Wow… it’s been quite a minute since I last talked about the books I’ve been reading this year! Blame it on me switching my posts on Instagram from bookstagram photos to Reels, or just having zero ideas for bookish blog posts, but for a blip of time, that stops today. Today I’d like to share my favorite series starters I’ve read so far this year across all the genres I read. These are listed in no particular order, but just know I adored all of them!
This is Not the Jess Show
Author: Anna Carey
Series: This is Not the Jess Show
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Clean?: It’s YA, but honestly I would give it an R rating for multiple instances of explicit language.
This is Not the Jess Show was one of my most anticipated reads for 2022, and it did not disappoint (other than the use of explicit language)! Reminiscent of The Truman Show, the story centers on a teen girl named Jess who believes she’s a 90s kid living in 1998… until she discovers a rogue iPhone and begins to question everything. That’s all I can say without giving too many spoilers. Trust me, if you get past the rough language, this is a fast-paced and insanely unique series and I cannot wait to get my hands on book two!
The Inheritance Games
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Inheritance Games
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Clean?: I would rate it PG-13 for mentions of mature themes.
The Inheritance Games was also on my most anticipated list, and though I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as This is Not the Jess Show, I fully believe the series will improve with book two, The Hawthorne Legacy. The Inheritance Games involves a poor girl named Avery who is, for a reason unknown to her, called to Texas after a billionaire’s death, where she is told she could have a chance to win his inheritance if she plays his games correctly. I really liked the mystery element of the games, and Avery’s interactions with the Hawthorne brothers. I plan to read the next book in 2023, since I have it loaded on my Kindle.
Author: Adrienne Young
Genre: Historical Young Adult, Fantasy
Clean?: I would rate it PG-13 for mentions of mature themes and possible language.
To be honest, I wanted to read this book, despite not typically liking fantasy or pirates, because the cover is GORGEOUS. Turns out, the story is also brilliant. Fable is a poor girl who has taken up with a band of pirates to try and reach her father’s location so she can take her rightful place on his crew. From the high-seas adventures, to the romance subplot, to the found family, I really enjoyed the first book of the Fable series, and can’t wait to enjoy book two, Namesake!
Author: Katharine McGee
Series: American Royals
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Sub-genre: Alternative Reality
Clean?: I would rate it PG-13 for mentions of mature themes and some explicit language.
I had heard so many mixed reviews about American Royals–where, in an alternative version of The United States, we are ruled by a monarchy rather than elected officials–so I was skeptical upon picking it up… buy Y’ALL. I wholeheartedly did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. There was forbidden romance. There was best-friends-to-lovers. There was a psycho jealous girl, whose POV was hilarious to read. And so. much. drama. Told from the POVs of four girls: Princess Beatrice, Princess Samantha, and two of their family friends, American Royals was a fast-paced insider account of what royal life would look like for young adults in the U.S., and it was epic. With book one ending in a heartbreaking cliff-hanger, I’m desperate to get book two loaded on my Kindle!
Anne of Green Gables
Author: Lucy Maud Montgomery
Series: Anne of Green Gables
Genre: Classic, Historical Fiction, Coming of Age, Middle Grade to Lower Young Adult
Clean?: Perfectly wholesome. A definite G rating.
I know what you’re thinking… Allyson, you are how old and you’re just now reading this precious book?! I know, I know. Honestly, I was skeptical of ever picking this book up, seeing how so many of my friends on Goodreads adore it. For whatever reason (well, I know the reason, because I like to be contrary), I was half-convinced I would hate it on no other basis but that I sometimes have issues getting into classics. However, this was not the case with Anne of Green Gables. For the few of you who, like me before last month, have never read the book, in Anne of Green Gables we meet eleven-year-old Anne Shirley, an orphan girl who is “mistakenly” brought to the small Canadian town of Avonlea to live with the Cuthbert family, who wanted to adopt a boy instead. Over the course of the book, we get to see Anne mature from a highly imaginative (and hilarious) child to a mature and determined teenager. If you enjoy historical fiction set in the early 1900s and enjoy Barbara Park’s humor from her Junie B. Jones series, you’ll love this book. Younger Anne reminds me a lot of Junie B. (even though Junie B. came along much later!). Will I continue reading this series? I’m not fully convinced yet. I’ve been told the series goes downhill after the first book, but we’ll see.
Talk to Me, Arrowheads!
If you’ve read any of the books above, which one is your favorite? If you haven’t, which series starters have been your favorites of 2022 so far? Drop your recommendations in the comments!
Aim high, stay strong, and always hit your mark.