I set my first reading goal last year, hoping to read 12 books in a year (one book a month sounded very doable!) I had a rough start in the beginning, but after reading Have You Met Nora? in April, I really got back my reading mojo and finished the year out with 15 books read.
So, coming into 2022, I thought I’d be a little ambitious and double my goal – setting it for 25. Once again, I reached my goal, plus 3, finishing out with 29 (30 if you count the one book I read twice in a row!). All of the books I read were new to me, though I did start rereading Uprooted by Naomi Novik in December.
Well, I wouldn’t say any of the books I read were genuinely terrible reads – I did not DNF any – there were definitely some that I had a hard time getting through and did not really enjoy.
1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
This was my first time ever reading Twilight, and while I am still mulling over a promised blog series about it, I’m not sure that will ever come to fruition. Reading this book took me MONTHS because I would just set it down and not want to go back to it for weeks. I still haven’t even attempted the movies. It wasn’t that I found the actual writing in the book necessarily bad, I was just so bored out of my mind.
2. Murder on Madison Square by Victoria Thompson
This book was not *terrible* (I try to avoid even picking up books I think might be truly terrible, and so rarely read them!), but since endings can make or break any story, but especially a mystery, this ended up being quite a disappointing read. It felt like a lot of buildup that all sort of fizzled out at the end. I honestly can’t even remember the full ending – it has completely slipped through my mind.
3. A Pocket Full Of Rye by Agatha Christie
I came into this book really wanting to love it, because I really enjoy Agatha Christie in general. However, I just could not get into this and ended up confused and disappointed at the end. It was well written, it just didn’t really land for me.
These are books that all hit at about 3 stars for me – mostly well written, but not really enjoyable reads and/or I would never pick them up again for one reason or another.
1. 100 Days Of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons
2. Beasts Of Prey by Ayana Gray
These are the only 2 YA books on the list and this year I started wondering if I am now moving past YA in a personal, mental sense. I had a hard time getting into both of them, and definitely could feel that I was not the target audience. I do think I would have considered them good or even great reads if I’d read them at 14 or so.
I really wanted to like Beasts of Prey, since I had heard a lot about it prior to reading and have followed the author online for a year or so. However, the story overall just felt very juvenile to me (again, I’m not really the target audience!), but I do think the author has a lot of potential to grow – this was a first novel after all. I’m very interested to see what she creates in the future!
3. The Viscount Who Loved Me
4. The Duke And I
I read these two by Julia Quinn because I am absolutely loving the Bridgerton show on Netflix and wanted to check out the books. Overall they were all right – there were some bits I really liked and other bits were uncomfortable and ick (like the sort of obsession with female virginity/naivete, coupled with very experienced older men – it just was a power imbalance I couldn’t quite get down with).
5. The Postscript Murders
6. The Midnight Hour
These two were both mysteries by author Elly Griffiths and I did actually enjoy the majority of both books, they were pretty fun with interesting characters. The reason they got relegated to the ‘meh’ category is because both endings were a big letdown for me. In both cases, the revealed murderer seemed like it came completely out of left field to me – they were barely a presence in the story.
7. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
I did really enjoy the twist at the ending of this book, which completely took me by surprise, but overall there were some elements I didn’t love, mainly that many parts actively took me out of the story because I started thinking how clear it was a man wrote it! I kind of had to push myself to finish several times because the story just didn’t really keep my attention until the very end.
These are all my five star reads!
1. The Secret Keeper
2. The Clockmaker’s Daughter
New favorite author alert!! I had never even heard of Kate Morton before someone suggested The Secret Keeper to me on Tiktok. I read the book over the course of a couple days, then the ending had me so shook that I started reading the entire book again from the beginning 2 hours after I finished it! Just… so much wow. Both books are very character-driven, multi-generational, and have a bit of a mystery.
3. Love At First by Kate Clayborn
I read Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn last year and absolutely loved it. Love at First was also a great read – not quite as impactful as Love Lettering, but still a nice and cozy romance.
4. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
I really enjoyed this lovely breakout novel from Tracy Deonn. I do wish the characters had been aged up to college, rather than high school, but the story itself hooked me from the start. I’ve always had a thing for Arthurian legends and retellings, and I loved the added elements of Black American history as well.
5. Dracula by Bram Stoker
So, this was actually my very first time ever reading Dracula! I read it over the course of months, along with a large crowd on Tumblr, via Dracula Daily. Basically, we would read whichever section of the book took place on a particular day (since the entries are all dated within the book, and the whole thing takes place between May and November of a single year). It was an absolutely incredible way to experience the story, because along with having a giant book club to read with, there were memes, art, in depth commentaries, and so many topics discussed I never would have even thought about! I even created some fanart myself.
6. Like A Sister
7. Hollywood Homicide
I found Kellye Garrett by just scrolling through my digital library app and clicked on Like A Sister because the cover is great and the blurb sounded interesting. I listened to both of these books on audio and really enjoyed how the narrator embodied the voice of the characters. They were fun mysteries, great for a quick, cozy read.
9. The Emperor’s Soul
I started the Mistborn trilogy a couple years ago, and only got 1 ½ books in, but I did enjoy Brandon Sanderson overall as an author, so when a friend of mine suggested doing a readalong of some of his other books, I jumped on it. We read these two and I found them both very enjoyable and definitely rereadable! I also backed his Kickstarter for 4 novels to be released throughout 2023 and I am very excited to see what he’s done with those.
10. Earth’s Waters by Nicole Blades
This is the only book by one of my other new favorite authors that I hadn’t read yet. Her work is so deeply emotional and thought-provoking. This one was a story of becoming, of learning who you are and who you want to be.
11. The Mask Of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick
The first book in a series and it was massive! I really enjoyed this, what I’d call an epic YA fantasy. It was set in a fantasy world inspired by Spanish-speaking countries, which was new to me. I really enjoyed the relationships, the society, and the magical elements.
12. Pride and Protest by Nikki Payne
A modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice and I really loved it! It had everything I would have wanted from a retelling of P&P and was very funny – I laughed aloud multiple times which is very unusual for me. A very fun read overall!
13. The Underglow
14. The First Dryad
15. The First Stone
I discovered Teshelle Combs at the very tail end of the year and she quickly became a new favorite author. I had been following her for some time on TikTok, for her writing prompts/tips, and decided to pick up a couple books on Kindle, then started reading her work on Kindle Vella. Her worlds are some of the most unique I’ve read in a while! Vibrant and full of new things to discover. The characters are incredible and diverse.
Overall, it was a really great year of reading and I discovered several new long-term favorite authors! Really looking forward to what 2023 will bring.