Sabetha’s 22 Favorite Books From 2022

Most Read Author

Eryn Scott
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Books Read: 16

  • Pepper Brooks Mysteries – Books 3 – 5
  • Pebble Cove Teahouse Mysteries – Books 5 – 8
  • Stoneybrook Mysteries – Books 1 – 8
  • Whiskers and Words Mysteries – Book 1

Sabetha's Review:

5/5

A Crafty Crime, Book 1 – A cute start to a series.

I love cozies that have the town as its own character, and this one is shaping up to be a hilarious small town. With so many of my favorite small town quirks.

Twins are always such dynamic characters in an average book, but in a cozy mystery, with one half being apart of the police for, it really ramps everything up. Hadley and her brother Paul have such a strong sibling bound, I could feel it come to life through the pages as this story progressed.

The characters in this book were all unique, with emotional range and relatable small town back stories. While I wish this series was in 1st person, I look forward to the next book, and hope to explore more of the town, and it’s locals.

Eryn is a master of writing deep main characters, with emotional baggage to work through. While this series is light hearted I am so excited to join Hadley as she navigates her new life and her business.

You’ll love this series if you enjoy your cozies with a sassy town, full of drama and deep family bonds.

Literally Dead, Book 1 – OMG. This book had me at the first chapter.

I love love love everything about this story. A true amateur sleuth, bumbling around, flinging accusations, knowing with everything she has that she knows who the killer is. It’s fantastically written. I love Pepper so much, and excited to get to know her throughout these books.

I did not expect the final twist at all, caught me by surprise, but made total sense looking back at all the clues. It was such a well laid out mystery, my anxiety was in over drive for most of the book!

The small town setting, mixed with a college town reminded me of my own college days, it’s just perfection. All of it.

You’ll love this book if you love bumbling sleuths who make mistakes, provide a few embarrassing laughs, and have a strong support system.

Steeped in Suspicion, Book 1 – I downloaded this without reading the blurb, thinking it was non-paranormal, and turns out, she can speak with ghosts, so that was a nice surprise. (as paranormals are my favorite lol trying to branch out!) It’s the cover though, this series has some of my favorite covers! Instant download just from the cover alone.

At first I was a bit leery of this feeling like everything that could have gone wrong in her life did (don’t want to give spoilers), but Rosemary has a lot of baggage. As the story went on, it does a great job at stretching all of those things out, and giving them the breath they need to not leave her seeming like a poor pitiful me type character.

I loved the flow of this story, it did a great job at introducing the town, and setting up the series. The mystery turns into two separate crimes, that has Rosemary talking to the majority of the townsfolk, and visiting many sites around town. I love this because it really let us get to know the area without any info dumping or out of place pop ins. The story does meander in places but it does it in a way that adds depth to Rosemary’s emotional turmoil. Not just with her current situation in Pebble Cove, but also the situation she left behind in Portland. She does so much growth in this one book, that the slow parts of the story help it feel like it takes place over a much longer span of time.

All of the characters are quirky, and well developed. They feel like people I’ve met in my own small town and I look forward to getting to know them in future books. I’m glad that the ghosts feel like they will be as much apart of the cast as the living. So many ghost type books leave them in the sidelines, only using them when it’s a must. But these ghosts enteract with Rosemary, same as the townsfolk. I was so EXCITED that romance was not apart of this book at all. YEEEESSSSS.

There were a few twists that I didn’t expect, but was totally screaming NO WAY, NOW IT ALL MAKES SENSE when they were revealed. Not everything was solved, and I’m glad because it just makes who they surround a bigger part of the cast, which I was rooting for.

You’ll love this mystery if you love cozies that star a mid-twenties, educated sleuth who is working to find her own path in the world.

Littered with Trouble, Book 1 – Cats and books, the purrfect setting for a cozy mystery.

The town is adorable, and I look forward to getting to know the cast of characters better in future books. Lou and her best friend have great chemistry. Encouraging each other in life and crime. lol

A little light spark of potential love interests for both woman, a complex mystery only a book nerd would love, and a satisfying ending for everyone. Can’t ask for more from a series starter.

