Hi guys! Long time no talk! How was everyone’s holiday? We had such an amazing Christmas over here with my side of the family, and are currently visiting with Casey’s through the new year!
Speaking of new year, I can’t believe I am already writing another yearly reading roundup! It feels like I was just writing a recap for my 2021 reads!
My reading goal this year was 24 books. I planned to read about two a month to reach my goal, and as of today, I just finished my 24th book!! *Cue celebration!* I have never read this many books before in one year so it just feels like a huge accomplishment. Some things I’m proud of:
- I feel like I learned so much
- I explored many different genres including contemporary fiction, romance, historical fiction, autobiography, thrillers, and more.
- Added a few more books to my 5-star all time favorites!
Below you’ll find a comlete reading roundup for my 2022 year. I highlighted 12 books that were my absolute favorites (and completely binge-worthy), and then shared the rest of the 12 below in order of ranking. I hope you guys enjoy this reading recap, and I’d love to know some of your favorite 2022 reads in the comments below!!
My Favorite Books From 2022
GOLDEN GIRL by Elin Hilderbrand
Summary: Golden Girl follows well-known author Vivi Howe after she unexpectedly meets her end in a hit and run accident. She is then transported to The Beyond where she can look after her kids for the rest of the summer. She is given 3 “nudges” that she can use to influence outcomes on earth. After her passing, she has come to find that her four children have more secrets, scandals and problems than she realized, so she has to use her nudges wisely before time runs out.
My thoughts: I really enjoyed this book! It’s a quick and somewhat lighter read with a touching theme of family and self-discovery. I wasn’t sure if I would like the afterlife side of the story, but it definitely worked for me and for this novel. Hilderbrand’s writing is sure to captivate and transport you to the gorgeous Nantucket life filled with complex characters and a unique compelling storyline.
NIGHT ROAD by Kristin Hannah
Summary: In Night Road we have Jude, a helicopter mom, who is the mother of two twin 18 year olds. When new girl Lexi Baill moves to their town, Jude is nothing but welcoming to this former foster child with a hard past who soon befriends her twins. It’s senior year of high school for the trio and we see the twins and Lexi letting loose as kids their age do… until one night when one bad decision is made. We see Jude’s struggles for perfectionism and desire for safety for her children unfold throughout the novel, and ultimately the battle to forgive. The plot is incredibly timely and explores the difficulties of parenting and knowing when to hold on versus when to let go.
My thoughts: Complex, moving, heartbreaking, deeply impactful and utterly profound. This novel is up there with one of my favorite books of all time. Hannah writes so beautifully & will absolutely break your heart and piece it back together a million times. My book is probably stained in tears after this one!!! 100% recommend.
EVERY SUMMER AFTER by Carley Fortune
Summary: The book cover so perfectly describes this book as: “6 summers to fall in love. One moment to fall apart. A weekend to get it right.” Every Summer After is a must read story about second chances, young love, heartache, hard-earned forgiveness and a nostalgic love story you will surely devour.
My thoughts: Every Summer After brings you back to the nostalgia of childhood lakeside summer days, crushes on the boy next store, innocence and teen angst. I could picture every moment of this book so vividly in my mind like it was playing like a movie (which is would be a fantastic one btw)! Fortune does a great job of leading readers through two timelines: the 6 summers that eventually led to their falling out, and the present day weekend that brought them together to try to fix their past mistakes. This book lived up to all the hype! If you liked the show The Summer I Turned Pretty, you’re sure to fall in love with this book.
REMINDERS OF HIM by Colleen Hoover
Summary: After spending 5 years in prison, young mother Kenna Rowen returns to the town where it all went south. She hopes to reunite with her 4 year old daughter, but her past mistakes have burned bridges that seem almost impossible to build back. The only person who hasn’t totally given up on her is Ledger, a local bar owner and also happens to have a very close connection to Kenna’s daughter. Kenna has to find a way to rebuild trust in her town, resolve her dark past, and build a future with her daughter in it.
My thoughts: If you liked Night Road, you’ll love this one too and vice versa. The two are very similar! The amount of times this book made me cry is a testament to how Hoover’s storytelling and character development make you feel like you are a part of the story. It was an emotional read with the perfect balance of small town romance and secrets and drama. It is a timely topic made into a mix of a heartbreaking and a heartwarming story.
