Top Ten Tuesday #192


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:

  1. 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!

73 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday #192

  1. Mir (TBR and Beyond) 01/01/2019 / 12:55 pm

    I keep seeing Fawkes on a couple people’s list, will definitely have to check it out. Great list

    • iloveheartlandx 02/01/2019 / 12:46 am

      Thank you! Oh yay, I’m glad. Happy 2019 to you too πŸ™‚

  2. daneelolivaw33 01/01/2019 / 4:34 pm

    Love your picks. I really enjoyed Caraval so of ourse I’m going to read Legendary, too. It’s great to hear that it’s as good as the original. Happy 2019!

    • iloveheartlandx 02/01/2019 / 12:44 am

      Thank you! Oh yay, I hope you enjoy Legendary just as much. Happy 2019 πŸ™‚

  3. Louise 01/01/2019 / 5:30 pm

    I really want to read By A Charm and A Curse.

  4. Brooke Lorren (@Brookelorren) 01/01/2019 / 6:10 pm

    I’ve read several of the books on this list. Fawkes was good, and I can’t wait for Finale! I’ll probably finish reading the Throne of Glass series soon… and I really have to read some of VE Schwab’s work… I bought 3 of her books so far, and I keep saying I want to read them, but I haven’t yet!

    • iloveheartlandx 02/01/2019 / 12:43 am

      Yay! Oh me either, I’m so excited-I’ve already preordered it. Is it wrong that part of me is even more excited to see the secret covers than I am for the book? Not that I’m not impatiently waiting for the story, but the secret cover reveal is always one of my favourite parts of the lead up to release date for her books. I hope I will too, Kingdom of Ash is just so huge and I’m reading so many other books atm. Ah you should, her books are amazing-I think she’s taking a publishing break this year, so you’ve got a whole year to read back catalogue stuff before she starts bringing out more new stuff.

  5. Ashley Sapp 01/01/2019 / 6:54 pm

    Fawkes was so awesome! It made my list too. I’ve seen Vicious on quite a few people’s lists today. I’m hoping to read it sometime this year. It sounds so good! Happy New Year! πŸ™‚

    • iloveheartlandx 02/01/2019 / 12:41 am

      It was! Oh yay, I hadn’t actually seen it on many other people’s. Yes, Vicious has definitely been making the rounds this year-I think a lot of people were rereading/reading for the first time this year because of Vengeful coming out. It was! Thank you, you too πŸ™‚

    • iloveheartlandx 02/01/2019 / 12:39 am

      Yes, it was such a good book! Ugh I know right, shouldn’t we have that already? It’s only just over two months before it’s out now. Thank you, you too πŸ™‚

  6. Tessa G. 01/01/2019 / 8:27 pm

    Children of Blood and Bone made my list too! I agree that it was a fresh take on epic fantasy and it took the story of a whole world without overwhelming me. Plus, that cliffhanger was PERFECTION. Like, it wretched my heart and I can’t take the wait for the sequel, but it was beautifully done.

    I read This Savage Song this year too, but it didn’t quite make my top ten list. I love V. E. Schwab, but This Savage Song is my least favorite by her so far. I really love August and the action picked up toward the end, but the story didn’t have the complexity that the rest of her books do. I haven’t finished the duology yet, but I am glad to hear that things went better in This Dark Duet.

    Here’s my TTT

    • iloveheartlandx 02/01/2019 / 12:37 am

      Yes, it was so good! It’s quite rare to find that in epic YA fantasy. Yes, it was amazingly done, though I have to admit, I’m not sure how I’ve waited this long already for the second one.
      Yes I wasn’t so keen on This Savage Song either-Monsters of Verity definitely errs on the simpler side of things in terms of what she can do with her worldbuilding, it’s definitely no Shades of Magic. Our Dark Duet was better for me though, so hopefully you enjoy that more.

  7. Nicci (@SunnyBuzzyBlogs) 01/01/2019 / 9:56 pm

    Oh, Fawkes! I’m glad to see that on some lists! I really want to read that one this year. πŸ™‚

  8. ChrissiReads 01/01/2019 / 10:06 pm

    I’m looking forward to A Spark Of Light. It looks good!