You’ll enjoy this book if you prefer your mysteries to have many layers, references to classic literature, and many cat antics.

January

Mistletoe Mojo
By Erin Johnson
Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery

 

Sabetha's Review:

5/5

A wedding in a graveyard? Sign me up!

Rudie and Archer sure know how to throw a party. 😛

I adore the attention to detail throughout Erin’s books in this series. They hit all the Christmas themed markers without beating you over the head with it. As with all her writing, many of her side characters also have a growth arc, which I adore. Not to mention Rudie’s progress in this book, I love the strides she is taken to better understand helping verse self care.

The complexity of the mystery is great, Erin does a good job at keeping me guessing all the way until the end, when everything falls into place with the last few pieces of the puzzle.

I’m not one for strong romance plots, but even I have to admit I got teary eyed when Rudie and Archer spoke to her parents. Such a perfect ending to an adventure of a wedding. I look forward to more adventures with Rudie and her hilarious family and friends.
 

All Boys Aren’t Blue
By George M. Johnson
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir, LGBT+

Sabetha's Review:

5/5

I picked up this book because the Gov. of Iowa is trying to ban it. I just want to say that I LOVE that so many people are fighting this book. Each person that comes out against it, makes dozens more pick it up. So fight your fight Gov. Kim Reynolds, make this book a best seller for YEARS to come.

Because it deserves it. It deserves to be placed in the hands of ever lost teenager, every student that feels like they are alone and scared and has no idea what to do with all the feels they are experiencing. Had I had this book decades ago, it would have been life changing.

But you don’t need to be that person to appreciate this book. It doesn’t need to be written for you, to be able to sit back and listen to how someone experiences life.

Maybe if as a society, we stop one starring books because they don’t represent us, and instead five star them because we learned something about life that we didn’t know, we wouldn’t still be fighting this same tired fight.

I cried so many times throughout this story, and am so thankful that George took the chance on writing this book. It spoke to me in ways I didn’t expect, about being true to myself, and living the life that is authentically me. He laid out his trauma, fears and hopes in such raw honesty. I can’t even fathom the courage it took to push the publish button on this one.

Read it. Even if you aren’t apart of the LGBTQIA+ community, read it even if you don’t think you could relate to it at all. Everyone’s life story is worth telling. Slip into someone else’s shoes and experience life from their point of view. It’s worth the ride.
 

Dopesick
By Beth Macy
Genre: Non-Fiction, True Crime, Research

Sabetha's Review:

5/5

If you’re reading this, and haven’t read this book. Add it to your TBR.

The only way we’re going to get out of this opioid epidemic is if people who know nothing about opioids help spread the word and gain a better understanding of what opioids do to the brain. I’ll be honest, I had no idea that the addiction with drugs like oxy stimmed from them rewiring the brain. I had no idea about the interworking’s of heroin addiction. This book (or the show) are a must read just to gain a better understanding of what many American families deal with.

This book, much like the HULU show, is a quick, cliff notes glimpse at a problem that has been spreading across the nation in silence for far too long. It touches on every aspect, from the companies, to for profit prisons, and how treatment works. All while following families, dealers, and doctors as they navigate the horrors of opioids.

It was eye opening for me – how literally anyone can get into the opioid trap, one wisdom tooth, bad back injury and no matter how much they want to get better, without the support and access to treatment there’s little that can be done just by relying on will power alone.

Even now, years after this book was written, Purdue and pharmaceuticals like them are still playing the system. Getting away with what they clearly knew was wrong. When you add this into the dialysis scandal, and diabetes or epi pen pricing-at what point is it going to be clear that for profit healthcare, and prisons isn’t in the best interest of a society that wants to thrive? 

A Sorrow Named Joy
By Sarah Chorn
Genre: SciFi, Novella, Poetic

Sabetha's Review:

5/5

I didn’t read the blurb for this book, and going in blind was the right move.
Honestly, if Sarah’s name’s on it, it’s an instant download.