VERITY by Colleen Hoover
Summary: An insanely captivating thriller that will absolutely blow your mind & will leave you with a million questions. I’m sure 90% of you have seen this book everywhere, and for good reason!! I highly recommend going into this book blind & just starting it if you don’t know what it’s about. A pre-warning though that there are topics of child violence and abortion, so definitely be aware of the trigger warnings before diving into this one.
My Thoughts: Creepy. Shocking. Unsettling. Fast-paced. Extremely unputdownable. And totally insane. Hoover so perfectly leads readers down a dark and twisted road full of manipulation, uncertainty and ultimately a search for the truth. This is so cleverly written with such a unique storyline, and even though it was hard to read at times (because it is THAT twisted), it is insanely brilliant. The perfect book to read, especially if you are in reading rut and want to get back into it!!
THE GOOD SISTER by Sally Hepworth
Summary: A faced-paced thriller about “the lies that bind two sisters.” The Good Sister follows two sisters, Rose and Fern, who are about has different as fraternal twins can be. Fern has her quirks and relies on Rose to be her protector in the world, especially with Fern’s sensory processing disorder. As the book unfolds, so do the secrets of the past and readers are left wondering whose story is real: Rose or Ferns? The Good Sister is a shocking story full of dark secrets, shocking twists & what families keep hidden.
My thoughts: I didn’t have any expectations when starting this novel, but it truly blew me away. Hepworth creates an intriguing story-line with outstanding character development. The main character Fern is still one of my favorite book characters ever! This is a great thriller that is completely binge-worthy.
I’M GLAD MY MOM DIED by Jennette McCurdy
Summary: From being a public figure at such a young age, to the abuse she underwent from her narcissistic mother, to being mistreated by Nickelodeon, to suffering from mental illness and a heartbreaking eating disorder, I’m Glad My Mom Died is a powerful first-hand account of Jennette McCurdy’s life and all the struggles that she faced from being in the spotlight so young to her life back at home.
My thoughts: I highly recommend listening to this one on audio book because McCurdy reads her book herself. Oh, this book was so heartbreaking and heart wrenching to read at times! But it was equally so beautifully written and so powerful to see how far McCurdy has come despite her upbringing and fame. Her voice truly shines through her candid and vulnerable writing.
THE HOTEL NANTUCKET by Elin Hildebrand
Summary: It’s the summer of 2022 and The Hotel Nantucket is finally reopening after a London billionaire bought and renovated it. Lizbeth Keaton is hired as the hotel’s general manager and is in charge of hiring the best hotel staff. The goal of the staff is to gain “5 keys” from a famous anonymous hotel reviewer (which has never been done before!). On top of all the staff & guest drama, 22 year old chambermaid Grace Hadley kindly haunts the hotel after her death in the hotel fire a century ago, and she is determined to have someone tell the real story of her death. The charming characters & compelling story-line will transport you to the hotel itself among the staff and guests.
My thoughts: I fell in love with this novel. Of course, there hasn’t been an Elin Hilderbrand novel that I’ve read that I haven’t loved. I was instantly transported to the pure bliss of Nantucket summers and entranced in the lived of the characters. It’s captivating, charming, heart-felt, and full of scandals and secrets, and it wouldn’t be an Elin Hilderbrand novel without a little romance. I’ve learned that with Hilderbrand’s writing usually comes with a whole lot of complex characters, but if you can push through the first 50-100 pages of character development it is always worth it. In fact, all the characters & their separate lives makes the story better!
THINGS WE NEVER GOT OVER by Lucy Score
Summary: An entertaining and emotional hate to love story. Things We Never Got Over is a slow burn, small town romance story staring grumpy tattooed “bad boy” Knox and a new to town friendly & charming girl Naomi. Naomi arrives to town after running away from her own wedding and riding to the rescue of the star of the family drama, Naomi’s evil identical twin sister, Tina. Tina soon helps herself to Naomi’s cash and car, and also left behind her 11 year old daughter for Naomi to take care of (and btw, Naomi didn’t know existed). Naomi is now stuck in a town with no job, no car, & no plan and it’s the LEAST Knox can do to help her out, right!? Because as soon as he helps her, he can get back to his quiet, solitary bad boy life… until actual trouble finds their way to them.
