Ranking My First 22 Reads Of 2022! // indecisiveness galore

Ranking in general gives me all the feels.

When I’m being ranked, there’s the nervous butterflies, the foot-tapping anticipation and an undignified urge to stick out a tongue at my fellow competitor. When I’m doing the ranking, there’s the undeniable need to do justice, the thrill of selecting the top three and the fear of retaliation from the bottom.

Soo. *claps hands in quick succession* Since I’m in the mood for the package of feelings that comes with ranking today, I’m going to rank… books! Let us ignore the fact that books are, in fact, the only thing I’m qualified enough to rank.

Ok here’s how this is going to work. I am going to be ranking the first 22 books (because it’s 2022, get it?) I’ve read this year based on my opinion on them. We’re going to start in reverse order and work our way all the way to the top, meaning the books are in the order of worst to best. To make things more organized, there are also six categories under which certain consecutive rankings fall under, to express my overall feelings for those books. Each book cover shall be linked to it’s goodreads page and beside it are highlights (from the pov of yours truly) from the story which could either make you want to devour the book whole or run far far away from it.

With all that out of the way, let’s get started!

— #22 Caraval by Stephanie Garber —

→ a magical, dark treasure hunt type competition
→ a weak willed, “i just want to save my sister” main character
→ too many reminders of how “dangerous” the “game” is
→ anticlimatic deaths that aren’t even real

— #21 Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz —



→ a dragon flying Quidditch style sport
→ 16-18 year olds behave like 10 year olds
→ weirdly written dialogue
→ so many characters, so little info

— #20 Jade City by Fonda Lee —



→ rival clans and family politics
→ probably the slowest book you’ll ever read
→ seriously, it’s sloowww
→ oh also lots of POVs

— #19 Dead Girls Can’t Tell Secrets by Chelsea Khaso —

→ pretty classic murder mystery
→”everyone is hiding something”
→ feels like a wild goose chase
→ school secrets

— #18 Ace Of Shades —

→ dark fantasy
→ gang lords and con men
→ morally grey love interest
→ a sadist game of execution

— #17 The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe —


→ heavy themes (pls check tws!)
→ more about the past than the present
→ the present being a bank hostage situation which could have been made highly interesting
→ focuses on one and one character only

— #16 Not Here To Be Liked by Michelle Quach —

→ themes of feminism
→ romance was sort of instalove-y, there was no chemistry
→ lots of important things happened quickly
→ the love interest had zero personality except being an ex jock

— #15 Portrait Of A Thief by Grace D. Li —

→ college students turned thieves
→ colonization of art
→ chinese american identity
→ monologues on imperialism and “the American dream”

— #14 Hani And Ishu’s Guide To Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar —

→ desi main characters
→ biphobic white friends
→ fake dating (duh)
→ parental (they’re asian soo) pressure

— #13 Down Comes The Night by Allison Saft —

→ sworn enemies to lovers
→ killer×healer pairing
→ wintry night vibes
→ changing sides! betrayal! redemption! more betrayal!

— #12 Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley —

→ sapphic witches
→ sunshine×grumpy
→ magic gone wrong
→ a long journey (more like a quest actually)

— #11 Hidden In Plain Sight by Jeffrey Archer —

→ a witty detective story
→ smart and well thought out plot
→ taking down a drug squad
→ new additions to the team

— #10 So This Is Ever After by FT Lukens—


→ weird in the best way
→ friends to lovers awkwardness
→ set in a castle
→ takes place after your usual YA quest

— #9 In Deeper Waters by FT Lukens —

→ pirates and princes
→ and handsome mermen too
→ supportive elder siblings
→ kidnapping and rescues galore

— #8 If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich —

→ boy bands, fame and cancel culture
→ the best mother group
→ gay adorableness
→ openly gay vs closeted

— #7 You Have A Match by Emma Lord —

→ full summer-y vibes
→ best friends to lovers
→ secret sisters who couldn’t be more unlike each other
→ all sibling and platonic relationships were *chef’s kiss*

— #6 Geekerella by Ashley Poston —

→ modern day Cinderella retelling (minus the cheesy parts)
→ a delightful fandom… and a con!
→ anonymous texting
→ nerd supremacy

— #5 Namesake by Adrienne Young—

→ pirate-y adventure
→ treasure hunting for a mythical gem
→ torn familial relationships
→ morally grey cast

