My Top 10 Favourite Books of 2022 (And A Little Yearly Wrap Up and My Five Worst Books of the Year)

I've wrapped up all the books I've read all year through my Monthly Reads and I've been sharing reviews on everything I've rated 4.5 and 5 stars (so my top 10 might not be a total surprise as I'm sure you've seen these around here)! 

My Top 10 Favourite Books of 2022
I purchased all of these books - this post contains affiliate links

I read 110 books this year - a good mix of older and newer books and from every genre you can think of!  There is a mix of adult and YA from all different genres - fantasy, romance, contemporary, and historical fiction, so a little bit of everything in there! 

Here is a closer look at the books from number 1 to number 10 in the order of my love:

My Top 10 Favourite Books of 2022

Book Lovers by Emily Henry - this is an adult romance novel and at this point, Emily Henry is basically the queen of romance. This pins a literary agent against an editor and while it's a romance, it's also an ode to books and writing and I love the addition of the the love of books in the story. This has so many lovable tropes - small town visit, enemies to lovers, sister dynamics, checklists, etc; but, it isn't afraid to poke fun at the tropes and not take itself too seriously. I laughed, I cried - I did it all! I loved it! (Also, I love a romance with just the write amount of heat - it's never my favourite part, and I always think Emily Henry finds the balance with this and it's never over the top!)

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune ~ This is a young adult contemporary fantasy/magical realism book and it was amazing (but also, this is totally adult too - I think it's one that crosses both genres just fine!) This is has our main character who works for the Department of Control of Magical Youth going to Marsyas Island Orphanage on a classified mission to see if the orphanage full of the "most dangerous" magical children should remain open. His job is to observe everything happening at the orphanage and reporting back weekly to the department. I thought the characters were all amazing in their own way - they had me laughing so much (if you don't love Lucy, I'm not sure we can be friends!). The love and found family truly shined and you find your self rooting for all these characters while really hitting home that idea of not judging a book by it's cover and getting to know everyone for what they are. There are so many good little tidbits and I thought this was heartwarming! The best way I can describe this is "cozy"- it's the perfect easy, light fantasy read that will make you happy! 

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie OhThis book is a young adult fantasy and it is so gorgeous (I mean the cover is stunning), but I really mean the writing and imagery is absolutely beautiful! The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea is described as a feminist retelling of the Korean Folktale "The Tale of Shim Cheong" and although I'm not familiar with this folktale, the basis in mythology felt threaded through the story. This book focuses on Mina, who sacrifices herself and jumps in to the sea, for her family to see if she is the Sea God's true bride - the one who can break the curse and stop the storms that have been wrecking havoc on her homeland for 100 years. Mina is swept away to the Spirit Realm and has 30 days to solve the curse as humans cannot survive in the Spirit Realm longer than that. The plot, the characters and the setting are so lovely! This had me hooked and loved the fairytale-esque undertones! 

Dreams Lie Beneath by Rebecca Ross ~ This is a young adult fantasy novel, but I also think it is in the new adult range, the age of the main characters isn't really specified and it feels a little older to me personally! This realm we are in is under a curse and needs a magician to fight off nightmares every new moon - this starts with our main character Clementine with her father protecting their area, when they are challenged and overthrown as the warden of the town (hello duelling magicians, but with a nightmare fighting twist!) She seeks revenge on Phelan, but of course, she gets more than she expected with him. But also, as she gets closer to Phelan, she is drawn in to a conflict with this curse that has been going on for over 100 years and they have to find a way to work together to overcome the curse! This book had so many elements I love and the writing was fantastic! The main characters have great tension - I love a revenge story, but also an enemies to lovers with a little magic in there. What I also enjoyed were all the side characters and their dynamics with the curse - it's a little whodunnit, who will win feeling as well! I liked that the magic was more subtle and how it was used with the nightmares. I really loved the plot and I enjoyed how this story played out! 

Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid ~  This is an adult contemporary novel and honestly, I wasn't sure how I was going to mesh with this book; I'm not really in to tennis, nor did Carrie Soto come off as a likeable character in Malibu Rising, but that is really the beauty of this story! TJR just has a way with characters and making everyone so real - Carrie is described as the "battle-axe", but you end up rooting for this confident, abrasive, determined, loud, unapologetic successful woman! I've never been more invested in tennis, but this story drew me in and I loved it! TJR writes in a way that humanizes these characters and makes you see what's brought them to be this way, and to end up liking them and rooting for them. Also, a theme in her books is nothing is ever picture perfect, but more so what her flawed but likeable character needs and it feels so much more real that way. I laughed, I cried and I cheered! Really enjoyed this. 

My Top 10 Favourite Books of 2022

Gallant by V.E. Schwab ~ This is a young adult fantasy novel with a little paranormal/horror twist - it was different than what I expected, but a good different, and I enjoyed it! Our main character, Olivia Prior is at a girl's school, but she is different - she doesn't speak and she can see ghouls. A letter arrives to invite her to her distant family's home; when she arrives, no one is expecting her. As she explores the house, she discovers a second duplicate home where the Master of the House has much more sinister plans! I enjoyed seeing Olivia's story play out and I love the descriptions of the house and the family, and I enjoyed Olivia's character and her story. It was a little dark and ghoulish and I liked the haunted house with a twist vibes!

