January 2023 Book Reviews

I like to read. A lot. (Here's my book list from 2022.)

And one of my hopes for this year was to slow down a bit & make more of an effort to put some thought into reviewing what I read.

So, here are some of my thoughts (for whatever they're worth) on the books I read in January 2023.


Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean

Started out with some really deep reading this year - ha! The main character, Izumi, is your typical American teenager until she finds out that her father is the Crown Prince of Japan. As she pursues a relationship with her long-lost father, she starts to realize that this also means she has to let go of other things. She's swept into a completely different world than the one where she grew up & learns some tough lessons along the way. As far as YA fiction goes these days, this one is pretty clean.

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

I like to read books that I think my kids would be interested in reading. The movies & shows based on this series have been so widely popular that I finally broke down & read this one. I listened to the audio version that was read by David Tennant. "Celebrity" readers aren't always great, but this one was very entertaining to listen to. Who knew that Vikings had Scottish accents?!

A Lady's Guide to Fortune Hunting by Sophie Irwin

Kitty Talbot has to save her family in this regency romance. Her parents died in debt, so it's up to her to find & marry a rich man to keep her sisters from a life of genteel poverty. The only person standing in her way is a wealthy man who seems to have it out for fortune hunters. The romance was fun to follow & also free from the steamy scenes that most books in this genre have.

Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill by Maud Hart Lovelace

My daughter & I read this one together. This is the third book in the Betsy-Tacy series. We've really enjoyed these books, so if you're looking for some good mother-daughter books, these should be on your short list. This book is especially special as the main characters' world starts to get a little bigger & the experience allows them to grow in very important ways.

The Monster in the Hollows by Andrew Peterson

The Wingfeather Saga! I've been reading these with my oldest. While this one isn't necessarily my favorite in the series, it does give some make some very important connections. I feel like we'll be going back & re-reading these books many times.

The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

I read the Percy Jackson series because my oldest read them twice. These were some of the earlier books that Riordan wrote, so they don't have the same sexualized agenda as his newer ones. They're OK - not my favorites, but I can see why my son enjoyed them so much. Riordan does a good job of pulling little details from Greek mythology & giving them a modern spin.

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

I remember reading this when I was younger & also watching the made-for-TV movie with Glen Close & Christopher Walken. (Please tell me I'm not the only one who watched that!) This is a very short. very sweet book about a mail-order bride coming into a family who needs her. It's probably a book my daughter could've read on her own, but we read it together instead.

Tokyo Dreaming by Emiko Jean

The continuation of my first book of the year, this one gets into the reality of what life as a Japanese princess looks like. Izumi has to find where she fits into this new world, honoring their traditions while being true to what she thinks is important. There's also a bunch of hand-wringing over which boy she'll choose, which gets a little annoying. But that's YA for ya!


Have you read any of these? Did you see any that you'd like to read?

Let me know in the comments!

Cheering you on!


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