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  • Writer's pictureKimber Severance

2023 Reading Wrap Up

Updated: Feb 7


I read a total of 20 different books in 2023. My yearly reading goal was to read 30 books in total, but that's ok! Here are the books I read and some of my thoughts on each one. 

The Copywriter's Handbook

⭐⭐

very generic, basic guideline that just kinda outlines all forms of copy and is probably a bit outdated at this point (nonfic, self-help, educational)

The Crown of Gilded Bones (Blood and Ash 3)

⭐⭐⭐

very slow until the very end it really picked up again. This didn't need to be it's own book, we should have jst ended the last book with the main events of this book (fantasy, slow pacing)

A Shadow in the Ember (Flesh and Fire 1)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

could not put this book down, every second was great to read, delivered on all it's promises, a girl trained her whole life for one job, to assassinate a god she was destined to marry. I felt like book delivered more on the enemies to lovers than the blood and ash series really did (fantasy, spicy, enemies to lovers)

The Unseelie Throne (Maze of Shadows 2)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

great plot, really researched the actual history of fae lore and that was really cool to see displayed in a well thought out world (fantasy, very spicy, dark romance, enemies to lovers, impossible conflicts)

The Unseelie King (Maze of Shadows 3)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I had no idea how they could ever wrap up and solve all of the complex conflicts in this story but somehow she did in the most pleasing and beautiful way (fantasy, very spicy, dark romance, enemies to lovers, impossible conflicts, happy ending)

A Light in the Flame (Flesh and Fire 2)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

just as good as the first book, not a second wasted (fantasy, spicy, romance, enemies to lovers)

A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOTAR 2)

⭐⭐

tons of ret conning of the plot and characters, it felt like everyone's entire personalities were changing all the time for the sake of the plot and feyre always being the victim in every situation (fantasy)

Big Magic

I did not really get anything from this book, it felt pretentious, did not teach me anything actually useful about writing, and felt like an inspirational book for nonwriters who want to have read a book "about creativity" (nonfic, self-help, educational)

Authority (Southern Reach 2)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

fantastic read, mind bogglingly mysterious and spooky in a way i've never experienced before (fic, modern setting, mystery, sci fi, strange fiction, eery)

Acceptance (Southern Reach 3)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

i did not see the ending coming and I was really grateful that the book did have a conclusion and answers to the mystery (fic, modern setting, mystery, sci fi, strange fiction, eery)

Book 1: Ice Planet Barbarians (Georgie & Vektal)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

finally started the Ice Planet Barbarians series and I cannot put it down, somehow a book set on a frozen planet with no luxuries is the coziest read I've found in a long time, I love every single character so much and I love reading all of their stories as the overall story progresses (fic, modern times, alien planet setting, romance, spicy, resonance mates)

Book 2: Barbarian Alien (Liz & Raahosh)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

loved the enemies to lovers of liz and raahosh, that was really fun, i love the way this story tackled the kidnapped trope (fic, modern times, alien planet setting, romance, enemies to lovers, kidnapped to lovers, spicy, resonance mates)

Book 3: Barbarian Lover (Kira & Aehako)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

so far Kira is my favorite character but Aehako reminded me of playboy and I don't love stories where the playboy gets with the inexperienced good girl. I was also a bit disappointed in the way Kira's first love scene played out, some old ideas about "your first time" that felt sad to me but this book is a bit older now so I think that's mostly where this trope comes from and not out of bad taste by the author (fic, modern times, alien planet setting, romance, playboy to lover, spicy, resonance mates, cancer awareness)

Book 4: Barbarian Mine (Harlow & Rukh)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I'm a huge introvert so I also really connected with Harlow and I love how protective Rukh is of their immediate family outside of the larger community (fic, modern times, alien planet setting, romance, kidnapped to lovers, spicy, resonance mates)

Book 6: Barbarian’s Prize (Tiffany & Salukh)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Tiffany was one of the girls to experience SA by the bad aliens so it was really cool to see her story and how she overcame her trauma and became friends first and really connected with Salukh. I also really liked Salukh's character, he was more stoic but not with his friend Tiffany and that was cute (fic, modern times, alien planet setting, romance, spicy, resonance mates, SA awareness)

Book 7: Barbarian’s Mate (Josie & Haeden)

⭐⭐⭐⭐

I didn't love this rendition of enemies to lovers quite as much but it was okay. People were really mean to Josie and I really felt for her and I think I needed more groveling from Haeden to forgive him personally but overall it was really good (fic, modern times, alien planet setting, romance, enemies to lovers, spicy, resonance mates)

Book 8: Barbarian’s Touch (Lilah & Rokan)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Lilah's deaf and her introduction and story into this very new and different world was really interesting and I felt like the author (as far as I can tell anyway) did a really good job showing her story in a respectful and realistic way (fic, modern times, alien planet setting, romance, spicy, resonance mates, deaf awareness)

Book 9: Barbarian’s Taming (Maddie & Hassen)

⭐⭐⭐

it took me a while to finish this book because I really didn't like the characters (for the first time in the series so far). I ended up having to skim through it. Maddie is so rude and not really likeable and I felt like I couldn't understand or forgive her rudeness, like it wasn't really understandable where she was coming from to me (fic, modern times, alien planet setting, romance, enemies to lovers, spicy, resonance mates)

Wide Sargasso Sea

⭐⭐⭐⭐

so good, it wasn't written "as Charlotte Bronte" but still kept the vibe of her writing and the eery worlds she creates. It felt like a very "book accurate" book for technically basically being "fan fiction" about Rochester's wife Bertha. this new take on the story felt very much like an inside look into a potential truth about the story and it made me really want to learn what happens to Jane when Rochester inevitably does the same thing to her. I felt for her so much hearing her story like this. I didn't love the formatting though, they didn't use quotation marks for example and it was often really hard to tell whose POV it was ("Bertha" or Rochester) because the book doesn't follow formatting conventions like at all. But I do think this added to the vibe of Bertha's story being told by a free-spirited and in some ways uneducated child in the fantasy land of the islands she grew up on (historical fiction, fan fic, alternate reality, tragedy, mental illness awareness)

A Ruin of Roses

⭐⭐

did not deliver at all on its marketed promises of being a "dark retelling of beauty and the beast" had some interesting elements to the story but was trying to shove way too many "interesting elements" into this one story that took me out of the story (fantasy but modern elements thrown in, spicy, dark romance, beauty and the beast retelling, herbology, alpha universe, shapeshifter universe, demons, wolves, dragons, magic)


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