21 Best Fiction Books of All Time (2021 Update)

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Fiction books are a great way to relax and immerse yourself in new stories every time. Who doesn’t enjoy spending an afternoon immersed in a fantasy world?

We love to read about real people’s lives in non-fiction books. But there is something very special about being able to explore a fictional world all by yourself. The best fiction books allow you to bring the world to life in your head. And for just a few minutes, you have a way to escape.

You can bet that whenever you have the time, we will be reading some of the most outstanding fiction books. These titles offer an irresistible combination of compelling characters, addictive plots, engaging dialogue, and beautiful prose.

The list below has so many titles that there is something for everyone. This 2021 updated list will have something for everyone. Now, the only problem is choosing which of these fiction books you want to read. Grab a book, and get started!

21 Best Fiction Books of All Time

1.The Hare by Maline Finn

Melanie Finn’s new psychological thriller. It features an impressionable young Rosie falling for a handsome man twenty years her senior. He has more secrets than she can imagine. Rosie and her daughter are separated from their Connecticut home and their privileged social circle. Rosie must survive in their remote Vermont cabin, where the only connection to civilization is the con man, she married. This is the book that you must read to be a book lover.

2. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

The New York Times #1 best-selling author was right to time her new novel, The Four Winds. The story is about a couple who survives the Great Depression, Dust Bowl, divorce, and a broken marriage. The novel is indeed set in the 1930s. But the story resonates because it reminds us that even in dark times (like the one we’re experiencing right now) the human spirit still prevails.

3. Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay

Keep your hats on, readers! Alex Finlay’s debut thriller has more adrenaline-pumping twists than a roller coaster ride at the theme park. Matt, a college student, is informed by the FBI that his family’s deaths on vacation were supposedly accidental. However, the FBI seems to believe otherwise. Matt learns that the deaths of his family members may be connected to a darker chapter in Matt’s family history, which includes his brother’s conviction for murder. True crime fans will be able to appreciate the role of media coverage and public opinion in this story, even though it is fiction.

4. Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler

Lauren Oyler, an established essayist, presents her debut novel, Fake Accounts. It covers every aspect of current events, including gaslighting and fake news, online dating, and conspiracy theories. Fake Accounts’ heroine discovers that her boyfriend has a double life. The twists and turns she experiences lead her to question her identity and reality.

5. Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

The sparks fly when Eva Mercy, a vampire romance novelist, meets an old flame. What you see is a charmingly steamy story. It is also layered with nuance and gracefully addresses the more difficult topics of parenting, chronic pain, and Black identity. Williams’ clever, witty writing will make you want to be a part of Mercy’s world. Williams is also the author of one of the most popular summer reads.

6. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro has written a bittersweet novel about Klara, an AI robot who narrates the story while perched in a supermarket. Klara is keenly interested in all of the people who shop at the supermarket and observes them. Her desire is to be loved and chosen by a new person. Ishiguro, a writer who is widely regarded as one of today’s most influential, weaves themes around love and belonging in an illegible future.

7. What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad

Another body washed up on the beaches of a small island. Another ship, overloaded and ill-equipped, has been swept away by the many passengers. These included Syrians, Ethiopians. Lebanese. Palestinians. All of these people are desperate to flee their poverty-stricken homelands. Only one survived: Amir, a nine-year-old Syrian boy. He was able to pass through Vanna, a Vanna-born teenage girl who is a native of the island and lives in her homelessness among people she disdains. Vanna and Amir may be strangers, and they don’t even speak the same language. But Vanna is determined to save him.

8. The Rose Garden by Tracy Rees

Ottilie Finch, twelve years old, recently moved with her family from Durham to Hampstead. The child is happy to be a part of a life full of excitement and pleasure. Ottilie is aware that her mother is sick. Mabs, a local child, is sent to take care of Mrs. Finch. She is saved from a hard life on the canals. Mabs is soon faced with the dilemma of her life as she becomes involved in the scandal that engulfed the Finches.

9. Circus of Wonders by Elizabeth Macneal

1866, Nell is a violet picker in a southern English coastal village. Because of her birthmarks, Nell is considered an outsider in her community. Her world revolves around her brother and her devotion to the ocean.

Nell is taken hostage by Jasper Jupiter’s Circus of Wonders when they arrive in the village. Her father sold her a Jasper Jupiter a promising leopard girl. This is the worst thing Nell has ever done, but her fame grows and she makes friends with Jasper Jupiter’s gentle brother Toby. She begins to wonder if it is the best thing she’s ever done.

10. How to Save Life by Eva Carter

Joel, eighteen years old, experiences a heart attack at just midnight on the eve. Kerry, a high school friend, gives CPR to Joel. Tim freezes, unable and unwilling to help. At that moment, life and death change the course of all three of their lives for the rest of the 20 years. Tim, Joel, and Kerry each believe they have found their love, discovered their vocations, or moved on.

