It’s already time for the posts that wrap-up the year. Can you believe that? Today, I wanted to write about the most surprising books of 2018. I’m then referring to positive surprises. (The disappointments are coming in another post 😉 ) I liked all the books in this post and they’re in no particular order. So without further ado, let’s get into it!
Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
I just finished reading this graphic novel and it’s the most ADORABLE thing ever! It’s so swoon-worthy and heart-warming. I couldn’t help but smile while reading it. It gave my all the fuzzy feels. I’ve read more than this first volume as I went the web comic route. Now that I’ve read it, I really want a physical copy! I never expected to love this so much. To say it was a pleasant surprise is an understatement.
Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown
I had expected to like this, but ended up giving it the full five stars! I loved the characters and the small town vibe. I absolutely shipped the romance. It was so heart-warming and cute! The exploration of faith and sexuality was fantastic. It reminded me of Autoboyography at times, but this was better in my opinion. The plot was great and kept me entertained. Overall, this was amazing! I would highly recommend it!
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
This was a different kind of surprise. I don’t have the best track record with classics and I only gave this a chance, because it was one of my 2018 goals to read a few new classics. To my surprise, I ended up really liking this one. I really liked both of the sisters, Celie and Nettie. Their stories were so heartfelt. I also really liked Shug as a character. The plot of this book was good, and so was the writing style. I feel that it added a lot to the narrative. In short, I’m very glad I’ve read this novel and I would highly recommend it.
Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee
This was so enjoyable and fun! I loved the characters and their friendships. The main character Jess was awesome. She was kind, but also kicked ass. I also loved Abby. The romance between her and Jess was so cute, fluffy and heartwarming! The book is also wonderfully diverse with a Chinese Vietnamese bisexual woman in the lead, other side characters of colour and a trans side character! Diversity is always a plus 😉
Blue is the Warmest Colour by Julie Maroh
This is the second graphic novel on this list and the only other one I connected with this year. Back when I read it I couldn’t explain why this hit me so hard. I still can’t. I can tell you that I liked the art style and its use of blue, though. The story was fantastic. I gave this five out of five stars and would highly recommend it.
Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
I couldn’t foresee how much I would love this book and how emotional it would make me. I was bawling all throughout the last third of the book. I can’t give this anything but five stars. The story is so nuanced and heartbreaking. I applaud Ashley Herring Blake for her amazing storytelling. I loved the characters and the writing style. I also loved the bisexual representation. It’s the best I’ve ever read. If you haven’t read this, please do! (Be cautious of the trigger warnings, though.)
The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende
I’ve mentioned my pleasant surprise by this book a few times now on this blog. That’s because it was indeed such a surprise. I loved how the story took me on a journey. It made me forget I was reading and was captivating all the way through. I loved the intriguing characters and slowly finding out more about them. On top of that, I learned from this novel. I always love it when a book does that! I really need to read another of Allende’s works soon. I’m thinking of The House of Spirits. Do you have any other good recommendations?
Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney Stevens
I read this book based on a recommendation from Booktube, but other than that I hadn’t heard of it. When I saw it in the library, I thought: ‘Why not?’ I’m so happy I thought that as it’s now one of my favourite novels. The vibe in this book is so immersive. I loved the characters. They were amazing, interesting, funny, different, etc. I loved them and all the ways they were connected. I felt for Billie through her struggles. The plot was entertaining throughout and kept me hooked. The writing style was lovely and I even laughed once in a while. Overall, so underrated and highly recommended!
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
For some reason, I got it in my head I wouldn’t like this book. (Probably because it was for class.) That wasn’t the case though. I really liked the writing style and the plot. The novel spans about 30 years and that was done very well. It was heart-breaking at times. My learning about a different culture was also a plus side. The best thing about this book were the characters, though. They were very realistic and I felt for them. Overall I gave this 4 out of 5 stars. Would recommend. Do not read the blurb though! It spoils more than half of this book!
What was the most surprising book you read this year? Have you read any of these? What did you think? I’d love to know!
I hope you enjoyed this post! Thanks for stopping by. See you next time!
Lots of love,
Help me improve Brilliantly Bookish by taking this survey. Thank you! I appreciate you!