2021 Book Rewind


Emma Losolfo '24

Last year, I made it my mission to discover new authors whose writing I adored, new series in which I could escape, and new characters I could fall in love with despite their flaws. I accomplished just that. Throughout 2021, I found my ride-or-die authors–the type of writers whose books you buy without even reading the summary. I also found series that made me question my entire worldview, series that inspired and motivated me. 

Without further ado, here are the top novels of 2021 from a self-proclaimed book addict, in no particular order:


Best Reads of 2021

  • Anything by Colleen Hoover

The first book I read from Colleen Hoover was Ugly Love. It completely destroyed me, and I absolutely adored it–which is saying something, because it’s my least favorite of Collen’s books. After Ugly Love, I read Colleen’s most famous novel, It Ends With Us. This book left me sobbing at three in the morning. I felt completely and totally deceived as beloved characters’ true colors were revealed. Lily Bloom’s experiences, based on Colleen’s mother’s story, challenged commonly held beliefs regarding victims of domestic abuse in a heart-wrenching way. If you are looking to get into Colleen Hoover, I would suggest reading It Ends With Us first. 

Colleen Hoover has a bit of an obsession with incorporating manuscripts into her plotlines. She sends her readers into spirals, making us question what is and is not real. One of my absolute favorite books of all time is Verity, a psychological thriller of Colleen’s. Although a relatively fast read, the writing pulled you into Lowen’s life and refused to let you leave until you had made it to the end. Even then, Verity has not left my thoughts since I finished it. Another novel of Colleen’s, and possibly my favorite of hers, is November 9. Experiencing the plot of November 9 unfold was unbelievable. Every little detail is tied together to form a plot twist the reader could never predict. Colleen Hoover has the uncanny ability to force the reader to contemplate their morals. She creates a character that is impossible to dislike, has them commit something objectively immoral, and then exposes the rawness of the human soul and how nothing is black or white. I can say with absolute certainty that the feeling I get when reading a Colleen Hoover novel is rivaled by nothing else and that I will read anything she writes without hesitation. 


  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is written in interview format. It tells the tale of Hollywood’s “It” actress, Evelyn Hugo. Evelyn is incredibly flawed and human. At times I simply couldn’t justify her actions, and as odd as it sounds, that made me love her even more. Oftentimes authors create too-perfect characters who have no faults and are impossible to relate to. Evelyn makes many, many mistakes over the course of her life. But she also loves fiercely and has experienced things no one should have to go through. I really enjoyed the unique format of the novel and the way the plot comes together at the end. 


  • The Off Campus Series by Elle Kennedy

The Off Campus series and sequel series Briar U follow the Briar University hockey team and their love interests. This series doesn’t offer revolutionary prose, but the love stories are beautiful and the characters are so lovable. The books touch upon some darker subjects, specifically the first novel (AKA my favorite) The Deal, which discusses sexual assault. However, the series overall is a light read with plenty of romance and hilarious jokes. 


  • Beach Read by Emily Henry

Emily Henry’s depth of character is unmatched. The main character January and her love interest Augustus have such intricate backstories and personalities that they seem like real people. They’re complex people with complex histories, but their love is utterly beautiful. In the novel, January moves to her late father’s lake house to find her neighbor is her college rival Augustus. They are both authors struggling with writer’s block and decide to swap genres to try to spark inspiration. Augustus takes on the challenge of writing a cheesy rom-com, and January attempts to write the next great American novel. I absolutely adored Emily Henry’s writing, and much preferred Beach Read to People We Meet on Vacation, though the latter is also a fan favorite. 


  • The Last Hours Series by Cassandra Clare

Cassandra Clare is one of my favorite fantasy authors, second only to Sarah J. Maas and the perfection that is the Throne of Glass series. My favorite series of Cassandra Clare’s is The Last Hours. Two books have been released so far, Chain of Gold and Chain of Iron, and they’re both masterpieces. Cassandra’s worldbuilding is genius; I felt like I was in 1860s London along with the characters. Cassandra has a penchant for miscommunication, and while I usually dislike that trope, when she does it makes my heart hurt in a good way. Her characters are strong, unique, and I love them all–especially Cornelia. 


Anticipated 2022 Releases:


  • House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas

The second book in the Crescent City series is set to release Tuesday, February 15. Sarah J. Maas’s books will always be first in my heart, and Crescent City is no different. I am beyond excited to delve further into Bryce and Hunt’s story. 


  • Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Emily Henry’s next book is coming out on May 3, and I’m so ready to meet new, developed, complex characters. I’m a sucker for a good rivals to lovers tale, and Emily Henry does it best. Rival editors remind me of the rival authors in Beach Read, so I’m predicting that it’ll be just as good. 


  • Chain of Thorns by Cassandra Clare

November 1 marks the release of the third book in the Last Hours series. The most recent book, Chain of Iron left on a cliffhanger, and now I’m desperate to continue reading the tale of Tessa and Will’s children. I’ve read books from the Shadowhunter world since sixth grade, and somehow Cassandra Clare manages to keep me intrigued. I know Chain of Thorns will be no less entertaining than my past Shadowhunter favorites.