Since we just started a brand new year, I thought reflecting back over my 2018 in books was a good place to start both the new year and my new blog!
Last year was a GREAT year for me, book-wise. My Reading Challenge was a daunting 70 books (20 books more than my previous 3 years of 50) and I was a little wary about it. For starters, each of my previous 3 years were completed in the last few days of the year. Plus, I was getting ready to finish my last quarter of college and the aspect of graduating, looking for a job and starting my path into actual adulthood didn’t seem like the best time for me to set a lofty reading goal.
HOWEVER! Not only did I accomplish my goal of 70 books, I read 70 books by the end of AUGUST (!!!) and SURPASSED my goal, finishing the year having read 100!!!!! ALL THE EXCLAMATION POINTS! Also, reading so much so early gave me the last couple months off to prep for starting this blog! 🙂
In addition to exceeding my reading challenge, I also discovered new ways to read. Because of my long work commute, I took a chance on audiobooks and LOVED THEM. It’s so nice to be able to drive and still feel like I’m doing something productive. I also got not one, but THREE library cards. I was always wary of libraries because I was a weirdo who insisted on owning every book I read, but I realize now that I was an IDIOT. I save SO much money because I only buy physical copies of the books I really love, and I have access to so many new titles. I’m now fully immersed in the book trifecta of physical books, eBooks, and audiobooks.
So, with all those books read, I wanted to share my top 7 favorite reads of 2018. These are my 5-star, un-put-down-able, omg-I-need-to-re-read-this-book-immediately picks. Honestly, I don’t want to say too much about any of these, since I’m positive they will show up again in more detail because of how much I LOVED them. Most of them will end up in my all-time favorite books or series, so you will definitely hear more of my thoughts about them in the future. I tried to keep these little blurbs as spoiler free as possible, but there are small mentions of favorite moments and such.
Without further ado…
Kaylee’s Top Books of 2018 (in no particular order)
ONE OF US IS LYING by Karen M. McManus
- THIS BOOK F*CKED ME UP. OH MAN. I listened to this on audiobook and it was INCREDIBLE. If I had had the actual book in my hands I would’ve finished it in less than a day. This book was a surprise favorite and I ended up LOVING all of the characters. I’m unbelievably excited about the sequel to this that was recently announced and I also hear there’s supposed to be a TV show in the works!
- True “Jems” of this book (ha, cat pun):
- Cooper’s “oh ya know, just livin’ the nightmare”
- Nate, when his mom asks if he and Bronwyn are bf/gf: NO WE’RE MURDER CO-SUSPECTS
VENGEFUL by V.E. Schwab
- Victoria is my favorite author ever and I only discovered her two years ago! I read Vicious last year and loved it. Only having to wait a year for Vengeful was probably easy compared to others’ five year wait, but we’re all in the same boat now waiting for the possible third book in this series. I ended up finishing it in a day and a half and it was worth the wait!! I loved seeing all these characters again and reading about where the last five years had taken them. I would read Victoria’s grocery list and rate it five stars, but this was truly epic.
- True Jems:
- Victor & Sydney’s relationship. This was one of my FAVORITE parts of Vicious, and I was not disappointed! I legit cried over them like four times, especially when Victor stayed up to make sure Syd got home safe :’)
- June! Victoria mentioned a lot how this book was all about the women taking control and she wasn’t lyin’. Though Marcella is the main focus of the two, June was SUPER interesting to me and I really hope we get to see more of her in the third book.
THE KING’S MEN by Nora Sakavic
- So technically, I would put this entire series on this list, but if I had to narrow it down to one, it’d be The King’s Men. This year I finally completed the trifecta of Tumblr Books (Six of Crows, The Raven Boys and The Foxhole Court)! Six of Crows is my favorite, but this is a close second. I read the trilogy in a week, and then read the whole thing again less than four months later. It’s SO GOOD. I would literally die for each and every one of the Foxes. They are my children and I love them. It was such a great conclusion to the series and it’s now one of my favorite series of all time.
- True Jems: (almost too many to even talk about tbh)
- THE FOXES AFTER BALTIMORE. DO I EVEN NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS. THEY ALL HAD A SLEEPOVER JUST SO THEY COULD CLOSE TO NEIL. PLEASE DONT LOOK AT ME I AM CRYING.
- Kevin Day, Queen of Exy, Mr. Did-You-Know-I’ve-Never-Been-Skiing! My relationship with Kevin was a rollercoaster throughout the series, but by the end of this book I had adopted him as my son and I get emotional just thinking about him.
CIRCE by Madeline Miller
- First of all, LOOK AT THAT COVER. I’m obsessed with Greek Mythology, and The Song of Achilles RUINED ME, so when I heard Madeline Miller was releasing another Greek retelling I was hyped!! Her writing is beautiful and she has such a clear understanding of her characters. Circe was amazing from start to finish and I hope Madeline doesn’t take years to release her next book because I want it nowww!
- True Jems:
- Hermes & Odysseus! Miller can really write prominent male figures in Greek Myth. Plus, I have a soft spot for both of those guys so it was GREAT to see them show up in this.
- The ending added a new spin on the myth of Circe that cast her in a different light and I felt really satisfied with how she ended her story.
WINTER by Marissa Meyer
- I read the Lunar Chronicles series in late 2017 and finished it with Winter in early 2018 and I loved them! I really enjoy all of Meyer’s fairytale retellings and I loved all of the characters in this, especially Cinder, Kai and Thorne. Winter was SUCH a great ending to the series and I wasn’t disappointed with anything that happened in this finale.
- True Jems:
- THAT EVERYONE I LOVED MADE IT OUT ALIVE. MUAHAHAHA. (tbh I read this awhile ago so I can’t remember specifics, but it was all good, OK.)
THE GIRL IN THE TOWER by Katherine Arden
- I was shocked that I ended up rating The Bear and The Nightingale 4 stars because it honestly doesn’t pick up for me until about 70 percent through, but then its GREAT. This book had me hooked from the beginning though! I was thoroughly invested and I am OBSESSED with Vasya and Morozko. I also LOVE Vasya as a character. She is strong and smart and lovely and I want all the happiness for her.
- True Jems:
- Vasya & Morozko were the obvious highlight of this for me. I love them so much.
- Sasha! I really loved Sasha in the first book and I was sad he wasn’t in it as much in the second half, but he comes back full force in this one!
THE CRUEL PRINCE by Holly Black
- LAST BUT NEVER LEAST! This is definitely one of THE books of 2018, so I’m sure most are familiar with it. It’s AMAZING. Jude Duarte is such a great, twisted character, Elfhame is super interesting, there’s good side characters, and her relationship with Cardan is the cherry on top. ITS ENEMIES TO LOVERS, YOU GUYS. MY ULTIMATE TROPE.
- True Jems:
- THE INTERROGATION SCENE IN THE COURT OF SHADOWS???? Yeah, I SHRIEKED out loud. “I hate you because I think of you. Often.” VINDICATION!!!!!!!
- The twist at the end was great. I didn’t see it coming at all and it really laid out the rest of the series in the best way.
(ok, I’m finally done. geez, write a novel much?)