Books

2022 Reading: Our Favorites + Future Book Plans

Hi everyone! Emma here. :) I wanted to sit down and provide an update on all the reading we’ve been doing over here at Casa Wicks. All of us have managed to read a bit this month and we wanted to share some of our FAVORITE books that we’ve picked up so far in 2022!

One of my resolutions this year is to read more – I read almost 40 books last year. This year, my goal is to read 50 books. I definitely think I will hit my goal as I’ve already read plenty this month! Do you have a reading goal?

In this blog, I’m going to share all of the books we’ve read so far this year (plus a few that I read at the end of last year) and share some of our most anticipated books that we’re excited to read that are coming out this year. Please let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of these books and or if you have other recommendations that we should check out!

Books We’ve Read:

Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney

Rating: 4/5 Stars, Genre: Literary Fiction, Published By: Farrar, Straus & Giroux

First I have to talk about Sally Rooney’s most recent novel that published in September. I absolutely LOVE Sally Rooney. She is an Irish author who has stolen my heart with her unique writing style (no quotation marks) and relationship building. This specific book centers on our 4 main characters: Alice, Felix, Eileen and Simon who live in Ireland. They are most definitely regular people who live somewhat tedious millenial-esque lives. Their relationships are all intertwined with friendship and love affairs and there is no real POINT or plot to the story. Honestly, I loved it.. the writing of letters from one character to the other made it more interesting for me. I know it’s been getting some mixed reviews: approx 3.7/5 on Goodreads but I really enjoyed it and recommend it. Click here to order.

2022 Reading: Our favorite books from the end of 2021 and beginning of this year. All of our best reads and anticipated reads of the year!

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Rating: 4/5 Stars, Genre: Thriller, Published By: St. Martin’s Press

I LOVED this book!! It’s a modern retelling of Jane Eyre set in Alabama.. think Southern Gothic rich people vibes. Super clever and the characters were fascinating to read about. It published in January 2021, so another recent read. Let me share the synopsis:

A delicious twist on a Gothic classic, The Wife Upstairs pairs Southern charm with atmospheric domestic suspense, perfect for fans of B.A. Paris and Megan Miranda.

Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates––a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name.

But her luck changes when she meets Eddie Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie––not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for.

Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past––or his––catches up to her?

So good! Click here to order.

2022 Reading: Our favorite books from the end of 2021 and beginning of this year. All of our best reads and anticipated reads of the year!

28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand

Rating: 5/5 Stars, Genre: Romance, Fiction, Published By: Little Brown & Co

Oh. my. God. THIS BOOOOOOOK. One of my favorite reads, ever? And it was one of my last reads of 2021 and ended the year on such a good note. This book was everything. It had steamy romance, heartbreak, happiness, love, tears. Y’all. It killed me. I remember crying quietly while trying to read in the dark while Zach was sleeping. Seriously, just pick up this book. Go in blind. I promise you’ll love it. Click here to order.

2022 Reading: Our favorite books from the end of 2021 and beginning of this year. All of our best reads and anticipated reads of the year!

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

Rating: 4/5 Stars, Genre: Thriller/Mystery, Published By: Park Row

Hi! Another juicy thriller that I really enjoyed. It was published in May 2021, so once again, a recent book. I received a ton of messages when I said I was going to read this book.. so many of you also loved it! Here’s the synopsis…

Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.Now, 11 years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they’ll find….In this smart and chilling thriller, master of suspense and New York Times best-selling author Mary Kubica takes domestic secrets to a whole new level, showing that some people will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried.

Loved it! Click here to order.

2022 Reading: Our favorite books from the end of 2021 and beginning of this year. All of our best reads and anticipated reads of the year!

We Run The Tides by Vendela Vida

Rating: 4/5, Genre: Psychological Fiction, Published By: Ecco

One of my really good friends recommended this book to me, and it didn’t disappoint. Set in 1980’s San Francisco, our main character is a high schooler in the affluent (and foggy) Sea Cliff community with views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Hijinks ensue when one of the main character’s best friends goes missing, but that isn’t really the MAIN storyline. It’s more about the lifestyle, relationships and description of a pre tech-boom San Francisco on the cusp of change. I loved this book.. I know it’s not for everyone, but I found it to be fantastic.

