me. What drew me in most to this book was the dieselpunk world of airships, art-deco buildings, and an interesting concept of communism essentially taking over all of Europe. I’m excited to read further books in this series to see how this corrupt government falls.

3. Sherwood by Meagan Spooner

I already wrote a full review gushing over this book. To avoid repeating myself, this is a feminist re-telling of Robin Hood from Maid Marion’s perspective. I especially love how the feminist message is portrayed without being overly preachy and still fitting in with the attitudes of the time period.

4. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

It took me far too long to start the Series of Unfortunate Events books, especially considering the TV show is my favourite series, and the reason Neil Patrick Harris is my favourite actor. I wasn’t disappointed by the book version, and some lines really shook me, even knowing how the story was going to unfold.

5. Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall

While this may seem like another ‘kids with powers’ YA book, the likeable characters, range of unique mythical creatures, and exciting plot set it apart from all the other cookie cutter YA fantasy books I read on a regular basis.

6. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Fairy tale retellings are very popular right now, but I have to admit I prefer the darker versions. This book is a loose retelling of The Little Mermaid with a sinister twist – the mermaid is a siren who has to capture the heart of the prince. By which I mean his literal heart, not just his love. This book also has a great supporting cast, vivid locations, and an exciting plot. And did I mention pirates? Yeah, if you can’t tell, I also have a thing for pirates.

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