Top Picks for 2023 || Honest Reviews & Recommendations

  • 2023 was a great year for books, and I finally found some new series that I loved. "The Green Bone Saga" is about two gangs fighting for control, with a unique and interesting magic system. "The Daevabad Trilogy" is a chunky fantasy series with a unique magic system and incredible world-building. "Blood of the Fallen Night" is a self-published book that’s worth the hype, with dark academia vibes and an intriguing magic system. "The Wall" is a post-apocalyptic speculative fiction that’s a must-read for fans of dark and depressing books. The Neapolitan Quartet follows the story of two women throughout their lives in a poor neighborhood in Italy, and it’s absolutely compelling. "Kindred" is a thought-provoking work of speculative fiction that really humanizes the experiences of the characters. "The Cage" is a captivating story about 40 women in an underground cage, trying to figure out what happened to them. "The Fate of the Tearing" is a controversial fantasy series that I personally enjoyed, with an unexpected mix of genres. Lastly, "Practical Magic 2.0" is a cozy fantasy with small town witches and a heavier focus on romance. Overall, 2023 brought a range of different books written by female authors, and I’d love to hear your recommendations too! ๐Ÿ“šโœจ #BestBooks2023 #BookRecommendations

Jade War & Jade Legacy: An Intriguing Fantasy Series ๐Ÿ‰

This year, I finally dived into a new series that I thoroughly enjoyed. After struggling to find something fresh in the medieval-inspired genre for a while, I stumbled upon the Green Bone Saga by Fonda Lee. And let me tell you, it was worth the wait! The first two books, "Jade City" and "Jade War", took me on an unexpected adventure that had me completely absorbed. The series follows two powerful gangs and families battling for control, with an intriguing magic system based on Jade. The world-building, political intrigue, and compelling characters had me hooked from start to finish.

A Day of Fallen Night: A Captivating Prequel ๐Ÿ“š

Samantha Shannon’s "The Priory of the Orange Tree" held me captivated, and the prequel, "A Day of Fallen Night", was no exception. Delving deeper into the world of witches, dragons, and complex characters, this prequel added layers to an already enchanting story. The magical elements, detailed world-building, and the eternal battle between good and evil kept me thoroughly engaged. If you’ve heard the buzz around the first book, "The Priory of the Orange Tree", trust me, this prequel is worth the read!

Blood Over Bright Haven: A Self-Published Gem ๐Ÿ’Ž

Talia Hibbert impressed me once again with "Blood Over Bright Haven", a self-published book that exceeded all expectations. With an enthralling narrative, it follows a gripping story of survival and magic. The unique storyline, intriguing magic system, and unlikely friendships made this book a standout for me. I highly recommend giving this gem a read โ€“ it’s worth every page!

Pros Cons
Gripping narrative Non-traditional
Unique magic system May not suit all tastes
Unlikely friendships

Dark & Dystopian: A Haunting Tale ๐ŸŒ‘

Who doesn’t love a little darkness and despair in their reading list? "The Wall" by Marlen Haushofer offers a haunting and surreal journey into a world trapped behind an invisible barrier. The story of survival, isolation, and the strength of the human spirit kept me on the edge of my seat. If you’re a fan of post-apocalyptic fiction with a touch of speculative flair, this book is a must-read.

The Neapolitan Quartet: A Mesmerizing Tale of Friendship & Adversity ๐ŸŒ

Continuing the story of Elena & Lila from "My Brilliant Friend", the second and third books in the Neapolitan Quartet took me on a compelling journey through the lives of two remarkable women. While not my usual genre, the complex characters and their arduous journeys through life had me captivated. If you’ve been curious about this series, it’s definitely worth diving into.

The Power of Short Stories: A Glimpse into a Writer’s Mind ๐Ÿ–‹๏ธ

Ursula K. Le Guin’s collection of short stories in "The Unreal and the Real" provided a unique insight into the mind of an exceptional author. The human touch in her narratives, coupled with the thought-provoking reflections, provided a refreshing perspective. This collection is a must-read for anyone interested in skilled storytelling and exploring a diverse range of genres.

A Captivating Speculative Fiction: A Thought-Provoking Tale of Mystery ๐Ÿงฉ

"Who Fears Death" by Nnedi Okorafor is a gripping speculative fiction that took me on an unpredictable and profound journey. Through the eyes of a young woman navigating a strange and uncertain world, the novel delves deep into themes of human identity and resilience. If you enjoy speculative fiction that challenges conventional narratives, this one is definitely worth checking out.

Pros Cons
Profound narrative May not appeal to all readers
Unique storytelling approach
Thought-provoking themes

A Cozy Fantasy: A Delightfully Enchanting Read ๐ŸŒ™

If you’re in the mood for a cozy fantasy that offers a nostalgic charm, "Garden Spells" by Sarah Addison Allen is the perfect pick. The story of magical familial bonds and small-town enchantment struck a chord with me, providing a comforting reading experience. This delightful tale is a wonderful addition to any fantasy lover’s collection.

Pros Cons
Charming, heartwarming narrative Some elements may feel dated
Nostalgic and enchanting atmosphere Not as immersive as more complex fantasies
Unique take on magical realism

Female Voices: A Year of Enriching Reads ๐ŸŒŸ

Throughout the year, I found myself drawn to stories told by female authors, each offering something unique and captivating. From the depths of fantasy to the contemplative realms of speculative fiction, these books have left an indelible mark on my reading journey. Whether you share my preference for female-authored literature or have your own standout recommendations, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comment section.

Now it’s your turn โ€“ if you’ve explored any of these titles or have your own opinions to share, feel free to join the conversation! And if you’re hungry for more engaging content, don’t forget to browse the recommended videos for further literary inspiration. Happy reading, and I’ll see you in the next chapter!

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