It’s that time of the year again! A little early this year, I think, but the only book I might get done before the year is up will definitely not be recommended by me judging by how it’s going so far, so it’s pretty safe to say I won’t have to worry about new faves cropping up before 2022 ends.
I have a quite a few more than last year (I only had three last year?? Oof!), which I feel is great considering how low my overall rating for the year is going to be. Let’s get to them!
First up we have All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’Donoghue. I’ve read the first and second books in this series and am eagerly awaiting the third. As a lover of witchy books, I did find this one a little annoying at times, but, unlike so many other books out there, I enjoyed the overall story and cast of characters so much that I didn’t really care about those bits that bothered me. It gave me a lot of The Craft vibes without actually feeling like it was pulled from the movie, like other books tend to.
Next is Flip the Script by Lyla Lee, and I’ll be honest, I love this one even for the absolutely cheesy bits. Its plot revolves around K-Dramas, and as a long-time lover of such (and of Asian Dramas in general — of which I’ll be doing a rec post for one of these days), it was so much fun understanding every reference made. It really made me want to rewatch a bunch of them, even! And I usually don’t rewatch dramas!
On that note, I don’t think you need to know of or have seen any of the dramas in question to understand the plot at all, especially since Lee does a good job of explaining how the K-Drama system works for those who aren’t watchers. The romance is much more central overall, and it’s a damn cute one, too.
I’m sure no one is surprised with Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree being on here. It opened up a whole new world of stories I wasn’t aware I so desperately wanted in my life (being cozy fantasy), and I want more so badly. I don’t want to say too much on it just because this is one of those books I find is more fun to go into knowing only that the main character, an Orc named Viv, wants to open a café. The stakes are relatively low, the characters are fun, and the plot is slow but soothing, and that’s all I ever wanted in a book like this.
Since The Martian is one of my favorite books of all time, and Artemis was one of my biggest disappointments of all time, I expected Project Hail Mary to also either be a hit or a miss. Thankfully it ended up being amazing, and I absolutely need to get a hard copy for myself. If you like The Martian, you’ll probably definitely like this, because it’s basically Mark but in a different situation. (Though I know some people didn’t like that, I certainly did. I love Mark.)
Up next is A Lady for a Duke by Alexis Hall. I love a regency story. I love a regency romance. I love LGBT stories. A Lady for a Duke? Has it all! It’s even got steamy scenes (which I kind of skipped, I’m all for romance but sometimes I’m not in the mood for reading a sex scene, so I skip them), if you’re all for that! I love what Hall did with Viola’s character as a trans woman in the regency era (or is it Victorian??? I don’t even know actually), it really felt true to what I would think someone in that era would have to go through. Definitely here for more of Hall’s work.
Next is A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. Lin, which you would have seen last year on my 2022 releases I’m excited for post! It ended up being everything I wanted, a cool magic system, a character and setting I fell in love with, AND a cover I want to display because it’s just that pretty. I really loved the competition the most, it was so interesting watching how Ning worked her magic and handled each of the trials, along with her interactions with the other characters. I was so invested.
(I wasn’t as thrilled with the sequel, but I think I need to reread it. The first book still holds up, though!)
As a new forever favorite, I’m putting Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones on here as another cozy fantasy I read after Legends & Lattes. It’s my favorite Ghibli movie, but I hadn’t ever picked up the book (why? literally could not tell you) and finally did it after looking around for more cozy fantasy. It was so worth it, and I really want to go read the others now!
A surprise for me, The Bodyguard by Katherine Center was such a fun read that I’m including it in my recs for the year! I’m not really much of a contemporary romance reader (hell, I’m not much of a romance reader, period), but I decided to delve into more when I saw BooksandLala doing it, and I don’t regret it at all! I’ll definitely be reading more in the new year, but here’s a fave from this one!
And finally, another from the post about books I was excited for in 2022, Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan was such a good read. If you love Chinese mythology or fantastical settings with epic journeys, this is absolutely the one for you. I didn’t even mind the love triangle, and that’s one of my least favorite things to read about!
(Okay, I minded a little bit, but not nearly as much as I normally would. It didn’t detract from the story negatively at all for me, so I was able to frown a little and move on.)
I’m super excited to read the sequel and find out what comes next!
And that was my 2022 recs! So many more than last year, and I hopefully will have a good amount in the upcoming year! I’ve made a decent dent in my TBR pile, so I have time for books I’m more likely to love and be able to put on lists like this!
If you have any recs, please let me know of them, I would love more suggestions for 2023.
Thanks for reading!