Welcome to another round of the Best Books of the Year so Far, where halfway through the year, I name the titles I read that I feel are the best of 2023 so far. Just like last year, I will be listing the books by different genre and format. So stay tuned every Thursday throughout the rest of this month, catch my favorite reads of 2023 that you want to keep your eye on!
Where The Light Goes by Sara Barnard
Barnard has once given readers a book that is full of breathtaking emotion and thought-provoking storytelling that would stay with readers for a long time and also make them return to this heartbreaking but important story again and again.
What I genuinely love about Barnard’s books is the truth and realism she incorporates into her stories. She doesn’t mince words, especially when it comes to the topic of mental health. But how Barnard openly discusses the topic of suicide, an issue that a lot of people have a hard time discussing, with such honesty and openness that it is rare to find books like that.
This is another reason Barnard is on my list of must-buy authors, but this book is a testament to her exceptional writing talent. You will cry, but you will also be inspired and enlightened. If there is a book that you need to pick up this summer, this is a must that needs to be on your list.
We Don’t Swim Here by Vincent Tirado
Bronwyn is only supposed to be in rural Hillwoods for a year. Her grandmother is in hospice, and her father needs to get her affairs in order. And they’re all meant to make some final memories together.
Except Bronwyn is miserable. Her grandmother is dying, everyone is standoffish, and she can’t even go swimming. All she hears are warnings about going in the water, despite a gorgeous lake. And a pool at the abandoned rec center. And another in the high school basement.
Anais tries her hardest to protect Bronwyn from the shadows of Hillwoods. She follows her own rituals to avoid any unnecessary attention–and if she can just get Bronwyn to stop asking questions, she can protect her too. The less Bronwyn pays attention to Hillwoods, the less Hillwoods will pay attention to Bronwyn. She doesn’t get that the lore is, well, truth. History. Pain. The living aren’t the only ones who seek retribution when they’re wronged. But when Bronwyn does more exploring than she should, they are both in for danger they couldn’t expect. (Credit: Sourcebooks Fire)
The Stranded by Sarah Daniels
This was such an amazing ride. I never read a dystopian like this one! I was turned off from the genre after reading “The Hunger Games.” But after reading this “The Stranded,” if they turn out to be like this, I will be reading more of the genre. It was so well written and filled with everything that will have a reader on the edge of your seat: action, amazing world building, and great character development. All great aspects that make it one of my favorites of 2023.
Gay Club! by Simon James Green
Barney’s a shoo-in for his school’s LGBTQ+ Society President at the club’s next election. But when the vote is opened up to the entire student body, the whole school starts paying attention. How low will the candidates go to win? Buckle up for some serious shade, scandals and sleazy shenanigans. It isn’t long before it’s National Coming Out Day – for everyone’s secrets!
But when the group faces an unexpected threat – and a big opportunity – can the club members put politics aside and stand united? (Credit: Scholastic Press)
Stay tune for next week where I will give the best of 2023 so far in the Graphic Novels and Manga category!
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