Happy Friday, friends! I took a day off this week and actually had some time to blog! So I thought I would write a post of my 2022 anticipated releases. There are a ton of books I’m really excited about, some by authors I’ve read from before, some that sounds like they were written for me, and I wanted to share my excitement.
So, let’s talk about them!
The Family Chao by Lan Samantha Chang (release date: February 1, 2022)
The residents of Haven, Wisconsin, have dined on the Fine Chao Restaurant’s delicious Americanized Chinese food for thirty-five years, happy to ignore any unsavory whispers about the family owners. But when brash, charismatic, and tyrannical patriarch Leo Chao is found dead—presumed murdered—his sons discover that they’ve drawn the exacting gaze of the entire town.
The ensuing trial brings to light potential motives for all three brothers: Dagou, the restaurant’s reckless head chef; Ming, financially successful but personally tortured; and the youngest, gentle but lost college student James. Brimming with heartbreak, comedy, and suspense, The Family Chao offers a kaleidoscopic, highly entertaining portrait of a Chinese American family grappling with the dark undercurrents of a seemingly pleasant small town.
Chang’s novella, Hunger, is one of my favourites. I think she’s a super talented writer and really has a way of describing very specific experiences so I was really excited to see she wrote a full novel. This novel sounds vaguely Celeste Ng-esque, and I love small town drama, so I’m very excited for this.
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel (release date: April 19, 2022)
Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal—an experience that shocks him to his core.
Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She’s traveling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony, a place of white stone, spired towers, and artificial beauty. Within the text of Olive’s bestselling pandemic novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him.
When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the black-skied Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended: The exiled son of an earl driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe.
Emily St. John Mandel could write literally anything and I would read it. Luckily for me, this sounds fascinating. It sounds like it has elements of another one of her novels, Last Night in Montreal, which was one of my favourites of this year. So hopefully I love it.
The World Cannot Give by Tara Isabella Burton (release date: March 8, 2022)
When shy, sensitive Laura Stearns arrives at St. Dunstan’s Academy in Maine, she dreams that life there will echo her favorite novel, All Before Them, the sole surviving piece of writing by Byronic “prep school prophet” (and St. Dunstan’s alum) Sebastian Webster, who died at nineteen, fighting in the Spanish Civil War. She soon finds the intensity she is looking for among the insular, Webster-worshipping members of the school’s chapel choir, which is presided over by the charismatic, neurotic, overachiever Virginia Strauss. Virginia is as fanatical about her newfound Christian faith as she is about the miles she runs every morning before dawn. She expects nothing short of perfection from herself—and from the members of the choir.
Virginia inducts the besotted Laura into a world of transcendent music and arcane ritual, illicit cliff-diving and midnight crypt visits: a world that, like Webster’s novels, finally seems to Laura to be full of meaning. But when a new school chaplain challenges Virginia’s hold on the “family” she has created, and Virginia’s efforts to wield her power become increasingly dangerous, Laura must decide how far she will let her devotion to Virginia go.
I loved Burton’s other novel, Social Creature. It was such an interesting book, and she was able to write women being obsessive so well. And this book sounds like it’ll have similar elements, so I’m very excited.
Tripping Arcadia by Kit Mayquist (release date: February 22, 2022)
Med school dropout Lena is desperate for a job, any job, to help her parents, who are approaching bankruptcy after her father was injured and laid off nearly simultaneously. So when she is offered a position, against all odds, working for one of Boston’s most elite families, the illustrious and secretive Verdeaus, she knows she must accept it—no matter how bizarre the interview or how vague the job description.
By day, she is assistant to the family doctor and his charge, Jonathan, the sickly, poetic, drunken heir to the family empire, who is as difficult as his illness is mysterious. By night, Lena discovers the more sinister side of the family, as she works overtime at their lavish parties, helping to hide their self-destructive tendencies . . . and trying not to fall for Jonathan’s alluring sister, Audrey. But when she stumbles upon the knowledge that the Verdeau patriarch is the one responsible for the ruin of her own family, Lena vows to get revenge—a poison-filled quest that leads her further into this hedonistic world than she ever bargained for, forcing her to decide how much—and who—she’s willing to sacrifice for payback.
I love a good rich person drama, not going to lie. I especially love it when an outsider is invading the rich world. It’s just such a fun, interesting premise to me. Also, the cover of this is stunning. 10/10, gorgeous.
You Truly Assumed by Laila Sabreen (release date: February 8, 2022)
Sabriya has her whole summer planned out in color-coded glory, but those plans go out the window after a terrorist attack near her home. When the terrorist is assumed to be Muslim and Islamophobia grows, Sabriya turns to her online journal for comfort. You Truly Assumed was never meant to be anything more than an outlet, but the blog goes viral as fellow Muslim teens around the country flock to it and find solace and a sense of community.
Soon two more teens, Zakat and Farah, join Bri to run You Truly Assumed and the three quickly form a strong friendship. But as the blog’s popularity grows, so do the pushback and hateful comments. When one of them is threatened, the search to find out who is behind it all begins, and their friendship is put to the test when all three must decide whether to shut down the blog and lose what they’ve worked for…or take a stand and risk everything to make their voices heard.
