It’s that time of year again–I’m going to tell you about the top five favorite young adult books that I read in 2022! And as is my new tradition, I’ll also be giving away one of those books to a lucky reader! Honestly, I look forward to writing this post all year long. Why? I guess I just love sharing about good books. 🙂
This year, I read some amazing stories which included three beta reads of unpublished books written by friends, my #roguementor mentee’s book (Hi, Carly!), several adult (as in non-YA) books, and of course plenty of YA. My reads included some very well known books such as The Maid by Nita Prose and Midnight Library by Matthew Haig, as well as some lesser known books, some of which blew my socks off! Genres read included romance, memoir, contemporary, suspense, mystery, thriller, sci-fi, and even a literary historical southern gothic (which you may have heard me talking about recently!).
In all, I read 28 books and DNF’d probably about 10 books. I’m currently reading Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover which I may very well finish before the year is out. So far, I must say that it’s living up to the hype.
However, the purpose of this post is to shout about my FIVE FAVORITE YA BOOKS of the year, so let’s get to it! I’ll be listing them in the order in which I read them. And of course, don’t forget about the BOOK GIVEAWAY at the end!
1.) That Weekend by Kara Thomas
2022 started off with a banger of a book for me. That Weekend is a fast-paced thriller that hooked me from the very first chapter. Tightly-written, intricately-plotted, and filled with twists I never saw coming, this is a near-perfect example of what a thriller should be. In fact, I read it in a matter of days. Here’s the blurb:
It was supposed to be the perfect prom weekend getaway. But it’s clear something terrible happened when Claire wakes up alone and bloodied on a hiking trail with no memory of the past forty-eight hours.
Now everyone wants answers–most of all, Claire. She remembers Friday night, but after that . . . nothing. And now Kat and Jesse–her best friends–are missing.
What happened on the mountain? And where are Kat and Jesse? Claire knows the answers are buried somewhere in her memory. But as she’s learning, everyone has secrets–even her best friends. And she’s pretty sure she’s not going to like what she remembers.
2.) For All Time by Shanna Miles
Have you ever read a book that made you just stop and savor certain lines? For All Time is one of those books. In fact, because of this book, I began jotting down beautiful book lines in a new notebook that was gifted to me by a writing friend last Christmas. Alternating between two characters living in multiple time periods, this is truly a love story for the ages. It’s also one of the most unique books I’ve ever read. Here’s the blurb:
Tamar is a musician, a warrior, a survivor. Fayard? He’s a pioneer, a hustler, a hopeless romantic.
Together, Tamar and Fayard have lived a thousand lives, seen the world build itself up from nothing only to tear itself down again in civil war. They’ve even watched humanity take to the stars. But in each life one thing remains the same: their love and their fight to be together. One love story after another. Their only concern is they never get to see how their story ends. Until now.
When they finally discover what it will take to break the cycle, will they be able to make the sacrifice?
3.) The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron
I chose this audiobook on a whim while making a 7-hour road trip this past summer. The Forgetting is a dystopian novel (remember those?!) from a few years back and it has such a unique premise. I often have trouble paying attention to audiobooks, but this was one that held me captive. The imagery and world building were just so interesting. Plus, there’s a nice little romance, and you guys know I’m a sucker for romance! It’s then first part of a duology, and I wouldn’t mind reading the next book either. Here’s the blurb:
What isn’t written, isn’t remembered. Even your crimes. Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person’s memories — of parents, children, love, life, and self — are lost. Unless they have been written. In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn’t written the truth. Because Nadia is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten. But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence — before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her.
4.) Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter
Ever since this book came out in 2021, I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. And please take a good look at the cover of Better Than the Movies. It’s absolutely adorable! So when I saw it at B&N a few months back, I snatched it right up. It definitely did not disappoint. The banter between main character, Liz, and her love interest, Wes, is so fun, and I just love how the romance played out. Here’s the blurb:
Perpetual daydreamer Liz Buxbaum gave her heart to Michael a long time ago. But her cool, aloof forever crush never really saw her before he moved away. Now that he’s back in town, Liz will do whatever it takes to get on his radar—and maybe snag him as a prom date—even befriend Wes Bennet.
The annoyingly attractive next-door neighbor might seem like a prime candidate for romantic comedy fantasies, but Wes has only been a pain in Liz’s butt since they were kids. Pranks involving frogs and decapitated lawn gnomes do not a potential boyfriend make. Yet, somehow, Wes and Michael are hitting it off, which means Wes is Liz’s in.
But as Liz and Wes scheme to get Liz noticed by Michael so she can have her magical prom moment, she’s shocked to discover that she likes being around Wes. And as they continue to grow closer, she must reexamine everything she thought she knew about love—and rethink her own ideas of what Happily Ever After should look like.
5.) Liberty Biscuit by Melanie Sue Bowles
Last but certainly not least is Liberty Biscuit, which is technically an upper middle grade novel but will still appeal to both young and old adults. I was fortunate enough to be a beta reader for this novel, but let me tell you, it still hit me right in the feels when I read it for the second time. It takes a lot for a book to make me cry, but this one had me tearing up TWICE! It’s just so sweet and heartfelt. Plus, I know it’s based off of real-world experience by the author, who runs a horse sanctuary. Here’s the blurb:
Katherine Pearl Baker—“Kip” for short—is the only child on her family’s rural peach farm. She longs for a pet to ease the loneliness. Unfortunately, her father has an angry opposition to all animals—horses in particular. Why he dislikes them is a confounding mystery. Hiding in the woods on the Fourth of July, Kip encounters a bedraggled donkey with one eye and a floppy ear. Immediately smitten and compelled to protect him, she feeds him biscuits and takes him home. When it is discovered the donkey fled an abusive owner, Kip’s father finally relents, reluctantly allowing him to stay. Kip is elated when her grandfather agrees to help her foster the donkey, who she names “Liberty Biscuit,” along with two emaciated horses removed by the local sheriff from the same home, as the cruelty case goes to court. While caring for the animals, Kip’s happiness is overshadowed by a shocking discovery in a trunk in the family farm’s hayloft—a faded photograph of her father as a boy that reveals secrets long kept.
A court order to return the horses, and even worse, Kip’s beloved Liberty Biscuit, to the owner who had starved and beaten them, throws Kip’s world into turmoil. She knows she must find a way to keep them, or she will have betrayed the best friend she has ever had. But saving the animals means risking the complete unraveling of her family as she exposes the long-buried truth about a tragic accident and a hurt like she’s never known before.
If you would like a chance to win one of the five YA books listed above, simply leave a comment below telling me which book you’d like to win. I will choose a random winner on Friday, January 6th, 2023 and mail them their book of choice. **Open to U.S. entrants only please.**
Good luck and Happy Reading in 2023!