Looking back at my 2022 Reads

I appreciate how GoodReads helps me record the books I wish to read, let’s me track my progress of my current reads, and stores my ratings and reviews of read books.

In addition, I love how I can set a reading goal and Goodreads lets me know how close I am to achieving it. This year I read 14 books OVER my goal.

Not only that but Goodreads provides interesting analytics about my reads.

My Year in Books 2022

A YouTube Short showcasing my reads from 2023

The Top 5 Reads of 2022

On Kofi, I will be sharing Shorts on my top 5 2022 reads every week, and a full length video will be coming to YouTube in early February.

My 2022 Reads Analytics.

I love how I started and ended the year with an Indie Book. Both were books I loved.

First book of the year was: Forever Burn by Trinity Lemm

https://allyaldridge.com/book-review-forever-burn-by-trinity-lemm/

Last book of the year was: Shadows of the Circus by JD Groom

https://allyaldridge.com/book-review-shadows-of-the-circus-by-j-d-groom/

My longest book was: Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff

https://allyaldridge.com/book-review-empire-of-the-vampire-by-jay-kristoff/

My shortest book was: Romancing the Beat by Gwen Hayes

https://allyaldridge.com/book-review-romancing-the-beat-by-gwen-hayes/

The most shelved (popular) book was: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

https://allyaldridge.com/book-review-the-cruel-prince-by-holly-black/

My 2023 Reading Goal

I think I got carried away with reading this year and it impacted my writing goals. I want to be more productive towards my publishing goals this year so I’m setting my goal at 18 books.

There’s still plenty of books on my TBR that I didn’t get to. I’m going to shortlist the ones I want to read most – I don’t think this will be easy.

I’m excited for all the books I will get to read this year and wish you a Happy 2023. Feel free to friend my on Goodreads – the more the merrier.

[kofi]

Book Review: What Are Friends For? by Sarah Sutton

This post contains affiliate links. Please check out my affiliate disclosure page for more information.

About the book

My thoughts

I’ve wanted to read this book for ages. As someone who is married to their best friend, I was attracted to this friends to lovers romance.

When the MC accidentally kisses her best friend instead of her crush it makes everything complicated and awkward. Her best friend has no idea it was her he kissed.

Sarah executes the set up in a believable way, and the emotions that follow are raw and real. All the characters are well developed with their own drives and challenges.

The chapter art is snowflakes, and this little touch makes sense once you’ve read the book. I loved the ending, and the book left me feeling warm and happy.

Read it for Friends to Lovers, a sweet romance, and a happy ending.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

You can buy this book from:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3EaqlGs

If you enjoyed this, check out this:

[Kofi]

Book Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

This post contains affiliate links. Please check out my affiliate disclosure page for more information.

About the book

My thoughts

Initially I gave this book five stars but then when I came to write my review it dropped to 4 stars, but it is almost 5 stars.

I loved the set up of this book, and the world building. All the characters are well thought out with their own desires and intentions, making them interesting and realistic.

The majority of the story is set in fairy land. The Fae are cruel to humans, especially Prince Cardan. This makes fairy school hard for Jude and her twin sisters who are mortal. With no magical abilities like their half Fae sister, they are constantly trying to prove their worth.

Jude is clever and ambitious. She is determined to get the Fae kind to see she’s not powerless and trains for the tournament to become a knight. But when a battle for the crown starts up, she sees her opportunity to turn the tables.

The plot, motives, and descriptions were amazing. For some reason I thought there would be romance. There is some romance that adds to the plot, but it was too brief for my tastes.

Read it for sisters and blended family, fans of Fae, and if you love a smart strong spirited female lead.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

You can buy this book from:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3UNQel8

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src=”https://uk.bookshop.org/widgets.js”
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If you enjoyed this, check out this:

[Kofi]

2023 Goals!

I didn’t really set any goals last year and it left me feeling like I didn’t achieve everything I wanted to. Having no milestones left me unaccountable.

After reflecting on this, and learning from it, I must set goals for 2023! I went back to my Jan 2021 post to use as a goal setting template.

Publishing

Sky Heart: Book 2 in the Soul Heart Series

I wanted to publish this by the end of 2021. The goal rolled into 2022, and it’s still outstanding! This is my top priority for 2023. I am halfway through the developmental feedback. Completing this step by the end of Jan is doable.

For accountability, I will post my feedback on Ko-Fi & share to Twitter.

Summer Heart: Prequel of Soul Heart series

Originally this was titled New Moon (or Denny’s Story) and it was going to be a short novella that I would offer out as a readers magnet, but… I’m not good at short stories. This is fast becoming a full length novel.

Public Appearances: I would really love to do another face to face event. They are scary but I think they are important to be seen as an author. I’m not sure what though.

