Top 3 Books I Read in 2023

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The reason I picked up this book is because my best friend from high school received it for Christmas last year, and told me that when he read it in middle school, he never finished it because he got scared. This intrigued me and the synopsis he told me made me want to read it, and it was quite the enjoyable read. This chilling sci-fi dystopia set in space, that follows two teenagers and features an evil A.I., AIDEN (this book ruined that name for me) is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. The story is told through a series of documents, photographs, chat files, surveillance camera descriptions, etc. which makes the reading experience unique, unexpected, and at times artistic.

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

As mentioned in a prior book review, Ruta Sepetys is my favorite author, so I was very excited to read another book by her. This historical fiction novel is set during Romania in 1989 when dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu is in power. The main character, 17-year-old Cristian, is blackmailed by the secret police into becoming an informer. Thus, he must betray everyone he loves, or must he? This book offers insight into how it was to live during this time, which I had no prior knowledge about and was written in a way that kept me engaged until the very end.

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

I always seem to be halfway through a book when the year turns new, making my list of books read in a year start off with a book read partially in the year before. That was the case for this book, yet it was a great book to ring in the new year with. This fairy tale retelling takes place in Persia, following Soraya, a princess locked away as she is poisonous to the touch. Soraya must come to terms with herself and her curse, finding who she is herself rather than listening to what she has been told her whole life. I always enjoy fairy tale retellings, but this was particularly well-written, the storyline pulling me in immediately, having unexpected twists and turns, setting itself apart from other fairy tale retellings I have read.

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