Best Books of 2021: Young Adult, Contemporary, & Literary Fiction

I typically read a lot of contemporary and literary fiction. However, I did not read as much this past year due to the heaviness often present in these genres. Consequently, I have sought escape in other genres that do not make me think so much about the human condition. Still, I identified five books that stood out to me.⁣

Girls with Bright Futures

Tracy Dobmeier & Wendy Katzman

Girls with Bright Futures is an addicting, propulsive, and jaw-dropping debut novel that tells the story of three very different families with girls applying to Stanford. This book is fast-paced and devilishly clever. Girls with Bright Futures is also one of my two most underrated books of 2021.⁣

Publication date: February 2, 2021
Amazon | Bookshop.org | Goodreads | Storygraph

Firekeeper’s Daughter

Angeline Boulley

Firekeeper’s Daughter is a powerful and stunning debut novel about truth, family, and tribal community. It is a compulsive and emotional story that avoids falling into the usual drama of the YA genre. My heart was full with love, hate, disappointment, and pride as I read this story.

Publication date: March 16, 2021
Amazon | Bookshop.org | Goodreads | Storygraph

For full reviews,
click on the book’s title.


Best Historical Fiction of 2021

Best Nonfiction Books of 2021

Best Romance Books of 2021

Best Thrillers & Mysteries of 2021


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Once There Were Wolves

Charlotte McConaghy

Once There Were Wolves is novel about one woman’s quest to rewild the Scottish Highlands by reintroducing wolves. McConaghy manages to blend an imperative message and commentary on the human condition with a compelling story effortlessly without being preachy. McConaghy’s beautiful and atmospheric writing was difficult to put down.⁣

Publication date: August 3, 2021
Amazon | Bookshop.org | Goodreads | Storygraph

We Were the Brennans

Tracey Lange

We Are the Brennans is a debut novel about love, shame, and secrets in a tight knit Irish Catholic family. This compelling family drama left me wanting more and wishing I could stay with the Brennans longer. The story flowed seamlessly despite alternating narrators, and the writing was engaging and tugged in my heart.⁣

Publication date: August 3, 2021
Amazon | Bookshop.org | Goodreads | Storygraph

After Perfect

Maan Gabriel

After Perfect is a fantastic story about picking yourself up after your “perfect,” comfortable life falls apart. This is a feel-good book with romance or one that will inspire you to examine where you are now in life and where you want to be. This is my other most underrated book of 2021.⁣⁣

Publication date: October 5, 2021
Amazon | Bookshop.org | Goodreads | Storygraph


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