Mid Year Favorites 2021

This year has been weird, I won’t lie. With the pandemic still not over here in India, and lockdowns and curfews just continuing, days have passed at home laying around. It’s given me a lot of time to read though. I just sit and read all day long, gobbling up books like a hungry monster. As a result, I’m nearing a hundred books on my goodreads reading challenge, which makes me so happy.

However, it’s not been the most exciting reading year so far, but I have surely read a lot of books that broadened my horizons. Books from different genres, different age group, and different cultures, and it’s been fascinating to read these books with differing voices, whether I liked them or not. I did have a lot of disappointing reads this year, but at the same time, there has been quite a few memorable and favorite reads too.

So, lets’ take a look at some of my favorite books of the year so far, in no particular order. While I did enjoy a lot more books, the following ten are those that I loved a bit more and feel are more unforgettable to me, books that I’ll keep recommending.

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The Jasmine Throne – a fantastic new desi SFF adventure – blog tour + review

Desi fantasies will never stop exciting me. When I found out about The Jasmine Throne, I will admit I had barely any idea about what the story was. I went into it blind and was very much surprised with what I got.

The Jasmine Throne is a desi fantasy set in a world of magic and politics and misogynistic, patriarchal leaders. In the midst of it all we have our two main leads – Priya and Malini, one a servants-maid and one a princess in exile. Along with them are a host of varied side characters who play major roles too. When Priya and Malini’s paths collide, they have to trust each other – despite being from the enemy lines – and help to save each other’s lives. What follows is a stunning tale of love, family, loyalty and strength.

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Monthly reading wrap up – April 2021

I don’t know about you all but April felt a bit too long, like it just went for way too long. I don’t know. It was a slow month for me. It wasn’t practically the best month – we are battling the horrific implications of the second wave in India, and then we also experienced a massive earthquake some mornings ago, followed by multiple aftershocks. Honestly, I’ve been going to sleep fearing for me and my family’s lives.

The saving grace was the Shadow and Bone show that released on the 23rd of April. It brought some semblance of normal and happiness into the otherwise dire and mundane days.
Despite these, I did manage to continue with my reading. If nothing, the books kept me sane and engaged throughout. I might not have had a great reading month but it was good enough. Managing to read fifteen, here’s a list of them all with mini reviews accompanying them.

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Witches Steeped in Gold – a Jamaican inspired fantasy – review + blog tour + giveaway (UK & the commonwealth)

When I saw the cover reveal for Witches Steeped in Gold, I was very drawn. I mean, its natural for a reader to be attracted to a book by its cover, right? Surely, it was on my anticipated releases this year and I’m so glad I got to read it.

To explain WSIG in simple words, it is an enemies-to-allies story with betrayal, magic, black girl power and a hint of romance. But again, describing the book in these mere words would be utterly wrong, as the story is so much more and goes deep.

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In Deeper Waters – a magical sea adventure – review + blog tour + giveaway (US and intl)

A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger to save him when he is kidnapped during his coming-of-age tour in this swoony adventure that is The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Pirates of the Caribbean.

An adventure set at the sea, with magic and romance, and the danger of warring kingdoms – sounds like the perfect mix for an exciting story. And that was, in simple words, what In Deeper Waters was. Set in a kingdom by the sea, journeying through the waters, and the towns near the banks, IDW follows Tal, a young prince on his coming-of-age tour, as he finds himself in the midst of a rouge kidnapping.

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Interview with Gloria Chao – author of Rent a Boyfriend, Our Wayward Fate and American Panda

Last year, I got lucky enough to read an early copy of Rent a Boyfriend. And then immediately fell in love with the story. A fake dating trope that takes the concept of renting boyfriend during holidays to keep nagging parents at bay (that rhymed, lol)? Exciting! And so was the book. So I slid into Gloria’s emails and asked for an interview because, like the curious soul I am, I wanted to know more behind the scenes of writing and the book.

And here is the very fun and AMAZING interview that I had with her. From writing and diverse rep to book and movie recs, I hope you enjoy it!

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American Betiya – family, love and culture comes into play in this YA debut – book tour + review

It is very rarely that one gets to see a true desi term in a contemporary book title. When the cover revealed happened for American Betiya last year, I was sold. The theme sounded so good, the cover was stunning and the title was an immediate catch. I’m so grateful for Lonely Pages Book Tours for having me on the blog tour and giving me a chance to read an early copy of this book. American Betiya follows Rani and Oliver’s tumultuous romance as she grapples with identity, culture and what it means to love.

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Favorite reads from January ’21 and why you should read them too

The new year really started with a bang when it came to my reading, I won’t lie. The books I picked up in January were really so good that I ended up with multiple five star reads – one that made me sob at two am in the morning, another that has me screaming with that climactic ending still, and more sweet reads that I will cherish. Sure, there were a few disappointments but I do not want to focus on them. Instead, on today’s blog post, I’ll be recommending you all my favorite reads from January and tell you why you must read them.

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