It is that time of year again!
1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2023?
Fair warning, I could not just choose one book for any of these questions!
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet was a reread for me and I was nervous it wouldn’t hold up but I ended up appreciating it even more the second time. Technically, the entire series is a favourite and has solidified my absolute adoration for Becky Chambers and the kind of SciFi that she writes.
The Book That Wouldn’t Burn is the first book by Mark Lawrence that sounded like something I would like since I have heard his other stuff leans towards grim dark and this doesn’t. I had a feeling I would like it but I didn’t think it would become a favourite! It is truly a book for book lovers and it made me realize how much I love reading about labyrinths.
A lot of my friends adore Ashes of the Sun so I gave into the hype but didn’t think I would end up loving it as much as I did! It is definitely outside of my comfort zone but it was accessible and compelling and has characters that stay with you. I also read the sequel right away, which is something I never do!
2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2023?
I read all of the books in the Wayfarer series and adored them all, but the final one, The Galaxy and the Ground Within, is by far my favourite. I just loved the situation these characters found themselves in and the connections they built because of it.
That Time I Got Drunk and Yeeted a Love Potion at a Werewolf is the second book in the Mead Mishaps series and it is my favourite one so far. I think it is because the male love interest is such a cinnamon roll and this one primarily has a small-town setting.
3. New release you haven’t read yet but want to?
I post “most anticipated releases” lists every single month, so the list of 2023 releases I still need to read is extensive, so I tried to narrow it down to the top three.
I adored Love and Other Disasters, so I preordered Something Wild and Wonderful but then I realized it would make for the perfect beach read. I cannot wait to get to it because even people who didn’t like Love and Other Disasters seem to be loving this one!
I cannot believe I have yet to read Untethered Sky! I love Fonda Lee and this is a novella, so really there is no excuse. I think I have been saving it for when I need it, which is silly.
You know I am struggling with thrillers these days, but S.A. Cosby is the exception. All the Sinners Bleed just came out and I have seen some amazing reviews, which is no surprise.
4. Most anticipated release for the second half of 2023?
There are so many books coming out in the second half of 2023 that I am excited about, so it was hard to narrow it down!
This Vicious Grace was one of my favourite books of last year and I have been counting down the days for the release of the sequel, This Cursed Light! I was satisfied with the ending of the first book but there is so much more I want to know.
Blood Scion is one of the most brutal books I have ever read, especially when you consider that it is YA. The ending shocked me, so I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of War Widow.
You know I m going to be excited any time T. Kingfisher has a new book coming out. I especially love her fairytale retellings, so Thornhedge cannot be here soon enough!
Elizabeth Avecedo is an auto-buy author for me and Family Lore is her adult debut! I actually have an eARC of it, so I will hopefully get to that soon.
5. Biggest disappointment?
I am so sad that both of these were disappointments because they were two of my most anticipated releases of the year!
In theory, I should have loved The Last Tale of the Flower Bride. I cannot get behind books that are no plot, just vibes, I like flowery writing, and I adore Gothic fiction. However, none of those elements worked for me in this book and I found the writing so distracting. There were too many metaphors that just did not make sense and the book felt mismarketed.
The fact that I disliked Yours Truly is so sad because Abby Jimenez wrote my favourite romance, A Part of Your World. I just didn’t like the tropes used in this book and had some issues with the third act conflict. It also didn’t have the charm of the first book! That said, I thought that the anxiety representation was well handled.
6. Biggest surprise?
Both of these are fantasy romances and I think I am just surprised by how much I am enjoying the genre in general. I am definitely learning what I like in fanro but I think slow burn is my thing.
Radiance is probably my favourite fantasy romance at the moment and it will be a hard one to beat! I loved the dynamics between our two characters and I was equally as invested in the politics at play and the world that we are in.
I read The Serpent and the Wings of Night after Fourth Wing, and while I thought Fourth Wing was fun, it wasn’t my favourite book ever. I was then recommended Serpent and thought I would have similar feelings but I preferred everything about this book. I think I am just a vampire person! Also, I was so much more invested in the world and the romance.
7. New favourite author?
I have discovered so many incredible authors this year that I struggled to narrow it down to three!
Mira Grant has become a go-to horror author for me. This is a pen name for Seanan McGuire and I have realized that I much prefer what she writes under Mira Grant. She made me realize just how much I adore SciFi horror and you will see me constantly recommending Final Girls, Rolling in the Deep, and Into the Drowning Deep.
8. Newest fictional crush?
I normally struggle with this question, but not this year!
Wendall Bambleby from Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries has my heart! He is kind of cheeky and some would say selfish (I don’t see it!) but I found him to be so sweet and charming and cannot wait for the sequel.
Canon from Reel is everything! There was this moment in Reel that I can’t talk about because it is a spoil but it was so intimate and loving and I fell for the character in that moment.
9. Newest favourite character?
I have discovered a lot of great characters this year!
I actually enjoyed most of the characters in Ashes of the Sun, but I think Maya is my favourite. I am also a huge fan of her love interest, Beq.
I have read from Clytemnestra in previous Greek myth retellings, but I fell in love with her as the main character in Clytemnestra. We follow her from childhood through adulthood and I became so invested in her and her story. Even though, I knew where it was going, I could not help but get emotional.
I actually liked all of the characters in Seven Days in June, but I have to give Eva a shoutout. This book made me realize that I need to read more romances with single mothers and the fact that she suffers from chronic migraines is something I relate to!
10. Book that made you cry?
I don’t know what is going on with me this year but I have been reading so many books that have made me cry!
I have not cried while reading a book as much as I did in As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow in years! There is a moment that happens that I did not see coming and it broke me.
The entire Before the Coffee Gets Cold is super emotional but in a more hopeful and reflective way. There were moments in all three books that brought tears to my eyes.
I was not prepared for all of the gut punches that we got in Heart of the Sun Warrior. There were three moments when I was left feeling shocked and sad.
The main character in Reel has a chronic illness, so there are some emotional moments surrounding that, but the actual romance made me cry happy tears!
I think I am a bit of a sap because I cried when the characters in Winter’s Orbit got together. They were just so sweet and deserving of love!
11. Book that made you happy?
The entire Mead Mishap series brought me so much joy this year and I will never stop recommending these if you are looking to get into fantasy romance.
If you are looking for a low-stakes contemporary romance that is just so sweet and fun, you have to give When in Rome a try. I picked this up during a reading slump and it was exactly what I needed!
You know by now how much joy the entire Wayfarer series brings me!
12. The most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)
Are you tired of me talking about the Wayfarer series yet? I can’t help myself because these Illumicrate editions are the prettiest books I own!
13. What books do you really need to read by the end of this year?
Of course, there are so many books I want to get to before the end of the year. Emperor of Ruin is the third and final book in the Burningblade and Silvereye series and I am waiting for the audiobook to come out in August.
Miss Percy’s Travel Guide to Welsh Moors and Feral Dragons is the sequel to Miss Percy’s Pocket Guide to the Care and Feeding of British Dragons, which was my favourite of the finalists for SPFBO last year. This is very slice of life but I adored it and can’t wait to be back with these characters!
Dead Romantics has been recommended to me many times and I have been saving it to read on the beach!