Happy New Year, friends! I hope you all had a great and safe time celebrating last night if you did, and that the new year treats you well.
2018 was not an easy year for me in terms of opportunities and mental health, but I actually had an incredible reading year. I set my goal for 55 books and I ended up reading 84. I usually don’t leave the 50-55 range so for me that’s incredibly unusual. And on top of that, there were very few books that I gave low ratings to. Yay!
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerry Maniscalco – I only read this book very recently, but it’s already a new favourite of mine. I have the softest spot for Gothic novels, and while I do argue that a book being set in the Victorian era does not make it Gothic, this book has all the classic Gothic elements: murders, mysteries, secrets, references to the past, they’re all there. Plus, this book is so feminist. Audrey Rose is now my hero, I love her so much.
Warcross by Marie Lu – I was a little apprehensive going into this book because I had seen a few mixed reactions, but thankfully I’m someone who doesn’t read reviews of anything because I loved this book. Once I got past the bounty-hunter-who-hunts-criminals-to-survive-because-the-police-is-too-busy-in-the-future aspect that sounded wayyyy too familiar to be a coincidence.
Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – This book here is how you do a diverse vampire book. I’ve been wanting to read a diverse vampire book for such a long time because I felt like the genre got too white-European to be believable. I mean, why would POC vampires not exist??? But yes, diverse vampires. What I love the most about this book is that there are so many different kinds of vampires that are present and the lore is so rich.
A Thousand Perfect Notes by CG Drews – This book broke my heart in a way that I completely did not expect. Like, seriously, my heart still hurts whenever I think about it. If you haven’t read this book yet, you should. The heartbreak is totally worth it.
Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman – Here’s another book that broke my heart. I have pretty terrible social anxiety and the way it was represented in this book was 100% right. Plus, Kiko’s mother is one of the most hate-worthy characters of the year.
A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab – I put off reading this book for the longest time because VE Schwab is one of those universally loved authors, and that intimidates me. Obviously, I’m glad that I finally did read it because this book was so good. I love the dynamic that Kell and Lila have. My only regret is that I got this book from the library and they don’t have the rest of the series 🙃
There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins – This book is so bloody I love it. I was very curious to see how Stephanie Perkins would write a horror book and I think she did it so well. This had 80’s slasher movie vibes and I really did not expect it to get so graphic at times, but that was a good surprise. The only thing that bugged me is that there was a huge focus on the romance, but that’s kind of to be expected with Stephanie Perkins.
Blood Promise by Richelle Mead – I only started reading the Vampire Academy series this year and while the books tend to fall in the 3 star region for me, Blood Promise is probably my favourite of them because of how much it broke me. Dimitri is easily my favourite character in the series and seeing how much he changes in this book was actually pretty shocking.
Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo – I couldn’t pick a specific volume of this series to put on this list, so I’m just going to say that the whole series is one of the best. Because there are over 2000 pages and it’s difficult to pick. The manga goes so much deeper than the movie does, but I do still love the movie.
The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco – I’m not the kind of person who gets scared by horror books, but this book came very close to achieving that. This is the first Rin Chupeco book I’ve read and I am extremely impressed. I’ve got The Bone Witch on my Kindle, and naturally I’m very excited for it.