2022 is nearly over, which means it’s time for my favourite thing.
Which is to say: book stats and charts and lists. 😌 I am a simple creature with simple loves, what can I say.
I always love looking back on my reads of the year and seeing how my habits have changed and what types of books I gravitated to. I will admit this wasn’t my best reading year in terms of quality. I just didn’t find many new favourites? 5-star reads were slim and I had a frustrating amount of 1-stars (who we won’t name, but it was a salty time). But the books I did fall in love with gave me all the ferally affection feels, and am excited to talk about them.
But you know what did work out for me this year? WRITING. 😩🙌🏻 I sold my first YA horror to Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan, USA). Skeleton Boys is coming out in 2024!! Still pretty surreal tbh. My first book deal (with Hachette UK) was in 2016 and the years and years of rejections on 4+ projects (that ended up trunked or discarded) were wearing holes through my heart. I was even rereading my recap from 2021 just now and wow I was so sad this time last year. 🥺 Christmas 2021 had me on the floor from the amount of rejections, and I was seriously considering setting aside writing for a while. I was that low. Then it sold in June to a dream publisher. Still cannot believe how lucky I am.
Also, I sold Skeleton Boys in June and then immediately began work on another horror (adult this time), and let’s just say a book deal is very motivating for one’s productivity. 🤣 I wrote an ambitious 130K book in 4 months. And I am planning to work my guts out in 2023 because this feels like my second chance in publishing (a chance I wasn’t sure I’d get) and I’m so determined keep my little author career going. Let’s do this. 🤨👌🏻
…SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF THE YEAR
- Obviously GETTING ANOTHER BOOK DEAL AFTER 6 YEARS OF TRYING.
- Read 200 books despite it being quite hard to keep up this year.
- Published The Kings of Nowhere myself on Patreon (after my old publisher wouldn’t take it). I was also rewriting it as I was posting it and may I just say that pressure was very stressful 😂 (though satisfyingly fun). This book is my whole heart and I didn’t think anyone would get to read it, but they can. And the love for it has been amazing.
- Hit 100,000 followers on instagram and 9,400 followers on Tiktok.
- Wrote 90,000-word YA contemporary and 130,000-word adult horror.
- Outlined 3 wips (15-20K each outline).
- Wrote pitches for 10+ new wips.
- The Boy who Steals Houses got a special edition in German!
- Worked on over 100+ tours with Melissa and MTMC.
- Managed to keep creating content for Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok, and put reviews up on this blog…which is a lot of work honestly so am proud.
Every year I tell myself I’m going to read “the books I own and get my tbr under control” and absolutely every year I do not. Beginning to suspect I don’t actually even try. But you know what? NEXT YEAR. That will be my year. 🤨🙌🏻 Watch out.
Next year I’m going to aim for 150 instead, but am proud I got to the 200 this year despite some months where I barely read more than 5 books. It was…not a consistent time. 😂
Yeah we did…not have the best time lmao. I think one thing that bothered me in books this year was just the sheer lack of world building, and also some really selfish featuring characters. Personally preferences of course. I’m just not interested to read about selfish people being mean. 😂 But I’ve had a lot of 4-stars this December so taking that energy into 2023 I hope!!
As always contemporary and fantasy are my two biggest genres consumed! If I combined all the fantasy subgenres it would win, but contemporary is definitely hold its own. Also horror is fast creeping (heheh) up as one of my favourite genres, and those are some of the reads that have stuck with me the most this year.
Last year I read 49 audiobooks and this year I only read 32 😩 so a bit sad, but also I struggled to find audios that kept me engaged. But I maintained roughly my usuals for paperbacks and ebooks, though read a few more hardcovers than usual.
Where Did I Get My Books?
YET AGAIN…library wins. I am trying not to wheeze to death over here because I swear it is my most senseless habit that I buy books and then only read library books.
But it’s also helpful to see that while I’m reading 200+ books per year, that would be very expensive if I was buying everything. So as you can see I’m very much not. 😂 I also was a rep for the book box so I didn’t have to buy those.
This one is probably my most changed from last year! I read 27% adult books last year and this year it’s bumped up to 32%. I maintained an average of 9% for middle-grade reads, so it was YA that was slightly lower.
I do want to read more MG next year though, because I found some of my favourites there this year.
I’m actually surprised I read 91 books of 2022 releases, because I feel SO BEHIND on all the new books. My tbr is stacked with 2022-releases that I didn’t get to. Sir how. I read so much and yet nothing apparently.
