Top 12 Reads And Re-Reads of 2018
Start writing a post
Entertainment

Top 12 Reads And Re-Reads of 2018

If you need 2019 reading recommendations, look no further.

49
Top 12 Reads And Re-Reads of 2018
Unsplash

In 2018, I read a modest amount of books. (I'm about three-quarters of the way through my 23rd, not including any assigned for school.) A lot of them were re-reads of favorites, although I did find some new favorites along the way. And since this year I happened to start recording what I read and when here are 12 of my best 2018 reads in the order I read them.

January: White Cat by Holly Black 

Last Winter Break, I re-read this book for maybe the third or fourth time, and then I re-read its two sequels the next day. This criminally underrated 2010 YA novel is about the one non-magical member of a magical family with deep ties to organized crime. It takes place in a world where "curse workers" can change a person's memories, dreams, luck, and more with just a touch, and since this magic is illegal, all of its users are criminals. Cassel Sharpe tries to stay out of the family business and curse worker politics alike, but when he has reason to believe he's being conned by someone close to him, his criminal training comes in handy.

February: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

I saw Mackenzi Lee speak at the Brooklyn Book Festival this September, and she talked about combining her love of history, fandom, and underrepresented figures in history and fandom alike to create this fun, trope-y 2017 YA book, which was a Stonewall Honor winner this year. Set in the eighteenth century, this book follows the adventures of a young lord who sets off on an educational tour of Europe with his best friend (with whom he's secretly in love) and his stubborn little sister. But when he accidentally steals a valuable artifact, their tour turns into a dangerous chase across the continent.

March: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Holly Black's newest book, published in January 2018, comes with a wicked cliffhanger, but never fear, the next installment will be published this January. This one is a return to the dark faerie stories she gained a following writing. It's the story of Jude, a girl who has been raised among faeries (think cunning tricksters entertained by the spilling of human blood, not the Tooth Fairy) after one killed her parents ten years ago. Jude, despite being human, longs to become a faerie knight, and she'll do whatever it takes to get there, including lying, spying, and defying the ruthless faerie royal family. But when court alliances shift and a rebellion looms, Jude has to side with a cause bigger than herself. If you like your female characters vicious and ambitious, this should be your next read.

May: Far From You by Tess Sharpe 

This is another tragically underrated re-read, and it may have stuck in my heart even deeper this time. Fair warning: This is not a happy story. But it's such a beautiful examination of grief, love, and moving on that it's worth the tears you'll inevitably shed. It's about Sophie, who developed a painkiller addiction after being in a major car accident. Sophie's best friend Mina was killed deep in the woods by a man with a gun, and everyone believes Sophie took them there to score and that the murder was a drug deal gone bad. But Sophie was clean, and it's up to her to discover who killed Mina and why while coping with their complicated relationship and her past mistakes, including her addiction.

June: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

If you loved Harry Potter, you'll probably enjoy this funny, quasi-fanfiction version that I re-read this year. Based partially on the characters developed for Rowell's 2013 book about a fanfiction writer obsessed with a Harry Potter-ish series, this 2015 book is a funny, mostly light-hearted story featuring a bumbling Chosen One and his arch nemesis, whose feelings for each other are less straightforward loathing than they might prefer. But with a battle looming in the magical world, their bickering-slash-flirting has to take a backseat to uncovering the truth about a dastardly creature that thrives on sucking magic right out of the air. Despite this book's (very obvious, totally intentional) roots in Harry Potter, it still feels fresh, with interesting worldbuilding and a magic system all its own.

July: Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies by Lindsay Ribar

This book is a little more off the beaten path than anything else on this list, but I re-read it this summer, and it was almost as unputdownable the second time as the first. It's about Aspen Quick, whose small-town family specializes in stealing people's inner traits and memories, a ritual that keeps the cliff above their town from collapsing but that Aspen more frequently uses to manipulate his friends into doing what he wants. Aspen's a semi-unlikeable narrator who grows up a little throughout the book as he uncovers some deep-hidden family secrets about the ritual, a mystery that propels the book faster and faster the more you unearth alongside him.

August: Royals by Rachel Hawkins

If you were obsessed with the Royal Wedding, you might be interested in this fun, fluffy book, which coincidentally released around the same time as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex exchanged vows. It's about Daisy, the younger sister of perfect Ellie, who's made waves as an American engaged to the crown prince of Scotland (its own monarchy, for the purposes of not writing about real British royals). Daisy's life is turned upside down when she's dragged to Scotland and expected to handle press, paparazzi, and royal functions ahead of the wedding—not to mention the prince's wild younger siblings and their friends. Royals will be receiving some paperback repackaging to better fit with its forthcoming sequel, and it'll be out with a new cover and title (Prince Charming) soon.

