We’ve reached July, which means that half of 2018 is already gone! So far this year I have read 22 books. While I am currently behind on my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 50 books, I still feel like I’ve read a good amount. I thought it would be fun to go through those 22 books and pick out five of my favorite reads so far. I love reading/watching these kinds of posts from other bloggers and Booktubers. It’s always so interesting to see what people are loving this year.
So here’s what I have been loving in 2018. These books are in no particular order, because I decided to save myself the pain of having to put them in order.
1. Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend (Nevermoor #1)
We’re going to start off with this book, which is the only book I’ve given 5/5 Stars so far this year. I’m really stingy with my 5 star ratings, but I loved everything about this book. The characters, the story, the world, the pacing, so basically everything. Honestly, the best word to describe this book is fun, because it was so much fun!
I don’t read a ton of middle grade. It is not a genre that I gravitate towards, but this book makes me want to try some more books from that genre. The second book in the series is coming out in September, and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy!
2. The Diviners by Libba Bray (The Diviners #1)
Everyone in the book community always talks about how The Diviners is such a underrated series, so of course the hipster in me had to pick it up. There’s nothing that I love more than underrated books.
I’m just kidding, mostly. What also drew me to this book is the fact that it is a supernatural murder mystery that takes place in 1920s Manhattan. There is something about period supernatural/urban fantasy books that I love, and the 1920s is a time period that I’m fascinated by. This is where most people will blame The Great Gatsby for that, but I’m going to blame Thoroughly Modern Millie (the musical). There’s just something about speakeasies, flappers, and jazz that is fun. Also, I love books that are set in New York, mainly because I love New York (city, in case you need that clarification. The New Yorker in me refuses to call New York NYC).
The Diviners definitely does an excellent job capturing the atmosphere of New York in the 1920s. I loved all the lingo that was used in the description and the descriptions in general, something I don’t think I’ve ever said before. On top of the atmosphere, I loved the diverse cast. I did not realize that this book had an ensemble cast going in, but I loved it, and really appreciated the fact that we got to see this story through different lenses. The only thing that didn’t wow me was the ending, but I thought this was a great series starter, and I can’t wait to continue on with the series. I did a full length review for this book, so if you want to hear more of my thoughts be sure and check that out!
3. Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke
Boy did this book surprise the crap out of me. Saying that, I picked it up thinking I would enjoy it. I’m constantly looking for more books that take place in college, as I am writing a contemporary that takes place in college, which is why I picked it up. Once I started reading it, I could not put it down! I was immediately hooked for a lot of reasons, the main one being Jane.
Jane, our main character, is just awesome. This book follows her personal journey. She was kicked out of high school due to a personal crisis, and her parents push her to attend a high school completion program at their local community college. Jane agrees, but only if she can move out. To tackle her housing problem, she signs up for House of Orange, which is a student run reality show (think Big Brother). Jane has such great wit that comes off in her narration. I laughed out loud multiple times, which is something that doesn’t happen often. I’m honestly more likely to cry than laugh when reading a book. Comedy is something that I don’t think many authors nail well, but Oelke did!
I loved the way that the book talked about serious topics such as depression and religion. It felt very genuine. I think the comedy also aided in talking about these topics in an approachable way. Nothing felt too preachy, and I found the conversation interesting.
This book was honestly so good. The only thing I have mixed feelings on is the writing style. It is told in a journal/screenplay style that takes some getting used to. Once you do get used to the writing style, it is such a fun ride. I’m still sad that this is a standalone, because I just want another book with Jane.
4. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson (Truly Devious #1)
This book was the one that made me realize that I really love Maureen Johnson’s writing. Like she’s reached “One of My Favorite Authors” status, because wow. Just wow. There was so much good stuff in this book.
First, we have to talk about the duel timelines, because the way that this story is written is easily my favorite thing about it. Truly Devious takes place at Ellingham Academy, a famous private school for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. When the school first opened, the founder’s wife and child were kidnapped. They were never found and the case remains…UNSOLVED! Fast forward to present day, where Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy. She is obsessed with True Crime and is determined to solve this famous cold case. However, the past starts coming back when Truly Devious seems to have returned. DUN DUN DUN! The story flips back and forth between both timelines, and it’s crafted so well. Both mysteries had me hooked, and I cannot wait to see how they further connect and intertwine.
I could not put this book down once I started it. The pacing was excellent, I loved the characters, especially our main character Stevie, and I just need to know what happens next! Curse you Maureen Johnson and your awful cliffhangers!
5. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (The Dark Artifices #1)
This is my most recent read, and I absolutely loved it. Hence why it’s on this list. I really enjoy the Shadowhunters world, but some books I love more than others. I was a little nervous going in, but as soon as I started it, I could not stop reading it.
My favorite thing about the book is the characters. The Blackthorn children and Emma are precious, and I love them so much. Christina is also great! I love that Emma has like a close female friend that she can talk to about stuff. If I had to name a favorite character, it might be Mark, because he’s equal parts interesting and hilarious. Seriously, some of the things he says are just so funny.
Another thing I really enjoyed about this book was how Clare explores the messed up shit in the Shadowhunter society. It’s hard to go into detail without spoiling the book, or the end of the final book in The Mortal Instruments series, City of Heavenly Fire. The lines of what’s right and wrong are blurred and I’m a sucker for that stuff.
For a 600+ page book, it did not feel like one, and I can’t wait to continue on with the series. I’m reading her books in publication order, so next up for me is Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy. I’m hoping to get caught up in time for the release of Queen of Air and Darkness.
It was surprisingly a lot easier to put this list together than I had originally thought when I first started writing this post. I think I have read many books in the okay to good range, but only a few have really blown me away.
I think/hope the second half of the year will be better, if only because some of my most anticipated releases are coming out. Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake and Muse of Nightmares being at the top of my list.
What have been the best books you’ve read so far in 2018? Do we share any favorites? Let me know down in the comment section below. Also let me know if you’ve read any of the books I mentioned!
P.S. I’m reading War Storm by Victoria Ave right now and I’m surprised at how much I’m loving it. That’s another post for another day.