Sarah weaves an emotional tale from the first word. We follow Joy as she moves through the paces of her life, discovering more about herself with each passing hour. I didn’t expect the bomb that dropped mid story at all, but loved where it led Joy and Mike. We are able to experience every ounce of emotion through her eyes as she embarks on what we all take for granted. Building a life that makes us truly happy. What does it mean to be human, to feel, to have the ability to choose our own path?

You’ll love this story is you enjoy being hit in the feels, and reading books that make you reflect on your own life.
 

February

Upgrade
By Blake Crouch
Genre: SciFi, Dystopia, Near Future

Sabetha's Review:

5/5

WOW, what in the ‘relevant to our current state of humanity’ did I just read?!

I already know this book is going to be one of my top reads for 2022, and it’s only February.

I am going to do my best to review this book without spoilers, but the TL;DR of it is, even if “near future – scifi” isn’t in your normal reads, I highly recommend this book. The way it tells a near future story, while dropping bigger picture ideas for the reader to ponder on is masterful.

I am in awe at the profound themes, and in no way saw the depth coming from the blurb. Every detail of this story felt like a future that is one of the many possibilities for us. Blake did his due diligence when researching for this book, and again within the text as Logan ponders out that big question, “Is it possible to save humanity from itself?”

From his person life, to his professional, Logan is doing his best to make up for the black mark on his name. When his world gets turned upside down from a raid gone wrong, he works through it the only way he knows how—not repeating history. By the end of the book, I was in tears from his personal growth.

While I am not the most science jargon savy person, I never once felt lost with the discussions in the book, and was surprised to see Logan’s thoughts aligned with my own from the interpersonal level of humanity. Blake does a wonderful job of explaining just the right amount for those that don’t have a background in genetic manipulation, all while keeping true to the characters voices in the story that do have that background.

Overall, the story is well laid out, perfectly paced—I read it in every spare moment I had just to figure out what was going to happen next—and addresses one of the many elephants we have in the room with us. The characters are diverse, relatable, and feel like the people in your own family.

There is no way I could rave about this book enough. You’re going to love it, if you enjoy books that pull at your emotions, and leave you feeling hopeful for humans.

*Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Random House for an advanced copy of this book. 

Tornado Brain
By Cat Patrick
Genre: Middle Grade, Neurodivergent

Sabetha's Review:

5/5

My 10 year old daughter brought this book to my attention, telling me “it felt like real life” to her oppose to being a story of fiction. Since her apple didn’t fall far from my neurodivergent tree, I wanted to give it a read for myself.

I am so thankful that my daughter has access to characters like Frankie. Being able to see yourself in the stories you read is life changing. I can’t began to fathom how it would have changed my life as a child to read Tornado Brain then. So many times throughout my life people have written me off as cold, or not caring, or mean, etc. all because I had the inability to get my thoughts out articulately, or because I thought they “just knew” how I felt about them. When Frankie realized her mom’s boyfriend might not know how much she cares about him it broke me into pieces.

From the emotional overloads, to the thought processing / honest word vomits / spacing out and everything in between. It was all depicted as I lived it decades ago—and still struggle with today. I adored the frank way the author approached being neurodivergent, plus the raw truth about loss and friendship.

This is a must read for both parents and kids alike. So many times I’ve wanted to put into words how my brain works, like why I interrupt others and mysteriously switch topics or why I don’t like to be touched. Cat Patrick did it perfectly.

I would highly recommend this read to anyone wanting to take a peek inside the brain of someone who isn’t neurotypical. Whether it’s you, your child or someone you know, this book is a wonderful example.

While I didn’t predict the ending, it was a well laid out plot that went at the pace of Frankie’s mind. It also handled heavy (taboo to some) topics like periods, and (view spoiler) with the honesty, and grace they deserved. Frankie’s reactions to everything made complete sense to me.

As a side note. I would love a full series of Frankie as an amateur sleuth, solving crimes around time.

TW: Missing Child

Riot Baby
By Tochi Onyebuchi
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian

Sabetha's Review:

5/5
I highly recommend getting a copy of the audiobook. The author brings a power to the story that dials it up the experience.

