My Worst Reads Of 2021! // ft. a lot of disappointed sighing

Someone stole my Office keys. He’s gonna pay, you have my Word. (get it? like Microsoft Office? MS Word?)

Oh hi. Yeah I don’t know what happened there. Obviously my poor attempt at lightening the mood was unsuccessful. Well then. Points for effort.

Sooo. As part of wrapping up the year, you’ll be seeing a lot of these bookish lists on my blog this month. And what better to start off than a list of the worst books I read this year, right? What can I say, I always believe in getting over and done with the bad stuff first. (if you ever say to me “i have good news and bad news”, like they do in the movies, you know, I’ll always vote for the bad news)

Some quick little pointers before we start!
– all of this is based on personal opinion. Though I didn’t like these books for whatever reason, that doesn’t mean I hate their fans. If you liked these books, i’m happy for you.
– this list is in no particular order, though I did dislike some books more than the others.

With that out of the way, let’s get started right away!

~ The Young Elites by Marie Lu ~
The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)

Ironically, The Young Elites was our first pick for the hype-o-meter series (a series of posts in which I and my dear friend April determine whether or not a book is truly worth the hype), because hello, it’s Marie Lu, the popular author whose books everybody seems to love.

I think this book and me got off in the wrong foot (the initial scenes weren’t very encouraging), and after that, well, everything just went more and more downhill. I mean okay, so Ms Lu tried very hard to create morally grey characters but they just turned out to be conflicted and confused about everything in their life. And to top that, the narration was first person, and if I despise the main character, do you really think I’d be interested in seeing the world through their eyes? I mean, Adelina had no direction. She thought something, said something else and did something totally different (and often these actions were stupid). Add to this sorely underdeveloped characters and you get a recipe for what Rachel dislikes in a book.

~ The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman ~
The Infinity Courts (The Infinity Courts, #1)

This. This was the biggest disappointment this year, maybe the biggest ever in my life. Maybe it was my fault for having huge expectations? I read this back in the month of April, just a few days after it got released. This honestly had SO much potential, the concept was mind-blowing, but the execution just fell flat. *sigh* Nami as the main character and also our narrator was so repetitive that it got really annoying. Unpopular opinion, i know.
Then the plot twist at the end was sort of lazy writing, to get the reader excited for the sequel i guess. I don’t know. I just didn’t care.

~ Shadow Jumper by J.M Forster~
Shadow Jumper (Shadow Jumper #1)

To be honest, the first part of the book wasn’t bad. In fact, it was good. But I have no idea what happened after that. Like everything seemed too hasty and not properly researched. The plot was quite predictable and the conclusion was extremely unsatisfactory too. I think I also read this during the time I was just giving up on middle grade, so that might have played a part too.

~ The Middler by Kirsty Applebaum ~
The Middler

Once again, the synopsis was so promising, even the whole concept of ” the middle child being bad luck” was unique, but the story as a whole failed to deliver. I read this way back, in February, so I don’t even remember much of it. From what I recall, I almost dnf’ed it several times, it was so monotonous. I felt distanced from the characters; I didn’t care what happened to them. The escapades seemed too convenient and some plot points didn’t even make sense.

~ The Ones We’re Meant To Find by Joan He ~
The Ones We're Meant to Find

This is the classic “it’s not you, it’s me” case. I spent nearly the entirety of the book feeling confused and stumped. The dual povs + the switching timelines were something I couldn’t keep track of, so I barely understood what was going on. Among the things I liked were the atmosphere, the worldbuilding, and the unique take on climate change. Unfortunately it was not enough. Among the two sisters Celia and Kasey, I liked Celia’s chapters much more than Kasey’s (at least initially) and the whole “surviving on a remote island” concept was cool until it got boring, and once again, confusing. I also felt quite underwhelmed by the plot twists. Sorry but no.

Which were your worst reads of 2021? Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? Chat with me in the comments!

~ Rachel

The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag 2021

Is it weird that ever since I became a blogger, I’ve wanted to do the Mid Year Freak Out Tag without knowing what exactly it is? Yes, definitely weird🙃 But now that has changed since I did my homework and read lots of Mid Year Freak Out posts by other bloggers from previous years.

