Today’s post is a recap for some of the books I had enjoyed this year. My top 18 reads of 2018!
I managed to read 102 books this year, and I’m very impressed with myself. I was ridiculously busy with university and work, this year, I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to complete the challenge I set for myself. I usually set my goal around 50 because it’s more attainable for me, and since last year, I had a really bad reading year, I wanted to do better.
I guess I did do better this year since I managed to read more, but I didn’t read differently this year. I want to read more than just Young Adult novels and I want to try going into Adult fiction and other areas of books that I otherwise wouldn’t have touched. But I was set back a lot by university which meant I just ended up reading what I requested on NetGalley or my backlist. But I do want to branch out for 2019 and read more differently and diversely.
So, without further ado, my top 18 reads of 2018! (In no particular order!)
- The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf
A music-loving teen with OCD does everything she can to find her way back to her mother during the historic race riots in 1969 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in this heart-pounding literary debut.
All I can say for now is: Emotional and stunning. I’m part of the blog tour for this in February so catch my review and playlist for this book then!
- A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi
It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.
I know I said I didn’t have an exactly number one favourite this year, but Expanse is the one that hit the highest. I wasn’t exactly impressed by the Shatter Me series, at least, not until the latest release, but Expanse blew me away. For years, I hadn’t touched anything Tahereh Mafi wrote because I didn’t like Shatter Me when it first came out. But this book changed everything. I adore Tahereh on social media, but now I’m a huge fan of her work. | my review
- Sadie by Courtney Summers
A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind.
This book was pure greatness. It was so much fun to read, especially the audiobook, since it plays out like a podcast as well. Part mystery, part drama. All round pretty good read. | my review
- Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility
Schwab has been on my to-read list for years. Even before I started this blog, and I finally managed to find time to read at least one of her books this year and I’m glad it was Vicious. It was such a surprise to read and so much fun. I never wanted to not stop reading a book as much as this one. | my review
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself.
Rarely do I realise I’m going to love a book from the very first pages, but Evelyn Hugo did that. This was such an incredibly well-written book and was an utter experience to read. | my review
- The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.
STUNNING. AMAZING. GRIPPING. BEAUTIFUL. I WAS A MESS AFTER FINISHING THIS. | my review
- Want by Cindy Pon
Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits that protect them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths.
Infiltration story with secret lives, spy action and squad goals for days. A futuristic hit for me. This was SO good. | my review
- The Poppy War by R.F Kuang
Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism.
Believe the hype. It deserves it all. The scale and depth of this novel was brilliant and gorgeous, as well as heart-breaking and emotional. | my review
- Warcross by Marie Lu
For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally.
While Warcross had some game flaws, this story was amazing, and I adore it soooo much. I thought I wrote a review for it, but goodreads says all I wrote was “FUCK” which is really fitting. But then I realised it was never posted to goodreads.| my review
- Smoke and Iron by Rachel Caine
The opening moves of a deadly game have begun. Jess Brightwell has put himself in direct peril, with only his wits and skill to aid him in a game of cat and mouse with the Archivist Magister of the Great Library.
THE FOURTH NOVEL IN MY FAVOURITE SERIES EVER. UNFORGETTABLE, AMAZING, BRILLIANT. PLEASE READ THE GREAT LIBRARY SERIES. THE FINAL BOOK COMES OUT NEXT YEAR AND I AM NOT READY.
- The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X. R. Pan
Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.
A beautiful story. A magical story. The love I had for this book was immense. | my review
- Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali
Janna Yusuf knows a lot of people can’t figure out what to make of her…an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager who is a Flannery O’Connor obsessed book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist is not exactly easy to put into a box.
HONESTLY, I LOVE S.K. ALI FOR THIS CREATION. THIS BOOK IS PART OF ME FOREVER. | my review
- American Panda by Gloria Chao
At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.
Surprisingly better than I had expected. | my review
- The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi
A trio of friends from New York City find themselves trapped inside a mechanical board game that they must dismantle in order to save themselves and generations of other children in this action-packed debut that’s a steampunk Jumanji with a Middle Eastern flair.
“It’s a solid fantasy debut in an exciting game world. At its heart, a story of family and friendship, making it great for any young readers.” | my review
- Circe by Madeline Miller
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.
I JUST LOVE GREEK MYTHOLOGY RETELLINGS SO MUCH. | my review
- Scattered Belongings by Jayne Ifekwunigwe
When the American golfer Tiger Woods proclaimed himself a “Caublinasian,” affirming his mixed Caucasian, Black, Native American and Asian ancestry, a storm of controversy was created. This book is about people faced by the strain of belonging and not belonging within the narrow confines of the terms ‘Black’ or ‘White’. This is a unique and radical study. It interweaves the stories of six women of mixed African/African Caribbean and white European heritage with an analysis of the concepts of hybridity and mixed race identity.
I actually read this as part of my “Theorising the Social World” module at university, and I really, really enjoyed it.
- Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean
Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Marry the prince. All are eligible to compete—all except yōkai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy.
Still lowkey sad that this is only a standalone. It’s a shame that everything was tidied up in the final chapter, and I would’ve loved it have seen it extended into more novels. | my review
- Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after–the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest.
A gorgeous debut with interesting characters and explorations of rape culture. The romance also had my HEART. | my review
So, that’s my top 18 reads of 2018! Here’s to an even better reading year for 2019! What are your favourite reads of 2018?