2021 in Review – the Books

We’re already almost a quarter of the way through 2022, and before time gets any farther away from me, I’m putting out this list of my favorites from the past year.

In 2021, I read 29 new-to-me books that I rated 9, plus 8 older favorites revisited. I also rated 104 books as an 8 – still excellent, and some of them I wonder in retrospect why I didn’t rate them higher. But in order to keep things manageable both for me and for you, dear reader, I’m limiting myself to the shorter lists to share with you here. And perhaps I can use this as a guide to what books to try to go back and write reviews of. I’m not holding my breath, though, the way things have been going.

Here is my standard disclaimer about rating books:

“I have never liked doing a public scale rating of books – the librarian in me would rather describe what’s in the book and let you decide if it sounds good for you. But I do give books number ratings on my own private spreadsheet. I shamelessly borrowed the Book Smugglers’ 10-point rating system for this, where 0 is “I want my time and my money back”, 5 is “meh” and so on. For my purposes, 7 is a book I enjoyed, 8 is one I loved and 9 is one I really, really loved. 10 only gets given out retrospectively to books I find myself re-reading and thinking about a lot – a true personal classic.”

Middle Grade


  • Burn by Patrick Ness
  • Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag
  • Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
  • Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater
  • You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
  • Catfishing on Catnet by Naomi Kritzer



If you’ve made it through to the end of this long list and still want more, you may enjoy my end-of-year lists from previous years: 2020 , 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014.

About Katy K.

I'm a librarian and book worm who believes that children and adults deserve great books to read.
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9 Responses to 2021 in Review – the Books

  1. not surprisingly, I am not surprised by most of these! Great minds think alike….

  2. Loved seeing your list. I read CeCe Rios and Eva Evergreen too and really enjoyed them.

  3. Great list! I will keep coming back to it; I’ve read several, have several already on my TBR, and probably want to read all of them! (A Psalm for the Wild-Built was so lovely and hopeful: just the right read for these times.)
    (I have What Fresh Hell is This on hold at my library, but it’s been a few months: it’s a popular book!)

    • Katy K. says:

      Goodness gracious! I didn’t realize the hold lists were so long – I’m glad I got What Fresh Hell before the lists got so long. And yes – A Psalm for the Wild-Built felt just perfect; I gave a copy away for Christmas as well.

  4. Great list, I have read a few, and others are on my TBR, thanks for sharing!

  5. Pingback: Chaos on Catnet by Naomi Kritzer | alibrarymama

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