THE MORE THAN 21 TOP BOOKS ON MY 2021 TBR // a very long list of backlist, 2019 and 2020 titles I’ve neglected (pray for me!!) ft. worst books of 2020

Yes, you did just read the title correctly. This list is going to be extremely long and I am already scared.

Welcome to the second-last post of my end of year posts. Though the list is very long, this post is going to be rather short because there are just TOO many books to talk about them all *nervous laughter*

If you didn’t know, 2020 was a failure of a year in terms of reading books on my physical tbr, among a plethora of other reasons. I say that with no exaggeration on the behalf of the entire world. But I did want to do this post again so I can have a list to look back on.

I’m putting no pressure on myself as I clearly failed at the last one but having this list out in the universe might urge me just a smidge. Trying not to jinx it here folks.

I’m dividing this up into a few sections because… well honestly I don’t know why I just feel like it. No surprise there. Let’s get into it!!


My priority list hasn’t changed since last year apart from one other which I’ve added, which I’ll quickly talk about. The rest I’ve talked all about in my 2020 tbr post. I just NEED to get to them already so I can know what everyone is talking about oops.


– Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo

– Vicious by V.E. Schwab

– A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir

– The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare & others


– The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan

Oof I have such intense FOMO that I’m literally the last person on the planet who has not read this book. It is shameful. And I know it’s going to blow my socks off with its beauty and that I’ll adore it. Which is why I’ve put it off. I tend to avoid sad things, especially when it comes to grief because I know my heart will shatter. So my only excuse is that I’m scared but I also just NEED to finish it so I can scream about it and understand why people love it so much.



Yeah uh-huh, you remember that post? The one with all the 2019 book releases on my tbr? Did I read any of them? No. Actually, that’s a lie. I think I read ONE of them.

Though that doesn’t really mean anything so let’s just say I failed at that tbr.

Basically, they’re all still on my tbr so I’ve just featured the ones that I’m most excited to get to, like the ones that I own.

So… okay I’ll stop talking now.


Because I OF COURSE still have tons of these. Though I think I did well with new releases last year, there are some I missed out on.

Lowkey should’ve made a pie chart for my stats post. Oh well.


I want to reread considerably less this year than I did last year because well… as you can see I have a lot of new books to get through. However there a few I’d like to reread. Idk if I will, but adding them here anyway.

Percy Jackson & The Olympians by Rick Riordan

The PJO hype has been REAL recently and I feel so bad that I can hardly remember any of the details about the original series. And with the show announcement, I’d like to refresh my memory. I also miss Percabeth. That’s all I have to say and all I need to make me want to reread. I’m bad like that.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

As you may have seen, I have the Grisha trilogy on my 2021 tbr. Because I am shameful and haven’t read them yet. And I’m not sure if you noticed, the S&B tv show is coming out this year and !!! I AM SO SO SO EXCITED. Literally just got more news today and THE COVERS ARE SO STUNNING I NEED IT NOW. So, of course, I also need to reread Six of Crows, aka my fave. I’d like to get to all of the Grisha books, including King of Scars before the show is out. So hehe wish me luck. I do plan to buddy reread this duo which should be fun. April is going to sneak up on us so lots of reading to get done.

Eliza & Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

This is purely on here because I consider it like my favourite book (amongst like two others) but haven’t read it in ages and just miss it. Wanna read again and re-experience why I love it so much. That’s literally it. Also *knocks on wood* I hope it’s still as good or my soul may be crushed.

And that is all my friends. Sorry if that was rather short. Idk maybe it’s a relief because my posts are always a bazillion years-long whoops.

Oh before I forget. I mentioned I wanted to add my WORST BOOKS OF 2020 to a post. So here they are:

Didn’t like any of these #sorrynotsorry

Now we’re done.

Peace out friends!


Happy reading




  • thebrowneyedbookworm

    Ruby I love your list!! I’m going to make a tbr of all the backlist books I wanted to read last year, and just didn’t get to them. At the end of the years I’ll see many I was able to read this year 😀

    ~ Corina | thebrowneyedbookworm.com

  • Joss @ maybeivereadit

    I love this list!! There are so many books on it that I want to read too like Cemetery Boys, The House in the Cerulean Sea, The Invisible Life of Addie Larue or City of Brass! I loved A Torch Against the Night so so much and Strange the Dreamer is a great book too!

