Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books We Read In 2018

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CJ's Selections

2018 was actually a fabulous year for books. I think I read almost nothing but fantasy, and for the year I was having, it was exactly what I needed. Here are five that killed me. 

1.Bloodwitch / Susan Dennard - I was lucky enough to read this early and it blew me away. It's no secret I love Sooz. Her books are magical and poignant, and she pushes YA boundaries. She doesn't give you easy romances. She attends to social justice and realism. BLOODWITCH is her best book yet, sweeping and epic and totally devastating. Her characters really go through the ringer. And there are some romantic things you've been wating for. No spoilers.


2.Iron Gold / Pierce Brown - I'm such trash for the RED RISING series. It's such a brutal, dark, thrilling set of books. Pierce takes risks with his writing. He kills a lot of people. With IRON GOLD, he ups the ante even more. What happens after the revolution? Chaos, that's what. Pierce show Darrow in one of his darkest hours, and basically killed me on the way.


3.The Cruel Prince + The Wicked King / Holly Black - I put these togeher because they both deserve to be on this list. Literally some of the best fantasy I've ever read. Holly is an absolute master. No prisoners, no holds barred. MC Jude is a cold ruthless badass. Cardan is a manipulative broody heartthrob. Everyone is always double crossing each other and there are faeries.


4.The Poppy War / R.F. Kuang -  Clearly I love books where it's really dark and lots of people die. THE POPPY WAR is based on the Sino-Japanese war but in a fantasy realm. MC Rin is a ruthless peasant trying to prove herself at an elite military school. Also there's a huge war going on. Also lots of things get exploded. It's brutal and disturbing and beautiful.


5.This Cruel Design / Emily Suvada -  A futuristic cyberpunk where people can hack their own genes and an explosive (literally) virus has caused a pandemic. Yep. THIS MORTAL COIL killed me with its crazy twists and mindf*ckery, and THIS CRUEL DESIGN just took all that to the nth degree. Trust no one. Also people can control your mind. Also your mind may not be your own. Also double crossing. Amazing!

5.Wicked Saints / Emily Duncan -  A new all-time favorite. It's everything I want in a fantasy. Unrelenting. Dark as hell. Vicious. Filled with broody beautful nightmare boys. And blood magic. And very snarky demanding gods. The Polish/Russian aesthetic is perfectly rendered and the plot is tight and filled with twists and betrayals. You need this.



Whitley's Selections

Despite doing better at tracking my books than ever before, I find myself having a bit of trouble really remembering my reads this year. But I shall do my best!  
1.A Princess in Theory / Alyssa Cole - I don't usually like contemporary romances, but apparently that just means I'm not reading the right ones because I adored this book. It was a mix of sweet and bittersweet that really hit the mark for me, the hero was absolutely delightful, and the issues tackled outside of the romance were weighty and well done. Full review here


2.The Goblins of Bellwater / Molly Ringle - So, rather petty, but this was a book I read just because I was denied for it on NetGalley, lol. I showed them, I guess? Whatever, it was a great new adult paranormal book that tackled a lot of somber issues like depression and grief and family bonds. I loved the otherworldly goblins and the great atmospheric setting and all the various relationships. Full review here


3.Beneath the Citadel / Destiny Soria -This book made great use of its small-scale setting to aid in the overall tone of the plot, but without making the actual world feel small as well, and I'm always endlessly impressed by that. The magic fit well with both the plot and the setting and was creatively used. The characters were all great, and they had a variety of complex relationships with each other. Plus. I mean, Newt and Evander, couple of the year. I loved them so much! Full review here

4.The Ugly Stepsister / Aya Ling - A fun, lighthearted retelling of Cinderella where a modern day girl gets accidentally sucked into the story and cast as one of the ugly stepsisters. I really liked the young tone of the book and...well...some je ne sais quoi quality to the writing that for some reason I've never been able to parse. But it's just adorable. And the relationship that Kat builds with the prince is so natural and charming that I can't help but love this book. Full review here


5.Empire of Sand / Tasha Suri - A great, amtospheric story about a young woman struggling with her bi-racial identity (note: neither race being white) and the effects of imperialism. I loved the worldbuilding in this one (I think I have a type, oh well) and the sense of grand scale and history involved. The complexities of the side characters and the various kinds of relationships they had with the main villain was also fascinating. So glad I picked this one up right before the end of the year. Full review to come!


Your turn! What were your favorite reads from 2018?

1 comment:

  1. AHH this is a great list! I’m obsessed with The Cruel Prince and literally cannot wait to get my hands on the Wicked King- Jude and Cardan are just both such interesting dark characters that are not afraid to be bold and ruthless which I LOVE! The poppy war is another book Ive been dying to read as well as the Red Rising and The Wicked Saints (which I just heard about a couple of days ago and NEED in my life) I’ve also been looking to get into some more contemporary romance and should give A Princess in Theory a try. Great post and happy reading :)

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