10 Books I Want to Read In 2021

Hello, friends! If you’ve been around here for a while, then you know that I’m a big mood reader. And with that comes my inability to stick to a TBR. This post is probably the closest I will ever get to a TBR, but as you’ll soon see, my expectations are quite low! I was inspired to write this post after seeing Marie talk about the 10 Backlist YA Books she wants to read this year. (She included Sick Kids in Love, so you know it’s an amazing list!) Anyways, reading that post reminded me that there are quite a few books that I want to prioritize this year as well, so I decided to make a list of my own!

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Now, I want to make a few disclaimers about these books and my intention with this post. The books that I’ve listed will help me achieve some of the goals that I’ve set for myself this year. I wanted to read 20 books off my TBR that I owned before 2021, and 8 out of 10 books fit that criteria. Several of these books feature POC or LGBTQ+ characters, which will ensure that I’m reading more diversely. But the genres are also pretty different from what I tend to read. There’s only one romance on my list, which I put on here so that looking at all these books wouldn’t be as scary. Because at least I know I’ll read one book off this list if nothing else! But there are a lot of fantasy books, a classic, and some more intense contemporaries than I tend to pick up. There are also quite a few books that have very few ratings on Goodreads or are indie titles.

pink love GIF by Denyseยฎ

But making this list was the easy part. Reading these books will be harder. TBRs can make me stressed out, and I don’t like feeling stressed out about my reading. That’s why I’ve decided that when I look back at this list at the end of the year, having read FIVE of the ten will be a win. The reason for that is because like I mentioned, these books all either push me a little bit out of my comfort zone, or help me achieve a goal I’ve already set. So there’s no way to read 5 books from this list and not have read at least one or two books that otherwise wouldn’t have been prioritized.

On top of that, I thought it would be fun to read these books with people! I’m going to leave a Bookshop list with all the books I’ll be mentioning, and if you’d like to buddy read one of these books with me just leave a comment or DM me on Instagram!

I also want to mention that for at least half of these books I’ve already started them at some point in 2020, and put each of them down for one reason or another. Usually because school became overwhelming and I went back to my comfort genres, or because my mood suddenly changed at some point. But the fact that they’re on this list means they hooked me enough that I want to read them at some point this year!

Come Home GIF by memecandy

These barely started books calling to me

These covers all link to Goodreads because I won’t be giving any synopses, just telling you why I think I’ll get to them this year! And now, without further ado, let’s get into the books I want to read and why I want to read them!

1 . The Starless Sea

Not every book on this list is in a deliberate order, but I knew that this book had to be number one. When everyone was reading this book I kept hearing how lyrical and beautiful the writing was. And that is basically my reason for wanting to read this one. I just have this feeling that I’m going to love it, and the only way to find out if that’s true is to read it!

2. Patron Saints of Nothing

This one is particularly high on my list because of the fact that I bought this because of several recommendations, and then I just….. never actually read the book. And what frustrates me is that I want to! My brain is just never in the mood at the right time. Like it’s great that you think that now is a good time to pick this book up, brain. But keep in mind that you need to read and review this ARC by next week, and you’re also in middle of 7 other books. Now’s not the best time to start another book!

3. Opposite of Always

I read the first few pages of this book back in 2020 and was hooked! Honestly, if I weren’t already in middle of so many books at the moment, I could see this being a book I picked up this week. Let’s just hope this mood lasts after I finish at least half of my current reads! (I’m reading so many books right now that I’ve decided not to start any new ones until I finish a few first).

4. The House In the Cerulean Sea

I saw this book on so many favorites of the year lists, that I just had to get myself a copy! It seems so whimsical and fun, and I’ve heard that it’s cute, which makes me even more excited to read it! The reason this is on this list is because it still isn’t my usual genre, but I think that this book has a pretty good chance of ending up read by the end of the year! Let’s hope so!

5. A River of Royal Blood

This is one of the ones that I started, and then finals happened. And then it took me a few weeks to recover from finals. And now I’m in middle of too many books. But I have several backlist ARCs on my physical TBR and this is one of them. It’s also the backlist ARC that is holding my interest the most at the moment, which is why it’s on this list. And who knows, the sequel comes out this year, so maybe if I like this book enough I’ll pick the sequel up shortly after! And since it’s a duology that’ll mean I’ll have completed a series!

6. Crazy Cupid Love

Is this one cheating? I may have already started this book. But to be fair, I start lots of books and then never finish them, to the point where when I pick them up next I have to start from page one again. So since I’m not far enough into this book to make it safe from being put down indefinitely as I get sidetracked by the 12 other books I’m reading (only a minor exaggeration) it’s going on this list. Plus, if I do manage to finish it this month, it will motivate me for future months!

7. Frankenstein

This is the only classic on this list, and I specifically picked one that is pretty short, but is also one that I’m excited for. I’ve been wanting to read Frankenstein for a while now, and thought I might get around to it during spooky season, but alas, school got in the way. But I’m making it my mission to read at least one classic at some point this year, and chances are I’ll be reading this one!

