It’s been quite the year! Goodreads is telling me I’ve read 78 books as of December 13th… which is quite a few for me! So I figured I’d round up my favorite highlights and a one line review for anyone that’s looking for a good read to start off 2022.

Note: these books were not necessarily published in 2021, that’s just when I happened to read them!

And second note: If I love the first book in a series, but overall the series is unsatisfying, I won’t recommend the first book. (However… if I haven’t read the sequel yet but I plan to, I’ll still recommend the first.)

Favorite Sequel: Sweep with Me by Ilona Andrews
Book 5 of the Innkeeper Chronicles is every bit as good as the 4 books before it. If you want some light sci-fi romance in your life, this series about a magical inn that connects to the rest of the universe and the uncountable species and cultures in it (including a fun take on vampires and werewolves) is absolutely fantastic. I NEED MORE.

Favorite Novella: Split Therapy by E.P. Stavs
A fast-paced psychological thriller with two likable leads, a sweet side of romance, and a vigilante. Recommended to cure any reading slump.

Favorite Romance: The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams
I actually just finished this one, and was able to come add it to this post just in time! There’s so much to love in this book! Wonderful characters that feel real (especially in the audiobook!), a cute romance, fun plot (although as a gym rat I might be biased) and body positivity. I’m so glad I stumbled on this 5 star read, and highly recommend!

Favorite Middle Grade: Forget Me Not by Ellie Terry
An achingly beautiful book told half in verse and half in prose about friendship, being different, and the difficulties and confusion of being a middle-grade kid.

Favorite Picture Book: Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
Love love love love love this book. Fantastic illustrations and a wonderful message about dealing with bullies and embracing your awesome self.

Favorite Fantasy: Thief of Spring by Katherine Macdonald
A fae Persephone/Hades romance that I didn’t know I needed in my life. Great YA fantasy with a fun romance that totally sucked me in.

Favorite Young Adult: Billy Lemonade by Sarah J Maxwell
A beautiful paranormal tale of two healing teenagers. I read this book in one sitting, and I think it’s probably the most poignant, emotional tale I read this year.

Favorite Sci-fi: This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada
A sci-fi, post-apocalyptic pandemic novel with a unique premise, a twist, and a solid romance. I haven’t read the sequel yet, but it’s mostly because I’m scared it can’t live up to the first!

Favorite Thriller: The Whisper Man by Alex North
It was creepy, it was tense, it kept me guessing, and I was rooting for the characters the whole time. This is the kind of thriller that makes you want to read more thrillers. And the audiobook was amazing, so bonus!

Favorite Novel Overall: Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
This book absolutely blew my mind. A book about a group of goofy strangers that get caught up in a hostage situation that manages to be funny and sweet and poignant all that the same time. Definitely my number one book this year, no contest. And the audiobook is superb. If I have to recommend only one book this year, it’s this one.

If you have any best reads of 2021 I’d love to know! Thanks for reading!