True to the name of this post, I am freaking out. Like seriously, when did time sprout wings? Just yesterday I was getting tired of the new year wishes and memes, and we are halfway through already? Whoa.

Till 25th June, I’ve read 37 books and a total of 14348 pages which are both mind blowing, when compared to previous years (I didn’t track my reading before this year, but I know I got nowhere close to these figures). I am doing quite good on my goodreads goal of 65 books, considering that I am 6 books ahead of schedule. Without further ado, let’s start with the tag!

Best Books So Far In 2021

Surprise surprise! Six Of Crows and The House In The Cerulean Sea. Linked below are my reviews for the same.

Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo | Book Review || Book Review: The House In The Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

Best Sequels In 2021

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)

Supernova was by far the best book in the Renegades trilogy! Read my review here

I love the Aurora Cycle series with all my heart, but somehow Aurora Burning was even better than Aurora Rising! Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | Review

Crooked Kingdom does not need any explanation as to why I am willing to die over it. Period.

New Releases I Want To Read

There are SO many of them, but I’ll go with the top 3.

The Ones We're Meant to Find

The Immortal Game

Amari and the Night Brothers (Supernatural Investigations, #1)

Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of 2021

Aurora's End (The Aurora Cycle, #3)

Definitely Aurora’s End, the final book in the Aurora Cycle duology-soon-to-be-a-trilogy. After THAT cliffhanger in Aurora Burning (which is THE worst cliffhanger in the history of cliffhangers, if I do say so myself) I can’t wait to see how this turns out. (Also, can we please scream about THAT GORGEOUS COVER?!)

Biggest Disappointment of 2021

The Infinity Courts (The Infinity Courts, #1)

There have been quite a few books that did not live up to my expectations, but the one that hurt the most has to be The Infinity Courts. I rated it 1.5 stars. Shocking, isn’t it? What’s more is that this book had so much potential with such a cool concept *cue the sighing and head shaking* Read my review here.

Biggest Surprises Of 2021

Malamander and Book Scavenger. Both these lovely books reminded me why I love middle grade so much. Linked below are my reviews!

Book Review: Malamander by Thomas Taylor || Book Scavenger by Jennifer Bertman || Mini-review, some art, and a little “book scavenger” game of my own!

Favourite New Authors

Well, Leigh Bardugo and Marissa Meyer probably?

Book That Made You Cry

The House In The Cerulean Sea all the way. It takes a lot for a book to make me cry, and this one had it all and much more.

Book That Made You Happy

Is it cheating if I say The House In The Cerulean Sea again? Because yes, this book gave me ALL the feels. I laughed, I cried, I smiled through my tears.

Most Beautiful Books You Got In 2021

These were both part of my birthday book haul. I am currently reading The Girl Who Drank The Moon.

Books You Need To Read By The End Of 2021

A Dark and Hollow Star (A Dark and Hollow Star, #1)
The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)
Sweet & Bitter Magic
King of Scars (King of Scars, #1)
The Gilded Ones (Deathless, #1)
These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1)
It Ends in Fire
The Ones We're Meant to Find
Legendborn (Legendborn, #1)
The Immortal Game

I just picked some books from the top of my head, and though I definitely want to read these books asap, they are in no way the only books I want to read this year. Also if you’ve read any of these, I’d love to hear your opinion!

Which are your best reads of 2021 so far? What are some new releases that you haven’t read yet but want to? Let me know in the comments, and feel free to link your mid year freak out post if you’ve made one!

April Wrap-Up // a fantastic reading month!! (ft. me gushing about Shadow and Bone)

So another month gone by! Let’s take a look at my reading, blogging, blog-hopping and other highlights of the month.

April has been, by far, the best reading month this year! I read a total of 7 books, which is pretty impressive considering that I have been trying to level up from my boring 5 books per month since the beginning of this year.

Archenemies by Marissa Meyer [4 stars] Eh, this was one of those books where I was totally lost after the end. I had no idea whether to rate it 3 stars or 4 stars or 5 stars. But finally I settled with 4. At this point of time, I am like – Just tell everyone who Nightmare and Sentinel is!! And if you wanted to keep it secret forever, maybe it could have been unknown to the readers as well? Because it is getting kinda annoying now, to be honest.

