Hey friends! Today I want to chat about the best books of 2018. I have read quite a variety of books this year, from bestsellers to random free kindle books. Some have been great, and some not so much. I’ll be sharing my absolute favorites, books that disappointed me, and the books I am looking forward to in 2019! I’ll be providing images with links to all the books on amazon so you can check them out if you wish. FYI, those are affiliate links, so if you decide to buy any of the books, I would receive a small fee.
By the way, if you want to keep up with what I’m reading throughout the year, follow me on goodreads! Let’s get started!
Related: Favorite Books of 2017
Best Books of 2018
The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
While I actually received this book as a Christmas present of last year, I was unable to read it before leaving to Germany for four months. I was finally able to read it in April, and man was it worth the wait. Not only is this such a relevant topic in our world today, it was also well-written and engaging from start to finish. I love this book, my middle school students love this book, and I can not recommend it enough.
The Darkest Minds Series – Alexandra Bracken
This series was highly recommended to me, and, using a pile of gift cards to Barnes & Noble, I did something I never do. I bought the entire series at once, and I did not regret it. The idea of this series is so unique, and I was hooked from start to finish. I haven’t seen the movie adaptation of this, and I will probably avoid it after hearing some rough reviews. Note, I thought the second and third books were the best part of the series, so if you don’t love the first one, keep going! I guess there is a fourth book out now that tangentially relates to the series, but I think I’m going to leave it be.
Strange the Dreamer & Muse of Nightmares – Laini Taylor
These are the two best books I read this year. Hands down. Laini Taylor’s writing style is amazing, and her ability to craft a sentence is unmatched. Strange the Dreamer was not at all what I expected, and that made it so much better than I could have imagined. If you want to read a beautiful book, with amazing world building, lovely characters, and a plot that absolutely fascinates you, pick up this series.
Furyborn – Claire Legrand
I picked this one up on a whim at my local library and really enjoyed it! It has twin narratives, happening centuries apart, but related enough to be both fascinating in their own right, as well as building a fantastic narrative. This book was really unique from other YA fantasy novels I have read, and I enjoyed reading from both points of view. Usually with twin narratives I am more interested in one than the other, but this one managed to keep me hooked during both! I am very much looking forward to the second book coming out this year.
This book was my favorite non-fiction book this year. After meeting Mr. Hinton at a conference I attended and hearing him talk about his experiences, I was so excited to read my copy of his book. Mr. Hinton was wrongfully imprisoned for THIRTY YEARS on death row for a crime he did not commit. His story is the most powerful argument against the death penalty, and I was in tears several times during this book. Yet, despite what seems to be a depressing subject matter, Hinton keeps the book light through his humor, his incredible outlook and hope, and the love of others. Although Mr. Hinton is quite religious, this book never felt preachy. Please, read this book!
Below I am going to quickly share a few series that I love that had new additions come out this year! I am a weird person that has to re-read the whole series when a new book comes out, so I re-read all of these series this year. I have also included how many books there are in the complete series, so you have an idea of what you’re getting into.
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (4 books)
This year the final book in the series, War Storm, came out. I’ve loved this series since the first book came out, and I love it still. It’s not perfect by any means, and probably could have been condensed into three books. Still, it is definitely an enjoyable YA fantasy series that I will keep on my shelves for a long time to come!
Just like the last series, the final book in this series came out in 2018 – Bright we Burn. From the moment I randomly picked the first book up at walmart to the moment I put the last book down, I have loved this series with all my heart. A historical fiction YA novel that is actually good is so rare, and this series amazes me every time I read it. I love these books and would highly recommend them to all. I was so sad to see this series come to close!
In 2018, what I thought was the third and final book of this series, Two Dark Reigns, came out. I was excited about the series ending, because I felt it couldn’t really stretch much further. Only to find out (after reaching the end) that the third book would not be the last. I loved this series a lot when I first read it. The second time around I liked it quite a bit less. Although there is a good premise and world building, the third book was incredibly slow. From start to finish it felt like only one thing of note had happened. I will likely still read the fourth book just to tie up the series, but it won’t be one of my top YA fantasy series.
Biggest Disappointments of 2018
Below are books that are highly recommended and loved by many, but for me were just not worth the hype! Fortunately there wasn’t too many of those in 2018. I know that a lot of people really loved these books, so please don’t hate me for not loving them!
- Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
- American War by Omar El Akkad
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
What I’m Looking Forward to in 2019
This year I want to read a little less YA fantasy, more non-fiction and memoirs, and more in general! I did reach my reading goal of 50 books for 2018, but I only beat it by one book. This year I made my goal 52 books – one book a week. I have been doing great so far, as I have already read 12 books in 2019! I also want to read books that teach me things. This year I am focusing on things like personal finance, investing, and similar types of books. Like I mentioned earlier, you can follow me on goodreads and see my whole TBR shelf. Below are the books I am most excited to read this year!
The Compound Effect – Darren Hardy
Queen of Air and Darkness – Cassandra Clare
On the Come Up – Angie Thomas
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture by Roxane Gay
So there you have it! From my favorite books of 2018, to my greatest disappointments, to what I am looking forward to reading this year! What book are you most looking forward to reading in 2019?