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Finding New Favorites in 2018


One of my favorite Top Ten Tuesday topics has always been "Top Ten Books I've Read So Far in ____." When I didn't see it on the schedule for this summer, I decided to go ahead and write the post anyway! We're halfway through the year, and I've blown past my Goodreads Challenge goal. It's going to be so hard for me to compile my 2018 favorites in December, but here are the strongest contenders from the past sixth months:

1. Only a Kiss by Mary Balogh This is the sixth book in the Survivor's Club series, which I binged back in March. While I thoroughly enjoyed the entire series, this is the book that's stayed in my memory. It made me cry more than once, and that doesn't happen often to me! I'm still thinking about one scene in this book, in particular, months later. Bride by Mistake by Anne Gracie almost made this list but the tears gave Balogh a slight edge.

2. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman – I honestly didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did! The summary and cover didn't really appeal to me, but a recommendation from Estelle finally convinced me to give it a try. I picked up a copy while in the UK with Kelly, and I fell in love with the heroine and her story when I read it this month. And I noticed a lot of parallels to Jane Eyre, which made it a fun reading experience.

3. The Virgin's War by Laura Andersen  Thank goodness Kelly won our March Madness bet and made me read this book! I'd enjoyed the Boleyn trilogy but wasn't super motivated to read this series. I would have been totally missing out! All three books are great, but the third was definitely my favorite. I finished it at 1 a.m., crying and spamming Kelly with texts about everything that happened. If you like alternate history, I hope this is on your radar!

4. The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly – I'm cheating a little bit with this book book because I'm pretty sure I read it years ago, but I honestly didn't remember anything about it. Reading and obsessing over all 1,865 pages of this trilogy in a week in January definitely earned it a spot on my list, and this one was my favorite of the three. I just love these characters so much, and I'm already anticipating re-reading this in the future.

5. My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan – I'm ashamed that I still haven't written my review for this book because I adored it! I studied abroad in Oxford for one summer in college, and I was transported back there in these pages. The story went in an unexpected direction, but I came to love it by the end. I'll be buying the audio for future re-reads, especially because Whelan is an accomplished narrator and reads her own book.

6. Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – As someone who generally dislikes sci fi, I'm so surprised by the depth of my love for this series. I read the first two books last year, and re-read them before this was released in March (even though I still remembered what happened in both!) because I already wanted to revisit the characters. This conclusion didn't disappoint. I loved how everything came together, and how it surprised me!

7. A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas – This book almost didn't make my list, but I had to give it a spot for my emotional investment alone! I know why this has gotten mixed reviews – and don't entirely disagree – but I'm ultimately so glad that it exists. I appreciated getting a glimpse at what's happening in the Night Court and within the Inner Circle, and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book. The teaser at the end broke my heart!

8. Beartown and Us Against You by Fredrik Backman – Cheating again, I know! Sorry that I made this a two-for-one special, but I needed to mention both. I read these in the past month, and I can't stop thinking about them. I am confident this duology will be on my final "Best of 2018" list in December. Backman has created unforgettable characters, and he is a born storyteller. I just want to soak up all his words and savor them slowly.

9. Still Me by Jojo Moyes – It's a miracle that I even read this book. I couldn't stand After You and practically swore this one off when it was announced. Thankfully, Kelly convinced me that the ending made the journey worth it. She was, as usual, correct. Now that I've read all three, I can appreciate the second more. The last book brought everything full circle. It wasn't perfect, but this was the hopeful future that Lou deserved – and I needed!

10. Act Like It by Lucy Parker – All three books in this series deserve a spot on my list because I'm legitimately so obsessed with all of them! I think the first has a little more of my heart because the characters are my favorites, but add Pretty Face and Making Up to your TBR list, too. Parker is a master at swoon, sass, and the right amount of drama. The writing, characters, setting, story – I love it all! I've pushed her books on so many friends already.

What's the best book you've read so far this year?

3 comments

  1. I've heard a lot of positive review about Fredrik Backman. So, I do want to try his writing sometime soon! My favourite 2018 read is The Great Library series by Rachel Caine :D

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  2. I've only read Obsidio out of these books - but I trust your taste, so time for me to get to adding these on GR, like you all but have me convinced to read Bear Town. ALSO remember way back when you reviewed Belong To Me by Marisa De Los Santos? Well, I finally have that and the two other books I guess that are related to that one from the library! So excited.

    Also, I love doing this -- just making your own list when it doesn't align with TTT, I used to get disappointed whenever a seasonal TBR post was skipped.

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  3. Oooh...nice stack of books there! You have several in your list that I really want to read but none that I have gotten to yet.

    Sme of my favorites read in 2018 so far include The Reason You're Alive by Matthew Quick (always love his novels!), She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper, Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy, and My Ex-Life by Stephen McCauley (who I had the pleasure of interviewing and then meeting in person!).

    It's been a good reading year so far!

    Hope the rest of your 2018 books are just as good!

    Sue

    2018 Big Book Summer Challenge

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