My Anticipated Releases of 2022

My favorite part of each new year is beginning to plan my reading for the year. While I am still primarily a mood reader, I like to keep certain titles on my radar so that I can get my name on the holds list earlier at my library. The following list are some titles that I already know about that are supposed to be coming out in 2022. Obviously, with publishing and supply chain issues, any of these dates are subject to change.


The Maid by Nita Prose, January 4

The Starless Crown by James Rollins, January 4

In Every Generation by Kendare Blake, January 4

How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu, January 18


Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead by Elle Cosimano, February 1

A Lullaby for Witches by Hester Fox, February 1

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys, February 1

Amari and the Great Game by B.B. Alston, February 1

House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas, February 15

The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart, February 22


This Golden State by Marit Weisenberg, March 1

Like a Sister by Kellye Garrett, March 8

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James, March 15

Secret Identity by Alex Segura, March 15

Under Lock and Skeleton Key by Gigi Pandian, March 15

Nine Lives by Peter Swanson, March 15

Destiny of the Dead by Kel Kade, March 22

The City of Dusk by Tara Sim, March 22


The Blood Trials by N.E. Davenport, April 5

Nettle and Bone by T. Kingfisher, April 26


The Island by Adrian McKinty, May 17


Death by Beach Read by Eva Gates, June 7

Ordinary Monsters by J.M. Miro, June 7

The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill, June 7


The IT Girl by Ruth Ware, July 12

Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey, July 19

Booked on a Feeling by Jayci Lee, July 26


Don’t Fear the Reaper by Stephen Graham Jones, August 2

These Fleeting Shadows by Kate Alice Marshall, August 9



Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn, November 8


2021 5-Star Reads

I had an okay year in reading. When I looked back at my stats, I was actually surprised that there weren’t more 5-star reads on the list. I read fewer books this year than last year, but I had less than half as many 5-stars this year. Part of this could be that I’ve become a little more discerning about what makes a read one of my favorites of all time. Part of it could be that I’ve added more people that I actually know to my Goodreads friend list this year and even though I know there should be no shame involved in reading, I still worry sometimes about what people might think of my reading taste. In any case, I had 11 5-star reads in 2021. These are the books that I have been recommending far and wide since I read them. *All links go to Goodreads*

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston

Libraryland: It’s All About the Story Edited by Ben Bizzle and Sue Considine

The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz

Dava Shastri’s Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti

2/15-2/21 Week in Reading

Hello Readers!

Goals for the week: Read and review The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor and The Future is Yours by Dan Frey.

Mon 2/15: I finished The Burning Girls this evening. I can’t say that I was really hooked until about 60% of the way through, but then it just barreled on to the ending, which was really good.

Tue 2/16: I got to the 16% mark in The Future is Yours today. It’s a sci-fi revolving around time travel…sort of. It takes a modern spin on it and is told primarily through texts, emails, and Congressional hearing notes. I’m really liking it so far and it’s a quick read.

Wed 2/17: I finished The Future is Yours. It was such a quick read even though Goodreads has it as 352 pages. I really liked where the story went and how it dealt with the ethical questions of time travel. I think some people will be unhappy with the ending, but I liked it. I’ll definitely read more from this author if he writes anything in the future.

Minor spoiler: I like books that are thought experiments, as so many sci-fi novels are.

Thu 2/18: I didn’t do any reading today.

Fri 2/19: I started The Ravens by Kass Morgan and Danielle Paige. I only read about a chapter before I fell asleep, so no thoughts for now.

Sat 2/20: No reading today. Just a lazy Saturday.

Sun 2/21: I got to around page 300 in The Ravens today. I really wanted to finish it but I just couldn’t get it done today. It’s a really interesting story about a coven at a college in Savannah that is using a sorority as its cover. I love pretty much anything to do with witchcraft and this one has been a winner so far.

1/11-1/17 Week in Reading

Hello Readers! I’m going strong on reading this year and I’m hoping I can keep the momentum going, especially as we are approaching a 3-day weekend.

