Mini Reviews: 2023 Favourites

2023 has been a great reading year. I read more than what I intended to; finished a duology; found friends I can randomly message when I'm reading their recommendations. Add to that having more people I now know over on Goodreads and Storygraph.

Today I'm sharing mini reviews on my favourite books of 2023.

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising is the last of the Shadow and Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. Not gonna lie, my main reason for getting into this series was Ben Barnes and Kit Young: the actors who play the Darkling, and Jesper Fahey from the (now cancelled) Netflix series.

Here's the thing, if we're talking about the Shadow and Bone Trilogy alone, the series starts a little weak but finishes strong. Don't compare it to the adaptation because the adaptation is mixed in with Six of Crows.

Ruin and Rising ended this series so well. In my opinion, a lot better than how the show ended. I'm glad I stuck with the series even after watching the show.

Spellbound by F.T. Lukens

Listen, this story was cute and I enjoyed it very much. I was part of a blog tour for this book and I'm glad I got approved for it.

The magic system was easy enough to follow, and the chemistry between Rook and Sun was fun to experience.

Spellbound introduced me to F.T. Lukens and I can't wait to read the rest of her books.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown. I am mad at this book. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this book a lot, but the anger I have regarding the book's "universe" / setting makes me want to throw this book at a wall. Red Rising is about a society where the population is ranked in colours and our main character, Darrow is a 16-year old Red who's being used as an instrument to try and overthrow the system.

Fake Dates and Mooncakes by Sher Lee. I borrowed a copy from the library and loved it so much I bought a copy for myself. If you're a fan of To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han, I think you're going to like this book.

Six Of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. I got in to this duology because of the Netflix adaptation. I haven't read the other two books to complete the Grishaverse but these two so far are my favourites. Bardugo seems to have a knack for placing plot twists within the last 150 pages of her books and it drives me nuts. I'm a little bummed that Netflix cancelled Shadow and Bone, and there has been no word regarding a spin off at all, but atleast I can return to these characters whenever I want.

Finding My Elf by David Valdes. Ok first of all, don't be fooled by the cover: these two are about 17 - 19 years old. I know Cam is 18, and judging by Marco's stories I think he could also be the same age. Once I was able to wrap my head around that and not picture the two boys on the cover, I was able to get through this book better. It's a cute holiday romcom, cantered around a holiday contest. It's also a plus that: 1) Cam's dad and Marco's mom are very much into Christmas; 2) Marco's Filipino (yay for representation!)

A Court of Mist and Fury, and A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. I hadn't expected to enjoy this series as much I currently do — blame Rhysand. No really. The guy rules the Night Court but would fold at Feyre's feet. ACOWAR however, got me all tense and worried.. and then made me sob at 3:30 in the morning. I have to read the (currently) last book and I don't know if I want the series to end just yet.

This list consists of 4 - 5 star reads for me. I wonder what would make the list next year...

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