January 2023 Wrap Up

Happy New Year! I can’t believe it’s already 2023, and I started this book blog in 2020. It’s also crazy how I will be graduating this year (but I try not to think about that too much). Anyways, I’m excited to see what this new year brings for Bookworms & Bibliophiles- I have a lot of cool ideas for blog posts! Shifting gears to the month of January: It was a pretty solid reading month. There were a couple new releases which were highly anticipated books for me. I even found my favorite book of the year VERY quickly. Read on to find out what it is!


  • Read: 4 books
  • Three 4 stars, one 5 star
  • Favorite book of January: Hell Bent

Nine Liars by Maureen Johnson

Maureen Johnson will not let this series go, so neither will I. This is book number five in the Truly Devious series and is a mystery set in London, featuring nine friends involved in the murder of their own group member. The friend group gave me very much The Secret History and If We Were Villains vibes. The large cast of characters and suspects made it fun to guess the killer. I thought the mystery was good, but it could have started earlier on in the book instead of the first half just being Stevie going to London and doing study abroad activities. I was appalled at the terrible cliffhanger, so I will be eagerly waiting for the next release in the series! Rating: 4 stars

The Stolen Heir by Holly Black

It’s been a while since I had read the Cruel Prince series, so I had forgotten how utterly rich and imaginative Holly Black’s worldbuilding truly is. She does not shy away from creating both horrible and beautiful magical creatures and settings. I enjoyed the fast-paced journey that made up the plot of this story; it was full of deception, romance, humor, and betrayal all at once. Oak and Suren are both highly complicated and morally ambiguous main characters, and I appreciated how we got detailed insight into their backstories and motivations. Holly Black did not disappoint. Rating: 4 stars

Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo

This masterpiece is a new favorite of the year (and probably a favorite of all time). Although I found Ninth House to be quite slow-moving, I not-so-patiently waited 3 years for the sequel because I knew this series had great potential– and I was right. Hell Bent was dark academia at its best with a truly imaginative setting of Yale and its secret societies. It was so intelligently written, with cleverly planned plot twists and a huge cast of untrustworthy side characters. Its rich combination of Yale history, religion, and fantasy culminated in a delightfully twisted story about a descent into Hell. Though the plot was fantastic, there was no lack of good character building. The found family created was so special to me, and we got a deep dive into each of the characters’ backstories and motivations. This book served up intense emotions alongside a high stakes adventure. I’m so grateful to have found a favorite book of 2023 so early into the year. Rating: 5 stars

A Dawn of Onyx by Kate Golden

Full review to come!  Rating: 4 stars

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