Jeann’s Best Books of 2021

December 23, 2021 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | Books, Features

I say this every year, but I can’t believe it’s that time of the year again where we choose our favourite reads of the year (check out Jenna’s favourite books of 2021)! This was the year where I picked up many highly anticipated high fantasy reads on my TBR, and even gave ones that I had DNFed another chance. It’s not a surprise that most of my list contains fantasy and sci-fi titles. Without further ado, here are my top 10 reads of the year!

Jade Legacy by Fonda Lee

The third book in the Greenbone Saga series featuring gangster families, a generational Asian family saga, magical kung fu abilities and lifelong blood feuds – Jade Legacy is an actual masterpiece. It spans 10 years over the Kaul family life and we see youngsters grow up, the future of the Greenbones and where they all end up in the future. This book is undoubtedly one of the best books I’ve ever read.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

An oldie but a goodie for a reason – The Fifth Season stands the test of time as one of the classic SFF series. The science fiction in this book is completely droolworthy, as it addresses an alternate earth where tectonic plates are constantly causing earthquakes. Orogenes with special abilities are hunted and then trained to keep the Earth still. The twist in here is absolutely shocking and done masterfully. I binge read the whole series after reading this one for The Name of the Book Club.

The Daevabad Trilogy by S.K. Chakraborty

I’m not cheating if I put whole series on here am I? I read the whole Daevabad trilogy this year after finishing The City of Brass last year, and it is certainly one of my favourite fantasy series of all time. With djinn, a magical middle eastern city in the middle of the desert, different royalty caste members and sharp but flawed characters, it’s definitely a rich fantasy thrill ride.

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé 

What a brilliant and compelling book! Ace of Spades is about a private school feud where two Black students are targeted by an anonymous bully – with their threats becoming more and more sinister. The twists are absolutely compelling and the mystery blew me away. This is one of those books that I couldn’t put down and a brilliantly written debut YA novel that packs a punch.

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

I’m surprised by how much I loved this book – especially after DNFing it last year or so! This is such a strange, quasi sci-fi book featuring necromancers in space. But it’s written in such a confusing way throughout, not showing its cards until the very end. It’s liked a mystery, hard sci-fi and hilarious cheesy space necromancer book all in one. A very strange read but one that you’ll want to reread immediately after finishing.

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo

As a huge lover of Six of Crows and particularly Nikolai Lantsov, it’s probably no surprise to see Rule of Wolves on this list. It follows on from the end of Six of Crows and the Shadow of Bone trilogy, as we see Nikolai, Nina and Zoya carry on afterwards. While King of Scars received mixed reviews, I felt like RoW brought everyone together in a more coherent way. Not to mention finally seeing some happily ever afters – I cried, laughed and couldn’t stop grinning from ear to ear.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Finally read a classic romance book that is being made into a movie! I’m not too much of a big romance reader, but I really loved the hate to love romance in The Hating Game (which also happens to be one of Jenna and Bec’s favourite books). I devoured the banter and the chemistry between Josh & Lucy in this workplace office romance.

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

This series is either a hate or love it type of book, but I absolutely devoured the whole series. A bookstagram favourite, I loved hearing about The Maiden Poppy escape her circumstances with the handsome but mysterious guard Hawke. There’s something so addictive about the way this NA book is written that I couldn’t put it down. One for those craving more Sarah J Maas romance books.

Which of these books are on your favourites list? Are you going to add any of them to your TBR?

We at Happy Indulgence wish you and your family a happy holidays and a Merry Christmas (if you celebrate it)! 

Thank you all for your support during 2021!

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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Tiktok@happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.


5 responses to “Jeann’s Best Books of 2021

  1. Sara J

    “The Hating Game” sounds great. And I love the way you worded the description. I think realistic banter between characters is sooo important and sometimes the writing can get really cheesy. This reminded me of my favorite read of 2021 “Dark Truths” by Tess Thompson ( This is a romantic suspense book that will definitely keep you hooked from start to finish. Full of twists and turns, it follows a Sheriff named Jonas Clearwater who is on the hunt to find out the truth behind the murder of his friend Cecil. Cecil was an author who was investigating the murders of three women for his next true crime book. Not only that, a chance encounter a while back at a bar with another writer Peyton, resurfaces at the crime scene. These two had an instant connection but had too much going on in their lives to pursue anything. I think they have realistic and genuine banter that I enjoyed throughout the novel. Now, she may be in danger too and they find there is so much more going on than they can imagine. The writing and character development is top notch as is the very unique storyline. This one will have you on the edge of your seat while you work through the case with Jonas, hoping at every twist he (or Peyton) isn’t the next victim!

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