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Thank you so much Joss!! Ahhh I hope we can get to them soon. I’m terrible because I’m excited but have just put them off for no reason really. Oof so not prepared to be destroyed by Torch and Strange lowkey. Lots of love xoxoxo

  • ahaana @ Windows to Worlds

    ahh ruby!! i love this list so much!! six of crows deserves all the re-reads, and though i didn’t enjoy shadow & bone AS much, you should definitely read it before the show because i’m 100% sure that the show is going to steal my entire heart, and i will need someone to rant to haha!! also you can never have enough PJO!! there are so many books on this list i want to read as well!! great post 💖

    • Ruby Rae Reads


      Ah yes I’ve heard that I might not like S&B as much so I’m going in with fairly low expectations. Maybe I’ll be suprised idk haha. My prediction is that I’ll come out of it being Nikolai trash lmaooooo. And yes THE SHOW IS GOING TO BE AMAZING AND I AM SO READY!!! Kaz and Inej I COULD DIE. We can def rant/cry togther <3<3<3

      PJO *insert all the hearts* I miss those idiot children. Lots of love, hope you get to all the books also xx

  • Kirsten @ The Novel Existence

    omg you have got to read Addie Larue right now. ASAP. Like, idk if it’s my depressed self but I’ve never related to a character more than I did in that book. Plus Schwab’s writing is just beyond incredible. Also can’t wait for you to read Shadow and Bone. The Darkling is my favorite (and Nikolai). Although, ya it’s definitely not as good as SoC for many reasons. And I can’t wait for the show. I just saw new photos and I’m hyperventilating yet again! I cannot wait for April 23!!!!!

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Ahaha Kirsten CALLING ME OUT I WILL READ IT HOPEFULLY ASAP!!! You’ve made me so excited and I (not) ready to be crushed by VE Schwab.

      I’ve heard fairly mixed things about S&B so I’m going in with fairly low expectations. Though 100% predict I’ll come out Nikolai trash lmao. Oof relatable I MAY HAVE DIED WHEN I SAW THE PICTURES. They look so good. And April cannot come soon enoughhh *insert heart eyes*

      Lots of love xoxo

  • Kat @ Novels & Waffles

    Wow, there are so many books on this list I still haven’t read either! Like six of crows, vicious, the Grisha trilogy, Eliza and her monsters, the Astonishing Color of After….I could go on. Seriously, if you need somebody to buddy read one with you, just let me know! We could motivate each other and keep ourselves accountable haha! 😂 also, I love all the photos you took of these books! They are so pretty! I hope you are able to read all these books and more this year, Ruby! 💛

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Omg Kat, thank you so much for stopping by!!

      Oof I am glad I am not ALONE because it seems like I’m the last person on the planet who hasn’t read them. Though I mean I OF COURSE recommend Six of Crows and Eliza. I think they were both two of my 2018 faves, so hope you get around to them. Feel free to scream at me when you do *wink wink* And omg YES LETS BUDDY, THAT’D BE AWESOME!!!!

      You are too kind Kat. Lots of love xoxoxo

  • Julie Anna's Books

    I didn’t like The Hating Game either and I was pretty sad about it because I know everyone loves it! But on the bright side, there are so many amazing 2020 releases on your list and so many I loved – I hope you love them too!

  • Sophie @ Me & Ink

    ahh… so many books, I really hope you are able to get to all of them. Honestly it is so hard to think about all the books I still want to read because I can never keep up. I haven’t read The Astonishing Color of After either but all the things I have heard have been really good so I don’t know why I haven’t picked it up !! I hope you end up loving it.
    I can also see some books that I love like The Starless Sea, The Sun is Also A Star, We Hunt The Flame, The Book Thief, Darius The Great is Not Okay so I really hope you enjoy them as well. There are also so many books I am hoping to read too ( like all of them haha ) so I hope we can both read them soon and love them !!
    Happy Reading !!! 💕