I said that right, you aren’t reading this book, you are experiencing it. The flow is chaotic, chapter to chapter you are dropped into events and memories without warning. Leading you deeper into the minds of Ella, and Kev.

Every piece of their past presence and future are laid out for you to connect with on a deep emotional level. So many words throughout this story are dripping with deep seeded anger, frustration and hopelessness. They all comes together to build a well written tale of survival. Every aspect of this book gives weight to the over all message. Is there a future that isn’t riots and incarcerations?

I was on edge throughout each chapter, and had no clue as to how the story would end. But it’s well worth the read. Ella and Kev are fierce characters with a story worth experiencing.

I recommend this book to those that enjoy stories set in our world, with light paranormal aspects to them. Books that leave you with themes and discussions to ponder about our own society.
 

A Spindle Splintered
By Alix E. Harrow
Genre: LGBT+, Fantasy, Retelling

A Mirror Mended
By Alix E. Harrow
Genre: LGBT+, Fantasy, Retelling

Sabetha's Review:

5/5

Book 1:
So much emotional goodness in such a tiny little package.

I swooned at every aspect of this story. From the sick-kid start, to the happily ever after fairy tale-esk tone of it. Accepting family rep, ride or die friendship rep—all of it was perfection. I loved the way this retelling took the source material and wove it throughout to make a new tale. It paid homage while pointing out the flaws in the best way possible. Toss in a little science and you’ve got a adventure fit for any Sleeping Beauty enthusiast. (No, you don’t need to be familiar with any of the source material to enjoy this story.) Not to mention the lesbian rep. ugh. This novella is soo good.

With a terminally ill child in our household it definitely cut deeper. Alix E. Harrow is one of my favorite authors, and this book is another must read with it’s poetic word choices, and life themes woven into it. I am so excited to see where the next installment will take us.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves retellings, and enjoys stories where the heroine takes control of their own destiny. 

Book 2: 
IN LOVE WITH THIS RETELLING!

Omg, this is exactly what I want from a retelling. Modern writing styles, tributes to those that came before, and a new perspective on an old classic. Seriously perfect. I want more, even though I adore how this duology is wrapped up, the story peaks into Snow White that opens up a whole mess of questions for me.

This story starts off practically where the last one ended. Just a little more lonely for our sleeping beauty, Zinnia. She is still avoiding her own story like the plague, but also still fixing other stories as she muddles through the pages of realities.

There is so much hidden meaning in this installment, about grief, love, acceptance and life. Are villains really evil or is there another side to the story? Does everyone in a fable deserve to live happily or does changing the events change who the villain is? So many thought provoking questions are raised as we follow Zinnia into a whole new fable.

You’ll love this story if you enjoy if you love fables that give you something to ponder about your own story.
 

Where the Drowned Girls Go, Book 7
By Seanan McGuire
Genre: Fairy Tale, Folklore, Novella

Sabetha's Review:

5/5

The only problem about these books is they are toooooo short!

Not that they need an extra word added to them, just that I want to frolic in this universe forever, but then before I know it the book is over and I am left book drunk for more!

This installment is powerful. The themes of being true to yourself, and not being able to hide from life or change who you are as a person are so strong through out this heartbreaking tale.

I get Cora’s want to forget. To be released from the poison that has a hold on her mind, but man does she go through some growth during her stay at Whitethorn. I loved all the various characters she meets, they are written so deeply, even the ones that only have a few scenes. Everyone has a story they are running from, or being held back from and Cora makes waves in their lives whether she wants to or not.

You’ll love this series if you love books that inspire you to fight for your right to live the life of your dreams.
 

March

The House in the Cerulean Sea
By TJ Klune
Genre: LGBT+, Fantasy

Sabetha's Review:

5/5

Sometimes I read a book, and it hits me right in the “well duh. This is obviously a must read.”

This is one of those books. The themes, and society commentary is so on point. It’s 2022, this level of discussion shouldn’t even be happening anymore. We should have long since learned from history and evolved past it. But here we are, and books like this make it so obvious how ridiculous the us vs. them argument is.

