The Skulduggery Pleasant Series
By Derek Landy
Maybe this is technically cheating, but rediscovering this middle-grade series was undoubtedly one of the high points of my year. Landy is an expert at weaving threads across multiple books for the coolest payoffs. Excellent characters, twisting mysteries, and the perfect touch of dark humor make this series a must-read. And did I mention there’s a Bentley-driving skeleton with magical powers and an impeccable taste in fashion?
The Kaiju Preservation Society
By John Scalzi
This book was a delightful science-fiction surprise. I came for the giant monsters and stayed for the positive work environment (bet you weren’t expecting that!). This book is laugh-out-loud funny. Scalzi quickly creates a fully-fleshed out world full of monster hijinks, cool science, and quirky characters that I was completely drawn into. I would highly recommend adding this inter-dimensional adventure to your reading list!
I Kissed Shara Wheeler
By Casey McQuiston
I Kissed Shara Wheeler is the southern, queer, rom-com that the YA genre needed and deserved. McQuiston is a master at creating a cast of colorful, fun, and unique characters that feel so real you expect to run into them at the grocery store. I loved unravelling the mystery of Shara’s disappearance alongside the intrepid main character, and was touched by the range of stories to be found in its side characters. There’s a little something for everyone to enjoy in this excellent book.
By Veronica Roth
I love chosen one stories—and I love them even more if the chosen one trope gets brutally and delightfully dissected by its author, a feat which Roth pulls off in a spectacular fashion with Chosen Ones. Roth uses newspaper articles, essays, and book excerpts between chapters to perfectly execute my favorite kind of world-building. This book is filled with action and intrigue, mysteries and plot twists to keep you guessing. And as an added bonus, the hardcover edition of this wonderful book is absolutely stunning. I’m already looking forward to rereading it in 2023.
By Katharine McGee
The sequel to Royals, this book is like sneaking an extra piece of chocolate after dessert or adding bubbles to your bath. McGee imagines an America without a president but with a monarchy instead, and fills it with an ensemble cast of royal family and beyond, giving the reader a front-row, multiple-perspective peek into the drama that unfolds between them.