Reading has always been a way to get lost in another world. This year, there were more than enough new worlds to get lost in. Here is a list of new releases, one for every month of 2022.

January 11, A Flicker In The Dark by Stacy Willingham (4 stars)

Stacy Willingham’s debut thriller A Flicker In The Dark tells the story of a psychologist, Chloe, whose father admits to murdering six teenage girls. Twenty years later, when Chloe is 32, two more bodies are discovered. Chloe believes there is a copycat killer, and that they’re someone close to her. Although the writing is mediocre, the plot is fairly entertaining and unpredictable. Great for casual readers interested in mystery and psychological thrillers.

February 22, The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley (4 stars)

The Paris Apartment is a psychological thriller that tells the story of Jess, a girl running from her past to her half-brother Ben, who goes missing. True to the title, Ben’s apartment is in Paris, and the book follows Jess as she investigates the circumstances of his disappearance. The story takes a while to pick up the pace, but once it does, the storyline is interesting enough. I’d recommend this to anyone who regularly reads psychological thrillers told from multiple perspectives—keeping up can be a hassle for anyone who isn’t used to the format.

March 10, Gallant by V.E. Schwab (4.3 stars)

Gallant is a fantasy novel about Olivia Prior, a girl who is bullied at school following her mother’s disappearance. Olivia receives a letter from her uncle and goes to Gallant, her family’s estate. At this estate, she soon finds another realm, which brings a whole new set of problems. V. E. Schwab’s signature writing style is evident throughout the novel: elevated language details an interesting plot with unique circumstances. It best fits anyone who enjoys fantasy, as it’s easy to understand while still being engaging, and has unique plot elements that are uncommon even for its genre.

April 5, Sea of Tranquility by Emily Mandel (4.6 stars)

Sea of Tranquility is a truly gripping science fiction novel that features time travel to three distinct time periods. The story follows three main characters, each unique in their journey and the time period they visit. It’s a quiet story with a slow build. Emily Mandel’s style of writing recalls that of writers like Sally Rooney, and I would recommend it even for people who did not enjoy Mandel’s previous books, such as Glass Hotel and Station Eleven. This book is great for anyone who prefers slow-paced, well-written novels.

May 3, Book Lovers by Emily Henry (3.5 stars)

Book Lovers is a classic young adult romance novel. It tells the story of Nora, a stony, stubborn, emo-esque character meant to be the complete opposite of a heroine. We follow Nora’s journey as she lets her sister grow up and allows herself to pursue a romantic relationship with Charlie. This book is hit-or-miss. If you like modern romcom-feeling YA, this book is a nice light read. If you don’t like YA romance to begin with, however, this book will most likely be a bore as it doesn’t stand out.

June 23, Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score (3 stars)

Things We Never Got Over has been a big hit in the online book community, but don’t let this create high expectations for you. The main plot centers around “bad boy” Knox and his budding relationship with a runaway bride, a type of complicated that even Knox doesn’t usually associate with. It features the ‘sunshine girlfriend vs. grumpy boyfriend’ trope, which may be my favorite part. The book isn’t bad, simply overrated. It’s a good book for anyone interested in YA romance, but feels a bit generic and doesn’t live up to its hype.

July 12, The IT Girl by Ruth Ware (4.8 stars)

I finished this mystery novel in one sitting—it just keeps you turning the page. The story follows a group of friends at Oxford, one of whom dies during their freshman year. Ten years later, two members of the group are expecting a child when their friend’s convicted killer dies in jail. A journalist confronts them, revealing evidence that implies the convicted killer may be innocent. I’d recommend the novel even to those who haven’t read mystery or thriller genres before, because the friendship and main characters’ marriage make the plot intriguing.

August 30, Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid (4.6 stars)

Carrie Soto Is Back tells the story of Carrie Soto, a tennis superstar from Malibu Rising, a previous Reid book where Soto was a minor character. The novel follows Soto’s entire tennis career and her personal journey through it all. Although I know nothing about tennis, many readers have reported that the terminology, tournaments, and fictional stars’ lifestyles (in terms of nutrition and exercise) are accurate. The plot is a tad predictable, but the writing is extremely good. It also explores topics such as drive, success, and personal achievement in more depth than Carrie’s love life, which is a refreshing break from most popular YA novels.

September 6, Fairy Tale by Stephen King (3.8 stars)

This thriller features a seventeen-year old main character who finds a portal to another world after the death of someone he looked after. The novel is much more fantasy fiction than King’s usual thrillers. It takes a while to wrap your head around, but, generally, it’s great for any fan of fantasy willing to read longer titles.

October 4, The First To Die At The End by Adam Silvera (3.7 stars)

The sequel to They Both Die At The End follows a multiple-narrator format and is reminiscent of the first novel. The storyline is essentially the same as They Both Die At The End: two people sign up for the fictional network Death-Cast (which calls people and informs them of their death, which will occur in the next 24 hours) and end up falling in love. The novel has the same theme of embracing yourself, and nothing new is really discovered about Death-Cast. It can definitely be read as a stand-alone. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who didn’t like the first book, as it’s essentially the same storyline with different characters.

November 15, The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama (4.4 stars)

Michelle Obama’s second book, following her debut memoir Becoming, is a self-help book in the form of stories. We dive into her self-doubt and anxiety, seeing her coping mechanisms and the tools she uses to calm down. The book lends itself to stories of family and friends who help through a multitude of certain situations throughout the book. The stories occur at different time periods, but all provide a great insight into Obama’s life, including her early childhood. It’s great for someone looking for a self-help book that doesn’t feel condescending.

December 6, Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion by Bushra Rehmen (4 stars)

Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion follows the story of a queer Pakistani Muslim woman in the ‘80s. It has a unique blend of traditional and modern ideology, in terms of music, fashion, and societal norms. The protagonist Razia goes to a prestigious school in Manhattan, where she discovers more about herself and falls in love with a girl. The protagonist goes through a lot of discovery and struggle as she balances her faith, heritage, parental expectations, and sexuality. The book just seems very realistic, especially characters’ reactions to certain situations, and I enjoyed that the ending wasn’t just a “lived happily ever after” write-off. The book dives into religious, cultural, and familial clashes on certain topics that are definitely more logical than most books in this sub-genre of Muslim LGBTQ coming-of-age novels.

Malika is a senior and second-year journalist. In her free time, she likes to read and listen to music. Malika is also involved in soccer and website design.

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