I didn’t read as many books as I wanted to this year, but still even trying to narrow this list down to 5 favorite books has been difficult. January – May I seemed to be on a roll, reading 7 books total and keeping ahead of my reading goal on Goodreads. Then…summer I hit a slump. Hard. I hardly read and when I finally pulled myself out, all my commitments in life prevented me from even thinking about opening a book. I read 4 in the last 3.5 months, and half of those were done in the last week. My New Years resolution is to definitely make it to 30 books and push past my goal.
Though I am happy I made it to 21 books total over the last year because looking back, there were very few duds. I enjoyed all the books and picking the following five took quite a bit of deliberation.
5. Scythe by Neal Shusterman
This was the very first book I read of the year, and it was quite the way to start the year off. I have a full review for Scythe here so I won’t go into too much detail. What I loved about this book is how it made me think about life and the cycle of it and what would happen if it was disrupted by never having to die. The book has so many layers and the more I think on it, the more there is to consider. I definitely believe this book should be required reading because of how much it makes you take a step back and think about life in a way not many of us have before.
4. Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi
This is the first book of Mafi’s that will be on this list. She really had a killer year, in my opinion, and this book entranced me. I’ve loved Shatter Me since I first picked it up in 2013 and when she announced that there was going to be a continuation of the story I was over the moon excited. I always thought that it had been left right as it got going and just as I made my piece with the story arc, she gave us more pieces to read. I also have a review on Restore Me here if you want to check it out. Naturally, because I love these characters and missed them this book was going to make it on this list, but the real reason is the writing. Shatter Me was Mafi’s debut novel and she’s come a long way since her first novel. I can see how she’s developed as an author and going back to her books have been like going home. I absolutely adore her and can’t wait for what she releases next.
3. Warcross by Marie Lu
Legend was my favorite series by Lu and I struggled to get into The Young Elites, but Warcross had me at the very first page. My review for the book is posted here as well as one for the sequel here. Warcross is that book that pulls you in immediately and doesn’t let you go until the end. I couldn’t put this one down. I was so fascinated with the colorful world that Lu built and how it functioned I stayed up way too late more than once. It definitely pulled me out of my slump only for a lack of free time to put me back into one. Only a duology, I was sad to say goodbye but I didn’t feel the overall story lacked between the two. I am looking forward to what else she might release because Warcross established her as Queen of world-building once again.
2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Speaking of required reading, The Hate U Give should be on that list as well. The movie, the book, the cover…everything about this story I love. It’s a powerful and moving story that has completely changed how I view the world. (P.s. it’s out on digital and dvd here in the next couple of weeks so if you missed it in theaters, be sure to rent it) I particularly loved the movie and the small changes they made to the storyline to make it work for movie audiences. I am not easy to move to tears but the book moved me to tears multiple times and so did the movie. Both are a must for 2019 if you haven’t read it yet. I have a review for it here.
1. A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi
Seriously, a killer year for Mafi in my opinion. Both books she released this year I fell in love with. Another thing I fell in love with was this sort of realistic contemporary genre that doesn’t just focus on the romance but at social issues that are important in our society that need to be addressed. Especially for younger audiences in a way that they can understand. I am obsessed with the cover and the storyline. I grew an admiration for Shirin and how she navigates her way through the world because I could relate to her in some ways. I also completely became obsessed with Ocean, because how could you not? And more importantly, I loved how Mafi talked about and made Shirin’s experiences real and relatable no matter who reads it. This was even one of the last few books I read at the end of the year, but it still wormed its way to the top of this list. It’s a must read for sure. My review for it is posted here.
I hope you all read some great books this year and I hope you check out some of my favorites. Of course, this list was hard to narrow down because 2018 was full of good releases and looking at the line up for 2019, it’s looking like another great year.
Drop your favorites down below!