Hey, guys! I cannot believe that it is actually 2019 right now. That is absolutely insane to me. I am so ready for a new year, though, because 2018 was literally the worst for pretty much everyone. I did, however, still, have a really good reading year. I read so many good books, and I am so freaking excited to gush about them, so let’s go ahead and jump right in!
10: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
This book just made me so nostalgic and happy when I was reading it. As many of you may know, I was not a big fan of the follow up to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, which was P. S. I Still Love You, but this one was the absolute perfect way to end the series. I literally could not stop smiling. I loved the family elements that have always been a part of the story but were a major part of this one, the relatability of the fear of college and keeping up with a relationship, and it was just so good. Not only was it about the relationship with Peter and Lara Jean, but it actually was really about Lara Jean doing what’s best for her, what she wants to do for her, and to not just go to a college because her boyfriend will be there. I think that is something a lot of high school seniors have to deal with, so I think it was super realistic. Overall, this book was fluffy, cute, and full of so much development, and I really enjoyed it!
9: Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke
This book was one that I absolutely flew through. I had heard pretty good things about it, so I decided to give it a try and I really enjoyed it. I do need to say this has a major trigger warning for questioning your religion, suicidal thoughts and tendencies, and depression. I think one of the main reasons I ended up loving this so much was how much I related to our main character. Jane Sinner has a sardonic sense of humor that I absolutely adored, but more than that, she is a girl who has found herself questioning the religion she has grown up with for her entire life. I relate to that, not only because its the exact same religion I have been questioning over the last year or so, but also because of the impact that kind of thinking ended up having on her mental health. I think its such an important conversation we need to have. Religion is not for everyone and pushing it onto your family, onto your children, can have detrimental consequences. This was such a good book, and I highly recommend it!
8: Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz
This is a book that I ended up picking up because the main character is bisexual, and I have been really wanting to read more books over the last year or two with bisexual representation. I really loved this book. The representation was spot on with the bi representation, and I was so here for it! There is also representation for an Eating Disorder known as EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified) as our main character Etta does have this. It basically categorizes someone who doesn’t really fit in anywhere. Etta is anorexic, but in recovery, but because of the fact that she is overweight, she is not really categorized as anorexic. I cannot speak to that representation, but from my perspective, I thought it was done well. There were also topics discussed like religion especially in regards to the treatment of LGBT individuals, and I just thought it was a really well-rounded book, and it was absolutely freaking hilarious. The bisexual jokes had me LIVING. I definitely recommend this book because it is just so freaking good!
7: Love Her Wild by Atticus
Atticus is probably my favorite contemporary poet of all time. I had been long anticipating the release of his first poetry collection, and it did not disappoint. It was so beautiful. His prose is so seamless and effortless, and everything the man writes is Instagram worthy. I just cannot fathom a man actually loving someone this much. Like it was just absolutely breathtaking. I honestly don’t know what else I can say other than you have to read this because it will not disappoint.
6: Submitting to the Marquis by Victoria Vale
You need to look past the super romance-novelly cover of this book. It seems like it is just going to be another Victorian romance, but it actually goes so much deeper than something that surface-level. Just to give you an idea, I am putting a heavy trigger warning on this book for sexual abuse of a child, sexual assault, violence, and PTSD. Those are very explicitly depicted in this book, so you definitely need to keep that in mind, but because of these heavy themes, it actually captivated me so much more. It wasn’t just some erotic romance novel. It deals with a lot of heavy topics, and I definitely was crying when I was reading this book. If you can handle those kinds of topics, I definitely recommend this book because it is so powerful.
5: Torn by Jennifer L. Armentrout
This is the second book in the Wicked Saga, which you all know I absolutely adore. It took me so long to convince myself to read this because I was afraid it would not live up to the first book, but I was so wrong. It somehow, by some miracle, surpassed the first book, which I honestly didn’t think was possible. I could not put this book down. There was this whole other element of imminent danger and suspense to the novel. There were scenes that were so heartbreaking to read, and I am trying not to give anything away because it is the second book, but if you have not picked up this series, you definitely need to because it just keeps getting better and better, and I cannot wait to read the next one in the series!
4: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
This is a historical fiction novel, and I actually did not know it was historical fiction when I read it. I just jumped into it because I have heard so many good things about it, and I am so glad that I did. This is such a heartwarming story, and it actually is unique because it has so many beautiful illustrations by Brian Selznick in it. I absolutely loved his art style and those illustrations actually carried the story along in a lot of places, which was super cool and unlike so many other books with illustrations that I have read before. This is about family, friendship and really about the magic of movies. I just loved this so much, and if you have not read this before, you definitely should because it is just so good!
3: The Witch Doesn’t Burn In This One by Amanda Lovelace
This is yet another poetry collection that I read this year, and it blew me away. This is a follow up to her previous poetry collection, The Princess Saves Herself In This One, and it completely blew that one out of the water. This book is the best poetry collection I have ever read in my entire life. It is so hard to put into words the validation this book made me feel. Every single thought I have ever had as a woman, in general, was put into words in this book. This is taking back being a woman, this is empowerment, this is standing up for your fellow woman, and it is simply badass. I don’t know what else I could say other than you have to read this. That is a foregone conclusion. I urge you to read this because it is absolutely freaking amazing.
2: The Diviners by Libba Bray
Yes, I finally finished this baby and it was fucking amazing. I had been trying to finish this since 2015, and I finally did it, and it felt so freaking good. I was so captivated by this book, by the creepiness of it, the setting and time period, and on my initial first two hundred pages read in 2015, I actually did not like Evie at all, but I have grown an appreciation for her (even if I still find her kind of annoying). This book covers topics like racism and interracial relationships, there are brutal murders and I know the rest of the series features LGBT characters, so I am just really excited to continue with this fabulous series. If you haven’t read this yet, you definitely should because it is amazing!
1: Renegades by Marissa Meyer
This book blew me the fuck away. I could not stop reading this book. It was such an interesting concept, and the English major in me weirdly enough wanted to write a whole long ass paper on this concept. This book was so thought-provoking to me in how heroes and villains are typically portrayed. This challenges the good and bad stereotypes that come along with that because we see the so-called “heroes” actually being assholes and the villains being human, even if some of them are kind of nuts. Its really about that line between good and evil and the prejudices along both sides along with the role of heroes and villains in society, so it was just an absolutely amazing book and I highly recommend it because it is so fantabulous.
And there you have it! Those were my favorite books I read in 2018. What is at the top of your to-read list in the coming year? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!