I adored all of the characters, everyone has their strengths, weaknesses, strong personalities and they all fit together to make this magical story about inclusion, and how it’s okay to just be who you are. It’s okay to let people live in peace. It’s just such a fantastic feel good book, even though it covers very tough topics. What I really love about it, is that the main character Linus, isn’t evil.

He isn’t one of the people that is anti-magical people. This story isn’t about changing someone’s hateful opinion over to understanding that being different doesn’t mean bad or evil. So many books out there start with a villain, and bring them to the light. But Linus is an everyday common guy. He does his job, he believes he is helping, he just wants what’s best for the children. He is the most common person in any country that is experiencing an us vs. them argument in our society. The person that isn’t standing up for anything but also doesn’t have a problem with whoever the “them” is.

I think that’s what really makes this book a powerful read. It shines light on an everyday person. The magic, or paranormal elements have nothing to do with Linus, so everyone reader can put themselves in his shoes as he moves through the story.

The ending left me in tears, and I can’t wait to read more from this author.

You’re going to love this book if you loves books that shine light on real world problems while still having a magical plot line to escape into.

TW: Child abuse, hate language.

Wilder Girls
By Rory Power
Genre: YA, Dystopia, Virus/Pandemic, LGBT+

Sabetha's Review:

5/5

Get ready for a slow burn virus outbreak read.

I’d been hearing about this book from many of the bookish people I follow, and put off reading it because of it’s YA nature. I’m not here for teen drama y’all. But I figured I would give it a try since I found the audiobook on Libby. Rory Power does an excellent job at capturing the emotional state of girls ranging in age of 13 – 18+ living through something unfathomable. There was none of the tropey things I usually loathe about YA reads.

The story focuses on one friend group, following them as they push through each day, wondering if a cure will come, who will be assigned what duties, and will this next wave be the one that kills them. It sucks you in, the slow build of the description, and the nature of the disease. At first I was wanting more information but looking back it was a great way to ramp up the build to the climax of the story. The virus is the mystery for the reader to discover as the story progresses. Mistakes are made, emotions run hot, and lies come out. I couldn’t help but wonder what I would have done as the adult in the sea of adolescents girls, looking to me to make the best choices for their survival.

Overall the virus is unique and I loved the flair of how it presented in various ages/sexes & wildlife. I was a bit disappointed in the ending. While it’s a solid ending, it left too many ‘real world’ questions for me. I did love the aspects that dealt with how each characters story is wrapped up. Just the overall ending to the outbreak was a tad lackluster. Kind of makes me want a second book, though. So maybe it did it’s job.

REP: Lesbian
TW: suicide, murder, graphic gore
 

May

The Bone Orchard
By Sara A. Mueller
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Gothic Fiction

Sabetha's Review:

5/5

Poetically profound in more ways than one.

The way the author weaves the emotion throughout the story, linking the characters to each other, and playing the five degrees of separation throughout the mystery is awe inspiring. As the pieces clicked into place towards the last half of the book, I couldn’t put it down because I needed the answers. The ending is well worth the torment of the chaotic story.

Were her necromantic creations to her benefit or to her downfall? Was she doing herself a favorite by splitting her soul? This story explores the emotional depths of Charm, as she plots to solve the murder of her captor, while trying to stay sane as pieces of her past snap back into her mind.

There were so many moving parts to this book. Necromancy, heck yes. Deep dive into politics, 100% yes. Sentences dripping with double meaning, um, yes please. Women struggles in various aspects of society, it’s here! This book twists when it should turn, and brings new complexities to the table when I was still reeling over the last nuggets dropped. It was a fantastic adventure.

If you loved Gideon the Ninth or The Lies of Locke Lamora you’re going to love the complexities of this story. It has many threads moving throughout a kingdom reeling from the murder of their emperor. I imagine rereading it will be just as much of a ride.

TW: Rape, Abuse, Trauma, child death.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark
By Michelle McNamara
Genre: Non-Fiction, True Crime

Sabetha's Review:

5/5

I’ll admit, I put off reading this book because I wasn’t sure what to expect from a true crime read. In the past, I’ve found books on the subject to be dry, more textbook than immersive story. Michelle was a gifted writer. This is a must read if you are at all interested in real life ‘how to catch a killer’ type content.

