Top 10 Books I Read in 2018
This past year was probably one of the most successful reading years that I’ve had in quite a while. I read many books this year that I had absolutely adored. So you can imagine that this list was very hard to create, and because it was hard, I’ve listed them in the order that I read them. Let’s get to it!
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
This is a book that I read towards the beginning of 2018 and I absolutely flew through it. It was entertaining and the story felt very relatable, but it was also impactful and emotional, which made it hard to put down if I had other tasks I needed to do.
If I Was Your Girl is an own-voices novel that follows a young transgender girl named Amanda who has just transferred to a new school. Because of the hate that she experienced at her last school, Amanda is determined to keep everyone at arm’s length in order to fly under the radar and get through high school. Then she meets Grant who seems to fit into her life easily and she wants to share all of her life with him, but she’s terrified that when he finds out, he will no longer see her for her.
I loved that even though she’s afraid of how people will react, she never doubted who she was and that she is a girl. The cover model for this book is apparently also transgender, which is super cool. I don’t want to say much else about the book because I believe that it needs to be experienced and that everyone should read it because it’s so important.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Of course, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is on this list and I can’t believe it took until 2018 to read it.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda follows a sixteen-year-old closeted boy named Simon who after anonymous classmate comes out online starts an email flirtation with this unknown boy, Blue. But when these emails are found by his classmate, Martin, he’s blackmailed into helping Martin by being his wingman. If these emails get out, he’s worried that Blue will never want to speak to him again. This makes Simon’s junior year all sorts of complicated while he struggles to handle change without alienating his friends and fumble his romance with Blue.
This book is the absolute cutest! As a character, Simon is the hilarious and a fun perspective to read from. What I loved most about this book was that coming out wasn’t the focal point, it was the romance between Simon and Blue that was. It’s basically a teen rom-com with a same-sex couple, which I am here for. The movie adaption Love, Simon also came out this year and you know that I’ve watched it so many times during 2018.
I’ve read all of Becky’s other books this year as well, but this one is still my favourite of the bunch and why it makes this list.
Warcross by Marie Lu
I have always been a huge fan of Marie Lu’s books and it took me way too long to read Warcross. You’ll start to see a theme with me here—it takes me too long to get to books I know I will love.
Warcross takes place in a world where a virtual reality game called Warcross has taken the entire world by storm. It has come to the point where this game has surpassed being just a game; it has become more of a way of life. This book follows a young bounty hunter and hacker named Emika Chen, who is strapped for cash and is looking for a quick way to make money. But when she accidentally hacks herself into the opening ceremonies of the International Warcross Championships, she becomes an overnight gaming sensation and is tasked to investigate a security problem that threatens the world of Warcross. But more has been going on than she initially suspected.
This book is engaging, the character dynamics are intriguing and the world is extremely well built. The virtual reality is seamlessly woven into society and I can realistically see us moving in this direction with the progression of VR. I’ve written a full review of Warcross if you would like to know more of my thoughts, but Marie Lu’s books will always make my favourites lists.
Save the Date by Morgan Matson
Save the Date was one of my most anticipated summer releases and I managed to grab a copy a couple of days early at Book Con, and it was worth the wait.
This book follows seventeen-year-old Charlie Grant who is experiencing a lot of upcoming change in her life. Her parents have sold their house, she will be going to college in September and her sister is getting married this weekend. Because this is one of the last times that the Grants will all be under one roof in this house, Charlie wants to make her sister's wedding weekend absolutely perfect. But of course, things don't go as planned and Charlie learns things about her family that she hadn't known before and learns that holding on to the past can make you miss out on the future.
Morgan Matson is one of my go-to cutesy contemporary authors and it was a perfect early June read. My favourite aspect in this book was the focus on family and the different relationships between family members, rather than focusing on a romance. I’ve also written a full review of Save the Date if you want more of my thoughts, but if you’re looking for a light, fun book with a wedding, you’ve got to read this book.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Surprisingly, this was my first V.E. Schwab book and it was everything that I wanted.
A Darker Shade of Magic takes place in a world where there are four parallel Londons: Grey London, a land that has forgotten magic; Red London, a land that thrives on magic; White London, a land war-torn by magic; and Black London, a land that has been forgotten. For centuries the doors between these worlds had been closed off and only the Antari, a rare magic user, are able to travel in between worlds. This book follows an Antari named Kell, who is a messenger for the Red London crown. But he’s also a smuggler who illegally buys and sells trinkets from other Londons. When he takes something that he isn’t supposed to, it’s up to him and a Grey London thief to try and save the parallel worlds from destruction.
