We present our list of the Top 10 Best Books of 2021.
Top 10: A Conjuring of Light (V.E. Schwab)
Geek Score: 3.16/5.00
“One way or another,” said Holland, “this ends.”
Kell nodded. “It ends.”
They looked to Lila. She sighed, freeing Kell’s fingers.
Three silver rings caught the dying light—Lila’s and Kell’s the narrower echoes of Holland’s band—all of them singing with shared power as the door swung open, and the three Antari stepped through into the dark.
The shadow god Osaron is taking over Red London. The antaris, Holland from White London, Lilla from Grey London, and Kell from Red London need to unite to save not only one but all of three Londons in three different worlds.
Top 9: Follow Me Back (A.V. Geiger)
Geek Score: 3.24/5.00
Tessa suddenly remembered the rest of what she said to him last night. “I just wish someone would write a song like that about me.” But he hadn’t, of course. He couldn’t have…
She didn’t have time to think about it further. She gasped at the sound of his voice beside her—so strange and yet so achingly familiar.
The concept of the book seems to be cheesy at first. Singer Eric Thorn wants to shatter his image but unexpectedly falls in love with a fan online. But the psychological turn of events elevates the story into something deeper. This is the most genuine and guilt-free YA book that you can read, where you can giggle like a schoolgirl while at the same time trying to solve the mystery just lurking behind the corner.
Top 8: Red, White, and Royal Blue (Casey McQuiston)
Geek Score: 3.49/5.00
“You see, for me, memories are difficult. Very often, they hurt. A curious thing about grief is the way it takes your entire life, all those foundational years that made you who you are, and makes them so painful to look back upon because of the absence”
It’s election time in the U.S. The last thing first son Alex Claremont-Diaz want is to jeopardize his mom’s re-election bid for president. But preventing himself to fall in love with Prince Henry of the U.K. is hard. A big political story is about to break into the press, and Alex and Henry must prepare for it.
Top 7: Dragon Throne (Jonathan Fenby)
Geek Score: 3.71/5.00
From 221 BC – when Shi Huangdi, First Emperor and founding father of Chinese imperial history, unified a large part of the Han Chinese homeland – until 1911, when imperial China collapsed in revolutionary chaos, China was ruled by a succession of powerful imperial dynasties.
“Dragon Throne” is one of the most comprehensive books focusing on the entire list of China’s emperors. Full of details that you might not read in any other history books, author Jonathan Fenby has collated and connected the stories of these emperors into one riveting read.
Top 6: Gone with the Mind (Mark Leyner)
Geek Score: 3.73/5.00
“And in this moment, all the fundamental antinomies are reconciled…Writer and reader. Fiction and nonfiction. Past and present. And the mind that abides and the mind that is gone.“
“Gone with the Mind” is surreal and real at the same time. Mark Leyner definitely wrote a crazy semi-autobiography on this one. This is an escape from reality into one’s mind, which ultimately tells us lessons in life itself.
Top 5: The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily (David Levithan and Rachel Cohn)
Geek Score: 3.75/5.00
“When I told Dash I love you so much, I meant: I love you for your kindness and your snarliness. I love the way you look when reading a book—content and dreamy, off in another world. I love how you suggested I never read a Nicholas Sparks book, and when I did read one because I was curious, and then read some more, I love you for how confused and offended and downright angry you were. I love debating literary snobbery with you, and that you can at least recognize that even if you don’t like “pandering, insincere, faux romantic garbage,” that lots of other people—including your girlfriend—do. I love how much brighter and sweeter and more interesting my life has been since you’ve been a part of it. I love you for answering the call of a red notebook once upon a time.”
It might not be as great as the first book, but “The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily” still has the Christmas magic. It will transform the readers to New York, with readers not only enjoying every page of it but also learning stuff along the way.
Top 4: Frankly, We Did Win the Election (Michael Bender)
Geek Score: 3.96/5.00
On November 3, 2020, at 11:29 p.m., the air rushed out of the room all at once as Fox called Arizona for Biden.
“That is a big get for the Biden campaign,” Bret Baier told viewers.
Time seemed to freeze inside the Map Room.Then, a sudden rush of people surged into the war room, and Stepien’s phone rang. The president was calling.
“What the fuck?” Trump yelled into the phone.
“Frankly, We Did Win the Election” is a riveting book about the events leading to the most infamous insurrection in U.S. history. Author Michael Bender was in the midst of the hurricane that was the Trump administration. The detailed narration and the point-by-point connection of actions by those close to Trump were just breathtaking to read.
Top 3: Invisibility (David Levithan and Andrea Cremer)
Geek Score: 3.97/5.00
This new girl looks straight at the space where I’m standing.
“Are you really going to just stand there?” she asks. “Is this fun for you?”
All the electricity in my body is suddenly alert, amped to a level of consciousness I’ve never felt before. I turn to look behind me, to see who’s there. But there’s no one there.
“Yeah, you,” the girl says. I cannot believe it. She sees me.
Stephen is used to invisibility. He was born that way. Invisible. Cursed. Elizabeth sometimes wishes for invisibility. When you’re invisible, no one can hurt you. Then Stephen and Elizabeth meet. To Stephen’s amazement, she can see him. To Elizabeth’s amazement, she wants him to be able to see her – all of her. But as the two become closer, an invisible world gets in their way.
Top 2: More Happy Than Not (Adam Silvera)
Geek Score: 4.66/5.00
This is one of those times where you swear you have to be sleeping and living a nightmare because it’s so impossible that your life can only be a string of bad things until you’re completely abandoned.
“More Happy Than Not” is Adam Silvera’s debut novel about race, class, and sexuality. Of course, it has a futuristic touch on it, as was Silvera’s signature. The book tells the story from the point of view of sixteen-year-old Aaron Soto, who experienced so much pain, having lost his father a few months ago. To find happiness, he believes that he needs to forget. Enter Leteo Institute and their revolutionary memory-alteration procedure that might be the answer to his problem.
Top 1: How Beautiful the Ordinary (Various/Michael Cart, editor)
Geek Score: 4.75/5.00
I hand over the piece.
Professor Farber glances at it. “Short.”
“Pithy,” I reply. “‘Moon River’ is short. ‘Over the Rainbow’ is short. You can say a lot in a few words.”
“If you’ve grown up enough to know what’s worth saying. Have you grown up that much this summer, Master Rahmani?”
“‘Yesterday’ is short. Very short.”
“I see you have.”
“How Beautiful the Ordinary” is an anthology of LGBTQ stories from 12 authors. My favorite in this anthology is “The Silk Road Runs Through Tupperneck, N.H.” by Gregory Maguire. It is about an Iranian immigrant’s story, a story of the past and of the present. The passionate summer memories narrated by Maguire were as sharp and vivid. It combines the beauty of music and the power of words that will resonate even after you close the book.
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