Friday, December 30, 2022

Favorite Books of 2022

Hello there! We are wrapping up another year, which means it's time for the end-of-year book review. I know book reviews are everywhere this time of year, but I love each and every one of them. I love to see what books other people are reading and their honest opinions of what was a hit, or what was a miss. 

My goal was to read 40 books this year, and YIKES... I didn't even come close. I started the year strong, but then in October and November I think I read one book total. Fast forward to December and I was able to squeeze 3 books in, so I guess you can say I was trying to play catch up!

Each year when I do my book review, I break my books down into different genres. This way, if there is a particular genre that is up your alley, you can skip straight to that section. This year my genres will be thriller, historical fiction, and fiction. I was only planning to do my top 5, but I had 7 that were fantastic and couldn't narrow it down.. so top 7 it is!


Little Secrets-- 

"Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They're admired in their community and are a loving family—until their world falls apart the day their son, Sebastian, is taken.

A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. She hires a PI to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding Sebastian, she learns that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman. This discovery sparks Marin back to life. She's lost her son; she's not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix.


This was the first book I read in 2022 and we started the year off with a bang!! This book will hook you from the beginning and keep your interest throughout the whole book. 

The Paris Apartment--

"Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half brother, Ben, didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up—to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this?—he’s not there.

The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Ben’s neighbors are an eclectic bunch and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question.

The socialite. The nice guy. The alcoholic. The girl on the verge. The concierge.

Everyone's a neighbor. Everyone's a suspect. And everyone knows something they’re not telling."

I loved all the twists and turns in this book. Just when you thought you had it figured out, something else would happen and throw you off. 

Local Woman Missing-- 

"People don't just disappear without a trace…

Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.

Now, eleven years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they'll find…"

Mary Kubica strikes again. She is one of my favorite authors, and for good reason-- she does not disappoint! This is one of those books where you stay up too late reading at night only to wake up early just so you can read again. 

Historical Fiction:

"In the spring of 1942, young Elzbieta Rabinek is aware of the swiftly growing discord just beyond the courtyard of her comfortable Warsaw home. She has no fondness for the Germans who patrol her streets and impose their curfews, but has never given much thought to what goes on behind the walls that contain her Jewish neighbors. She knows all too well about German brutality - and that it's the reason she must conceal her true identity. But in befriending Sara, a nurse who shares her apartment floor, Elzbieta makes a discovery that propels her into a dangerous world of deception and heroism.

Using Sara's credentials to smuggle children out of the ghetto brings Elzbieta face-to-face with the reality of the war behind its walls, and to the plight of the Gorka family, who must make the impossible decision to give up their newborn daughter or watch her starve. For Roman Gorka, this final injustice stirs him to rebellion with a zeal not even his newfound love for Elzbieta can suppress. But his recklessness brings unwanted attention to Sara's cause, unwittingly putting Elzbieta and her family in harm's way until one violent act threatens to destroy their chance at freedom forever. "

This book was very hard to read at times, but is one of those books that I kept mentally going back to as I went about my day. I have read dozens of historical fiction novels about the atrocities of WW2, and while these books obviously discuss the very dark and sinister things going on at that time, they often show glimmers of hope in the people who stepped up to help strangers. This is one of those books. Despite the repercussions had she been caught, Elzbieta and her friends risk their lives to help people they had never met. It is heartbreaking. It is moving. It is a very powerful read.

The Things We Cannot Say-- 

"In 1942, Europe remains in the relentless grip of war. Just beyond the tents of the Russian refugee camp she calls home, a young woman speaks her wedding vows. It’s a decision that will alter her destiny...and it’s a lie that will remain buried until the next century. 