Goal for the week: Finish In the Garden of Spite. It is publishing soon and I want to get the review posted before then.

Mon 1/11: Today I made a little progress with In the Garden of Spite, making it from the 40% mark to the 45% mark. I also listened to about 2 hours of the Key Lime Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke. I’m stalled on A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow. It is a good book, but I’m just not feeling motivated to pick it up for some reason.

Tue 1/12: I went from the 45% mark to the 53% mark today with In the Garden of Spite. It’s still a really dark book and it is getting a little bit repetitive. I’m hoping to see a little more development in the second half of the book.

I also listened to another 2 hours of the Key Lime Pie murder. This one definitely has the feel of a more traditional Hannah Swensen mystery as compared to the last one that I listened to. The body dropped within the first few chapters and the motives seem pretty clear, although the suspects seem a little weak. I appreciate that Swensen always has a spot on the suspect list for the unknown killer with the unknown motivation. Maybe this will be the book where that suspect is the actual killer?

Wed 1/13: Today was a weird day at work which made for a low-level reading day. I finished listening to Key Lime Pie Murder. The ending was satisfying and I hadn’t pegged the killer exactly. The breadcrumbs were there, but the backstory didn’t slot into place until Fluke was ready to clue the reader in. These mysteries are all super satisfying because I keep my engagement level low and don’t worry too much about trying to solve it ahead of time. I’ve read/listened to enough of Fluke’s books now to feel fairly competent that I will be satisfied by the ending.

Thu 1/14: I made a teeny tiny bit of progress with In the Garden of Spite today. I went from 53% to 55%. I’m a little worried that I won’t have time to finish it and review it at this pace. It’s still a little repetitive at the moment. I have a good sense of who the main character is, but not a lot of sense for where the story is going. There’s still a lot of story left to go.

I started the next Hannah Swensen mystery this morning on audiobook. I made it almost 2 hours into Carrot Cake Murder. It’s off to a slower start, but it seems fairly predictable at the moment. It may be stretching believability a bit more than previous entries have been, with a character who left home years before but is instantly recognized when he returns. We’ll see.

Fri 1/15: I began reading Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine. I picked this one up specifically to meet the PopSugar Reading Challenge category: “A book found on a Black Lives Matter reading list”. I can’t say that I would have picked this one up otherwise, as I am not generally a fan of poetry. I made it about 40 pages in so far.

Sat 1/16: I finished reading Citizen: An American Lyric first thing this morning. It was a short book to get through, and I can’t say that I really understood all of it. The parts that I did understand however, felt very impactful. It’s a very emotional collection and the internalized nature of some of the entries hit me really hard. The parts that read like the voice in her head just rocked me since I felt like that was how the voice in my head sounded, but at the same time she was discussing scenarios that are completely different from anything that I have ever faced. It’s just a lot to process. It made me think, which is a gift that I am grateful for.

I also finished In the Garden of Spite today. The ending was both expected and a little bit of a surprise. From early on in the book, you can sense that some very bad things are going to have to happen and the trajectory seems pretty clear, but there was at least one large twist that caught me by surprise. I ended up rating this one 4 stars and I’ll be writing a full review pretty soon. This one is going to stick with me for a while.

I also started and finished a short story from Blake Crouch called Summer Frost. It’s part of a 6-book collection on Kindle Unlimited called the Forward Collection. I read the first book, Ark by Veronica Roth a few weeks back. They were both speculative science fiction pieces that highlight the potential paths that humanity might take with current scientific developments. Although they are both short, they pack quite a punch. I’m looking forward to continuing on with the series. The first two are not connected in any obvious way, so I’m curious to see if there will be something that ties all the stories together or if they will remain standalones going forward.

Lastly, I started Ring Shout by P. Djeli Clark today, but I only read about 22 pages. It’s a short book, so I look forward to finishing it in the next few days.

