Long time no blog, which can only be because I’ve been so busy with deadlines and Christmas that I have not have chance to really pick up a book, never mind write a review about one! Now the year has come to a close, and we’re well into ringing in 2018 I was unable to finish my goal of reading 40 books by the end of the year. I got pretty close though, 38, which I’m still counting as an achievement.
So what we’re my best reads of the year?
- A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab
I knew this would be on here even before I read the book as the series is one of my favourites. A Darker Shade of Magic has claimed my heart as my current favourite, so thank goodness that Schwab did not disappoint. The book was filled with everything I wanted, development and screen time for every character, action, suspense, adventure, and a perfect round off to the trilogy. Schwab’s writing is so immersive I’ve added Vicious to my TBR as she’s never let me down before. I was gutted to be finishing this trilogy, but have enjoyed it immensely and to prove my love my first book of 2018 is a reread of A Darker Shade of Magic because there is no better way to start off the year.
2. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Meyer knows how to retell a fairy tale; The Lunar Chronicles anyone? But I was not as bothered about this one, Alice in Wonderland is not a story I’ve ever really been interested in. There are a few adaptations that I have enjoyed , but nothing to truly pull me into the world, yet Meyer’s take on the story was wonderful. I’ve always enjoyed reading how villain’s develop, so a take on the Queen of Hearts was refreshing. Although the book is fluffy and cute, with a sweet romance to rot the teeth, it was an overall fun, enjoyable read. The reason it is on this list is because it managed to stay in my head, particularly the characters, and Meyer’s handle of immersing all of the senses. I wanted to eat every single thing she described. Not every read has to be serious and a comment on humanity, sometimes you just need a books to chill with, and this was a perfect choice for that.
3. Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
This book was such a surprise. I had heard so many good things about it but I was still not sold on it’s method of storytelling. It did take me a while to get to grips with the unique layout of the book but it was totally worth it. I blasted through this book, and it’s sequel, while constantly on the edge of my seat. My love of Science-Fiction has grown this year, so this was the perfect book for me to get my teeth into this summer. There was no way this book wasn’t going to be listed; I’ve been recommending it to anyone and everyone who will listen. I even managed to write a review for it! REVIEW
4. The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
It seems like such a long time ago that I started this series, but I didn’t want to rush it and because books are so long I needed to make time to truly dedicate myself to them. This past year I finally manged to finish the trilogy, and The Hero of Ages quickly made its way on to my favourites of the year. Well of Ascension was also read this year but it did not make as big of an impact on me as the concluding novel did. We sped towards the end with high paced action as more secrets about the world were divulged and revealed, and at no point did it feel like a pointless divergence from the main plot. The second books felt like a filler, but this felt like a ending, a book with a purpose. Another good way to wrap up a phenomenal series.
5. Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
I was recommend this book by so many people that eventually I just gave in, and I was not disappointed. It was fun, engaging and unique in comparison to anything else I have read. It is a true piece of 80s nostalgia, while also looking at how we view the internet, and how we often use it to escape and become someone else. I enjoyed following Wade as he pieced together puzzles, I love a good puzzle but I will admit that I would never have figured any of it out thanks to my lack of 80s knowledge; thankfully that meant everything was a surprise. The only problem I had with it was the forced romance/nice guy trope lathered all over the book from the middle onwards. It is a credit to how much I enjoyed it that I was able to ignore this and have the last new book I read in 2017 be such an enjoyable read.
Honourable Mention – Dalila by Jason Donald
Now this is an unconventional one for me to choose, and for me to have read. It was way out of my comfort zone and something I certainly something I would never have picked up by myself. I was on a shadow panel for the Saltire Literary Awards this year and it gave me the chance to read six books that I never would have done otherwise. Dalila was my favourite out of them all, it was a heart-wrenching, honest, bleak and hopeful read. It’s about a Kenyan woman seeking asylum in the UK after running from her violent uncle, and how she becomes just as trapped in the system as she was back in her home country. It was a topic I had never really thought about before, and this novel felt like it was handled in such an open honest way it truly affected me. This novel proved to me that I can read outside of my comfort zone and sometimes it might just pay off.