Five Little Indians by Michelle Good ~ This is a Canadian historical fiction; but, with such a real basis, that this story feels incredibly real and it's probably not far off from real experiences of those leaving residential schools. It is based on five individuals leaving the residential school system in the 1960's and ending up in downtown Eastside Vancouver and how their lives overlap and interconnect. They all deal with the trauma and pain of the schools very different - some throw themselves in to a high risk lifestyle, some focus on anger and revenge, some try to carry on with school and parenthood and while they are all different, you find yourself rooting for each of them. This was a powerful, emotional and deeply important read; it is full of sadness; but, also hope and it truly should be a must read for everyone. 

Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree ~ This book was a total surprise for me - it is an adult cozy fantasy read. It's set in a very fantasy world, but comes with a lower stakes story line that focuses on atmosphere and characters (and they truly make the story!).I loved this! It was so sweet, cozy and just gave me those warm vibes on a cold week. It's about an orc, Viv, trying to get out of her past life and open a coffee shop and settle down in to a quieter life. Her and the friends she meets along the way are excellent - the coffee shop setting and the baking set the atmosphere, and there was still a plot, but it was slower more focused on everything else. Lovely, grab a cinnamon roll, a coffee and cozy up! 

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid This is an adult fiction book (maybe a little romancey; but a hear-breaking romance). This book starts with Emma and her husband being happily in love - unfortunately, he is lost in a helicopter accident and presumed dead. Years later, she is finally ready to move on and fall back in love - just when she is happily engaged, her ex-husband is found and is returning home. Yes, huge impossibility, but for those that like to think of scenarios and figuring out what you would do, this works because it will have your mind racing with the decisions the main character makes (and will have you thinking what would you do in the the same situation!) This is so heartbreaking, but lovely and all about the finding the right person for you. TJR is just a phenomenal writer - no one is perfect and the characters are all flawed, and make choices you might not always agree with but are still relatable! 

Trickster Drift by Eden Robinson ~ This is the second book in the Trickster series - this is labelled as an adult fiction book, but is often labelled as a young adult fantasy - it's somehow a blend of all the genres with a little indigenous story in there (but, still for older ages - these can get quite dark in terms of content). Since this is the second in the trilogy, I can't quite share the full storyline of this one. We are introduced to Jared at a very difficult time in his life - he's got a lot going on, and finds out he is the Son of a Trickster (it's the name of the first book so not a spoiler). This book, book two, Jared is trying to turn things around for himself and I enjoyed the setting and new characters introduced. Of course, things can't be that easy for him and he has numerous people out to get him - there is a lot of tension waiting to see what else is going to happen. I like the pace and the whole story comes to a huge end in the trilogy. It's high stakes, a little difficult to read some times but one of the most unique series I've read. 

So, there is a look at my top 10 reads - I really enjoyed these books! 

Out of 110 books, those were the best - I shared a little bit of a round up in my December Monthly Reading Wrap-up, but there is a few more things I like wrap up at the end of the year! 

The first I want to talk about are my 5 Worst Reads of the Year - I won't go in to crazy details, and I don't have any of them any more so no pictures to show! (4 were DNF's - Did Not Finish and I will explain why)
  • A Far Wilder Magic by Allison Saft ~ I stopped this at 30%, but nothing was happening, the characters were super surface level and nothing was explained. Just not good at all.
  • Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez ~ This classic was on my list to read forever, but I could not get in to it, I had to stop when the author compared being in love to the graphic symptoms of Cholera and it just wasn't for me. 
  • When We Lost Our Heads by Heather O'Neill ~ This was another DNF and it was one of my most anticipated books of the year. I think maybe the author's writing isn't for me (it's the second book I haven't enjoyed) I didn't like the characters and it just didn't work for me. 
  • The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke ~ I didn't like the characters and I didn't like following 3 different timelines. I also just couldn't get over the fact that the police/child services had all the information for sister on record, but no one noticed this girl went missing 22 years ago on a file instead of two days - it just made no sense and ruined the whole book premise for me. Then, I don't like memory loss and I actually read spoilers so I'm glad I stopped as I wouldn't have liked it. 
  • I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan ~ This is the only one on this list I finished, and it wasn't good. Totally flat, nothing intense and the language about women over and over "dumpy, sallow, nothing like her sister", "irritating females" all written by a female author was too much for me. Just stick to the movie. 
Then a few goals I had was to try and read some of my favourite authors backlists, and I was able to fully catch up on quite a few: Cherie Dimaline, Elizabeth Acevedo, Kay O'Neill, Madeline Miller, Shea Ernshaw, and Gillian Flynn. 

Then, I've also tried to stay up to date on series I'm reading - if I enjoy them, then I want to read the next ones as soon as possible so the story is fresh in my mind! And it's worked - I finished the Spin The Dawn (The Blood of Stars series), Raybearer, Once Upon A Con, Kingdom of Cards series, The Greenhollow Duology, Trickster, the Brown Sisters, Six Crimson Crane duology, and the Family Upstairs duology. I only have a couple outstanding series to finish up next year where we are waiting for the next book or it was just released. 

On that note, there is always a few series I start but don't enjoy a book to keep finishing, this year those were - Heartstopper (I'm sorry, I'm in the minority - I didn't love the graphic novel and I didn't  think it was as sweet as everyone says), The Gilded Ones (just too long until the second one and the story didn't hook me enough), Cat's Cradle (a graphic novel series, but the first book was just okay, nothing really made me want to read more), and the Fractured Fable series (somewhat fairytale retelling novellas and I liked the first one, but the characters and plot of the second just didn't work for me). 

So, I am going in to 2023 with a goal of 100 books (I'm not bothered if I don't reach it - just a number and I've read over 100 the past two years). I'd like to read a mix of old and new books again, get through some of my back list. I'd also like to make sure I'm at least reading one non-fiction a month! No crazy goals, I just like to enjoy reading!