I can’t believe that another year has come and gone. I feel like one year went by in the course of four or five months. Where the time goes, I’m not sure.
One thing is for certain…my several month maternity leave from reading and blogging really affected my reading progress, but that’s okay. It was for the best. I was still able to read 62 books! Luckily, I found some new reads that I absolutely loved. Comparably, I read more than a handful of not-so-good books, which is always a bummer. Here’s all that I read in 2018:
At the beginning of last year, I made several (too many) commitments. I prepared to participate in Beat the Backlist, PopSugar, the Bronte Book Club, as well as #ARCsAnonymous. They are all wonderful reading motivators and challenges, yet, I chose to do way too many all at once. This year, I’m going to be truer to myself. I really want to catch up on my ARCs, and be at a 100% response rate across the board. It’s a lot of work reviewing for publishers and authors, but it’s the best part of all of this. Finding new authors who’s works I adore deserve more attention and promotion. This takes a lot of time. If I’m wrapped up in trying to keep up with all other bookish commitments, my hands become too ladened with tasks.
This year, you will see a lot of changes to the style of posts I’ll feature on my blog. Instead of all the monthly wrap-up posts, ARC stats, and whatnot, I want to post content. I’ve had several discussion posts swirling around in my head for a while, but never had the time to get to them.
2019 is the year.
I’d like to share some of my favorite reads from this past year, which were also published in 2018. They are all in the fantasy genre, which is a bit of a bummer. I’d really like to read a wider variety of books in 2019 so I have a wider variety of genres to review and offer recommendations for!
Here are my top picks for books that were published in 2018:
If you click on the book cover image, it will take you to my full review!
Everything about this book was beautiful. A historical fiction fantasy based in France in the 1500's, this story effortlessly intertwines the historical feeling of the era with hints of magic. Being a debut novel, I was enamored with the author's usage of description and fantastic character building. Nothing was overdone or overdrawn. The main character, Brienna, is comparable, realistic, and likeable. Not to mention, the romance in this book has been one of my favorites in the fashion it is described. It doesn't overtake the plot once it begins. It adds to it. I love the way sisterhood, respect, and honor are all strong themes throughout this story, and series as a whole. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone, especially lovers of a solid, thoroughly executed, and researched stories.
The Oddling Prince is told just like a fairy tale--original fairy tales from bygone eras. If read like it is a modern day Young Adult Fantasy, the plot and sense of the tale are utterly muted, if not lost. I found this read to be magical. Not only magical, but valuable. Like all fairy tales, there is a moral to the story, a lesson to be learned. Set in Ancient Scotland, the realms of the human world and fairy world intertwine.
SHADOWSONG was an even more edgy edition of the Wintersong duology. I feel like this series fizzled out after the first installment for many people. Yet, I only found it's plot more enticing. With a heavy emphasis on mental state, (the author even includes a note at the beginning of the story to outline her thoughts on Liesl's experience) this dark fantasy retelling was intoxicating.
Yet another difficult read, this book exemplified how important healthy relationships are, and how detrimental unhealthy ones can be on a person. Intertwined with elemental magic and teeming with original lore, this author paints a brutal tale of sacrifice and duty. This book has several attributes that could make a reader uncomfortable, so please read the "content warning" section of my review which outlines these points. Even so, there was a lot to glean from this book, and I really appreciated the writer's overall intent with writing such a story.
While some factors of EVERLESS were familiar, this story had some very unique twists to it. These twists literally grabbed my appreciation and held it hostage. This book is like a wolf in the grandmother's bed. Things seem one way, then, at the right moment, the wolf reveals itself and kills the reader....I mean, disrupts everything. This was another read that seemed to go either way with other readers. I, however, appreciated how the author veered the path so that it didn't go down the same path to "tropeville."