Top 5 Books I’ve Read So Far in 2018!

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.


Nevermoor

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!

 

The Diviners

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!

 

Nice Try Jane Sinner

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.

 

Truly Devious

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!

 

Lady Midnight

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.

Top 5 Books That I Think Will Be 5 Star Reads!

Recently, I’ve been trying not to set high expectations for books because I’m afraid they will let me down. There’s nothing worse than thinking you’re going to fall in love with a book and have it just miss it’s mark. *cough Six of Crows cough*

With that being said, I think this trend is so interesting and fun. I love hearing people’s thought processes behind their book selections, so I thought I would take a stab at it myself.

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme that the lovely Bionic Bookworm does. If you are interested in doing any of her topics on your blog she welcomes it! Don’t forget to check out her upcoming topics if you’re interested in participating in future Top 5’s! 

 

Hero of ages.jpg

1. The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn #3)

This is a given (or at least I hope it is). I loved the first two books in The Mistborn Trilogy (The Final Empire and The Well of Ascension). They were my favorite reads of 2017. I love the characters, the world, and need to see what happens after the ending of The Well of Ascension. Plus, Branderson is excellent at writing conclusions. The first two books had solid endings, so I have faith that he’ll bring things home with an epic conclusion. Also, I gave both of the previous books a 5 star rating, so the third book has got to be a 5 star read too, right?

 

lord of shadows.jpg

2. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare (The Dark Artifices #2)

I have yet to officially start The Dark Artifices series by Cassandra Clare. Most of the people I’ve heard talk about it say that it’s her best work yet. I really enjoy the Shadowhunter Chronicles world as a whole, but not every single book has blown me away. In fact, I feel sort of meh on The Mortal Instruments series. Literally, the only reason I read it was so that I could see the crossover with The Infernal Devices (which I LOVED) and so that I could read The Dark Artifices. I say again, I hear it’s epic and blows the other two series away.

The reason I chose Lord of Shadows over Lady Midnight for the 5 Star Rating is because I’m really not sure what I’ll think of Lady Midnight. I don’t hand a lot of 5 Star Ratings out, so while I know I will like the book, I’m just not sure if it will completely blow me away.

Lord of Shadows on the other hand has literally blown away everyone who has read it. I feel like I have not come across a review that wasn’t a rave review. Plus, it’s supposed to hit you hard in the feels and I’m more likely to give a book a higher rating if it hits me hard in the feels.

 

Red Sister

3. Red Sister by Mark Lawrence (Book of the Ancestor #1)

Okay, so now is when things get hard for me. As I said before, it takes a lot for me to give a book 5 Stars and it’s hard to predict what will be my new obsession. So the first book I’m going out on a limb on is Red Sister.

I’ve really gotten into the fantasy genre in the past year or so. This is a fantasy that has been on my radar because there are assassins and I live for assassins. Not only does this book feature assassins, but it’s all female assassins who I think are nuns? That concept just hooks me. Plus we get to see assassin school, which is always a good time. This book sounds like it is exactly what I’ve been in the mood for lately, so I’m hoping for 5 Stars.

 

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.jpg

4. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

I have lots of good feelings about this book. I recently read Truly, Devious by Maureen Johnson which I loved and am obsessed with (seriously, I need the sequel now). That book is a mystery like this one, and since reading it I’m in the mood for a good mystery.

Not only does this sound like a good mystery with an complex plot, but it gives me Inception/Memento vibes. It follows Aiden Bishop who is always too late to save Evelyn Hardcastle, so he is forced to repeat the same day over and over again. In order to get out of this loop, he has to solve the mystery. Playing with time and dimensions is a Christopher Nolan thing, and this sounds exactly like the kind of film he would direct. Christopher Nolan is my favorite director of all time, so the fact that it’s giving me these vibes tells me that this book could be next obsession.

