5 Books to Kick Off 2021


By Alisa Oden (She/Her)

February 19, 2021

Just because 2021 might be off to a rocky start doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some great reads! Here are five books that got me through the past few months, and hopefully can get you through the next!


SIX OF CROWS: By Leigh Bardugo

In Ketterdam, honesty gets you nowhere- and nobody knows that better than notorious criminal prodigy, Kaz Brekker. So when he gets a chance at riches beyond his wildest dreams, he’s quick to take it. But breaking into the famously impenetrable Ice Court is no easy feat, and Kaz can’t do it alone…

“Six dangerous outcasts; one impossible heist.”

They may not be friends, and most certainly not heroes, but they might just be the only thing keeping the world from falling into chaos.

If you enjoy complex stories, diverse characters, and a touch of magic- this book is for you! With twists at every turn and deadly stakes, Six of Crows is definitely worth diving into.


MAGYK: By Angie Sage

Think medieval Harry Potter- but from the Weasley’s perspective!

On the night of his birth, Septimus Heap disappears from his home after a midwife pronounces him dead. That same night, his father, Silas Heap, discovers a baby girl in the woods and brings her home as Jenna Heap, the Heap family’s adopted daughter. But on Jenna’s tenth birthday, questions are raised about her mysterious lineage and soon lead the Heaps to what really happened to little Septimus.

The first book in this series brings clever humor, loveable characters, and a burning question… who is Septimus Heap?



Jack Inman is a mechanical whiz when it comes to cars. The only thing stopping him is his epilepsy, which causes uncontrollable seizures that interfere with his everyday life. Determined to find treatment for his disease, Jack agrees to participate in an experimental clinical trial- only to find himself in a different place, a different time, and in the body of a girl named Jacqueline. Despite the circumstances, Jack/Jacqueline falls unexpectedly in love as he/she tries to balance his/her two worlds. But he/she’s running out of time, and he/she must find a way to save everyone.

With unexpected charm and witty internal dialogue reminiscent of Percy Jackson, this book is sure to steal your time- and your heart.


THE HAZEL WOOD: By Melissa Albert

Alice Proserpine has never stayed in one place too long, thanks to her mother and the bad luck that they can never seem to escape. However, when Alice’s mysterious grandmother dies and leaves behind her estate, the Hazel Wood, that luck only gets worse. Her mother disappears soon after, and Alice is left with one clue: Stay away from the Hazel Wood

With the help of her classmate, Ellery Finch, an enthusiastic fan of her grandmother’s fairy tales, she braves the strange creatures of the Hazel Wood to save her mother- and discovers those fairy tales are a lot more real than she thought.

This book is a dark, haunting read that will have you on the tips of your toes as the mystery of the Hazel Wood slowly unravels- and then twists into something you could never have imagined.



In a world divided by good and evil, it seems obvious what Sophie and Agatha belong to. Sophie is pretty, pink, and popular. Agatha is homely and lives in a graveyard. 

But when a feared kidnapper known only as the School Master takes the girls from their beds to the mysterious School for Good and Evil, their roles are suddenly switched. In spite of it all, Sophie and Agatha fight to stay together as chaos erupts all around them- but how could a princess ever be friends with a witch?

The School for Good and Evil hooks you in from the start and doesn’t let go with witty narration, a gripping plot, and characters that bring depth to stereotypes- and others that completely reject them. If you like fairy tales with a twist, be sure to check this out!


Quarantine is a hard time for all of us, but there’s nothing like a good story to help you escape reality, if only for a little while. Hope you enjoy all of these as much as I did!