Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
This week the topic focuses on books released in 2021 that I still haven’t read. There are so many!!! lol Here is a list of ten that I plan to read this year.
1. Aurora’s End by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Series: The Aurora Cycle #3
Page Length: 384
Publication Date: Nov. 9, 2021
Publisher: Knopf Books For Young Readers
Synopsis: The squad you love is out of time. Prepare for the thrilling finale in the epic, best-selling Aurora Cycle series about a band of unlikely heroes who just might be the galaxy’s last hope for survival.
Is this the end?
What happens when you ask a bunch of losers, discipline cases, and misfits to save the galaxy from an ancient evil? The ancient evil wins, of course.
Wait. . . . Not. So. Fast.
When we last saw Squad 312, they working together seamlessly (aka, freaking out) as an intergalactic battle raged and an ancient superweapon threatened to obliterate Earth. Everything went horribly wrong, naturally.
But as it turns out, not all endings are endings, and the te4am has one last chance to rewrite theirs. Maybe two. It’s complicated.
Cue Zila, Fin, and Scarlett (and MAGELLAN!): making friends, making enemies, and making history? Sure, no problem.
Cue Tyler, Kal, and Auri: uniting with two of the galaxy’s most hated villains? Um, okay. That, too.
Actually saving the galaxy, though?
Now that will take a miracle.
2. Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Defy the Night #1
Page Length: 496
Publication Date: Sept. 14, 2021
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Synopsis: From New York Times bestselling author Brigid Kemmerer comes a blockbuster fantasy series about a kingdom divided by corruption, the prince desperately holding it together, and the girl who will risk everything to bring it crashing down.
The kingdom of Kandala is on the brink of disaster. Rifts between sectors have only worsened since a sickness began ravaging the land, and within the Royal Palace, the king holds a tenuous peace with a ruthless hand.
King Harristan was thrust into power after his parents’ shocking assassination, leaving the younger Prince Corrick to take on the brutal role of the King’s Justice. The brothers have learned to react mercilessly to any sign of rebellion–it’s the only way to maintain order when the sickness can strike anywhere, and the only known cure, an elixir made from delicate Moonflower petals, is severely limited.
Out in the Wilds, apothecary apprentice Tessa Cade is tired of seeing her neighbors die, their suffering ignored by the unyielding royals. Every night, she and her best friend Wes risk their lives to steal Moonflower petals and distribute the elixir to those who need it most–but it’s still not enough.
As rumors spread that the cure no longer works and sparks of rebellion begin to flare, a particularly cruel act from the King’s Justice makes Tessa desperate enough to try the impossible: sneaking into the palace. But what she finds upon her arrival makes her wonder if it’s even possible to fix Kandala without destroying it first.
Set in a richly imaginative world with striking similarities to our own, Brigid Kemmerer’s captivating new series is about those with power and those without . . . and what happens when someone is brave enough to imagine a new future.
3. Gilded by Marissa Meyer
Page Length: 512
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Synopsis: Long ago cursed by the god of lies, a poor miller’s daughter has developed a talent for spinning stories that are fantastical and spellbinding and entirely untrue.
Or so everyone believes.
When one of Serilda’s outlandish tales draws the attention of the sinister Erlking and his undead hunters, she finds herself swept away into a grim world where ghouls and phantoms prowl the earth and hollow-eyed ravens track her every move. The king orders Serilda to complete the impossible task of spinning straw into gold, or be killed for telling falsehoods. In her desperation, Serilda unwittingly summons a mysterious boy to her aid. He agrees to help her… for a price. Love isn’t meant to be part of the bargain.
Soon Serilda realizes that there is more than one secret hidden in the castle walls, including an ancient curse that must be broken if she hopes to end the tyranny of the king and his wild hunt forever.
4.The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang
Page Length: 320
Series: The Kiss Quotient #3
Synopsis: A woman struggling with burnout learns to embrace the unexpected—and the man she enlists to help her—in this heartfelt new romance by USA Today bestselling author Helen Hoang.
When violinist Anna Sun accidentally achieves career success with a viral YouTube video, she finds herself incapacitated and burned out from her attempts to replicate that moment. And when her longtime boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment, a hurt and angry Anna decides that if he wants an open relationship, then she does, too. Translation: She’s going to embark on a string of one-night stands. The more unacceptable the men, the better.
That’s where tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan Diep comes in. Their first attempt at a one-night stand fails, as does their second, and their third, because being with Quan is more than sex—he accepts Anna on an unconditional level that she has just started to understand herself. However, when tragedy strikes Anna’s family she takes on a role that she is ill-suited for, until the burden of expectations threatens to destroy her. Anna and Quan have to fight for their chance at love, but to do that, they also have to fight for themselves.
