This was originally going to go up on New Year’s Eve, but I want to spend as much of tomorrow reading as possible. Thus, it’s up today!
I was going to split this post in two, one for worst books and one for best books, but I don’t have the time or energy to talk about mediocre or terrible books. Instead, I’m making this post about my favorites of the year much longer.
I’m putting the books in chronological order, because while I do have a #1 favorite, I can’t imagine ordering the rest of these.
Lydia Kang is a great author and an even greater person. I can’t imagine a better book to start 2018 with. I read this nearly a year ago and don’t remember much, but A Beautiful Poison is a historical murder mystery and oh, so entertaining.
Timekeeper is here for the entire trilogy, because Chainbreaker and Firestarter are equally fantastic. I’m simultaneously glad to have been approved for an e-ARC so I didn’t have to wait, and sad because there’s no more. These books are full of magic and emotion, and I’ll be recommending them for a long time coming. I might even reread them in 2019, if I’m in the mood for kissing boys and emotional turmoil.
Another book that I read early in the year and unfortunately don’t remember much of, other than I loved it. It’s a really interesting urban fantasy read, where humans make deals with the demons that inhabit Earth in exchange for body parts. The Hearts We Sold discusses abuse and identity and it’s wonderful, albeit heavy at times. I still try not to think about the ending; my heart can only handle so much. It features a diverse ensemble cast and definitely deserves more hype.
Oh, look, a contemporary! Let’s Talk About Love is a novel I’m not sure I would’ve picked up if I wasn’t a Prideathon co-host, but I’m so glad I did. Although I’m not black or bi, I loved the ace rep. It was such a fun read that also incorporated important topics, like how sex is wrongly believed to be vital in a relationship and therapy positivity.
Falling Kingdoms is one of my all time favorite series, and although I was disappointed to see the final book pushed back, Immortal Reign was absolutely worth it. With magic, kissing, and unimaginably high stakes, it was the perfect way to say goodbye to the world and characters I’ve grown to love so much. And although it’s unrelated to the story itself, can I just say that sliding the hardcover edition next to the other five on my shelf was incredibly satisfying?
As some of you might remember, past me read An Ember in the Ashes in 2016 and found it average, wasn’t interested in continuing the series. Current me finds that laughable, as my reread this year ended up being quite enjoyable, and A Torch Against the Night is one of my favorite books of 2018. Oh, the irony! In all seriousness, this was a freaking amazing sequel, and Sabaa is one of those authors that writes something great and then manages to make their next book even better. It must be sorcery. Or maybe a deal with the Nightbringer?
I went into Invictus curious, but without any expectations. It turned out to be an extremely unique and intriguing time travel story with characters that I loved. Although I would totally read a sequel, I can appreciate a sci-fi novel being a stand-alone. This story deserves as much hype as Wolf by Wolf gets, because it’s a true hidden gem.
I had fairly high expectations going into this book, as I’d seen multiple glowing reviews. I’m happy to say that The Epic Crush of Genie Lo is worth every bit of the hype. It’s a quick read full of demons and witty dialogue, and there’s a drastic, amusing height difference between the two main characters. I can’t wait for the sequel to come out! (Anyone have any information on that?)
Here’s a book I’m sure no one is surprised to see. I picked this up at the library over the summer on a whim, only remembering that someone had mentioned it and I had added it to my TBR. Then I read it and it rocked my world. The Last Magician is another hidden gem in YA, with time travel; a heist; epic, dynamic characters and relationships; and twists you’ll never see coming. That ending, though! I know I said that the books on this list weren’t numbered, but this is definitely in my top three. #2, maybe. I still need to read the sequel, though.
Oops. 2019, y’all! It will happen!
I love this cover more every time I see it. The Brightsiders is another book I have Prideathon to thank for, as I’m not sure when I would’ve gotten to it otherwise. I loved Queens of Geek, but I think I love this one even more. It’s a breath of fresh air in YA contemporary, following a popular teen band and a protagonist trying to come back from being branded the next celebrity disaster. It discusses heavy topics like gaslighting and toxic relationships, familial and romantic, but it also has fluffy moments that made my heart happy. Queens of Geek favorites made an appearance, and those vacation scenes! Jen has secured a spot as one of my favorite authors.
