2022: A Year of Books in Review
Well, apparently I haven't published a blog post since making my book list for 2021. Here we are, a year later, and 75 more books in. Though, if I were to count the all of the unpublished works I read this year, I think we'd be somewhere closer to 85. I've included two of those (some of the ones I'm allowed to talk about) in this post, but the rest will remain mysterious until they are one day published by some lovely people!
So, here we go! 2022, in books. Click through the slideshow, and below is the list of titles and authors, along with a few of my thoughts on each.
Advent & Christmas by New Life Downtown. This is my church's yearly devotional that is collaboratively written, illustrated, and put together by congregants. It was beautiful and thoughtful! 10/10.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. Interesting magic system, which I loved, but it was a bit slow in the beginning and the characters and motivations didn't capture my emotions very much. 7/10.
Cytonic by Brandon Sanderson. This wasn't my favorite in the series, but it was still a fun read so I'll give it a 7/10.
Namesake by Adrienne Young. I liked this one even more than the first, and it was a great ending to the duology. The story moved at a good pace and the characters were engaging. 8/10.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. I was disappointed because it was a beautiful premise, but I didn't enjoy the execution. Heads up, young reader friends: there were a lot of steamy scenes, and it was a weird focal point of this book. 6/10.
Winter's Heart by Robert Jordan. It wasn't the fasted paced book in the series, but the last few hundred pages picked up. 7/10.
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr. Read this one for book club in January, and I'm glad I did! I loved Doerr's writing style and the story was so fascinating. 9/10.
Shadow by Kara Swanson. It was good to finish this duology! Some parts were a little cheesy, but it worked for the genre. Overall, it was a fun read with a sweet ending. 8/10.
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. I loved some parts of this, and I wish I could've loved the book more overall. But, my one rule is I don't read/watch SA. And there was a scene in this that made me physically ill. If not for the scene, it would've been 9/10. With the scene, 5/10.
Crowned with Glory by Dorena Williams. I read this book as part of the launch team and absolutely loved it! Honestly, the cover sold me right from the start, the art is gorgeous. Definitely a must-read for littles. 10/10.
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy. I fall in love with this book more and more each time I read it. 9/10.
Growing Slow by Jennifer Dukes Lee. I think this book would be great for people who haven't learned this concept yet--a concept I happened to have already learned, so I didn't get as much out of it. Still good, though! 7/10.
Who Sang The First Song? by Ellie Holcomb. Excuse me while I go cry out of joy because of how much I loved this book. I desperately need to buy it for the littles in my life. 10/10.
Kira and Lulu Visit the Sun by Kat Davidson. It's a pretty cute read, 7/10.
Ember and the Ice Dragons by Heather Fawcett. Read this for February book club, and it was interesting--I loved the world ideas and some of the plot, but it also fell a little short for me in a few areas. Still, I thought it was fun. 8/10.
Hues of You by Lucretia Carter Berry, PhD. I read this book as part of the launch team, and I'm so glad I did. It was beautiful and I appreciated the lessons it taught children! 10/10.
A Winter's Promise by Christelle Dabos. This one was for March book club, and I enjoyed it so much that I finished the series. The world building and magic system are my favorite parts of this book, but the characters and story kept me interested too! 9/10.
The Missing of Clairdelune by Christelle Dabos. The second book in the series, and I really liked it as well. These are written by a French author and that worldview really shows through, which is part of why I like these so much. It doesn't feel like an American book at all! 9/10.
The Memory of Babel by Christelle Dabos. Okay, this one started to feel more political to me and politics were heavily laced in the themes. Still a good read, but not my favorite of the series. 7/10.
The Storm of Echoes by Christelle Dabos. It was good to finish the quartet, but this one was the slowest of the four in my opinion! The ending was also not satisfying for me, personally, which was a bit of a bummer. 7/10.
Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy by Melissa De La Cruz. Such a cute, magical read. I'm a sucker for anything related to fairytales, and I liked the way she went about it with the premise and the plot. I'd be interested in reading the sequel, for sure. 9/10.
What Remains True by Nancy Naigle. I read this book as part of the launch team, and it is a little outside of my normal genre--but it was a fun read. The plot did leave a lot lacking for me, but overall it was an interesting story. 7/10.
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero. I read this as part of an 8-week course through my church and I highly recommend both to anyone. It confirmed a lot of things I believe about God but my church growing up didn't believe/teach. 10/10.
