Kate’s favorite books of 2022

I did it! I read books in 2022! Not as many as I used to, but definitely more than any other year since COVID! I am so excited! I feel like I’m back! Kind of! So, without further ado, let’s get into it. In no particular order, here are my favorites of this past year!

  1. These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

I really enjoyed this book. It has mobsters. It has monsters. It has people behaving exactly as we know people behave during a pandemic in a pandemic. It’s set in colonial Shanghai. It has a sequel. I hightly recommend it.

2. The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

This romance by an author who has an excellent social media presence was so satisfying. I liked the characters. I liked their romance. I liked that they both had a story arc. It was great.

3. The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

I like horror movies a lot. Like, a lot a lot. My Netflix recs are basically just baking shows, kdramas, and buckets of guts. So, this seemed right up my alley. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it was going to be, but it was so good. Based on the Okiku myth, the ghost of a girl who was murdered, and has stuck around to torment her killer… and then torment more killers. I was taken in by the story and I needed to know how it ended. I just found out it has a sequel, too!

4. The Dispatcher by John Scalzi

I thought this was an interesting premise, so I downloaded it. In it, if you die by murder, you come back okay. Dispatchers are people who work in places like hospitals just in case things go wrong. The main character, Tony Valdez, is contacted by the police because a fellow dispatcher has gone missing. It gets sucked into a mystery about where his friend is and how he ended up there. There are two more books in the series. I binged them all back to back. They were entertaining.

5. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I started this ages ago (maybe in 2017? Like, ages ago) and then finished it this summer when I was visiting my sister. It was… I want to say beautiful? Laszlo Strange is an orphan librarian who talks himself into a position on a quest to help Weep, a place of legend, rid itself of the floating palace of slain gods. When they get to the city, he meets a woman in his dreams. The woman is a child of the slain gods and lives in the floating palace above the city. Every day they live their lives, and then at night, they meet in Laszlo’s dreams. It’s not as cheesy as I’m making it sound. There’s a little bit of mystery (Is Strange really an orphan? Where is he really from?) and a little bit of lore from the world. I really enjoyed the relationships in this book. It also has a sequel!

Review: Deception by Selena Montgomery

Stacey Abrams writing as Selena Montgomery. Deception, A Novel

This was a fun book. There was mystery, intrigue, spiciness. Finley Borders is a professional poker player who is called home because an innocent woman has been accused of murder. She’s going to use her skills of reading people and bluffing to help uncover a criminal organization.

When home, she meets FBI agent Caleb Matthews and immediately clocks him as undercover. They both find each other intriguing and annoying and, as a reader, that’s a good time.

I liked all the characters. They were three dimensional and awesome. The spiciness was slow burn but also very hot. The mystery was detailed and believable. It was so good. I am already looking for my next Stacey Abrams writing as Selena Montgomery novel.

Review: It Devours! by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

It Devours! A Night Vale Novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

This absolutely scratched the itch I wanted it to scratch. Set in the town of Night Vale (the Night Vale from the Welcome to Night Vale podcast) Nilanjana Sikdar is an outsider from Indiana. She has a job as a scientist, which she loves, but she’s not really sure she gets the town of Nightvale.

One day her boss Carlos invites her into his office and asks her to help him secretly continue some research the city council has told him to stop. From there, she gets involved in a mystery with giant pits, disappearances, a maybe nice guy from a definitely sketchy cult-like church, a mysterious other world, a house that doesn’t exist, and an unknown creature that may or may not be the church-cult’s smiling god. This was a fun little story full of some outrageous characters and a couple of plot twists. It was funny in places and touching in places. I really enjoyed it. If you like the podcast and want something set in that world, I recommend it. If you don’t know the Welcome to Nightvale podcast, but like things that are weird, sometimes silly, sometimes creepy, but always fun, I recommend both this book and the podcast (which you can get anywhere you typically get podcasts.)

Review: The Bell Witch Series by Sara Clancy

So, this is a series about four families who were cursed by a witch centuries ago and now a family member is chosen every year to face the witch. The family member is chosen by receiving a music box. The members of each of the four families that are chosen then have to hike through the ancestral woods of the witch (and the families) to search for keys and to lock the music boxes. If they don’t find their keys, a demon will escape and they’ll be tormented forever.

So, the premise was good. The main characters we’re likable. The villains were villainous. This was a fun little read to prepare for spooky season. But each of the novellas ended quite abruptly. I suppose we could call them cliffhangers, but it didn’t feel cliffhangery. It felt unfinished. This was a little disappointing because there were storylines I would have liked to know a bit more about.

I would read more by this author (or more in the Scare Street series… if only because I love that they’re knock-offs of Fear Street) but I’m in a hurry to do so.

So, 6/10. Entertaining and quick but nothing that will really stick with me.