But I definitely gravitate toward newer books while the backlist dwindles.
Also this is pretty similar to what I read last year too, though last year I did read a few more new releases.
As always, this is my hardest one to track because I haven’t found a satisfying way to do it yet. Someday I’ll fix my spreadsheet to be more detailed. But for now this is roughly what we ended up with. I definitely want to read more books by authors of colour next year (more indigenous authors too) and as always I crave more disability rep. Good disability rep, if I may be so bold as to plead for it. I did read a lot of queer books, and I do appreciate how many more identities are getting featured in books now. But would trade a soul (someone else’s) for more asexual rep.
This year I’m dividing up my top reads by genre; and as always I’m only talking about the books I loved (though I might forget some but forgive me and my holely memory.)
Slim pickings this year, but these four definitely took hold of my heart. Bone Weaver ruined me, by the way. I was listening to the audiobook and got stabbed in the chest and had to pause it for like a week to recover. A Strange And Stubborn Endurance was like a queer slice-of-life fantasy with politics and a dash of mystery, which was nice. Admittedly The House Of Always is my first book in the series that I didn’t rate 5-stars (le sigh) but I still enjoyed my favourites. And A Magic Steeped In Poison was captivating!
The Atlas Six & The Atlas Paradox are my #1 favourites of the year. The absolutely delight I find in pretentious clever horrible little magicians who are going to break the world simply because they can while also having various gay crises is [chef’s kiss] just my thing. Our Crooked Hearts was gorgeously written, the prose alone is divine (though the cover is no my favourite). The Boy With A Bird In His Chest is rather allegorical for hiding your queer self and it’s incredibly moving.
Aka my new favourite genre and you can obviously see I couldn’t narrow down the favourite list very much because these were all so, so good. Some were lighter horror, some a bit cosy, others absolutely disgustingly disturbing. 10/10, am delighted.
These are all so, so fantastic. Special shout out to The Butterfly Assassin (written by a friend) which was brilliance, and The Final Gambit (an excellent finale, though am also glad there’s more Hawthorne brother books coming). And Tripping Arcadia was poisonous and gothic and I very much liked. Wicked Little Deeds was also a surprise favourite!? Cover does not do it justice; it’s so addictive.
So, so many good ones here (most of them queer tbh) and The Stars And The Blackness Between Them and Dark Room Etiquette are both still haunting me. Also The Greatest Thing will fix any Heartstopper hangovers, and Sasha Masha was a delightful little queer-questioning story.
HISTORICAL FICTION / FANTASY
I don’t read a lot of historical, but these were definitely amazing (also realise I stan the historical cover styles these days). A Marvellous Light was so fun and perfectly captured the jock/nerd romance with Edwardian style magic.
SCI-FI & DYSTOPIAN
Another of my lesser read genres, but these are all so so good?! A Psalm For The Wild-Build is the actual cosiest story, and Iron Widow was a heart-stopping violently explosive story that I adored. Bitter was the perfect prequel, and I’m still thinking about it tbh. The Darkness Outside Us had an unforgettable, jaw-dropping twist.
MIDDLE GRADE STORIES
I do want to know why MG books just want to make you cry but HI, these three do, and they broke my heart and I love them incredibly so. Highly recommend all of these and also a box of tissues.
I only reread 7 books so that was pretty bad. But just did not have time?! I felt the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland this whole year, I swear, just forever out of time. Anyway these are comfort favourites, some with a bit of murder (as is usual for comfort reads) and I very much loved them all…except maybe I liked We Were Liars a little less 6+ years later lmao.
SHOULD HAVE READ THIS YEAR…BUT DIDN’T
I looked back at my list from last year for this category and…I ended up reading only 3 of tose. 💀 I so so did not have it together this year. Anywho, that is in the past now 😪 I am a changed person, as of the last 2 seconds.
So these books (!!) I did not get to in 2022 when I really should have. But I will (for sure this time) get to them in 2023.
HIGHLY ANTICIPATED UPCOMING 2023 RELEASES
Am so so excited for these and already have 5 of them preordered. Hopefully will actually read them all in 2023 for once. (Although taking a second to stress about rising book prices…especially for adult fiction. It’s very 💀 The library is eternally my friend.)
Happy new year, everyone!! I’d love to hear about your favourite reads of the year in the comments. And what other things happened in your 2022?