So, I went from an amazing reading year in 2020 to my weakest reading year in 2021. So far in 2022, I have had a reading experience much more resemblant of 2021 than 2020. However, I have read most of my novels in the past few months, so I am hoping I am trending to a better second half of the year reading-wise.
That said, I wanted to make a post going over what I have read so far. It is only seven books, so I thought I would rank them in order from least favorite to favorite, as well as give some quick thoughts on each of them. Although my quantity of books is not impressive, the quality certainly is. Five of the seven books have been 5-star reads, and other than that, I’ve read nothing below a 3.75.
Let’s get into the books, working up to my favorite of the year so far.
7. The 13-Minute Murder by James Patterson
While I have enjoyed every James Patterson book I’ve read, I tend to either end up absolutely loving his novels or finding them decent but forgettable. Given that he has written so many books, I guess it should not be too surprising that some of his novels are not the most incredible. As for the 13-Minute Murder, which is a collection of three short stories, this was not my favorite James Patterson read. While the first novella in the collection was extremely promising, I found the second two novellas to be lackluster. There was a clear difference between the first story and the second and third, which was that the first was very straightforward and more of a thriller, whereas the last two tried to do too much which hindered me from being hooked. Overall though, this was an entertaining read for sure.
6. Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig
This was my second read by Caleb Roehrig, and I went into it with cautious optimism. While I enjoyed White Rabbit, I did not find it to be mind-blowing, which is what I expect when I go into a mystery/thriller. Fortunately, I enjoyed Last Seen Leaving a lot more than I enjoyed White Rabbit. I found myself much more invested in the characters, and also found the stakes and suspense of the book to feel much more impressive. I would have liked a bit more of a jaw-dropping ending, but regardless, I thoroughly the novel all the way through.
5. Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate
Seven Ways We Lie is a book that I have had on my shelf for a very long time, but was never a top priority read on my TBR. However, I am thrilled that I finally decided to pick it up because it was very, very good. I do not read contemporary books often, but I find myself really enjoying a majority of the ones I do, and this was certainly not an exception. For being a short novel and having many POVs, the characters in this book were really interesting, and I also felt that there was a really good build up towards some of the more surprising events that took place in the final act. Overall, an underrated read for sure.
4. The Suicide House by Charlie Done
I love reading on airplanes, as there are no distractions. However, The Suicide House, which I read almost in entirety on the plane, would have had my full attention either way. It was so addicting. The back and forth between past and present was one of the strongest aspects of this novel, but I also found the actual mystery of the story to be especially captivating. This is not necessarily a short book, but I flew through it and was entranced the entire way through. Highly recommend if you are looking for a quick, thrilling read.
3. The Lincoln Laywer by Michael Connelly
I found The Lincoln Lawyer for cheap at a used bookstore down the shore, but it really became a priority of mine after seeing promotion for the Netflix show of the same title. While I originally thought the TV show was directly based on the book, I came to find out it was in fact about the sequel. At that point, I was too intrigued in The Lincoln Lawyer to put it to the side, so I decided to pick it up anyways. Well, I’m very glad I did, because it blew my expectations out of the water. While I have read some legal thriller TV shows, I am not sure if I have read a book in the genre, despite seeming like something right up my alley. This book certainly was because I was not only intrigued in the mystery aspect it, but was hooked to the legal proceeding that went throughout the novel. I loved it. On another note, there is a movie with Matthew McConaughey based off the book, and I am very interested in checking it out.
2. Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte
Four Dead Queens is another book I’ve had on my shelves for a long time, but this has always been one I’ve been close to picking up. It always seemed like something I’d love, as it combined my two favorite genres, fantasy and mystery. Ultimately, both of those aspects in the novel were excellently executed. I found the setting in the book really interesting, and the characters were likewise, resulting in a mystery I was engrossed in. I would love to read more books in this world, and really hope Astrid Scholte writes something similar in the future. This is a criminally underrated read that I would highly recommend to fans of Three Dark Crowns and similar novels.
1. The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
It is no surprise to me that The Inheritance Games is at the top of my list considering the overwhelming praise it has received, as well as the fact that I read and loved The Naturals series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. This was the first book I read this year, all the way back in January, but it has remained my favorite so far. It has got it all: an interesting cast, great mystery, and incredible atmosphere. I hope I get around to reading the sequels soon, although with so many other books already on my shelves, it might take me a minute. Either way, a fabulous novel.