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15 Best Books I’ve Read This Year

A special hello to my fellow bookworms this morning! I have a book roundup post for you guys today and this one focuses on the best books I’ve read so far this year — fifteen of them!

I often share my Book reviews and recent reads in my weekly Thing I’m Loving Friday blog posts but I know they get lost easily and it is my hope that having a single blog post you can easily reference the next time you’re looking for a good book to read will prove helpful.

Today’s blog post is a roundup of the books I’ve read in 2022 that received a “B+” rating from me or better. As you can see below, I get on author kicks and end up reading a lot of books by the same author when I find a winner I Love. I’ve also clearly gravitated toward easy, breezy reads this year so if you love novels in this genre, you’re in luck! I hope you find something new to add to your reading list from the books mentioned below.

Note: You may also find a bunch of the books I recommend in the Books section of my Peanut Butter Fingers Amazon Storefront!

Best Books I’ve Read This Year

  • LIFE’S TOO SHORT BY ABBY JIMENEZ

My rating: A

Life’s Too Short was recommended by so many of you and I’m so glad I read this one. It was an “A” book through and through. Life’s Too Short is like a romantic comedy in book form but with a heavy dose of heart and soul. I loved it!

When a screaming baby awakes Adrian Copeland and his sleeping girlfriend, he reluctantly pads down the hall of his apartment building to ask his neighbor to take the baby into a room that doesn’t share a wall with his bedroom. He’s greeted by an exhausted and flustered Vanessa Price and ends up offering to hold the baby she’s fostering for her half-sister and encouraging her to take a shower. Vanessa, a YouTube celebrity unknown to Adrian, is shocked. The hot lawyer next door is also a baby whisperer!? Vanessa finds herself even more surprised by the days and weeks that follow their late-night encounters — days that include a whole lot of time with Adrian, time that is leading to feelings she’s promised herself she’d never feel, as she’s facing something big that makes her future increasingly uncertain.

  • THE LAST TIME I LIED BY RILEY SAGER

My rating: A

I read this book in two sittings thanks to long travel days to and from Idaho last weekend. Having read and enjoyed Final Girls by Riley Sager (in a twisted kind of way), I had high hopes for The Last Time I Lied, a thriller by the same author. He knocked it out of the park with this one and I was invested in the story from the very beginning. I love a good thriller and when that thriller comes along with not one but two big twists, I’m all the more excited.

The Last Time I Lied begins 15 years after the disappearance of Vivian, Natalie and Allison, three teenage girls who, in the middle of the night, sneakily left Dogwood, their cabin at Camp Nightingale, and never came back. Emma bunked up with the three missing girls in Dogwood and is forever changed by the disappearance of her friends. Fifteen years later Emma is an artist on the rise and unbeknownst to her clientele, hides her three missing friends in every one of her paintings. When the owner of Camp Nightingale purchases one of Emma’s paintings and invites her to return to the camp that still haunts her, Emma is conflicted.

Emma eventually agrees to attend the camp as a painting instructor and is surprised to find Camp Nightingale mostly unchanged. Her childhood crush is there, a counselor she remembers is there… but the security camera pointing directly at her old cabin is new, as are the creepy and increasingly questionable things that begin to happen all around her. Will returning to Camp Nightingale offer Emma answers to her lingering questions or is going back to the place she left 15 years ago a very, very bad idea?

  • LOVE AND OTHER WORDS BY CHRISTINA LAUREN

My rating: A

Fast forward eleven years and Macy and Elliot haven’t spoken since one night more than a decade ago changed everything. When they bump into each other at a coffee shop, feelings rush back — feelings that could change everything, including Macy’s engagement to prominent artist and the first man she’s felt comfortable with since Elliot.

The story is equal parts beautiful and romantic but the parts of the novel that really gripped at my heart centered around the way the authors wrote about teenage love, firsts and first relationships. It was so honest and pure and beautiful and I absolutely loved reading about Macy and Elliot’s young love. As the novel jumps to the present day, the plot was interesting enough to keep me engaged the entire time but the flashback portions of Love and Other Words will be what I remember most from this romantic read.

  • THE FRIEND ZONE BY ABBY JIMENEZ

My rating: B+

After a few of you recommended Abby Jimenez’s books to me when I shared my blog post about recommended beach reads and I’m glad you did because I enjoyed the first book I read by this author quite a bit! It was *this close* to receiving an “A” rating from me but the first half of the book was a little redundant at times. I felt like a solid 100 pages could’ve been removed since a lot of the book seemed to reiterate the same back-and-forth between the two main characters with the same internal struggles surfacing over and over. (Also, for anyone facing infertility, this book talks a lot about infertility and, without sharing any spoilers, I can see how this book might be one you may want to avoid if your heart is in a vulnerable place right now.) The second half of the book, however, flew by!

