If you didn’t know, Goodreads has a 2021 Reading Challenge where you can set how many books you want to read for the year. Just recently, I got back into reading consistently. I fell off of it for a while because of life, but I’ve enjoyed getting eBooks and audiobooks from my library as of late.
As an aspiring novelist, I’ve found it helpful to read books inside and outside of my genre. It gets your creative juices flowing and keeps things fresh. So, I thought it would be fun to talk about the four books I’ve read so far this year.
Since I started this challenge pretty late in the year, I set a goal of 10 books. I look forward to increasing that goal in the years to come. But without further ado, here are my spoiler-free reviews of the first four books I have read in their entirety during 2021.
100 Days of Sunlight (2019)- 4 stars (YA Contemporary)
Abbie Emmons, a YouTuber and indie author, wrote 100 Days of Sunlight. It’s honestly one of the most aesthetically pleasing and well-written indies I have ever read. I will say, I enjoyed Weston’s point of view more than Tessa’s, but this romance intertwined these two characters seamlessly together. The only reason this book didn’t get five stars is there were times when I felt like the language wasn’t befitting of the character. Otherwise, if you’re searching for an enemies-to-lovers romance that touches on disabilities in such a beautiful way, this is a good pick.
Grown (2020)- 4 stars (YA Contemporary)
As cheesy as it sounds, Grown grew on me. At the start of the book, I was somewhat interested, but as time went on, I got this churning in my stomach that made me feel so bad. But that means Tiffany D. Jackson did exactly what she set out to do when she wrote a book with hard-hitting topics such as sexual misconduct and rape culture. It’s not for the faint of heart, but I’m glad I gave it a read.
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter (2017) – 3 stars (YA Contemporary)
After reading Grown, I got an itch for another book with a lasting impact. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika Sánchez seemed like it would be just that book. Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed. The family dynamic of this Mexican household interested me, which is the only reason why I gave this book 3 stars. I think the biggest flaw this book has is the narrator. Of course, she has a lot going on, such as grief and depression, that the reader can sympathize with, but her whining gets pretty old after a while. Especially because the book is a character-driven story that focuses more on her day-to-day life than any concrete plot. And even once the book ended, there wasn’t a big enough character development for this book to be worthwhile.
The Guest List (2020) – 4 stars (Adult Fiction Mystery & Thriller)
This is the first thriller I have read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s definitely a slow burn, so keep that in mind when you’re reading it. Lucy Foley did a great job of weaving the story through a multitude of POVs without overwhelming the reader. I also listened to this on audiobook, which I would highly recommend because each character has a different voice actor. Although, the ending wasn’t as satisfying as I would’ve liked because all of the plot lines from the different characters weren’t fully addressed at the end of the book. So, it kind of left you hanging in that regard, but despite that, this book was the most interesting read out of all of the books I mentioned.
And that’s it. I’m definitely having fun reading. It feels good to be immersed into a different world. Maybe I’ll do a part two. Until then.