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Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone! I think it’s finally safe to say I’ve read all the books I’m going to read this year and I can make this list. I was going to do a Top Ten feature since that’s typically the magic number, but as I was making this list, I realized there were really only seven books that truly stood out to me, and I didn’t want to dilute the list with other highly rated reads that aren’t still buzzing in my mind.
So, without further ado, here are my top seven reads of 2018 listed in no particular order!
Four Dead Queen by Astrid Scholte
I’ve mentioned this book in a ton of posts and tag memes because, honestly, I can’t stop thinking about it. I’ve told the story of what my friends and I call the BookCon Hunger Games several times over because that was an intense ARC drop (and it really shouldn’t have been). I hesitated to start this book because I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to the hype. Then some of my friends who had been in line with me for the ARC drop read it and promised it was good, so I finally picked it up in August, and I was blown away!
Sea Witch by Sarah Henning
This book was probably the biggest surprise of the year. I enjoyed it from start to finish way more than I expected, and it completely blew me out of the water (pun totally intended). The Little Mermaid was my favorite Disney movie for most of my childhood so I grab at any chance I get to see or read a retelling or new spin on the story. This is much less of a retelling than it is an origin story. When I picked it up, I wasn’t sure where Henning was trying to take the story and, to be honest, I wasn’t sure until the epilogue when it all tied together. This is another book that was full of twists and turns and actually made me scream once while reading. (It’s okay, my roommate wasn’t home and we don’t have neighbors.)
Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore
It’s an Anna-Marie McLemore book, what more can I say? Well, a lot, actually. Blanca & Roja was the release I anticipated most this year and tried so hard to get an ARC for, but it’s fine. I probably wouldn’t have listed to the audiobook if I’d gotten the ARC and that would have been a damn shame. There are four narrators in the audiobook (including two of my favorites, Kyla Garcia and James Fouhey) and it was produced just as beautifully as a McLemore book should be. I love, love, LOVE the story and swear her writing gets even better with each book. Side note: I love Page Ashby with my entire being, and he deserves the world.
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
This story was adorable and I wish there was more of it. I need more fairy tales of queer royalty like this, please please PLEASE. Steering myself back on track here… I love Jen Wang’s art style and the story she tells with this book. Sebastian and Frances click so well together and are so good for each other. I love them both so much, individually and together. It’s a great story for all ages, and I love even more that it has such a happy, uplifting ending. And it should have won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Graphic Novel GOSH DARN IT!
I loved Herding Cats but srsly, y’all.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
You know those books that you expect to be just a casual read? The ones you know you’ll enjoy but don’t expect to be that memorable? And then it just grabs you by the shoulders, gets in your face, and says “LOL, you thought!” That’s what When Dimple Met Rishi was for me. I borrowed the audiobook from Hoopla Digital because I’ve been meaning to read this book ever since it came out and I just? Why did I underestimate how iconic this book is? This was totally on me for not getting to it sooner, but I loved it when I did finally sit down and listen.
We Are The Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson
The unfortunate part of me reading this book was that I
struggled through it read it during a reading slump when I was also in the middle of a bad mental health episode. While I enjoyed it, no doubt, I had a hard time getting through parts of it, and therefore think I’ll have to read it again next year at a better time. So why’d I add it to this list? Because I still loved the story, and the whole message (at least the one I interpreted) means so much to me. Hutchinson’s writing is a style that I don’t read nearly enough, and I hope to change that in 2019 with more books as good as this one.
The Disasters by M.K. England
I just finished the audiobook for this not even a week ago and I was completely blown away by this beautifully-written diverse, action-packed adventure! My gosh, I loved every single one of the characters and relate to a different part of each of them. This book is still new in my mind so I have so many thoughts but no organization to any of it yet. So be on the lookout for my review of this in the next few weeks. Surely I’ll have my thoughts together by then. In the meantime, please pick this book up if you can and see for yourselves why I love it so much!