favorite reads of 2022 | listed

by - 8:00 AM

Hello there! We are officially two weeks into the new year and I’ve finally pulled it all together to share my favorite reads of 2022. I fell into a massive reading slump last year and am still in the process of recovering so my overall enjoyment and motivation took a big hit. However, I did manage to read some absolute gems that have made it onto my favorites shelf.

I do also want to note that a handful of titles on the list are published under HarperCollins (noted with an asterisk) and to acknowledge the current strike that has been ongoing for 40+ days. If any of these titles interest you, all covers are linked to the HarperCollins Union BookShop page where a portion of your purchase will go towards supporting the union members.

If you would like more information or to donate to their support fund - please check out their social media and following links:
instagram | twitter | strike fund | bookshop

babel by r.f. kuang **
I went into Babel with a lot of anticipation and R.F. Kuang absolutely did not disappoint. The commentary on academia, societal prejudices, and the effects of imperialism were so immaculately woven into the story and I am left still reeling with so many thoughts. 
My full review is currently sitting in my drafts because this is a HarperCollins novel so I won’t be sharing my review until a fairer contract is signed.

daughter of the moon goddess by sue lynn tan **
My first read of 2022 and undoubtedly one of the most magical stories I read last year, this book was equal parts an exciting new fantasy adventure and the comforting familiarity of wuxia elements from my childhood C-dramas. I’m currently about a third into the sequel but have been putting it off because I’m so anxious about the outcome and for everything the characters have to go through…i.e. I’m just being a scaredy cat.
my review

year of the reaper by makiia lucier
Hands down the most unexpected favorite goes to Year of the Reaper because I picked this up from my library on a whim and ended up swept into a fantastical adventure that reminded me why I loved YA fantasy so much. Makiia Lucier takes familiar elements of the genre and creates the best cast of characters that are so dimensional and the relationships both romantic and platonic absolutely warmed my heart.

the red palace by june hur
The only audiobook to make it to my top five, I was apprehensive about picking this up because historical mysteries are not typically my thing. But I was so curious about the premise and I’m so glad that my curiosity won. The atmosphere is so beautifully written and Michelle E. Lee’s narration brought all the complexities to life. This book gives all the major K-drama vibes and I desperately need this to be turned into one immediately.

when we were them by laura taylor namey
This book solidified Laura Taylor Namey as a favorite YA contemporary author because this hit me so hard in the feels and something that I wished I could’ve read when transitioning from high school to college. This somehow perfectly captures the anxious feeling that comes when moving from one chapter of your life into the next and how relationships change and grow in that process.
my review


violet made of thorns by gina chen
If you love unapologetically devious main characters who know they aren’t innocent but will do what must be done for their personal gain then you will love Violet. Classic fairytale retellings have been a hit or miss for me lately but Gina Chen has created the most compelling one I’ve read recently. This was so fun to read and the ending had me absolutely desperate for the sequel.

portrait of a thief by grade d. lin
Portrait of a Thief is perfect for anyone who has a soft spot for action/heist movies. Is it the most realistic in execution? Definitely not, convenience shows up regularly to move the plot along, but as someone who grew up watching heist movies with her parents, this was comforting to read. Pair that with the beautiful prose that explores the Asian American identity through its cast made this one of my new favorite comfort reads.
my review

an arrow to the moon by emily x.r. pan
Emily X.R. Pan is hands down one of my favorite authors when it comes to prose and her writing absolutely shone with this retelling of Chang’e and Houyi. The story explores themes of family, love, and responsibilities and my heart still hurts every time I think about this book.
my review

little thieves by margaret owens
Another novel with a slightly selfish and despicable heroine, Little Thieves is a retelling of the Goose Girl and follows the adopted daughter of Death and Fortune when she angers a local deity and is cursed to turn into gems. This has the perfect balance of witty banter between characters and a well developed plot that I absolutely flew through.

That’s my list! I wanted desperately to reach ten but in the end, there are the nine that stood out to me amongst all the titles I’ve read. Please let me know if you’ve read any of these and your thoughts as well as some of your favorites from last year!

Here’s to a brighter reading year in 2023!

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  1. This is such a great list! I put Year of the Reaper on my TBR because of you. Hopefully I can get to it this year. I am excited to read it.

    1. Ahh I'm so glad! When you get to it let me know what you think!! ♡

  2. I've been wanting to read The Red Palace but couldn't find the time. You convinced me to try out the audiobook!

    1. The narrator does such a good job at bringing the atmosphere to life! Can't wait to hear your thoughts on it! ♡