— #4 Tweet Cute by Emma Lord —

→ twitter wars!
→ ridiculously delicious desserts
→ rivals to friends to lovers
→ anonymous texting

— #3 Fable by Adrienne Young —

→ dangerous mc with traumatic past
→ found family
→ a not-so-merry journey through the seas
→ shocking reveals at every page

— #2 When You Get The Chance by Emma Lord —

→ a cheerful, goofy mc who is my new favourite person
→ reverse mamma mia!
→ the best platonic relationships
→ witty, immersive writing

— #1 Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong —

→ romeo juliet retelling
→ emotional rollercoaster
→ enemies to lovers PERFECTION and so. much. angst.
→ rival gangs, blood feuds, stabby women and soft men

Have you read any of these?? Bonus points if you’ve read them this year too! THOUGHTS ON THEM? Which are YOUR favourite reads so far this year?? (do not be fooled by the size of my tbr, i’m ALWAYS looking for yet more recommendations)

~ Rachel

March Wrap Up // i am become a reading machine

(no the title is not a grammatical mistake, shadow&bone anyone?)

Hullo inhabitants of the mortal realm, how are we doing today?

Ok here’s a joke. The guy who invented the umbrella was going to name it the brella. But he hesitated.

Wait why aren’t you laughing? *dramatic widening of eyes* Ohh I get it. You must be an agelast, which means a person who doesn’t laugh!

Believe it or not that was the weird word fact of the day. Oh well. It seems I’ve lost my touch since I haven’t written a wrap up since two months. Oops.

A quick note before we start this section- I might have gone full ballistic with my reading this month because I haven’t had free time like this since what, a whole year? Plus March is my birthday month so I decided to sort of treat myself by going on a reading spree especially during the last two weeks. I haven’t read these many books in a month like ever so that’s something to remember this March by right? Anyway another amazing thing is that I loved (like, loved loved) most of the books I read this month?? It seems the bookish gods have been showering me with blessings hehe.

Down Comes The Night by Allison Saft An immersive atmospheric read perfect for a dark wintry night! Brr I shiver just thinking about it. ★★★★

When You Get The Chance by Emma Lord The characters? Love. The plot? Love. The writing? Love. Literally everything about this contemporary is quirky and witty and it shall forever hold a place in my happily-ever-after loving heart. ★★★★★

Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz What a letdown. Here be dragons, but apparently here be disappointment as well. ★★

Heartstopper Volume 1-4 by Alice Oseman I’ll be honest, I went in expecting lots of fluffy gay adorableness and was unprepared for the many heavy themes that were handled, BUT I’m so glad I read this. Also the art was unparalleled. Also also yes I finally picked this up because I wanted to read the books before the Netflix show (!!) came out.

Fable & Namesake by Adrienne Young It’s a testament to how obsessed I was with this duology that I read it completely in two days—which unexpected because I’ve never read full length novels that fast. A gripping pirate-y adventure if I ever saw one! ★★★★★

Geekerella by Ashley Poston I don’t know if it’s just my inexperience in the world of contemporary novels speaking, but Geekerella was very different from any other ya romance i’ve read. I believe it was also my first ever Cinderella retelling and OH. MY GOSH. The way the elements from the original story were given a twist (scratch that, they were turned 180 degrees) had me squealing into my pillow. ★★★★½

Tahira In Bloom by Farah Heron Technically not counting this as a read because it was a DNF. *gasps from audience* i know i know, i dont think I’ve ever dnf’ed a book in the past few years but idk something just felt wrong about this which is sad because I had HIGH hopes.

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord Another Emma Lord book! Not surprising in the least, because I’ve made it my personal mission to devour everything this genius of a woman writes. With family rivalry, anonymous texting and DESSERTS (ok i swear i dont know how that found its way in this sentence) it was a fun, totally adorable contemporary. ★★★★½

I posted quite frequently this month, especially compared to February when I was writing part of a different post every day and finishing none of them. Click on the featured images to be taken to that post!

Part 2 of the iconic (if I do say so myself) Book Recommendations Based On Disney Movies is here! There are book quotes and movie dialogues and whatnot.

Someone evoke my mood reader license please because TBRs? But atleast seasonal tbrs are easier to follow than monthly ones right? Right?? Anyway, I present my TBR for Spring & Summer!

New blog series alert! Maddie from Inking & Thinking and I collaboratively started a series called March Madness But In Books where we pit two books against each other every week and choose a winner!!