5. The Last Legacy by Adrienne Young
Page Length: 336
Publication Date: Sept. 7, 2021
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Synopsis: New York Times bestselling author Adrienne Young returns with The Last Legacy, a captivating standalone about family and blood ties, reinventing yourself, and controlling your own destiny.
When a letter from her uncle Henrik arrives on Bryn Roth’s eighteenth birthday, summoning her back to Bastian, Bryn is eager to prove herself and finally take her place in her long-lost family.
Henrik has plans for Bryn, but she must win everyone’s trust if she wants to hold any power in the delicate architecture of the family. It doesn’t take long for her to see that the Roths are entangled in shadows. Despite their growing influence in upscale Bastian, their hands are still in the kind of dirty business that got Bryn’s parents killed years ago. With a forbidden romance to contend with and dangerous work ahead, the cost of being accepted into the Roths may be more than Bryn can pay.
6. A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee
Publication Date: Aug. 3, 2021
Page Length: 384
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Synopsis: For fans of Wilder Girls and Ninth House comes a dark, twisty, atmospheric thriller about a boarding school haunted by its history of witchcraft and two girls dangerously close to digging up the past.
Felicity Morrow is back at Dalloway School.
Perched in the Catskill mountains, the centuries-old, ivy-covered campus was home until the tragic death of her girlfriend. Now, after a year away, she’s returned to graduate. She even has her old room in Godwin House, the exclusive dormitory rumored to be haunted by the spirits of five Dalloway students—girls some say were witches. The Dalloway Five all died mysteriously, one after another, right on Godwin grounds.
Witchcraft is woven into Dalloway’s history. The school doesn’t talk about it, but the students do. In secret rooms and shadowy corners, girls convene. And before her girlfriend died, Felicity was drawn to the dark. She’s determined to leave that behind her now; all Felicity wants is to focus on her senior thesis and graduate. But it’s hard when Dalloway’s occult history is everywhere. And when the new girl won’t let her forget.
It’s Ellis Haley’s first year at Dalloway, and she’s already amassed a loyal following. A prodigy novelist at seventeen, Ellis is a so-called “method writer.” She’s eccentric and brilliant, and Felicity can’t shake the pull she feels to her. So when Ellis asks Felicity for help researching the Dalloway Five for her second book, Felicity can’t say no. Given her history with the arcane, Felicity is the perfect resource.
And when history begins to repeat itself, Felicity will have to face the darkness in Dalloway–and in herself.
7. Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo
Series: King of Scars #2
Page Length: 528
Publication Date: March 30, 2021
Publisher: Orion Children’s Books
Synopsis: The wolves are circling and a young king will face his greatest challenge in the explosive finale of the instant #1 New York Times-bestselling King of Scars Duology.
The Demon King. As Fjerda’s massive army prepares to invade, Nikolai Lantsov will summon every bit of his ingenuity and charm—and even the monster within—to win this fight. But a dark threat looms that cannot be defeated by a young king’s gift for the impossible.
The Stormwitch. Zoya Nazyalensky has lost too much to war. She saw her mentor die and her worst enemy resurrected, and she refuses to bury another friend. Now duty demands she embrace her powers to become the weapon her country needs. No matter the cost.
The Queen of Mourning. Deep undercover, Nina Zenik risks discovery and death as she wages war on Fjerda from inside its capital. But her desire for revenge may cost her country its chance at freedom and Nina the chance to heal her grieving heart.
King. General. Spy. Together they must find a way to forge a future in the darkness. Or watch a nation fall.
8. A Shadow in the Ember by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Flesh & Fire #1
Publication Date: Oct. 15th
Publisher: Blue Box Press
Synopsis: Born shrouded in the veil of the Primals, a Maiden as the Fates promised, Seraphena Mierel’s future has never been hers. Chosen before birth to uphold the desperate deal her ancestor struck to save his people, Sera must leave behind her life and offer herself to the Primal of Death as his Consort.
However, Sera’s real destiny is the most closely guarded secret in all of Lasania—she’s not the well protected Maiden but an assassin with one mission—one target. Make the Primal of Death fall in love, become his weakness, and then…end him. If she fails, she dooms her kingdom to a slow demise at the hands of the Rot.
Sera has always known what she is. Chosen. Consort. Assassin. Weapon. A specter never fully formed yet drenched in blood. A monster. Until him. Until the Primal of Death’s unexpected words and deeds chase away the darkness gathering inside her. And his seductive touch ignites a passion she’s never allowed herself to feel and cannot feel for him. But Sera has never had a choice. Either way, her life is forfeit—it always has been, as she has been forever touched by Life and Death.
9. What’s an Earl Gotta Do? by Courtney McCaskill
Series: The Astley Chronicles #2
Publication Date: Dec. 3, 2021
Synopsis: He lost her once. He can’t bear to lose her again.
