Top 10 Books of 2022!!!

IT IS FINALLY HERE! Not only is this my Top 10 books of the year but it’s also my last blog post of the year!!! This was the hardest Top 10 list I have had to do. With over 130 books read this year, trying to narrow that down to only 10 was a tough one but I am happy with the choices I made!

10th Place

  • Title: It Happened One Summer
  • Author: Tessa Bailey
  • Series: The Bellinger Sisters #1
  • Format: Paperback
  • Age Rating: Adult
  • Genre: Romance
  • Month Read: May 2022

Plot: Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar… in Washington. Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face. Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The fun-loving socialite and the gruff fisherman are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. Piper doesn’t want any distractions, especially feelings for a man who sails off into the sunset for weeks at a time. Yet as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan—and this town full of memories—may have already caught her heart. 

I have already stated in both the review and other end-of-the-year posts but this book is the reason I am now officially a fan of the romance genre. Super fun story, with great characters, great chemistry, and easy reading. I don’t know why it took me so long to read this genre.

9th Place

  • Title: Sailor Moon Vol. 1
  • Author: Naoko Takeuchi
  • Series: Sailor Moon #1
  • Format: Paperback
  • Age Rating: YA
  • Genre: Sci-Fi
  • Month Read: Nov 2022

Plot: Teenager Usagi is not the best athlete, she’s never gotten good grades, and, well, she’s a bit of a crybaby. But when she meets a talking cat, she begins a journey that will teach her she has a well of great strength just beneath the surface and the heart to inspire and stand up for her friends as Sailor Moon! 

I felt my inner child healing as I read this manga. Super camp, very funny and exciting. I love how fast-paced the plot is and I didn’t realise how intense and high stakes the plot is!!!

8th Place

  • Title: The Three Dahlias
  • Author: Katy Watson
  • Series: Dahlia Lively #1
  • Format: Hardback
  • Age Rating: Adult
  • Genre: Murder Mystery
  • Month Read: July 2022

Plot: In attendance: the VIP fans, staying at Aldermere; the fan club president turned convention organizer; the team behind the newest movie adaptation of Davenport’s books; the Davenport family themselves – and the three actresses famous for portraying Lettice’s 1930s detective, Dahlia Lively. National treasure Rosalind King, from the original movies. TV Dahlia for thirteen seasons, Caro Hooper. And ex-child star Posy Starling, fresh out of the fame wilderness (and rehab) to take on the Dahlia mantle for the new movie. Each actress has her own interpretation of the character – but this English summer weekend they will have to put aside their differences, as the crimes at Aldermere turns anything but cosy. When fictional death turns into real bodies, can the three Dahlias find the answers to the murders among the fans, the film crew, the family – or even in Lettice’s books themselves?

If you are a fan of the good old classic Manor House murder mystery then you will love this book. A homage to the works of Agatha Christie and female authors like her, this book is packed with amazing characters, beautiful friendships, a plot that keeps you guessing and the most beautiful and exciting setting. Perfect for the classic murder mystery fan!

7th Place

  • Title: Iron Widow
  • Author: Xiran Jay Zhao
  • Series: Iron Widow #1
  • Format: Audiobook
  • Age Rating: YA
  • Genre: Sci-Fi
  • Month Read: Jan 2022

Plot: The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain. When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.​ To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia​. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed.

Now this book is a feat. I listened to the audiobook version of this for most of Dec 2021 but on New Years Day I listened to the last 4 hours while I was packing online book orders for work. I finished this book on the very first day of 2022 and it has still held up compare to the other 133 books I read this year. Great characters, an amazing magic system that I have never seen before, the perfect ending to a love triangle and a female character that embodies female rage. Loved it!

6th Place

  • Title: The Obelisk Gate
  • Author: N.K. Jemisin
  • Series: Broken Earth Trilogy #2
  • Format: Paperback
  • Age Rating: Adult
  • Genre: Sci-Fi
  • Month Read: Feb 2022

Plot for Book 1: Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries. Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

So I actually finished this series this year and what a series it is! Monumental but I have to specifically pick the second book as 1. My favourite book of the series and 2. One of my favourite books of the year. I felt that this book gave me a clearer understanding of how the world worked and I think my enjoyment of it was greater due to the fact I understand what was going on more. I loved the introduction of Nassun’s POV, she was such a compelling character but I just fell in love with Essun and what she brings to the SFF world. We need more older women protagonists!

TOP 5!

5th Place

  • Title: Under the Whispering Door
  • Author: TJ Klune
  • Series: Standalone
  • Format: Hardback
  • Age Rating: Adult
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy
  • Month Read: March 2022

Plot: When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead. And when Hugo, the owner of a peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace decides he’s definitely dead. But even in death he’s not ready to abandon the life he barely lived, so when Wallace is given one week to cross over, he sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

Now, this was a book I didn’t think I was going to enjoy as much. A romance where the discussion of death and mental health is at the forefront of the novel? Not for me, thanks. But it actually was!!! I try to stay away from any in-depth discussion of death and where we go from there etc. I would start spiralling and having a crisis but this book not only had great characters, a beautiful romance and a lovely message but it made me not fear death in a way. This book was like drinking a warm cup of tea!