This book flows in an effortless manner that has you discovering not only the facts about the case, but also the mind set for the people that research these type of cases. It was fascinating on so many levels. The lives the Golden State Killer touched, and the way Michelle was able to get people to open up to here, all enthralling. This case shaped California and DNA forensics.

I found it fascinating to watch her profile unfold, then be able to compare it to the real person behind the crimes. How much simpler of a life he lead. The fact that he had been entangled with the law but somehow escaped the DNA link up they needed to close the case.

I don’t know if all of the versions of this book have been updated with the items after Patton’s afterword, once the killer was caught, but if your version doesn’t have them. I highly recommend seeking out a version that does. It gave a lot more emotional insight into the aftermath.

It’s easy for the police to say, “this book didn’t help solve the crime.” They don’t want to create more Michelle’s. But it’s clear in reading this book, that her dedication, and pieces on this case kept it alive. While it’s reasonable to say that the DNA link was always going to be discovered, as those genealogy sites were bound to be the next step in catching criminals, I don’t think it’s as easy to admit that without her constant discussion on this case, it wouldn’t have been the one selected to pursue in the sea of DNA matches genealogy is bringing to light.

How many other serial rapists are still uncaught because they don’t have a fancy nickname or a slew of couch sleuths looking into their cases? More than any of us realize, I’m sure. Cold cases are abundant, dedicate minds like Michelle’s, keep the hope of finding the killer alive.

TW: While the crimes such as rape, and murder are obviously discussed in the book. I also wanted to warn that victim statements, and emotional mindsets are also throughout the story. Michelle lays it out in a respectful manner, but if you are sensitive to these topics, know they are major aspects of the book.
 

June

Fox Cubs & Felonies
By Rune Stroud
Genre: LGBT+, Cozy Mystery, Witches

Raccoons & Revenge
By Rune Stround
Genre: LGBT+, Cozy Mystery, Witches

Sabetha's Review:

5/5

Book 1:
Having read and loved short stories featuring Autumn and Simon, I was thrilled about a novel worth of adventure (antics) with the two.

Autumn is the perfect soul for an animal recuse, while she may be green to solving crimes, she knows exactly what to do in an animal crisis. Her stern yet loving demeaner is on full display throughout the story. It’s hard not to fall in love with her, and her family.

Each chapter has a quote from Autumn’s childhood, which really deeps the connecting with her as the story progresses. Giving backstory without giving backstory. I loved the technique. Gran and Rowan were just as hilarious as usual. I hope his big part in this book is an indication that he will be a big part in the series, his character has so much growth potential.

The story features a couple of mysteries happening, the murder of course, and then a few animal related mysteries. I enjoyed these side stories as they kept the action flowing through the story as the murder clues were still being discovered.

I laughed so many times throughout the story, Simon is hilarious, and will become your favorite character. While he can be a pain, I love the fact that he has Autumn’s back, and can help her in any moment of crisis.

This book is a great start to what I predict will be a hilarious, and heartwarming series. You’ll love it if you enjoy cozies with animals, a tiny bit of magic and a whole lot of mystery.
 

Book 2: 

Absolutely adore this series!

The second installment is just as hilarious, and animal filled as the first. We get more family time, more animal time, and a mystery with multiple victims.

I love how the series displays a healthy family dynamic, while still showing the skeletons that can show up in families. The interactions between them all are genuine, and remind me of banter with my own siblings. I can’t wait to see how Autumn’s cousin moving to town will shake things up in future books. The world building through each family members unique power is immersive. It’s need to see how children handle their gifts, along side how adults are mixing them into the world of the non-magical.

Autumn has a case of too many animals, too little time, this book. She finds herself caring for more than one recuse and coming to many life changing realizations while she does it. I love her self growth, and cheered when she made a few choices about her love life.

Having the animals as part of the talking cast is hilarious. They all have personality that I would have guess given each animals non-magical traits. Rune does a great job at bringing them to life through their words and actions.