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Eeeep Sophie, thank you so much for your lovely comment <3<3 oof I'm SO SO SO excited to read them all. I shall def keep you posted on my thoughts. Hope you get to ALL the books xoxo

  • emme

    So many books on this list!!
    Firstly the Shadow & Bone trilogy is definitely a priority read for me in 2021 as well! Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom are two of my all-time favourite books so I really want to reread them this year and get to the Grisha books! Especially as there’s a tv show which I’m so excited about!
    Ace of Shades I would also say is amazing!! I read the trilogy in 2020 and flew through it! I really didn’t expect to like it, I just bought it because it was 99p on Kindle but I’m so glad I picked it up. There were honestly so many twists and turns I loved it.
    I also have a lot of 2020 releases to get to because I am terrible at getting to new releases. I did manage to read Dating Makes Perfect which I enjoyed. I think I gave it 3 stars because I wasn’t that invested and it was pretty average for me. I’ve also read Loveboat Taipei (I can’t believe that was a 2020 release?? I thought it came out a few years ago wow) and enjoyed that one as well! My ship in the love triangle didn’t sail though unfortunately but other than that it was a fun read! Think I gave it 4 stars at the time but looking back I’d give it 3.
    Besides those two though a lot of the books you mentioned are on my tbr! You Should See Me in a Crown, Cemetery Boys, Loveless, The Henna Wars,The Secret Life of Addie LaRue, Cinderella is Dead and Instant Karma especially!
    I think I agree with Only Mostly Devastated? I honestly can’t decide how I feel about it? When I initially finished it I think I gave it three stars but Iooking back I could lower it. I don’t know it was just a bit ‘eh’ and I could have easily given it a miss. I feel the same way about Grease actually so I should have seen that coming haha.
    Hope you get to all these though – 2021 seems like it will be a great reading year if you do, based on the hype these books have got!

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Ah first of all, Emme, THANK YOU THANK YOU for this lovely comment!!!! You are too kind <3<3

      Oof SAME. Six of Crows is also just my fave and I'm ashamed I haven't read them yet. But glad I'm not the only one haha

      And you've made me even more excited to read the Ace of Shades trilogy ahhhh. I definitely think I'm going to marathon them. Fun times!!

      I honestly have no idea what to expect from Dating Makes Perfect and Loveboat Taipei but I'm glad I know your thoughts. Shall keep you updated on mine when I read them *wink wink*

      I hope we get to ALL the 2020 releases because I have FOMO hahahah. But also omg I'm SO HAPPY I'm not alone with my feelings on Only Mostly Devastated because all the reviews are fairly popular. But I just,,, did not like it? It was pretty eh for me oops. I used to LOVE Grease, and I still love the music and its nostalgic, but I don't love it as much.

      Here's to hopefully an amazing 2021 reading year. Lots of love and hugs xoxoxo

  • Caro @ bookcheshirecat

    I feel you, I have so many books still on my TBR, some of them popular and beloved 😱 I spy some of my favorites on your TBR, among them Vicious, The Book Thief, Ace of Shades, Cemetery Boys, How to Make Friends with the Dark and The Fever King!! ❤ I also still haven’t read Supernova, even though the Renegades Trilogy is my favorite 😅

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      ah Caro, SO GLAD I’m not the only one who feels a thousand years behind,,, oops. WE CAN DO IT!!

      And yay, I can’t wait to read your faves. I’ll definitely keeo you updated on my thoughts when I get to them. So so so excited!! (I have been putting Supernova off for FAR too long and I also love that trilogy… i’m terrible)

      Lots of love xoxoxo

  • erin

    SO MANY AMAZING BOOKS!!! Ahhh you’re going to have such a great reading year, I can feel it (I’m manifesting it right now)!! I’m also wanting to reread PJO, let me know when you do and maybe we can motivate each other (and by that I mean yell at each other to actually read them). I’m excited to see what you think of Shadow and Bone, especially w/ the show coming out! It’d be cool to read them alongside the show to compare and contrast. If it makes you feel better, I also haven’t read The Astonishing Color of After so you’re not alone!! We’re both behind the curve 😂 Anyways wishing you the BEST reading year, as you deserve!!! ♥♥

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Erin, were you aware that I LOVE YOU?? Because I genuinely do. Thank you for manifesting 2021 for me, tis greatly appreciated. And I should get to work on these books lmao

      Omg you want to reread PJO too??? We should buddy read mayhaps?? Idk could be a fun time to cry together hehe

      Also that’s actually a great idea. Though I don’t know how they’ll be adapting the S&B side of the plotline and if season one will be book one?? I know that the SoC plotline is a prequel of sorts, if I’m not mistaken. Anyways…. I’m nervous but also super ready!!

