Welp! It’s a new year, and it’s time to reflect on all the books that blew my mind in 2018. And trust me, there were A LOT! But, I’ve managed to narrow it down to just twelve that were just, the best of the best. So, let’s get started!
12.) Magic Bites by: Illona Andrews
This year, I went back to my paranormal-romance roots, and finally gave this series a chance after having it recommended to me forever ago. It’s everything I love about the paranormal-romance genre and more! There’s a kick-ass heroine, a kick-ass love interest, a complex world and magic system, out-of-this-world high stakes, drama, action, etc. I devoured the first five books of this series, and I can’t wait to get to more!
11.) Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans by: Don Brown
This was one of the most heartwrenching things I’ve ever read. So much about what happend during, and after, Katrina has been kept so quiet, and after reading this book I can understand why: it was horrific. The way that our government let down the people of New Orleans was a travesty. And this novel really shows that. The artwork really brings to light what mere words wouldn’t be able to convey. This really should be required reading for everyone in America.
10.) The Cruel Prince by: Holly Black
Oh man, does Holly Black know how to write faeries. Brutal, coniving, vain, fickle, and beautiful. She really knows how to get them just right. I was worried, with all the hype that was surrounding this book, that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. But it did…and then some. The characters were all so flawed, and morally grey, and just awful some times, and I LOVED it. And all the tension was just TOO good. I can’t wait to get my hands on more of this series. Holly Black is the Faerie Queen.
9.) Sadie by: Courtney Summers
Holy crap did this one hit hard. This book just, covers such a tragic and hard topic, but the thing that makes it THAT much harder and more tragic, is that it happens all the time. This novel really makes you open your eyes to the really ugly side of the world, and start asking yourself some REALLY hard questions. The way this book was written was also so brilliant, and intriguing, and suspenseful. And the audiobook was AMAZING.
8.) The Watch That Ends the Night by: Allan Wolf
This was the second historical-fiction book I read that was written in verse. And I’ve learned something: when trying to write about tragic events, sometimes verse is the best way to go. The free form allws authors to express emotions and events in a way so much more meaningful than if they’d been stuck in structure. This novel was packed with so much information, and so many different POVs from people from all walks of life. I really learned so much from this novel, and can’t wait to pick up more Titanic books.
7.) Wildwood by: Colin Meloy
This one was a complete surprise for me! I picked this up on a whim at Target YEARS ago, and started to think I was never going to get to it. Oh man, am I glad I changed my mind. This book was so much fun. The world is so unqiue, and quirky, and just, FUN! That’s what I felt all throughout this book. Even when things got tense, there was still so much excitement going on! This is such a great book about family, friends, and growing into yourself. I definitely recommend it to middle grade lovers.
6.) The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by: Kiersten White
This book has become so important to me over the course of this year. The majority of this book deals with a character in an abusive and toxic relationship, and how she finds the strength to get herself out of it. This is a situation that I have been struggling with myself for the past few years, and to see in reflected in fiction, and handled so well, really meant a lot to me. Our heroine is strong, and loving, and loyal, but she also has her flaws. She was just an amazing character to be able to relate to, and I’m really grateful to White for giving me this book this year, when I really needed it. If you want to hear more of my thoughts about this book, check out my fell review here.
5.) Dietland: Sarai Walker
This was another one that completely took me by surprise. This was a required read for school, and I was anticipating to not like it. Boy was I wrong. This book was so empowering for women, particularly fat women. If you want to know my more in-depth thoughts, you can check out my full review here.
4.) Godsgrave by: Jay Kristoff
This was so good. Like, way too good. Mia got more brutal, and morally grey, and so badass. Plus, my wife Ashlinn is in it so, of course it was gonna land high on this list. But the stakes were so much higher in this one, and there were so many twists I wasn’t expecting. And it absolutely left me dying for the next installment. I can’t wait until the next book comes out, but Jay better leave my wife alone. Or we will have WORDS.
3.) Bridge of Clay by: Markus Zusak
I bet this is surprising to y’all, isn’t it? Bet y’all thought it would be first. Well, as great as it was, it couldn’t quite claim that spot. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t amazing! Because it was. It was so touching, and heartbreaking, and beautiful. No one can string together a sentence quite like Markus. There were so many lines that left me gasping, they were so beautiful. It really was worth the agonizing wait.
2.) Muse of Nightmares by: Laini Taylor
I’ve said this more times than I can count, and I’ll say them probably a million more times: Laini Taylor is a word witch. The way she can make worlds and characters come to life on the page is nothing short of magic. This sequal was so nail-biting, and emotional, and absolutely amazing, and I just can’t figure out how she manages to do it over, and over again. This duology handled such complex themes so brilliantly. I’m just, completely in awe of her. We all need to bow down.
1.) Circe by: Madeline Miller
I can’t express how much I love this book. It came to me, just when I needed it most. Seeing Circe getting knocked down, and having everything in the world thrown at her, and her getting right back up? It really helped me get through this year. Everytime I picked this book up I felt so empowered, and inspired, and like nothing could touch me. And even if something DID get to me, I could beat it. Circe was such a beautiful character to read about, and all the other characters were so amazing too. If you want to hear me gush about this book more, check out my full review here.
Well that’s it! Those were my top books of the year! But, what about you guys? What were your favorites of the year? Did you read any of my favorites? What did you think of them? Tell me all about it in the comments!