#RockMyTBR 2021 Challenge

Hi everyone! We’ve nearly made it to the end of the seemingly neverending 2020 (I swear everything from January to March genuinely feels like it was a different year). I only have one more book left to read on my #RockMyTBR Challenge of 2020, and I’ll be honest, I’m not entirely sure if I’ll read it this year because Seasons of War is taking me rather longer to finish than I thought, so I might be ending on 10 this year rather than 11, but we will see!

If you’re new to my blog and aren’t really sure what the #RockMyTBR Challenge is, it’s a challenge originated by Sarah K at The YA Book Traveler. It’s really simple, you draw up a list of backlist books to knock of your TBR (ie books not published in the year that you’re reading them) and read them over the course of a year. She hasn’t done it since 2017, but I’ve kept going with it here because I really enjoy doing it!

I always have a list of 12 books and I’ve stuck to that this year, it allows me some structure, but also the choice to read other books as well as I always read more than one book a month. As I’ve done for the past few years, I got Book Twitter to choose my list for me this year, via a series of polls, it’s always really fun to do and they’ve always picked a really good bunch for me. This year’s lot has I would say been one of the best ever, I have about 5 books on the list that will probably make my best books of the year, which I think might be the most that has ever come from this challenge! There were a couple that I had to switch out and one that I didn’t finish, but by and large this year has been very successful. I’m hoping next year’s will be just as good:

  1. A Court of Wings and Ruin-Sarah J Maas-I read A Court of Mist and Fury three years ago for my 2017 #RockMyTBR challenge, and I really enjoyed it but ACOWAR is so long (little did 2017 me know what was coming with Kingdom of Ash) that I kept putting it off and now the fourth book is going to be out next month and I still haven’t read it. So this one I picked myself, as I need to catch up with the series.
  2. The Silvered Serpents-Roshani Chokshi-The Gilded Wolves was one of my favourite books from this year, so naturally I’m super excited to see where things go next. I’ve heard such good things about this one too, so I’m looking forward to reading this before the final book comes out next year.
  3. Where Dreams Descend-Janella Angeles-This was one of my most anticipated debuts for this year and I just didn’t get around to reading it, so I’m excited to get to it next year. I’ve heard mixed things, but I’m a massive Moulin Rouge fan and this has had comparisons to that, so I’m hoping I fall on the loved it side for this book.
  4. Scarlet-AC Gaughen-This won its poll by a landslide and I do wonder if some people thought I meant Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (which I read for this same challenge in 2017!). I didn’t have great luck with Meagan Spooner’s Sherwood this year but I’m hoping this Robin Hood themed retelling will go better than that one.
  5. The Unbound-VE Schwab-It has been a while since I read The Archived (actually back in 2017, for some reason that year is coming up a lot in this list!), so I have to admit, I don’t remember all the details, but I did enjoy it so I’m hoping I enjoy this one too.
  6. Dreams of Gods and Monsters-Laini Taylor-I’ve been putting off reading this one because I wasn’t a big fan of Days of Blood and Starlight in 2018 and it’s a pretty chunky one but it’s time to finally finish this series!
  7. The Last Magician-Lisa Maxwell-I wasn’t a big fan of Unhooked which I read for this challenge this year, but The Last Magician seems far more up my street, it’s historical, it has magic, there’s heists and secret societies, it sounds like a very Jo book, so hopefully my second outing with this author goes better than the first.
  8. Song of The Current-Sarah Tolscer-I’ll admit, I’ve not actually heard much about this book since its release, but I’ve heard there are pirates and I love pirates, so hopefully I’ll enjoy it.
  9. Children of Icarus-Caighlan Smith-Another one I actually haven’t heard much about, but I love Greek mythology so this one should hopefully be good for me.
  10. The Near Witch-VE Schwab-This year is the year for me to finally catch up on the rest of VE Schwab’s backlist (aside from her Everyday Angel books which I’m not massively interested in, and her comics which I’m working my way through) and her debut novel is one of the last ones I’ve left to read. I’m not expecting massive things from this one since it was her first book, but I’m still looking forward to trying it.
  11. Forest of A Thousand Lanterns-Julie C.Dao-I’m really looking forward to this one, I love villain books (especially ones that centre female villains because there are too few) and this is a retelling of The Evil Queen from Snow White, but based around East Asian mythology which sounds super cool!
  12. Sharp Objects-Gillian Flynn-I read both Gone Girl and Dark Places in 2014 but I still haven’t read the third of Gillian Flynn’s novels so it seems that next year is finally the year!

So there we go, that’s my list for 2020! Once again all women, no surprises there (I read like one or two male authors a year), 5 new authors this year, so a little less than last year but that’s okay. If you’ve read any of these, please let me know what you thought of them!

Thank you to all the lovely people of Book Twitter who voted for this year’s list, and I hope you all enjoy seeing my thoughts on these books over the next 12 months! I’m really excited to read this book over the next year (which is less than a month away now! I know things aren’t going to instantly change the minute 2021 arrives, but I for one will be quite glad to see the back of 2020).

Just a quick note about my challenge updates for the rest of the year, as a lot of my November reads have bled into December and I’m still a fair way from the end of Seasons of War, I’m going to merge my November and December lists this year and do a separate Wrap Up post (as if I did all three together it would be way too long) so that’s what’s happening there.

6 thoughts on “#RockMyTBR 2021 Challenge

  1. Sophie's Blog | Tech 09/12/2020 / 10:04 pm

    Hi Jo,
    Nice recap and list of books for 2021!
    I am looking forward to your opinion about: ‘The Silvered Serpents’ written by Roshani Chokshi, ‘Forest of A Thousand Lanterns’ written by Julie C.Dao and ‘Sharp Objects’ written by Gillian Flynn.
    Loves from Sophie

  2. evelynreads1 10/12/2020 / 6:50 am

    I hope you will enjoy all of these!

    (www.evelynreads.com)

  3. dianthaa 10/12/2020 / 9:36 am

    This is a great idea! Hope it works well for you in 2021. I also struggle with keeping up with the backlist, it’s so much easier to get swept up with what everyone is reading and want to join in

    • iloveheartlandx 15/12/2020 / 10:20 am

      Thank you! Definitely, having a specific challenge that focuses on backlist books has really helped me with that, otherwise I would definitely get swept up with new releases all the time.

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