 

The Seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo

5. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Even though this book has a very similar title to the previous book, it is completely different. Honestly, this is probably my most random pick on the whole list because it’s literary fiction. Literary Fiction and I don’t always see eye to eye. It just is a genre that is hard for me to get into, because I’m usually bored by the story. I think this book might be different though.

It has gotten great reviews from a lot of BookTubers, one of them being Emily from Books with Emily Fox. I think that our taste in books is very similar, and she gave this book a great review! She described it more like chick lit than literary fiction, and I’m all about chick lit. Especially, chick lit that hits me in the feels, which it sounds like this book will do. So I think it’ll be a book outside of my reading preferences that will blow me away.


Those are the 5 books that I think I will end up giving 5 stars. This honestly was SO much harder than I thought it was going to be. Now I’m afraid that I won’t end up loving any of these books like I thought, but I’ll just have to read them and see.

When I do eventually read these books, I will do an updated post and let you know what I ended up thinking of them. Maybe try it again? I don’t know, we’ll see.

For now, let me know if you gave any of these books 5 Stars. Also, let me know which books you think you will give 5 Stars. I just want to know, because I think this topic is so interesting.

P.S. I’m back 🙂

 

Top Ten Hidden Gems in Contemporary

Hey guys, it’s been a while. Sorry, I’ve been a little MIA. I just have been feeling kind of down and exhausted lately, and it put me in a blogging slump. I needed to take a break to rejuvenate and relax. Now that I’ve done some of that, I feel more motivated to keep up with this blog (and all of the other things I have going on).

Anyway, what better way to celebrate my return than with a Top Ten Tuesday. I’m so excited that The Broke and the Bookish are back with this meme, I certainly have missed it!

This week is all about finding the Hidden Gems in a genre of your choice. I picked YA Contemporary because it is the genre that I have read the most from. It’s a wide range of books and there are definitely a ton of throwbacks on here. Some of them may lean more on the “popular” side, but I put them on my list because I don’t see them talked about enough in the Book Community. Anyway, on with the list!


1. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila SalesThis Song will save your life

 

I randomly stumbled upon this book a few years ago. I was drawn in by the cover, the title, and the premise. As a music enthusiast, I’m sucker for books that involve music in their plot in any way. I ended up loving this book! Elise was such an awesome character and I really related to her (even though I’m not secretly a DJ, sorry guys). If you pick up any book from this list, I think it should be this one.

 

 

2. Sorta Like a Rockstar by Matthew Quick

Sorta Like a Rock Star

This was on my syllabus for a YA Literature class I took in college. I had never heard of it, but was really blown away. Amber, our main character, was one that leaped off the page and I loved her voice. I also really loved all the quirkiness that was in this book, but don’t let the quirkiness deceive you. This book pack’s a major punch. I need to reread it, because I remember loving it but it’s been a while. It was such a solid book though and an underrated one at that. Also, if this author sounds familiar it is because he wrote The Silver Linings Playbook.

 

3. How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standifordhow to say goodbye in robot

Okay, so this book is a hidden gem for a couple of reasons. One, you probably haven’t heard of it. I certainly hadn’t until my YA Literature class. This book was another great one on our syllabus (my professor picked some really awesome books). The second reason why this falls perfectly in the hidden gem category is because this book is not a romance. Yes, I repeat, THIS BOOK IS NOT A ROMANCE! I know, the pink cover is misleading, but this is really a story about the friendship between Bea and Jonah. It is so rare to see a book about a boy and a girl who don’t fall in love with each other. I’m also pretty sure that they’re both heterosexual (please correct me if I’m wrong), which makes it even rarer. I really enjoyed this, because it was quirky and hit me in the feels. It’s been a while since I read this, so it’s definitely due for a reread.

