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  • Denika Mead

Top Books of 2023!

Wow, what a year it’s been! I read thirty books in 2023 and looking back, it was hard to pick the top five. After some thought, I’ve got them in order.

5. Only a Monster by Vanessa Len is a YA fantasy that flips tropes on their heads. Right from classic fairytales, monsters and heroes have always fought. But what happens when you’re the monster? Joan is thrown into a terrifying new world when she learns she and her family are monsters, and the legendary hero is after her. I was instantly pulled into this world. It was engaging and had a different take and feel from other fantasies I’ve read.

4. The Secret of Sage Passage by Martin Baynton is the first in his Taking Wonderland series. I loved this take on Alice and Wonderland. The characters are fantastic, and Alice (Ali) is a strong-willed, opinionated character who brings every sentence to life and is a joy to read. The book spans an action-packed week, and each chapter begins with a quote from the original Alice in Wonderland.

3. A book I read early in 2023 that has made it into my top five is The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. I loved the first in the Chaos Walking series. The writing style was very different from other books and I loved how the characters’ thoughts were written with different fonts. I can’t even begin to imagine how the publishing team went about formatting that!

2. I read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern way back in February, and it’s stayed with me all year. It was such an enchanting read. The circus is full of wonder and the characters are complex and intricate. The cover is so striking and it caught my eye instantly. The novel starts in 1873 and ends around 1902. I loved it from start to finish. It was like nothing I’ve read before.

1. My top book of 2023 is Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros - Author. Ever since it was released, I’ve seen this book everywhere and everyone I talked to said how amazing it was. I started to worry that the book wouldn’t live up to the hype, but it more than delivered. There’s tension on every page and the characters are witty and lots of fun. This upper YA series is perfect for anyone who loves grumpy dragons and sky-high stakes.

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