My Favorite Reads of 2022

2022 was an awesome reading year for me, y’all.

Not only did I beat my previous record of reading 85 books in a year (2018) by reading 90, but I found and enjoyed so many new 5-star reads. There were also quite a few 4-star reads that I really loved that didn’t quite make the cut. Thank you to everyone who may have recommended some of these books to me!

Now, let’s get started!

Note: These books are listed by date read, not preference. I’ll reveal my top three near the end of the post. 🙂

This Is Not the Jess Show (This Is Not the Jess Show, #1) by Anna Carey

A few years ago, my husband introduced me to the movie The Truman Show, and I was so intrigued by the concept: a TV show about someone’s day-to-day life as they grow up in a fake world, to which they’re unaware. When I first heard of this book and found out This Is Not the Jess Show would be a YA version of this, I instantly added it to my TBR. This DID NOT disappoint. While I do not approve of the excessive cussing in this book, the actual story was amazing. I cannot wait to reread this in 2023, alongside the sequel, This Is Not the Real World.

The Wish by Nicholas Sparks

As I’ve mentioned billions of times here on Authoring Arrowheads, my favorite fiction book of all time is A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks, and I had been craving a similar book from him in terms of tone and wholesomeness for about ten years before receiving The Wish for Christmas in 2021. *Happy sigh* Y’all. This is now my second favorite Nicholas Sparks book. It’s YA. It’s more wholesome than his adult books, and it covers tough topics with so much grace. I cried so hard, and I rarely cry while reading books. I’d try to summarize the premise for you, but it’s a bit complicated, and I feel like I’d spoil it for everyone. Please give this book a chance. ❤

Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts by Jennie Allen

This book was a wake-up call that I needed. Centering around getting out of negative thought spirals from a Christian standpoint, Get Out of Your Head helps readers identify lies from Satan and how we can combat them with God’s help. According to Goodreads, I have 73 Kindle highlights from this book, and I have a sticky-note on my computer at work with reminders from the book, so it’s one that strongly impacted me and one that I would love to reread.

The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks (Reread)

After reading The Wish, I felt a pull to read The Last Song again. I had previously read it when I first got back into reading back in 2012, where I read Sparks’ entire back list, but I thought it was just okay. In 2022, I enjoyed the book so much more. Another YA romance by Sparks, it centers around a troubled teen named Ronnie who has to spend the summer with her dad in coastal eastern NC, who she has a strained relationship with. I think, because I no longer live with my parents now, I enjoyed this book more than I did when I was closer to Ronnie’s age. It was easier to understand her angst then, but on the reread, I found myself empathizing more with her dad earlier on in the book.

Dearest Josephine by Caroline George

Thanks so much to Rayleigh and her friends over at Literature Approved for recommending this book to me personally and on Bookstagram. Y’ALL ARE MISSING OUT IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THIS BEAUTIFUL BOOK. Dearest Josephine follows a girl named Josie as she slowly falls in love, via letters, with a guy named Elias Roch who lived in the 1800s. This book is absolute perfection and I will never stop recommending it. It’s now my second-favorite book of all-time, right behind A Walk to Remember. George’s 2022 release, The Summer We Forgot is one of my most anticipated reads of 2023.

Under the Magnolias by T.I. Lowe

I love a gritty southern read set in the 20th century, and Under the Magnolias was just what I was looking for. Set in South Carolina in the 1980s, Under the Magnolias is a Christian YA book about a girl named Austin who lives in an unstable home after her mother passed away. As the oldest of several children, Austin has had to become the main parent of the house, since her father has debilitating depression. This book reminded me so much of my parents stories of working in tobacco fields in the 1980s, and Austin’s story pulled at my heartstrings. If you love Christian books that tackle tough topics, add this to your TBR.

Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody

By far the best book for outlining fiction books that I’ve ever come across. Highly recommend for new and season writers who have trouble understanding some aspects of the 3 Act Story Structure.

On the Fence by Kasie West

While in 2022 I found that Kasie West’s books can be hit-or-miss for me, I LOVED On the Fence. While it may seem like your average, fluffy young adult romance, it covers grief well and managed to make me cry. The relationship between the main character, Charlie, and her love interest was also the cutest thing ever. If you’re wanting to try out Kasie West’s books, I recommend picking this one up.