August: Donnie Brasco by Joseph D. Pistone and Richard Woodley

I'm about three decades late to this memoir, which was originally published in 1988 and made into a movie of the same name starring Johnny Depp in 1997, but I found a very cheap copy in a library sale, so I read it this year. It's the true story of FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone, who went undercover in the Mafia as a jewel thief named Donnie Brasco, ascended high into its ranks, and only got out when he was asked to kill someone to prove himself. His testimony as a witness led to some of the biggest Mafia busts of all time, and his memoir, written with Richard Woodley, is a fascinating look at the underbelly of organized crime which manages to be a suspenseful read even though you know what ends up happening to its principle players.

October: Vicious by V.E. Schwab

I read this book by one of my favorite authors (I even more highly recommend her Shades of Magic series, starting with A Darker Shade of Magic) in preparation to go hear her speak about its long-in-the-making sequel, Vengeful, which came out this year. Vicious is a comic book hero story gone wrong, about two brilliant friends who discover how to manufacture supernatural abilities and set out to gain some for themselves at all costs. Years later, after one has spent time in prison and the other has made himself into a vigilante, they meet again. This isn't my favorite Schwab book, but I maintain that even the lesser Schwab books are significantly better than most of what I read, and I'd definitely say that's true of Vicious. Vengeful is supposedly a perfect antidote to the feminist frustrations of 2018, with brutal female villains, so I need to put that on my reading list for next year.

November: Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody

If you're not trying to write a novel, this one is probably not for you. If you are, however, I urge you to pick up a copy immediately. This is novelist Jessica Brody's update to Blake Snyder's famous method of screenwriting, Save the Cat, which breaks down all stories into 15 plot points. If it sounds formulaic, Brody understands, but she's not kidding when she says that almost every story ever written follows the same narrative pattern, and she has examples to prove it: From Confessions of a Shopaholic to Ready Player One to The Help, she maps out how all the stories we love fit into this template and how we, as writers, can use that information to plan and execute our own stories. I'll be outlining my novel with this book nearby.

November: One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

This book is The Breakfast Club if The Breakfast Club was a murder mystery. Five kids walk into detention one afternoon, including the much-despised creator of an app that publishes schoolwide gossip—but by the end of the afternoon, the app creator has died, allegedly by poisoning. The other four students in detention have secrets that were scheduled to be posted on the app soon, so each of them—a brainiac, an athlete, a drug dealer, and the Homecoming Queen—has a motive for killing him. I predicted the ending and a few of the twists before I got to them, but the book was so well-written and relatable to the modern high school experience that I didn't mind at all. It's spent nearly seventy weeks on the New York Times bestseller list since its release in May 2017, so I'm not the only one who can vouch for it.

November: Kindred by Octavia Butler

This is the best school-assigned book I read this year and my first introduction to famous black science fiction writer Octavia Butler. The 1979 novel follows Dana, a contemporary black woman who suddenly and inexplicably starts time traveling to the antebellum South every time her white ancestor is in mortal danger. Forced to play the part of a slave to ensure the birth of her many-times-great grandmother and therefore her own birth someday, Dana must endure the horrors of slavery alongside her ancestors. To summarize my final essay for English 101, Kindred is a fascinating and powerful examination of the lasting impacts of slavery, both within the story and beyond it, because besides depicting slavery, it also reclaims many white-washed science fiction tropes.

This was a year of great books, most of them published long before this year. For my 2019 reading list, I have a few goals, including to read more non-school books, to read more non-YA books, to read more books for the first time instead of re-reading my favorites again and again, and most importantly: to have fun.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

23 Pandemic-Approved Date Ideas That'll Send Sparks Flying From Six Feet Apart

There's a safe way to date right now and yes, it includes masks.

183625

While some people would rather opt out of dating altogether during the pandemic so they don't have to wear a mask on a first date, others are choosing to listen to both guidelines and their heart in order to find love during the time of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Should you be one of the individuals welcoming romance right now, there are pandemic-approved dates you can go on that still adhere to guidelines (and yes, you'll have to wear a mask).

Keep Reading... Show less

I didn't believe the notification when it came through to my phone: Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died from complications due to cancer.

Keep Reading... Show less

In our patriarchal society, men hide from their feelings, but toxic masculinity is literally killing men. They swallow the pain and move on so that they can look, feel, and act "tough."