The Mystwick School of Musicraft by Jessica Khoury [3 stars] My first audiobook! But what a disappointment the story was. It was too repetitive, to the point that so many things got downright irritating. And the beginning was nice enough, I don’t know what happened after that.

Artemis Fowl and the Opal Deception [4 stars] Actually I don’t remember much about this, but I do enjoy a good heist, so that was one of the reasons I gave this 4 stars.

A Wilder Magic by Juliana Brandt [4 stars] This was my first ever ARC!! I got this as a part of a book promo tour I did this month. It was such a beautiful middle grade with amazing platonic relationships. Read my full review HERE.

Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman [4.5 stars] This was easily my favourite book of April. It definitely deserves a lot more hype, I have rarely heard bloggers mention this. There were equal parts mystery, friendship and adventure in Book Scavenger. To read my full review, see my journal spread and play a small bookish game inspired by Book Scavenger, click HERE.

The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman [1.5 stars] Well. I am still debating whether to put up a review for this on my blog or not, since I haven’t really posted a negative review here before, and this is also a very new release. But I did post a review on Goodreads, you can read it HERE.

Misfit (Asura Chronicles #1) by Jo Zaida [3 stars] Another ARC!! So I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had expected to, but it was worth reading anyways. Review to come!

I am proud to report that I carefully followed the posting schedule I had set up for myself last month (except for last week, when I had a blog tour post out of schedule, on a Sunday) throughout the month of April! When I started, I didn’t think I would be able to follow it throughout, to be honest, but turns out I was wrong!

I am not going to link all my posts from this month here, only specific ones. If you would like to see all my posts in April, click HERE.

I have included the links to my posts in their featured images below, so all you have to do is click on the ones that catch your attention!

A discussion post all about book titles! I am quite proud of this one actually, so do check it out if you missed it earlier!
I do love writing 5 star reviews!!
I created a quiz for you to find some great recs!!

I tried to be really active on all of your posts this month, and I think I succeeded to a great extent. I interacted with your blogs wherever I could, and came across some interesting posts in the process.

Amy @A Fangirl’s Opinion wrote about some funny books and characters on April Fools day!

April @Booked Till Midnight shared her recipe for a 5 star read!

Alice @Love For Words related Pride and Prejudice quotes to her everyday life! I have not read Pride and Prejudice completely (I’ve read only short excerpts) but this humorous post had me chuckling out aloud!

Ritz @Living, Loving and Reading Netflix’s Shadow And Bone and her thoughts are SO similar to mine!!

Ashmita @the fictional journal made a list of characters who are likely to jump-scare people!

Ritz @Living, Loving and Reading gives us some great sci-fi recs and also shares her sci-fi tbr!


Other updates and highlights of the month

  • We hit 100 followers in early April!! This is my first big blogging milestone, so thank you so much for that guys🥰 It means a lot to have you enjoy and appreciate my content.
  • The Home page of my blog now has a brand new look! I have changed the header image, put in a sidebar and stuff like that.
  • My blog now has a Review Policy page.
  • I received my first ARCs and took part in my first blog tour this month!
  • April was Shadow and Bone month!!!! (oops sorry for all the exclamations, this just shows how much I loved the show) By now, you all know how much the Six Of Crows duology means to me. If you don’t, IT’S MY FAVOURITE BOOK OF ALL TIME!! So naturally I was excited for the S&B show on Netflix. Though I started watching it only for the Crows, the Alina-Darkling storyline also got me hooked and made me wonder why I didn’t read the Shadow and bone trilogy earlier (I am not going to read it now, I want to know the story only from the show). I finished watching all 8 episodes of S&B in four days, and wow I loved seeing my favourite characters brought to life. The casting was just perfect. Freddy Carter is going to be stuck in my mind’s eye as Kaz forever, and same with the others. I didn’t think it was possible to love and admire Kaz more than I did after reading the books, but this show proved me wrong…my heart went out for him even more!! The ‘No mourners, no funerals’ line was also so perfect when it happened. Jesper and Milo were absolute showstealers!! Okay, not gonna ramble any more, but seriously, go watch it!!

How was your April? Did you watch Shadow And Bone? Have you read any of the books that I read in April? Chat with me in the comments!!