Kate’s Favorite Reads of 2022: Picks 5-1

Another a year, another almost impossible task trying to each choose our Top 10 Reads of the year! Like past years I won’t be including re-reads, sometimes my opinion of a book could change and evolve after I had read it, so some surprises may be up near the top, as well as perhaps a book or two that didn’t make my reviews on here initially due to genre limitations. But here they are, ready for a countdown! And since it’s the end of the reading year, don’t forget to enter our “Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway”! Today I’m going to countdown my favorite reads, five to one. 

5. “The Violence” by Delilah S. Dawson

“The Violence” Review

This was one of my first 10 star ratings of 2022, and boy was I in for a wild ride from start to finish. It was also the first mysterious plague novel that I could read in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which, to me, was a symbol of my emotional coping becoming more robust. In this thriller, a mysterious illness infects people and makes them apoplectically violent, where they have absolutely no control over their faculties. And stay at home mom Chelsea, who is trapped in a violent marriage and fears for herself and her daughters, sees it as a way to get rid of her husband once and for all. But things don’t go according to plan, and now Chelsea and her daughters are separated and trying to survive. It’s an action packed thrill ride, and I loved all of the center stage female characters, from Chelsea to her daughters to her complicated mother.

4. “House of Hunger” by Alexis Henderson

“House of Hunger” Review

I loved Alexis Henderson’s previous novel “The Year of the Witching”, so I was of COURSE very interested to see what she would do next. And “House of Hunger” was yet another unsettling and dread filled and unique take on another of my favorite sub genres: the vampire horror. But much like “The Year of the Witching”, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Marion is an impoverished woman, barely making ends meet and being abused by her ill brother. So when she is approached to become a Blood Maid to an aristocratic and enigmatic woman, where she is guaranteed riches and security, she jumps at the chance to start over. Soon she is her mistress’s favorite, her blood being her chosen nourishment. But then Marion starts to wonder what exactly happened to the other Blood Maids in the House of Hunger. Henderson doesn’t ever write the word ‘vampire’ in this book, but the mythos is there, though it is unique and imaginative. And so, so creepy.

3. “The Weight of Blood” by Tiffany D. Jackson

“The Weight of Blood” Review

Tiffany D. Jackson is a favorite author of mine, and way back when when I found out she was doing a “Carrie” reimagining I am pretty sure I shrieked in glee. And she knocked this reinterpretation out of the park, making it her own with new characters and themes involving identity, race, and bigotry. Madison has been white passing her entire life, but when an unpredicted rain storm reveals that she is, in fact, Black, her already shunned status is now tinged with racist attacks from her classmates. When her torment goes viral, some in charge of the Prom want to rehabilitate the school’s image, and decides to host the first integrated Prom the town has seen. Meanwhile, Madison is starting to realize that she has strange powers. And when the popular quarterback asks her to the dance, it sets off a chain of events that fans of “Carrie” will find VERY familiar. I loved this book. It’s my favorite of Jackson’s books, hands down.

2. “White Horse” by Erika T. Wurth

“White Horse” Review

This one was a bit of a surprise for me, if only because I was a bit late to the game in figuring out it was a book I wanted to read. It had gone under my radar for awhile, and then when it did come across my consciousness I basically requested it and read it pretty quickly without the anticipation of a long awaited release. But “White Horse” almost immediately connected with me, and I ended up really, really loving it. Kari is an urban Indian who loves metal music, Stephen King books, and spending her evenings at The White Horse bar. She tries not to think about the mother who abandoned her just days after her birth. So when her cousin gives her a bracelet she found that used to belong to her mother, Kari isn’t super enthralled. But then she starts having visions of her mother. As well as something far more monstrous. This ghost story is scary as hell, and also has some very poignant themes about motherhood, family, and generational trauma. It’s phenomenal.

1 . “The Pallbearers Club” by Paul Tremblay

“The Pallbearers Club” Review

I knew this was going to be my favorite read of the year the moment I finished it. I was basically weeping uncontrollably and saying to myself ‘oh my God’ over and over. Paul Tremblay always breaks me, but this was a special kind of broken. And who would have thought I’d be so broken over a faux memoir with snarky peanut gallery comments from a woman who may or may not be a vampire. This is the memoir of Art Barbara, a man who had spent his teenage years sickly and lonely. That is, until he met Mercy, a mysterious woman that joined his high school community service group that would be pallbearers and mourners at the funerals of those who had no one. Mercy is cool and enigmatic, and Art adores her. But their friendship is clouded by the fact that he thinks that she may, in fact, be a vampire. And as it ebbs and flows over the years, Art is both scared of her and drawn to her. And Mercy, unwilling to stand by as he tells HIS side of the story, has notes for his book. It’s hard to know what the truth is in this book. But I highly, HIGHLY recommend checking it out to draw your own conclusions.

So that’s it! My Top 5 of 2022! What have been some of your favorite reads of 2022?

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