Since she was nine years old, Alina Dziak knew she would marry her best friend, Tomasz. Now 15 and engaged, Alina is unconcerned by reports of Nazi soldiers at the Polish border, believing her neighbors that they pose no real threat, and dreams instead of the day Tomasz returns from college in Warsaw so they can be married. But little by little, injustice by brutal injustice, the Nazi occupation takes hold, and Alina’s tiny rural village, its families, are divided by fear and hate. Then, as the fabric of their lives is slowly picked apart, Tomasz disappears. Where Alina used to measure time between visits from her beloved, now, she measures the spaces between hope and despair, waiting for word from Tomasz and avoiding the attentions of the soldiers who patrol her parents’ farm. But for now, even deafening silence is preferable to grief. 

Slipping between Nazi-occupied Poland and the frenetic pace of modern life, Kelly Rimmer creates an emotional and finely wrought narrative. The Things We Cannot Say is an unshakable reminder of the devastation when truth is silenced...and how it can take a lifetime to find our voice before we learn to trust it." 

This book was so wonderfully written, you felt like you were right there with the characters. Kelly Rimmer took the time to develop the characters and helped you to connect with each of them. Once I fell in love with each character, I couldn't put the book down. I needed to know how it ended for them!

Dreams of Joy-- 

"Reeling from newly uncovered family secrets, and anger at her mother and aunt for keeping them from her, Joy runs away to Shanghai in early 1957 to find her birth father—the artist Z.G. Li, with whom both May and Pearl were once in love. Dazzled by him, and blinded by idealism and defiance, Joy throws herself into the New Society of Red China, heedless of the dangers in the communist regime. 

Devastated by Joy’s flight and terrified for her safety, Pearl is determined to save her daughter, no matter the personal cost. From the crowded city to remote villages, Pearl confronts old demons and almost insurmountable challenges as she follows Joy, hoping for reconciliation. Yet even as Joy’s and Pearl’s separate journeys converge, one of the most tragic episodes in China’s history threatens their very lives."

This book had the makeup to be a perfect book for me. Historical fiction? Check. A time period/setting I'm not already familiar with? Check. Well-developed, likable characters who you keep rooting for throughout the entire novel? Check. I loved everything about this book and cannot recommend it enough. 

The author told the story of what it was like to be in the People's Republic of China as Mao and the Communist party were taking over, which is unlike anything else I had ever read. The main character, Joy, is a 19 year old Chinese-American citizen who goes off to college and hears a glamorized version of how Communism has saved the PRC. After a fight with her mom and aunt, she leaves California to go find her father in Shanghai. Once she arrives in China she realizes that her pro-communism friends in the US were only telling one side of the story, as she witnesses some of the most tragic parts of China's history. 


Carrie Soto is Back-- I just finished this one a couple weeks ago and LOVED it! You know that feeling when you're watching a nail-biter football game and you can't wait to find out who wins? That was how this whole book felt-- I was on the edge of my seat waiting to find out who would win each tennis match. 

"Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular. But by the time she retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Grand Slam titles. And if you ask Carrie, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father, Javier, as her coach. A former champion himself, Javier has trained her since the age of two.

But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning player named Nicki Chan.

At thirty-seven years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record. Even if the sports media says that they never liked “the Battle-Axe” anyway. Even if her body doesn’t move as fast as it did. And even if it means swallowing her pride to train with a man she once almost opened her heart to: Bowe Huntley. Like her, he has something to prove before he gives up the game forever.

In spite of it all, Carrie Soto is back, for one epic final season. In this riveting and unforgettable novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid tells her most vulnerable, emotional story yet."

And now I'd love to hear from you what some of your favorite books were! Are there any books you would recommend I add to my list for 2023?

I hope you all have a safe and wonderful New Year's Eve-- See you back here in 2023!


  1. Many of these have been favorites for me too.

  2. I have been wanting to read several of these and I LOVED The Things We Cannot Say.

  3. I loved most of these too. This year my fave genres were definitely thriller and historical fiction. Happy New Year!

  4. You should make a goodreads account! I'd love to follow along with your reads all in one place!

  5. I loved Local Woman Missing and The Things We Cannot Say. I just downloaded Carrie Soto and hope to get it read on the Kindle before I have to return it.