Other Stories: I would like to start a new novel. I have ideas for some stand alone novels. As I struggle for time to work on my main projects, these get pushed aside. When I want a change, I will work on:

  • A YA Paranormal Fantasy Horror set in a made up town- Paranormal YouTubers crossed with Blaire Witch Project
  • A YA Sci-Fi Romance set in Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk – The UKs equivalent of the USAs Roswell.
  • A Historical YA Fantasy set in Woolpit, Suffolk inspired by the local Green Children Legend.
  • A Vampire Fantasy Romance set at Birmingham university (location may change to London, Liverpool, or Ipswich) – Exploring addiction.
  • A Sci-fi Action story set at Landguard Fort, Felixstowe, Suffolk/Sealand – Drunk teens find a naked girl on the beach that has escaped a research facility, and now they are on the run. Inspired by Stranger Things and Hunted on Ch4.
  • And many more. I have tons of plot bunnies but not enough time to write. One day… one day…

Reading

12 – 24 Books: When I am working on my writing, I tend not to read. It depends on how productive I am towards my publishing goals. The last two years, I’ve doubled it but my progress in other areas were reduced.

Reviews: I wish to continue posting reviews on my blog, and Goodreads. If it’s on Litsy or BookBub, I will post it there too. In addition, I’d like to review books on my YouTube channel.

Social Media

Felixstowe Magazine: I have been fortunate enough to write for Felixstowe Magazine throughout 2022 and will continue in 2023. Check out my News page to discover the articles.

Website: I need to make sure my pages stay up-to-date. For example, whilst writing this I’ve found that “New Moon” is listed on my books page but hasn’t updated to the new title “Summer Heart”. This isn’t a biggie as I’m not marketing it yet, but I mustn’t lose sight of it.

I’m also not happy with my current host provider, Hostinger. I paid for 2 years, so I’m stuck with them for another year but in the autumn I need to check out other providers and prepare for a migration.

Ko-Fi: I joined last year, and really enjoy this site. It is now my shops home as it’s so easy to use. I need to update this more often and encourage people to follow me there.

[kofi]

YouTube: I really want to grow my YouTube channel. It’s hard because I need quiet to make videos. I also don’t want you to see my messy home, so I must tidy first (recently we had a leak in the kitchen that spread to the dining room – this is an ongoing nightmare). Then once recorded I need to edit, and my laptop is on the way out. There are lots of obstacles but this is a goal I’m not giving up on!

Consistently Post: I know this is important to keep the algorithm happy, but during 2022 I just lost my enthusiasm to post. I think it was burn out. However, this is what I will aim for:

  • Blog: Mon
  • IG: Wed (more if I feel like it)
  • Ko-Fi: Thu
  • Twitter: Sun
  • YT: Tue (fortnightly)
  • Newsletter: Every other month

Followers: I’m not too worried about building up my following as I’d rather have people I’m engaging with than big numbers. I’ve set my goal to increase by 10%, especially as I haven’t really tracked it for two years.

I barely sent out any news letters during 2022. To send one every other month would be an increase. It would be nice to get more subscribers but I won’t be pushing this.

I don’t like Facebook, so I’m going to drop this off completely.

I recently returned to Twitter. I stopped using Twitter because there was so much hate and preaching American Democrats. It pushed me to check out Parler. Parler was very American Republican and nothing else. Since Elon has taken over Twitter, it feels less political, and there is more rounded discussion. I’m enjoying Twitter again.

TikTok is an app I feel I should use more as people make book sales there, but it terrifies me. I’m not going to force myself to do it, if I feel inspired to post there I will but I’m not too bothered about my growth.

I had an idea to do a collab feature on YouTube called The Author Diaries. We found it challenging to find a time we were all free but I am still interested in doing this. In the meantime, I will create content for my YouTube channel on writing a book reviews.

BookBub, Goodreads, and Litsy are social apps for readers. I’m not very active on these except to post reviews. I can’t see that changing.

Reviews: Reviews are really important for a books visibility, so I will be tracking how many I have and – eek – remind my readers to leave reviews.

Personal

Skincare routine: I haven’t really bothered with my skincare or makeup products during 2022 as I tried to save money. It could be aging or my lack of care but my skin is in need of some attention. For 2023, I will invest in some nice products and look after my skin better.

Visit Jimmy’s Farm: My mum treated me to an annual pass so we can go whenever we like. We will be making the most of that. The pass also includes discounts at other places so we could check them out too.

Date Nights: My hubby and I are both busy working, looking after the kids, keeping up appearances with friends & family that we barely have quality time together. When we are together we are often exhausted. My hubby and I have agreed that we will try harder this year to make time for each other.

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