Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a good New Year’s Eve, whether you were out partying the night away, sitting at home reading a book or anything in between. My family went out for dinner for New Year (Hogmanay it is here in Scotland) and we had a nice three course dinner and Prosecco when the bells went, so that was a nice way to bring in 2019.
Anyway, it’s not just the start of a New Year today, it’s also a Tuesday, which means another Top Ten Tuesday thanks to Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Today’s topic is all about looking back, I’m going to be sharing my Top Ten (actually Twelve) Books of 2018! I’m quite glad this topic was saved for today this year, because in 2017, the topic came up a bit early for me, so one of my favourite books of the year wasn’t on the list because I hadn’t finished it. This year you can be certain that this is my definitive Best of list, since 2018 is over. So here we go, my 2018 favourites:
- Firestarter-Tara Sim-5 stars
My favourite read of the year-although it doesn’t actually come out until the 15th, I was so lucky to get to read it early! It was a beautiful, emotional, soul crushing finale that pretty much destroyed me and yet I will still be thanking Tara Sim for it, because it was the perfect, epic conclusion to Danny and Colton’s story.
2. Children of Blood and Bone-Tomi Adeyemi-4.5 stars
Children of Blood and Bone was just so incredible. Such a brilliantly creative fantasy world, an amazingly diverse cast of characters, and such a great female friendship between Zelie and Amari. I read a lot of epic fantasy, but this one felt refreshingly different and after that ending, I can’t wait to see what Zelie and Amari get up to in the sequel!
3. Legendary-Stephanie Garber-4.5 stars
I didn’t think it was possible to love Legendary more than I did Caraval but I really did! Tella was an awesome narrator, we got to meet some amazing new characters, Garber expanded on the magical world she had created in the first book while creating something new and fresh with the game of Caraval this time around. I can’t wait to see what happens in the final book, appropriately titled Finale!
4. Vicious-VE Schwab-4 stars
I can’t believe it took me so long to get to this book! VE Schwab is the master of the villain, and this book just proves it. The a-linear format was so cleverly done, Victor and Eli were compelling, complex characters, there was a lovely gang of side characters who I adored, the EO power system was really well thought out and it was just generally a really fun story to read. I’m looking forward to getting into Vengeful, hopefully this year as I’ve heard amazing things and I NEED to know what happens after that ending.
5. Fawkes-Nadine Brandes-4 stars
My surprise of the year! I picked this book off a whim on Netgalley, literally because I thought the cover looked cool and the title drew me in. Little did I know that it was going to become one of my favourite books of the year. It’s a historical fantasy retelling of the Gunpowder Plot, told through the eyes of Guy Fawkes’ son, Thomas, in a London where everyone can use magic via a mask that manipulates colours. The magic system was so cool, I loved the setting, the main character was great and it was fun to read a standalone fantasy for a change! I hope more authors start trying to explore the Tudor/Stuart eras for fantasy because that history is ripe to be mined. I already have an e-ARC of Nadine’s next book, Romanov, and I can’t wait to read it.
6. Tower of Dawn-Sarah J Maas-4 stars
I almost skipped Tower of Dawn, I’ll be honest because Chaol…..yeah not my favourite Throne of Glass character. However, I’m really glad I didn’t because I ended up really loving it. It was so great to explore a different part of the Throne of Glass world, especially one so different to Erilea, and SJM really went in on the world building in this book which I loved. Yrene from The Assassin’s Blade returns in a bigger role this time and it was great to see her come to the fore. Chaol’s journey of healing was really wonderful to read about as well, so yeah, if you are a bit sceptical on Chaol, please do still read this book, because it’s a wonderful story!
7. The Language of Thorns-Leigh Bardugo-4 stars
I’m not usually one for short stories, but I really loved Leigh Bardugo’s fairytales with her signature Grisha twist, they were gloriously dark, wonderfully subversive and just generally a lot of fun to read-I would be quite happy reading more short stories from Leigh Bardugo after this.
8. The Exact Opposite of Okay-Laura Steven-4 stars
AGH, it’s months later and I still can’t get over how much I loved this book. It was everything I wanted to be, fabulously feminist and gloriously funny, Izzy was definitely my favourite new character of the year and it’s so great to have a book that talks about slut shaming and sex positivity in a way that is really funny and accessible to teens.
9. By A Charm and A Curse-Jaime Questell-4 stars
A fun little book, with an interesting take on the Circus theme that has become quite popular in recent years of YA. It was a unique little story, kind of like a cross between Pinocchio and the Disney princesses and it was fun to see a story where a kiss was the cause of a curse rather than the resolution to it. It was also nice to have quite a short standalone YA fantasy, I’m so used to reading fantasy books of 400 pages +, that an under 300 page book was a nice change of pace!
10. Everless-Sarah Holland-4 stars
I loved the concept for this one so much! The idea of time being used as currency was really creative and although I wasn’t so keen on the main character, the plot, the writing and the creativity of the concept and the world building made this a solid read for me.
11. A Spark of Light-Jodi Picoult-4 stars
And Jodi Picoult hits another one out of the park! A Spark of Light was a wonderfully gripping, incredibly powerful and emotional read and I was so glad that I enjoyed it as much as I did, because it was one I had been anticipating for a while and had quite high expectations for. I loved the cast of characters, Picoult’s writing was as always incredible and as always, it left me with a lot to think about after reading.
12. Our Dark Duet-VE Schwab-4 stars
I wasn’t that keen on This Savage Song, but Our Dark Duet took things to a whole new level, with a terrifying new monster, brilliant character development, much more action and a wonderfully emotional climax, alongside Schwab’s as always brilliant writing.
So there we go, those were my favourite books of 2018! Have you read any of these? Did you enjoy them? What were your favourite books of 2018? What did you guys get up to for New Year? Let me know in the comments!
I’ll be back next week with a new TTT, this time we will be talking about our Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019, so that should be super fun, especially as there are so many amazing books coming out in the firs half of the year.
In the meantime, I will have a few things for you guys over the next few days, I’m going to be sharing my 2019 Bookish Resolutions on Jo Talks tomorrow, and then I have a couple of reviews left over from last year to get to, so you should hopefully be getting those soon!