2018: The Best Of

Oi! It be that time of year again! Today we’ll be going over my favorites of this year! I am embarrassed to admit that, I have hardly read ANY debut novels this year; most of my books were re-reads or sequels. Thus, I am not including a debut section this year because I just don’t think I read enough of them this year to give a legitimate opinion. Regardless, in the eighty-ish books I read this year there were some FANTASTIC books!

Favorite ‘Old Read’:

AYes, I was 1,000,000 years late to reading this dulology. Give me a break. 

Although I was super late to the game when it comes to this book, it didn’t stop me from adoring it. In fact, I am rereading the original trilogy for the SECOND time this year, mostly because of how much I enjoyed Six of Crows, and how the series connect…: 

“Bardugo has the ability to create incredibly dense, vibrate, detailed worlds, that somehow flow quickly and lightly, with no sense of world-building weighing it down. Like, seriously. Her ability to write dark-fantasy will never fail to amaze me. I have such a hard time describing the overall style of her writing, other than purely saying, I wish it was my aesthetic. She has a very unique and beautiful style in all of her writing, and Six of Crows was no exception to this.”


Favorite Character:

Yeah yeah yeah, I got a type. 

So, my preference for Thomas Cresswell does very little but reveal that I had a definitive type (he’s just the new-age Daniel Sheridan, I know). However, in this series, Cresswell had an incredibly intruging character development. While Rose was also changing and evolving, Thomas was in the background having an almost independent set of challenges that evolved him without taking away from our heroine. And, he’s just plain…perfect. I almost put this as my favorite book of the year (the competition was strong, 2018) but decided that I think the characters made it special, rather than the plot. 

“…can we just take a moment to appreciate Thomas Cresswell? Like, CMON. And his plotline in this book was wonderful. The development of his backstory and some of the side plots with his family was really strong; sometimes such a side story can be distracting, but here it added to the overall plot and character development. A+.”


“This book was an experience. It’s weird that something could be so gorey but also SO ADORABLE. So, I think we all know that I adore a good historical fiction novel, especially those that include adorable boys with suspenders, and super tough chicks who kick butt in their petticoats. And, Stalking Jack the Ripper was right up this alley.”


Favorite Sequel:

This is the SECOND year in a row that I have had Jessica Townsend in my yearly wrap up; with good reason, too! I swear, her stories are this generations Harry Potter. The magic and messages behind every word are more than captivating, and I have adored every word I’ve read by her! Although I think that any age can read this series and adore it (truly) this is the perfect series to pick up if you need a gift for a young reader! It helps one to learn to read critically, as well as just enjoy a darn good story. 

“Jessica has a style that adds just enough of a gothic flare to everything in the story, that it sparks tea cravings and a desire to wander foggy moors in all black attire. This is balanced well with a sharp sense of humor and wit in every character, especially our MC, Morrigan…Basically, Wundersmith was everything I needed and more. It’s the kind of book that keeps you up reading all night, and you’ll look for magic in your day to day life for weeks after. I cannot recommend it enough.”


Favorite Author:

You guys, if you didn’t see this coming, you haven’t read nearly enough of my reviews, hah. Maryrose Wood is an  incredible author; though her novels may be labeled as middle-school, I think they could benefit any and every reader. In the entire The Incorrigible Series, I never once picked up at a point that I was bored or uninterested; yet many of the chapters focused on the ‘mundane’ aspects of the characters lives. Maryrose Wood’s writing truly allows readers to see how they can make any and every day an incredible adventure. 

If you had 24 hours to do ANYTHING you wanted, what would you do?”

“I feel prompted to observe that everyone has 24 hours every day to do what they like. I do hope you’re all using the time wisely, dear hearts! I like to read, write, go to the beach, ride a bike, visit beautiful gardens, eat a good meal. Pretty much what I’m doing now!”


Favorite Book:

I may be basic, but there’s a reason everyone loves this book. 

OKAY, yes, I know. This is like, the most generic and predictable response in the WORLD. But this book is freaking GREAT. Black manages to paint some of the most morally complex characters I have ever read, all the while allowing us to get a glimpse into her wonderfully rich fantasy world. To say that The Wicked King is one of my most anticipated releases of 2019 would be an understatement; I am counting down the freaking days.

“Black paints an incredibly vivid, lush fae world, full of magic, lavish characters, and intricate plot. I loved to hate Jude (she had some serious moral issues going on but was trying to be a good person too), and hated that I loved Cardan SO FREAKING MUCH (Darkling vibes all around). Her characters were complex and interesting, in a very realistic, human (or, well, fae I guess) way.”

http://maddie.tv/2018/12/review-cruel-prince/‎(opens in a new window)

Honorable Mentions:

“I love fiction that entertains, all the while teaching you a little bit about real history. My Lady Jane was pretty clear from the beginning that the story that was being told was not at all the story the history that we were originally introduced to, aka not entirely an accurate account of Lady Jane Grey’s reign. However, even by reading this creative, and magical, retelling, one could pick pieces of the real story from history. The book was already marvelous, and this aspect purely enhanced it for me!” 


” Garber does an incredible job of painting this vibrant world for the readers. Not only is it immersive, but it’s gorgeous. The style and atmosphere of the world are rather unsolidified (I would describe it as borderline steampunk), but that doesn’t mean I can’t adore it. It fits right in with the worlds of Professor Layton and the likes.”


“I was sitting on the edge of my seat with Olivia at the, sometimes incredibly stressful, climaxes of the plot, and I was cheering along with an adorable romance. Honestly, it’s been awhile since I have read such a seamless and captivating romance that actually added to the plot, rather than just being fan service. Olivia and Jack had a wonderful dynamic and history that allowed the classic novel to play along with this new story. The writing was unique and fast-paced and held my attention until the last page. “


Looking Towards 2019: As you can see, 2018 was a pretty dang good year in the reade’s world! And, looking towards 2019 I am predictably excited for King of Scars (NIKOLAI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and The Wicked King. And, those come out in JANUARY so 2019 is going to be a pretty freaking good year,

Until next time!


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