4th Place

  • Title: A Master of Djinn
  • Author: P Djeli Clark
  • Series: Dead Djinn Universe #1
  • Format: Paperback
  • Age Rating: Adult
  • Genre: Historical Fantasy
  • Month Read: Oct 2022

Plot: Cairo, 1912: Though Fatma el-Sha’arawi is the youngest woman working for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities, she’s certainly not a rookie, especially after preventing the destruction of the universe last summer. So when someone murders a secret brotherhood dedicated to one of the most famous men in history, al-Jahiz, Agent Fatma is called onto the case. Al-Jahiz transformed the world 50 years ago when he opened up the veil between the magical and mundane realms, before vanishing into the unknown. This murderer claims to be al-Jahiz, returned to condemn the modern age for its social oppressions. His dangerous magical abilities instigate unrest in the streets of Cairo that threaten to spill over onto the global stage. Alongside her Ministry colleagues and her clever girlfriend Siti, Agent Fatma must unravel the mystery behind this imposter to restore peace to the city – or face the possibility he could be exactly who he seems….

This was the book that made me realise I wasn’t over reading books about mythology I am just over reading books about greek mythology. While this is not a mythological retelling, Egyptian mythology is a core component of this story as well as Arabic mythology. The characters were dynamic, the mystery was solid (this book managed to balance both the fantasy world and the murder mystery super well) and this book left me wanting to read everything ever written by this author.

THE BIG 3

3rd Place

  • Title: The Promised Neverland Vol #1
  • Author: Kaiu Shirai
  • Series: The Promised Neverland #1
  • Format: Paperback
  • Age Rating: YA
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Month Read: Feb 2022

Plot: Life at Grace Field House has been good for Emma and her fellow orphans. While the daily studying and exams they have to take are tough, their loving caretaker provides them with delicious foods and plenty of playtime. But perhaps not everything is as it seems… Emma, Norman and Ray are the brightest kids at the Grace Field House orphanage. And under the care of the woman they refer to as “Mom,” all the kids have enjoyed a comfortable life. Good food, clean clothes and the perfect environment to learn—what more could an orphan ask for? One day, though, Emma and Norman uncover the dark truth of the outside world they are forbidden from seeing.

As you know this was the year where I started properly branching out into manga and my favourite series this year has to go to The Promised Neverland. I decided to highlight the first volume specifically as it was such a great introduction to the plot, the world and most importantly the incredible characters. Each volume I have read so far has not disappointed me in the slightest. I can’t wait to see how this ends.

2nd Place

  • Title: Fullmetal Alchemist #9
  • Author: Kiromu Arakawa
  • Series: Fullmetal Alchemist (3-in-1) #9
  • Format: Paperback
  • Age Rating: YA
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Month Read: Sept 2022

Plot: Alchemy: the mystical power to alter the natural world, somewhere between magic, art and science. When two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, dabbled in these powers to grant their dearest wish, one of them lost an arm and leg…and the other became nothing but a soul locked into a body of living iron. Now they are agents of the government, slaves of the military-alchemical complex, using their unique powers to obey their orders…even to kill. But their powers aren’t unique. The world crawls with evil alchemists. And in pursuit of the ultimate alchemical treasure, the Philosopher’s Stone, their enemies are even more ruthless than they are…

On the complete end of the spectrum, we have the final volume of Fullmetal Alchemist 3-in-1 edition. Despite having watched the show, so, therefore, knowing how it ends, this volume still had me SOBBING! I was just astounded by Arakawa’s brilliance in both plot and character development. I will say the ending was a lot easier to understand through the manga than the show. I am so sad this series is over but I am excited to re-read it in the future!

  • Title: Lord Peter Wimsey Series
  • Author: Dorothy L. Sayers
  • Series: Lord Peter Wimsey
  • Format: Audiobook
  • Age Rating: Adult
  • Genre: Murder Mystery
  • Month Read: Summer 2022

Plot for Book 1: The stark naked body was lying in the tub. Not unusual for a proper bath, but highly irregular for murder — especially with a pair of gold pince-nez deliberately perched before the sightless eyes. What’s more, the face appeared to have been shaved after death. The police assumed that the victim was a prominent financier, but Lord Peter Wimsey, who dabbled in mystery detection as a hobby, knew better. In this, his first murder case, Lord Peter untangles the ghastly mystery of the corpse in the bath.

So this is a bit controversial not because it’s an audiobook but because it’s a dramatisation of all the Lord Peter Wimsey novels. This means I didn’t listen to someone reading the actual novel but basically listened to an audio play adapted from the novels. Now I am counting this towards my goal because I want to and because THEY WERE ALL SO AMAZING. The acting, the storylines, the music everything was perfect. I wanted to include this as my number one because 1. It got me through many commutes to and from work but 2. I enjoyed this series so so so much that in 2023 I plan on reading the actual novels themselves so I can read the source material. This series meant so much to me this Summer and I am so excited to re-visit Sayers work in 2023.

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