Recommendations: My 5 Star and Favorite Reads of 2021, Part 2

Hi and welcome to the reading world!

It’s no secret here on the blog that I love writing and sharing recommendations lists (just check out my June Monthly Wrap Up to see a snapshot of the most recent ones!), but sharing the books I’ve read and loved over the last quarter is definitely one of the best types of recommendation posts I get to share.

I noticed that my overall reading volume went down significantly compared to Part 1 of this list when I covered books from January to March, but I think the number of favorites and highly rated books has remained consistent. I think for me I’ve been figuring out my reading preferences more, being more open to DNF’ing books, and taking my time with my reads to find which ones are my favorites. So, all in all, fewer reads but proportionally more favorites is a great sign for my reading!

This quarter, I decided to include books that are 5 stars and also books that I consider favorites. I don’t rate every book I read, and not every 5 star book ends up being a favorite in my rating system just like some non-5 star reads are favorites of mine. So, recognizing all that, I decided to update this format to allow for all of those to be highlighted on these recommendation posts as well!

Here are my 5 star reads and favorite reads from April, May, and June! I’ll be linking to the reviews or posts they’re highlighted in if applicable. If I haven’t discussed them more on the blog (but stay tuned because I definitely will!), I’ll link to the Goodreads page. Let’s get into the list!

George by Alex Gino

I highlighted George in my monthly wrap up linked above, so I’ll keep my thoughts brief on this post. George is a novel that tackles issues of identity, acceptance, the challenges faced by many within the LGBTQIA+ community, and how all of this can be seen through the eyes of a young person experiencing it all. It is incredibly powerful and had me laughing, reflecting, and constantly reading to see what happened next with these characters. George is a book written for younger audiences but has incredible exploration of themes that are timeless.

Good Talk by Mira Jacob

This was my first experience reading a graphic memoir, and one I highlighted on my Bookstagram in June as an incredible book that had themes of exploring and understanding within the LGBTQIA+ community. Good Talk tackles issues of race, identity, belonging, biphobia, and other problems that the author has encountered in her own life through the medium of conversations portrayed in the graphic memoir. This was my first graphic memoir but definitely not my last.

Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty

This is the finale of the Daevabad Trilogy (check out my series review for more details) and is one of my all time favorite fantasy books now. This series definitely takes its time building up an incredible world, lots of political intrigue and tension, an epic adventure, and characters that are memorable and dimensional. This series is definitely a favorite!

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

A recent read with the @B2Weird book club, this is an incredibly popular fantasy novel for good reason. I just posted my full review of the book, so take a look at that for more of my thoughts! This is another one with incredibly unique world building, magic systems, and a story structure that is extraordinary. I can’t wait to see how this series unfolds!

Under the Rainbow by Celia Laskey

This is a contemporary fiction where each chapter follows a different character’s perspective. I featured this in my Mid Year Favorites 2021: Contemporary/Literary Fiction post, so you can check that out for more of a mini synopsis and stay tuned for an upcoming full review!

Star Wars: Queen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston

Very unpopular opinion among Star Wars fans but I actually enjoyed the prequel Star Wars films and Padmé is my favorite Star Wars character. So, having a novel all about her life and the world of Naboo is definitely a favorite of mine, although I totally understand why this wouldn’t be for everyone including other fans of the films. However, if you like sci fi, political intrigue, and Padmé as a character, you might really enjoy this one!

So, there are my favorite reads from April, May, and June. I’m loving making this series in order to give a special shoutout to the best of the best books I’ve read the past few months!

Stay tuned for some posts later this month where I’ll be breaking down reads from this entire year in my upcoming series, Mid Year Favorites!

Thank you for stopping by!


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