Bookish Item | Anticipated Releases of the First Half of 2023: Did We Read Them?

Every year there are two posts we have that talk about our most anticipated releases for the first or second half of the year. Obviously, these are books that we’re really excited about. It’s always interesting to see if we actually read these releases. So today we’re talking about our most anticipated releases of the first half of 2023. Did we read them? Keep on reading to find out!


I’m glad I have the post to look back at, because I can’t think of a single book I put on this most anticipated releases list. So it’ll be interesting to see how many of them I’ve actually read. Let’s take a look!

Out of Character – Jenna Miller (February 7th)

Out of Character was one of my favorite 2023 reads! I’m always a fan of books where the main character is part of a fandom. Besides getting a look into that, this book is really about more than that. Cass is dealing with a lot of different things and role playing distracts her from that.

This Time It’s Real – Ann Liang (February 7th)

I’m actually sad that I haven’t read This Time It’s Real. Books with fake dating tend to be my favorite and this one sounds like a lot of fun.

The Jump – Brittney Morris (March 7th)

Ever since I’ve read Slay by this author, I’ve been determined to read more. This hasn’t happened yet. The Jump is about a group of working-class teens that join a dangerous scavenger hunt that can save their community. Brittney Morris tends to tackle certain important subjects in her books and this still sounds amazing.

Missing Clarissa – Ripley Jones (March 7th)

Missing Clarissa is a book I saw everywhere right before it released. The fact that the two main characters run a true crime podcast is what caught my attention. There is a sequel releasing this year, so I need to get this read soon.

Blood Debts – Terry J. Benton-Walker (April 4th)

In 2023 I didn’t read as much fantasy as I normally do. Blood Debts is still one I definitely want to read. The sequel, Blood Justice, releases this year, so I have time to catch up. I love that our main characters have to solve an old murder while also discovering a lot of secrets about their families. That’s right up my alley.

Not Here to Stay Friends – Kaitlyn Hill

Our main characters are best friends and will be spending the summer together. His dad works for a teen reality dating show and while he ends up working behind the scenes, she gets put on the show when they need an extra person. That will get interesting.

Imogen, Obviously – Becky Albertalli (May 2nd)

Out of all of the books on this list, I’m the most surprised I haven’t read Imogen, Obviously. Becky Albertalli is an author I’ve loved in the past and I’m excited to finally read this one. I just haven’t decided if I want to read this physically or grab the audiobook.

Lying in the Deep – Diana Urban (May 2nd)

Diana Urban is an author I’ve been wanting to try for awhile as well. Lying in the Deep was her third book and her fourth book is releasing this year. This book takes place on a cruise ship and I have a feeling that the setting will make the story very intense.

Going Bicoastal – Dahlia Adler (June 13th)

I’m a big fan of books or movies that take place during alternative timelines. In this case our main character can’t choose how she wants to spend her summer. It’s interesting to see what takes place in both timelines and how it plays out for the main character.

Someone You Loved – Robin Constantine (June 27th)

Someone You Loved is a very emotional story. Sarah loses her boyfriend tragically after two months and is dealing with that grief. Jake loses his best friend and is feeling very guilty about his death. They start talking and it seems to help them both, but when more feelings start to develop things get complicated. This book made me cry, but it was really good.


End Result:
Read: 2/10 – 20%
TBR: 8/10 – 80%


I’m not sure which books I put on my most anticipated releases list either! And looking at Candyce’s score I’m getting a bit scared haha. Did I read any of my anticipated releases? Let’s take a look.

The Stolen Heir – Holly Black

I was excited to read this but out of these 10 it was probably one of my least anticipated releases. So I’m not that surprised I didn’t read this one. Especially considering I didn’t read that much in general last year. Maybe I’ll pick this one up at some point but it’s not a priority at all.

Spice Road – Maiya Ibrahim

This one I’m still definitely interested in and I wish I had already read it. It involves tea magic and that sounds incredibly cool. The sequel is supposed to come out in 2024 so I hope to read both this year.

Heartstopper vol. 5 – Alice Oseman

This didn’t release in the first half of the year as it was supposed to but I still didn’t read it either haha. I do really want to read it as I adore this series a lot. It’s such a cute graphic novel series that also touches on very deep and difficult topics. I can’t wait to dive back in.

Seven Faceless Saints – M.K. Lobb

Another one I’m still interested in. I haven’t heard that many people talk about it and I’ll admit I don’t pick up as many YA books anymore. Nevertheless I’ve seen some positive reviews and think it sounds like a book I might enjoy. The sequel is also releasing next month.

The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi – S.A. Chakraborty

One I did read! And one I loved! I was really excited to pick this one up and ended up buddyreading it with Candyce. We got each other a copy for our birthdays last year so I have even more fond memories attached to this book. I’m really excited for the sequel and I definitely want to read more by this author.

Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers – Jesse Q Sutanto

I’m sad I haven’t read this one yet. It sounds like such a fun and such a me read. I have been wanting to read something by Jesse Q Sutanto for a while now and should really do so soon.

Untethered Sky – Fonda Lee

And another one I’ve read! I loved this one a lot, it was my second favorite 2023 release. It’s a tordotcom novella and I tend to love those in general. I was also very excited to try something by Fonda Lee as I’ve got another book by her on my TBR. And I should really pick that one up soon.

The Isles of the Gods – Amie Kaufman

I was doubting putting this one on my list last year and I’m not surprised I haven’t read it yet. Amie Kaufman writes a lot of interesting sounding books and I believe I have multiple on my TBR. So I should probably read those first haha.

Witch King – Martha Wells

Another one I still want to read! I loved what I’ve read by Martha Wells so far and I plan on reading more by her. And I was also lucky enough to get an eARC for this book so I should definitely pick it up some time soon.

Never a Hero – Vanessa Len

My favorite 2023 book! I adored this one and I’m still so happy I started this series in 2022. The final book in the trilogy will be released in 2024 and I hope it makes its way to the top of my 2024 releases.

End Result:
Read: 3/10 – 30%
TBR: 7/10 – 70%


Tomorrow we’ll be talking about our anticipated releases of the second half of 2023. Did you read any of these? Are there any we didn’t read that you think we should prioritize? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

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