Hello bookish friends, I’ve missed you! After posting every day for fifty-three days straight, when you don’t post, it feels a little…odd. Like you’ve forgotten to do something really, REALLY important! Anyway, it’s only been a week and a smidge since I last officially posted and I have lots of reviews coming your way starting the first week of January so we’ll be back in the swing of things soon.
Welcome to my final post of 2021, my top ten(ish!) books of the year. ‘Ish’ because, as in previous years, I hope you can’t count 😂. It’s been a cracking year for books and in particular, debuts. Time and time again, the debut authors have absolutely hit it out of the park and I’m excited about what 2022’s debut authors have to offer. No pressure though, lol!
So without further ado and in no particular order (actually, tell a lie, they’re in the order I read them starting with the earliest!), here are my top ten(ish!) books of the year…
Shiver by Allie Reynolds
I loved Shiver. The dangerous and atmospheric setting of the Alps ensured I was hooked from the very start. I wanted to return again and again to my copy of the book. When I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about the story. Trying to work out how things were going to turn out, picturing the snow covered mountains and the pure terror of being trapped in such a hostile, unforgiving environment. Absolutely flipping marvellous. I lived and breathed Shiver.
My Review of Shiver
Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton
I’ve never read such a tense, compelling novel before. My heart was in my mouth from the very start and it stayed there throughout. I was living the story alongside the characters, like a movie playing in my mind. And the terror felt real. It was insane how deeply this book burrowed its way into my being. It was such an intense, emotional experience.
My Review of Three Hours
Tall Bones by Anna Bailey
From the opening chapters this book had a hold over me and I savoured every moment I spent with it. It’s such a beautifully written piece of fiction which managed to completely entrance me. Tall Bones is a haunting, beautiful but ultimately dark read which I read with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. An astonishing debut.
My Review of Tall Bones
The End of Men by Christina Sweeney-Baird
Oh.My.Goodness! This book is incredible. Absolutely superb and frighteningly real. The End of Men is a must read for all. Intelligent, poignant, devastating and totally absorbing. The true definition a page turner. I couldn’t put this book down as I was desperate to find out what revelation the author was going to share with me next.
My Review of The End of Men
The Hunger by Alma Katsu
Like nothing else I have read before. I found The Hunger to be a completely engrossing and spell-binding read which I heartily recommend to horror fans. The ending was perfect and took my breath away. I adored this book. Something truly special which has left its mark on me.
My Review of The Hunger
Falling by T.J. Newman
Falling is a superb debut. Tense, scarily real and absolutely relentless. The book starts with a bang. Highly, highly entertaining. I was completely captivated from that blisteringly good start to the heart-stopping, ‘read behind your hands’ end. Shedloads of suspense, a fast and pacey plot and a cast of characters I felt fully invested in. Sublime!
My Review of Falling
The First Day of Spring by Nancy Tucker
I devoured The First Day of Spring. When I wasn’t reading the book, I was thinking about the characters. Chrissie broke my heart time and time again. The author’s writing is immersive and totally believable which made Chrissie, Julia and Molly come to life before my very eyes. I don’t think I’ll be able or willing to forget The First Day of Spring. Haunting, compelling and utterly devastating.
My Review of The First Day of Spring
The Beach House by Beverley Jones
The Beach House is a gripping tale of secrets, lies and obsession and I gobbled it up in a couple of short sittings. I found Grace, as the book’s lead character, to be intriguing and utterly captivating. I think I’m a little bit in love 😳. As the story unfolds, the tension ramps up with a dramatic and thrilling denouement which I thought was a perfect conclusion to Grace’s story.
My Review of The Beach House
Survive the Night by Riley Sager
I loved Survive the Night. Everything about it was perfection on a page. The twists are weaved into the story masterfully. There are lots of other really clever little details thrown into the story to keep you gripped and turning the pages. Sager has excelled himself. I feel as though I lived this book alongside the characters. Absolutely bloody marvellous! Tense, all absorbing and utterly captivating.
My Review of Survive the Night
Good Neighbours by Sarah Langan
Good Neighbours is a deliciously dark, visceral tale of suburbia which I devoured with utter glee. It’s so beautifully sinister, so packed full of menace, it was impossible to tear myself away from it. I was fully immersed in the drama of Maple Street. The ending was perfect. The whole darn book was pretty perfect.
My Review of Good Neighbours
For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing
I adored spending time with Downing’s characters, I could happily have read another 500 pages of Teddy’s nefarious goings on (and it’s not a short book at 400 pages for the hardcover!). For Your Own Good was a dark and devious joy to read. Totally absorbing, exactly the type of book I love to lose myself in. I will be shouting about this one for a long time to come.
My Review of For Your Own Good
Come With Me by Ronald Malfi
Emotional, edgy and dark. It ticked so many boxes for me and I struggled to be parted from it, needing to find out how things would turn out for Aaron. As for the ending, it blew my mind and made a book I was really enjoying hit new heady heights. A memorable story the reader can truly invest in. Perfectly pitched and expertly written.
My Review of Come With Me
So there you have it. Lashings and lashings of gorgeousness in one glorious post (even if I do say so myself 🤣). It’s a darn fine looking bunch of books, I think you’ll agree. Ten (😳) truly amazing books which you should do everything in your power to get hold of. I said it earlier but I’ll say it again, the debuts have absolutely stolen the show this year. I think five of my, ahem, ten are debuts which is incredible, right? The future for us booklovers is looking very bright indeed.
Have a peaceful and safe New Year, bookish lovelies, and I will see you on the other side. I’ll be sharing my #R3COMM3ND3D2021 After-Show Party post in January which will feature all 130 books chosen, along with the winner (OR winners!), so keep an eye out for that. Thank you for your support through a second difficult year. You are AMAZING! Stay safe, stay bookish and keep reading. Lots of love, Emma @damppebbles x
Fancy purchasing one of the books on my top ten(ish!) of the year? Then please check out my bookshop.org affiliate page (please note, the following link is an affiliate link which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): damppebbles bookshop.org shop