The Squadpod

The Squadpod’s Favourite Books of 2021, So Far

Last year myself and a group of fellow bloggers started a group chat with the aim to talk and share books, support each other through the difficult pandemic and encourage each other in our blogging. We jokingly nicknamed ourselves The Squadpod and it stuck.

Today, we launch our group Instagram and Twitter accounts and mark the start of some exciting plans we’ve been working on as a team for quite some time. To coincide with that we’ve decided to share our favourite reads of 2021 so far while also introducing you to our team of 23 bloggers.

Emma at Emma’s Biblio Treasures

The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex.

“The Lamplighters is a truly accomplished debut. It is one of those books that deserves to be huge and I have no doubt everyone will be talking about it this year. It is also perfect for the big screen and I am hoping I get to see it there one day…Atmospheric, haunting, claustrophobic and mesmerising, I found it impossible to put this one down and would have read it in one sitting if not for the pesky need to sleep. If you love and exquisitely layered mystery then don’t miss this book.”

Read the full review here

Danielle at The Reading Closet

The Push by Ashley Audrain

“The level of thrilling suspense and literary fiction is wonderfully balanced, creating something special that will have your heart racing, but underneath the surface lays an intoxicating current of domestic psychological drama. Every chapter is sure to blow you away.”

Read the full review here

Vikkie at Little Miss Book Lover 87

Just The Way I Am by Jo Watson

“I have read ALL of Jo Watson’s previous books and this is quite possibly my new favourite… A definite five star read that I highly recommend.”

Read the full review here

Claire at SecretWorldofaBook

A Net For Small Fishes by Lucy Jago

“I adored the characters in this story. Frances and Anne totally stole my heart and I was unable to put this down once I had begun… You need to read this book! I read it a while ago, have been struggling to complete my review ever since as I wanted to do it justice and still, I can not get the story out of mind. Lucy Jago is now one of my most favourite authors.”

Read the full review here

Ellie at Elspells

What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson

“What Beauty There Is is something special. This book had me hooked from the opening pages. From the first lines… What is so incredibly special about this book is that while it wears its influences openly and proudly, it also manages to be startlingly unique.”

Read the full review here

Sue at Brown Flopsy’s Book Burrow

The Forgotten Life of Arthur Pettinger by Suzanne Fortin

“Reading this was an incredibly emotional experience and lots of tears were shed along the way – both of joy and sadness. Love shines out of these pages, whether it be romantic or otherwise, and the way Fortin explores the capacity to love through both of the timelines in this book is enchanting.”

Read the full review here

Clare at The Fallen Librarian Reviews

Last One at the Party by Bethany Clift

“Bethany Clift is my new hero; she is posessed of a razor sharp, darkly comedic wit and is a fervent supporter of grossness and irreverence with vast amounts of panache – thank goodness, because all of those elements make this story addictive and compelling, and yes I am being woefully vague about the specific details because they are yours to discover and just you wait until the end!”

Read the full review here

Karen at Book Blogging Bureau

Dear Reader by Cathy Rentzenbrink

“So much of this book really gripped me, from my reader tastes, my job and as a mother, it felt so personal and relatable. It has also made me think about my own roles and reading. Cathy has had a wonderfully varied bookish life of which I am very envious!.. I read this with my friend Serena as a buddy read and we have both decided this one is definitely for the forever shelf and I know it will be one that I will gift to others but also return to myself. Absolutely stunning!”

Read the full review here

Vicki at Cosy Reads

Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson

“This is an all consuming book, poignant, moving and beautifully written. One I recommend with no hesitation.”

Read the full review here

Jackie at Jackie’s Reading Corner

Kololo Hill by Neemah Shah

“I would definitely recommend this as a book to read, it’s not a genre I normally pick but it is good to step out of the comfort zone at times. I give this 5 stars out of 5 stars. A great debut novel, written with great care to detail and attention.”

Read the full review here

Ceri at Ceri’s Lil Blog

Everything Is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray

“This book does definitely not disappoint. The story inside is just as gorgeous as the cover, if not even more so… This is an absolutely incredible debut and one that you do not want to miss.”

Read the full review here

Hayley at Lotus Writing Therapy

The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex

“I loved the descriptions of the sea, and how it was a character in its own right. Sometimes calm, deceptively so, until a sudden swell could catch you by surprise. There are storms where waves batter the tower almost all the way up to the light itself. The sea is capricious, relentless and must be respected. I was left though, with an eerie feeling and a sense that the lighthouse might still be holding some secrets. That perhaps if you sailed nearby on a clear day you might see a father and his small boy looking out to sea, together forever in this one place outside of time.”