You know I’ve gone full bad when I put together my own crew of fictional characters for a heist! Anyway its a lot of fun assembling characters according to heist archetypes, go check it out!!

March was my birthday month (which you couldn’t POSSIBLY have missed, given that I mention it a million times in my posts) and I decided to do a bookshelf reveal!!

Ash @Ink & Ash talks about the found family trope and gives recommendations!

Naemi @A Book Owl’s Corner recommends books based on weird Duolingo sentences!

Kaya @The Fictional Bookworm recommends books for fantasy beginners!

Emily @Frappes And Fiction talks about why book blogging is dying!

Suhani @Random Reader’s Rambles lists things she does not like about her favourite books!

Zainab @Dead Bookish Society recommends poc-poc romance books by bipoc authors!

Phoenix @Books With Wings lists things she has used as bookmarks!

🪄Ok I’m actually regretting calling this section EXCITING because my life isn’t always that. But anyway. Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first. *wards off evil* So there was this extremely bad family situation for most of March and while I do not wish to bombard you with details, I can tell you that I was miserable. But atleast it’s settling down now (i think)

🪄Yeah back to the actual exciting things! *drumroll* I started learning Spanish! Yes this was actually back in February but I did not do a february wrap-up so shh. Spanish has always been one of my dream languages but somehow it felt out of reach sorta? But after I’d assured myself that my German skills won’t go anywhere even if I learn Spanish, I felt invincible. Even more so by the fact that i now have a 24 day streak on duolingo and am constantly trying to beat my neighbour’s daily xp (he’s also learning spanish hehe)

🪄It’s hot here. Spring is not supposed to be this hot ok? I swear I’ll melt in the heat one of these days.

🪄School is starting offline from April after two whole years of online classes! Yeah I’d gone to school physically last year for exams but its the first time regular classes will take place offline. (also, despite what the exclamation mark led you to believe, I have mixed feelings about this whole thing)

🪄I ordered new books! Like for my birthday sort of? One of them was Tweet Cute, A Far Wilder Magic is on its way and there are a couple more.

🪄Surprisingly, I’ve still not given up on my fantasy wip, like I initially predicted I would. Instead now I’ve decided to go on full outlining mode and drafting now and then. I’ve befriended other writers on twitter and it’s all very encouraging.

🪄There’s a Heartstopper show coming on Netflix in April! Pretty sure you already know this (otherwise i hate to inform you that you’ve been living under a rock dear friend) but its an update fit for this section so i can’t just leave it out.

How was your March? Have you read any of these? Thoughts?? Any “exciting” things happening in your life? Let me know in the comments!!

~ Rachel

Bookshelf Reveal || it’s my birthday!

Hey! Everybody is supposed to be excited okay? Why, because it’s Rachel’s birthday today!

My questionable rhyming skills aside, it really IS my birthday! I’ve officially blessed this earth with my gracious presence for 15 whole years today (ohno no need to thank me).

I have sort of mixed feelings about this whole ageing thing. In some ways, it feels like I’ve lived an entire lifetime, you know? i’ve certainly read enough books for a lifetime But also, as long as I’m far far away from that cursed number we do not speak of (it starts with 1 and ends with 8 and there’s nothing in between), I’m good, thank you.

Soo I gave a LOT of thought (no seriously, i was daydreaming about this during physics class) to what sort of a post I should put up on this wondrous occasion (did i mention it is my birthday today?) but things turned out to be a little last-minute (pfft with me they always are last minute) so I decided to keep it short and sweet so guess what we’re doing today — *drumroll* BOOKSHELF REVEAL!

Ok I realize my drama probably amounted to nothing because the post’s title gave it away, but play along, will you? After all, it’s my birthday today *wink wink*

Yeah so I got this bookshelf just last year on Christmas (best gift EVER, am i right?) since my old one was practically overflowing. I have also bought new books since then and I’m pretty proud of it so shower it with love okay? Ta-da!

THE MIGHTY BOOKSHELF

I spent literal HOURS putting in the books (and I still pop my nose in now and then to get that book-y smell) so that they look just right. I didn’t really colour code the shelves like a lot of people do (mostly because I have zero aesthetic sense) but i did have a strategy of organisation. Sort of. I think?