I look forward to the next time I can dive into their world. Simon has been one of my favorite characters. This book brings him his own growth arc, and really gives a deeper look at the nature of crows outside of their shiny obsession.

You’ll love this series if you enjoy paranormal cozy mysteries, featuring witches, talking animals, ghosts, and everything in between.

August

I’m Glad My Mom Died
By Jennette McCurdy
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir

Sabetha's Review:

5/5

I don’t know Jennette McCurdy from anything, never watched iCarly but this was such a powerful read. So many adults were in this girls life that were failing at being the adultiest adult.

I am so glad our generation is taking the approach that mental health needs to be talked about. These child actors need a voice, and Jennette taking the step to tell her story gives so many a voice. I hope that people like her, taking the brave task to bare all their trials, will make the entire industry of child actors a safer place.

Parents forcing their children into this life needs to be called out. Studios keeping not-safe adults on set just because ‘they are brilliant’ needs to be called out. How much money have these studios made off the backs of kids that have grown up into unstable adults needing to heal from their childhood? Is is really impossible to create great media, while also not destroying the person behind the camera? Personally, I think Hollywood is long over due for an overhaul.

Jennette’s story is so relatable, even if you take out all the acting and just focus on her family life. So many kids deal with narcissist parents, and I hope they read this book and it’s the first door to them realizing that it’s okay to be glad their mom died.

Blood does not mean you have to tolerate anyone. Create boundaries, and be proud of them.

October

Lone Women
By Victor LaValle
Genre: Historical, Paranormal, Thriller

Sabetha's Review:

5/5

Having just finished a historical book and it being rather lackluster, I was apprehensive to jump into another one. But the premise had me too curious to not give it a try, and let me tell you it doesn’t disappoint.

We start out thick in the mystery of Adelaide’s life. The chapters keep you in the dark of her secrets but keep pulling you forward with the introduction of live in no where Montana. As she settles into the community and makes friends I almost forgot about the trunk she drug from California along with her so when it finally opens the contents it blind sided me.

As Adelaide’s secret unravels, so do many secrets around her. The book moves from just her 3rd person POV to chapters featuring the 3rd person POV of other main characters in the tale. While it some of the switches were abrupt, they all added secrets to the plot.

By the end I could not predict where the story was going, but was extremely happy with the outcome. This story deals with mob mentality, being scared of our own ‘worst fears’ based on assumptions, and the strength to carry on even when the cards are stacked against us.

The book breathes 1914 Montana. It’s well researched and the world building is beautifully done.

You’ll enjoy this story if you love historical reads, that dabble in supernatural themes, with a helping of strong female characters, and the tyrants around them.

Features: LBGTQIA+ characters
Triggers: Child death, infant death, descriptive murders.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me a copy of this book.

November

The Six Deaths of the Saint
By Alix E. Harrow
Genre: Novella, Historical, Fantasy

Sabetha's Review:

5/5

Alix uses her poetical word to weave a tale of dark heartbreak fit for novels of exploration.

A dream of becoming a greatness so impactful they will know the name of such a person for generation isn’t always as marvelous as it seems but can anyone get redemption if they ask for it?

This story plays with second and first person masterfully. By the halfway point I felt as if I’d already read the first book of an epic fantasy trilogy because of how much care is given to each word. Each sentence builds a tale of a hero destined for saint hood. Emotion paints every paragraph as if the author is stabbing the reader again and again with the characters pain. Love so deep it hurts.

You’ll adore this story if you enjoy emotionally charged books with deeper food for thought hidden in plain sight. A reader of Alix E. HarrowTamsyn Muir, and Erin Morgenstern will fall in love with this short. (If you want more of this poetic fantasy also check out indie author Sarah Chorn.)
 

Undercover
By Tamsyn Muir
Genre: LGBT+, Fantasy, Novella

Sabetha's Review:

5/5

The ending of this book is chef’s kiss.

Tamsyn Muir knows reanimation of the dead to an artful level. Like the Locked Tomb series, this novella pulls out all the stops when it comes to creating unique characters build from the bones of the dead.

I want more of this universe. A Law & Order level series of the government trying to get a handle on ghouls? Or maybe the Amy Star Files. Whatever, just give me more please!!

The writing is so elegant, and immersive it’s hard to believe that the story was over so fast. Loved the pick for narrator, brought even more to the table for the characters.

You’ll love this book if you enjoy surprise twists, and gory necromantic ascetics.

Unmasking Autism
By Devon Price
Genre: Non-Fiction, Neurodivergent, LGBT+

Sabetha's Review:

5/5

Honestly I already know I want to read this again. There is so much to unpack in a 10 hour audiobook, that I found myself stepping back to ponder the ideas presented before diving in again.

Devon is articulate, well read and explains the topics in a digestible manner.

From laying out definitions, to giving real world examples, plus bonus worksheets, this book is the full package. It all moves forward a new narrative on autism, and neurodiversity. A positive one. I already know it’s going to change lives.

If you’re here, scrolling through reviews to see if this book is for you, because you don’t have autism and aren’t neurodivergent, this book is still a valuable read. The only way we can change the perception of autism or neurodiversity is by having more and more people discover the truth about it.

It’s worth giving this book a read just to view ‘life through the eyes of someone else’ and gain insight that can help reshape the world we live in. So many ideas presented in this book set of lightbulbs for me. From how the average workspace is, to how accessible society isn’t for many people.

I encourage everyone to give it a read.
 

December

Nona the Ninth
By Tamsyn Muir
Genre: Science Fiction, LGBT+, Post-Apocalyptic

Sabetha's Review:

5/5

Knowing this book was a surprise in the planning of this series, I went into it unsure of how it would fit into the idea that this was supposed to be a trilogy. But now having finished it, I can’t imagine going into the next book without knowing the information of this one.

Tamsyn is a master of sentence crafting. The poetic emotion dripping from the words had me lost between grief and love, pulling my heart in every direction. Even the scenes that would be info dumping by any other author are beautifully strung together leaving me on edge for the next paragraph. The way the characters are body swapping / sharing, with zero weirdness of wondering who is who is masterful. I am in awe of how each personality is crafted. The meanings woven into the lines even when Nona is in the dark on the past. Ugh. It’s pure magic and makes me weak just contemplating how amazing Tamsyn is. Seriously going to be one of the greatest of our time.

Nona is nothing like Giedion and Harrow, but at the same time it is every thing like the previous two books. I adored and wanted more of every aspect of this story. I loved getting a view of ‘what if’ these ultimate badasses were living all domestic for a bit. It’s whimsical with a touch of gothic thriller written in.

The first part of the book takes you on a fairy tale ride into Nona’s child like mind, while the last part of the book is back to necromancy goodness and on with the series plotline. It’s shocking and left me wishing I had waited to read it because now I’m just dreaming of the fourth books release and wow.

Also, let’s just take a minute to talk about how well Tamsyn builds characters. The fluidness of writing in every time of personality, gender and make up of each person no matter how small they are to the plot is so fantastic. The description and world build made me feel like I walked the streets along side Nona. I could rave about this book forever.

If you enjoy series with multiple strings, many POVs and hidden meanings, deeply complex plots with twists you’ll probably miss the first read through you’re going to love The Locked Tomb.

Also, how can anyone resist the charm of lesbian necromancers?
 

Now to Keep House While Drowning
By KC Davis
Genre: Non-Fiction, Stress Management, Neurodivergent

Sabetha's Review:

5/5

This book is AMAZING!

If you are neurodivergent, depressed, suffering from anxiety, or if you just feel overwhelmed by all of the tasks that society says you must do to be a functioning adult, read this book.

It has sooo many little sparks of genius, I loved it.

The audio book is narrator by the author which makes it double amazing. She has an abridged version built in so you can jump chapters if you can’t tackle the whole book at one time.

So many times throughout my adult live I’ve found myself hating on myself because I couldn’t keep house like ‘everyone else’ or tasks like showering and doing the dishes weren’t getting done routinely because of how paralyzed I was from thought of the task.

This book really puts it all into perspective. I totally cried at the notion of not being alone in not being able to get housework, and self care done the way neurotypical’s can do it.

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