Michael Cranfield, the Earl of Morsley, has been hopelessly in love with the girl next door, Lady Anne Astley, ever since they were fourteen years old.
This made it particularly jarring when she went and married someone else when his father sent him on a secret mission for the Crown in the wilds of Canada.
Now Anne is a widow, and Michael has a second chance to be with the woman he loves. He’s determined to marry Anne, take her back to Canada (where’s he’s spent the past four years training to be Governor General,) and wrap her up in cotton gauze so he’ll never have to be parted from her.
Anne still cringes when she recalls the day she learned with absolute certainty that Michael only saw her as a friend. But she isn’t the biddable girl Michael remembers, not any more. She’s found that being a widow, answering to no one, and running her London charity precisely as she sees fit suits her just fine. She is on the hunt for a husband, however, to give her the children she’s always longed for.
And, as much as she’d like that husband to be her best friend, if Michael Cranfield thinks she’s going to give up her charity, or let him boss her around, then he’d better think again!
What price will Michael be willing to pay to be with the woman he loves? What’s an Earl Gotta Do?
10.This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron
Page Length: 384
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Pub. Date: June 29, 2021
Synopsis: Darkness blooms in bestselling author Kalynn Bayron’s new contemporary fantasy about a girl with a unique and deadly power.
Briseis has a gift: she can grow plants from tiny seeds to rich blooms with a single touch.
When Briseis’s aunt dies and wills her a dilapidated estate in rural New York, Bri and her parents decide to leave Brooklyn behind for the summer. Hopefully there, surrounded by plants and flowers, Bri will finally learn to control her gift. But their new home is sinister in ways they could never have imagined–it comes with a specific set of instructions, an old-school apothecary, and a walled garden filled with the deadliest botanicals in the world that can only be entered by those who share Bri’s unique family lineage.
When strangers begin to arrive on their doorstep, asking for tinctures and elixirs, Bri learns she has a surprising talent for creating them. One of the visitors is Marie, a mysterious young woman who Bri befriends, only to find that Marie is keeping dark secrets about the history of the estate and its surrounding community. There is more to Bri’s sudden inheritance than she could have imagined, and she is determined to uncover it . . . until a nefarious group comes after her in search of a rare and dangerous immortality elixir. Up against a centuries-old curse and the deadliest plant on earth, Bri must harness her gift to protect herself and her family.
From the bestselling author of Cinderella Is Dead comes another inspiring and deeply compelling story about a young woman with the power to conquer the dark forces descending around her.
Have you read any of these? Which should I read first? Comment below!
30 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: 2021 Releases I Still Need to Read”
I still need to read The Heart Principle also! Hope you get to read these soon. 🙂
It sounds so good! Thanks, Yolanda!
Great list! Aurora’s End, Defy The Night and The Heart Principle are all still on my TBR as well. Hope you’ll enjoy all of these.
You too, Lindsey! 🙂
I have Defy The Night and This Poison Heart. I’ve read A Lesson in Vengence. The rest I have wanted but don’t own or have never heard of.
We should totally buddy read some of these!!!
i also still need to read defy the night, gilded, and this poison heart!! rule of wolves is so great; i hope you love all of these!!
Thanks, Aria! You too! 🙂
A Lesson in Vengeance and Shadow in the Ember are both books that I still need to read too! I need to be able to stop time so I can read all these books! lol
Me too! Too many books, too little time. lol But if you ever have time for a buddy read, let me know. 🙂
Yeah, I’m always up for a buddy read!! Let’s figure one out! 🙂
Any ideas on what you want to read??
IDK – what’s high up on your TBR?
I’ll DM you on Twitter!
You’ve got some great ones listed! I hope you get to read them this year!
Thanks, Leah! 🙂
My daughter loved #3 and I thought #4 was good. I hope you get to read them all this year.
Thanks so much!
So many (if not all) of these are on my TBR too! I hope they’ll be as enjoyable as we anticipate them to be
Half of these are also on my TBR and I’m really keen to give them a read! Maybe we can do another buddy read sometime for one or a few of them? 😉 I’m really looking forward to The Heart Principle! I hope you enjoy all these books, Julie!
Yes! Let’s do that. I had such fun buddy reading with you. 🙂
Gilded is on my list too! And this isn’t a 2021 release, but seeing Leigh Bardugo on your list reminds me that I need to keep going with the Grisha books — next up for me would be Crooked Kingdom. Hope you enjoy all of these!
Ahhhh – I love Crooked Kingdom!! I hope you get a chance to read it soon! Thanks, Lisa! 🙂
I hope you will enjoy all of these when you get to them! I also really wanty to read Gilded!
Thanks, Evelyn! I hope you get a chance to read it and love it!
Several of these are still on my TBR too! Defy the Night and Aurora’s End!
I hope you get to them soon and enjoy them!!