Today I’m sharing my favourite books read in 2018 (regardless of publication date). You can look back at my previous lists here.
As I’ve said before, this list is subjective, and is not necessarily a list of the ‘best’ books that I read this year, but it’s a list of books that stayed with me and made an impression, or that were the most fun to read.
I had a lot of fun looking back at what I read this year and seeing which ones really pulled me in and then stayed with me. Looking over this list, my favourite reads of the year were overwhelmingly dark and heavy, and all but two were written by women. I did read and enjoy some lighter books in 2018, but this is the list of books I enjoyed the most and that I keep thinking about.
These are listed in reverse-chronological reading order, and links will take you to my full review.
1. Whiskey When We’re Dry, John Larison
When I finished, I knew I had to include this book as a favourite of the year. I loved the characters and the writing, and even though I found it a bit slow in the middle, it picked up again and I couldn’t put it down. This was really really great.
2. The Witch Elm, Tana French
I love Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series, but I was super intrigued by this stand-alone. Tana French writes great mysteries, and this one was no exception. I loved the way the book kept me feeling unsure and off-balance the whole time.
3. Vengeful, Victoria Schwab
Well is it any surprise that my most-anticipated book of the year made this list? Vengeful is the long-awaited sequel to one of my absolute favourite books, by my favourite author. This was everything I wanted it to be and more.
4. City of Ghosts, Victoria Schwab
Another Victoria Schwab book for the list! This middle-grade was a delightful mix of spooky and adventure, with a great setting. I can’t wait to read the sequel!
5. Little Monsters, Kara Thomas
This was a great dark, twisty YA read, and my favourite of Kara Thomas’s books.
6. Give Me Your Hand, Megan Abbott
This book was getting some fantastic reviews, and it totally lived up to and exceeded my expectations! I loved this book from the moment I started reading. This is my favourite of Megan Abbott’s books. It’s a fantastic slow-burn mystery, about women and friendship and I loved the way the tension built throughout the story. I couldn’t put it down.
7. Watch the Girls, Jennifer Wolfe
This was a great creepy mystery, and it reminded me of Night Film, another creepy book that I loved. This was dark and twisty, and impossible to put down.
8. The Historian, Elizabeth Kostova
Technically, this was a re-read, since I read this several years ago (way before I had this blog). But since it had been so long, I remembered almost nothing about this book, which made reading it this year so much fun. This is definitely one of my all-time favourite books.
9. Sadie, Courtney Summers
Courtney Summers writes books that are difficult to read, partly because they’re so unflinching in showing how hard the world is on girls. This book felt super timely, with the podcast and true crime elements. And if you’ve read Courtney Summers before, you know to prepare yourself for emotional devastation – and in that respect, Sadie does not disappoint!
10. White Tears, Hari Kunzru
I was gripped immediately, and I loved the constant, pervasive sense of dread. This book was creepy and it got under my skin in the best way. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and I think I benefited from not knowing much about it going in. I’ve been slowly rereading it on audio, which is quite an experience, and I’d love to own a physical copy for my bookshelves.
11. Dread Nation, Justina Ireland
This was another of my most-anticipated 2018 reads, and it totally lived up to my expectations. I loved the story and the characters, and I can’t wait to read more about Jane.
12. Bluebird, Bluebird, Attica Locke
I read a lot of mysteries, and this one stood out. It was gripping, I didn’t solve it all before the end, and the writing was fantastic. I’m really hoping there will be a second book in this series!
So those are my favourite books read in 2018! Let me know in the comments if you’ve ready any of these, and what your favourite books were this year!