American Royals by Katharine McGee

ALL THE DRAMA. Honestly, I was a bit skeptical about this book at first, but I’m so glad I gave it a chance. American Royals is based on the question “What if America was ruled by a monarchy?”, and follows the lives of royal teen siblings and their friends as they navigate life in the monarchy’s spotlight. This book reminded me so much of something like The Young and the Restless for some reason, and I loved reading from four different POVs, even though one was absolutely cray-cray *cough* Daphne *cough*. Like with This is Not the Jess Show, this one had some content issues for me, but it was not enough to take away from the story.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

I put off reading this sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird for so long, but I’m so glad I finally broke down and read it this year. While the book covers heavy topics, I feel like the characters had amazing debates/conversations about them, and overall I loved it as much as To Kill a Mockingbird.

Forever and Ever, Amen: A Memoir of Music, Faith, and Braving the Storms of Life by Randy Travis

I love country music, and I’ve found a new love for memoirs in recent years, but even knowing both of those facts, I did not realize how much I would adore this book. Though Randy Travis was more popular in the decade before I was born, my Daddy is a huge Travis fan, and I grew up hearing some of his mainstream songs, as well as his Gospel songs. I was absolutely heartbroken when I read about how much he has been through in his life, and about his long journey to stardom. If you’re a fan of 80s/90s country music, or just want an inspiring, real-life faith read, I highly recommend this book.

The Selection (The Selection, #1) by Kiera Cass

It’s totally weird to describe a book as both “cute” and “dystopian”, but if any book fits that description, it’s The Selection. Though the book community has such mixed feelings about this book, I adored it wholeheartedly. I am 100% Team Maxon right now. I still low-key think Aspen’s lying about that thing. *Shifts eyes* I plan on reading book two, The Elite in 2023.

You’re Not Enough (and That’s Ok): Escaping the Toxic Culture of Self-Love by Allie Beth Stuckey

This book carries some harsh truths, some I needed to hear. Stuckey reveals every single hole in the “Self-Love” movement and offers the only solution for finding true fulfillment: a relationship with God.

My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies, #1) by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

This was a wild time. XD Not content-wise, just the antics and banter. I had zero expectations going in, and I ended up loving it. The characters and humor were spot-on. Loosely based on the story of Lady Jane Grey, with magic interwoven in, My Lady Jane did the (almost) impossible and made me love a fantasy book. The magic used, where characters turn into animals, reminded me a lot of Arthur’s transformations into a fish and a squirrel in Disney’s The Sword in the Stone, which made me love it so much more.

Fanatically In Trouble (Enchanted Events, #3) by Jenny B. Jones

Jenny B. Jones is among my favorite authors, and though I was sad to be reading the last book in this cozy mystery trilogy, it was an amazing read. The mystery in this one is my favorite in the trilogy, and Jones had me guessing until the end. Like all her books, the humor is perfection. I’m really hoping she’ll add more books to this series, or write another cozy mystery series.

Winnie-the-Pooh (Winnie-the-Pooh, #1) by A.A. Milne

My sister gave me a copy of The Winnie the Pooh Treasury for Christmas in 2021, and I took my time reading through the stories last year. Y’all, this book made me laugh out loud several times. XD My only gripe was that Tigger wasn’t featured yet, and he was my favorite character when I watched the Disney shows/movies as a kid.

Tessa and Weston: The Best Christmas Ever by Abbie Emmons

Abbie Emmons did it again. I recommend reading 100 Days of Sunlight first before reading this book, because this book follows the two main characters from that book at Christmastime following the events of 100 Days. This book was cute and cuddly and covered the topic of irresponsible/absentee parents, which I loved, because it’s something that’s so rampant in today’s society and I rarely see it mentioned in books.

A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks (10th Reread)

Last, but never not least, in 2022 I read my all-time favorite fiction book, A Walk to Remember for the 10th time. I’m a bit obsessed, it you didn’t know. XD

My Top 3 Favorites of 2022

Note: This ranking only includes the new-to-me books I read in 2022, not the books I reread. 🙂

And now, for the rankings!

3) American Royals by Katharine McGee

2) The Wish by Nicholas Sparks

1) Dearest Josephine by Caroline George

Talk to Me, Arrowheads!

Have you read any of the books on this list? What were your thoughts?

Feel free to share your favorite books of 2022 in the comments! I have over 100 books to read on my Kindle, but I’ll never pass up recommendations. XD

Aim high , stay strong, and always hit your mark.

-Allyson 😀

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As an author and blogger, my goal is to teach writers that there is a way to write realistic, thought-provoking, redemptive Christian fiction that honors God while not sugarcoating the realities of the world. 

6 thoughts on “My Favorite Reads of 2022

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