As we say goodbye to 2023, as always, I leave you with the top ten books that I read this year! I hope that you'll add them to your TBR for 2024 or reminisce about the ones that you also read and loved with me.
Picking only 10 is a hard job, but let's get to it! In no particular order:
Saint by Adrienne Young
I love Adrienne Young books, and the Fable series of stories are probably my favorite. This prequel to Fable's story following her father (and mother!) was a fantastic read. I love the world of the Narrows, and learning more about Saint was something fans have been begging for--and Young delivered!
Seven Faceless Saints by M.K. Lobb
This YA fantasy gave me Grishaverse vibes amongst the backdrop of a murder mystery. I loved following Damian and Roz as they reconnected, revealed their deepest emotions, and attempted to solve the crime together. Lobb is a beautiful writer, with sweeping prose and rich settings, and not to mention characters you're equally rooting for and wanting to smack across the face. I can't wait for the second book!
Flowerheart by Catherine Bakewell
If you're looking for a fast-paced read with a beautiful, magical world, than I highly suggest reading Flowerheart. The plot is simple and wholesome, a big change from the dark, heavily built fantasy worlds we're used to (which also have their place and I love), but I think Flowerheart is a breath of fresh air in that sense. With a focus on family, friendship, learning to love yourself and to be strong, this was such a great escape.
Winnie Zeng Vanquishes a King by Katie Zhao
This was a great second installment in Winnie's adventures! Full of the same fun and authentic middle school musings as the first book, Zhao builds on Winnie's world to create yet another exciting dive into Chinese mythology. And, of course, there are more recipes at the end, as made by Winnie in the book! I highly recommend the second book in Winnie's adventures for anyone looking for a fun middle grade read with plenty of heart and butt-kicking for all!
A Rogue of One's Own by Evie Dunmore
I fell in love with the League of Extraordinary Women series, and Lucie and Tristan's story was the first one I read (which means I read them a little out of order, but it's fine). I loved the historical aspects, and how strong Lucie (and all her friends) was. But the romance--I'm a sucker for a good love story. And enemies to lovers will just get me every time! I highly suggest every installment in this series, but of course I hold the torch for this one a little higher because I loved it first.
Camp Sylvania by Julie Murphy
An exciting adventure full of summer camp vibes and making new friends, Camp Sylvania is the perfect middle grade read! I loved following along as Maggie and her friends uncovered the truth about their summer camp. There were plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing, and I couldn’t wait to see what happened next.
I also loved the other message within the story, about loving yourself and what you look like, regardless of size. I am HERE for middle grade vampire books!
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Am I a little late to the party on this one? Yes. Did that make me love it any less? Absolutely not! I'm just now getting into romance-y reads, and I'm glad this was one of the first ones on my list! I really liked the grumpy-sunshine dynamic of Adam and Olive, as well as the academic background as it's not something I usually read. Add in the fake-dating trope, and I was sold!
Just a Pinch of Magic by Alechia Dow
I absolutely adored Just a Pinch of Magic from start to finish. Set in an enchanted town, Wini and Kal make the perfect pair as the two of them try to save Honeycrisp Hill. Filled with magic, friendship, delicious foods (recipes included), and the right amount of spookiness, this book should definitely be on your list. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat. And plenty of recipes to keep your belly full!
The Night Hunt by Alexandra Christo
Monsters and gods and romance, oh my! The world of The Night Hunt was very fun and unique for YA fantasy nowadays. I like that it felt like something that I would have read years ago rather than today. It was refreshing. The monsters were a mix of classic and ones you don't hear often (or ever) which I thought was great. But the characters were the stars of the show for me. I love a good ensemble cast and The Night Hunt delivered!
A Fragile Enchantment by Allison Saft
If Allison Saft isn't an auto-buy author for you, what are you doing?! Her books are pure magic, full of raw emotion and beautiful settings. I was, once again, swept away by her writing and character work. Niamh and Kit, as well as the rest of the crew, are written so vividly it's hard to believe they aren't real. Saft incorporates mental health, LGBTQ+, chronic illness, and more into these characters, bringing them to life and making them so relatable to readers. I also loved the mix of magic with a Lady Whistledown-esque anonymous scandal writer who was fighting for justice more than fighting for gossip. I highly recommend this, and all of Saft's works, for your TBR!
Can't wait to see what books 2024 has in store!