Can’t get enough of BookTok? Me either. That’s why I reached out to seven book influencers from TikTok to ask them about their favourite book from 2022—and they had some great recommendations.
Let’s dive in!
As a creative person and lifelong fan of video games, this book was made for me. But, at heart, it’s a story for everyone who has loved a friend or a partner deeply and completely.
It’s about being known and adored and hated for your best and worst parts by someone who understands every piece of you. It’s equal parts true to life and heartbreaking—the kind of book that makes you angry that you only have the opportunity to read it for the first time once in your life. Sadie, Sam, and Marx were pieces of me on and after the final page, and I think about them often.
This is a story that I really believe the whole world could benefit from reading, and I can’t imagine a better book to kickstart your 2023.
Alone with you in the Ether is one of the best love stories I’ve read in a long time. The novel explores the relationship between two very layered and nuanced characters. It’s a deep story about love, time, art, and space. It’s about loving someone when you yourself are broken. It’s a story that feels like it never ended but when it did it felt like it was beginning again.
I believe everyone should read this book at least once in their lives because not every reader reads it the same as the other.
The best book I read last year was In the Dream House, a memoir chronicling a queer woman’s experience through an abusive relationship. While that sounds like an emotionally taxing read (not not true), what stands out is a deep sense of awe at this piece of art that came from so much pain.
The memoir unfolds through a series of experimental sequences where the author reimagines her experience as different tropes, different narrative structures, and even including historical context for queer relationships. This reads like a friend telling you a long story with ebbs and flows of relevance that, once you get to the end, paint the full picture.
Heartbreaking, powerful, inspiring; In the Dream House should be required reading.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo beautifully capsulated the highs and lows of money, power, and fame. The deep dive into Golden Age Hollywood is fascinating to read about and the glamourous but tragic life of Evelyn Hugo makes for a page-turning read. The relationship within this book is heart-breaking and passionate and will not leave you with dry eyes. This book will have you hooked from page two as you delve deep into the lives of the rich and famous. However, nothing is ever as good as it seems…
It’s always so hard to pick just one, but my favourite from 2022 was They Never Learn by Layne Fargo. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I finished!
Personally, I think every woman should read this book! For me, it was so empowering and had so many things I love in a thriller. A dark academia setting, “good for her” vibes, twists that shocked and blindsided me, LGBTQ representation. I couldn’t read it fast enough but I also never wanted it to end.
I think it’s best to go in knowing as little as possible about the plot, but if you ever find yourself needing to read a satisfying book about awful men getting exactly the justice they deserve, They Never Learn is not one you’ll want to miss!
If you’ve ever tried looking into Western African—in this case, Nigerian—history without the aid of someone from the country or from the diaspora, it can be rather difficult. I have found that a majority of their lore and legend is passed down orally through story, and so I inhaled the lore and myth interwoven within the pages of Son of the Storm.
The story explores a fictionalized, pre-colonial Western Africa following several characters, with unique, distinctive voices that show how the empire of Oon affects everyone differently, but nonetheless oppresses everyone. However, some of the characters have not quite grasped that concept yet, and well, if you read it you shall understand.
It also provides a lens not typically seen in the western canon, where darker skin is revered, referred to as “High Black” or “High Brown” in the books in lieu of the “lesser” “Low Brown”. To be clear, the author does not glorify the separation and there is vast commentary on colorism, privilege, sexuality (since society is pro-procreation in a non-modern context), and the pressures and isolation of being mixed or othered in society, due to your lineage and complexion.
It’s an intense character study, filled with fantastical elements, vengeful characters, the desire for knowledge and the dangers that follow, and steep choices accompanied by harrowing consequences. If you want to see the classical unlikely hero and hero’s journey subverted and refreshed, I would highly recommend reading this one.
As a bonus, the sequel, Warrior of the Wind, is releasing in November 2023, so now is a great time to dive in.
I think that other people should read it because it is the perfect cozy fantasy book. Sometimes I find high fantasy a little too heavy but I’m not always in the mood for another genre so I love to be able to read a fantasy book that has low stakes but is very fun to read. Essentially, it is about an orc opening a coffee shop with their found family. I loved it so much as well as so many other people on BookTok. It’s perfect for avid fantasy readers or people who don’t really read a lot of fantasy at all.
Want more? Here are the most anticipated reads from these book influencers that you can also add to your TBR in 2023: