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My Top 10 Favourite Reads of 2018

Before I start, I want to say this list isn’t a list of books that were published this year, although some may have been. This is a list of books that I have read this year and love. My 5 star rated reads! This was a hard list to write, some were easy, anen’t so easy and I found it hard to reduce it down to just 10. So I didn’t… This is actually my top 14 favourite reads of 2018!

So, in no particular order, lets begin!

 

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The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Published  March 6th 2018 by Simon Pulse

Book Depository

Link to my GoodReads review is HERE

Synopsis: Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.
Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.
Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.
But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

Thoughts: I absolutely adored this book, my only gripe is that it is too short! I would love another book solely about the Swan Sisters or about how Penny ends up after the whole event. This book is such a nod to folklore and witchcraft that we often associate with little towns such as Sparrow. But it is also a fantastic tale on its own, even without the magical element. But I am so glad that, that element is woven into the tale. The protagonist is so strong, she lives practically on her own, ever since her father vanished, her mother turned into a shell of who she used to be. Penny is the care taker of the lighthouse on Lumiere Island, and once a year, the Swan Sisters come out to play in the Town of Sparrow.

 

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The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Published January 30th 2018 by Flatiron Books

Book Depository

Link to my GoodReads review is HERE

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”
Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong

Thoughts: This book blew my mind. Yes, there are a lot of mixed reviews about it, but for me it was a show stopper. There hasn’t been anything like it before, and there won’t be again. Melissa Albert has taken a whole new turn into fairy tales, and it is  terrifying. Throughout this book, I was constantly looking over my shoulder, worried that The Hinterland was spying on me simply for reading the book! It is intense and you can never work out what is real and what isn’t. I love the overall premise of this book too. That Fairy Tales are only alive, as long as someone is telling them. That telling them is giving them power to stay alive in our minds and hearts. And even in The Halfway Wood.

 

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The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Published October 18th 2011 by Scholastic Press

Book Depository

Link to my GoodReads review is HERE

Synopsis: It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.
At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.
Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

Thoughts: I have only recently read this book, but I have no idea why it took me so long. This has definitely made it up there into my favourite books of all time. I think it is because it combines a few of my favourite things. Horses, folklore, magic and a strong female lead. Not to mention Maggie Stiefvater’s fantastic writing style and ability to create something so real. This book will take you  on a journey to a place that you will both want to go to and run away from. It is captivating from the first page and filled with so much interwoven magic that you won’t even realise it is fiction. This book is so much more than a horse race on a tiny island, it is about trusting yourself, the power of family and the power of love. If you want to see my spoiler filled review and ramblings blog post click HERE

 

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Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Published May 23rd 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Book Depository

Link to my GoodReads review is HERE

Synopsis: Would you trade your soul mate for your soul?

A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but never to fall in love.
Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides?
Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own.
When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows—the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As dangers close in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear.

Thoughts: I read this bad boy early in the year, so my mind is a little fuzzy on the finer details, however I do remember nearly dying from sadness at the end. Once again, Cassandra Clare has written a masterpiece from the Shadowhunter world and with Queen of Air and Darkness being released NOW, I am not ready for the world to end. Julian Blackthorn and Emma Cartstairs are my favourite Shadowhunters (Unpopular opinion I know), and I am so scared to see what will come of their love, of their family and of themselves, as we continue the series.

 

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The Slated Series by Teri Terry

Published May 3rd 2012 by Orchard Books

Book Depository

Link to my GoodReads reviews for SLATED

Synopsis for Slated: Kyla’s memory has been erased, her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

She’s been Slated.
The government claims she was a terrorist and that they are giving her a second chance – as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?

Thoughts: This series was a refreshing dip in the pool of young adult, dystopian fiction. Slating is where children under the age of 17 who have committed crimes or are socially unpleasant, have their minds completely wiped, they then are placed in a new home, where they re-learn what is acceptable and what they must do within society, a fresh slate, so to speak. Only, like with so many technological advancements, some things aren’t what they seem.

Teri Terry has created a masterpiece with this series, it does slow down in the middle, but it picks back up again in the final book. Well written and easy to read, you will want to devour these books in one sitting!

 

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Your One and Only by Adrianne Finlay

Published  February 6th 2018 by HMH Books for Young Readers

Book Depository

Link to my GoodReads review is HERE

Synopsis: Jack is a walking fossil. The only human among a sea of clones. It’s been hundreds of years since humanity died off in the slow plague, leaving the clones behind to carry on human existence. Over time they’ve perfected their genes, moving further away from the imperfections of humanity. But if they really are perfect, why did they create Jack?
While Jack longs for acceptance, Althea-310 struggles with the feeling that she’s different from her sisters. Her fascination with Jack doesn’t help. As Althea and Jack’s connection grows stronger, so does the threat to their lives. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?

