2018 was a strange reading year for me. In some ways it was a great reading year in that I had an average rating of 4 stars, meaning that the vast majority of the 200 books I read were ones that I thoroughly enjoyed. However, I also hit a major slump that lasted throughout the last few months of the year. This post is to talk about my absolute favourite 10 books of the year, which was hard to narrow down at times, but I did read some strong stand-out novels.
The Hearts Invisible Furies By John Boyne – One of the most hyped books of 2017, I finally got round to reading ‘The Hearts Invisible Furies’ in February 2018 and I have to say I totally get it. The hype with this one was well deserved. This is a really moving and heartfelt story following a young man named Cyril from the moment his family learned of his mothers pregnancy with him until the end of his life. Such an amazing book, at times tragically sad whilst at others just brilliantly funny.
I’ll Be Gone in The Dark By Michelle McNamara – I read this book as soon as it was released; as soon as I heard about it I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it as I really enjoy a true crime novel but this is so much more than that. This book tells the story of the crimes of the at-the-time-unidentified violent sexual predator ‘known as the golden state killer but it’s also part memoir talking about McNamara’s life and how her determination to uncover the identity of this man has consumed all aspects of it. A really phenomenally written and researched novel, the only thing that could have made it better was if McNamara had been able to see the impact it had.
Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom By Leigh Bardugo – I’m not typically a big fantasy reader but everyone had been raving about this duology so much that i finally decided to give in and just read it, and it blew me away. A fantastic duology with six brilliant lovable misfits that I just could not get enough of, I could read endless books set in this world!!
The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row By Anthony Ray Hinton – An excellent piece of non-fiction from Anthony Ray Hinton, a black man sentenced to death in 1985 who spent thirty years living on death row before finally winning his release in 2015. In this book he discussed what it was like living on death row, how it changed him and the things he learned. This is an incredibly emotional read but more than that it’s an important one. If I ever had to recommend one book to everyone it would be this one.
The Wicker King By K. Ancrum – A fast-paced brilliantly told YA novel that looks at the effects of a codependent relationship when one person falls ill. When Jack begins suffering from hallucinations August is determined to help him even if that means hiding the truth from those around them and believing in Jack’s visions himself, but what happens when they can no longer tell whats real. There are so many great subjects explored in this one that i don’t often see in YA, including D/s relationships, fantastic mental health rep and exploration of an unhealthy relationship. This may not be for everyone but it all just worked 100% for me.
11.22.63 By Stephen King – This was my 4th Stephen King but it was far and away my favourite i’ve read by him. This book is fantastic in the way it crosses so many genres, on the surface it’s a science fiction novel about time travel, but it also manages to feel like a thriller, a love story and a well researched piece of historical fiction. A very long novel, like most of King’s work, but this one just flew by for me.
Lover Awakened By J.R Ward- In 2018 I finally decided to start the ‘black dagger brotherhood’, one of the most loved paranormal romance series ever. I read the first 5 books throughout the year but this one was a standout for me. I loved seeing Zsadist get his happy ending which was well deserved after all his been through, and Bella is a great heroine well deserving of such a fantastic man. One of my favourite things about this series is that during each book we also get to catch up on other characters story lines, its great to see how everyone else story is continuing. I loved starting this series and cannot wait to continue it on in 2019.
Rust and Stardust By T. Greenwood- A very harrowing read that shares a fictionalised account of the true kidnapping of 11 year old Sally Horner. This book had some of the most exceptional writing of anything i read last year and that’s what puts it firmly into my favourites of the year. The story is hard to read, it’s a very chilling novel that discusses one of the most vile crimes that can happen but the writing is beautiful and keeps the reader engaged throughout.
Mud Vein By Tarryn Fisher – I adore Tarryn Fisher so this one is no surprise. I have been meaning to read this one for a while and i’m so glad I finally got round to it. What makes this book stand out so much for me is the simple fact that it doesn’t fit into any particular genre, it feels like a genre all of its own. I don’t want to mention anything from the plot of this one as it’s best as a blind read but it was a beautiful, raw read and I just fell absolutely in love with it.