Read the full review here

Beth at Beth’s Booketlist

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas

“This exceeded every wish and every hope for Nesta and Cassian’s story. Maas delivered a wonderful plot that was worth every single page of the whopping 750 pages.”

Read the full review here

Kirsty at Kirsty’s Book Buying Addiction

Before I Saw You by Emily Houghton

“Alice and Alfie have never met, they find themselves in different traumatic accidents but end up next to each other in a rehabilitation ward in a London hospital. She can’t bare to open her curtains so they connect through conversation… The way this book has been written is so poignant and touches on the tough subjects such as trauma and depression with such sensitivity and grace.”

Read the full review here

Zoe at Zoe’s Book Nook

Dangerous Women by Hope Adams

“I am always a sucker for a good classic whodunnit especially if it involves a hell of a lot of suspects and nowhere for the killer to escape to… I would also like to say that it’s not just an amazing and brilliant mystery novel, it’s also a wonderful historical fiction, delving into lives for which a lot of historians have ignored or shunned due to these women or people being unimportant to history.”

Read the full review here

Jen at Travels Along My Book Shelf

Daughters of Night by Laura Shepherd-Robinson

“This is a vivid, spellbinding superlative piece of writing… Truly outstanding and well worth five stars.”

Read the full review here

Kate at Rutherford Reads

The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex

“Completely fascinating that this is based on real-life events, I enjoyed the exploration of what could have happened to the keepers; a mystery which is relayed in a kind of diary when the wives and family are interviewed by an author writing about the tragedy… This is a truly wonderful book! So much so that I have been putting off writing this review because it’s nigh on impossible to find words to do this book justice.”

Read the full review here

Hayley at Shelf Lyfe

The One Hundred Years of Lennie and Margot by Marianne Cronin

“I adored this book even though it devastated me emotionally… It is full of surprising humour and wonderful characters. What makes them even more wonderful is how realistic they are.”

Read the full review here

Vicky at Gingerbread Book Reviews

The Forgotten Life of Arthur Pettinger by Suzanne Fortin

“This is absolutely historical romance at its best. It perfectly captures the terrors of the war and doesn’t brush over these, whilst also celebrating the small joys that love can bring. Arthur and Maryse are so lovely together, but their relationship is tinged with sorrow as you know that they don’t see out their days together.”

Read the full review here

Tilly at Tilly Loves Books

Before My Actual Heart Breaks by Tish Delaney

“I am besotted with this book and gutted I haven’t seen more people raving about it… This remarkable debut just goes to show that the quietest love stories are often the most powerful.”

Read the full review here

Becca at Becca Kate Blogs

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin

“The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot is a beautiful, emotional and heart-warming novel. The narrative and characters combine seamlessly to create an original, special story. Prepare to have your tissues at the ready!.. There are some hugely emotional moments in the novel and it’s a true rollercoaster ride. It’s easy to forget their reasons for the paintings and why two very unlikely friends were drawn to one another. Two people who probably wouldn’t have met ordinarily but were drawn together by their common, potentially imminent death. A truly beautiful novel, and one I don’t think I will ever forget!”

Read the full review here

Cara at Welsh Book Lover

The Burning Girls by C. J. Tudor

“What a book this is! Totally creepy yet so addictive. C. J. Tudor has hit the mark again… The way C. J. Tudor writes is just fantastic as it draws you in and keeps you hooked!”

Read the full review here

Chloe at Chloe Reads

Exit by Belinda Bauer

“Bauer has created a light hearted thriller,, which is now my favourite kind of book, the blend of humour with the thrill of a mystery is a match made in heaven… PC Bridge’s personality complimented Felix’s by being similar in some aspects but with a slight edge, covering his past that unraveled slowly through the book. Bauer creates such a connection between her characters and the reader, letting you explore their deepest, darkest and most emotional memories.”

Read the full review here


What is your favourite book so far of 2021? Let us know in the comments.

10 replies on “The Squadpod’s Favourite Books of 2021, So Far”

[…] The SquadPod Collective is a group of book lovers and bloggers sharing the book love, their book recommendations and supporting authors. There are in total 23 of us, and between us we have over 60k followers on Twitter, which we are hoping means we will have a fantastic reach for our club. We have set up a brand new Twitter page for the book club, which you can follow us on here! You can also find out more about who we are, and our favourite reads of 2021 so far with the brilliant blog post from Emma’s Biblio Treasures here. […]

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