Welcome! To my absolute favorite post of the year ~ my favorite books of 2018! I love talking about all the books I read during the year – I love talking about what I loved about them, thinking about these books again, and recommending them to you guys.
I have here 18 books that I absolutely loved in 2018. I didn’t want to narrow down the list to anything – these are all books I love and I wanna feature them all in this list. Without further ado, let’s just get into the books!
All my favorite books: from least to most!
The Hating Game – Sally Thorne
I picked this up because I wanted to read a light, cute romance and this book delivered! I’m usually not a fan of chick-lit/ adult contemporary romance but if you want to try this genre, I’d definitely recommend this one! The Hating Game is the story of this man and woman who really disliked each other, and after a merger between their companies, are forced to work together. They then realize that they have to compete for the same position in their company, and the book follows this bittersweet rivalry/romance between them. I absolutely loved this book! I enjoyed it SO much; the characters, the dialogue, the pace of the book was absolutely perfect.
Emergency Contact – Mary H.K. Choi
This one was a surprisingly good book! I usually dislike YA contemporaries and I read very few books form this genre this year. Among them all, Emergency Contact stood out. It’s this really well-written romance between two people who have this chance meeting, and decide to make each other their ’emergency’ contact. I love that the romance is between older people (I think both the main characters are in college – I’m kinda completely over love stories set in high school), I loved the diversity (mental health representation) and the overall story, writing and book was a very warm, cute read.
Unaccustomed Earth – Jhumpa Lahiri
Ahhh, Jhumpa Lahiri did it again. Probably one of my favorite Indian authors ever. This is a collection of short stories and Jhumpa Lahiri is a beautiful author. Her words, her stories, her characters are SO well crafted and it’s just a delight picking up her book every single time.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid
This book was GREAT! It’s lower on my list but nevertheless, it’s an amazing read. It’s about this journalist who is invited by the famous actress Evelyn Hugo, to write her biography. Evelyn Hugo has had quite a life and she decides to tell her story through this journalist. It’s extremely well-written, incredibly diverse and the kind of book which, I feel, every single person would find something to love in.
The Death of Mrs. Westaway – Ruth Ware
This book was fabulous. I’ve been reading a lot of thrillers in the past few years and this year, I felt very burnt out from thrillers – I just couldn’t find one which was unique and different. And then this book came along. Easily, the best thriller book I’ve read in quite a while. The Death of Mrs. Westaway is the story of this one who receives a letter saying that she’s the beneficiary of a very rich, old woman who’s died recently. The only problem is that she isn’t the actual beneficiary. However, due to certain financial pressures, she decided to take on the identity of the person to whom the letter was actually sent to, and go get her claim. It’s thrilling, exciting and keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the read.
Tower of Dawn – Sarah J Maas
I read Tower of Dawn this year, and loved it. It was so, so, SO good. I’m currently reading the last book in the series – Kingdom of Ash (I’m almost done with it) – and out of all the books, I think Tower of Dawn is my new favorite. I loved this book – the change in setting, the new characters, the ROMANCE wow, the plot progression SO MUCH. The series is good, but this book was really good.
Normal People – Sally Rooney
I picked this up just by chance and WHAT a surprise! This is a love story between two people and explores their lives over a period of time, and it’s gorgeous. It explores themes like class, mental health, and intersperses it into the love story so, so well. This book made me feel so many things, and portrays the main characters extremely accurately. Just, the characterization, the plot, the way the love story progressed – it was all so good. The writing is pretty unique too!
The Astonishing Color of After – Emily X. R. Pan
Another YA contemporary on my list (wohoo) but this one has magical realism too! I am not the hugest fan of magical realism (The Night Circus and Haruki Murakami books being some of my favorites) but this book was touching and beautiful and so worth it. It’s about this girl whose mother commits suicide but the girl believes that her mother has returned as a bird, and follows the bird to Taiwan to her grandparents. It’s an exploration of grief, family, motherhood and so much more. The magical realism moments were amazing too!
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
If dystopian can be so well done in a book, then count me in! I was completely over dystopian years ago but I always had it in the back of my mind that I had to read The Handmaid’s Tale. This book was a chilling story about a world with a system which categorizes women according to different tasks that they do. A ‘handmaid’ is responsible for birthing the children of the house she is assigned to, and the book follows the main character, who’s a handmaid. It’s a horrific story, but so compelling and such a good read.
The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
THIS BOOK. I read this in the very beginning of the year, and it’s still stuck to my mind. It’s an adult magical realism/fantasy novel set in a circus, with two main characters who’re meant to be rivals from the start. It’s a breathtaking fantasy; I wasn’t the hugest fan of the romantic elements, but I was absolutely mesmerized by this book.
Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari
This book is one of the best non-fiction books I’ve ever read. I’ll probably forever keep recommending it. It’s basically the history of homosapiens and mankind and it talks about everything in great detail and makes the book BEYOND interesting. It’s such a compelling, forceful read and it literally is something which I feel everyone will enjoy thoroughly.
Girls Burn Brighter – Shobha Rao
This book was terribly disturbing, but SO strong, real, raw and impactful to read. It’s set in a small town in India where two girls befriend each other, but soon get separated due to some unforeseen happenings. The book follows these two women who try to find their way back to each other and it’s SO heartbreaking. There are major trigger warnings for violence, assault, sex trade and other things and it’s not an easy read. It’s difficult, but it’s so very impactful.
The Final Empire – Brandon Sanderson
Ahhh this book was GREAT. I have been meaning to read this series for forever and I finally picked it up this year. It’s this epic adult fantasy set in a world ruled by a tyrant, and a group of people get together to overthrow the ruler. The magic system is unique and interesting and the story, the characters and the writing are all SO on point. I highly recommend this if you’re looking for a compelling fantasy!
The Secret History – Donna Tartt
Damn this book was amazing. I absolutely love stories like these – boarding school, obnoxious and pretentious students obsessed with themselves and what they’re studying, internal conflict and rivalry, murder and mystery – you’ve basically made me my perfect book. I loved the intensity and complexity of the book – it’s exactly what I enjoy and I HIGHLY recommend this one.
The Poppy War – R.F. Kuang
This is the best fantasy I read this year. It was so unexpectedly good. I had no plans for reading this book, but someday by chance, I heard the summary of it somewhere and I decided to give it a try. And man was it good. I won’t say much about it, except that’s it’s set in a school in the backdrop of war, there’s magic and fighting and trigger warnings for a LOT of things but it’s worth a read.
If We Were Villains – M.L. Rio
I read this book because I heard that it’s similar to The Secret History and that was enough to make me pick it up. And it delivered. It was absolutely amazing! Pretentious, unlikeable characters, boarding school, Shakespeare, murder – it’s a chilling, exciting read and it made me so happy that I picked it up.
Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng
AHHHH THIS BOOK. THIS BOOK. BLEW ME AWAY. I’m so thankful to everything and everyone that made me pick up this book because it’s now one of my all time favorite books ever. It’s about this family whose eldest daughter is dead, and the book takes us back into what happened with the family and what led to the death. It’s filled with exquisite detail and such beautiful portrayal of human emotions and complexity. The characterization is one of the best I’ve read in all my life and the book is compelling to a degree which is unimaginable.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman
My favorite. Eleanor Oliphant. 5 FULL STARS to the character which made my 2018. Eleanor Oliphant made my eyes tear up (the ONLY book of 2018), laugh, think, evaluate and feel SO much. I just cannot express how much this book touched me and made me feel all the feels.
So that’s it for my post! I am super happy with my reading this year – I feel like I got to read a lot of amazing books, and am happy with the choices I made (in terms of picking up books).