Another year to review already. This year was an odd year of reading for me where I had some of the lowest amount of books read in a month but I had a lot going on so I need to cut myself some slack. I really slacked a lot on reviewing and maintaining my blog in general so I’m really hoping to get back into a good flow with reading and reviewing in the new year. 🙂
Best Book You Read In 2018?
Foundryside (Founders #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett
Seriously, this was the best. I didn’t have a whole lot of 5 star reads this year (a lot of good reads, but not great reads) but crazily enough this was one of the first years I haven’t had a problem picking my favorite.
Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I read Reid’s debut, Forever, Interrupted, and I completely dismissed her books as “not for me”. I ended up giving her another shot and read After I Do, One True Loves, and Maybe in Another Life pretty much back to back. This one, however, didn’t work for me at all. I’m hoping her 2019 book, Daisy Jones & the Six, goes better.
Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuire
EVERYBODY LOVES THIS SERIES. I am not everybody. I love me some Seanan but man, this one so did not go as planned.
Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
Get Well Soon: History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them by Jennifer Wright
I have a strange fascination with plagues and epidemics so I knew this would be right up my alley. What I didn’t expect was this to be so informative and funny. Jennifer Wright needs to write more fantastic non-fiction.
Best series you started in 2018? Best Sequel of 2018? Best Series Ender of 2018?
Series Starter: Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal Shusterman; Best Sequel: The Brightest Fell (October Daye #11) by Seanan McGuire; Best Series Ender: Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel
Favorite new author you discovered in 2018?
Christina Lauren. When I find an author(s) I enjoy, I have a tendency to add everything of theirs to my TBR but promptly forget about them. Except for CL apparently. I read four of their books this year and am so very eager to get to the rest of their backlist. Dating You/Hating You is next up.
Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson, Eugene Yelchin
I used to read a lot more Middle Grade but I haven’t been lately, but this one was fantastic. I like to read the finalists for the National Book Awards and this was one of them. I don’t think I would have ever picked it up if it hadn’t been nominated.
Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
You know those authors that you just know you’d love? Yet, you never make time for them and they sit languishing on your shelves? Victor LaValle was that kind of author for me. I have no idea why it took me so long to pick up anything of his but this one was a homerun. Dark urban fantasy with a Lovecraftian spin.
Book You Read In 2018 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections by Nora Ephron
I absolutely adore Nora Ephron. I loved her fiction story Heartburn and her other short story collection, I Feel Bad About My Neck, is my favorite. I Remember Nothing was one of the last ones I had to get to and I figure now I’ll just have to go back and do re-reads to satisfy my Eprhon craving. I still have yet to get my hands on The Most of Nora Ephron though so at least I haven’t completely run out.
Favorite cover of a book you read in 2018?
The Line That Held Us by David Joy
Most memorable character of 2018?
Sadie by Courtney Summers
Courtney Summers books are always such powerful stories (remember All the Rage?) but Sadie was such an incredibly told story. The podcast aspect of this book was what convinced me to pick it up but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Riveting.
Most beautifully written book read in 2018?
Wittgenstein’s Lolita and The Iceman: Short Stories by William Gay
I’d been eyeing Gay’s books for years and I happened to pick this one up as a part of my Kindle Unlimited membership and wow, I’ve been missing out.
Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2018?
The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle
While I wasn’t completely enamored with this book, the concept behind it really resonated with me. If you could have dinner party with five people, living or dead, who would you choose? And why? Made me spend many days contemplating my own list, and why, and how important it is to not leave things unsaid because you might never get another opportunity.
Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2018 to finally read?
Lock In by John Scalzi
This was actually my first Scalzi too! I also immediately read the follow-up, Head On, and enjoyed it just as much.
Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2018?
“A person should read a book because it speaks to something in his heart.”
― Julia Quinn, The Other Miss Bridgerton
There’s not much that makes me giddier than a character that has a fondness for books that rivals mine. I loved this line from Andrew Rokesby so much that I wrote it on a post it and stuck it on my monitor to constantly remind me when I find myself trudging through another mediocre book.
Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2018?
Warm Up (Villains 0.5) by V.E. Schwab | 17 pages
Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) by Sarah J. Maas | 672 pages
There’s a Giant Trapdoor Spider Under Your Bed by Edgar Cantero | 51 minutes
Broken Dove (Fantasyland #4) by Kristen Ashley | 23 hours, 2 minutes
Book That Shocked You The Most
Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone
It’s not often that I cave into hype but I just so happened to hear a ton of great things about this one while I had an active Kindle Unlimited membership so I decided to take the chance. It was well worth it.
OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
Toby + Tybalt 4eva
Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson #13) by Darynda Jones
While I wasn’t completely satisfied with this ending to my long-time favorite urban fantasy series, Charley and Cookie’s friendship was still the very best thing to read about.
Favorite Book You Read in 2018 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Queenpin by Megan Abbott
I’ve loved Abbott’s books for many years now but I had yet to delve into her backlist of female-centric noirs. I loved it and there are a ton of others I’m thrilled to get around to someday.
Best Book You Read In 2018 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:
What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia by Elizabeth Catte
After vehemently hating Hillbilly Elegy, I saw a lot of recommendations for this one. It was superb and deserves far more recognition than Hillbilly Elegy, 100%.
Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2018?
Shade Ganavan in Nightchaser by Amanda Bouchet.
He saves her cat. That was enough for me. lol But this story was tons of fun (I love a good space adventure) and the mystery behind the main character’s identity was intriguing. I’ve been looking for more a la Fortune’s Pawn for years and this one was a strong contender.
Best 2018 debut you read?
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
This interesting retelling of The Little Mermaid really managed to impress me (and I’m a bit hard to impress lol). I listened to the audio version of this, which was superb.
Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Strange Weather by Joe Hill
This collection of 4 novellas were some of the craziest stories that left me thinking about them still months after reading.
Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
It Ended Badly: Thirteen of the Worst Breakups in History by Jennifer Wright
I think this is the only author that appears on my list twice, and she’s definitely deserving. I loved both of these (and they were superb audios!) but this book (vs. her plague book) was a total riot.
Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2018?
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling
(Angry) cry. I’m still mad about this.
Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Kind Nepenthe by Matthew V. Brockmeyer
This book was another one that I took a random chance on during my Kindle Unlimited membership and this story completely blew me away. Incredible writing and a mesmerizing storyline.
Book That Crushed Your Soul?
Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood
There were more than one “inspired by” Lolita books this year and while this one was the only one I read, it was absolutely incredible. I really have to check out more from Greenwood.
Most Unique Book You Read In 2018?
Hungry Ghosts by Anthony Bourdain
Losing Bourdain this year was difficult but reading (and watching) all the things he created in his life is always a wonderful experience.
Book That Made You The Most Mad?
A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.1) by Sarah J. Maas
This was seriously the fucking worst, don’t even try to argue about this with me. I’ve renamed this A Court of Frost and Starshit.
One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2018 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2019?
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Every year this book gets added to the “why haven’t I read you?” lists. Every year it drives me crazy. I would like really love to finally cross this off my list.
Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2019 (non-debut)?
Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
Seanan McGuire introduces readers to a world of amoral alchemy, shadowy organizations, and impossible cities in the standalone fantasy, Middlegame.
2019 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
Wilder Girls by Rory Power
A feminist Lord of the Flies about three best friends living in quarantine at their island boarding school, and the lengths they go to uncover the truth of their confinement when one disappears.
Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2019?
Hierophant (Founders #2) by Robert Jackson Bennett
One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2019?
Finding a good balance between reading and blogging. I’m usually either or and I’ve really let blogging fall by the wayside. I’d also really love to get a new theme set up one of these days! I purchased a theme package over a freaking year ago and I really need to sit down and try to learn some photoshop stuff and come up with something new.
A 2019 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone.
Nightchaser (Endeavor #1) by Amanda Bouchet