Our Authors’ Favorite Books of 2021!

We asked some authors what their favorite book they read in 2021 was, and here are their answers.

Note, inclusion of this post is not an endorsement of any given books content by the site and its staff. All ratings are provided by the authors who recommended each book. These are the opinions purely of the authors. Post includes Amazon affiliate links.


by Lianne Kay
Rating: PG-13
Recommended by Sarah Ashwood
Sweeping fantasy romance with fantastic characters and great depiction of sibling loyalty. Beautiful fantasy setting.

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Find out more about Sarah.


by Heather Dixon
Rating: PG
Recommended by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt
This story is absolutely gorgeous. It is probably my favorite 12 Dancing Princesses retelling ever, and that’s saying a lot, partially because 12DP is one of my favorite fairy tales ever, and partially because I’ve read quite a few rather excellent retellings. But this one blows them all away. I love the sisterly relationships woven throughout the story, and I love that the author managed to really introduce me to each one of the sisters and make me care for all of them. A tall order in such a large cast. There were themes of family and fatherhood and grief and love and forgiveness and selfishness and selflessness and kindness and friendship all woven intricately into this tale. And I have to say that it’s the first time I’ve ever read a 12DP retelling that really focused on the dancing. I mean, the dancing and the types of dances the why behind the dancing in secret were such an integral part of this book.

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Find out more about Jenelle

Anchor Between Worlds

by Britney Dehnert
Rating: PG
Recommended by Amber Gabriel
Amazing world-building with realistic and convincing mythical creatures! The daeor are so well-conceived and described, their powers extremely creative, and their motivations so consistent, I just loved reading about them. Skaeoth was my favorite character, even though “arguing with a daeor was like arguing with a rock.” Kurdra’s controlled strength combined with her visions made her an intriguing heroine. Because of the visions and flashbacks, it took me a couple of chapters to understand the main storyline, but then I was hooked! Though I could guess some of the twists, I read the book in almost one sitting because I couldn’t wait to see how it all worked out. The mystery of Kurdra’s past brought all the missing pieces together. The heart-pounding battle scenes crackled with energy, using all the senses to immerse the reader in the fight. Highly recommended for YA and up!

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Find out more about Amber

The Phantom Tollbooth

by Norton Juster
Rating: G
Recommended by A. K. R. Scott
A man who is at once the fattest, thinnest, tallest, and shortest man you’ve ever met; a banquet where characters actually eat their words; a conductor who conducts the cycle of the sun. The Phantom Tollbooth is a cornucopia of fantastical characters and settings. Quite literally. 😉 This portal fantasy clips along at a rapid pace as Milo, a young boy with “nothing better to do,” goes on a quest to rescue the banished Rhyme and Reason. The author plays with words like a speed cuber – twisting and turning them in surprising and delightful ways that sometimes leave the reader scratching their head, but ultimately work together toward a very satisfying conclusion. Though classified as a children’s book, The Phantom Tollbooth is packed with enough wordplay to keep the interest of readers of all ages. Juster’s observations on the importance of learning, and of the millstone of boredom and constant distraction, are as timely today as they were 60 years ago.

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Find out more about A.K.R.

Castle in the Wilde series

by Sharon Rose
Rating: PG
Recommended by Kandi J Wyatt
The series is about a castle that has been sequestered away. A prince finds it and claims it for himself, only to learn that in reality it belongs to another nation that will not allow foreigners into their land by penalty of death! Things get even more complicated when his men rescue a young lady and the prince falls for her. There’s wonderful adventure, culture, and a soft romance theme interwoven together.

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Find out more about Kandi

The Queen’s Gambit

by Walter Tevis
Rating: R
Recommended by A. R. Silverberry
I was so glued to it, so pulled in by the main character, I got very little sleep. It’s one of my all-time favorite reads. Also, I’m a chess nerd.

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Find out more about A. R.

Monster Hunter International

by Larry Coreia
Rating: PG-13
Recommended by Doug Triplett
I am a late comer to this universe but the thing that I enjoyed most was the world building. We get a unique setting and there is a steady flow of background information bringing the world to life and also laying the groundwork for future novels. I have made it to book four and have had fun with each. I have been listening to them in audio format and the narrator is awesome.

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Find out more about Doug

The Faerie Queen

by Edmund Spenser
Rating: R
Recommended by Matt Starr
The scope, the intensity, the prose, and the adventure. Spenser does everything exceptionally.

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by Tricia Mingerink
Rating: PG-13
Recommended by Olive M. Creed
I love assassins and redemption arcs. Dare is the first book of the best series ever if you’re a fan of assassins and redemption and sweet romances. It’s my favorite book of all time.

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Find out more about Olive

Stolen Midsummer Bride

by Tara Grayce
Rating: PG
Recommended by Savannah Jezowski
I adored this story. Meg was the perfect spunky heroine without being hard to like. I loved her instantly. I loved Basil too…what’s not to love about a swoony librarian? I also adored the House, Library and Buddy. Not to mention book wyrms, fae courts, icky spiders, a basilisk…this book has it all. My only complaint…I want more. 😉

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Find out more about Savannah

Secretkeeper’s Daughter

by Julie Harbison
Rating: PG-13
Recommended by J.D. Rempel
It was so original. An unexpected plot and love interest plus it was a mix of sub-genres.

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The Rhise of Hope

by Max B. Sternberg
Rating: PG-13
Recommended by Amy Lynn McConahy
The development of the characters and the world were beautiful to behold. His pacing and wit move the story along in a page turning fashion that I loved. Sternberg is fast becoming one of my favorite authors and I highly recommend you enjoy this magical God honoring story.

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Find out more about Amy

Runaway Lyrics

by C.O. Bonham
Rating: PG
Recommended by H. L. Burke

So, when you give me a book that is a retelling of Snow White & Rose Red set in a Steampunk world with well thought out musical magic and an in depth history that is well-conveyed but also doesn’t info dump, two sets of siblings with unique personalities that cause conflict but also mesh together and because we have two sisters and two brothers we get not one but TWO romances and it all keeps moving with regular jokes.

Then, yeah, you wrote something I am bound to like which is why …

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Find out more about H.L.

Between Floors (City Between #3)

by W.R. Gingell
Rating: PG-13
Recommended by Carrie-Anne T
Rich worldbuilding. Intense action scenes. Snarky POV character. What’s not to like?

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