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Hello Hello! How are you?

Today I’m bringing you a post I’ve been itching to write — my top 10 favourite books of 2022.

I honestly had a bit of a meeeeeh reading year in 2022, and out of 113 books, only 15 made it to 5 stars, which is very low for me. I can be picky with my reads, but if a book grabs me and gives me feelings, I can easier give out 5 stars. Although, I suppose that the upside is that those 15 books were FANTASTIC!

Keep on reading to see which 10 books, I picked as my all time favourite reads of 2022, and why I loved the so much!

Number 10

Please Read This Leaflet Carefully by Karen Havelin

I picked this one for my thesis (‘Disability in anglophone literature‘) because it was the only book I could find with endometriosis representation, a condition I’ve suffered from for the past 12 years. This was a hard read and it felt so real because a lot of the main character’s experiences were and still are mine concerning this illness. Despite how hard it was for me to read it, I thought it was a fantastic book because it was so authentic, raw, poignant and absolutely beautifully written. It’s not a very long book and it’s very character-driven, which is not really my thing, but I just loved how real it was and finally being able to relate to a character with this illness. I gave it 4.5 stars.

Number 9

The Appeal by Janice Hallett

This was one of my buddy reads with Candyce from The Book Dutchesses in 2022, and I had such a great time reading it. I think what I liked the most about this book was the format. It’s written mostly in email and text message form, and because we don’t have responses from everyone, and mostly emails from 3 or 4 main characters, everything is so unexpected in the end. It was really well-executed and I never saw that ending coming. I also loved that we had a really unreliable narrator (in the form of who I think the main email writer was), and that made me guess so many things. It was my first time reading this author, and Candyce and I went on to read her next book a few months after, which I also really enjoyed. But this one made it to number 9 on my 10 favourites list because it was fascinating and I just wanted to keep reading, but also at times couldn’t bear to keep going because it was so tense. If a book makes you feel uneasy and keeps you on your toes, that’s a good sign. I gave this one 4.5 stars.

Number 8

The Last Namsara (#1) by Kristen Ciccarelli

I had had this book on my TBR for so many years, and I was finally prompted to read it by a French Bookstagram buddy, and I’l so glad I listened to her and took the plunge. I loved every single thing about this book. The world it is set in, the atmosphere, the characters, the writing style, the relationships, how unique the storyline is and I was just rooting for the two main characters the whole time. I also loved that this book had dragons in it, because I haven’t read many books with dragons, and I actually ended up really enjoying that element. I am going to continue this series this year, although I’m a bit disappointed that the next books in the series aren’t about the main characters in the first book, but I’m hoping I enjoy those as well, and I won’t let my sadness about not finding my fave MCs impact on the books before I even start them! Anyway, this was a fantastic and gorgeous YA fantasy that I gave 4.5 stars.

Number 7

With Fire in Their Blood by Kat Delacorte

This next book is one that I read for one of Dave’s (The Write Reads) blog tours during the summer and one that I loved from the very first page. You’ll know by now that I have a *THING* for atmospheric books and let me tell you, I think this one had the BEST atmosphere of all the 110 books I read in 2022. I loved the magic system, and the setting contributed to the dark and gloomy setting, as well as the characters being either morally grey, very flawed but also relatable and loveable. I was rooting for our main character the whole time and literally had one song going around in my head while I was reading this book, which I’ve included a link to just below (It’s In and Out of Love by Oh Wonder). I loved this book so much and write a very gushing review about it, that you can find here (I even did a mood board!), and it was a 4.5 star read!

Number 6

Et à la fin ils meurent : La sale vérité sur les contes de fées by Lou Lubie

This was a book I picked up from my library last month, and I HONESTLY LOVED IT SO MUCH!! This is a French graphic novel, which is a sort of fairy tale nonfiction but also very sarcastic and humourous. It’s about the origin of fairy tales and how they aren’t all, or even hardly at all, HEAs, but most of the time the main characters (in the original tales from hundreds of years ago) had to go through traumatic episodes and never even got to see their HEA, unlike today’s fairy tales, including the Disney adaptations. It was so so so so I interesting and I really enjoyed the art style which was beautiful but also really well-done and made everything even funnier. I’m so glad I picked this one up and I enjoyed it so much that I’m going to buy myself a physical copy to keep on my bookshelf, because it was also a beautiful copy with gold sprayed edges!! This was a 5-star read.

