This past year, I finished thirteen books, which I consider to be quite the accomplishment since I worked two jobs and averaged four-ish hours of sleep the whole year. Plus, I slow down whenever I don’t like a book, which ultimately slows down conquering my TBR list.
Though there were some books I never want to see again, I had a better reading experience this year than I did last year.
Since every book has its own review separate from this writing, I am going to keep this a little brief and rank all the books I finished this year, starting with the worst one:
**The SJ Rating from each individual review does not apply here. How I felt about a book at the beginning of the year may not be the same as the end of the year.
13. You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth
Author: Jen Sincero
Release Date: April 18, 2017
Initial SJ Rating: 65%
Quick Thoughts: This book is very forgettable. I cannot remember a single thing about any tips or advice mentioned, but I do remember it took me FOREVER to finish this book because I was done after chapter two.
12. This Time Next Year
Author: Sophie Cousens
Release Date: August 1, 2020
Genre: Contemproary Romance/Contemporary Fiction
Initial SJ Rating: 47%
Quick Thoughts: Overall, it was just really boring. I wasn’t immediately hooked, and not a single emotion was evoked while I read this book besides annoyance.
11. This Close to Okay
Author: Leesa Cross-Smith
Release Date: February 2, 2021
Initial SJ Rating: 79%
Quick Thoughts: Honestly, this is a well-written book. Like, the author did a fantastic job of gripping my attention and keeping me coming back to read more. However, the ending was… a little disappointing.
10. What Would Frida Do?: A Guide to Living Boldly
Author: Arianna Davis
Release Date: October 20, 2020
Initial SJ Rating: 71%
Quick Thoughts: A redundant nonfiction book that consistently quotes another nonfiction book as its source of information. Though, there was tangible advice and how-tos, which I often seek in other self-help books.
9. Ugly Love
Author: Colleen Hoover
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Genre: New Adult Romance
Initial SJ Rating: 89%
Quick Thoughts: I will never understand the Colleen Hoover hype. Yes, she writes sex well, but you know what’s better than well-written sex scenes? A consistent, thoughtful plot—which isn’t present in this book.
8. The Hoodie Girl
Author: Yuen Wright
Release Date: August 10, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Initial SJ Rating: 83%
Quick Thoughts: Yes, I am scarily approaching my mid-20s, and yes, I am still reading on Wattpad while doing so. There are fantastic writers on the platform, including Yuen, so I felt the need to support her first physical book. However, there is definitely room for improvement.
7. My Body
Author: Emily Ratajkowski
Release Date: October 19, 2021
Initial SJ Rating: 94%
Quick Thoughts: This is where I couldn’t decided who should go where in the ranking because they’re all so good, which is why EmRata is number seven. However, her collection of essays is beautiful and will evoke some sort of emotion at some point.
6. Home Body
Author: Rupi Kaur
Release Date: November 17, 2020
Initial SJ Rating: 95%
Quick Thoughts: Honestly, this is the perfect pairing with My Body. Both have similar messages and themes. As with her other poetry collections, Rupi Kaur is honest and vulnerable, and there seems to be a deeper rawness that pulls at your heart strings.
5. Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close
Authors: Aminatou Sow & Ann Friedman
Release Date: July 14, 2020
Genre: Nonfiction, Self-Help
Initial SJ Rating: 90%
Quick Thoughts: The consistent shift between two povs kind of messed with my mind, but this is a book I consistently find myself referencing because it’s full of so much wisdom, advice, and honesty.
4. All About Love: New Visions
Author: bell hooks
Release Date: December 22, 1999
Initial SJ Rating: 100%
Quick Thoughts: Honestly, a classic. Every single person needs to read this book. Period.
3. Instructions for Dancing
Author: Nicola Yoon
Release Date: June 1, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Initial SJ Rating: 91%
Quick Thoughts: I’ve never related so much to a young adult character like I do Evie. After finishing this book earlier in the year, I find myself still thinking about her. Though there are a couple of sentences that grammatically had me scratching my head, Nicola Yoon wrote another masterpiece.
2. The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life, Freedom, and Justice
Authors: Anthony Ray Hinton with Lara Love Hardin
Release Date: March 27, 2018
Initial SJ Rating: 99%
Quick Thoughts: Another must-read for every single person on this planet. If you genuinely believe Black Lives Matter and want to semi-understand the struggle of simply having melanin, read this book. It should be a required reading for all.
1. I’m Glad My Mom Died
Author: Jennette McCurdy
Release Date: August 9, 2022
Initial SJ Rating: 100%
Quick Thoughts: Besides Mr. Hinton’s book, this is the most eye-opening book I read this year. Not everyone was a child in show business, but everyone can find a way to relate to Jennette’s story. Vulnerable. Honest. An emotional rollercoaster everyone needs to ride.
Reading over this writing, my quick thoughts seem a little harsh, but that’s how the blunt side of my brain works. If I have to give a short opinion on something, it definitely won’t be sugarcoated and falsified.
I hope 2023 is another good year of reading.