Why hello 2019!
Wowza. I feel like the older I get, the faster the years are flying by. 2018 didn’t treat me too badly, so I don’t really have any complaints.
Reading wise I had a great 2018! I’ve read some amazing books over the year, and I’m excited to share them all with you today…
Books I Read in 2018:
I read a total of 109 books in 2018! This is a bit down from 2017 when I read 120 books, BUT I lowered my Goodreads goal this year to allow for more blogging time.
My Favorite Books I Read in 2018
2018 seems to be the year of YA, Science Fiction, Fantasy, & sequels for me. As someone who used to predominantly read adult historical fiction, literary fiction, and classics, I am so excited to have stepped outside of my comfort zone over the past two years & really discover new books that I would have never have attempted before.
This list is arranged from more recent reads to ones I read towards the beginning of the year.
» Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1) and Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #2) by Jessica Townsend
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
It has been a while since I’ve fallen so in love with a MG fantasy series. The moment I finished the first book, I knew it would instantly be placed on my favorites of 2018 list! I loved this book so much, I instantly picked up the second book in the series. I almost never read books in a series back to back, so this proves how good this series is. These books have been marketed to fans of Harry Potter, which I totally agree with. While there are definitely some similar tropes & themes to Harry Potter, Nevermoor has it’s own distinct plotline. I would venture to say that this series has brought me the closest I’ve ever come to those “Harry Potter feelings.” I fell in love with the unique characters & world. Bonus! Nevermoor includes a wonderful friendship between Morrigan & Hawthorne! This is one of the reasons I love MG so much, the focus on friendships.
Despite the fact that I LOVED Schwab’s Shades of Magic series, I really didn’t think that the Villains series would be for me. It just didn’t sound like my type of series… I can’t believe I ever doubted Schwab. She never ceases to impress me with her ability to write such complex characters. The best part about her characters are that they tend to blur the line between good & “bad.” Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to love this series as much as I did. I *think* this was meant to be a duology, but it was written in a way where she could easily continue on & expand this series. I really hope Schwab does just that.
» The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White
Genre: YA Fantasy – Retelling
I loved Kiersten White’s And I Darken series, which is a gender swap retelling based off Vlad the Impaler’s life. When I heard that White was going to do a retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, I was all about it. I am happy to report that this book exceeded my expectations. I highly recommend going into this one only if you’ve read the original Frankenstein. You really need to be familiar with the original story to appreciate when White did here. I really think Mary Shelley would have given her stamp of approval on this. Kiersten White is quickly becoming a new favorite author.
» Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer #2) by Laini Taylor
Genre: YA Fantasy
I fell in love with this unique world & characters in the first book, Strange the Dreamer. I was completely enthralled with the story. I was eager to continue on with this series. I was not disappointed with this sequel. I really liked how Taylor left things open ended at the end of this book. I really hope she’ll decide to write more books in this world.
» The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth #2) by N.K. Jeminsin
Genre: Science Fiction
If you haven’t heard of The Broken Earth series, you must be living under a rock ((see what I did there?)) Jeminsin’s writing is unlike any I’ve read before. Part of these books are written in second person… I don’t know how she pulls it off, but she does. I enjoyed this book just as much as the first, and I am really starting to wrap my mind around this world. I cannot wait to read the next book!
» Bright We Burn (The Conqueror’s Saga #3) by Kiersten White
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Kiersten White makes her second appearance on my best of 2018 list! This was the perfect conclusion to the Conqueror’s Saga, an amazing YA historical fiction retelling of Vlad the Impaler. These books just got better and better as the series went on. Lada is a very complex main character. If you are a fan of anti-hero stories, and would fancy one with a badass female anti-hero, this is the series for you!
» The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss
Going into this one I was anticipating a high fantasy story, but in reality I would consider it more of an epic fantasy. Sure, there are fantasy elements here, but the story felt very grounded in reality. The Name of the Wind is a hard book to describe… The book had action, but would I consider it action packed? No. It had “magic,” but was the book full of it? No. The book includes a hero in the making, but did it feel like a hero story? No. Was this book compelling? YES! Why? I don’t know!!! Kvothe is definitely one of my new favorite characters. He is clever, smart, stubborn, witty, mischievous, kind, determined, etc. I will be picking up the second book in the series in 2019.
» An Ember in the Ashes, A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes #2), & A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes #3) by Saba Tahir
Genre: YA Fantasy
I finally picked this series up for the first time this year and I’m kicking myself for not starting it sooner! Sabaa Tahir is ruthless. She’s like the George R. R. Martin of YA lol This series is full of action & adventure with just a touch of romance. I’ve loved every moment of it. I cannot wait for the series conclusion, which isn’t expected to be published until the middle of 2020.
» The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This book took me completely by surprise this year. What a fascinating look at “Hollywood culture.” Despite the fact that Evelyn wasn’t exactly an endearing character, I definitely admired her ambition, drive, independence, and strength. I really enjoy reading books where the main character walks that grey line between “good” and “bad.” This was the only time in history where every member of my book club all enjoyed the same book.
» Binti, Home (Binti #2), & The Night Masquerade (Binti #3) by Nnedi Okorafor
Genre: Science Fiction
I was blown away with this novella series. How was Okorafor able to pack so much world into so few pages?! The writing was absolutely stunning to boot. This world gave me Star Wars and The Fifth Element Vibes, so if you are a fan of those movies, I’d say it’s a safe bet you’ll like this series. Binti is an amazing female main character; she’s smart, brave, level-headed. I also really liked the themes in this series: cultural diversity, peace, communication, customs & traditions, & forging one’s own path in life. I listened to this series via audiobook, and I I highly recommend the audiobooks narrated by Robin Miles.
» Ready Player One (Ready Player One #1)by Ernest Cline
Genre: Science Fiction
Ready Player One is a celebration of all things geek in the 1980s – Now, I must admit that I was not familiar with many of the 80s pop culture references (I was born in the late 80s, therefore grew up more in the 90s) BUT this did not hinder my enjoyment of the book at all. If you were a fan of movies, music, and video games and grew up more in the 80s, this book is going to be very nostalgic for you. There was a tremendous amount of “info dumping” going on, but somehow Cline does it in a way that had me hanging on the edge of every word. You do NOT have to be a “gamer” to enjoy this book. This is more like a virtual reality adventure story.
» The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy #2) by Katherine Arden
I started this series last year and fell in love with the first book, The Bear and the Nightingale. The Winternight series is rooted in Russian folklore and feels very much like a fairytale for adults, but definitely has some creepy undertones too. I love the main character, Vasya. I love that she is fierce, brave, independent, level-headed, and kind. I also liked that this series includes sibling relationships and all their complexities. While the first book was slower paced for world building purposes, The Girl in the Tower was much more action packed. This is the perfect series to read during winter time! I am looking forward to the conclusion of the series in early January.
» The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne
Genre: Historical Fiction
I’m so happy that the book description for this one is pretty vague, The Heart’s Invisible Furies is one of those books that it is better to go into without knowing many details. Spanning 75 years, The Heart’s Invisible Furies is about the main character, Cyril, and his quest for his sense of identity. Along Cyril’s journey, this book touches upon many wonderful themes & hot issue topics like intolerance & prejudice, identity, non-traditional families, forgiveness, the AIDs epidemic of the 80s, etc. I would consider this book to have a slower moving plot line because the focus of the book is the characters. If you are anticipating a wild thrill ride, this isn’t the book, but if you are looking for a roller coaster of emotions, then here you are!
How many books did you read in 2018? Did you hit your reading goal?
Which books were your favorites of 2018?
Comment below & let me know 🙂