❀ The BEST books I’ve Read in 2022 ❀

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2022 is the second year where I have been dedicated to reading and boy did it not disappoint. I read some GREAT books and granted some not-so-great ones. Here is my list of the best books I have read this year in no particular order. I hope you all find some reading inspiration from this list.

These are all the books I have rated 5 STARS!

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Title: Daughter of the Moon Goddess

Author: Sue Lynn Tan

Release Date: January 11, 2022

Summary: Inspired by the Chinese legend of Chang’e, Xingyin is the daughter of a moon goddess who has been hiding from the Celestial Emperor. One day, Xingyin’s developing magic reveals her location and she must flee to save her mother. In order to find her mother again, she must complete a quest and challenge the emperor once and for all.

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Reason: What a refreshing fantasy novel. I absolutely loved Sue Lynn Tan’s writing style. It was dreamy, romantic, and lyrical. I was hooked on every word. It was sweet and simple so it was easy to read, but also fun to follow. One of my favorite aspects was the world-building. There were so many tales that I was familiar with in my childhood, like the moon goddess and the sun archer. I also loved the romance in this book. I love the friends-to-lovers aspect. I liked that there was still angst along with it. I also liked the second lead!

Title: A Touch of Darkness

Author: Scarlett St. Clair

Release Date: May 23, 2019

Summary: In this steamy greek retelling, Persephone is a journalist who becomes entwined with Hades who has created a gambling empire. He deals in impossible trades. Persephone finds herself trapped in one of these deals. As she spends more time with Hades, she realizes that his deals are not always bad, and slowly the two fall in love.

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Reason: I want to lie and say I did not enjoy this book, but I can’t because I loved it. I am a fan of the premise. Greek gods and goddesses in modern times? Smut? What more could I ask for. The writing style was smooth and easy to read. I never felt like putting it down because it kept me engaged. However, I am not a fan of sexual harassment being used to propel the main couple’s romance. Make sure to check to trigger warnings before reading this book.

Title: Six of Crows

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Release Date: September 29, 2015

Summary: Six individuals with six unique skills plan and execute a heist in the most impenetrable prison. Riches beyond their wildest dreams…but only if they survive.

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Reason: I mean are we really surprised that this is one of the best books I have read. As someone in my early 20s, I wish I had this book when I was in my teens. I think I would’ve enjoyed it more than I do now. Nevertheless, this book is one of the best Young Adult Fantasy I have read, because it doesn’t read like Young Adult. I appreciate how much depth this book has in the plot, characters, and world. I love how diverse and complex this story was. This is one of the cases where BookTok, BookTube, and Bookstagram are right. Read this even if you are wondering if popular books are actually good.

Title: The Heart Principle

Author: Helen Hoang

Release Date: August 31, 2021

Summary: Anna Sun is a burnt-out autistic violin player. When her long-term boyfriend suggests an open relationship, she chooses to react by finding one-night stands. Enter Quan, a tattooed motorcycle-riding bad boy. Their attempts at a one-night stand fail, but they find themselves falling deeper in love.

LinkBookshop | Book Depository

Reason: This was one of the best romances I have read this year. I love all the representation. It felt nice to be represented in this book as a Vietnamese person. The premise of this book was fairly easy to follow. It was nice that it was dual-perspective, that way I could connect with both main characters. I enjoyed following Anna as she realized that she was autistic. I appreciate how true it is to the author’s experience. I can understand the stigma against autism in the Asian community. I felt for Anna and her frustration at her family not accepting that she was autistic.

Title: Heartstopper Vol. 4

Author: Alice Oseman

Release Date: May 6, 2021

Summary: This volume continues with Charlie and Nick’s budding relationship. The couple deals with eating disorders, OCD, and coming out while navigating their first love.

LinkBookshop | Book Depository

Reason: For a graphic novel with so few words, this was one of the most heartfelt stories I have read in a while. Not only does it provide the light-hearted romance between Nick and Charlie, but it also tackles harder topics like homosexuality, homophobia, and mental illness. I personally connected with so many of the characters and my heartstrings were tugged when they were suffering. If you want to read a cute romance that talks about important societal issues, please read the Heartstopper series and then watch the series on Netflix.

Title: This Vicious Grace

Author: Emily Thiede

Release Date: June 28, 2022

Summary: Three weddings. Three funerals. Alessa’s gift from the gods is supposed to magnify a partner’s magic, not kill every suitor she touches. Alessa’s power is supposed to protect the empire from demons. However, when Alessa’s gift killed his third husband, her people start to turn against her. She hires Dante, a brooding bodyguard with secrets of their own.

LinkBookshop | Book Depository

Reason: This was not a book I had planned to read. In fact, the description itself was not intriguing to me, but man am I glad that I read it. A hidden gem in the young adult fantasy genre. This Vicious Grace was a heart-warming fast-paced read about a unique world, inspired by Italian culture. This is one of the most distinct magic systems that I have read about, and although the ending is a little cheesy, there are many exceptional elements to this book. I basically inhaled this book in one day and can’t get enough of all the characters and their relationships. Read this book for the good vibes and homey feel. 

