As we continue to move our way through the new year, there is a whole slew of intriguing books that are set to release this year. For those of you who have “reading more books” as a part of your 2022 resolutions, it’s not too late to start.
“These Deadly Games” by Diana Urban (Feb. 1, 2022)
In a sick and twisted game, Crystal Donovan’s sister gets kidnapped. With only 24 hours to win and the threat of her sister’s death looming over her head if she refuses to play, calls the police or tells anyone about the game, she reluctantly obliges.
The tasks start off unusual and harmless, but soon take a turn for the worst as Crystal realizes that the tasks are meant to hurt and kill her friends.
With the clock continuously ticking, Crystal must outsmart the kidnapper and figure out their identity, while having to choose between her sister and her friends at the same time.
Young adult thriller novels do not always have the best feedback, but I like to stick my nose in them because of how fast-paced they are. Based on the plot alone, I think this book might be enjoyable for fans of the series “A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder” by Holly Jackson.
“Gallant” by V.E. Schwab (March 1, 2022)
The only piece of her past that main protagonist Olivia holds onto is her mother’s journal. When a letter arrives for Olivia to come home to Gallant, she’s surprised to learn that no one was expecting her arrival.
No matter how many troubling circumstances she’s faced with, Olivia finds comfort in Gallant. With a thirst to uncover the secrets hiding in Gallant, she uncovers a whole new side of her family.
One reason I’m excited for this book is because it reminds me of one of my favorite books from 2021, “The Grimrose Girls” by Laura Pohl, which has a second book coming out this year as well. Both books involve a boarding school where something isn’t quite right, which is my taste in books with academic settings.
Schwab released a short story titled “First Kill” in the book “Vampires Never Get Old: Tales with Fresh Bite,” which was an entertaining read. “Gallant” would be my first time reading one of her full-length novels, and with how much I liked her short story, I know I’m going to thoroughly enjoy this book.
“My Dearest Darkest” by Kayla Cottingham (March 29, 2022)
This sapphic horror novel stars Finch Chamberlin, who recently transfers to Ulalume Academy. Months before she started school, Finch and her parents got into an accident. Finch doesn’t know how she woke up after her heart stopped, however, something horrifying and ancient would not let her drown on that fateful night.
Selena St. Clair feels drawn to Finch and one night they accidentally summon a powerful, carnivorous creature. For the price of human body parts, the creature feeds off of the girls’ insecurities and promises to grant them all of their desires, such as beauty, power and adoration.
Finch and Selena must work together to stop the horror they unleashed before the price of each desire grows increasingly deadly and destroys their island.
Once I saw the words “sapphic horror,” I immediately added it to my list of books to read this year without even reading the plot.
Not only do I love books that deal with mystery and horror in schools, but it’s a major bonus if there’s a sapphic relationship on the side. This is also another book that reminds me of Pohl’s “The Grimrose Girls” since it deals with the same aspects.
“The Drowning Summer” by Christine Lynn Herman (April 19, 2022)
When the bodies of three drowned Long Island teenagers were resurfaced with sand dollars over their eyes, the murder remains unsolved. However, this did not stop the town from believing Evelyn Mackenzie’s father did it. Evelyn manages to get his charges dropped after summoning a ghost to clear his name.
Mina Zanetti comes from a generation of mediums who use the ocean to guide the dead to their final resting place. When the ghosts become increasingly dangerous after the sea levels rise, Mina gets shut out of her family’s business.
After Evelyn performs another summoning that goes wrong, Mina and Evelyn decide to solve the mystery of who was behind the drowning summer, while surfing through their feelings for each other at the same time.
When it comes to books dealing with the paranormal, I’m used to them being in academic settings. With this book taking place in the summer, I’m easily interested to see how this will play out.
These books are catered toward those with an appetite for spine-chilling mystery and thriller stories, with an occasional romantic relationship on the side. So stick to your resolutions and pick up these books as they release.