Coffee, Book, & Candle's 2022 Year in Books
And just like that, another year has flown by. We think it only fitting that our last blog post of 2022 be a recap of our year in reading, as well as a chance to announce our 2023 reading goals so you lovely folks can keep us accountable!
NOTE: Click the titles or photos to see our reviews!
2022 READING GOALS –– HOW DID WE STACK UP?
J: So looking back on last year's goals, it seems I wanted to get into more contemporary and gothic romance. AND I DID! I tried a couple contemporary romances I was pleasantly surprised by, plus at least two gothic romance novels.
However, I slacked on nonfiction reading—sort of. I read nonfiction in sporadic chapters and research articles when a topic interests me; I never sit down to read an entire book like I do fiction.
K: I was close but did not hit the 50 books I was hoping for. I did break out of my comfort zone by reading some romance (Crumbs WebToon, Outlander) and a classics (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Crime and Punishment). I did not get to read a fanfic, but I have one saved that I plan to read soon!
NUMBER OF BOOKS READ
J: 9 books, plus several halves of books that I ended up DNFing (getting better about not putting time into books that don't bring me joy). If we count books I read as I edited them, that'll bring the grand total up to 11.
K: 45. SO CLOSE!
J: A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas (possible review coming for the entire series)— This book stood out from the rest of the series with well-rounded characters dealing with personal and family trauma, acceptance, friendship, and finding love they feel they don't deserve. Amazing character-driven work.
K: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson was not only my favorite read of the year, but also one of the best YA books I've read in a while. It's got a tough FMC, a broody love interest, a sassy demon, enchanted books, and a cozy magical atmosphere. What more could I want?!
J: Belladonna— so much potential to be an awesome villains to lovers murder mystery (with Death as the love interest!) that fell flat thanks to a vain and selfish protagonist.
K: Nothing But Blackened Teeth––this is a prime example of why we should not judge books by their covers and look up reviews! I was drawn in by the creepy cover and premise, hoping for a tragic/romantic horror story against a backdrop of lush Japanese landscapes and lore. Sadly, almost everything about it was a disappointment.
FAVORITE COMFORT READ
J: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (review coming soon)— This had all the cozy dark fairytale & academia vibes! Plus enough humor to keep it light and entertaining.
K: Legends & Lattes (review coming soon! *wink*)— What I will say is this may be the ultimate comfort book, and if you're looking for a quick, cozy read, you should just get it. Trust me.
J: A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas— I mean, it is a holiday novella 😂 It was cute and cozy; I loved getting to see these characters' Solstice traditions.
K: Gallant by V.E. Schwab was one of my favorite reads this year. It features a mute FMC who has loads of sass, a gothic mansion, an otherworldly garden, ghosts, and a perfect balance of creepy and cozy.
J: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas— Can you tell I spent this year catching up on the Maasverse? I couldn't get into this series as much as I did Throne of Glass. There wasn't a lot of plot or...well, really much going on in this book, so it dragged for me.
K: The Atlas Six— I'm honestly not sure how much was the book itself and how much was me not being in the right headspace for it. It's an interesting premise, but not what I was hoping for or expected. The writer's style was not my favorite, and it took a lot of mental energy to keep up with all the rumination. We'll see how the second one goes...
J: A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas— Look, I only read 9 books, so there wasn't much competition 😅 But it is pretty spicy for a plot and character-arc heavy book.
K: House of Sky and Breath— yet another SJM book! (LOL) This one might not be as spicy as ACOSF, but there was a LOT of angst. Honorable mention goes to The Atlas Six for that library scene between a few of the characters.
BEST PLOT TWIST
J: Eyes on the Blue Star by Dewi Hargreaves— A character-driven dystopian full of hope and heart-tugging relationships.
I'm fairly sure I left a comment and also messaged Dewi when I got to the twist while editing 😂 It genuinely caught me by surprise and was well done, as were all the smaller twists that kept me on my toes.
K: Fierce Fairytales (review coming soon!)— This is a book of short stories and poems, but damn some of Gill's twists and original takes were *chef's kiss*.
J: I have to give it to The Raven Boys yet again. It wasn't a sad book, but the characters' lives and relationships are so very real and messed up. Your heart aches when theirs do.
K: The Song of Achilles–– It doesn't matter how much you know about this legend, or how prepared you think you are after hearing others talk about how sad this book is. It will still rip out your heart.
WANTED TO THROW
K: Belladonna. Enough said.
J: LOL, same girl, same. Belladonna— Refer to Most Disappointing reads <-<
J: From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout— On the one hand, it was gothic and character-driven and had a villain romance, and I ate that shit up like candy. On the other hand, it really wasn't well-written or edited, so it was the equivalent of junk food or watching my beloved teen-angst trash show, The Vampire Diaries 😂 I enjoyed it for enjoyment's sake.
K: The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake–– refer to Slowest Read.
J: Nessian (Nesta and Cassian from A Court of Silver Flames)—annndd, yeah that was pretty much it for this year. Wow, for a romance reader, that was the only good romance I read.
K: Elisabeth & Nathaniel (Sorcery of Thorns); Day & Night (House of Sky and Breath). I read a few other decent relationships, but I wasn't fangirling over any of them. There is one I'm curious to see play out in a sequel, but I won't spoil anything.
J: All of the friendships in The Raven Boys—Gansey, Ronan, Adam, Noah, and Blue. This is such a cute, friendship-centered book, and I love their group. Plus the friendships in A Court of Silver Flames (Nesta, Gwyn, and Emerie / Cassian, Rhys, and Azriel).
K: Honestly, none of them stood out to me this year. The best ones I read were during my rereads of Sarah J Maas's books. Her stories have great friendships.
J: I'm not going to add a number here, because that seems cursed—cursed, I tell you!
The goal this year is to make an admirable dent in my Fairyloot books, read more adult paranormal & fantasy romances on Kindle (Mom assures me I'm farrr behind and she has the hookup), annnd yeah, that's it. I stay busy, so I'm not going to pretend I'll suddenly find more time to read.
K: Since I just missed the mark of this year's goal (50 books), I'm going to challenge myself to get there this year. I plan to get more into audiobooks, so hopefully that will help, especially as I find myself getting busier and busier.
In light of this year's constant disappointment with the YA genre, I'm going to focus more on NA fantasy/fiction. I also want to read at least one other classic and finally get around to that fanfic!
There you have it, folks! It's mind-blowing that 2022 is coming to a close. We thank you for all the support you've shown us this year (and in previous years). We can't believe our blog baby will be three this year! We look forward to continuing to grow our platform and relationships with you all in the new year.