Title: The Stardust Thief

Author: Chelsea Abdullah

Release Date: May 19, 2022

Summary: This is inspired by One Thousand and One Nights. Loulie al-Nazari is the Midnight Merchant: a criminal who, with the help of her jinn bodyguard, hunts and sells illegal magic. Blackmailed by the sultan to find a magical lamp, she is accompanied by the sultan’s oldest son. And, in a world where story is reality and illusion is truth, Loulie will discover that everything—her enemy, her magic, even her own past—is not what it seems, and she must decide who she will become in this new reality.

LinkBookshop | Book Depository

Reason: This is such an underrated book. I need everyone to read this book, please. I rarely hear people talking about this book, but they need to. This is the first book in a trilogy that is a retelling of One Thousand and One Nights. I love how immersive this book was. It fully captivated my attention and I felt like I was escaping into a different world. I am a romance lover, but the fact that this book had a very slow-burn romance did not deter me. I am so excited to continue with this series. I can’t wait to jump back into this world, inspired by Arabia.

Title: Know My Name

Author: Chanel Miller

Release Date: September 24, 2019

Summary: Chanel Miller takes back her name and tells her experience as Brock Turner’s victim in the Stanford Rape Case.

LinkBookshop | Book Depository

Reason: This was the first memoir I read in 2022. It definitely isn’t for the light of heart, I would highly recommend checking the content warning before reading this. This book took me six months to read. I would highly recommend the audiobook version of this book, to hear Chanel Miller herself tell the story. She is an exceptional writer and her story evokes so many raw emotions in me. Before reading this, I had only heard of this story on the news and I only knew Brock Turner’s name. This book changed my perspective from outsider to Chanel Miller’s point of view. One of the best memoirs I have read. Read this for an intense, but important discussion of rape culture, the criminal system, and trauma.

Title: I’m Glad My Mom Died

Author: Jennette McCurdy

Release Date: August 9, 2022

Summary: From the successful child star in Icarly, Jennette McCurdy recalls her past with an emotionally abusive mother. In this shocking memoir, Jennette describes her struggle with adulthood, eating disorders, and fame.

LinkBookshop Book Depository

Reason: The memoirs I have read in 2022 were top-tier. I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jenette McCurdy was not a letdown. As a fan of Icarly growing up, hearing McCurdy’s experience was enlightening. Her life in the limelight was not an easy one. There were elements of familial obligations that I connected to. I can truly see that her calling is in writing and not in acting. I am so happy that she has had the opportunity and courage to pursue this avenue in her artistic career. 

Title: The Invisible Life of Addie Larue

Author: V. E. Schwab

Release Date: October 6, 2020

Summary: In a desperate attempt to flee a marriage, Addie Larue makes a deal with a god. She is cursed to live forever, but everyone she meets will forget her. Until one day, three hundred years later, a boy named Henry remembers her.

LinkBookshop Book Depository

Reason: I hate to say it, but this book definitely lived up to the hype. This is not my first V.E. Schwab book, but it is easily my favorite. The concept of the story seems easy to grasp, but Schwab does a fantastic job at detailing the pain and loneliness that comes with being forgettable. I felt frustrated for Addie and how much she had to give up. The romance was also top-tier and had me giggling throughout the book. I highly recommend this one if you want an easy, stand-alone fantasy.

Title: The Ballad of Never After

Author: Stephanie Garber

Release Date: September 13, 2022

Summary: The sequel to Once Upon A Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber. One of my most anticipated reads of this year and boy was it worth it. It follows Evangeline after Jack’s betrayal. Evangeline has vowed to never open the door to appease Jack and he is trying everything in his power to convince her to do so. Evangeline doesn’t trust Jack, but she can’t seem to ignore the tug she feels toward him. Will this time end in betrayal too? 

LinkBookshop Book Depository

Reason: This book put me on an emotional rollercoaster. I was either gasping, crying, or screaming, which are the three appropriate responses to this book. I could not keep up with all the events of this story. It felt like Ms. Stephanie Garber knew tropes that were going to kill me and then combined them into one book. I absolutely devoured this book. Aside from my personal enjoyment, the author’s writing style is so whimsical and fantastical. She doesn’t shy away from the absurd elements of fantasy, I mean the main character has pink hair. It was a refreshing take on the fantasy genre, providing the best form of escapism. I will be continuing on with this series and if you enjoy magical fantasy with a whiplash plot twist, please check this book out! 

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These were the best books that I have read in 2022. I am so pleased with the many good reads I was able to get through. I also appreciate how diverse the genres I read were. There are so many books on this list that I wish I could read for the first time again. I just wanted to share my list with you all in hopes that it inspires some of you to read these books too. If you did, please let me know if you enjoyed them as well!


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