Taking all the books that I read for the first time this year (there are several honorable mentions that were not first time reads- Looking at all of Roseanna M White's books here...) here are my top five reads for this year.
In fifth place, the most recent book in the Rizkaland Legends series by Kendra E Ardnek, Love and Memory. Love and Memory is a massive, I mean MASSIVE, tome of a portal fantasy and I adored every moment of it. The characters are complex, the world building is awesome, and can we have a moment of appreciation for Laura, who has to be the best character ever written ever. While some things can get a little confusing sometimes, Kendra does an amazing job with this series, which is Indie published, something I'm excited to share with you because that's impressive to get in the top five considering how many books I've devoured this year.
Coming up next, in fourth place Hope Between the Pages by Pepper Basham. I absolutely love Pepper because she takes me to the Blue Ridge in the most perfect way each and every time. This dual timeline story swept me right into the Biltmore estate, a place I've visited several times, and I couldn't have been more pleased with the special insight she brought to a place I already love. While it did take me a second to get into the dual timeline, I was hooked long before the ending, and definitely recommend it.
And on the podium, we have our third place, The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen. This was a new author for me, but I absolutely couldn't have asked for more. I adored the story, even spending my entire day off one week this summer reading it straight through. What's more, I even posted a review immediately, which generally only happens when I'm overwhelmed with how perfectly a story ended. I need to get my hands on more by this author in 2022.
Second place (Silver medal, anyone?) goes to A Deep Divide by Kimberley Woodhouse, whose new series explores the Harvey Girls in the southwest US. Emma's story resonated with me in a way I didn't expect, and Emma's verse was a verse that at that moment in my life, was already pulsing through my entire being, which just proves that God works in mysterious ways that include historical fiction. From Psalm 34- I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
And my top read of 2021 goes to... (((I really hope y'all are drumrolling)))
The Thief of Blackfriars Lane by Michelle Griep. This wasn't the first of her books I've read, but I think it's my favorite so far. I was so into the story and my goodness the plot just did exactly what I wanted it to (with of course a few frightening setbacks along the way...) and the characters were so real to me that I didn't want to book to end. Ever. I wanted to stay with them forever. I want a sequel. NOW. I absolutely adore this book, and you should definitely read it if you have time. (AKA make time...)
What about you? What were your favorite reads this year? Let me know in the comments. Anyone loving the same ones I do?