January 2022 Novel Ideas: 27 Quick Lit Reviews

Novel Ideas 62
January 2022 Novel Ideas: 27 Quick Lit Reviews 29

Our reading year is off to a rocking start! We’ve got 27 reviews in January 2022 Novel Ideas.

Our reading challenge prompt for this month was to read a book that’s going to be or has been adapted for the screen and we both read more than one! Next month is Feel-Good read month and I’m ready! I need to shake off these winter blues with a little levity.

Check out the list below to find out what to read and what to skip!

*Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you. Some books have been gifted. All opinions are our own.

Kirsten’s January 2022 Novel Ideas Stack

The Liz Taylor Ring by Brenda Janowitz

The Liz Taylor Ring by Brenda Janowitz

This book has all the elements of the perfect beach read. Family drama, gorgeous jewelry, and a cast of characters you’ll adore!

Lizzie and Richie’s love story has its shares of ups and downs, but after a 9-month separation, Ritchie gives his wife an 11-carat Diamond ring styled after Elizabeth Taylor’s.

Decades after the ring was stolen, or missing, or gambled away (depending on which of their children you ask) and long after their parents have passed, it resurfaced in the Caymans. The ripple effects of the ring and the drama it created, threaten to tear the 3 grown siblings apart.

I adored every character in the book and loved watching their personal growth and the way it impacted their family relationships. If you love books like this, check out our list of family drama books.

Thanks to Graydon House for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Hotel Portofina

Hotel Portofino by J. P. O’Connell

The newest Downton Abbey movie has the Crawleys headed to the south of France for a vacation! Which makes me thrilled to have read this charming story of a Hotel in Portofino, Italy during the years just after WW1.

We get to see the new, British owners of the Hotel Portofino settle in to running a hotel with their adult children. The guests are eccentric, there is a mystery around a piece of stolen art, and some romantic relationships coming together and falling apart.

In short, it’s a family drama perfect for fans of Downton Abbey, plus, it’s being turned into a show on PBS as well!

Thanks to Blackstone Publishing for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
our kind of people

Our Kind of People by Carol Wallace

This is a family drama set in gilded age NYC. The family loses and then regains their fortune in transit speculation when their girls are becoming debutantes.

There are love stories but it’s really about how society was changing at the time with the old money vs. the newly rich. The author wrote a non-fiction book that was used for reference with Downton so she knows her stuff. I loved it! This book made me remember how much I love to read historical fiction books set in this era.

Thanks to Putnam for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Reputation ny Lex Croucher

Reputation by Lex Croucher

Gossip Girl meets Pride and Prejudice? YES, PLEASE! Georgianna is thrust into the world of the Regency elite in. Lower class Georgianna is thrust into the elite circle of regency society, and it might just be her downfall.

This bitchy, riotous take on the regency era had me gasping with shock and flipping the pages at the speed of light. I would love to see this story adapted to the big (or small) screen.

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Sense and Second Degree murder

Sense and Second-Degree Murder by Tirzah Price

I read the first book in Price’s mystery retelling of the Austen classics last month for our Austen retellings post.

As you can tell from the title, this particular book is a retelling of Sense and Sensibility – with the Dashwood sisters out to figure out who murdered their father!

I loved seeing how the well known characters would play a role in this clever retelling. I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in the series.

Thanks to Harper Teen for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
how to love your neighbor

How to Love Your Neighbor by Sophie Sullivan

I’m a SUCKER for renovation romances. Add in a swoon-worthy neighbor in a neighboring beach house, a charming best friend, and a second home renovation and I’m pretty sure this is the perfect grumpy sunshine romance for me.

I absolutely adore this book because there was no stupid break-up halfway through, just an enemies-to-lovers couple learning to communicate in their new relationship. A perfect romance for Valentine’s Day.

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Weather girl 2

Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon

I’m an avid weather lover, so this was one of my most anticipated Winter 2022 new releases!

In this romance novel, weather girl Ari teams up with sports anchor Russ to get their feuding bosses back together Parent-Trap style.

Along the way they kindle sparks of their own! There are lots of fun weather puns, adorable scenarios for both romantic pairs, and love scenes that aren’t for the faint of heart🔥🔥🔥.

The best part of all is that the book deals with REAL life issues like depression, body image, teen pregancy, and complex families. 

Thanks to Berkley for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Resting BEach Face

Resting Beach Face by Melanie Summers

Melanie Summers is back with the 4th book in her Paradise Bay series. These Rom-Coms are always laugh-out loud funny, which is why I read one every vacation!

This particular story tells the story of Hadley, the resort dance instructor, finding herself and reconnecting with her childhood best-friend Heath. Heath….who just happens to have been in love with Hadley for his entire life.

Thanks to Melanie Summers for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Dava Shastris Last Day 1

Dava Shastri’s Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti

Good Morning America Book Club December 2021 Pick

I DEVOURED this story of a billionaire music mogul who releases her death announcement 2 days early so she can read her own end-of-life articles. 

