Ariana’s Favorite Books of 2022

It’s that time of the year. Everyone decides to rank their favorites to show what they liked and perhaps to make you feel a little lackluster on the progress on TBR pile or wonder who has that much time to read 10 books in a month without ignoring other tasks entirely.

In previous years, I didn’t read as many books as I would’ve liked. This year? It honestly felt like two years were folded into one.

I will not put this in any specific order, just highlighting what I thought was good and allowing you to decide if it’s worth a peek.

Darryl by Jackie Ess

This book is written as journal entries from the point of view of our titular character Darryl. You are not supposed to like him, but as you continue to read, you empathize with a person who never got to know themselves until later in life. It can be a hard read at times. Darryl is emotionally immature, a poor communicator who is self-involved, easy to manipulate, and often makes poor choices. However, because they are complex, you keep reading in hopes of seeing them navigate the right path through the rough terrain ahead.

Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self: Stories by Danielle Evans

A collection of short stories, all from the perspective of mixed/Black characters as the protagonists. My favorite of the short stories was “Snakes”, a recounting of when a young mixed girl is forced to spend the summer with her white grandmother and the danger that follows soon after. The stories exude a sense of yearning to be known, seen, and understood. The complexity of loving someone out of your race, the awkwardness of adolescence dragged across the page, all these pieces make you acknowledge the voices of people that often don’t get heard.

How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu

This one has been all over BookTok, and for a good reason. It’s a fantastic read. The book handles its own pandemic, so be aware that if you’re attempting to flee from that reality, we’re still deep into it. It can be dreadfully sad at times and others hopeful. Beautifully written and well thought out, with each story linked to the others without becoming overwhelming.

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

If you haven’t heard of this book, are you okay? How did you find this blog? Jennette McCurdy’s voice rings clear, and it’s an interesting read that makes you think- maybe child actors shouldn’t be a thing.

The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan

This book was heart-wrenching. It was the only book I cried over in 2022. In a dystopian not-to-distant future, a young mother is forced into a government reform program to get custody of her daughter back. Topics of race, gender, and immigration are explored. Jessamine Chan gives the reader a novel that feels close to what Octavia E. Butler would have done with a softer touch and then pinches you with pain once you get too comfortable with the setting.


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