It’s time for what might be the most important blog post of the entire year: my favourite books! I read a total of 80 books this year, and as always it was difficult to pick and rank (!) my top 10. I’m confident I made the right choices though! To give you an idea of which books I picked from, you can find my 2018 overview here. Are you ready? Let’s do this!
I didn’t include re-reads in this list, only books I read for the first time this year.
I enjoyed these books and I would highly recommend them as well!
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – Dear Martin by Nic Stone – When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
10. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
I was going back and forth on The Color Purple, When Dimple Met Rishi or Dear Martin for my number ten spot. Ultimately, I chose The Color Purple, because it showed me that there still are some classics that I enjoy. It gave me hope for what I thought was a lost cause. I highly enjoyed reading this book and I was touched by both Celie’s and Nettie’s story. I really liked them as characters, as well as Shug. I liked the stylistic choice that Walker made to show the degree of illiteracy of the US South in that time. It was educational and transported me even more in the story. This is definitely a classic I’d recommend! I ended up giving it 4 out of 5 stars.
9. Georgia Peaches and other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown
In my number nine spot, I have Georgia Peaches and other Forbidden Fruit. Against my expectations, I fell in love with this story. I completely shipped Jo and Mary Carlson! Their romance was so heartwarming and cute. I loved the characters (except the best friend…) and the small town vibe. 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 interesting throughout. I also liked that the problems were not that easily solved, as if they were nothing. Overall, I gave this 4.5 out of 5 stars. I’d highly recommend it!
8. Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee
Yet another book that I didn’t expect to love this much! The story is so fun and adventurous. The plot was constantly moving and I enjoyed each and every moment. I loved how the narrative gave a spin to the classic superhero story. I loved Jess as a protagonist. She was strong, kind and resourceful and definitely kicked ass. Speaking of the characters, they were amazing. I loved the focus on good friendships. It’s something I often miss in YA. The romance was totally swoon-worthy! Believe me, these ladies will melt your heart. I also loved the representation. Jess is bisexual and Chinese-Vietnamese American, just as the author C.B. Lee. That part of the story was written really well. There were other diverse elements as well. Overall, just go read this! It’s awesome, just as the sequel. I’m looking forward to continue in the series once the third book comes out. From now onwards in the list, I gave every book 5 out of 5 stars.
7. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I re-read Illuminae this year and read both sequels, Gemina and Obsidio for the first time. Gemina is my favourite of the three, but I’d recommend the entire series! It’s so fast-paced and action-packed! I flew through these books, even though they’re over 600 pages. I love the mixed media element as it makes it quite unique. The plots of the three books have some similarities, so what makes this book stand out are the characters! I absolutely loved Ella. She was badass, sassy, funny and good-hearted. Amazing! Hanna and Nik were both awesome too, although I did need a moment to get used to them. Overall, I’d highly recommend all three of these books. They deserve their number seven spot!
6. The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende
This might have been the single most surprising book of the year. I didn’t think I’d like it very much. Guess I was wrong, as it’s my sixth favourite book of the year. The book swept me away on a journey. Do you know that feeling when you’re reading, but you forget you’re reading because you’re so engrossed in the story? That’s what I had with this book. It was captivating all the way through. I loved the characters and slowly finding out more about them. I also learned from this book, which is great! Do I need to say I recommend this too? Basically, I recommend this entire list!
5. Blue is the Warmest Colour by Julie Maroh
We are getting into my top 5. How exciting! Blue is the Warmest color takes the number five spot. I loved this graphic novel and was so touched by it! The book really hit me, but even after almost a year, I can’t explain why. It made me very emotional, which hasn’t happened to me before with graphic novels. I might’ve cried. (I can’t really remember, oops.) I was a fan of the art style as well, especially its use of the colour blue. I would definitely recommend this if you are looking for a good graphic novel. I’m thinking about reading it in the original French one of these days.
4. Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
Of everything on this list, I read this the most recently: at the beginning of December. I fell in love with the story immediately. The characters are amazing. Both Nick and Charlie are so soft and sweet. Their romance makes my heart melt. It’s so swoon-worthy! I couldn’t help but smile while reading this. It gave me Simon vs. levels of feels, maybe even more! I always find it impressive when a graphic novel makes me feel things as that is usually not the case. It takes a lot more than in a regular novel. I’ve read everything you can find online, which is more than just the first published volume. Do yourself a favour and check it out 😉 Here’s the link!
3. Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney Stevens
Ahhh, this is already my top 3! I’m so excited! I picked Dress Codes for Small Towns up on a whim during a readathon. I quickly grew to love the book. Its vibe is so immersive. I loved the characters. They were amazing, interesting, funny, different, etc. I loved them and all the ways they were connected. The group of friends in this book is so great! I felt for Billie, the main character, through her struggles. The portrayal of her discovering her sexuality was done so well. I totally shipped her with both of the love interests, actually. I even laughed once in a while, which doesn’t happen often when it comes to books. Overall, so underrated and highly recommended!
2. 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 heartbreaking, yet hopeful at the same time. I applaud Ashley Herring Blake for her amazing storytelling. She told this story in such a nuanced way, showing how the whole community reacted. She also showed the rapists side, without condoning his actions. 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!
My favourite book of 2018 is…
1. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This novel has been hyped up so much and I definitely think it deserves that. It was such an entertaining and intriguing novel that went a lot deeper than you would think. It has two of the most well-rounded female characters I’ve read in a while. It’s essentially a character study about an actress in old Hollywood. Evelyn tells her tumultuous life story and it’s one you don’t want to miss. I loved her character! She’s confident, powerful, sensual and resilient. She knows what she wants. She’s also definitely morally grey and she made some questionable choices throughout her life. However, that makes her more human. As well as being a character study, this book gave wonderful commentary on the racism, sexism and heteronormativity of the 1960’s mainly. With Evelyn being a bisexual Cuban immigrant, Monique being biracial and a cast of LGBT characters, it did a wonderful job. I loved the representation. It also deals with domestic abuse and handles that topic amazingly. The story was heartbreaking at times and it made me sob. Of course, I would highly recommend it! It’s deserving of its number 1 spot! I’ve already re-read it and it holds up to its greatness.
PS. Can you believe I read Girl Made of Stars and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo back to back this August?
What were your 2018 favourites? Have I persuaded you to pick up the books on my list? Have you already read any of them? What did you think?
I hope you enjoyed this post. I certainly did! Thanks for stopping by! See you next time!
Help me better Brilliantly Bookish by taking my survey! Thank you!