      Ahhh YAY thank the heavens I’m not alone there. I don’t want to purposefully put myself through PAIN ya know?! We could also buddy read maybe?? This a lot but I like to plan buddy reads (even if we fail haha)

      Thank you so much for your kind comment. And I hope YOU have the bestest year, lots of love xoxoxo

  • Veronika @ Wordy and Whimsical

    The Astonishing Color of After is SO GOOD! It’s easily one of my favorite YA Contemporary novels, and while it IS sad (and I’m also intimidated by sad books) it’s also really beautiful and hopeful.There are so many fantastic books on your tbr, I can’t even list them all, haha!! I started with Vicious, Tash Hearts Tolstoy, The Hazel Wood, Darius the Great… and then just gave up, but hope you’ll love all of these books on your list. I’m excited to see your thoughts on Shadow and Bone, because mine are very mixed.

    I didn’t know you disliked Only Mostly Devastated, so I’m sad about that. 🙁 But it’s good that you had so few books on your worst list. 😀

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      Eeeeep Veronika, I’m equally excited and terrified of reading The Astonishing Color of After. And now you’ve made me even more excited. But still scared. This is a scary cycle,,,

      Lmao but the way I’m laughing at you saying you can’t list them because I AM TERRIBLE. Oof I’m so behind. But hopefully 2021 is the year I catch up.

      I’ll definitely keep you posted on S&B, because I’m going in with fairly low expectations. Due to the fact that I’ve heard such mixed things *cue nervous laughter*

      Oh no, did you love Only Mostly Devastated?? IM SORRY IF YOU DID. I just didn’t connect and it didn’t deliver in all the places I thought it would. Unfortuneately, becasue I wanted to love it. Also yes, I mean I could technically make the list a tad longer and add 3-star books but eh not here to be too negative whoops

      Lots of love <3<3

  • Ash @ Starlight Strands

    the astonishing color of after sounds so good aahhh 😭and yesss i’m so happy seeing you should see me in a crown, cemetery boys and the henna wars on your 2020 releases list, they were so good 🥺🥺 i really want to reread pjo too omg! i hope you’re able to read and love all of these in 2021, ruby 💖

    • Ruby Rae Reads

      omg you haven’t read it yet either?? I’m glad I’m not alone in being TERRIFIED of reading it ahaha

      Ugh Ash, I can’t wait to get to those ones. I’ve just heard ~such~ phenomenal things!!

      And ahhh PJO LOVE TO SEE IT. I literally just asked Erin from rinsreads.com if she’d like to buddy reread but omg maybe we ALL could?? If you’d be down.

      Lots of love friends, ilysm xoxo

  • Dezzy @ The Thoughtful Voice

    ahhh loved reading this post as always Ruby and i spot A TON of amazing books on this list 👀 namely, You Should See me in a Crown, The Henna Wars, and Loveless – i hope you love these as much as i did hehe 🤩 omg i wanna reread the Heroes of Olympus series this year too (i reread PJO last year in the summer – although i actually never finished The Last Olympian oops) but AHHHH the nostalgia was real and i truly love the books sm, all the characters have my entire heart, esp Percy :’) i hope you enjoy your reread of them!!

    alsooo i really want to read a lot of these books this year as well, like The House in the Cerulean Sea, Darius the Great is Not Okay, and Strange the Dreamer!! let me know if you’d be down for a buddy read together hehe 👀😊

    i also need to read Six of Crows sometime this year (ik ik haha i can’t believe i still haven’t read them in the year of 2021 alksdjfd) and i hope i will love it as much as everyone does!!

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