  9. Heather Cilley 01/01/2019 / 10:26 pm

    I am going to be reading Tower of Dawn soon!! I am happy you loved it so much because I am just so so excited to read it. I’ve missed Chaol! Amazing list! Hope 2019 is filled with 5 star reads.

    • iloveheartlandx 02/01/2019 / 12:28 am

      Ah yay! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, I’m sure you will. Thank you! I hope so too, I don’t know if I’m just getting fussy and that’s why I only have the one, but I’ve still read so many great books this year, so I’m not overly bothered!

  10. kozbisa 01/01/2019 / 11:14 pm

    I keep seeing Legendary today, and it’s mocking me, because I should have read it. I ended up letting my co-blogger review it, but I am determined to read it before Finale comes out.

    • iloveheartlandx 02/01/2019 / 12:26 am

      Ah no! You have a good few months before Finale comes out though, so there’s still plenty of time πŸ™‚

  11. Niamh (@niamhkate) 01/01/2019 / 11:31 pm

    Many of these books are on my TBR so I’m excited to hear how great they are! I regret not finishing CoBaB last year when I started it but it’s one of my top priorities over the next few months! Happy New Year!

    • iloveheartlandx 02/01/2019 / 12:24 am

      Oh yay, I’m so glad-I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. Happy New Year to you too πŸ™‚

  12. Sarah @ SWB 02/01/2019 / 12:10 am

    I loved Everless and I have The Exact Opposite of Okay sitting on my shelf, I really want to get to it in January, or at least before the sequel comes out.

    I’d already posted about my top ten books of 2018 so I’m talking about the books I’d be stuck on a desert island with in this week’s TTT

    • iloveheartlandx 02/01/2019 / 12:23 am

      Yay! Ah you’ll have plenty of time, the sequel isn’t out until March, and it’s a short book-only took me a week to read. Ah cool, I’ll have to check your post out πŸ™‚

  13. Destiny @ Howling Libraries 02/01/2019 / 12:11 am

    Great list! I just got an eARC of the US re-release of The Exact Opposite of Okay and I am so excited to read it after hearing so many of my friends gush about it!

  14. thebookishlibra 02/01/2019 / 12:22 am

    Vicious and Children of Blood and Bone made my list too. Happy 2019!

  15. rayasreads 02/01/2019 / 4:19 am

    Great list! I’ve been meaning to read The Exact Opposite of Okay and The Children of Blood and Bone for a long time now. I hope to finally pick them up in 2019.

    • iloveheartlandx 02/01/2019 / 1:04 pm

      Thanks! Oh yay, I hope you enjoy them when you read them πŸ™‚

  16. dbsguidetothegalaxy 02/01/2019 / 6:10 am

    I wanted to read Fawkes! And obviously Language of Thorns because of Leigh Bardugo πŸ˜ƒ

    • iloveheartlandx 02/01/2019 / 1:02 pm

      Yes they were! Ah no! Well there’s always next year πŸ™‚

  17. Time for tales and tea 02/01/2019 / 12:45 pm

    Nice list! I did read Caraval, but I haven’t read Legendary yet. I am quite curious about it, because many bloggers say the sequel is better than the first part.

    • iloveheartlandx 02/01/2019 / 1:01 pm

      Thanks! Ah well I hope you enjoy it if you do read it πŸ™‚

  18. Lin 02/01/2019 / 4:03 pm

    *panicked pacing* I still haven’t gotten to Children of Blood and Bone!!!! AAAA! It looks like such a great read, and I just know I’m gonna love it!

    I was sceptical of Tower of Dawn too, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to stick with it. Especially after the way Empire of Storms ended ; – ;
    But I was pleasantly surprised because I loved it!!!! SJM did really well with the world building, it was amazing! I think it might be one of my favourites!

    Happy Reading!! ❀

    • iloveheartlandx 04/01/2019 / 11:28 am

      Ah you’ve still got time before the second book comes out! I hope you do love it πŸ™‚ As was I, I thought it would be really dull and didn’t see much point in reading it but I ended up really enjoying it, it’s probably one of my favourites too. Happy Reading!

