Happy New Year!
Who can believe it’s already 2019? I certainly can’t. This year is going to be an unpredictable one as I have now finished my Master’s degree and will be looking for a full-time job. Here’s hoping I manage to secure one! Please send good thoughts my way.
But enough about 2019. Let’s look back on what 2018 wrought for my reading and for my blog.
This post is made up of a bunch of stats from my reading habits over 2018, as well as some questions from the 2018 Year in Review Survey. The survey, created by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner, is an annual event that many bloggers participate in, myself included. This year, I wanted to add some more info about my reading and blogging, so I picked my favourite questions from the survey instead of doing the entire thing.
Here we go!
Number of Books Read: 175
Pages Read: 42,211
Number of Rereads: 18
Genre Most Read From: Contemporary romance
My Average Book Rating: 4.3 stars
Graphs: Types of books read / representations in books
Best Book Read in 2018
In Other Lands is definitely the best book I read this year, with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo as a close second. In Other Lands is about a 13-year-old bisexual boy named Elliot who gets invited to magical school after he’s the only kid who can see a magical wall, during a school outing. Once he goes to this magical school, he meets two people who will become his life-long friends: Serene, a royal elf who comes from a matriarchal society, and Luke, a human who comes from a long line of powerful warriors. This book is amazing when it comes to expressing bisexuality, and I could see myself in every aspect of Elliot. Definitely the best bisexual book I’ve ever read and I encourage you all to read it too!
Favourite author I discovered in 2018
I discovered two amazing authors this year, TJ Klune and Cole McCade! (I already discovered TJ in 2017, but I read a lot of his books this year.)
Both authors are romance writers and I devoured a good portion of their books this year. With TJ, I binge-read his Tales From Verania series, and with Cole, I read his Criminal Intentions series — where one book is released each month. Read both of these amazing authors please!
Best series I started in 2018
100%, the best series I read in 2018, was TJ Klune’s Tales From Verania series. The series follows wizard apprentice, Sam of Wilds, as he discovers he is part of a centuries-old prophecy, while trying to fall in love and pass his wizard trials. The series has some incredible characters, like Gary, the gay hornless unicorn, and is super hilarious. I wrote a series review of it, please read it here if you’re interested!
Best Sequel of 2018
Stalking Darkness is the second book in the Nightunner series and we finally see the fulfilment of the mysterious prophecy, plus the main characters, Seregil and Alec, get together after a long, slow-burn!
Ravensong is the sequel to Wolfsong and it was everything I wanted and more. We finally got to read Gordo’s story about his break-up and then eventual reconciliation with Mark, after a decade. It was full of angst and made me cry a lot, but so worth it.
Abroad: Book Two is the final book/sequel in the Abroad series and it was one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. The main cahracter, Nick, suffers from intense anxiety and I connected with him so much. I also loved his relationship with Dex and seeing how they worked it out. Amazing.
Best Series Ender of 2018
Queen of Air and Darkness was an awesome ending series. I had guessed a little bit of the plot — more like what I wanted to happen and which eventually happened — but just as much that I never guessed and happened! It was amazing and I’m dying for The Wicked Powers!
Muse of Nightmares was the coolest ending i’ve ever read for a series. The book makes connections to Laini Taylor’s other series, plus many of my OTPs ended up getting together and one of my favourite characters is queer. Yay!
Kingdom of Ash wasn’t a book I inteded to like, but I loved it all the same. I was really impressed by how much SJM upped the anty here, with so many characters and her writing. I will forever be happy that Elide and Lorcan ended up together but still am pissed we didn’t get to watch them bone 😦
Best book from a genre I don’t typically read / was out of my comfort zone
I don’t typically read non-fiction — although I definitely want to read more — but The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was an incredible read. It’s part a history novel, a science book, and a true story about a family dealing with something no one has ever dealt with before.
Book I’m most likely To Re-Read in 2019
Pisces Hooks Taurus is without a doubt the cutest romance I’ve ever read. You all know I adore Anyta Sunday’s novels and this is one of her best!
Most memorable character of 2018
Evelyn Hugo is easily the most memorable character of 2018 for me. I relate to her so much because she’s bisexual, but also because she struggles balancing who she wants to be with her culture and where she comes from. But also I’m inspired by her because she’s ambitious and goes out and gets what she wants. I adore her.
Most beautifully written book read in 2018
Madeline Miller is a genius and Circe is one of the most beautifully written novels I’ve ever read.
Most Thought-Provoking / Life-Changing Book of 2018
Something to be Tiptoed Around is definitely a thought-provoking and life-changing novel. It’s a semi-autobiographical novel about the author losing her sister and trying to come to terms with it, mixed in with critical theory.
Favourite Quote From A Book
I have four favourite quotes from books because I can’t choose one so here they are!
“People love to say, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” What they don’t say is, “And it would be nice if you gave him a fishing rod.” That’s the part of the analogy that’s missing.”
