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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Throughout the pandemic and especially the past year, I have been able to rediscover my love for reading. Although it can be hard to unplug from social media, school, work, and the many other fast-paced parts of life that consume us, setting aside time to read can be very rejuvenating. Reading has truly become the time I look forward to most. I encourage everyone to find some time to unwind with a good book, and these can get you started. 

Here are some of my favorite books I read in 2021: 

1. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover 

Colleen Hoover was definitely a favorite this year for many readers. This book famously went viral on TikTok, and for good reason. It Ends With Us was one of those books you just can’t put down. It can be very heavy at times, but the story is so compelling. Hoover does a great job of portraying heavy topics in a new light rather than taking the stereotypical perspective that is usually seen in novels. 

2. Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales

Perfect on Paper was a book that genuinely surprised me. I was expecting another cheesy rom-com, but I found this book to have so much more depth than that. It had great LGBTQ+ representation as well as a relatable – although sometimes irritating – main character. This book also really reminded me of the Netflix series Sex Education, which I kind of loved. 

3. The Stranger by Albert Camus 

This book is quite unlike the others on this list. Admittedly, I did read this as a part of my senior project for school, but I was shocked by how much I enjoyed reading it. From the 1940s, this book is quite the classic. The book follows Meursault and his unique existentialist outlook on life. It really gets you to reflect on your own life since the main character is so ordinary and mundane but the way he thinks is the opposite. 

4. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne 

The Hating Game was yet another book I found through TikTok. To be honest, I started this book with no expectations and was sort of expecting it to be overhyped. Although it is a very cliche rom-com, sometimes that is exactly what you need: something without heaviness that just lets your mind wander and become immersed in the story. I read this book in 2 days because it was such an easy read and I was able to become really invested in the characters. 

5. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan  

Although this was not a first-time read for me, I did re-read it in 2021. Percy Jackson was my favorite series growing up, and I decided to revisit it after getting back into reading many years later. I am not usually the biggest fan of fantasy books, but this series had me absolutely hooked even the second time around. It is quite literally a children’s book but somehow manages to not feel as such when you are reading it. The book is fast-paced and Riordan’s vision of the world of Greek mythology really comes alive through the writing. 

These were some of the best books I read in 2021. I hope these can inspire you to pick up a book this year, even if you might not be much of a reader. 

First-year at UC San Diego majoring in communications Loves reading, writing, and spending time outdoors
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