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  • Writer's pictureAshley Mongrain

Most Surprising Books of 2021

After talking about the not so good side of my reading year the past few posts, it is time to get into the good stuff starting with the books that surprised me. Sometimes you will pick up a book not expecting to think much of it, only for it to blow you away with how much you ended up enjoying it.

Without further ado, here we go!



The BL genre took me by surprise when I decided to delve more into it last month in order to see what it offered. Most of what I had previously encountered were strong misses, but that was not the case this time around, or not entirely at least. I found webcomics that I previously DNFed, like Painter of the Night as shown above, ended up blowing me away because of how much I enjoyed them.

And while I still had a lot of misses, I found that most of the popular series are popular for a reason, and I am excited to further explore the genre.

Love Advice from the Great Duke of Hell by unfins

Staying on the webcomics train, this story was not something I was expecting to like but thought I would give it a try anyway. I am eternally grateful for my past self for that as I absolutely loved this. Comedy don't always resonate with me, and romance too frankly, but the kind of deadpan homour used in this was perfect for me, and I was having a blast while reading this.

Season 3 has finally started as well after a long hiatus, and I am stoked to pick this back up again.

Black Torch by Tsuyoshi Takaki

I honestly don't remember where I found this manga, but am glad I did even though it was cancelled. A lot of the reviews said that it wasn't anything special among all the similar manga, but I rather enjoyed myself. One of the main characters is a black cat, so of course I was enjoy myself. It was one of those reads when I sat there and went 'huh, well that was good'. The arc was wrapped up as well, so I wasn't unsatisfied with the ending which was a bonus.

The Quantum Curators and the Fabergé Egg by Eva St. John

I have never heard of this book before nor had I ever seen anyone talk about it before. I needed a book to fill a prompt of something egg shaped on the cover, and randomly stumbled upon this. Can't say I'm mad though because this ended up being right up my alley. A story where curator's from a parallel Earth travel through time in order to acquire and preserve important historical artifacts, my history and museum studies major self was screaming in joy.

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

I usually don't pick up many books written before the 2000s, and I definitely don't pick up books without a visually appealing cover (I am very much so a cover buyer, guilty as charged). So, this book came as a nice surprise in so many ways. Not only was the story just plain good, it actually had a great female lead who didn't annoy me which is extremely rare for me.

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