Best Books I Read in 2023
I feel like I’ve spent the whole last month scrambling to catch up on the things I didn’t get to in December, which means that my January tasks have also gotten pushed back a little later than normal. But, at last, here we are: talking about the best books I read in 2023.
Last year was a really great one for me in terms of books. I read a lot of books that I very much enjoyed, and even more that I thought were good. I’m hoping to feature even more of them in lists over the next few months. We’ll see how that pans out. But, for now, here’s my list of the best books I read last year.
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Best Books I Read in 2023
My Dear Henry: A Jekyll and Hyde Remix by Kalynn Bayron
My thoughts: This was the first book in the Remixed Classics series that I’d read, and wow. I thought Bayron nailed the style and tense feel of the original story while delivering a novel both fresh and compelling. I loved it.
Greymist Fair by Francesca Zappia
My thoughts: I’d only recently been introduced to Zappia’s writing, but I was hooked, and when I saw this book listed for release last year, I knew I had to read it. The story is broken into parts, each part narrated by a single character. The parts reveal a mystery that threatens the lives of the whole village. I could not put this down.
Spell Bound by F. T. Lukens
My thoughts: This is definitely not the kind of book I’d grab off the shelf on my own– it reads a bit like a paranormal mystery, but with magic– but I couldn’t get enough of the writing and immediately fell in love with the characters.
Hamra and the Jungle of Memories by Hanna Alkaf
My thoughts: I remember seeing a blogger talk about how much they loved Alkaf’s books, so when I got the opportunity to review this one, I squeezed it into my schedule, and I’m so glad I did. This is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood with Malaysian folklore, and it’s incredible.
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
My thoughts: I bought this when it came out, but by the time I got around to reading it, I’d read WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH and THE POET X and loved them both. I didn’t think Acevedo could top those, and yet here we are! This is a masterful, heartbreaking tale of sisterhood, grief, and courage.
No Perfect Places by Steven Salvatore
My thoughts: Steven Salvatore has to be one of the most under-the-radar authors in YA. Every book of theirs I read becomes my new favorite. I laugh. I cry. Every. Time. And every book gets better somehow! In this one, the narrative follows a brother and sister who deal very differently with the death of their father and the existence of a brother they did not know about.
The Shadow Sister by Lily Meade
My thoughts: Okay, I love sister books, so I couldn’t resist this one. Estranged sisters. One goes missing and returns… different. The other scrambles to figure out whether she’s losing her mind or something more sinister is going on. Absolutely brilliant.
Something Close to Magic by Emma Mills
My thoughts: So, I’ve read some contemporary romance by Emma Mills, and I think she’s hilarious– so I was curious but nervous to see her take on fantasy. I shouldn’t have been nervous at all. If you like the kind of fantasy that doesn’t take itself too seriously, this is definitely one you’ll want to read!
Into the Bright Open: A Secret Garden Remix by Cherie Dimaline
My thoughts: THE SECRET GARDEN is one of the childhood classics I’ve read more than once, so I was nervous about seeing it redone with some of the plot changes (mainly the possible poisoning). However, once I got into the book, I felt completely immersed. Though many things about the story are different here than in the original, I felt like this story preserves Mary’s personal journey and the power that the garden has in her transformation.
The Forest Grimm by Kathryn Purdie
My thoughts: I went into this book expecting another lovely fantasy romance with fairytale vibes, and it has all that. The friends-to-lovers romance was so sweet, and I felt like I was on edge waiting for them to realize their feelings for each other. I loved the dangerous forest and twisted fairytales they encountered.
Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez
My thoughts: I remember wanting to read this back in 2020 when it came out, but I had no idea how powerful a story it was then. It focuses on the journey of a young soccer player in Argentina who keeps her playing a secret because there could be harsh consequences for her otherwise. Filled with powerful storytelling, heartbreak, and triumph. Such a fabulous story.
Give Me a Sign by Anna Sortino
My thoughts: Summer camp stories have a special place in my heart, but this one is at the top of my list. I loved the friendships and romance in the book, but I also really enjoyed the commentary on what it’s like to be Deaf or Hard of Hearing in the world today.
What were the best books you read in 2023?
Now that you’ve seen my list of the best books I read in 2023, it’s your turn to tell me about yours. What were the books you read last year that you couldn’t put down? What changed your life?
Have you read any of the books on my list? What did you think about them?
Leave a comment and let me know. I would love to talk more about what you read and what you thought about it.