The whole concept of the world is intriguing and I love learning more about each different parallel London. V.E. Schwab painted beautiful descriptions of this world without being an info-dump, so you stayed engrossed in the story the entire time. The next book, A Gathering of Shadows, is definitely a priority for me to read in 2019.
History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
What would this list be without a book by Adam Silvera? I did a binge of Adam’s books this past year, all of which I loved, but if I could only choose one, History is All You Left Me was my favourite.
History Is All You Left Me is about a young man named Griffin whose life has started to spiral after his first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident. Even though Theo had moved away and had a new boyfriend, Griffin had always thought they would end up together. What makes things worse is that the only one who understands his grief is Theo's most recent boyfriend, Jackson. No matter how much they try and support each other, Griffin continues to downward spiral and starts to lose parts of himself. Griffin must confront his history in order to rebuild for the future. This book is own-voices both for the gay representation and the OCD representation.
This book destroyed my emotions and left me broken, but also hopeful for the future of these characters. Each chapter jumps back and forth between now and history, which was an effective way for us to be led through the story to figure what had happened and how things turned out how they did, as well as Griffin inviting us into his grieving process. I will eat up every book that Adam Silvera releases, but if you haven’t read History is All You Left Me, be sure to put this book on your TBR for 2019.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and The Lady’s Guide to Petty Coats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee
I’m cheating with this one because I couldn’t just choose one or the other because both of these books are absolutely thrilling.
The Lady’s Guide to Petty Coats and Piracy is the sequel/companion to The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, so I won’t go into details about this one, but The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue follows a young bisexual man named Henry "Monty" Montague. He was bred to be a gentleman, but he has always had a bit of a roguish side. Monty is about to embark on a Grand Tour around Europe to escape his father's expectations to take over the family estate. He plans to spend the next year having adventures with his sister and his best friend Percy, who he is in love with. However, one reckless decision changes their plans all calls everything that Monty knows into question.
When I went into this book, the hype surrounding it was huge, but it did not disappoint. This book is packed with adventure and had a cast of dynamic characters. It was one of those books that was like candy; I wanted to know what was going to happen so badly I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough. If you’re a fan of historical fiction and love adventure, be sure to check these two books out.
Seafire by Natalie C. Parker
Going into Seafire, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had picked this book up because it was the Booksplosion book of the month and didn’t know anything at all going in. This book was a total ride and had a full cast of kick-ass female characters and I was here for it.
Seafire follows our main character, Caledonia Styx, who’s left alone with her friend Pisces after their families are killed by warlord Aric Athair and his army of Bullets. Caledonia now captains her ship, the Moris Navis, with her crew of girls and women who have also lost their loved ones at the hands of Aric and his men. They have strict rules—only trust your sisters and never trust a Bullet—and their one mission is to take revenge on Aric and his fleet. But when Pisces nearly loses her life but is saved by a Bullet looking to defect, Calendonia whether or not this boy will help them destroy Aric or if he’ll destroy the Moris Navis.
I’ve also written a spoiler-free review of Seafire if you would like to know more of my thoughts, but if you’re looking for an action-packed sea-adventure novel, check out Seafire.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
I had put another open of Nic Stone’s books, Odd One Out, on my one of my most anticipated books list but had decided that I wanted to read Dear Martin first. This was definitely a good decision.
This book follows Justyce McAllister who is the top student in his class and set for Ivy League success, but none of that matters to the police officer who puts him in handcuffs. Despite leaving his rough neighbourhood, he continues to face judgement and ridicule from his former peers and new classmates. After being unrightfully arrested, Justyce turns to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr for answers. So he starts a journal writing letters to Dr. King to look for them.
This book is such an important read and everyone needs to read Dear Martin. It’s powerful and emotional, and even though the book is on the shorter side the message is huge. Like I said in my November Wrap Up, I don’t want to say too much more because I want everyone to be able to experience it for themselves.
Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
Of course, you knew this book was going to be on this list. Cassandra Clare is one of my favourite authors for all-time and I’ve been waiting for Queen of Air and Darkness ever since I finished Lord of Shadows. There isn’t much that I can say about this book since it’s the third in a spin-off trilogy, but I loved this book so much. I also put up my spoiler-y review last night if you would like more of my thoughts.
Those are my top 10 (technically 11) books I read in 2018! What are some of your favourite books that you read this past year? Let me know in the comments below.
Until next time, have a lovely rest of your day and read something awesome!