4. The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

The conspiracy of us

If you know me, then you know that I really enjoy reading unrealistic realistic fiction. Basically, books that are set in the real world, but the things that happen in them don’t necessarily happen in everyday life. This book definitely falls under that genre as it follows Avery West who gets caught up in this secret society called the Circle. Apparently, she is the key to some ancient prophecy, but this is the first time she’s hearing of all of this. While this book did take me a while to get into, once I did get into it I could not put it down. I needed to know what happened next, which of course, led to more questions. This definitely gave me a bit of National Treasure (yes, the Nicolas Cage film) vibes too, which I liked. It was such a fun read, and I definitely plan on continuing on with the series.

5. The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The fixer

Okay, so this is another great book that also falls under that category of unrealistic realistic fiction. On GoodReads, the synopsis claims that it is a mix of Scandal and Veronica Mars in YA Thriller form. That statement is so accurate and should make you want to pick up this book immediately. I have read another novel by Barnes and really enjoyed her writing style. This book is definitely my favorite by her, and it is not talked about enough! I don’t hear anyone talking about it and it makes me so sad! If you pick up a second book from this list (after This Song Will Save Your Life), it needs to be this one! There is also a sequel that I need to get my hands on asap.

6. Airhead by Meg Cabot

airhead

Airhead is another strange contemporary novel that is so good. Basically, our main character Em gets into a bizarre accident that changes her life completely. I won’t say exactly what happens to her, but you may be able to gather that information from the GoodReads synopsis. The concept of this book definitely scared me a little, but once you accept certain aspects it’s so good and addicting. Airhead is the first book in a trilogy, by the same name. I flew through all of the books, they were so good. Quirky and weird, but also fun and good.

 

7. A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

a study in charlotte

I would describe this book as a YA Sherlock retelling with a female Sherlock. Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are descendants of the famous detective duo you’ve probably heard of. They first meet at Sherringford, a prep school in Connecticut. Things start to go awry when a student dies and they’re sort of being framed for the murder. There’s not enough love for this book. I’ve seen a few people talk about it here in the Book Community (especially since the sequel, The Last of August, came out in February). I really enjoyed reading this, and thought it was super unique. I mean how many YA Sherlock retellings do you come across?

8. Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian

megan meade's

You may be familiar with this author. She wrote the Private series and the Shadowlands Trilogy. This book was super popular when it came out back in the mid 2000s (this book was published 2006). It was the first book that I remember really falling in love with when I was a teenager. It holds a special place in my heart, and definitely is part of the reason I love YA contemporary romances so much. I included it on this list, because nobody talks about it anymore even though it was such a good book. If you’re looking for a great throwback, I think you should pick this one up. I hope to reread this one day, and see if I love it as much as I did then.

9. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

this lullaby

Okay, so you’ve probably also heard of this author. She just had a book come out and is considered a queen of YA contemporary romance. This is probably my favorite book that I’ve read by her and I’ve read most of them. Since it is an older book, it does not get talked about as much (hence why it is on this list). I think what stood out for me was the romance between Remy and Dexter. Also, Dexter is a guitar player and in a band, which makes him even more swoon worthy. As we have established previously, I’m such a sucker for books about music and this is another one of them.

 

10. The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak

The heartbreakers

Speaking of books that involve music and romance, this is another one I really loved. I’m a sucker guys, what can I say. I’m especially a sucker for the celebrity falls for a regular person trope. This book does that trope well, and satisfied all of my needs. It was just such an adorable romance and a perfect summer read. I believe this is the first book in a series. The other books revolve around the romances of the other members in the boy band that is featured. I definitely plan on continuing on and seeing how Novak handles that without writing the exact same story but with different characters.


Those are my favorite hidden gems in the YA Contemporary genre. As I was typing up this list, I realized that a good chunk of these books are in desperate need for a reread. If you see one of them pop up on a future TBR, you will know why.

Please let me know if you’ve read any of the books I’ve listed. We can gush about these awesome books in the comment section togehter  Also if you have a favorite YA Contemporary that is completely underrated and not on this list, let me know down in the comments. Always looking for more unknown books to read.