Now onto the story… It’s been a hot second since I genuinely liked the main male character in a book as much as I did with this one. Josh is set to be the best man in his friend Brandon’s wedding and when he meets the maid of honor, Kristen, he’s immediately intrigued by her wit, intelligence, humor, ambition and “cool girl doesn’t care” vibe. Kristen, however, is in a long-term relationship with her boyfriend, Tyler, who is deployed but set to return any day.

What Josh doesn’t know is Kristen has mixed feelings about Tyler’s return and their plans to move in together for the first time. As Kristen and Josh grow closer, she’s determined to keep him at an arm’s length for a myriad of reasons, beginning with her commitment to Tyler and ending with her knowledge of the fact that Josh wants a big family, something Kristen is all-to-aware she won’t be able to biologically give him after she undergoes surgery to finally give her body some relief after years of pain and struggle. This book is romantic and witty and fun but has a little depth, too. I’d recommend it for anyone looking for a beach read who isn’t bothered by a little redundancy.

  • THE HOTEL NANTUCKET BY ELIN HILDERBRAND

My rating: A-

Elin Hilderbrand is a go-to author for me when I’m looking for a breezy beach read because she has dominated the genre for years and for good reason. The Hotel Nantucket is her latest novel and was a complete gem! I can see how this book might be a little too “fluffy” for some but it was just what I was looking for as we embark on a month away from home in Florida.

I thought the concept of the book was creative — one of the main characters is Grace, the ghost of the 19-year-old chambermaid who was murdered in The Hotel Nantucket in 1922 — and the hotel’s re-opening has everyone on the island excited and more than a few people skeptical.

Lizbet Keaton and her boyfriend of 15+ years were the sweethearts of Nantucket until their unexpected breakup inspires Lizbet to seek a fresh start. She lands the demanding job of hotel manager of The Hotel Nantucket and is determined to turn the dilapidated hotel into the first hotel to earn a coveted “5 key” review from Instagram travel influencer Shelly Carpenter, a goal presented to her by Xaviar Darling, the new (billionaire!) owner of the hotel.  As the hotel opens and welcomes its first guests, everything might appear perfect on the outside but under the surface drama begins to bubble up aided, in part, by the hauntings of nineteen-year-old chambermaid ghost, Grace Hadley, who is bound and determined to have someone learn the truth about her death, once and for all.

  • PARTY OF TWO BY JASMINE GUILLORY

My rating: B+

Jasmine Guillory gets a lot of love from those who love sweet, romantic stories but I admittedly wasn’t all that enamored with The Wedding Date, the first book I read by this author. Thankfully, a handful of you encouraged me to give her work another try and I am so glad I did! I finished reading Party of Two this week and loved the story so thank you all for the nudge. I wish I would’ve read Party of Two sooner because it would’ve absolutely claimed a spot on my list of summer beach read recommendations!

Olivia Monroe recently moved to LA to start her own law firm with her best friend. She’s ambitious and ready to make a difference and, having been sorely let down in the past, decidedly not looking for a relationship. It is only after a memorable night of talking and flirting with a handsome man at a hotel bar that Olivia turns on her TV and realizes the mystery man she cannot stop thinking about is junior senator Max Powell.

Still committed to avoiding relationships at all costs, Olivia puts the senator out of her mind until they run into each other and he follows up their chance meeting with a cake and a sweet message delivered to her office. She’s admittedly intrigued and still very, very skeptical. Is Max more than just some rich, hot-shot politician? Could he really be interested in her? And if so, is she up for the scrutiny that would come along with being a senator’s girlfriend?

  • TWICE IN A BLUE MOON BY CHRISTINA LAUREN

You know I cannot stay away from Christina Lauren novels for long! After a super-short break, I found my way back to one of my favorite author duo’s novels this week and devoured Twice in a Blue Moon in a flash. It had all the elements of a Christina Lauren novel that I’ve come to expect and love: Light enough to feel like an escape, romantic without being cheesy and a creative storyline that easily held my attention the entire time.

About Twice in a Blue Moon: Tate Jones is the long-lost daughter of the most famous actor on the planet. Following a scandal, Tate is whisked away to a small town where she is raised in a place where no one other than her best friend knows her true identity until she reveals it to her first love during a whirlwind vacation in London. When her secret is revealed to the media, she is livid and her heartbreak and anger come flooding back when she runs into her first love on the set of a movie she’s set to star in 14 years later.