Sun 1/17: I only ended up reading about 10 pages in Ring Shout today. I had a pleasant day spent on other activities, and after a pretty productive reading day Saturday, I gave myself a little break. I also watched a lot of booktube. It just sucks you in. 🙂

2021 Reading Goals:

I made some goals for this year and you can check my ongoing progress on those here. I’m off to a pretty good start with these. I’m hoping to convert some of the sections into more visually-friendly charts pretty soon.

From the Library: This week I got a ton of books from the two libraries that I frequent. I need to work on impulse control a little bit, because it’s not reasonable that I will finish all of these before they are due…but in any case, here are the titles.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Dust by Kara Swanson

The Lost Fairy Tales by Anna James

I Hope You’re Listening by Tom Ryan

How Long ‘Til Black Future Month by N.K. Jemisin

Citizen by Claudia Rankine

Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth (I picked this one up for a reading challenge)

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett (I picked this one up for a read-a-long)

Ring Shout by P. Djeli Clark (I picked this one up to help with a 2021 reading goal)

The Map of Stories by Anna James

Happily Ever Afters by Elisa Bryant

Hello Readers! New year, new salutation. Let’s just try it on and see how it goes. For my first review of the new year, I’m bringing you a sweet debut YA contemporary that has a little romance, a little family tension, a couple of great friendships, and a heroine who has a lot to discover about her own self-worth. It’s a comforting read to start off the year and it had me both smiling and heartbroken in turns. I think there are characters in here that everyone can connect with and their experiences are authentic and important. This one comes out in a couple of days and I highly recommend it if you’re looking to escape and read something that has absolutely nothing to do with a pandemic.

Happily Ever Afters

Title: Happily Ever Afters

Author: Elise Bryant

Author website: (this website is super cute)

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/Harpercollins

Publish date: January 5, 2021

ISBN: 9780062982834

Buy the Book: Amazon, Barnes and Noble,


Tessa Johnson is a teen with a passion for writing romance stories. She started out with fanfiction but has graduated to long-form romance stories that she only lets one other person read, her best friend Caroline. When Tessa’s mom submits her stories to an ultra-selective private school in the town that they are moving to soon, Tessa is equal parts furious and excited. When she is accepted into the prestigious Chrysalis Academy for their creative writing program, she is thrilled to finally have the chance to spend her days writing and developing her craft.

This new school comes with extremely high expectations and Tessa has to face it all without her best friend for the first time. Add to that the pressures of moving to a new town and navigating new neighbors who aren’t as understanding about her older brother’s disabilities, and Tessa finds herself completely overwhelmed. She’s always had her writing to see her through the tough times, but when she gets a case of severe writer’s block, she is forced to face the idea that it may not only be her writing that isn’t good enough Chrysalis.

Fortunately for Tessa, there are a few people in this new town who immediately see her for who she is and who she can be. It will take all her new friends, her best friend, her family, and a few new love interests to get her “groove” back.

Why I liked it:

The characters are incredibly well-developed. I felt like they were each real people who had backstories, even if they were just side characters. It would have been easy for some of the characters to fall into stereotype territory, but each of their personalities were written so strongly that it just didn’t happen.

I also appreciated that all of the trauma and emotion that Tessa feels, as a part-time caregiver to a sibling with disabilities, as the daughter of parents who can’t always give her their full attention and occasionally ask a lot of her, and as a black girl in a predominately white town. I appreciate that we see a range of what allyship could look like and what it most definitely should not look like.

What I would like to change:

I wish there had been more justice for the wrongs that were done to Tessa. I know that justice is rare in the real world, but I like an unrealistic dose of it in my fiction.

Disclaimer: I received an electronic galley of this title from the publisher through NetGalley with the expectation of an honest review.

My library rating: There are a couple of cuss words in here, but there is very little else that I think would ruffle any feathers.

lemonade_iconlemonade_iconlemonade_iconlemonade_iconlemonade_icon5 glasses of lemonade= you could recommend this book to anyone.  There is nothing in here that is going to upset anyone and you could start handing it out on street corners. 

My personal preference rating: I gave this one 4.25 stars. I loved the concept, the characters, and the writing style. I’ll be recommending it to co-workers and friends alike.