My thoughts: After seeing this book everywhere, I decided to read it & totally loved it! The plot was so unique and full of engaging drama. The dual POV really worked here and I just loved the love/hate relationship between Knox and Naomi, as well as loving all of the side characters (except Tina!). What I didn’t love was how LONGGG it was oh my gosh, but the romance and suspense made up for it. Definitely recommend! And disclaimer: this book is very spicy if ya know what I mean.
CARRIE SOTO IS BACK by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Summary: A redemption story of world tennis champ Carrie Soto. Carrie Soto is fierce, determined, feisty, and some might say not so nice. She knows what she wants and she doesn’t care what she has to do to reach that goal. For years, she had been coached by her father and over the course of her career gained the record for grand slam titles. That is, until Nicki Chan matches her record. After being retired for a few years, Carrie believes it is her calling to come out of retirement to reclaim her record. She is back for one more epic season.
My thoughts: This was a powerful & touching novel about becoming how you are truly meant to be. It started off interesting but slow in the first half, but then I couldn’t put it down in the second! I was on the edge of my seat desperately wanting to know what happens next. And even though Carrie is known for her tough & cocky exterior, she still became so likeable and I really enjoyed her character development. And her dad! Such a great father-daughter dynamic in this story that was so enjoyable to follow. This is one you need to read!
THE PARIS LIBRARY by Janet Skeslien Charles
Summary: The Paris Library is a historical fiction novel based on a true story that follows an unforgettable story about the heroic librarians in Paris during WWII. The story is told in two time periods, intertwining lessons and struggles between the two. We follow young Odile in the 1930s who is a librarian at the American Library in Paris when the war breaks out. We see her and her coworkers bravery and tenacity shine as their city is full of war and fear. In the other timeline, we follow Lily as she comes to age throughout high school in the 1980s in Montana. She befriends adult Odile, who in Lily’s eyes is her quiet, reserved neighbor with a past she wants to uncover. We see Lily help Odile heal from her regrets of her past, and we see Odile’s wisdom guide Lily to make the best decisions despite her circumstances.
My thoughts: I absolutely loved this book and its theme of the power of literacy and the comfort that books bring in a time of trial. It was so interesting to read about WWII in the perspective of the courageous librarians and to have a glimpse of the resistance towards the Nazis. I also loved the duel timelines and the relationship between adult Odile and Lily. This story packs in love, betrayal, loss, fear, bravery, and forgiveness. IT was so well-researched and beautifully written. Highly recommend to fans of historical fiction novels!!
THE IT GIRL by Ruth Ware
Summary: Meet April Clarke-Cliveden: a bright, wealthy, charming, ultimate It girl. It’s freshman year at Oxford and April is roommates with Hannah Jones, a normal shy book-smart girl who is completely dazzled by Aprils luxurious lifestyle. Together, the two girls round up a group of friends to take on their year together, but by the end of the year, April was dead.
It’s now a decade later and Hannah starts to question everything after April’s alleged murderer John Neville dies in prison. The story is told in two timelines, before April’s death and after. Throughout both we find that her closest friends from freshman year have more secrets to hide than she imagined… including a murder.
My thoughts: 4.5 shining stars for this riveting novel. This whodunit murder mystery was captivating from the start & held that immediate hook throughout the entire story. It kept me guessing the entire story- I thought at some point or another that everyone was a suspect. This was my first novel read by Ruth Ware, and I loved her writing style that is equally gripping and action-packed. It was also so fun to read about all things Oxford & England and I felt like I was a part of the story with their posse of 6. Highly recommend if you’re in search of a fast-paced murder mystery that will keep you guessing until the end!
Other 2022 Reads (in order by ranking):
- The Wedding Veil by Kristy Woodson Harvey 4/5
- Summer of 69 by Elin Hilderbrand 4/5
- The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave 3.5/5
- People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry 3.5/5
- One Italian Summer by Rachel Serle 3.5/5
- The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth 3/5
- The Other Woman by Sandie Jones 3/5
- Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins 3/5
- Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino 3/5
- The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood 2.5/5
- Dear Emmie Blue by Rachel Louis 2/5
- Forever Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid 1/5