I realized recently that I haven’t read a YA book by a Muslim author, and I hadn’t read anything by a Black Muslim author. This one has been on my radar for a while, and I’m really excited to finally read it!
How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu (release date: January 18, 2022)
Beginning in 2030, a grieving archeologist arrives in the Arctic Circle to continue the work of his recently deceased daughter at the Batagaika crater, where researchers are studying long-buried secrets now revealed in melting permafrost, including the perfectly preserved remains of a girl who appears to have died of an ancient virus.
Once unleashed, the Arctic Plague will reshape life on Earth for generations to come, quickly traversing the globe, forcing humanity to devise a myriad of moving and inventive ways to embrace possibility in the face of tragedy. In a theme park designed for terminally ill children, a cynical employee falls in love with a mother desperate to hold on to her infected son. A heartbroken scientist searching for a cure finds a second chance at fatherhood when one of his test subjects—a pig—develops the capacity for human speech. A widowed painter and her teenaged granddaughter embark on a cosmic quest to locate a new home planet.
Another pandemic book about the human condition. I’m honestly not sure how I first heard of this book, but it sounds like something I’d love. Different perspectives, light sci-fi, it has really great reviews. So I’m excited nonetheless.
Yerba Buena by Nina LaCour (February 8, 2022)
When Sara Foster runs away from home at sixteen, she leaves behind not only the losses that have shattered her world but the girl she once was, capable of trust and intimacy. Years later, in Los Angeles, she is a sought-after bartender, renowned as much for her brilliant cocktails as for the mystery that clings to her. Across the city, Emilie Dubois is in a holding pattern. In her seventh year and fifth major as an undergraduate, she yearns for the beauty and community her Creole grandparents cultivated but is unable to commit. On a whim, she takes a job arranging flowers at the glamorous restaurant Yerba Buena and embarks on an affair with the married owner.
When Sara catches sight of Emilie one morning at Yerba Buena, their connection is immediate. But the damage both women carry, and the choices they have made, pulls them apart again and again. When Sara’s old life catches up to her, upending everything she thought she wanted just as Emilie has finally gained her own sense of purpose, they must decide if their love is more powerful than their pasts.
LaCour’s YA novel We Are Not Alone was one of my favourites of 2020, and this is her first adult novel, so I’m super excited to read it. It sounds fantastic and super interesting, with really great characters and a great setting.
Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li (release date: April 5, 2022)
History is told by the conquerors. Across the Western world, museums display the spoils of war, of conquest, of colonialism: priceless pieces of art looted from other countries, kept even now.
Will Chen plans to steal them back.
A senior at Harvard, Will fits comfortably in his carefully curated roles: a perfect student, an art history major and sometimes artist, the eldest son that has always been his parents’ American Dream. But when a shadowy Chinese corporation reaches out with an impossible—and illegal—job offer, Will finds himself something else as well: the leader of a heist to steal back five priceless Chinese sculptures, looted from Beijing centuries ago.
His crew is every heist archetype one can imagine—or at least, the closest he can get. A conman: Irene Chen, Will’s sister and a public policy major at Duke, who can talk her way out of anything. A thief: Daniel Liang, a premed student with steady hands just as capable of lockpicking as suturing. A getaway driver: Lily Wu, an engineering student who races cars in her free time. A hacker: Alex Huang, an MIT dropout turned Silicon Valley software engineer. Each member of his crew has their own complicated relationship with China and the identity they’ve cultivated as Chinese Americans, but when Will asks, none of them can turn him down.
Because if they succeed? They earn fifty million dollars—and a chance to make history. But if they fail, it will mean not just the loss of everything they’ve dreamed for themselves but yet another thwarted attempt to take back what colonialism has stolen.
Is the cover for this not stunning? it is seriously so gorgeous. Anyway, this sounds like a mix of Six of Crows and The Majesties and If I Had Her Face, which is a weird combination that I am 100% here for. It sounds fantastic and right up my allet.
The One That Got Away by Sophie Gonzales (release date: September 8, 2022)
Bisexual eighteen-year-old Maya dumped her cheating ex, Jordy, two years ago—and good riddance. But when Jordy’s sister marries the crowned prince of a small European country and he shoots to fame, Pippa Middleton style, reality show producers approach her to appear on a Bachelor meets second-chance-romance show, along with all his other exes.
Maya agrees, but she’s nursing a secret agenda: use the show to make sure the world knows what kind of person Jordy is. When her manufactured “enemy” on the show, Skye—who happens to be the girl Jordy cheated on her with—finds out about Maya’s plan, the two make a pact; they’ll help each other make it to the finale by any means necessary, and whoever wins will expose Jordy on national television.
But as Maya’s relationship with Skye start to change from co-conspirators to something more, she discovers just how hard it is to watch the girl you’re falling for seduce the guy who broke your heart.
Even if it is just for show.
This sounds,,,,, so trashy and so good. I love the Bachelor, I love fake dating, I love messy gays, I love royals dating regular people. Like this just sounds so so so good.
So there are some of my anticipated releases! What 2022 books are you excited for? Any of these? Let me know!