Recently I decided to see if I could up the number of books I finished in a year if I moved the books that were well reviewed to the top of my reading list. I know it takes me longer to finish a book that's only just barely good enough not to put down than it does to finish a top-notch page-turner of a book.
Two well-reviewed titles I've finished recently are Uprooted by Naomi Novik and A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly. Uprooted is a charming fairy tale about Agnieszka, a peasant girl in a humble village on the edge of a corrupted Wood. The village is kept safe by the Dragon who asks only that a girl of his choice from one of his dependent villages enter his service every ten years. At the end of her term of service, she is let go with a fine fat pouch of silver coins for her time. But the girls are never the same after and they always leave their village homes. Agnieszka never thinks that she'll be the chosen one....
A Criminal Magic is about a 1920s America where prohibition doesn’t ban alcohol; instead it bans sorcerer's "shine". Sorcerers can bottle their shine which gives an incredible and addictive high, but the shine loses its power after only a single day. After prohibition begins, shine distribution falls to mobsters - the same as alcohol did in the real1920s world. Joan is a sweet young orphaned sorceress from the back woods who only wants to earn money and look after her little sister and her cousin. Alex is a Federal Prohibition Unit trainee with a scandal in his past who is forced to go undercover into the world of "shine" dens. Both are forced to confront all the unpleasant realities of the world they find themselves in. It's early in the year but I can already tell you that A Criminal Magic will be in my top ten titles for the year.
If you are looking at a title in the newer version of the catalog (Bibliocommons), scroll down past the title information to "Opinions" then look for "From the critics" to see professionally published reviews. In the classic catalog, click on the cover picture for the book (you'll need allow new windows to pop up) and any published reviews will be available in the new window. I found these two titles as delightful as the reviews promised and finished both in short order since I didn't want to put either one down!