Thoughts: I received this book in the Booked For The Weekend book subscription box. I am an enjoyer of Sci-Fi, but I don’t seek it out, so when this book arrived, I was a little dubious. At the time, it wasn’t released in Australia, so it felt like a sneak peek, that I was getting an exclusive invite to, so naturally I picked it up as soon as I could. I was not disappointed! This book takes us on a journey of clones, science, love and living on another self-sustaining planet. Where there are up to 12 clones of one person, and all people are cloned to look like the founders of the colony. It is a shorter work, but fantastic to dive into and not come up until the final word is read.

 

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Queendom of the Seven Lakes – A. B. Endacott

Published November 15th 2017 by A B Endacott

Amazon

Link to my GoodReads review is HERE

Synopsis: There are always those who are willing to pay for someone else’s death. Having grown up amongst the Family of Assassins, Elen-ai knows well the prices people are willing to pay to see their enemies fall quickly, quietly, and discreetly. When she is asked to preserve life rather than take it, she is surprised. Upon hearing that her charge is the Queen’s only child Gidyon, who is secretly being groomed to succeed his mother, she is horrified. To ensure political stability, no man has ever sat on the throne of the Queendom of the Seven Lakes. Yet one does not easily refuse a Queen, and so reluctantly, Elen-ai accepts the contract.
Her fears only deepen upon meeting the sixteen-year-old Prince Gidyon, who treats her as no better than a petty murderer. However, following an attack on his life, Elen-ai is forced to admit that the danger of leaving this boy-prince alone may be even worse than leaving him to his own devices. Elen-ai reluctantly accompanies Gidyon across the country to identify those within the seven most powerful families who are responsible for the attempt on the Prince’s life.
Somewhere in their travels from the calm waters of Lake Tak to the looming cliffs above Lake Bertak, the two form an unlikely yet profound friendship, and Elen-ai begins to see that Gidyon has the makings of a great ruler within him. As they meet with the families of power, it becomes increasingly clear that secrets and power games run far deeper throughout the Queendom of the Seven Lakes than either of them ever suspected

Thoughts: I was sent a e-copy of this fantastic book by the author, the Lovely A.B Endacott, in exchange for an honest review and the chance to create some merchandise for it, from my company Bookish Intoxication (Link here if you are interested). This book takes us on a journey around the Seven Kingdoms with the charming Gidyon and strong and quite hilarious assassin, Ellen-ai. If you are into sagas then this one is for you! Set in what feels like medieval times, with queens and kings, assassins and murder. A fantastic debut novel and first book in a wonderful series!

 

download (3)A Thousand Perfect Notes C.G Drews

Published June 7th 2018 by Orchard Books

Book Depository

Link to my GoodReads review is HERE

Synopsis: An emotionally charged story of music, abuse and, ultimately, hope.
Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music – because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence.
When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it

Thoughts: Just let me cry for a minute while I reminisce on this masterpiece. This book left me in tears on more than one occasion. Incredibly well written, this debut novel was a show stopper!  This book devours you, heart and soul, you only want the best for Beck and want what he wants. You don’t devour it, it devours you. The lovely C.G Drews has another book in the works, set to release in 2019. Find it HERE.

 

9781471406560.jpgThe Red Ribbon by Lucy Adlington

Published September 21st 2017 by Hot Key Books

Book Depository

Link to my GoodReads review is HERE

Synopsis: Rose, Ella, Marta and Carla. In another life we might have all been friends together. But this was Birchwood.
As fourteen-year-old Ella begins her first day at work she steps into a world of silks, seams, scissors, pins, hems and trimmings. She is a dressmaker, but this is no ordinary sewing workshop. Hers are no ordinary clients. Ella has joined the seamstresses of Birkenau-Auschwitz.
Every dress she makes could be the difference between life and death. And this place is all about survival.
Ella seeks refuge from this reality, and from haunting memories, in her work and in the world of fashion and fabrics. She is faced with painful decisions about how far she is prepared to go to survive.
Is her love of clothes and creativity nothing more than collaboration with her captors, or is it a means of staying alive?
Will she fight for herself alone, or will she trust the importance of an ever-deepening friendship with Rose?
One thing weaves through the colours of couture gowns and camp mud – a red ribbon, given to Ella as a symbol of hope.

Thoughts: This book isn’t my usual genre choice, but I do love history. This book follows the story of an inspiring young woman in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. A single red ribbon is all she has to keep her sane, to keep her alive. She becomes a dress maker in the camp workshop, gains the ears of the soldiers and finally is released from the camp and her dreams become reality. She becomes a seamstress in the real world, with her friend and potential partner by her side. It is a confronting book, but to uplifting to see the passion and strength in these women, considering the setting that they are a part of.