Let’s talk about the left rack first. The topmost shelf on the left is for my classics like The Book Thief, Anne of Green Gables, Moby Dick etc. The shelf below that is mostly fantasy, with the Vega Jane quartet stacked on top of each other. My copy of Our Violent Ends, my pride my joy (and my tears), is front and centre obviously. To it’s right are other fantasy novels including A Dark and Hollow Star and King of Scars.

The two shelves below that (the 3rd and 4th shelves in the left rack) are mostly adult fiction with the only fantasy books (Aurora Burning, Blazewrath Games and Sweet & Bitter Magic) displayed proudly, cover and all. Notable adult fiction books from these shelves are those by Khaled Hosseini, Agatha Christie and Mitch Albom among others. (also this photo is a few days old so the 3rd shelf from the top now also houses Emma Lord’s Tweet Cute). The bottom two shelves are a random mix of middle grade and YA mystery thrillers.

Ok onto the rack in the right! I know its a bit of a mess but that’s because the entire rack is mostly filled with books from my childhood and comics and those are a nightmare to try and arrange neatly. There are two shelves dedicated to Enid Blyton (god her books had me in a chokehold) and one shelf each for my Tinkle comics and Geronimo Stilton. And there’s also those big picture books and all from when I had just started reading.

Soo that was all about the mighty bookshelf (she says, nice to meet you guys) aand we’re all done with this post as well because I don’t really know what else there is to be said. (except, it’s my birthday today did you know that?)

How do you organize your bookshelf? What do you use to decorate it? (I’m thinking some Funko Pops might add better aesthetic…) Do you still own books from your childhood? OH AND WHEN’S YOUR BIRTHDAY? Let’s chat in the comments!

~ Rachel

UPDATE: apparently i also decided to do a face reveal? anyway my profile picture for today is my real face ✌️

January Wrap Up // apart from the year, nothing new really

Gosh. Let me say it again on behalf of all those like me are confused by the mechanisms of time – How are we already a month into 2022? It’s like I blinked and the year went by. Hold up, does that mean–

*blink* How are we already a month into 2023? *blink* How are we already a month into 2024?

Okay enough of that. Many of you might be kind enough to wonder where my usual bird fact intro is, so let me finally explain. In 2022, we have a brand new category of introductions to my monthly wrap ups – and it is *drumroll* uncommon and weird words! *waits for applause, instead gets the sarcastic slow clap* Hey hey, hear me out at least.

Finifugal sounds like nonsense, but it means “afraid of finishing anything”. (speaking of which, my biology assignment is pending, brb)

If This Gets Out
Sweet & Bitter Magic
Portrait of a Thief

If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales Boy bands, secret parties and a glimpse of the stage life with an added dose of heartbreak and identity and fighting back. (Mom squad forever!!) ★★★★

Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley I’m a simple gal. Give me some magical witchy-ness, grumpy-sunshine romance, and perilous journeys leading to epic facedowns, and I’m sold. ★★★★

Portrait Of A Thief by Grace D. Li Not gonna lie, I came only for the heists. And while that certainly did deliver, nothing could have prepared me for the internal conflicts of identity and futures at stake. This one was full of surprises, and I mean that as a compliment. ★★★★

Caraval (Caraval, #1)
Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game, #1)
Our Violent Ends (These Violent Delights, #2)

Caraval by Stephanie Garber No we do not need a reminder on how dangerous the game is and a warning of not being swept away every two pages, thank you very much. Plus Scarlett was annoying and a little dumb. ★★

Ace Of Shades by Amanda Foody Uhh I think dark fantasy is just not for me?? ★★½

Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong Miss Gong did it again. The number of times I died and got resurrected while reading this is not even funny. ★★★★½

My first post of the year, and what better than to review three books from my newest favourite genre and my newest favourite author? Read my mini reviews of Perfect On Paper, Only Mostly Devastated and If This Gets Out here.

I never knew there were so many Disney fans here until I wrote this post and got an overwhelming response? But anyway, I compare some of my favourite disney movies to some of my favourite books, so it’s a win win really. Read it here!

A random post in which I try (and perhaps fail miserably? but shh) to guess the zodiac signs of some of my favourite characters based on their personalities! Read it here.

I review an ARC of This Last Adventure by Ryan Dalton, a middle grade focused on the grandson of an Alzheimers’ patient. You can read it here.