Holier Than Thou by Jackie Hill Perry. I'm a big fan of Jackie's teaching, and I've been waiting to read this one for a while. She has such a way with words, blending poetry into theology and mixing conviction with hope. Absolutely loved this read. 10/10.
The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan. This was a book club read for April, and I adored this book. Ruth crafted such a beautiful story, and I loved the mysterious magical realism going on in it. Completely charming. 9/10.
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: Day by Day by Peter Scazzero. I'd recommend this devo for every believer. I'm definitely going to read it again, and it was a great way to start cultivating some spiritual disciplines like silence. 10/10.
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. I read this one in a small group and it was a better read than when I've gone through it alone! I loved the conversations we had about Lewis' thought process and some of the points he made about evil, sin, God, and the spiritual realm. 9/10.
The Memory Collectors by Kim Neville. Really unique idea and story, and it kept me interested the whole way through. 8/10.
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. I read this for book club in May. The absolutely cutest premise for a murder mystery. Old folks home? I'm there. If you're into mysteries, pick up this one. 9/10.
The Wingfeather Saga: The Monster in the Hollows. I'm really enjoying this series, and this book was a really good addition to it. The author made some character/plot decisions I wouldn't have, but that's okay. 8/10.
I Must Betray You by Ruth Sepetys. Read this for book club in June, and it absolutely played at my heartstrings. I am undone by this book. And I absolutely need to buy it. Be ready to cry, but the author did a fantastic job with this historical fiction. 10/10.
The Wingfeather Saga: The Warden and the Wolf King. While it's good to finish this book series, I absolutely did not like the ending. The author chose to do something I wouldn't have, and while I understand why he did it, I'm still devastated. Still, I'll give it a 7/10.
The Prince in the Garden by Michelle N. Hagood. Read this WIP--as it's a friend's work, we all know we don't give ratings because we just enjoy the journey of reading!
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler. This one's hard to rate. It was beautifully written and gripping, but it is a very difficult premise and hard realities to read about. I think, 8/10.
Knight Owl by Christopher Denise. Oh my goodness gracious. Run, don't walk, to get this book for the littles in your life. Absolutely adorable. 10/10.
The Thornthwaite Inheritance by Gareth P. Jones. This was a cute middle grade read and I would be open to reading the rest of the books in the series if I have time. 8/10.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling. This one wasn't my favorite, but that's likely because these books don't hold any nostalgia for me. Still, it was fun. 7/10.
In a Garden Burning Gold by Rory Power. Read this for July book club. This magic system was so intriguing, and the story kept me interested the whole way through. I didn't enjoy some choices at the end, but other than that, it was a good read. 7/10.
The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba by Chanel Cleeton. This was for August book club, and it was such a deep and beautiful read. The author did a great job. I loved learning about the conflict in Cuba as well. There were a few steamy scenes, so younger readers beware. 9/10.
Sitting With My Lions by Janae Dueck. I got this book in a giveaway, and I'm so grateful for that! It was a wonderful book and I'm passing it on to some littles in my life. 10/10.
Fifi the Birthday Grump by Nicole Marie. Also got this in the giveaway, also a cute read. And I am also passing it along to some kiddos! 9/10.
Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim. Okay, is this possibly one of my favorite reads of the year? Yes, yes it is. It takes my absolute favorite fairytale and twists it in the best ways. Magic, mysteries, and dragons. Sign me up. 10/10.
We Don't Eat our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins. This little book made me laugh so much! I loved reading it and wish I owned it. 10/10.
Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry. Possibly one of the best children's books to exist. It had everything from father-daughter bonding and self love to deep themes that made me bawl. 10/10.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling. I liked this one more than the first two books in the series. It was hard to get into in the beginning, but I enjoy the storyline more than the movie equivalent. 8/10.
The Great Date Experiment by Ashley Mays. This beauty of a book has been in the works for years and I am so excited that it's finally out in the world, I cried when I got to hold a physical copy of it for the first time!
The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg. An eerie and fantastical book. What a mystery, and what a cool concept. 10/10.
Skyborn Shadow Rising by Jessica Khoury. This was a fun, quick read and I'm glad I picked it up. The world and characters were cute! 8/10.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore. The story was cool, but the writing style kept pulling me out of the story a little bit. But I did enjoy the concept and I'll read the next one. 7/10.