 

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Warcross by Marie Lu

Published September 12th 2017 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Book Depository

Link to my GoodReads review is HERE

Synopsis: For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.
Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire

Thoughts: This book is so forward when it comes to technology. This is what blew my mind, more so than the story line. The way that technology has grown and made its impact on society, how there are interfaces that make the real world technological so that you can get more out of life, is incredible. What is even more incredible is that I can see something similar becoming part of our society in the future. Emika is a fantastic character, she is deep and smart and brave. She is courageous and isn’t afraid to be who she is. I want to write more on the subject, but I can’t without spoilers!

 

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Cold Summer by Gwen Cole

Published May 2nd 2017 by Sky Pony Press

Book Depository

Link to my GoodReads review is HERE

Synopsis: Today, he’s a high school dropout with no future.
Tomorrow, he’s a soldier in World War II.

Kale Jackson has spent years trying to control his time-traveling ability but hasn’t had much luck. One day he lives in 1945, fighting in the war as a sharpshooter and helplessly watching soldiers—friends—die. Then the next day, he’s back in the present, where WWII has bled into his modern life in the form of PTSD, straining his relationship with his father and the few friends he has left. Every day it becomes harder to hide his battle wounds, both physical and mental, from the past.
When the ex-girl-next-door, Harper, moves back to town, thoughts of what could be if only he had a normal life begin to haunt him. Harper reminds him of the person he was before the PTSD, which helps anchor him to the present. With practice, maybe Kale could remain in the present permanently and never step foot on a battlefield again. Maybe he can have the normal life he craves.
But then Harper finds Kale’s name in a historical article—and he’s listed as a casualty of the war. Kale knows now that he must learn to control his time-traveling ability to save himself and his chance at a life with Harper. Otherwise, he’ll be killed in a time where he doesn’t belong by a bullet that was never meant for him

Thoughts: Gwen Cole is a mastermind. This book is so different to the YA books currently available. This book contains time travel, love, family and finding yourself. It is so incredibly written you won’t be able to put it down. The relationships in this book are so complex and deal with issues that aren’t usually written about due to their being thought of as common place. I read this book in one sitting, and then read it again the next day.

 

Nyxia & Nyxia Unleashed by Scott Reintgen

Published September 12th 2017 by Crown Books for Young Readers

Book Depository

Link to my GoodReads review is HERE

Synopsis: Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.

Forever.

Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden – a planet that Babel has kept hidden – where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe. But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.

Thoughts: These are the first two books in a trilogy or triad ad Reintgen calls it. It is set in space, teenagers are selected to become the first team to live on a new planet, to get rich doing it, or die trying. These books are so well written, they keep you on your toes and draw you in to each of the individual stories of the characters. I love the way a whole new planet is described, how Reintgen has written it, makes it seem so plausible for there to be other habitable planets in our solar system. But these books also have an incredibly dark element, physical and mental conditioning, trauma and training follow these teens in their travels to Eden.

 

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More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer

Published March 6th 2018 by Bloomsbury Children’s

Book Depository

Link to my GoodReads review is HERE

Synopsis: Rev Fletcher is battling the demons of his past. But with loving adoptive parents by his side, he’s managed to keep them at bay…until he gets a letter from his abusive father and the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back. Emma Blue spends her time perfecting the computer game she built from scratch, rather than facing her parents’ crumbling marriage. She can solve any problem with the right code, but when an online troll’s harassment escalates, she’s truly afraid.
When Rev and Emma meet, they both long to lift the burden of their secrets and bond instantly over their shared turmoil. But when their situations turn dangerous, their trust in each other will be tested in ways they never expected. This must-read story will once  again have readers falling for Brigid Kemmerer’s emotional storytelling.

Thoughts: I have only just read this book in December, and it only just had time to make this list! What an incredible book! It is part of a standalone series, that follow the lives of the same characters, just from separate points of view. This one is about Rev. And what an amazing young man he is! I spent this book crying, laughing and feeling the heart-wrenching pains of not knowing who you are and what your purpose is. Of feeling rejected by everyone you care about. Of wanting the best for someone who won’t give you the chance to help. In this book we meet Emma, she is strong and super intelligent, she is a gamer and game creator. What makes this story line different is that it shows what the real-world hides for female gamers and game creators. That they are constantly bullied, threatened and sexually abused. This book does have a lot of content that should be trigger warnings, that being said, it is a fantastic book and everyone should read it!

 

That wraps up my Top 10 Reads of 2018… even if there were 14 books on the list! I want to see your top 10 reads! tag bookishintoxicationwrites in your post so I can find it!

Are any of your top 10 reads on my list? Comment below! Lets chat!

Thanks for reading!

Julie

 

 

4 thoughts on “My Top 10 Favourite Reads of 2018”

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