Synopsis: Teenage Eulabee and her magnetic best friend, Maria Fabiola, own the streets of Sea Cliff, their foggy oceanside San Francisco neighborhood. They know Sea Cliff’s homes and beaches, its hidden corners and eccentric characters—as well as the upscale all-girls’ school they attend. One day, walking to school with friends, they witness a horrible act—or do they? Eulabee and Maria Fabiola vehemently disagree on what happened, and their rupture is followed by Maria Fabiola’s sudden disappearance—a potential kidnapping that shakes the quiet community and threatens to expose unspoken truths.        Suspenseful and poignant, We Run the Tides is Vendela Vida’s masterful portrait of an inimitable place on the brink of radical transformation. Pre–tech boom San Francisco finds its mirror in the changing lives of the teenage girls at the center of this story of innocence lost, the pain of too much freedom, and the struggle to find one’s authentic self. Told with a gimlet eye and great warmth, We Run the Tides is both a gripping mystery and a tribute to the wonders of youth, in all its beauty and confusion. 

Click here to order.

2022 Reading: Our favorite books from the end of 2021 and beginning of this year. All of our best reads and anticipated reads of the year!

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

Rating: 5/5 Stars, Genre: Young Adult/Mystery, Published by: Electric Monkey

Don’t let the “Young Adult” genre scare you away from a GREAT thriller. I LOVED IT! Especially for those of you who aren’t into super dark/gorey-type thrillers.. this book is for you! I loved everything about this book: the mystery was solid, the characters were fun, writing was perfect and the “twist” was a surprise for me. I liked this book so much that I even read the sequel directly after (which I rated a 4/5!). I promise you, you’ll like this book!

Synopsis: The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it. But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth?

Click here to order.

2022 Reading: Our favorite books from the end of 2021 and beginning of this year. All of our best reads and anticipated reads of the year!

Spilled Milk by K.L. Randis

Rating: 4/5 Stars, Genre:  Psychological Fiction (but really, Non-Fiction), Published by: Self Published

Trigger Warning: Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Assault

I ordered this book from an author on TikTok last year (I know, I know, but wait before you judge!) after hearing her incredible story. This book did NOT disappoint, it was seriously incredible. The author says this book is fiction so she won’t be sued. In actuality this story is about her life growing up in an abusive household where she was sexually abused by her father. The strength of this woman has inspired me. Warning – this will more than likely make you angry and upset with how many times CPS doesn’t do anything to help children in these types of scenarios. Her story sounds like it’s straight out of a movie.. truly crazy. The writing was incredibly smart, poignant, and I couldn’t put it down. I read this book in one day!

Synopsis: Brooke Nolan is a battered child who makes an anonymous phone call about the escalating brutality in her home.When social services jeopardize her safety condemning her to keep her father’s secret, it’s a glass of spilled milk at the dinner table that forces her to speak about the cruelty she’s been hiding. In her pursuit for safety and justice Brooke battles a broken system that pushes to keep her father in the home.When jury members and a love interest congregate to inspire her to fight, she risks losing the support of family and comes to the realization that some people simply do not want to be saved.Spilled Milk is a novel of shocking narrative, triumph and resiliency.

Click here to order.

2022 Reading: Our favorite books from the end of 2021 and beginning of this year. All of our best reads and anticipated reads of the year!

The Overnight Guest by Heather Gudenkauf.

Rating: 4/5 Stars, Genre: Thriller/Mystery, Published By: Park Row

I was sent this eBook as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) from Park Row Publishing & NetGalley in exchange for an honest review (Thank you!!!) and I absolutely loved it. It publishes on January 25th! This thriller is the perfect winter-y book to cozy up with a warm throw at home. The Overnight Guest was really well-written, exciting, even scary at times! I actually read a lot of this book late at night and I found that I was creeping myself out, which means that the thriller I’m reading is doing it’s job. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys an “author going away to write and discovers a mystery” kind of book. I couldn’t put it down!

Things about this novel that I loved:
– The fast-paced writing style made it really easy to binge quickly, I tore through this book in just a couple of sittings.
– The 3 main character arc’s were interesting and fun to follow. (There wasn’t one that I specifically didn’t like which was fun).
– The winter setting for the MAIN story arc was creepy and perfect for a winter read.

Synopsis: True crime writer Wylie Lark doesn’t mind being snowed in at the isolated farmhouse where she’s retreated to write her new book. A cozy fire, complete silence. It would be perfect, if not for the fact that decades earlier, at this very house, two people were murdered in cold blood and a girl disappeared without a trace. As the storm worsens, Wylie finds herself trapped inside the house, haunted by the secrets contained within its walls–haunted by secrets of her own. Then she discovers a small child in the snow just outside. After bringing the child inside for warmth and safety, she begins to search for answers. But soon it becomes clear that the farmhouse isn’t as isolated as she thought, and someone is willing to do anything to find them.