— Trevor Noah, Born A Crime: Tales from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
“I am not winning any arguments because I know how to hurt someone. How does that prove that you’re right? How does being stronger or more vicious prove anything, except that all this talk about honor is stupid? Where’s the honor in being better at hurting somebody? Telling me I have to do this is insulting, as if I can’t win any other way. As if I can’t win in a better way.”
— Elliot, In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan
if not, winter
I bid you sing
of Gongyla, Abanthis, taking up
your lyre as (now again) longing
floats around you,
your beauty. For her dress when you saw it
stirred you. And I rejoice.
In fact she herself once blamed me
because I prayed
— Sappho, If Not, Winter by Anne Carson
“People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is ‘you’re safe with me’- that’s intimacy.”
— Evelyn Hugo, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
OTP OF THE YEAR
While I have a lot of OTPs, I have to choose just one and there is really no competition here: it’s Sam Havesford and Ryan Foxheart from Tales From Verania, who have their own ship name in the books: HaveHeart.
These boys are so incredible together, they make me want to cry. While there’s a lot of angst in book 1, once they get together they stay together. They’re hilarious together and obviously love each other very much — they have so much fun but are ready to kill a bitch if that person threatens one of them. I love them! And I can’t wait to see them in Justin’s story!
Newest fictional crush
Anna Lightwood is definitely my fictional crush. She’s from Cassandra Clare’s upcoming novel The Last Hours, but we get to meet her in her short story Every Exquisite Thing. Anna is a non-binary lesbian and she’s freaking incredible. Apparently she has a parade of women falling in love with her (according to Magnus), and I’m definitely one of them!
Best 2018 debut
Sky in the Deep is a slow novel but it’s really addictive too. It’s about a girl who finds her brother — whom she thought was dead for five years — as part of her clan’s enemy family. She’s taken as a slave and made to work for the family. It’s a very lovely novel, and I adore the MC, Eelyn.
Book That Made Me Cry
Point of Contact is one of the saddest, but most beautiful, novels I’ve ever read. It’s an m/m romance between a former soldier and the father of his best friend who died in combat. If you’re going to read this book, just be aware that it’s incredibly sad. It deals a lot with grief and, in my opinion, there’s nothing more heartbreaking to me than a parent losing their child. But the author deals with this subject with amazing sensitivity. It’s so beautiful, but I cried buckets.
Hidden Gem Of The Year
The Wicker King is an amazing novel about the lengths a boy will go to protect his friend. August’s best friend Jack shows signs of degenerative hallucinatory disorder and he tries to help Jack cope, but slowly begins to fall for him. I know a few friends have read this book but it has less than 2000 ratings on Goodreads, so it’s still a hidden gem to me.
Favourite post I wrote in 2018
I have quite a collection of favourite posts that I wrote in 2018, so I’m going to link to all of them!
- A Book Blogger’s Advice: Things I Learnt From Two Years of Blogging
- Podcast Recommendations
- If you like that, try these … Captive Prince
- If you like that, try these … Pride and Prejudice
- If you like that, try these … The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
- Discussion: Enemies to Lovers is the Best Romance Trope … And You’ll Never Convince Me Otherwise
- Six YA Series I Want To Read But Low-Key CBF
- ARC Review: The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee
- Get to Know Me: 100 Truths Tag
- My Ultimate Best Shelf
- Buzzfeed Unsolved Book Tag
- My East Coast Adventures: New York
- My East Coast Adventures: Washington, D.C.
- My East Coast Adventures: Boston
- My East Coast Adventures: Book Haul
- Choosing My Next Read: Trying Out First Chapters
Favourite bookish related photo I took in 2018
I didn’t take many bookish photos this year — I’ve really been slacking off on bookstagram — but I did take two pretty ones that I can’t choose from!
Most Popular Post This Year On My Blog (whether it be by comments or views)
My most popular post (that was published this year) was If you like that try these … Captive Prince! It has 707 views. Click on the image below to check it out!
My most popular post (that wasn’t published this year) was 9 Amazing Literary Journalism Articles with a whopping 10,859 views! I honestly don’t know why this post has so many views, but alas.
Post I Wished Got A Little More Love
Best bookish discover
Definitely discovering two cheap book sites: Abebooks and Thriftbooks! Abebooks is run out of Book Depository but they’re much cheaper — I literally got Radio Silence by Alice Oseman on there for $5 plus $3 shipping. Thriftbooks is another cheap site and — thankfully — ships internationally. I’ve been able to find some old books on there that aren’t published anymore. Both sites sell mainly second-hand books.
One Book I Didn’t Get To In 2018 But Will Be My #1 Priority in 2019
I’ve literally been trying to read this book since it came out in May. I’ve done quite a lot of reading challenges last year and this book was on every single one of them, but I never actually got around to reading it! I definitely will this year!
Book I’m Most Anticipating For 2019 (non-debut)
One word: NIKOLAI
2019 Debut I’m Most Anticipating
Series Ending/Sequel I’m Most Anticipating in 2019
This is the final book in the Green Creek series and it’s not coming out till December! A whole year of waiting 😭
A 2019 Release I’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone
I haven’t read any 2019 releases yet, but I have a few ARCs: