The Best Books I Read In 2018


Hey everyone, I want to start of by wishing everyone a very HAPPY NEW YEAR! At times 2018 felt like it was flying past and at others it seemed like time was going so incredibly slow. For me it was a great year but also so much more stressful than I was hoping. For starters I moved house back in February and the process of getting the house ready to actually live in comfortably was a trying task at the best of times. But even after everything that happened in 2018 I can honestly say that I'm in the best head space currently than I've ever been in and feel more like myself than I ever have. Anyway here's hoping 2019 is the year for us all!

Now lets get into some of the absolute best books that I read throughout the year. I'm not going to be going into much detail on the plots of all of these books because they are honestly all too good to risk any kind of spoiler before reading, but I honestly recommend you go into all of these as blind as you can and sit back and enjoy the ride. But keep reading for some of my rambled thoughts of adoration.

1. Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I find it a little funny how one of the last books I read in the year ended up being my absolute favourite. Somehow even though I had high expectations and was confident I was going to enjoy it I still kept putting it off in the off chance it would be a letdown. But I needn't have worried because it was all the wonderful things I was hoping it would be. Laini Taylor's writing still baffles me to no end and even if you're not a fantasy lover or someone who enjoys slow paced beautiful writing, I would still give this a read just to experience Laini Taylor's magic. The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy contains of some of my favourite books all time, and even with that in mind I can say that this was even better. I'm honestly not sure how to describe this all I can say is that this book has a lost city with a name that was lost and replaced with Weep, a dreamer who's dream is to find the lost city and a blue-skinned goddess who walks through dreams. Its a weird, whimsical adventure and I would highly recommend it. I am so beyond excited to see what's in store for Muse of Nightmares and I've got a feeling it'll be one of the first books I read in 2019.

2. An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

This is a series I'd been hoping to read for years now so I'm really glad that I finally gave it a read. I've had so many people recommend it or mention it when I've brought up some of my favourite reads and now I realise why everyone kept recommending this book. It's a new favourite and probably one of the best written young adult fantasy books I've ever read. In a world where defiance means death, the Martial Empire enforce a strict rule. The book follows two perspectives, Laia, a rebel tasked with spying on the ruthless commander of the Martial Empire in the hopes of getting justice for her family and finding her brother. And Elias, who wishes only to be free of the tyranny he's been trained to enforce, however that would mean his almost certain death. Both come to realise that they may not be on opposite sides as they first had thought, and that they in-fact may have the opportunity to change the fate of the empire.

3. Girls Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake

Of all the contemporary books I read in 2018 there are only a couple that I think are worth mentioning. I guess it just wasn't the best year for this genre for me, but this book was just something else. Girl Made of Stars is a hard hitting young adult contemporary with so much heart. I adore the way such difficult subjects were addressed and I applaud the author for how much of her soul she must have put into this book while writing it, because I can imagine what a hard task it was. I can't recommend this book enough.

4. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

In 2018 my absolute favourite series came to a close and I'm still processing everything that happened during the final, but I am so happy with how it all ended and I applaud Sarah J. Maas for giving us fans an excellent end to a wonderfully entertaining series. I'll no doubt be binging re-reading all of the books very soon.

5. Sadie by Courtney Summers

Sadie is one of those books that really gets to you and truly breaks your heart. It is an amazing book that truly hooked me from the first page. I can't say it was an enjoyable read, but it is without any doubt a book I would highly recommend everyone read. And I think it really deserves a spot on this list.

6. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

This is my first experience with Brandon Sanderson and even though I had pretty high hopes going into it, it somehow seemed to surpass them. If you'd have asked me whether I thought it would be on this list when I first started it I would have given a one hundred percent certain no. But the journey this book sends you on is out of this world and it contains some of the best most mind blowing twists and turns I've ever read.

7. City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

In 2018 I finally got around to picking up my first ever Cassandra Clare book. I really enjoyed the first two books in The Mortal Instruments but they we're also not really giving me that wow feeling, but when I picked up City of Glass the story jumped to another level and I absolutely loved it! Clare really took a step up in how she handled character development in this book, and I'm very intrigued to find out where she takes the story from here. I've already started City of Fallen Angels but it's a little slow at the moment, but I'll be carrying on with the Shadowhunter Chronicles and hopefully catching up in 2019.

8. Lovers Like Us by Krista and Becca Ritchie

This is not just the one of the best contemporary novels I read in 2018 but one of my favourites of all time. The male/male romance is excellently written and honestly one of the best representations of romance at all that I've ever read. I will totally go down with this ship and I am so flipping excited for Tangled Like Us which is due to be released very soon! Jane and Thatcher already have my love so I'm so happy they're getting a book of their own! Anyway for those of you who don't know much about this series, its geeky and wonderful! The main character is kind of a celebrity of sorts, he was born into a very famous family, and at the begging of the first book the protagonist gets a new bodyguard, and lets just say a little romance is in the air! There is a series that comes before this which follows his parents and family so you can start with that if you like but I read those after and it didn't really bother me or get in the way of the reading experience.

9. Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

I'm thrilled that the two books with the best romance's that I read this year are so diverse and this book just like the 'Like Us' series, does it right! This debut Author release a book with a punch because Girls of Paper and Fire is amazing! The book follows a girl who is chosen to become one of the demon kings paper girls, which are basically his concubines. Its super dark and heart wrenching, and at times so very hard to read so please take that into consideration going into this. But wow this book really hit me in the feels.

10. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

I was wondering whether to put this on my most surprising books or best books list and I've settled on this list because I loved it! But the reason why it was so surprising that I enjoyed this book so much is because I've literally tried and failed to read this like five times. Every time before I just lost interest or got confused by the writing, I guess I'd just never been in the right frame of mind. But I decided to give it one last chance because it really sounded intriguing and like something I would really enjoy. I think Stiefvater's writing takes a while to get used to because I'd just hadn't been able to get into the story or follow the characters before now, but then this time it was like reading a different book because I was enthralled from the first page. I've no idea what happened but I do know that this was such an amazing read and I'm really excited to carry on! The Raven Boys and Blue are the most precious characters ever and I just hope it doesn't take me as long to read The Dream Thieves.

Special Mentions:

- Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor! - (This is one of the best short story/novella's I've ever read! I forgot how much I love Zuzana and Mik!)

- A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer - (I read an Arc of this in December and it was amazing! It comes out at the end of January so make sure you have it on your tbr! I'll have a full review up for it very soon!)

- The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross - (The world building and slow pace build up was incredible! I loved Ross' writing and am really excited for the sequel!)

- Prince's Gambit and King's Rising by C.S. Pacat - (These will be on my most surprising list, and you'll find out more of my thoughts in that post but they deserve a mention here as well because the author really took a step up compared to the first book in the series!)

- Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi (Once again this was surprising since I hadn't loved the first two books but I adored this and I can't believe I still haven't picked up Restore Me.)

I read so many incredible books this year but these were the best of the best! I'd love to know what your favourite reads of 2018 were, so don't forget to leave a comment! I'll be back soon with my worst, most surprising and most disappointing lists so keep an eye out!

Thank you for reading! & Happy 2019!!!

- Sophie

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Sophie Elaina | England, United Kingdom | sophieelainabooks@gmail.com

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