8. Heroine Complex

This is another one that I started and then put down. But I was very much enjoying myself. It contains over the top humor which I tend to enjoy in books, and so I was having a grand old time. I even forgot why I put this one down in the first place. I think that the next time I want something light that isn’t a contemporary, this is the book I’ll pick up! Plus, this is signed by the author, and she was such a sweetheart when I met her!

9. The Crescent Stone

This one is definitely the one most out of my comfort zone. It’s a fantasy that I have never seen anyone else talk about. I picked it up at BookCon a few years ago, and for some reason I’ve wanted to try it out recently. I haven’t started it before, and I barely know what the plot is, which leads me to think that I’m just loving the purple blue ombre on the cover, and that’s what’s making me so intrigued. Or maybe I just want to finally know what this book is about!

10. Queen Move

This is the sole romance I put on this list and I’d like a round of applause for my self-restraint. I’ve been reaching for some more indie titles in the past few months and this one came highly recommended! It’s mainly here on this list so that I will definitely have read at least one of these books by the end of the year, since chances are I’ll pick this book up in February or March!

And there you have all 10 books that I hope to prioritize this year! I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these books! And I’d also love to know which books you want to prioritize in 2021! Let’s chat in the comments!

This post contains an affiliate link to Bookshop. Purchasing items from this link will provide us with a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Have you read any of these books? Do you want to read any of these books? Which books do you want to prioritize in 2021?


34 thoughts on “10 Books I Want to Read In 2021

  1. Wowee do I know the mood reader vs TBR struggle. I always see bloggers’ beautiful monthly TBR posts and am just, what does that feel like? Must be nice haha.

    Loved hearing your thoughts on the books you hope to read this year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I can’t plan that far in advance! I can barely pick out a book that I’ll want to read in the next 3 days! My mood changes so frequently, there’s no way I can pick a book and know that I’ll be able to read it no matter what. If I’m not in the mood, I can’t read the book! But I figured that giving myself a year should be fine! And since I’m not aiming to read ALL the books on this list, I’ve given myself a more relaxed TBR so I don’t freak out over it too much!

      Thank you! Glad you enjoyed! ๐Ÿ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh, good luck with this! I know what a struggle it can be to to stick to a reading list when you’re a mood reader. It’s a really good idea to aim for 5/10, because if you set goals you know aren’t realistic it’s pretty off-putting.

    This year I’m aiming to finish all my currently owned books (there’s around 16 of these) and I’m hoping to make progress with a few more series. I thought I was pretty good at finishing series, but when I made a list for a future post the other day I found out I’m actually in the middle of 10!! I really wasn’t expecting that so I definitely want to work on that this year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! It definitely is a struggle for me to stick to reading lists of any kind! My reading mood really just changes way too frequently! But that’s why I decided to make a list of 10 books, but only set the goal to read 5 of them. Like you said, it’s the only way this can be a realistic goal for myself!

      Oooh, good luck with your goals! I know that I can’t get through my backlist TBR in one go, so it will probably take me another year or two to get my physically owned TBR down to 5 or 10 that I can easily read in a month or two. The problem is that I’m not as interested in the books that have been on my shelves for years now, so I need to space them out over several years, until all I’m left with are my more recent purchases that align with my current reading tastes.

      As for series, I kind of gave up on trying to finish most of the ones that I haven’t already completed, so I applaud you for attempting to catch up or finish some of your series!

      I hope that you manage to accomplish all of your goals for this year and discover some great books in the process!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Heroine Complex! You will love that one, it reads very much like a romance novel, but with lots of butt-kicking too. Plus, as you noted, great humor and banter. House on the Cerulean Sea is on my tbr, but I haven’t decided what books I want to prioritize this year yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yay! That makes me so excited! I got about 60 pages in when I first picked it up, so I read enough to know I was vibing with it, but I’m happy to hear that it’s something I’d love from someone who has already read it! And I hope you end up loving The House in the Cerulean Sea whenever you end up picking it up!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. i love how diverse your list is, and i think it’s such a great idea that you’ll consider it a win if you read just five out of the ten books on this list!! as someone who can’t really stick to tbrs and listens to her mood usually, i haven’t ever been able to fully complete a tbr i’ve set for myself, HAHA. im very excited to see what you think about the starless sea, bc i didn’t have the brain cells for it at all ๐Ÿ˜ฉ i’ve heard amazing things about the house on the cerulean sea too, particularly that it’s a very serotonin inducing read, and i really need that! also would you perhaps like to buddy read opposite of always ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘ˆ๐Ÿป i bought a copy over a year ago, and i keep forgetting to pick it up, so i think having a buddy reader would keep me accountable, haha. (but absolutely no pressure to agree!!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I wanted to make sure that this list was representative of how I want my reading to look this year, and one of the hopes is that my reading will be diverse, so I’m glad that this list matches those goals!