11. Runner by Tracy Clark

The latest installment of Clark’s award-winning Cass Raines Chicago Mystery series is Runner. Raines, an ex-cop, becomes a private eye to help Ramona, a 15-year-old runaway girl. She discovers that Ramona, a young girl, is not just running from a troubled childhood. The secrets she has kept can put her life and the lives of those who are trying to help her at risk. Clark created Raines, a streetwise and spunky protagonist who isn’t afraid to get into trouble. It’s a great series.

12. The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

Hannah’s life is thrown into turmoil when her husband leaves her a note before leaving her. Laura Dave is a prolific author. Her latest heroine quickly finds herself in a difficult situation. This suspense novel is quick-paced with strong characters.

13. If I Can’t Have You by Charlotte Levin

Constance Little has found the one and is certain he feels the same way. Although they have to keep their conversations quiet because he is a doctor at her GP surgery, Constance does not doubt that this will be happily ever after. Constance is determined to keep her love even if Samuel seems less certain. You will root for Constance throughout this devastating novel, even though you begin to worry about how far she will go.

14. The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

The Vardo storm in 1600s Norway inspired this novel. The island’s male population is nearly destroyed by a devastating storm. Women left behind, still grieving for their husbands, are forced to take care of themselves after the storm. 18 months later, Absolom Cornet arrives on the island with Ursa, his young wife.

Ursa meets independent women for the first time in her life. She is attracted to Maren, the young woman who helps Ursa navigate this new harsh world. Absolom believes that women’s behavior is unacceptable and must make them stop.

15. Nothing Ventured by Jeffery Archer

Beginning a new thrilling series by Jeffrey Archer, Nothing Ventured tells the story of William Warswick, a detective and family man who must battle a powerful criminal foe. William graduates from university and joins the Metropolitan Police Force, where he is promoted to detective. He then takes on his first high-stakes investigation in Scotland Yard’s Art and Antiques team.

He is investigating the theft of a valuable missing painting. He falls in love with Beth Rainsford as a research assistant. Then he comes up against Miles Faulkner, an art collector who will bend the law to get what he wants.

16. Only Time Will Tell by Jeffery Archer 

Only Time Will Tell is the debut in the exciting Clifton Chronicles fiction series. It begins with Harry Clifton’s birth in the backstreets in Bristol in 1919. Harry believes his father was a war veteran. But Harry will not discover how his father died and whether he is his true father until twenty-one years later. Only Time Will Tell Follow Harry from the horrors and the Second World War. Harry must choose between Oxford or the fight against Hitler.

17. Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead, the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes for his heist novel, is back with another fast-paced thriller set in Harlem in the 1960s. Ray Carney, a born fraudster, gets into an impossible caper that he can’t escape. The lies and deceit only intensify as the stakes rise. Ray struggles to keep his life alive and get his share of the heist. There’s lots of period nostalgia, humor, and complicated family drama.

18. Hot Stew by Fiona Mozley

Elmet, who wrote 2017’s bestseller, returns with a hilarious tale of pimps, prostitutes, politics, and power set against London’s Soho. An entire townhouse is found in the corner of everyday grit, glamour, and filled from basement to attic. Precious and Tabitha reside on the first floor, while Cheryl hides under the stairs. Agatha the billionaire owner announces plans for the brothel’s sale to a property investor. The women commit not to leave their homes without a fight. Engaging, lively, and just as hot as its title.

19. Girl in the Walls by AJ Gnuse

It’s hard to believe that this novel, which induces goosebumps, is a debut. Such is the power of its subtle but chilling prose. Elsie spends her days wandering around the house she has called home for many years. She knows it as well as anyone. Eddie is now a teenager and realizes that he shouldn’t have seen the girl from the corner of his eyes. His older brother also senses her. Although the obvious question is “How can they get rid of this uninvited guest?”, they should be asking should

20. Flappy Entertains by Santa Montefiore

Flappy Scott-Booth seems very content with her life. She thrives as the queen bee of Badley Compton village in Devon. Flappy makes everything perfect. It’s perfect until it isn’t. Flappy’s well-groomed feathers are ruffled by Charles Harvey-Smith and Hedda Harvey Smith, who arrived with a grander house.

Although she knows that drastic measures are required, Flappy couldn’t have foreseen what would happen when her new neighbor turned out to be so charming. It’s a funny, uplifting piece of cheerful escapism. This is why it’s our favorite fiction book right now.

21. People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd

Paul Vlitos, husband and wife of Collette Lyons, teamed up to create Ellery Lloyd. They share the narrative strands for this chilling thriller. Emmy, Mumfluencer Emmy, puts so much effort into presenting a perfect image on her social media channels that she fails to see how far Dan, her novelist husband, has fallen. Emmy is not the only one watching, a follower who is becoming more malicious and threatening. People Like Her is both sinister and intelligent, and it will grab you from the first page.

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