I can’t believe it’s already time for end of the year posts, but once again, we’re grateful for all of the books that were truly the wind beneath our 2022 wings.
Check out our favorite reads below, and then hit us up in the comments with any books that left you with a mean case of TEABS!
Did it take me a while to read this book? Yes. Do I think Sarah J. Maas might be in need of a new editor? Absolutely. But did I finish this book and immediately freak the eff out and try to talk to everyone I know about it because I couldn’t stop thinking about that ending?!!! YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT.
Title: Love Radio
Author: Ebony LaDelle
I didn’t know much about Love Radio going into it, but I picked it up because I was in the mood for a love story – AND DID I EVER GET IT. Every note was pitch perfect: a skeptic and a romantic falling in love, a teenager with an advice radio talk show, a celebration of Black pop culture, and so much more. I fell so hard for Ebony Ladelle’s impressive debut that I obviously had to make it the FYA Book Club pick for February 2023!
The ending of this epic series didn’t let me down for a second. I’m not surprised though; I’ve long been a fan of Kaumann/Kristoff books and this series was nearly as good as The Illuminae Files. I can’t say too much since this is the third in a series, but if you like found familes and epic (space) adventures and you haven’t already started with Aurora Rising, please do yourself a favor!
Marney is an auto-buy author for me, particularly because of her talent at mixing gory crime and snappy swoon. The Killing Code is yet another example of her skills, and it’s a fantastic revisit of some seriously amazing women who didn’t exist, specifically, in real life, but were a lot like ladies who did. (The book’s about female codebreakers in WWII.) In addition to enjoying the thrills, it was great to learn about this somewhat overlooked aspect of women’s history!
This short graphic novel is beautiful in art and story. It’s not a retelling, but it feels like an old folktale. When I finished the book, I wanted so much more, from the characters and plot, both. There’s even a kickass Gramps featured who will make even the grinchiest of hearts smile.
I’m a huge fan of Thomas’s writing, so when I saw that he’d be publishing a YA novel, I knew it was going to be filled with snappy writing and excellent pop culture references. I wasn’t wrong! Kings of B’More also has a great amount of Black and Queer Boy Joy and focuses heavily on the power of friendship. This is definitely a book to pick up if you need a pick-me-up.
Title: The Bone Spindle (The Bone Spindle #1)
Author: Leslie Vedder
It can be hard to come up with a fantasy novel that feels really fresh, especially when you’re working with fairy tale themes. Vedder does an excellent job of shaking things up in this start to a new series—there’s a prince named Briar Rose—and I’m really excited to read more from this world and these characters.
After ten years of loving Ronan Lynch with my whole heart, I had to say goodbye to him, Adam, Gansey, Blue, Declan and the rest of the Raven Cycle gang. But Maggie took them out with a bang (of course), and I’m already anticipating my next reread of The Raven Cycle and Dreamer Trilogy books.
This book was so good I read it twice this year. I mean I just absolutely devoured it, twice, in only a handful of sittings. The banter, so witty! The chemistry, so scorching! The publishing insider tidbits, so fun! I loved Emily Henry as a YA writer but my GOD she is killing it at adult romance.
Seconded by Mandy C. and Sarah
Modern interpretations of Pride and Prejudice can be difficult to do well, but Peterson nailed it with her story of a girl who realizes she’s a Mary Bennet in a Lizzie Bennet world. It was sweet and romantic but laugh-out-loud funny too, and I loved reading the Bennets as a rich but eccentric San Francisco tech family. Also: there’s a good dog.
Last year, The Initial Insult left me with a bit of PTSD. It was dark, even for the queen of darkness, Mindy McGinnis. But its sequel. Y’all, there are no words. I read it on a long flight and it was like I could not open my eyes wide enough to absorb the insanity fast enough. Devoured is not a strong enough word for what I did to this book. And I’ve been bullying people to read it ever since. It’s been ten months and I STILL NEED TO TALK ABOUT IT.
Title: Furysong (The Aurelian Cycle #3)
Author: Rosaria Munda
Review to come!
This book is a VERY late addition to my list – I *just* finished it, like, yesterday but there is no doubt it belongs on this list. I haven’t had a chance to write my review for it or the second book in The Aurelian Cycle, Flamefall, yet, but I can’t wait to gush over them. This series got exponentially better with each book. It was filled with political intrigue, revolution, betrayal, romance, adventure, oh and did I mention that this all happens on DRAGONS? Hell yeah.
Beautifully written, heartfelt, and lovely imagery. I smiled, I cried, I smiled through my tears. It felt like a timeless classic right off the bat. And that cover?! I die.
So this came out in 2021 but I procrastinated until 2022, and I shouldn’t have. Artemesia is such a lovely character in her awkwardness with people and she has such wonderful character growth that made me teary. Add in possessed ghouls and plenty of action, a religious conspiracy, and a sardonic demon companion inside her head, and this book had everything I wanted except romance (but it made that actually okay!).
If you’re going to write a historical novel, I want you to drop me into the details, baby. Hur’s writing makes you feel like you’ve been transported to the streets of 18th century Korea. Her characters are always striving to do the right things with so little, driven to unravel mysteries, and she delicately exposes the corruption and seedy underbelly of the rich and powerful.
2022 was still a smoldering dumpster fire, and sometimes I need a beautifully written romance to make me forget the world is a terrible place and believe in the goodness of man. Lavinia was one of the antagonists in the first book, but she has such great character growth in this book, and her love story was just so satisfying.
The conclusion of a fantasy duology featuring a heroine with social anxiety that doesn’t magically get better with a super adorable romance and a lovable band of friends and unique magical weapons. Levenseller’s writing makes me want to hug her books.
Adorable family rivals/friends to lovers romance that doesn’t make you feel like you’re missing something if you’re not a foodie.
You think your dad was annoying? Well, at least he wasn’t a notorious serial murderer…
Treasure hunt, England, mysterious loner dude… who could ask for more?
Cute LGBT romance, and one of the few YA books about a comedian that is actually funny.
I know, I know, but even furries need love.
A second chance at love plus saving the world through green energy politics. It’s exactly what the world needs right now. Add a little spice and I am fully in. You would think the political side (or the cheating) would be a turn off but it definitely adds depth to the book. She’s not like other romance novels, okay.
A seemingly incurable sickness, shapeshifters, and just enough romantic tension to reel me in. A MC dealing with her insecurities and past while trying to save a kingdom and its people from war and a plague… Main Characters they’re just like us.
WITCHES ARE LIFE. I love everything magical and this book gives me all that and then some. Plus there is mother daughter tension that gave me glimpse into my future… sans the magical abilities 🙁
Which 2022 releases were your favorites? Stay tuned for our Reader Poll so you can let us know!