The Dragon's Promise by Elizabeth Lim. The sequel to one of my favorites, and it was also one of my favorites this year. I love the world, the characters, and the story. I was sad to be done. 9/10.
The Dinner List by Rebecca Searle. Read this for September book club! I loved the concept, but I think the execution missed a little bit for me. I had a lot of questions and I found a lot of the characters to be selfish, which made it hard to connect. Still, love the concept itself. 7/10.
You're Gonna Make It by Daniel Fusco. I got to read this as part of the launch team and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I absolutely want to buy it in print so I can annotate it. 9/10.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. This is definitely my favorite in the series so far! I almost gave up on the series after the first couple books, but I'm glad I'm sticking with it. 9/10.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. You know, I can flip past steamy scenes in some books, but it's a little more difficult to stay in the story when those scenes are happening often. Not my personal cup of tea, even though I like the concept of fairytale retellings. 6/10.
Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean. Entertaining, if cliche! This felt very Princess Diaries, which I love, but it was a storyline I've seen many times. 7/10.
Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn. Read this book for October's book club. I adored this book. It was nostalgic and still intriguing, it somehow felt familiar yet I didn't see everything coming. 10/10.
10 Questions Every Teen Should Ask About Christianity by Rebecca McLaughlin. I enjoyed the premise of this book and some of the chapters were really good, while some were a little flat for me. 7/10.
Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen. I desperately wanted to like this, but I think it's just not for me. I was a little bored and some of the characters/plot points pulled me out of the story. 6/10.
The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. I read this as part of my small group and it was a fascinating read, for sure. I love Lewis' perspective on spirituality ideas and it was good to read again. 10/10.
Emotionally Healthy Relationships by Peter & Geri Scazzero. Absolutely loved it. 10/10.
Your Future Self Will Thank You by Drew Dyck. This was a really interesting book and a topic I haven't found many books on, so that was fun. 9/10.
The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. This was the end of a trilogy I've been following for a few years. I didn't need it. And I didn't love it. I wish it had been a fantastic standalone book, but I did appreciate ending the whole story. 6/10.
Emotionally Healthy Relationships: Day by Day by Peter Scazzero. Read this for the sister class to the first one, and I'm so glad I did. 10/10.
Betsy-Tacy and Tibb by Maud Hart Lovelace. This little nostalgic read was a good walk down memory lane. I read these books all the time as a child. 8/10.
The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie. Read this for November book club. It was charming, a little bit funny, surprising, and everything a mystery should be. 8/10.
Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield. I wanted to read this because I've heard of it so many times, but it wasn't my favorite. 7/10.
The Christmas Pig by J.K. Rowling. This darling book? I loved it so much! I need to buy it and I want to read it every Christmas now. 9/10.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Read this for work, and it was pretty good--I'd read it before and there are some concepts I really agree with, as well as some I don't think are put the best way. 7/10.
How to Human by Carlos Whittaker. I read this as part of the launch team, and I'm so glad that I did. While I knew some of the stories from following Carlos for some time, I learned a lot of other things and I was both convicted and encouraged. 10/10.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling. Not my favorite so far, and it was a very long book to be so slow. 6/10.
Spy Family by Tatsuya Endo. It's been a long time since I've read manga, and I don't think it's my favorite medium--but still, it was a good read because I enjoy the anime. 7/10.
The Land of Stories: The Wishing Well by Chris Colfer. This was a fun read with a fast-paced story and a good spin on some classics. 8/10.
A Walk Through the Woods by Louise Greig. Lovely little book, the art is beautiful but I did wish the book itself maybe rhymed. It felt like that would be fitting for this genre. S8/10.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Wow, I need to buy this book. Such a clever premise, the story was fascinating and engaging, and the characters were everything they should be. I adored this. 10/10.
The Princess and the Cursed Heart by Laurel A. Burlew. Just proud of myself for finishing writing this first draft in two months, so I'm posting about it here. Hoping this middle grade fantasy will be in much better shape after draft two!
There you have it, my list of books for 2022! As requested, I'll be writing a blog post or Instagram highlight or something with my top rated books over the last few years. So, I guess keep an eye out for that if you're looking for something to read. I'll likely divide it by genres to make it easier for people to find books they're interested in!
Until then, feel free to send me your own book recommendations. I will, as always, add them to my list!