The best part was that during the snow storm that trapped her family with her at ski chalet, she negleted to tell them about her terminal illness and her harebrained scheme. 

We get to see the impact the decision has on her family as well as get a look at her colorful life before her cancer diagnosis. This family drama was so compelling,

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

I’m such a huge fan of historical fantasy stories about the Greek Gods. I find the mythology to be captivating, so it’s not a surprise that I loved Saint’s take on Ariadne’s story.

Ariadne is the child of the king of Crete who goes on to become the wife of the god, Dionysus. The story tells her story, as well as the stories of Theseus, the Minotaur, and Phaedra, all big names in mythology.

If you loved The Odyssey or A Thousand Ships, pick up this pick from adult fantasy novels!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Bewilderment by Richard Powers

This book is a sci-fi fantasy-like book that explores brain treatments to correct behaviors in a child with suspected Autism.

Robin is a sweet child who feels deeply and can have big mood swings, but when a treatment if offered to help him sync his brain to that of his dead mother’s, he jumps at the change.

As the experiment gains momentum and Robin’s behavior changes, his dad Theo is left wondering about the potential consequences.

This Oprah book club pick explores the parent-child bond, the growing climate crisis, and autism in a way that will have you thinking about it for months to come.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

For more of Oprah’s Book Club picks, check out the ranked list in this post.

Summer of 69

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand

Elin is the Queen of Beach Reads (and we know, because we write about beach reads ALOT.) This particular story takes place on Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard during the summer of 1969 when members of the Levin family are at a turning point.

One daughter is on the verge of adolescence, another is about to becoming a mother, while the last is exploring the freedom of her college years. Their brother is off fighting in the Vietnam war and their mother is suffering from alcoholism and depression.

As this family drama unravels, Hilderbrand explores the societal changes and the impact it had on one family.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
the alchemist

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Coelho’s classic book is a one-sitting fantasy read that is an utter delight.

Santiago embarks on an adventure to look for treasures in the desert of Egypt after meeting a mystical being. Along the way, he makes friends, learns lessons, and finds love.

This fable holds a wealth of knowledge and wisdom that opens the readers mind up to the true joys of life.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The School for Good Mothers

The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan

Read with Jenna Book Club January 2022 Pick

This book, about a mother sent to a reform institute after making a parenting mistake, is billed as satire. The problem was I felt equal parts uneasy and angry.

The “school” she was sent to simulates parenting under extreme conditions in a way that is detrimental to the parents and the kids. I didn’t find it entertaining, but rather disturbing and anger-provoking. This book about motherhood is sure to invoke some lively conversation.

The scenarios and treatment of mothers and kids were strange and unreasonable. It was just not a great story for me at this point in the pandemic.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
The Summer I Turned Pretty

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Ok, so I adored To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, but this YA romance felt much more juvenile. The love triangle, the antics, it was all just a little too young for my tastes.

Set when Belly turns 15, at the beach house she visits every summer with her mom, her brother, and her mother’s best friend’s family, this coming-of-age is geared towards 15-year-olds for sure.

I read it for the reading challenge, and while I didn’t love it for me, I’ll be interested to see how it gets adapted though! This sweet pick is perfect for a list of books like People We Meet on Vacation and it recently became an Amazon adaptation.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
cruel beauty

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

A Court of Thorns and Roses is a Beauty and the Beast retelling with a twist, just like Cruel Beauty. In this story, Nyx knows she must marry the evil ruler of the land in the hopes she can kill him and free her fellow citizens.

But once she moves inside the walls of the enchanted castle, she surprised by the feelings that her husband evokes in her heart. This story also makes references to Greek Mythology throughout. I loved how the fairy tale and mythology elements intertwined.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
The Glittering Hour

The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey

Set in the dual timeline of 1925 and 1936, this story is perfect for fans of Sybil and Branson’s love story. In 1936, Alice is stuck at her stuffy grandparent’s estate while her parents are abroad.

Her mother, Selina, sets her on a treasure hunt through the grounds, to reveal her own childhood adventures. But back in 1925, we see her falling in love with a man that is below her station.

This heartbreaking love story is an epic novel worth enjoying over a long weekend.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Jackie’s January 2022 Novel Ideas Stack

The Prynne Viper 1

The Prynne Viper by Bianca Marais

Is there anything author Bianca Marais can’t do? This amazing sci-fi packs everything into a short story without the story feeling rushed. Yet, we get a full cast of characters with histories, a glimpse at a future and a story that doesn’t stop for one minute.

Somehow I’m this imperfect perfect world, there is still something to fight for. Each viable human ( Viper for short) must face a jury who will decide on their right to live. That jury is comprised of the lives that will be directly affected if that person is allowed to be born. What an amazing idea for a story. I loved it.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
The Arc

The Arc by Tory Henwood Horn

Ursula is a very successful VP of Strategic Audacity. She has everything that she could want in her personal life except a partner to share it with. When She hears about The Arc, she is intrigued. This very exclusive match making company uses science to match you with your perfect match using assessments from your sleeping habits to smells that attack you. The price tag is high but is it worth it?

