Hello again! The last day of 2018 is upon us all of a sudden and 2019 is looming. Yes, definitely looming. Sometimes I am excited for a new year but 2019 isn’t feeling very welcoming at the moment, mostly due to the disaster of 2018 but hey ho – we’ll muddle through one way or another.
But that’s more than enough of that, on to the important stuff – my favourite 5 books of 2018!
In reverse order then, here are my TOP 5 READS OF 2018!
5. Dreaming The Bear by Mimi Thebo
This book utterly broke me, which was mostly unfortunate because I was reading it in public and totally bawled my eyes out. I had to hide behind a ridiculous pair of sunglasses and pretend I had hayfever. Truly beautiful writing that takes you on a sensitive, absorbing journey of love, fear, friendship, life, and death, Dreaming The Bear wasn’t like anything else I have read recently or anything I have read since. Highly recommended for readers aged maybe 9 years and up. I intend on giving it to Tori soon so she can cry all over it as well.
4. The Hate U Give (THUG) by Angie Thomas
If you haven’t read this yet, you need to.
If, like me, you are British and white then it will be an enormous culture shock that takes some thought and concentration to get into, but push through and suddenly you will be so absorbed it won’t even be an issue anymore. You will be too busy being enraged, horrified, terrified, and, oddly guilty to worry about it any more. I haven’t seen the film yet but I have heard good things about it. I just wish the right people would read this and get the message – angry, white, priviledged men with guns I am looking right at you. I felt ashamed of the colour of my skin through most of it, and utterly helpless and furious about it all. THUG takes the ‘taboo’ subject of racism and police brutality in America and holds it up in front of your face so that you can’t just look away and pretend it isn’t there. I am thankful that Britain isn’t quite so bad but it is far far from being okay. And we need to fix it.
Read. This. Book.
3. Mythos by Stephen Fry
I listened to this one as an audiobook so got the added joy of Stephen Fry himself reading it to me. I wish he would read to me all the time, his voice makes me happy. Fry’s dulcet tones aside, Mythos was a brilliant look at the Greek myths – lively and funny, not at all dry or dusty, and full of interesting facts and tidbits about how these ancient stories still influence our language today. I love Greek mythology anyway but Mythos felt fresh even though I knew many of the stories already – well worth a read whether you are a seasoned myth-lover or not. (And I doubly recommend the audiobook because Stephen Fry reading you a book is like being snuggled in a cosy duvet in your mind.)
2. Muse Of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
The first book of this duology, Strange The Dreamer, made my Top 10 last year and I am very pleased to say that the second instalment lived up to it! Eagerly awaited, I was almost too afraid to pick this up when it landed on my doormat – I had loved the first book so much, I was half expecting to be disappointed in this one. My fears were unfounded, Laini Taylor did it again and wove magic into my mind with her words which are like liquid poetry unlike any other author I have read.
Mystical, magical, brutal, beautiful, heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, funny, creepy – I could keep on listing things this book made me feel for ages and ages. I can’t say too much because I don’t want to say too much if you haven’t yet read Strange but I really *really* think you should go find yourself a copy of this duology and lose yourself in them. It is well worth it.
1. The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
What do you mean, that’s cheating? I read all three books one after the other in quick succession basically as one. It totally counts.
Seriously, these books are compulsive reading – as soon as I got to the end of the one, I grabbed the next and started reading again.
They are presented unusually – not like any other novels I have read. The story is told via chat logs, emails, pictures, observation files, blueprints, journal entries – all sorts – all beautifully presented and working together to create a world that was so visual and tactile I could almost taste it.
These books made me cry (bucket loads), laugh out loud, fall in love with a computer (*sigh* AIDEN *dreamy eyes*), shout ‘ewwwww’ out loud, and got me funny looks when I was caught reading some of the pages that required me to turn the book upside down in public.
I enjoy sci-fi anyway but these books were just different and it was refreshing and exhilerating and I am absolutely going to stand by my decision to have all three of them sharing the number 1 spot on my list.
(I did a full review of Illuminae back when I read it if you want to know more.)
Did you read any of these and what did you think?
What was your top read of 2018, let me know so I can add it to my TBR for 2019!