• Arden Palmquist

Here Is Everything I've Been Reading So Far This Year

Updated: Aug 10

If you keep up with my blog or me on any social media platforms, you know that one of my resolutions is to read 24 books in 2021, which estimates about 2 books a month. Which sounds totally doable. Especially when my Goodreads "to read list" has 78 books as of today. Some of those on my to read list are also the start of series so I think I should be good on my reading challenge this year.

But, I did notice a lot of other people sharing that they want to read more in 2021 too. I think secretly we have COVID to thank for that (re-awakening the book worms in some of us). With people wanting to read more, they are also looking for some book recommendations. So, I figured that since we are about 3 months into the new year (almost 4), I would provide you with a list of everything I've been reading so far this year and my honest rating for them. Who knows, maybe someone reading this might find a book from my list to add to their own list.

The books I am about to share with you are in order of when I completed them. I keep track not only on good reads but also in my journal. I found that writing it down and writing down the date I finished them really motivates me to keep going. Not only that, so does my actual reading list on Goodreads. I really want to get through that this year!

So, lets dive in to all the books I've read this year with an honest review!!

Book #1: Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban

We all know the plot to Harry Potter so I don't need to really explain it but this is hands down the best Harry Potter book in the series. Even though the first two books are good, The Prisoner of Azkaban hits differently. This is by far one of my favorite Harry Potter books that I've read from the series so far.

On a 5-Star rating scale, I gave it 5 stars out of 5 on Goodreads. I think after reading this, this made me even more excited to read the rest of the series (as this is my first time reading them).

Book #2: Red, White & Royal Blue

This book has been recommended to me from friends and from Tik Tok videos. For those who have not heard of this book, this plot follows first son, Alex Claremont-Diaz enemies to lovers with the Prince Henry. The plot follows as they start out with staging a fake friendship to help keep the tabloids calm as Alex's mother is up for re-election. Soon, that fake friendship turns into a secret relationship with the prince that if anyone found out, could throw his mother's campaign out the window and upend two nations. It's a book about love, politics, and has just the right amount of drama. It is for sure a young adult (steamy) kind of read but one that I got through very quickly!

On a 5-Star rating scale, I gave it 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. I am very excited to see what Amazon does with this book as they now have the rights to it so they are in the process of turning it into an Amazon Original.

Book #3: Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire

Once again, we all know the plot to Harry Potter. This is the 4th book out of the series and was a longer read than most books I have read this year. But that didn't stop me from reading it quickly. It was nothing like the movie, it was even better.

On a 5-Star rating scale, I gave it a 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. Part of me wishes that the movie was similar to the book because it really brought the characters to life and provided more character development with the Weasley family that what the movies show.

Book #4: The Dating Plan

This was my first pick off of Book of The Month! It was debuted on the website as an early release and a good chunk of the internet that I follow was raving about it. This book follow Daisy Patel, a software engineer who understands logic and comic books better than love. She has her whole life planned out with no desire to marry, even though her family members are trying so hard to find her the perfect husband. Liam Murphy is your classic male character who doesn't date and only cares about making a life for himself. But once his grandfather dies and his inheritance of the family business is contingent on him being married, he is forced to figure something out. When these two characters run into each other after years of being out of one another lives, they decide that the answer to all of their problems is to create a fake engagement. But as they go on dates to rekindle and learn about one another, sparks start to fly and feelings start to resurface from years ago. This was an easy and quick read!

However, on a 5-Star rating scale, I gave it a 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. I felt that the plot itself has been done so many times and it was a predictable ending. It still was a fun read and one that had me gushing at the end, but it wasn't worth more than 3 stars.

Book #5: Hood Feminism

I cannot stress this enough, everyone should be reading this book. Hood Feminism is a collection of essays written by Mikki Kendall, a woman raised in the hood who is sharing stories from her experiences on issues of feminism that we often forget. I chose to read this for Black History month to educate myself further and wow, did this book really put a lot of things in perspective for me. I just want to hand this book to anyone willing to educate themselves even more and those who don't support feminism. I learned so much from this book and it was an amazing and beneficial read.

On a 5-star rating scale, I gave it 4 stars out of 5 on Goodreads. I highly recommend this book to everyone. No matter what party you support how how educated you feel on feminist issues, you will learn something from this book.

Book #6: The Vanishing Half

Okay... This is one that I have been trying to read for MONTHS. I originally bought it because it received so much hype from everyone, everywhere. However, I have a different opinion on this. First and foremost, this book is about The Vignes identical twin sisters growing up in a small Southern Black community and running away at the age of 16. They may be identical looks wise but they could not have gone down different paths. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same town she ran away from whole the other sister passes for white to her husband, daughter, and the life they have. Even though these twins live different lives, their paths still cross decades later.

It wasn't until almost 130 pages in where I was enjoying the book. The way it is written has the plot being told all over the place but still tying the entire plot together. It took months before I could get past the first 130 pages, but after that, I started to enjoy the book.

On a 5-star rating scale, I gave it 3 stars out of 5 on Goodreads. Even though it had a very dry and slow start, the middle and ending were very well done. I would recommend this book for those who are patient with slow plots for sure!

Book #7: The Vanishing Half of Addie LaRue

This was another book that I saw all over book Tik Tok, readers raving about how amazing this book was. So, after seeing it being recommended a handful of times, I went out and bought myself my own copy to add it to my bookshelf. This book starts out in France in 1714, where our main character Addie LaRue is desperate to get out of a situation that she does not want for herself and prays to the Gods only to be presented by a dark God, where she made a bargain to live forever only to be cured with being forgotten by everyone she meets. After 300 years, she walks into a bookstore one day where she meets a boy who simply does not forget her. This has been by far one of my favorite reads of this year. From wondering if I could make a bargain like hers to reading about the adventures she's gone on, the art she's admired, to the love story between her and Henry. This had an ending that I didn't see coming but one that I think was an amazing way to wrap up a story like this!

On a 5-Star rating scale, I gave it a 4 out of 5 on Goodreads. This book took me a little longer to read than wanted, but wow was this an amazing read. I recommend this to anyone at any age, it's so worth it!

I am currently on my 8th book of the year which is, Serpent and Dove! I'm not too far to be able to share more than it's off to a slow start but I've heard amazing things about it. My goal is to be done this week with it so I can draw a new book out of my vase to read!

My reading list grows more and more each day but I figured this would be a fun way for readers to get some new recommendations on books! If you want to follow along with my reading journey, click here for my Goodreads account! Be on the look out on Tik Tok too for a new series I am planning on starting regarding my reading tracking!

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