When Ursula is paired with Rafael it seems to good to be true. Can love ever be guaranteed? This romance is so unique and fun. I loved it!

Thanks to Libro.fm for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Daughter of the Mood Goddess boy Sue Lynn Tan

Daughter of the Moon Goddess: A Novel by Sue Lynn Tan

This debut fantasy is inputted by the Chinese legend of the moon goddess. I have never heard of the legend but this book intrigued me.

Xingyin lives with her mother on the moon and is not aware that her mother has been hiding her from the Celestial Emperor. When Xingyin’s magic seeks to reveal her cover, she must escape and leave her mother behind.

Xingyin must make her own way while finding a path back to her mother. I enjoyed this YA fantasy that is unlike any other that I have read

Thanks to Harper Voyager for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Homicide and Halo Halo

Homicide and Halo-Halo (A Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery) by Mia P. Manansala

In this second Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery, threats have been made at a beauty pageant and Lila Macapagal has her eyes open and sleuthing goggles on and ready to go.

This mystery is definitely not as light hearted as the first in the series as Lila is dealing with issues from PTSD to reliving her own past as a beauty pageant contestant.

When there is a murder and Lila’s cousin Bernadette is the primary suspect, Lila but make sure that family comes first. There is a lot of growth in the characters in this second book. It ends on a happy note which gives a nice balance to some of the heavier topics.

Thanks to Berkley Books for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Circus of Wonder by Elizabeth MacNeal

Circus of Wonders by Elizabeth Macneal

Nell has always been different because of the birthmarks on her skin but she never expected that her father would use that difference to make a profit. When Jasper Juniper’s Circus of Wonder comes to town, Nell’s father sells her to Jasper as a leopard girl.

Jasper sees Nell and sets about making her into the star of his show and his ticket to stardom. When Nell starts to find friendship in her fellow performers and fall in love with Jasper’s brother Toby, the question is whether Toby can separate himself from Jasper and his past and whether Nell will take control of her story.

Thanks to Atria for my review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Olga Dies Dreaming

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez

I am so happy that I chose this book for the January Reading Challenge. It grabbed me from the first page.

Olga is a successful wedding planner for the elite in New York City who has been unsuccessful with finding love. Her brother, Pedro is a congressman who is hiding secrets. Both of them are running from their past and distancing themselves from their mother who has become a political militant.

As Hurricane season comes, the aftermath to their lives is more than they could have anticipated and caused them to face their deepest secrets and fears. This was my pick for the January reading challenge prompt to read a book being adapted to the screen.

Thank you Libro.fm for my copy of this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
the Book of Longings

Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd

I do not know why I hesitated to read this book. But I am glad that I waited so I could appreciate every nuance that this book has to offer.

This book is the story of Ana. A women ahead of her time, Ana is a scribe and can speak many languages. She is also the fictional wife of Jesus Christ and sister to Judas.

The writing and the story telling of this book are beautiful and epic. It is a must read for any historical fiction lover.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Cuban Girls Guide to Tea and Tomorrow

A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

Reese’s Bookclub YA pick for November 2020

This is an adorable YA romance that had my tea-loving heart at the title but, the story was sweet and had me turning the pages. But fair warning, you will be hungry while reading this book about tea.

Lila is leaving Miami to spend the summer in England with her mom’s best friend as a way to help Lila’s mental health. With the unexpected break-up with her boyfriend, her best friend leaving after graduation and the death of her beloved Abuela, Lila’s life is not where she thought it would be.

Slowly, with new friends and a new city, Lila starts to see a different side of life, and maybe change is ok. This is a sweet pick from our list of bakery romance novels.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

If you love Reese’s Book Club, we have the complete list of Reese’s Book Club Picks Ranked

Incense and Sensibility

Incense and Sensibility by Sonali Dev

I have read all the books in this series and I am looking forward to the fourth that is coming out in May.

Yash Raje has always known what he wants and that hard work will get him there. But, when Yash is shot while on the campaign trail, he life comes crashing in on itself.

Now, having panic attacks, Yash and his family need to turn to someone they can trust to help without leaking his personal fears to the media. India is his sisters best friend and the perfect person to turn to. Can Yash forget the perfect night they had ten years ago and learn to trust himself? This romance has some depth!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Carnival Row

Carnival Row: Tangle in the Dark by Stephanie K Smith

Tourmaline is a student who studies by day and spend her nights partying. When Vignette shows up at school and is placed in Tourmaline’s room, her life begins to take on more meaning than just the parties.

As war with humans threatens, Tourmaline becomes inspired by Vignette as a poet and as a fae. She must risk everything for love even if it will destroy her.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Did you find any books in January 2022 Novel Ideas to add to your to-be-read list?

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