Click here to pre-order.

2022 Reading: Our favorite books from the end of 2021 and beginning of this year. All of our best reads and anticipated reads of the year!

Moment in Time by Suzanne Redfearn

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars, Genre: Domestic Fiction, Published by: Lake Union Publishing

Content Warning: Rape, Assault, Suicidal Discussion

This is the first book that I’ve read by Suzanne Redfearn. What I didn’t know is that this book is technically a follow up story to the author’s widely popular book “In an Instant”, bringing back multiple characters from that story. It publishes in March. I was so excited to read it because of it’s main themes, and that the book is set in San Francisco 🌉! I live in San Francisco and really appreciated all of the tidbits/local spots this author described. Tip: You can definitely read this book as a stand-alone novel but I highly recommend reading “In an Instant” first so you learn more of the backstory surrounding the main characters. ☁️ ☁️ ☁️

I have to mention that I was confused with the amount of side characters, side plot lines and timelines, there was a LOT going on with this book. A couple of the main characters were unlikable at times – I particularly enjoyed Chloe’s timeline and found her endearing to read about. 🐶 🤍

I found the main plot line of the book in which a character was raped very important and relevant for discussions in 2021. I thought the author did a great job describing how victims of sexual violence may think and feel after the occurrence. I was very interested in THIS storyline (more than some of the others) after reading the author’s note on why Suzanne wrote this story.. it helped me understand why she wrote this book in the first place.

Overall, I recommend this book to anyone who read “In an Instant”, to those who are interested in a bit of a mystery surrounding someone getting drugged, and about a band of misfit friends going through life in San Francisco. Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for sending me an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review.

Click here to pre-order.

2022 Reading: Our favorite books from the end of 2021 and beginning of this year. All of our best reads and anticipated reads of the year!

For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing

Rating: 4/5 Stars, Genre: Thriller/Mystery, Published By: Berkley

Such a solid mystery/thriller novel from Samantha Downing! I was pleasantly surprised with the unique and interesting plot – not as many thrillers are set up in the way that this one is. (Don’t want to give away too many spoilers). The only reason why this isn’t a 5/5 is because I think there were a bit toooo many deaths of relevant characters that we became affiliated with, which made this feel more like a slasher type book. The setting – a bougee high school for the smartest and most gifted teens was interesting & perfect for the different shenanigans happening. I always love this kind of setting. The main plot and character, teacher Teddy was very interesting and once again, unique. Very solid thriller for anyone who wants to break away from the “my husband has a secret” kind of thrillers/mysteries! 📚🏫 ✏️

Synopsis: Teddy Crutcher has won Teacher of the Year at the esteemed Belmont Academy, home to the best and brightest. He says his wife couldn’t be more proud—though no one has seen her in a while. Teddy really can’t be bothered with the death of a school parent that’s looking more and more like murder or the student digging a little too deep into Teddy’s personal life. His main focus is on pushing these kids to their full academic potential. All he wants is for his colleagues—and the endlessly meddlesome parents—to stay out of his way. It’s really too bad that sometimes excellence can come at such a high cost.

Click here to order.

2022 Reading: Our favorite books from the end of 2021 and beginning of this year. All of our best reads and anticipated reads of the year!

One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle

Rating: 5/5 Stars, Genre: Fiction/Romance, Published By: Atria Books

Another OMG read. You guys… what a way to start the year. This book is truly perfect, I absolutely loved it. This novel by Rebecca Serle beat all expectations for me – did I mention I absolutely LOVED it?! Everything you could ever want from a book, this basically has: beautiful & deep emotional relationships, descriptions of heart-wrenching loss (if anyone has lost someone close to them they will understand what the main character is going through), heart beating romance, stunning descriptions of the Amalfi Coast in Italy.. (I genuinely felt like I was there experiencing this adventure with the main character), mouth-watering food in every chapter… and so much more. I think unless you have a close relationship with your mom, you might not understand the co-dependent relationship our main character has with her mom who recently passed. I completely understand and have this kind of relationship with my mom so I really connected with it and found it beautiful. It made me sad and introspective, which is what I want a book like this to do. 📚 It was an overall beautiful read, amazing writing, stunning setting.. what more could you want? ❤️‍🩹 This was a 5/5 read for me, and a book under 300 pages that captures my heart this quickly is worth that rating. When this book comes out on March 1, run – don’t walk!