But, strength is derived from asking for help and voicing your struggle and, trust me, working on your mental health is one hell of a struggle. The real way to "man up" is to acknowledge the downfalls in unjust societal norms. Mental health problems do not mean that a man is weak, they are neurologically-based disorders that require professional treatment.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

11 Things Your Boyfriend Should Do Before He Drops $499 On A PS5

Let's start with spending less time gaming and more time with you.

14479

Scrolling through Twitter this week had me rolling on the floor laughing as I read some of the hilarious tweets from ladies who, whether in a relationship or not, shared reactions to the news that PlayStation 5 is on its way

As this "buy your boyfriend a PS5" joke takes off across the internet, let's just say, there are a few things your BF should be doing before dropping $499 on the new gaming system — or, if the tweets are real for some, before you buy it for him as a gift.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Sorry, But 'I Don’t Care About Politics' Is Not A Valid Excuse For NOT Voting

The younger generation of voters is so crucial to the upcoming election because our vote is going to shape the world that we are about to enter as adults.

37156

When I ask my friends if they are voting this term most of them respond with "no" followed by an explanation of "I don't care enough," "It doesn't affect me," or "I don't keep up with politics," etc. I get it, as a college student I know that there are many other things to be concerned about like school, relationships, work, and friends. I also understand that keeping up with politics can seem like trying to keep up with an over-exaggerated reality show that has way too many seasons. Not to mention most news stations and websites are biased so it's hard to decipher if what you hear is true or fake.

However, despite all of this annoyance, as the next generation of Americans, we have to remember that we owe it to ourselves, our families, and to our futures to care.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tasia Sli

Tasia Sli and Anna Yang met in quintessential New York fashion at a chic rooftop event, inquisitive Yale grad Anna gravitating towards model/entrepreneur Tasia.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Anna Hernández-Buces

"Do you have big parties on Cinco de Mayo?"

Keep Reading... Show less

Two of my favorite things in life are reading and books. Obviously, they go hand-in-hand. In my life, I've realized that there is nothing better than learning about the current world or getting fully immersed in another world. Reading can inspire, teach, and entertain you.

For me, the feeling of opening a book and smelling that fresh book smell can't compete with anything else.

Keep Reading... Show less

Expecting mother and wife to singer/songwriter John Legend may have accidentally slipped up and revealed the gender of her and Legend's third baby today on her Instagram story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

20 Books About Latin And Hispanic Heritage Absolutely Everyone Should Have On Their Bookshelf

Any ally of the community needs to be reading these incredible reads.

10524

I go through phases when it comes to what I like to read. I am typically reading two books at any given time: one serious nonfiction and one escapist fiction novel to have on hand and open up depending on my mood.

What remains consistent, however, amongst most of my fellow bibliophiles is a desire to try new and different authors and genres. I, as an Indian woman, have been partial to reading books written by fellow Indian and Desi writers since I first got a library card.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Asked 46 Women What They Thought About The Term 'Plus-Size', And Here's What They Had To Say

It's 2020, where change is inevitable and norms are not only questioned, but challenged.

6005

We live in a world where it's become customary to push boundaries, break rules, and question standards upheld by society. Though try as we might, some of these standards are harder to conquer than others — body image is one of the top contenders.

For years, the body positivity movement has pushed for the acceptance of all marginalized body types not represented or celebrated in the media. Recently, we've gotten better at appreciating and accepting all body types, but one thing that's still lingering is the stigma of body image in the fashion industry — more specifically, the term "plus-size."

Keep Reading... Show less
Netflix

Many popular TV shows are holding off premiers until spring, so most people are relying on their television subscriptions to get them through a socially distant fall semester.

Thankfully, Netflix was busy filming this past year because there is a ton of new original content coming in the near future. From mysteries to romances, here are some of the best new shows you have to check out this year:

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Taylor Swift Sang 'betty' At The ACMs And It Was The Perfect First Live 'folklore' Performance

I guarantee that Inez is spreading rumors about how fire this performance was.

4857
CBS

The Academy of Country Music Awards were last night and the performances were wonderful, but Taylor Swift's live version of "betty" from her newest album "folklore" really took the cake for me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

9 Reasons I Unfollowed All The Fitness Influencers On My Instagram Feed

I don't need to feel bad about myself because of who I follow on social media.

3636

Throughout quarantine, something that a lot of us picked up on was working out. With all the free time, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to work on that "dream bod" you've been wanting for years, or to just feel good about yourself.

A common way to stay motivated and keep yourself on-task is to follow fitness influencers on various platforms. For some people, yes, this can be a healthy and helpful way to keep your drive. In other cases, however, this can do more harm than good.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments