top of page

2022 reading roundup

Updated: Mar 2

in true "2023 is starting in february fashion", i've decided that instead of frantically trying to write long winded reviews or record a big aesthetic book review video, i'm just going to dump all my reviews for the rest of 2022 here. symmetry i guess for how the year started?


this year i focused on trying to be more intentional about what i was reading and how i was reading. in 2021, i really wanted to fly through to get to as many books as i possibly could. while i was able to read 104 books that year, i found i wasn't always intentionally reading and i often couldn't remember some of the books i read; even after i finished reading it. because of this, i wanted to set some ground rules for myself for 2022.

i think the rules helped me get through books so i could write my reviews for this blog but i think it also put some self-inflicted pressure. i wanted to make sure everything for this site, for my youtube channel, for all of my social media [personal, amandamariereads, amandavscancer, and the pups] were all perfect.

so i overwhelmed myself.

i overwhelmed myself into a creative paralysis.

and here we are. almost five months after the last review i posted.

initially, i intended to read 104 books again last year and eventually, i had to concede that i would likely only be able to get to half. it took a while to fight my pride and in the end i allowed myself to get to whatever i got to and not feel bad. in the end, i read 37 books out of 52.

here's what i learned since starting these reviews

  • i enjoy reading outside my comfort zone: i'm always sticking to the genres i'm comfortable in (mystery, thriller, suspense, and horror) and i stay within the comforts of them for the most part (occasionally dipping into historical fiction. this year i really spread out into contemporary fiction, more graphic novels, romance, smut, and fantasy.

  • i really like retellings i really went through a phase here. i'll likely get more into the details when I get into my review for A Ruin of Roses below but i feel like i've been chasing a good retelling for a while. i'm not sure if i've found it yet, but i think i'm getting closer.

  • when done right, i really enjoy a good romance/smutty book when i started this year, i challenged myself to get into the lighter side of things; literally (reading the "pastel covered" contemporary fiction). i made a point to get into some really ridiculous and really weird romance books (Shadow Rider and the Perfect Poo) and some incredible romance as well (Seven Days in June).

  • i cannot read on a deadline i have had netgalley and other similar accounts for a really long time but have never really been active on them until i started this review blog last year. my toxic trait: requesting as many advance review copies as possible and then completely forgetting about it. i have requested and received so many books and i end up checking way too late only to find the download/review window is way past and i've lost my shot. additionally, your status on these accounts are determined by your "feedback ratio", so it also affects your ability to request books in the future. to add insult to injury here, once i do download the book, i completely forget when the archive date for the book is and i end up not finishing the book in time.

  • i'm making the rules here i don't have to worry about making everything exact or perfect. I can change it however often i need to because i'm the one making this up as i go :)

it's really hard for me to be kind to myself but i think if this were something a friend were saying to me, i'd have so much more grace for them than i would myself and i have to remind myself of that too.

so, okay... here we go!


Book 27: A Ruin of Roses by K. F. Breene

[ Deliciously Dark Fairy Tales #1 ]

About the Book

A spicy new twist on an old classic - a deliciously dark Beauty and the Beast reimagining.

I could save him, but he would ruin me.

The beast.

The creature that stalks the forbidden wood.

The dragon prince.

He has suffered a fate worse than death. We all have. A curse put upon us by the mad king. We are a kingdom locked in time. Shifters unable to feel our animals. Stuck here by a deal between the late king and a demon who seeks our destruction. The only one keeping this kingdom alive is Nyfain, the golden prince to a stolen throne. The last dragon shifter.

He’s our hope.

He’s my nightmare.

When he catches me trespassing in the forbidden wood, he doesn’t punish me with death, as he’s entitled. He takes me, instead. Forces me back to the castle as his prisoner. Seeks to use me. Apparently, I can save him. I can save the whole forgotten kingdom, locked away by the demon king’s power. But it would mean taming the monster beneath his skin. It would mean giving myself to him.

It would mean my ruin.


Order on Kindle | Order on Amazon | Order on

Read through Kindle Unlimited


My Review

i think the best way to start off this review is with a confession -- i could NOT stand A Court of Thorns and Roses. i had tried to get into it during my one hundred [ books ] of solitude in 2021 and i barely got halfway through it before i decided i had to mark it DNF (do not finish) and i really think this is what got me on my intensive quest to find a fairy tale retelling series i liked that was romance but also smutty and woof did i find something.

this book was WILD. it was almost comedic how over the top raunchy the scenes were at times and, while it did have some good spice, the absurdity really took me out of the mood. plot-wise, the book really reminded me of For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten, a book i read in the beginning of 2021 and really enjoyed but the writing style and the frequent breaking of the fourth wall in pivotal scenes of this book, really took away from it for me.

i think, eventually, i'll get to the next book in the series. but, im not rushing into it.


Book 28: The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

About the Book

After the first season of her true crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall is now a household name―and the last hope for thousands of people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.

The small town of Neapolis is being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. The town’s golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping a high school student, the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season Three a success, Rachel throws herself into interviewing and investigating―but the mysterious letters keep showing up in unexpected places. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insists she was murdered―and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody seems to want to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved.

Electrifying and propulsive, The Night Swim asks: What is the price of a reputation? Can a small town ever right the wrongs of its past? And what really happened to Jenny?


Order on Kindle | Order on Amazon | Order on

Try Reading with Book of the Month | Read through Kindle Unlimited


My Review

i really wanted to like this book but i ended up being really really disappointed. in the middle of 2022, Book of the Month announced they'd be beta testing book club options and my group of friends in the amanda marie reads book club discord server [click here to join!] decided to pick this to start off.

as a true crime podcast fan, i was immediately drawn to this book and what really attracted me even more was finding out the author, Megan Goldin, is a journalist.

the book falls in three POVs

  1. rachel's point of view (main narrative)

  2. the rachel's podcast episodes

  3. the letters written by jenny's younger sister, hannah

i really loved when the book switched to the podcast and letters because that's where Megan's journalistic talents really shined; but when it switched to rachel's main narrative, it felt lost and disjointed.

warning: spoilers ahead!

what really made this a near miss for me was the case at the very core of the book that rachel is reporting on for her podcast is very obviously based on the the people v. brock turner case. while the book did a good job to push the conversation forward, having read Chanel Miller's book Know My Name, i could not separate myself from this fictionalized account and what i knew about the case. additionally, i felt there were so many opportunities for the book to branch out. i saw the potential for a series here but this book comes in after rachel's success with the first season of her podcast and, while its alluded to, it isn't really explained. it felt like i dropped in to the middle of a series that doesn't exist. a direction i wanted the book to go: it would have been so interesting if rachel ended up being jenny's sister. there was space for it to happen and, i think it would have been a good reveal to explain some of the plot holes in the story. some things i found funny:

  • the producer of the podcast (whose name eludes me) in the book is really just a plot device for the end of the book. i think he must have been edited down into a lesser role to give more space for plot but i will say, it was nice to have a man be a plot device for once!

  • THERE WERE SO MANY TIMES WHERE RACHEL RANDOMLY GOES TO SOMEONE'S HOUSE AND NO ONE QUESTIONS WHY SOME STRANGER IS THERE. i mean, i understand it's a small town vibe. but there is a whole chapter where she goes to interview someone and just WALKS INTO THE HOUSE IN THE MIDDLE OF A PARTY and NOT A SINGLE PERSON questions who she is or why she's there. additionally, she was not given any directions of how to find this place nor descriptors of who she's supposed to be talking to, so how did she know which person to speak with?!

in the end, the book felt slightly disjointed but if this became a series, i think i would read the next one.


Book 29: Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales

About this Book

When their now famous ex-boyfriend asks them to participate in a teen reality show, two eighteen year old girls—one bent on revenge, the other open to rekindling romance—get tangled up in an unexpected twist when they fall for each other instead in Never Ever Getting Back Together by nationally and internationally-bestselling and Indie Next Pick author Sophie Gonzales.

It’s been two years since Maya's ex-boyfriend cheated on her, and she still can’t escape him: his sister married the crown prince of a minor European country and he captured hearts as her charming younger brother. If the world only knew the real Jordy, the manipulative liar who broke Maya’s heart.