  • SHE REGRETS NOTHING BY ANDREA DUNLOP

My rating: B+ 

This book is a hot mess of rich people drama, social climbing, relationship scandals and family secrets and I mean that in the best possible way. It features a slew of wealthy characters, the vast majority of whom aren’t particularly likeable, and the main character isn’t particularly likeable either… and yet the book rises above this mess of unlikability to emerge as an intriguing read that left me excited to dive into it before bed every night.

She Regrets Nothing centers around Laila Lawrence, a twenty-three-year-old woman who recently lost her mother, and whose mother’s funeral unites her with three cousins she never knew she had… Three very rich, very well-known cousins who immediately leave Laila wondering what could have been.

Curious about these “secret cousins,” a few years later Laila accepts their invitation to move to New York City equipped with no money and nothing more than the knowledge of a secret scandal within their family that her three cousins seem to know nothing about. As she becomes increasingly enamored with their want-for-nothing lifestyle and intrigued by men who have captured the eyes of her cousins, Laila begins to feel like she missed out on something that was rightfully hers as the dark side of the Lawrence family’s secrets begin to emerge.

  • 28 SUMMERS BY ELIN HILDERBRAND

My rating: A-

Oh man this book was a whirlwind! 28 Summers was one of the best Elin Hilderband novels I’ve read and was filled with Nantucket charm, high-society drama, political scandal and romance.

The book begins when Link, the 18-year-old son of Mallory Blessing, is told by his dying mother to call a phone number she has stashed away in her desk drawer. Link is blown away when the man who answers his call is Jake McCloud, the husband of presidential hopeful Ursula deGournsey. Link had no idea his mother even knew the possible first gentleman of the United States of American and he most certainly was unaware of the “one time each year” agreement Mallory had to reconnect with Jake on Nantucket… an agreement that began more than 20 years ago.

28 Summers takes us along the journey of Mallory and Jake’s relationship and their commitment to their agreement to meet at Mallory’s Nantucket cottage on Labor Day weekend every year — no matter what. On the outside their arrangement seems complicated but from the inside of Mallory’s cozy cabin, the two find solace in each other even as their relationship begins to feel increasingly risky as the stakes involved in their secret affair seem to increase with every passing year.

  • JOSH AND HAZEL’S GUIDE TO NOT DATING BY CHRISTINA LAUREN

My rating: A-

I cannot stay away from this author duo’s books for too long and love their breezy, romantic reads so much! Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating sounded interesting enough and, like all Christina Lauren novels I’ve read so far, it was a fun read I thoroughly enjoyed.

The book follows BFFs Hazel and Josh, a pair with completely opposite personalities. Hazel is quirky, eccentric and full of life while Josh is even-keeled and relationship-averse, having just found himself single again after two-year relationship.

Determined to boost Josh’s spirits, Hazel suggests the pair set each other up on a double blind date. It’s a disaster but they have fun — with each other at least — and try again. And again. And again. As they continue to search for partners for each other and insist they have no interest in dating despite increasing feelings of attraction on both sides, their plan to find a special someone for each other sounds less and less appealing, especially when one of their exes shows up on one of the dates, swearing they’ve changed. Will a second chance for a previous love derail any chance of romance between Josh and Hazel? Or will they explore the feelings they have for each other that seem to be harder and harder to ignore?

  • GOLDEN GIRL BY ELIN HILDERBRAND

My rating: B+ 

When you find a book that has you looking forward to the end of the day just so you can climb into bed and immerse yourself in the story, you know you have a good one! This was most certainly the case with Golden Girl, Elin Hilderbrand’s latest novel.

The author is known for her Nantucket-based novels and this book delivers a perfect mix of mystery, intrigue, high-society scandal and Nantucket charm. It kept me fully captivated from start to finish and I loved the premise. (Note: I easily guessed the main “mystery” of the book but there was a twist at the end that definitely caught me off guard!) Keep this one on your radar if you’re looking for an easy spring break read.

Golden Girl begins with the shocking hit-and-run death of Vivian “Vivi” Howe, a prominent author of more than a dozen Nantucket-based beach reads. Since her death was a shock, when she ascends to the Beyond, she’s granted three “nudges” to help alter life on earth for those she cares for deeply — namely her three adult children, all of whom are struggling in one way or another. Willa is newly pregnant and terrified of losing her baby after her third miscarriage. Rebellious Carson seems more concerned with drinking and drugs than making anything out of her life. Leo is about to leave for college but seems lost and confused about his long-time girlfriend.

Vivi watches her children and other prominent people in her life as her hit-and-run death is under investigation by the police. Who killed Vivi? Are Vivi’s three nudges enough to keep her children off a path of destruction? And will the truth Vivi’s been hiding her entire life suddenly come to the surface when a man from her past reads her final book?

  • MY FAVORITE HALF-NIGHT STAND BY CHRISTINA LAUREN

My rating: A-

This two-woman author team seems to have really honed in on the lighthearted, funny romance genre and their books are a go-to for me when I don’t want to read something heavy.

