Carrying on with the end-of-the-year posts we have my infamous worst, most surprising and most disappointing. These posts are getting harder and harder to do due to the number of books I read. Trying to narrow over 130 books into 3 per category has been a challenge but I am happy with my choices for this year.
The Most Surprising Books of 2022
The Promised Neverland series – Kaiu Shirai & Posuka Demizu
Last year I started to branch out into new mediums and thought I would give manga a go. But this year, THIS YEAR, was the year of manga. I read 17 different series! Some I loved and some I didn’t. My favourite manga series I started this year was The Promised Neverland! I loved the art design, the plot, the characters everything. I have read 6 volumes of the 20 so far and every volume has me guessing more and more. The reason I put this in the most surprising category is more to do with the fact that I was so surprised at how much manga has dominated my reading list and TBRs this year.
It Happened One Summer – Tessa Bailey
Another new genre I tried this year was the romance genre. It was a genre I never really thought I would like but after seeing loads of books on TikTok I decided I must not hide away. The first book I read was It Happened One Summer and it was so much fun!!! I end up reading the sequel the following month and loving that just as much! This book represents more than just a book I enjoyed but also the start of a genre that I never thought I would read! Very surprising.
Lord Peter Wimsey – Dorothy L. Sayers
Another series that surprised me was the Lord Peter Wimsey series. The reason this surprised me so much is I never thought I would love a series as much as the Hercule Poirot series but this series was just so good. Some amazing narratives, amazing recurring characters and a main character that I was obsessed with. My favourite book from that series was Unnatural Death.
The Most Disappointing Books of 2022
All of these books were books that I was super hyped to read and it just didn’t work out! And they were all DNFs.
Babel – R.F. Kuang
Babel was probably the biggest disappointment for me this year. I found that the writing was quite dense, the pacing very slow and the first 150 pages focused very heavily on language and there were a lot of info dumps. All of this cultivated in a burgeoning reading slump. I loved all the discussions on colonialism and the British Empire in a fantasy context but I couldn’t shake myself from the slump of those first 150 pages. A more detailed reason can be found on my DNFs for 2022 post.
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau – Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Another book I was super hyped for. Last year, her novel Mexican Gothic was one of my all-time favourite books of both 2021 and my life. Going into this book I knew that Moreno-Garcia tackled loads of different genres and was excited to see another element of her historical fiction with a twist but this book was just boring to me. I couldn’t find myself captured at all.
Elektra – Jennifer Saint
Unfortunately, this book solidified the fact that I feel very over-saturated by Greek Mythology at the moment. I just couldn’t connect to the story and felt that I needed a break. This is so disappointing to me as I used to love GM re-tellings with every fibre of my being.
The Worst Books of 2022
Death in the Clouds – Agatha Christie
The only one-star rating I gave this year! This is so funny because the follow-up book in the series was a 5-star read! This book had a bland plot, awful characters and a plot twist that was so unbelievable even for Agatha Christie! I had heard bad things in general but I was not expecting it to be this bad!
The Maidens – Alex Michaelides
Now this book was teetering on edge of either the most disappointing or worst book of the year. This book started off so strong. I enjoyed the main character as well as this kind of cat-and-mouse game plot. But the end was one of the worst endings I have read ever. It was literally a “including an outrageous plot twist for the sake of it” plot twist. It wasn’t set up very well, didn’t work with character motivations and worked against what we learnt about the characters we meet. I literally threw my book across the room in pure frustration!
Summertime Rendering Vol.1 – Yasuki Tanaka
This book was just not it. Sure it had an interesting plot and art design but it was also full of very loads of fan service which is just not my thing. You had one panel of one of the main characters who is in the shower and all there was just steam covering the important areas. That just isn’t my thing but then when I flipped to the back of the book they gave the character profiles and that character was 15!!!! I will not be continuing the series at all.