We have a special guest on the blog in this one, and it’s none other than my friend Anoushka from Dipped In Ink! She cleverly answers a set of (extremely hard, if i do say so myself) questions and i do the same on her blog! Read the whole shenanigan here.

Kaya @A Fictional Bookworm reviews Disney’s latest movie Encanto!
Andge @Down The Rabbit Hole reviews You’ve Reached Sam!
Ritz @Living Loving Reading writes a discussion on banned books!
Charvi @Not Just Fiction recommends books based on board games!
Rania @Rania’s Rambling Reads reviews Portrait Of A Thief!
Naemi @A Book Owl’s Corner lists 7 bookish details she misunderstood as a kid!
Suhani @Random Reader’s Rambles recommends books based on zodiac signs!

🪄Academics wise, January was top tier in the sense that I got selected for courses for the next academic year in the institute I’m studying in, with very good ranks (1 and 4 respectively for two different courses) and generous scholarships. Ok now i’m going to stop the bragging.

🪄Not ‘exciting’ per se, and I think I mentioned in one of my earlier posts as well but the third week of January was pure torture, in terms of health at least. I was sick for nearly that entire week, and it was PAINFUL. And I still have a bad cold, which is annoying at the very least.

🪄Some better news is that I’m now paying more attention to my WIP (atleast I was, until I fell ill hmph) which had been pitifully neglected the past few weeks. Progress is still extremely slow though (there go your dreams of seeing a published copy in your lifetime MWAHAHA) but we’re getting there. Slowly. Very Slowly.

🪄I’m also starting to be more active on twitter now, so go give me a follow there! My tag is @callmeabookworm

How did you like the transition from “birds” to “words”?(no it has not escaped my notice that they rhyme) Have you read any of the mentioned books? Thoughts?? And link your monthly wrap ups if you’ve posted, I’d love to read them!

~ Rachel

The End Of The Year Book Tag // ft. a fraction of my tbr for 2022!

‘Tis that time of the year, folks! Okay wait no, that doesn’t sound right. I would be saying that if I’d been blogging for decades (or maybe even a couple of years) and this was my 17th time doing this annual tag. Far from it; it’s actually my first time. *sigh* So much for that one line. I’ll go with my usual “hey guys” next time.

Anyway, we have some brilliant bookish questions to answer, so let’s get started, shall we?

~Are there any books you started this year that you still need to finish?~

Not My Problem

King of Scars (King of Scars, #1)

At the time of writing, I am currently reading Not My Problem and King Of Scars. I am almost 60% in the former, but have read only a few pages of the latter. But I definitely hope to finish both in a few days.

~Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?~

Small Spaces (Small Spaces, #1)
The Haunting of Aveline Jones

Umm not really. But I do feel obliged to mention a couple of books with autumn vibes, so we are going to go with Small Spaces and The Haunting Of Aveline Jones.

~Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?~

If This Gets Out

If This Gets Out is the last 2021 release I’m waiting for.

~What are three books you want to get to before the end of the year?~

Our Violent Ends
Aurora's End (The Aurora Cycle, #3)
Rule of Wolves (King of Scars, #2)

*nervous chuckle* sooo that’s a difficult one because there are at least a million books I want to read in 2021 (or what’s left of it), you know, books I said I would read this year for sure but never got to them, books on my shelves collecting dust… but that’s a depressing line of thought so let’s move on.

I picked 3 books from my “asap tbr”, which I would very much like to get to immediately, if circumstances allow it. (by which I mean if I somehow manage to acquire a copy of OVE) All 3 are sequels of some sort, and I guess I want to read them this year so that sometime far away in the future (read: next year) I can say that I finished such-and-such series in 2021.

~ is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite of the year? ~

Well saying the favourite would be a bit of a stretch, since that spot (and a few spots below it as well) has already been occupied… but yeah I guess there can be a couple additions to my top 10? But also. I’ve learnt that books can surprise you when you least expect it, so no promises.

~ Have you already started making reading plans for 2022? ~

Not plans per say, but of course I’ve a huge tbr laid out for the initial months of 2022. There are SO many amazing releases (just LOOK at those covers!!) coming out next year, and also I have quite a lot of backlist books (books released in 2021 and before) that I want to read, so my tbr is a mix of all these. But (i feel like all of my answers have this ‘but’ element??) then again, who follows tbrs over here right?

Is there a 2021 release you’re still waiting for? Which are your most anticipated 2022 releases? Let me know in the comments!

~ Rachel