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Loose Magazine's Favourite Books of 2022



The end of a year always makes us reflective, so this New Year's Eve, Loose Magazine has compiled a selection of our community's favourite reads — from readers, contributors, to our editor-in-chief, take a look at our favourite reads of 2022. Maybe we'll inspire your first bookshop visit of 2023...


Image via withliana.com

Don’t Be in Love by Liana Cincotti

Aiyla Aftab (@aiyleee on IG)


Where do I start? This book is everything to me. Since receiving it at the end of this August, I’ve read it twenty times. From it being inspired by one of my all-time favourite songs (Enchanted by Taylor Swift) to all the fashion references, there couldn't be a better comfort book. Let me just give some appreciation to the London Eye scene. It was easily one of the best in the whole book. Whilst this book has some amazing chapters, you can't ignore some of the crucial questions that aren't answered, like what's the deal with Adelaide's past? I would've loved to have some flashback scenes to her life before she moved to London so the reader could have a better understanding of her as a character. Another aspect which wasn't my favourite was that all chapters, except for the last, were from Adelaide's perspective. I personally find dual perspective books to be more interesting because you know how both feel in their own words and not just through their counterpart's eyes. Overall, this book has made its way into my top five and I've developed an unhealthy obsession with Dorian Blackwood and I'm completely okay with that.



Lonely Castle in the Mirror

by Mizuki Tsujimura

Faye Mayern (@faayefayee on IG)


“How awesome it would be if one of them spotted her, and she could introduce them to her mother as ‘my friend’.”


Lonely Castle in the Mirror is a Japanese novel by Mizuki Tsujimura. It depicts a young teenage girl called Kokoro who spends days isolated in her room, terrified to go to school and isolated from her parents. One day, her full-length mirror begins to glow and on the other side she finds a castle and six other young students.


The magical realism of the story is what makes this story so beautiful. It feels like a modern-day fairy tale in which Kokoro has the real-life problems of a young girl, but exacerbated by the magic of the childhood she is leaving behind. It explores dealing with newfound trauma, the bridge to adolescence and the strength of friendships. Even with the blurring of the lines between reality and fantasy, the message of the story remains clear and concise — you are not alone. I think what I enjoyed so much about this book is that someone Kokoro’s age could read it and relate, while someone her mother’s age could read it and feel touched.


Image via Zoella

Beautiful World, Where are You

by Sally Rooney

Tia Shah (@celes.tiaa.l on IG)


Since reading Normal People, I've had a soft spot for Sally Rooney's writing, and the way she turns the mundane lives of flawed people into gut-wrenching tragedies. Beautiful World, Where Are You became a fast favourite, a dual narrative storyline laced together through letters and relationships, told from the eyes of two very different girls. It functions as a documentation of young adulthood, and emphasises the fundamentality of female friendships. Despite following two opposing romances, the most important part of the novel felt like the correspondence between these two girls who seemed to be platonic soulmates. It covers the need to romanticise life, the search of looking for this so-called beautiful world, and the shameful truth of it all through Rooney's political commentary woven throughout the book. As you get older, you learn, and as you read more of the novel, you learn that the world's beauty can be fickle.


Image via @burrrberrie on IG

Cleopatra and Frankenstein

by Coco Mellors

Lucy Eaton (@llucyeaton on IG)


Cleo, a starving artist, meets Frank, advertising mogul, on New Year’s Eve. Six months later, they’re married, their personal lives entangled for the worst.


When I first read this, I didn’t know what to think. I was critical of the plot, and some of the characters were unlikeable — but there’s something about this novel that’s so fascinating. Cleo and Frank are both complex, their individual problems rearing their heads as a result of these two independent lives being forced together. I didn’t like how Cleo, at times, felt like a walking personification of the male gaze, but then, I have a feeling that was intentional. The flaws of the characters may make this book unenjoyable to some, but it’s been six months since I finished this and I still miss the characters Mellors created. Plus, the dialogue is out-of-this-world.


Image via @burrrberrie on IG

My Body by Emily Ratajkowski

Pixie Lana (@faerielana on IG)


“I so desperately craved men’s validation that I accepted it even when it came wrapped in disrespect. I was those girls in that room, waiting, trading my body and measuring my self-worth in a value system that revolves around men and their desire.”


This book of essays is truly revolutionary. Unlike other books, I find myself revisiting My Body — it’s almost like my personal bible. A worn copy is always in my bag when I travel, with little corners of pages tucked in here and there and splotches of ink remain from where I’ve annotated passages that struck me.


As a model myself, Emily brutally and ingeniously describes the perverse realities of the business and the darker side of being a young woman navigating a lifestyle that unfortunately does cater to the male gaze. However, Emily’s unapologetic strength and intellect help women claim back what’s rightfully theirs.


I highly recommend picking up a copy. It gives off vibes of an older sister sitting you down, black coffee in hand, and sparing words of wisdom that will completely change your perspective.




A big thank you to everyone that contributed to this article:

Aiyla Aftab, Faye Mayern, Tia Shah, and Pixie Lana


Edited by Lucy Eaton


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