Today in my Best Reads of 2022, I want to talk about my favorite gothic/atmospheric books read in 2022.
I don’t do horror (too chicken) but I do love an atmospheric book with a gothic feel! And maybe it’s random but both my winners have a cover in purple, my favorite color!
First winner today is Belladonna by Adalyn Grace.
I adored Signa’s growth and her fiery temper. She (thought she) wanted to be a lady and find a husband. She desperately tried to fit in spcoety and recall how to sip tea, how to dance but…that was so exhausting! It was so much more fun to follow Death’s way of life and just embrace her powers, sod conventions!
The romance was also very well done when you saw Signa torn between dashing but poor Sylas and the alluring charismatic Death!
The mystery was also top notch as I never guessed “who did it” and that was not for lack of trying!
Add to it ghosts, poisonous plants, secluded gardens, secret passages and you have a very gothic atmosphere to boot the story! And that ending! I was so happy to see that we’ll get another book!
Belladonna is a gothic and romantic story with a lyrical prose that had me enthralled from the first lines!
My second winner is a book I was lucky to win as a physical ARC at YALC London this summer: With Fire in their Blood by Kat Delacorte.
Lilly had to follow her dad to Castello as he had been hired to “modernize” the town. She and her dad are estranged from each other since the death of Lilly’s mom. Her dad was devastated and has never really talked with or looked at his daughter since. Basically, both parents left Lilly.
Castello is divided into two sides: the Marconis (the poor side where houses are in deep need of repair) and the Paradisios (the wealthy side). For centuries, both “clans” were at war until the General took control and imposed a truce.
From the start, Lilly will feel different from her old self. The town seems alive and malevolent somehow.
And her classmates, all more strange one than another won’t help.
Pretty soon, Lilly will feel attracted to some of them. That part was a little bit disturbing to me as it seemed one instant that Lilly was attracted to a girl all while needing a boy and also looking at a third one. I was a little bit lost and wondered what was at play there.
I won’t tell more about the plot but let’s just say that you have secrets, power, past mistakes, redemption, betrayal, supernatural beings and a kind of quest for Lilly and her friends.
It’s spooky, often confusing but also weirdly enthralling and I loved it very much! Now I want the sequel.
That’s it for today!
Thanks for reading.