Hi readers 🙂
Today, I’m going to be sharing my bookish wrap up of 2018! I had a great reading year despite 2018 being one of the hardest years of my life. Blog post on that: here.
I checked my Goodreads stats recently and saw that most of the books I read were 5 stars! This is very unusual for me.
I read 52 books this year! My goal was to read a book every week and I did that. Of course, there were a handful of short stories & novellas in there but at least 45 of these were full-length novels.
I read 17,092 pages. The longest book was Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix (5 stars) and the shortest was Paper Losses (4 stars).
I had such a fun time reading all these books. Let’s get into the winners of certain categories!
All Time Favourite Book of 2018
As you can see from my plethora of 5-star reads, this is super difficult to narrow down!
These are my top five faves. I love them all for so many different reasons!
At the time of reading, I said that Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows was my favourite book in the series but looking back, Order of the Pheonix sticks out in my head.
So, I think I’ll have to say it was my favourite read of the year.
I adored how there was always something exciting yet important happening. I loved all the new characters and even though Umbridge was a cow, her character made the main characters even more interesting to read about! Plus, the explanation behind everything was so so impressive. Lastly, Neville’s character reveal at the end?! Mind blowing.
So thank you JK Rowling for writing these books a million years ago for me to love now. I’ve enjoyed every moment of my Harry Potter journey.
Least Favourite Book of 2018
I don’t hold back on rating books low. I don’t feel bad giving a book 1 or 2 stars. So, I’m not scared to say I read some very disappointing books of 2018.
While I read some boring & unprofessional books in 2018, my absolute least favourite was A Court of Frost & Starlight by Sarah J. Maas.
This book was full of sexism, classism, prejudice, & more. Rhysand was not the Rhysand we know & love. Feyre was back to being an object. The Inner Circle were ruder than ever. There was no plot??
It was just absolutely awful & I do not recommend.
Favourite Book To Movie Adaptation
I can say with complete confidence that my favourite book to movie adaptation was: Love, Simon, inspired by Simon vs. The Homosapiens Agenda.
This movie was absolutely beautiful, simple, elegant, tear-jerking, honest & cute all at the same time. It’s a super important film for people to watch, young & old.
If you don’t know what it’s about, it follows a boy, Simon, who is gay. However, nobody knows until one day, a fellow classmate discovers that he’s gay from reading secret emails between him & another boy.
Simon desperately tries to stop this classmate from outing him while simultaneously, keeping up his romance with his secret online crush.
The movie kept almost everything that the book had, and while adding extra layers, it didn’t take away from the original tone of the book.
Most Heartbreaking Book of 2018
I don’t read a lot of non-fiction but when I do, I make sure it’s something that I know I’ll appreciate, something on a topic that interests me.
So, when my brother got me In Order To Live By Yeonmi Park last Christmas, I read it straight away and…
That book instantly changed my perspective on a lot of things.
It follows Yeonmi, a young girl, as she escapes the horrors of North Korea. Her innocence is stolen as she is tortured, chased, used, abused and played.
Yeonmi wrote the book herself and her fear and passion for the truth is evident in every single line.
It’s one of my favourites of 2018 and I recommend it every time someone asks about non-fiction!
Favourite Contemporary of 2018
I loved reading contemporaries this year! Young Adult is very up and coming in the publishing industry. It’s tackling incredibly important topics, including this one. John Green writes about Aza, a sixteen-year-old girl with anxiety, as she and her friend investigate the case of a missing billionaire, Russell Pickett. While the book is ultimately a mystery, the theme of the of the novel is insecurity, mental health & friendship.
I found Aza extremely relatable, despite not necessarily having anxiety myself. Of course, I experience feeling anxious, like everyone else, but the way John Green wrote the book, I think, makes everyone feel welcome in Aza’s story.
Diverse Reads of 2018
I read a handful of diverse reads in 2018 from Turtles all the Way Down to To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, + more.
My favourite would have been Turtles All The Way Down but since I’ve already talked about that, I want to talk about a diverse read that I didn’t like.
The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson.
This book is about David Piper, a transgender female. She starts a new school and is immediately bullied for being a “freak” when he starts an unlikely friendship with Leo, a boy who also has a secret.
I despised this book. I gave it one star. I’m surprised that it has an above 4-star rating on Goodreads!
My full review is here but I’ll break it down in a couple of sentences.
There was very little plot. The topic of being transgender was not handled respectfully. The writing was cliche. The characters were all awful.
I’m sad that a book that handles such an important topic wasn’t well-received with me! I’m hoping to read more books like this so if anyone has any recs, let me know.
A New Series of 2018
As mentioned, I finished Harry Potter this year.
But I also finished the entire Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness. (extra bonus: I met Patrick Ness this year!)
This was such a fun series to read! Patrick Ness is a really original and adventurous author. All his books are so different.
Chaos Walking is a set of three books set in a world where there are no women. On the other hand, all the men can hear each other’s thoughts so no one has any secrets.
Everything changes one day when Todd, our main character, comes across a patch of silence in his otherwise chaotic world. A few moments later, he comes across… a woman.
I loved the second book the most! The last one didn’t do much for me but I still recommend this series.
Favourite Mystery Book of 2018
OKAY YAY! One of my favourite books of the year.
WE WERE LIARS BY E LOCKHART.
PEOPLE, this book! THIS BOOK!
I’m enthusiastic. I think because it surprised me so much.
It’s poetic and beautiful and deep and raw and scary and odd and wild and lovely and YOU HAVE TO READ IT.
I read it in one sitting and I will definitely be reading it again.
It follows a group of friends as they spend summer vacations together. One summer, there is an incident that changes everything.
I really can’t say any more than that other than, read it. Please.
Biggest Plot Twist of 2018
Plot twists are my most favouuuuurite thing ever in books! So, when Harper Collins reached out to me and asked me to review the new mystery thrilled, The Woman in the Window, I was so excited.
It follows Anna who lives alone in a big modern house. New neighbours move in and shortly after, she sees something disturbing. Mixed with her tendency to overreact, her agoraphobia and her drinking problem, no one will believe her.
On the topic of plot twists, I don’t know how I did it but I figured out both of the huge plot twists in my book! However, everyone else I spoke to didn’t so I think it might just have been me in a very cynical place while I was reading it, not believing anything at surface value. The good thing was that I felt very proud of myself!
Favourite Writing of 2018
The last category I’m going to cover is writing goals of 2018. As a writer, I’m always on the lookout for inspiring writing style.
A lot of the books I’ve already mentioned had some hella good writing so the only book left to talk about was Vengeful by V.e. Schwab.
While this book, second in the Villain’s series, actually ended up disappointing me, I can’t fault the writing.
It’s so delicious. So delicate. So thoughtful & articulate. I could read anything Schwab writes. (Good thing because my husband bought me all her books for Christmas).
Anyway, readers, that summarises my bookish recap for 2018! Make sure you follow me on Instagram @bethsbookshelf for daily reading updates 🙂
Let me know your faves of 2018!