      And honestly, I couldn’t post this list without making it very clear that I don’t plan on pressuring myself to read all of these books this year. It would make me avoid these books, and stress out too much over what I was reading. I think five out of ten is manageable, and if I read even more, that’ll be great! But having never completed a TBR either, I think that there’s practically no chance of me reading all 10 on this list!

      I’m waiting until I have the time and energy to focus on reading The Starless Sea. I was going to read it over winter break, but then I got distracted by lots of other books, so that hasn’t happened. That means it’ll probably be another few months before I think to read it again.

      I heard similar things about The House in the Cerulean Sea, and I’m so excited to get that serotonin!

      I would love a buddy read! I will warn you now that my mood reading sometimes makes things go awry with buddy reads, but if you don’t mind that, let’s go for it! I was thinking of reading it next month. Would that work for you? If so we can chat on Instagram about how we want this buddy read to go. I’m so excited!

      Liked by 1 person

    I agree with adding so many books to read but never actually reading them (but I’m trying to pick out the books in my TBR when I can). And Opposite of always sounds fun (since I’m into romance books . . . )
    Even though I might be a bit ‘angry’ (lol) I love the listโค๏ธ

    Liked by 1 person


      I’m pretty good at keeping my physical TBR to a relatively small number, but some books manage to stay on there for years while others get read immediately. This post is supposed to help motivate me to fix that!

      And while I do think Opposite of Always has a romance, I’ve heard it’s hard hitting, which is why I haven’t rushed to read it like I do with most other romances!

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the list!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yay for Frankenstein! ๐Ÿฅฐ That’s one of my favourite books ever so I hope you enjoy it too ๐Ÿ™‚ And I really want to read Opposite of Always too. I picked it as a giveaway prize last year and I haven’t gotten around to it yet but I’m still very excited for it ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh! Now I’m really excited to read it! I honestly don’t know that much about Frankenstein, but that makes it even more fun for me!

      You’re not the first person to mention that they want to read Opposite of Always! As of now, I’m hoping to read it sometime in February, but we’ll see how that goes since my mood reading might get in the way of that plan!


  7. I also really want to read Opposite of Always! I read the author’s newest book last year and it was phenomenal, so now I am extra excited! A River of Royal Blood is another one I’d really like to get to. I have like, 10,000 books to prioritize this year? Which means I shall read exactly two of them. If it’s a good year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was the most popular unread book that everyone was excited for from the comments I’ve read! Hopefully we all get around to it soon and love it! I haven’t read anything by the author, but I’ve heard good things, so I’m excited!

      If you want to buddy read A River of Royal Blood, let me know! (But no pressure, obviously!) When i started reading it I was intrigued enough to continue, but I have heard mixed reviews, so I’m curious what I’ll think about it!

      I’d get overwhelmed if I thought about all the books I want to read this year, so I’m pretending that I’m only going to prioritize 10. Hopefully that means I’ll trick my brain into reading a good chunk of the books I want to get to!


    1. Thank you! I’m hopeful that I can get to at least half of them, but we’ll see! I originally wanted to read The House in the Cerulean Sea next month, but now I’ve realized there are lots of other books that I need to prioritize before I can get to it for various reasons, so I’ll probably get to it in March or April at the earliest! I hope we both end up loving it though!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I really want to read Patron Saints of Nothing, so hopefully I can get to it this year – I’ve heard fantastic things about it. The House in the Cerulean Sea was one of my favorite books of 2020 – I read it more than a month ago, but I still go back and open it at my favorite parts, because they cheer me up so much. Frankenstein was pretty good, I thought, but somehow I expected it to be better? Not sure how much chance that makes, haha. Good luck on reading at least five of these books!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard fantastic things about Patron Saints of Nothing as well! I’m probably going to try to read it in a few months, so if you’d be interested in a buddy read at some point in the future, let me know!

      I cannot WAIT until I have the time to pick up The House in the Cerulean Sea! I’ve heard so many amazing things that I don’t want to pick it up while I’m reading 12 other books. I’m waiting until I can give it my version of undivided attention! (Which just means that it’s the only book I plan on reading in the next few days, even if I’m still in middle of one or two other books I hope to finish that week/month.)

      No, no. I think I get it. Frankenstein is sort of a “hyped” classic, so it makes sense that your expectations were high. Hopefully I enjoy it for what it is!

      Thank you! I’m really hoping that I can read at least one or two in the first quarter of the year to motivate me to read the rest!


  9. Ah I’m so glad my post inspired you to make your own list! ๐Ÿฅฐ The only one I’ve read here is Opposite of Always and I remember really enjoying it! I hope you will too ๐Ÿฅฐ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad that your post pushed me to make one of my own! I was considering whether or not I should publicize a list of 10 books I wanted to read this year to have something to hold me accountable, and reading your post made me realize how much fun it could be!

      I actually just started Opposite of Always last night! I’m hoping to finish it this month, in which case you’ll hear about whether I loved it or not soon! (Hopefully I enjoy it!)


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