2022 Book Review


Brina Crellin, Co-Editor-in-Chief '25

I read 37 books in 2022, and my goal for 2023 is 50. To many people, this number seems crazy, either too little or way too big. While I am sure I read more during the 2022 season, because of school, these books were my personal choice and reflected on me as a person and my interests. In this article, I am going to give you a quick highlight of some of these books, whether I absolutely loved them or hated them.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

I wanted to love this book, I really did. After hearing so many great reviews and even my mother telling me that it was amazing, I had extremely high hopes. Sadly, I came out of this book absolutely regretting it. As a fan of mysteries, this novel seemed to lack a true piece of the mystery element. Yes, there was a complete plot twist at the end, but was it satisfactory? No, no it was not. I felt bored. I felt like there were so many questions brought up that were left unanswered. I also was not a fan of the writing style. When it comes to reading, the writing style is a huge hit or miss for people. Some can like one style, while others can absolutely loathe it. In this instance, I loathed it. Overall, I rated this book 1/5 stars. 

Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica

Wow. I read this book in a day and a half, sitting on a beach during Spring Break. After visiting the famous Judy Bloom’s bookstore in Key West, Florida, I walked back to our hotel with this book in a bag. Immediately I started to read it. I was blown away by the concept of this novel. It was a gruesome and dark read, but that is what made it so interesting. It was filled with many psychological reflections about humanity that really made me wonder. I loved the way Bazterrica wrote the main character. I loved that there was a backstory, but it did not take up the entire novel. I felt connected to the main character, though I will not disclose if I pity him or not, and I felt as though I understood the inner workings of his persona. The ending was magnificent. I was honestly not expecting it, which is an even better conclusion. I rated this book 5/5 stars. 

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Before I go into this book, I want to stress that if you have any interest in this book, please read the trigger warnings online. This is not a light book at all. With that being said, it was still one of my favorite books of the year. Hanya Yanagihara is a phenomenal author and a beautiful storyteller. What I liked about this book were the emotions that Yanagihara conveyed through his words. I have never felt more wounded by a book before. My heart broke right alongside each of the characters. The only downside to this book is the extremely heavy content that it covers. While it almost seems unnecessary to write a book like this, I actually really enjoyed the rawness of what humans can do to each other and how things can impact a person throughout their entire life. I rated this book 5/5 stars. 

Diary of an Oxygen Thief by Anonymous

This infamous book, which briefly went popular on TikTok for while, was the worst book I have ever read in my entire life. I hated every minute of it. I had such high hopes for this book. The first two pages, which are the pages that went viral, were amazing. They had so much potential in them and I was ready to sit down and read a good book. Boy, I was completely wrong. This book absolutely sucked. There was basically no plot, the main character is boring and insufferable, and the writing was not even that good. Of the number of people saying they liked this, I was shocked by the writing itself. I gave this book 1/5 stars. 

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

I read this book for my English Independent Reading project and fell in love with it. It is such a heartwarming and heartbreaking story. Reading this as a girl in the middle of high school was an experience. Clearly, this book was written for mothers and daughters and can be interpreted in both those ways. The conversations about family, race, and relationships in this book are extremely well-written and realistic. I loved the contrast between the two main families and the way that not everything is as it seems. There was an element of mystery, but it was just enough that the book did not feel like a true mystery novel, but rather a more contemporary and domestic novel. I rated this book 5/5 stars. 

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Again, with this novel, please look up the trigger warnings before deciding to read this book. This was one of the middle-ground novels I read last year. The author seemed to have the right idea with this book, but parts of it had the wrong execution. It is very hard to write a book with the topic she chose to write about (which I will not be saying, you can look that up for yourself), and in certain instances, she writes things very well but in others, she does not. I applaud Russell for taking such a dramatic stance with this book, but I do think she could have written it better. There were some moments in the plot where I became confused and was left with no explanation. At other times, I wanted to scream at the main character. I think overall this book is one that is trying to convey real-life experiences but falls short of accuracy. I rated this book 3/5 stars. 

While these were not all the books that I read in 2022, these were the ones I found most noteworthy. As another reminder/warning, please, please, please look up trigger warnings for some of these books. I did review some heavy books and cannot stress enough to go into them prepared rather than blind. 

Overall, I am a huge reader (and a bit of a writer). While these were only a small fraction of the books I read, I felt like they were the most note-worthy ones. I would like to give a brief thanks to all of my Lower School teachers who helped me find this passion and the love I have for books. It all started in Lower School and has truly branched out into something I can never get rid of.