I read over 50 books this year & while a few were on the level of forgettable & underwhelming – others were god damn masterpieces. So, today I wanted to share with you the stand alone books & book series that I absolutely fell in love with this past year. And I highly recommend you check them out & add them to your TBR if you haven’t already. In 2022, my love for reading grew tremendously. I’ve always been a avid reader; even as a little girl, reading picture books in her crib [ while ripping out each page as I went along LOL]. But as technology advanced & life became busier, I found myself not finding time to read anymore. But this past year, I prioritized the hobby & swapped my screen time for reading books more often. I made the habit of choosing reading over other things & I’m so glad I did. Intentionally, I found the hobby to be very peaceful & relaxing & helped me escape from life’s obstacles. It’s my favorite form of self care.
*the links included in this post are not affiliated
With that being said, I hope this blog post inspires you to pick up a book & possibly discover your long lost love for reading. Here are the books & book series that stood out & that I would recommend over & over again…
A Court of Thorns & Roses Series by Sarah J Maas
I decided to pick up the first book of this series in May to have something to read on the airplane coming home from my wedding weekend. I didn’t know how much I would love this book, let alone the entire series because I wasn’t a fan of the fantasy genre before. But I managed to read the other four books of the series & it is hands down one of my favorites. If you are looking for a fantasy series with romance, spice, action & a page turning plot, definitely check this series out. And if you’ve read it already, please message me on Twitter so we can rave about how amazing it is! Out of the entire series my two all time favorites are A Court of Mist & Fury as well as A Court of Silver Flames [ huge Nesta fan over here] because I seemed to really connect to these specific stories and characters on a relatable & emotional standpoint. I can’t wait for the 6th installment to come out in the future. Sarah J. Maas has became an author I absolutely love & if she writes it, I will read it!
Red Rising Saga by Pierce Brown
My husband recommended this sci-fi series to me over the summer & I was very apprehensive because I NEVER read sci-fi before. But I was pleasantly surprised by this entire saga & highly recommend it because Pierce Brown’s writing is immaculate. If you are looking for a fast paced sci-fi action series that’s a mix of Star Wars, Hunger Games & Lord of the Flies, this series would be right up your ally. I’ve never read a book series where I was shocked by the twists & turns. The character development in this series is amazing & each character is unique in their own way. They need to make this a tv show in the near future. My all time favorites of the series are Golden Son, Morning Star & Dark Age. And I can’t wait until the newest release, Lightbringer, this summer.
Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney
This stand alone thriller was a five star read & immediately placed Alice Feeney as an automatic buy as an author. I can’t wait to read more of her books in 2023 because her plot twists blow my mind. Rarely does a thriller surprise me like this book did. It’s a husband vs. wife redemption trope set in a secluded chapel Air B&B in a blizzard. A great choice for this winter!
Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
I read this book during Halloween time & I found it to be the perfect ghost story / haunted house trope with a twist. At some points, I found myself so creeped out by the eery descriptions & overall plot. It slightly reminds me of the classic movie, Amittyville Horror. Basically, it’s about the relationship between a daughter & a father. The father writes a book about their experience in this home they lived in for a few weeks. When her father dies, she realizes the father never sold the house & so she returns to find out the truth & whether his book is real or fiction.
Home Before Dark Mini Review: My October Reading Wrap Up
Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas
Another fantasy series I highly recommend would be the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I’m so proud of myself for reading the entire eight book series in this past year. And SJM has became one of my all time favorite authors. I can’t decide if I love this series more than ACOTAR. But if you are looking for a slightly more YA very plot driven fantasy series with hints of romance subplots, I suggest you read it this year. SJM’s writing is phenomenal & I love how she immerses her readers into these worlds & the characters. The plot of this book is a masterpiece. The way she foreshadows throughout the series & the character development made me lost for words at times. Although the final book was nearly 1,000 pages, I didn’t want it to end & I could have read another 1,000 pages. I may have cried a few times as well. LOL My all time favorites from the series are Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows, Empire of Storms & Kingdom of Ash. I’d say, it’s a rather slow burn of a series so if you have read the first book & aren’t that interested – keep going & read to at least Heir of Fire before you make your final decision.
Side note: the reading order of this series is controversial. Some people read the prequel: Assassin’s Blade first, last or in between. I decided to read them in the romanic order which goes as followed:
Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Assassins Blade, Heir of Fire, Empire of Storms / Tower of Dawn [ tandem read] & Kingdom of Ash
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I read a few of TJR’s books this past year & loved them all – but The Seven Husband’s of Evelyn Hugo stood out to me. I love historical fiction especially old Hollywood tropes such as this one. The plot twist was amazing & the story kept me on my toes & entertained until the very end. This was a highly anticipated read as well since I saw it all over Booktok & it was definitely worth the hype.
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I was really surprised I would love this book because the interview style to it made me hesitant. But when I tell you I thought I was reading about an ACTUAL band from the 60’s & 70’s – if felt THAT real. A lot of people recommend listening to the audiobook [ which I didn’t do ] so you can become immersed in the characters & the music even more. I can’t wait for the tv show / movie adaptation coming to Prime video in March.
Daisy Jones & The Six mini review : May Monthly Reading Wrap Up
Beach Read by Emily Henry
I was kind of surprised I would be including this in my top tier reads list. The reason this book connected with me so hard was the talks & quotes about grief. I found myself tabbing & highlighting specific quotes that resonated with me & helped me through the grieving process oddly enough. The actual romantic storyline was subpar in all honesty – but the discuss of such a emotional topic & traumatic event – really helped me have a healthy perspective over loss.
The Ravenhood Series by Kate Stewart
Over the summer, I read the first two books of The Ravenhood series & at first – I didn’t know what to make of these books. I saw them all over the internet with the ever so famous rainy day quote. But after much deliberation, I consider it to be in my top reads for the year because of how emotionally attached I got to the characters & storyline. Especially the second book, Exodus – I never annotated a book so much! I hope to finish out the series this year with Finish Line. I would consider this to be a spicy romance with a “secret society / mafia” trope. If you like morally grey characters & fast cars, & a love triangle, I highly recommend this series.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
This is a greek mythology retelling of before & after the Trojan War as well as a love story between Patroclus & Achilles. I didn’t realize how much I would love this story. I new it was such a popular read according to those on Booktok. If you are looking for an emotional rollercoaster & one that will possibly make you tear up, definitely pick this one up if you haven’t already. But I’m not responsible if you suffer extreme heartbreak.