  19. Tangled N Books 02/01/2019 / 4:53 pm

    I’ve been meaning to get to Children of Blood and Bone. So glad you liked it. Wow I loved Everless too! The concept is refreshing, I wonder where the story will go. Evermore is out today, so excited to get my hands on it!

    • iloveheartlandx 04/01/2019 / 11:26 am

      I hope you enjoy it too! Yes Everless was awesome. I have no idea, I’m looking forward to finding out πŸ™‚

  20. Aj @ Read All The Things! 03/01/2019 / 1:32 am

    I read Vicious a long time ago and loved it. I still haven’t read Our Dark Duet. I’m slowly making my way through all of VE Schwab’s work. Happy 2019!

    • iloveheartlandx 04/01/2019 / 11:24 am

      Glad to hear it! Oh yay, hope you enjoy it, and the rest of her books you haven’t read. Happy 2019 πŸ™‚

  21. Tracy (@Cornerfolds) 03/01/2019 / 3:29 am

    I still need to read the second book after Timekeeper! I’m so excited to see that so many people love the rest of the series! Legendary made my list too! Such an incredible second book!

    • iloveheartlandx 04/01/2019 / 11:24 am

      I hope you enjoy the rest of the series! Yes it was πŸ™‚

  22. bookaholiclizzy 03/01/2019 / 4:15 pm

    I have Children of Blood & Bone and Vicious on my TBR list for list, I’ve heard such good things about them both. Great list!

  23. Thannya 04/01/2019 / 9:40 am

    Happy New Year! πŸ™‚ Vicious was also one of my favourite readings of 2018. Quite enjoyed how it discusses light and darkness and everything in-between. I hope to read Everless this year. And, I’ve seen so many people talk about Fawkes that I think I need to get myself a copy.

    Happy readings! πŸ˜‰
    TΓ’nia @MyLovelySecret

    • iloveheartlandx 04/01/2019 / 10:59 am

      Thank you! Yes VE Schwab is always very good at that. I hope you enjoy both of them if you read them πŸ™‚

  24. Jess @ Jessticulates 04/01/2019 / 11:28 am

    Great list! I need to get to Children of Blood and Bone asap because I think it could be a new favourite for me, I haven’t seen a bad review of it yet.

  25. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight 05/01/2019 / 2:04 am

    Oh my goodness, your Favorites list looks like my TBR hahaha, I have SO wanted to read most of these! And one day, I might actually do it πŸ˜‚ Seriously though I am so glad you loved these so much, and I hope that 2019 brings you even more gems!

    • iloveheartlandx 05/01/2019 / 12:14 pm

      Ha ha that’s awesome! Hopefully you enjoy them as much as I did. Thank you, I hope so too!

  26. Lois 06/01/2019 / 1:12 pm

    Children of Blood and Bone sounds like an incredible book. My plan is to read it sometime this year. Hope you have a brilliant 2019.

  27. Annemieke 06/01/2019 / 5:02 pm

    Okay I am jealous you already got to read Firestarter. I can’t wait to have it in my hands. *.*

    • iloveheartlandx 08/01/2019 / 7:54 pm

      AHHH IT WAS SO GOOD. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    • iloveheartlandx 08/01/2019 / 7:53 pm

      I know, same, but I really shouldn’t have worried at all. Thank you πŸ™‚

  28. Rissi 07/01/2019 / 5:29 am

    I really (REALLY!) need to read Fawkes, and am also glad to see Everless on your list. I just picked that one up last week, so hopefully it will end up being a good-for-me read. πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for the Finding Wonderland visit; hope you enjoy a wonderful 2019 full of marvelous reads!

    • iloveheartlandx 08/01/2019 / 7:53 pm

      I hope you enjoy both of them! Aww thank you, I hope you find lots of books you love in 2019 too.

  29. Rhoda (@rhodak09) 13/01/2019 / 7:28 pm

    You’ve got some really fantastic books on your list! I love V.E. Schwab’s work too! I keep meaning to read Children of Blood and Bone, have heard such great things! Happy reading in 2019! x

    • iloveheartlandx 14/01/2019 / 7:32 pm

      Ah thank you! Yes, she’s the best! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.