Here you have it, the one adult novel on this list. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is one of the few Adult novels I managed to read in 2018, and if they’re all this spectacular, I need to reach for them more often. It’s an exquisitely complex sci-fi in terms of both world and characters, and even though the pace is slower, I was hooked from the start. There are also three very different yet equally lovable romances. I hope to obtain and read the other two books in 2019 — the sooner, the better. This would be the other book in my top three, if I was ranking.
Amanda’s debut, Daughter of the Burning City, was one of my favorite books of 2017, and now here we are with her sophomore novel. As much as I loved Daughter of the Burning City, I think I loved Ace of Shades even more. The main characters are a Slytherin-Hufflepuff power couple with a delightful slow-burn romance, though they’re also amazing on their own. The story is set is New Reynes, the City of Sin, and features poison, gang tension, a killer girl power friendship, murderous card games, and plenty of situations where everything goes wrong. I cannot wait for the sequel!
This is undeniably my #1 favorite book of 2018. Netgalley approved me for an e-ARC, which was the highlight of my reading year, and to top it off a friend passed on their physical ARC. Courting Darkness is brilliant beyond words. Like the His Fair Assassin trilogy, it’s set in medieval France and features a cast of deadly, dynamic characters that I adore. It’s full of intrigue and death and girl power with a side of deceit and court politics. It has everything I love from the original trilogy while also being a delicious, promising start to a brutal companion duology. I’m planning to reread it after I finish my His Fair Assassin reread, and it’s likely I’ll pick it up again at least one more time while waiting for the sequel’s 2020 release. These books have stolen my heart and taken over my life and honestly, I’m okay with it.
I’ve heard nothing but praise for Rachel’s debut novel, and it is incredibly well-deserved. You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone is a poignant story about family and hereditary illness, in this case Huntington’s disease. I read this back in September and I still think about it sometimes. It’s hard-hitting and very memorable. I look forward to seeing what Rachel does next; Our Year of Maybe comes out in January and I’m excited!
I read all three of the available Wayward Children novellas this year, but Beneath the Sugar Sky was undoubtedly my favorite. It has vivid imagery, fascinating worlds, bold humor, and a brilliant, diverse ensemble cast; although it wasn’t what I expected, I thoroughly enjoyed every page. This is also a special read for me, as it was the first audiobook I ever listened to in full. I’m not sure that In An Absent Dream can top this one, but I look forward to finding out in the new year.
Would my favorites list be complete without a Richelle Mead book? I don’t think The Emerald Sea is quite as good as Midnight Jewel — one of my 2017 favorites — but I still enjoyed it very much. The protagonist was headstrong and dedicated, and the other characters were intriguing for various reasons. Everyone had secrets, and there was a brilliant romance that developed slowly as the story progressed. Upon finishing this, I realized that I don’t have any more YA from Richelle to read, and I’m not quite sure what to do about that. Sit around and hope for more, I suppose. Reread Vampire Academy.
The Summer of Jordi Perez is the sapphic rom-com I didn’t know I needed. It follows Abby, a fat pink-haired fashion blogger, and Jordi, a Latinx photographer, as they navigate their shared summer internship and budding romance. I sped through this and it’s still on my mind a little over a month later. I read a library copy of this, and it’s at the top of my list of books to buy. I’m curious to see if I like any of Amy’s other novels as much as this one, and if she’ll write any more sapphic novels in the future. She’s unbelievably good at it.
I read When The Moon Was Ours in 2017 and Wild Beauty earlier this year. Both of them were magical and intriguing, but neither of them captivated me the way people say that Anna-Marie’s novels do. That changed with Blanca & Roja. It was whimsical and queer and dark and light. It has sisters and swans and curses and kissing. It’s my favorite of Anna-Marie’s novels thus far, and I can’t wait to read more from them in the coming months.
There you have it — my favorite books of 2018! What were some of your favorite books this year? I’d love to know!
This will be my last post of the year, so I want to say thank you — not just for reading, but for supporting me and my blog through the ups and downs of 2018. I hope you have a fabulous day/night, and a happy new year!
Until next time…