I’ve had the opportunity to read (and listen) to a lot of different books this year. Some have been really good, others not so much. These were my top four books of 2023 (so far, I might add The Twisted One if I really like it). Some of these are older books, but life gets so busy that it takes me forever to get through books. I had summer free, so I’ve been listening to a lot of audiobooks, and I’ve started donating plasma, so I read while I do that. Each of these are special in their own way. Upfront warning: I think only The Belladonna Invitation was a clean read. I did skip a couple things in Leigh Bardugo’s books. There was also language. Nevill’s books have language, nudity (non-sexual), and one or two situations that might be considered sexual to some. Ninth House and Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo were just as good as I expected them to be. I loved the magic she wove into the college campus setting. Most of all though, I love the banter between Alex and Darlington. It had me giggling so often. There so many twists and turns in these that keep me on the edge of my seat. I can’t wait for the next installment. The Belladonna Invitation by Rose Biggin was a surprise for me. I review a lot for BookSirens, and it’s rare that I find a truly amazing book on there. This one was truly amazing. It was everything you expected from a gothic horror novel. I loved the way this author wrote the POV for this character. I enjoyed the glimpse into her head as she navigated the new situations she was placed in. Cunning Folk by Adam Nevill was everything I hoped it would be and more. My sister and I watched The Ritual and No One Gets Out Alive, and it hooked me on Nevill’s writing. This was a KU read, and it was a wild ride. This book unnerved and disturbed me at so many points. I loved it. I love the way he incorporates magic and folklore with each of the stories I’ve read/watched so far. I hope this list gives you a little push to check these two stories out for yourself. They are well worth the read. I’ll be back later with my least favorite reads this year!