Number 5

Lost in Time by A. G. Riddle

I read this book for a blog tour, this time for Black Crow, and I was sceptical to start this book even though the premise really drew me in… but that was totally unfounded, because within the first pages I was hooked. This is an adult science-fiction about time travel and science, and okay, I have to admit, some of it went over my head, but I was so intrigued by the whole thing and found it very accessible for my non-scientific brain. I really enjoyed the writing style which I found very nice and the whole story flowed so well, whether it be from the past narrative, or the present. I absolutely adored the ending, and I think I will have to reread it at some point because it made me cry, and those books are the best. I don’t cry easily when reading, so when I do, you know it’s really brilliant. I’m also going to go through this author’s backlist, because I need to read more books from him, he is a fantastic writer. I gave this one 5 stars, and you can gfind my full gushing review here!

Number 4

Just One Damned Thing After Another (#1 The Chronicles of St Mary’s) by Jodi Taylor

In 2022, I finally got to discover the brilliant and wonderful world of St Mary’s and the absolute disasters and incredible adventures the whole team get into. I read this first instalment during a bit of a tough time, and it really helped me through because I literally laughed my head off so many times while reading it. I also read it very quickly, which surprised me because it has very long chapters, which I usually hate. The author knows how to write a compelling series, and I am hoping that in 2023, I’ll be able to finish it, even though I don’t want it to end anytime soon. My fiancé is also hooked on it on Audible, and I need to speed up, because I can tell he is trying not to spoil me, but also is bursting to talk to me about it! I gave this wonderful first book in the series 4.5 stars!

Number 3

One For All by Lillie Lainoff

This was also a book on my thesis reading list and I was incredibly lucky to be able to chat to the author about her book, and why she wrote it. When I heard it was a diverse and disability-centred narrative including musketeers — but FEMALE musketeers — set in Paris in the 1800s, that was all I needed to grab it and start reading. It did not disappoint and I am delighted to have met Tania and all the other characters. It is written incredibly well, you wouldn’t know it’s a debut, and I loved the disability rep which starts off with a character who thinks very negatively of herself, and slowly accepts her body and believes in herself as the amazing and strong young woman she is. This is a stunning story of disability, confidence, friendship and adventure, and I gave it 5 stars.

Number 2

Le Bal des folles by Victoria Mas

The book coming in in second place for my 2022 favourites is a French book I read relatively early on in the year and that quite honestly shook me. I liked the premise a lot but was worried it would be really weird (some French literary fiction is honestly so strange and I really don’t enjoy those kinds of books). It is set in Paris in the 19th Century (I can’t remember exactly when), and it is about the women who were locked up in the psychiatric hospital called the Salpêtrière. I knew a little bit about this hospital, and I knew a little bit about the awful treatments done to patients on psychiatric wards before things got discovered and stopped, but I never expected the author to absolutely wow me. Her writing is just something else and I felt so connected to the characters and just wanted them all to be okay. Obviously, they weren’t all okay, but we got to hear their voices and I think that it opened my eyes to the situation. It was definitely a hard read, but stunning and it came so close to 5 stars, but I ended up putting it at 4.5 stars, just because it was missing a tiny little something that I still can’t put my finger on. But anyway, this was fantastic, I highly recommend it. It is called The Mad Woman’s Ball in English, go buy it now and thank me later! 🙂

Number 1

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

And my favourite book of the year for 2022, was The Grace Year by Kim Liggett, one that was recommned by my colleagues at my old library, and honestly wowed me from start to finish. This is a YA dystopia that I had had on my TBR for a while, but I woudn’t have gotten around to unless my colleagues hadn’t raved about it and made me super curious. I had to go and thank them straigth after reading it because this was absolutely incredible. It is a bit like The Hunger Games in the vibes of survival and dystopia but it is also very feminist and the atmosphere gets really dark at times, which I love. I was so hooked from start to finish, I loved the main character and rooted for her the whole time, and I sobbed my heart out multiple times, the ending took my breath away. It was stunning, it was important, poignant, fabulously-written and executed and I honestly recommend it to EVERYONE. I think this book will stay with me for a very very long time, and I will need to reread it soon. Above all, it is a book with a very important message, that I felt deep down into my soul, I’m so glad I got to read this book and it honestly makes all the meeeeh reads not even matter anymore. If I had to take one single book from 2022 to a deserted island, it would be this one. I obviously gave it 5 stars, but would give it so many more if I could.

That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed reading this post.

See you soon, stay safe,

Ellie xx


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