My Top 5 Books of 2018
It’s time! I’m narrowing down all the epic books I’ve read this year to just five that are truly incredible and you need to add to your TBRs immediately.
5. Clean by Juno Dawson.
Clean is a book that grabs you and throws you headfirst in to its world. Lexi, its protagonist, is a young socialite who is forced in to rehab by her brother after she almost overdoses. This book is gritty, realistic, painful, and utterly compelling. I’m trying to find time when I can fit in a re-read of this book in 2019, because it is an absolute rollercoaster from start to finish. It pulls absolutely no punches whilst dealing with the harsh realities of addiction. I’m now even more hyped for Juno Dawson’s next book, Meat Market, which is all about the fashion industry.
4. Vicious by VE Schwab
VE Schwab has been one of my all-time favourite fantasy writers ever since I finished A Darker Shade of Magic. I finished the rest of that trilogy, and then heard everyone raving about Vengeful. But I hadn’t read Vicious! One collector’s edition later, I’d discovered the egotistical geniuses that are Victor Vale and Eli Ever and could NOT put it down. The two of them are at uni, trying to figure out the secret to ExtraOrdinaries - humans with surprise powers. It’s like Frankenstein meets a superhero movie. The only reason I haven’t already started Vengeful is that something that good I need to take time to savour, and I didn’t want to power in to Vengeful without taking due diligence in appreciating Vicious.
3. Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend
Nevermoor was my book of the year last year (I think I just sneaked it in before January 1st!). Back to Nevermoor I went with Wundersmith, the second book in the series. Morrigan has finally entered the Society, but everything is not as it seems… A magical, fantastical adventure that feels very much like a weird and wonderful mash-up of Harry Potter, Garth Nix, and (and I can’t remember who said this so let me know!) Roald Dahl. It’s like Matilda and Harry Potter in a magical universe with dastardly villains. The best MG novel - and series - I have read in a very long time. Add it to your TBRs.
2. Bright We Burn by Kiersten White
The excitement I felt waiting for this book to be released was entirely ridiculous and completely warranted. The final instalment of the Conqueror’s Trilogy, and I was desperate to read it and find out who (or, should I say, how many) of my precious darlings were going to die horrible stabby deaths and who Kiersten White would graciously spare. Lada, my favourite anti-hero of all time, is struggling to do what she wants while on the throne. Her brother, Radu - my precious Radu! - is trying to make his way in the world while his sister Lada is at loggerheads with the man who had stolen his heart: Mehmed. This could have ended in so many bloody, gruesome, and terrible ways. And there is a LOT of stabbing. And impaling. And general dying. But the end of this series was exactly what the series needed and that made for a satisfying ending (I could hardly say happy - far too much stabbing and metaphorical bridge-burning has happened over the course of these three books for happy) but it was the best ending. I honestly can’t think of a trilogy I have loved this much, that has been consistently excellent across all three books, in a very long time. Read this series, and thank me later! The first instalment is And I Darken.
1. The Priory Of The Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon (ARC)
I don’t even know how to express how much I adored this book. It is an epic fantasy whose worldbuilding was flawless, whose characters were compelling, and whose storyline had me hooked within the first few chapters. It is an absolute masterclass in how to write fantasy and, as I said when I first tweeted, I feel privileged to have been able to read this book. Not even as an ARC, but as a book generally. If I had to wait until Feb to read it, I would still have felt the same way. There are god-like dragons, amazing female characters, male characters that don’t just serve as love interests for the women (that should not be a rarity but here we are!) and relationships that feel honest, real, and had me flailing and feels-ing in equal measure. This isn’t just top of my books for 2018 - this is on my list of top books of all time. Preorder your copy asap.
I hope you enjoyed finding out the books I’ve chosen for my top five! What have your top reads of 2018 been and why? Leave a comment!