The time of year when we get to pick our favorite books of the previous year is upon us. It’s never easy to do, especially since there are so many great books to choose from.
As many of you know already, I do not give five stars to books liberally. That makes this job at the end of each year so much harder. Hence, I always take a bit longer than fellow reviewers to compile my list.
In 2022 I read a wide variety of books from a few different genres. Although my favorite genre remains thrillers, only one thriller made my top ten final cut. Surprising, but not really. Since I have very high expectations from thrillers, it is very hard for me to give them five stars. And although I read quite a few books by some of my favorite authors this year, I decided to feature a newcomer in the genre. For sure, all the thrillers I read come very close behind this list, but those books felt close to my heart.
Let’s see which are the ten books I read in 2022 that made it in my top ten.
10.Hello, Transcriber by Hannah Morrisey
This is the first book I read by author Hannah Morrisey, and I instantly felt connected to her storytelling style. I fell for Black Harbor and its darkness, and Hazel became one of my favorite main characters of a book in 2022. If you like dark and gritty crime novels, this book is one to consider. I’m still waiting to get my hands on a copy of The Widowmaker, Hanna’s second book in the Black Harbor series. From what I hear, it’s just as great.
9.It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
Yes, I got on the COHO bandwagon as well last year. Although I did like It Ends With Us quite a lot, I did not care for Verity. The styles of these two books are completely different from one another.
I just finished It Starts With Us this past week, and I love Atlas and Lily’s love story. Although I do find some of the details of both books a little too much for my taste, they serve their purpose. They help tie the story adequately, but I know that may not be for everyone. If you like contemporary love stories with some deeper issues, then you might like it.
Just double-check the trigger warnings if that is something that bothers you.
8.The Candy House by Jennifer Egan
If the former President Barack Obama had this book on his favorite books of the year, then you know it’s a good one. It is a clever, complex book that makes you think from the very first page. You do need to give it your whole attention though. It isn’t one of these books that you read to escape and simply pass the time. If you don’t want to feel lost, you should read it mindfully. It follows many characters that are all somehow linked to one another, but that only becomes apparent towards the end of the book. It was the only book this year that made me feel like I’m not as smart as I thought I was! If you like a challenge, this book definitely offers that!
7.The Spectacular by Zoe Whittall
This is the second book by Canadian author Zoe Whittall that I read. Although I did like The Best Kind of People more than the Spectacular, this book managed to become one of my top ten favorites of the year. There’s something about Whittall’s writing style that I absolutely love. She makes you engage with her characters in a way that not many authors can. The story follows three generations of women in a family, and you see the way they manage their personal relationships as they mature. The story is narrated with raw honesty, and the language used might be too real for some people. But these things do not bother me one bit. If you like stories that are character driven, then this is a great book to read.
6.Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
Another Barack Obama favorite book of the year, I loved Black Cake from the first paragraph. I find the author’s writing style flawless, and the way she structured the story was well thought-out. It is told from different points of view, as well as in different timelines. While some people find this narrating style confusing, I find the author navigated it beautifully.
You can read the synopsis here, so I will not describe it again.
The character development was on point, while the whole premise of the book very well executed. I highly recommend this book if you haven’t picked it up yet.
5.The Measure by Nikki Erlick
This is the last book I read in 2022, and it was a great one. I didn’t really hear much about it until a few days before I decided to pick it up.
The story follows eight people, who each receive a box with a string that represents the exact number of years they have left to live. Inspired by the pandemic, the book looks at how people treat each other knowing what their fate is.
It looks at hard issues such as prejudice and feelings of superiority, among a few others. The book encourages readers to look at things from other people’s perspectives, not only our own. A beautiful, sad tale of eight people who all got affected by this measure in different ways.
At the end of the day, we’re all human and we all have our flaws, but we all deserve the same chance at happiness. The book offers some food for thought, that is why I loved it so much.
4.Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
As I mentioned in my original review of this book, I was very skeptical about reading it at first. If you read the description, the story follows two game developers from their teens into adulthood. Since I’ve never been into any type of video games, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this book. But, was I pleasantly surprised! Although yes, there is mention of video games, it isn’t the whole premise of the book.
It focuses more on the relationship between friends Sadie and Sam and how their relationship progressed. If you love complex characters and a rich storytelling style, then I definitely recommend this book.
3.The Ballerinas by Rachel Kapelke-Dale
Although I am a sucker for pretty book covers, this book is also amazing. Yes, the cover is absolutely gorgeous, but so is the story. It follows three ballerinas from their years studying ballet at the Paris Opera House until their late thirties. The three friends went through many hardships together and like most friendships, they had their ups and downs. But at the end of the day, their loyalty to each other is stronger than any other bond they’ve developed.
I must warn you, if you’re not a fan of classical ballet, this book might not be for you. Otherwise, it is absolutely amazing! If you enjoy complex female friendships and great character development, then pick it up!
2.The People We Keep by Allison Larkin
If you love books rich in character development you will fall in love with this book. The main character, April, is a teenager who’s been left to her own devices. Her mother abaondoned her when she was young, and her father left her to fend for herself in their trailer while he’s rebuilding his life with a new woman. The only person who seems to be a constant in her life is Margot, one of her dad’s exes, and her music. After a fight with her dad, April takes off in search of a better life. On her journey on the road, she meets a few people that will become her family. The way the author dissects those relationships and gives April her strength astounded me. It was sad, it was real, and it made me cry, as well as laugh.
I absolutely loved this coming of age story. Usually, this is not a style I gravitate towards, but I’m very happy I picked it up. You should definitely grab a copy too!
1.Cleopatra and Frankenstein by Coco Mellors
The story of Cleopatra and Frankenstein will make you feel all types of emotions. The impulsive marriage they entered upon has a huge impact not only on their lives, but on those close to them as well.
The author dissects those relationships into great detail, with a voice that is refreshing and real. Each chapter explores every one of these characters without sparing their feelings.
I absolutely loved everything about this book, from the writing style to the imperfect characters. There are some trigger warnings you might want to check out, if you’re someone who’s easily bothered.
In my opinion, this was the best debut novel of 2022, and I cannot wait for Coco’s second book. Blue Sisters is supposed to get published at some point in 2024.
I hope you enjoyed the list of my favorite ten books of 2022.
Although they’re all written in different styles, I absolutely loved them all. I hope I influenced you to pick up at least one of them. If you did read any of them, did you like them as much as I did?