Skye Kaplan was always cautious with her heart until Jordy said all the right things and earned her trust. Now his face is all over the media and Skye is still wondering why he stopped calling.

When Maya and Skye are invited to star on the reality dating show Second-Chance Romance, they’re whisked away to a beautiful mansion—along with four more of Jordy’s exes— to compete for his affections while the whole world watches. Skye wonders if she and Jordy can recapture the spark she knows they had, but Maya has other plans: exposing Jordy and getting revenge. As they navigate the competition, Skye and Maya discover that their real happily ever after is nothing they could have scripted.


Order on Kindle | Order on Amazon | Order on


My Review

i found this book scrolling through netgalley and the title grabbed me. i'm no swifty, but who doesn't catch themselves singing along when one of her songs pops up?!

anyway, while the title and the cover piqued my interest, the synopsis grabbed me. i've never been a big fan of shows like the bachelor or any other reality competition series (they always stress me out) but this concept for this show was hilarious to me. i thought back through my roster of guys i've dated before and really imagined what it would be like if one of them called me on to a show like this and what i would do if i were a contestant.

i also loved that it was a layered love triangle in a way. very enemies to lovers between maya and skye and i really liked their dynamic and i loved having an honest LGBTQIA+ representation that did not feel forced or as if it were only a diversity plug. their connection felt genuine and i could feel myself getting sucked into their story.

what made me rate this book less than a champ were a couple of things. the writing felt a bit aged down in some portions. it really felt YA and i'm not sure if that is the demographic for the title and it became confusing at times because i couldn't figure out what ages maya and skye were supposed to be. the other part was, while i appreciated that the author did not fall into pitting all the women against each other, it felt like there was a need for one more villain other than their shared (asshole) ex-boyfriend. it was a very near miss for me but i will definitely be searching for other books from this author.


Book 30: Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

About this Book:

In this exhilarating novel by the best-selling author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry two friends--often in love, but never lovers--come together as creative partners in the world of video game design, where success brings them fame, joy, tragedy, duplicity, and, ultimately, a kind of immortality.

On a bitter-cold day, in the December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn't heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom. These friends, intimates since childhood, borrow money, beg favors, and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo. Overnight, the world is theirs. Not even twenty-five years old, Sam and Sadie are brilliant, successful, and rich, but these qualities won't protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of their hearts.

Spanning thirty years, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Venice Beach, California, and lands in between and far beyond, Gabrielle Zevin's Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love. Yes, it is a love story, but it is not one you have read before.


Order on Kindle | Order on Amazon | Order on

Try Reading with Book of the Month


my review

before I start my review, i'm going to call back to earlier in this post where i explained how awful i am with netgalley requests. i requested and received this egalley and did not realize until i was WAY too late to download it and, honestly, it broke my heart. so when i saw it was an option to get with my book of the month subscription, i added it to my box.

there were two things that drew me to this book:

  1. that gorgeous cover

  2. a tag line i read somewhere: "two friends often in love but never lovers"

i must admit, i was very intimidated by this book. i had always wanted to get into video games growing up but i always felt they were too expensive and, since i was an only child, i never really had anyone to play with me or share in the fun and so i defaulted to reading more. i had an n64 that i loved but i never wanted to ask for games because i knew they were expensive. but i always felt like all my cool friends had the cool games. so going into a book heavy on game culture, i was worried i'd feel isolated by the references. this book was so beautifully written and so thorough that i often forgot that i had barely any experience playing games to the extent the characters did.

i think what really engulfed me was the love in this book. i had been talking to a friend a couple months ago about the different types of love and how i believe that there are so many layers to loving people and there is no better way to explain that than reading this book.

warning: spoilers ahead!

ultimately, this book had the best written death of a character i have read in a long time. quite possibly ever. the set up for building marx up throughout the book as a central but secondary figure who carries the weight of the company that sam and sadie create and the entire section where he dies...

i always pride myself in trying to guess what happens next in books and i did not see this coming and certainly not in the way it happened. and it made so much sense for his character to die the way he did. it also made so much sense for the plot to turn how it did.

that part of the book destroyed me and i have half a mind to stop typing and reread it right now. (but if i do i'll never finish writing this post so i wont lol)</