My Favorite Half-Night Stand flip-flops back and forth from the perspectives of Millie Morris and Reid Campbell, academic thirty-somethings who are platonic best friends and run in the small, tight-knit five-person social circle. Friends for years, the pair are equally shocked when one night a never-before-considered sexy line is crossed.

When Millie and Reid’s friends decide to make a pact about finding dates for an upcoming university gala, they all agree to try their hand at online dating, something the pair is okay with because they agree their hook up was a fluke and their friendship is better off staying in a platonic space.

As their foray into online dating takes off, Millie is frustrated by the creepy messages she’s receiving and creates “Catherine” an alter-ego that allows her to be more vulnerable than she would be in real life. When “Catherine” and Reid match online and begin exchanging messages, Millie finds herself increasingly open and conflicted… an worried about what will happen if Reid ever puts two and two together. Is their friendship — or the possibility of a relationship — worth the risk?  

  • THE LOVE HYPOTHESIS BY ALI HAZELWOOD

My rating: B+

First, let me get this out of the way: The premise of The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood was not believable (to me) and there are several moments that made me roll my eyes but once you decide to let that go and just enjoy the ride, it’s a fun (and steamy!) read with a little bit of science and academia sprinkled in the mix that made me enjoy the book even more.

The book follows Olive Smith, a third-year Ph.D. candidate, who has all but sworn off relationships. Determined to convince her best friend Anh that she is not even the least bit interested in Jeremy, the last guy she briefly dated that Anh is increasingly interested in, Olive grabs the first guy she sees and kisses him. It is only when Olive pulls away after the kiss that she realizes the man she accosted in the hall is Adam Carlsen, a genius Stanford professor with a reputation for being cold and heartless… and hot.

  • THE UNHONEYMOONERS BY CHRISTINA LAUREN

My rating: A-

Another Christina Lauren book and another winner! The Unhoneymooners delivered everything I’ve come to expect from a Christina Lauren novel: Romance, fun dialog, interesting plotlines and a little steaminess.

The Unhoneymooners kicks off at Olive Torres’ identical twin sister’s wedding. Olive is used to being the “unlucky twin” and feels like her entire life has been jinxed to the point that it’s almost laughable while her sister Ami always seems to come out on top. Ami even managed to pay for almost her entire wedding and her honeymoon by winning various contests.

Ami’s luck takes a shocking turn on her wedding day when almost everyone at the reception gets hit with a serious bout of food poisoning. Unable to go on her honeymoon, Ami encourages Olive to take her spot at the same time that her husband offers the trip to his brother Ethan, Olive’s least favorite person on the planet.

Determined to enjoy an all-expenses paid 10-day trip to Hawaii despite her less-than-ideal company, Olive boards the plane next to Ethan after the two agree to make the most of the vacation. Since Ami won the vacation through a contest, Olive and Ethan are forced to pretend to be newlyweds and no one is more surprised than Olive when pretending to be in love with Ethan isn’t as awful as she anticipated. Could there be more to Ethan than the years of awful memories she has associated with her new brother-in-law?

  • THE RUMOR BY ELIN HILDERBRAND

The Rumor is another Nantucket-based beach read — Elin Hilderbrand’s specialty — and is perfectly juicy in a way that felt like an escape to dive into at the end of the day.

A rumor begins swirling around Nantucket. Best friends Madeline King and Grace Pancik are known on Nantucket for their picture-perfect lives. They have adoring, hard-working husbands and wonderful children (two of whom are dating each other!), not to mention Grace’s gorgeous garden on her 3-acre estate and Madeline’s best-selling novels and new writing apartment.

But rumors are flying about the friends and their families and everyone is left wondering if there might be truth to the rumors, especially those in the middle of them. Could there really be more to Grace’s relationship with her landscape architect than just gorgeous roses? Is Madeline’s new apartment used for more than just writing? As Madeline and Grace fight against the rumors, the truth begins to surface and they’re left wondering if the truth might be worse than the rumors.

Additional Book Posts

  • 15 Beach Reads for Summer (May 2022)
  • Book Recommendations by Category (December 2021)
  • 10 Books I Recently Read and Loved (July 2021)
  • 10 Books I Recently Read and Loved (November 2020)
  • 10 Books I Recently Read and Loved (June 2020)
  • 15 Books I Recently Read and Loved (February 2020)
  • 12 Books I Recently Read and Loved (September 2020)
  • 10 Books I Recently Read and Loved (February 2019)

The post 15 Best Books I’ve Read This Year appeared first on Peanut Butter Fingers.



This post first appeared on Are You Naturally Happy?, please read the originial post: here

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