Synopsis: When Katy’s mother dies, she is left reeling. Carol wasn’t just Katy’s mom, but her best friend and first phone call. She had all the answers and now, when Katy needs her the most, she is gone. To make matters worse, their planned mother-daughter trip of a lifetime looms: two weeks in Positano, the magical town Carol spent the summer right before she met Katy’s father. Katy has been waiting years for Carol to take her, and now she is faced with embarking on the adventure alone. But as soon as she steps foot on the Amalfi Coast, Katy begins to feel her mother’s spirit. Buoyed by the stunning waters, beautiful cliffsides, delightful residents, and, of course, delectable food, Katy feels herself coming back to life. And then Carol appears—in the flesh, healthy, sun-tanned, and thirty years old. Katy doesn’t understand what is happening, or how—all she can focus on is that she has somehow, impossibly, gotten her mother back. Over the course of one Italian summer, Katy gets to know Carol, not as her mother, but as the young woman before her. She is not exactly who Katy imagined she might be, however, and soon Katy must reconcile the mother who knew everything with the young woman who does not yet have a clue

Thank you to Atria Books & NetGalley for the advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

Click here to pre-order!

2022 Reading: Our favorite books from the end of 2021 and beginning of this year. All of our best reads and anticipated reads of the year!

American Girl by Wendy Walker

Rating: 3.5/5, Genre: Thriller, Published by: Audible

Walker listened to this book on Audible this month (it’s a free Audible original!). She described it as predictable, but still a fun read! “I really only listened to American Girl because it was free and I used all my points for the month but was surprised how good it was for a free book. The narrator was good which is very important to me. I will say there was one cringe part (there’s a man who helps narrate one chapter and he over did it, but anyone who listens to books knows that can happen when people are voice acting.) I liked all the characters and appreciated how the author tied up all the loose ends but the plot line was predictable. Still a fun listen.”

Synopsis: A pulse-pounding novel about a small-town business owner found dead and the teenage girl caught in the crosshairs, American Girl is the latest thriller from international best-selling author Wendy Walker. Charlie Hudson, an autistic 17-year-old, is determined to leave Sawyer, PA, as soon as she graduates high school – in the meantime, she works as many hours as she can at a sandwich shop called The Triple S to save money for college. But when shop owner Clay Cooper – a man who is both respected and feared by many in this economically depressed community – is found dead, each member of his staff becomes a suspect in the perplexing case. Charlie must work to protect herself and her friends and uncover the danger that may still be at large in their tightknit community.

Click here to listen.

Books We’re Looking Forward To:

Let me know what you think about my our 2022 reading post! xo Click here to read more of my book reviews & here for previous blog posts.

Best,
Emma


Thoughts?

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26 thoughts on “2022 Reading: Our Favorites + Future Book Plans

  1. Love all the recommendations, looking forward to reading something new. I loved the book Verity you recommended earlier, it was brilliant.

  2. Thanks for your recommendations. There are quite a few I want to read. Have you read Pack Up the Moon by Kristan Higgins? I LOVED this book but it’s sad. One of her best books though.

  3. Thank you for all these recommendations!!! Checked out Local Woman Missing at my local library as soon as I saw your story Emma. I’m so glad I did! I was hooked and finished it in two sittings. Looking forward to One Italian Summer. ⭐️Thank you!

  4. Thank you so much for the reviews. I love a good book review!
    The only one on your list that I’ve read was 28 Summers, and I felt exactly the same as you. Loved, loved, loved it!! Did you read the short follow up to it? I forget the title, but it was good, just short.
    I look forward to reading some of the others on the list. Keep the reviews coming 🙂❤️

  5. I appreciate your book reviews i used to love reading when i was younger and got caught up with life and now trying to take time for myself i just read The last thing he told me by Laura dave and it was such a page turner for me and the first book I read in years and in only a few days of reading time ….thank you for somewhere to look for guidance on book recommendations

  6. Love your book reviews! Just ordered the wife upstairs, verity, spilled milk and a good girls guide to murder! Nervous to order missing girl as it may be too scary? What do you think? Xox

    1. Hi Ashley – Eeek! Yay so glad you found some options. Missing Girl wasn’t as scary as you’d think. At the very beginning the first plotline is a little dark and scary but nothing crazy.

  7. Thanks so much! I can’t wait to read these suggestions. I love to read but have had a little dry spell with books so I can’t wait to get reading!📚

  8. Loooove your book recommendations. Can you in any way put out your entire title list for 2021 with 1-5 stars. I am always limited for time to read but love it! I want to start with 5 stars and pick the best ones !

  9. What a great list! I’m a big fan of mystery/thrillers and have read many of these, but I look forward to reading many you of the others you recommended! Thank you for sharing these11

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