"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Friday, January 12, 2024

Books I read in 2023

College life, for real. (Source)

Hi, friends!

I haven't written a post since September (though college is ROUGH it paid off this semester!), but I'm still alive! Have no fear! Usually I jump on reflecting on the previous years books and movies immediately, but I was not in the U.S.. Hurray for studying abroad! I'm only slightly sunburned and here it is very cold so I have time to read and watch some new things.

As usual, you can check out my Goodreads account HERE. I didn't do any full review this year, but I gave some more detailed thoughts over there if you want to check it out! And if you want to compare this list to the previous years, here are the links for 202220212020201920182017, and 2016.

I have a few different sections here, but overall, if I cried during the book, I will underline it. 

New-to-me books:

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle - by Staurt Turton
A Man Called Ove - by Fredrik Backman
The Little Prince - by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
All the Crooked Saints - by Maggie Stiefvater
Speak Easy, Speak Love - by McKelle George
The Silent Songbird - by Melanie Dickerson
My Lady Jane - by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
The Thief - by Megan Whalen Turner
The Lightning Thief - by Rick Riordan
Okay For Now - by Gary D. Schmidt
King of Scars - by Leigh Bardugo
These War-Torn Hands - by Emily Hayse
Fable - by Adrienne Young
Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln? - by Kate DiCamillo
Neverseen - by Shannon Messenger
The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek - by Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal

Total: 16

Graphic novels:

Persepolis - by Marijane Satum 

Total: 1

I don't usually count autobiographies/memoirs because that falls into non-fiction, but I think this is a very important story. I want to read the rest of the series and see the movie!


Zoot Suit - by Luis Valdez

Total: 1

Technically there were a lot more but TECHNICALLY I didn't read every single word. There was much skimming involved. That's what happens when I take a Spanish theatre class. I'll write a post one day about all the stories we talked about (fingers crossed after I get my degree! Then it will be a ranking!) but know that for now I enjoyed them even if I wasn't able to be as thorough as I wanted to be.


Howl's Moving Castle - by Diana Wynne Jones
Anne of the Island - by L. M. Montgomery
The Penderwicks - by Jeanie Birdsall

Total: 3

Those weren't just any rereads, but I've read all of those books at least three times.

Grand total: 21

While that might not seem like a lot, it's four more than last year, so I'm celebrating!

My 10 Favorite New-To-Me Reads of 2023:

1. All the Crooked Saints - by Maggie Stiefvater: Every year I have an existential crisis over trying to describe my favorite books, but I continue to try. This book is about the manifestation of darkness and trying to help people face their biggest fears to get what they most want. This is everything I love and everything I aspire to be. Beatriz. Daniel. Joaquin. Pete. These characters are all so real to me.

2. A Man Called Ove - by Fredrik Backman: Speaking of real characters, I have never encountered such bitterness that Ove has. And yet this story is about a stubborn cat and even more stubborn family all to change the heart of the most stubborn man. 

3. The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle - by Staurt Turton: The hype is real. This book is INSANE. It was an amazing way to start 2023. Mysteries are one of my favorite genres, but a common fault is that it is about solving the problem without deeper meaning. This has a theme that is one of the most incredible I've ever come across.

4. The Lightning Thief - by Rick Riordan: Again, I repeat, THE HYPE IS REAL. I'd never gotten into Percy Jackson before and I was missing out because Percy is HILARIOUS. And Grover?? My sweet Grover?? Why does no one talk about him? Annabeth is a boss and I promise to stop calling her Annabelle. I helped out with a musical version this year and I am excited to watch the show.

5. Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln? - by Kate Dicamillo: The annual appearance of the queen of MG NEVER disappoints. This made me cry like, well, a baby. Gorgeous.

6. Speak Easy, Speak Love - by McKelle George: I admit I shouldn't love this as much as I do. But sometimes Much Ado About Nothing is exactly what the doctor ordered.

7. King of Scars - by Leigh Bardugo: I'm conflicted about one of the story lines because things were feeling like they were moving very quickly, BUT. BUT. NIKOLAI. Can you say his name louder for those in the back?? I didn't ever finish Shadow and Bone, but this spin off is fantastic already.

8. Zoot Suit - by Luis Valdez: I have come to appreciate style as a way of expressing oneself and this repression of style and identity is appalling to me that it happened in real life.

9. Neverseen - by Shannon Messenger: These books are candy. Way too much fun and if I'm not careful I will binge the whole series.

10. Okay For Now - by Gary D. Schmidt: This book WOULD be higher if it wasn't for one thing. And I am still BITTER about it. I'm just saying that Doug deserves better. Thanks to my book club for suggesting this and enjoying it with me! I'm excited to see which Gary D. Schmidt we choose for this July...

There you have it, folks! I had a great reading year with only a handful of major dislikes, which were far outweighed by the wondrous stories I encountered. How many of these books have you guys read? Do your thoughts line up with mine? What are your thoughts on the books I didn't extrapolate on?

What has been happening since I've been gone? What have you all read and watched? Tell me your favorites and what I should check out in 2024! As I've said in the past, my computer is finicky when it comes to answering comments, but I love hearing all of your thoughts and will make it work to answer them eventually!

Thanks for reading, and here's to a 2024 to tell tales about!

Chloe the MovieCritic


  1. This is such a great list! I love most of these that I've read :D

  2. That MEME at the beginning! XD That's honestly me EVERY SINGLE DAY. Going ANYWHERE. Lolll.

    Oh man, such good rereads this year! (Good new reads, too, but the rereads are such classics.)

    Ooh, I'm curious about The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle! It's not the only one on the list that I haven't read, but it's the only one on the list that I haven't read that I see myself picking up any time soon, lol. Do you think I'd like it?

    OMG HOW HAD YOU NEVER READ PERCY JACKSON? And in fact, HOW HAD I NEVER TOLD YOU THAT YOU HAD TO READ IT? Because it's SUCH a Chloe book. SUCH. A. Chloe. Book. I'm so glad you liked it though!

    Speak Easy, Speak Love is the BESTEST.

    Oh my goodness, have we read a Gary D. Schmidt book every July? That's hilarious. We need to do one this July then, too I guess!

  3. My kids love the Keeper of the Lost Cities books, and I love Speak Easy, Speak Love and These War-Torn Hands :-) Good stuff here!

  4. All the Crooked Saints!!! *will never stop crying* Oh man. Such a good book.

    Wait, did I know you'd never read Percy Jackson before?? *is stunned* Well, I'm glad you loved it. Like. Of COURSE you loved it. You couldn't not. I need to reread those books, or at least the first one. (But getting Annabeth and Annabelle mixed up as names is so valid, lol. My former boss's wife is named Annabelle, and I hesitate EVERY TIME before I ask about her, because part of me wants to call her Annabeth.)

    I also forgot you hadn't read Okay for Now before. I gave my little sister Wednesday Wars for her birthday, and we were talking about Okay for Now again, and GAH. WHAT A GOOD BOOK. Also yes, why couldn't that one thing have been different... Gary-Schmidt-every-July is a truly excellent tradition.


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"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, where you stop your story." -Orson Welles