I Read My “Top 12 Books I Must Read in 2018” List

Merry Christmas, to all my friends who celebrate! Today’s post is something I’ve looked forward to doing all year long, so it’s really a gift to myself! So, on January 6th of 2018, I made a blog post all about the twelve books that I *must* read during 2018! And I finally read the last one at the start of December! This was my first year doing this, but I loved it so much that I hope to continue to do it forever. It really helped me to read books that I already owned, and it gave me a much-needed break between ARCs when I was feeling rather burnt out. And even though I did predict these all being five stars (they weren’t), I still ended up loving so many of these titles! 🎄🎁❤

The Secret History by Donna Tartt – ★★★★★
This was the first book I read in 2018! And I still have never read anything like this book in my entire life. I laid in bed for over an hour last night upon finishing this book, just tossing and turning and thinking about everything I just consumed. I still don’t think I can put my feelings into words, but I can honestly say this book was a cathartic experience for me, and the irony of the word “catharsis” being a Greek rooted word is not lost on me, because if this book is anything it’s a modern-day Greek tragedy.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë – ★★★★★
I fell completely in love with this. This was so intelligently crafted and so expertly woven! And the dark feelings and vibes throughout really makes this such a unique and amazing reading experience. And I think this is a book that I will be able to read and reread over and over for the rest of my life. You also best believe that if I ever have children, this will be required reading once they get a bit older, because this book seriously has an immense amount of power. And I truly believe this is my favorite classic of all-time now. And I never want any woman to feel like a bird trapped in a cage.

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye – ★★
Reader, I was so damn bored. I was a little intrigued at the start. I mean, it is hard to not get hyped about a serial killer who loves Jane Eyre. But as more and more time went on, I just cared less and less. Also, I really was leading myself to believe there was going to be a sapphic relationship in this, only to cry over what could have been, and that’s never a good feeling, even if I queer-baited myself.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – ★★★★★
In high school I became really obsessed with Greek mythology. I couldn’t get enough of the adventures in The Iliad and The Odyssey. And the Trojan War is almost a decade worth of adventures that I fell completely in love with. And I always had a special soft spot for Achilles, son of a god and a king, being convinced to join the Greek army by the Greek commander, Odysseus, to become the greatest warrior in the world. But so much happens before that deadly battle between Hector and Achilles outside the gates of Troy. And The Song of Achilles is Madeline Miller’s love letter to Achilles complete story, and it is an actual masterpiece that is the best reimagining I’ve ever read in my entire life.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – ★★★★★
This is one of the best books I’ve ever had the privilege to read. It is probably in the top five for best books I’ve ever read in my entire life. I have been looking for a book like this my entire life, and no combination of words I’m about to type, and you’re about to read, is going to do this masterpiece justice. If you all ever take a recommendation from me; please have it be The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

The Book of Etta (The Road to Nowhere #2) by Meg Elison – ★★★★
Meg Elison writes the queer, feminist, inclusionary literature of my heart. This book is important, and powerful, and empowering. It’s hard, and brutal, and heartbreaking, but I promise it is so rewarding. The reason I am giving it four stars is because the ending felt rushed to me. And even though I loved this entire ending with the soul of my being, it just happened in the blink of an eye. Yet, I am so excited to see where the next book picks up, because I am sort of obsessed with their location! But friends, if you are in the right headspace, please give The Book of the Unnamed Midwife a try. It’s truly a masterpiece, and this entire series means more to me than I have words for.

Now I Rise (The Conqueror’s Saga #2) by Kiersten White – ★★★
Friends, I’ll be honest with you, I have been dreading writing this review. I don’t know what’s wrong with me or my reading tastes, but this series just isn’t the series for me. So many of my friends love this series more than anything and you should check out their reviews: Chaima (Muslim ownvoices), Elise, and Emily! But, sadly, I’m calling it quits and I’m not reading the third book. And if you want my honest opinion? Read The Traitor Baru Cormorant, because it’s a better version of (Radu’s storyline especially) this story. I didn’t hate this book by any means, it’s just really a 2.5 star, middle of the road book for me. And I’m going to try to keep this review short, because I completely recognize that this series just doesn’t work for me! But this is a historical reimagining, starring two children during the fall of Constantinople, but one of those children is a genderbent Vlad the Impaler.

The Queen and the Cure (TBATS #2) by Amy Harmon – ★★
I loved The Bird and the Sword so much when I read it, so I was looking so forward to the indirect sequel, the Queen and the Cure. But, sadly, I was so let down by this next installment. I didn’t care about the character, the story, or any of the hardships that they were going through. Honestly? The only parts I really liked where when the characters from The Bird and the Sword made brief cameos. Kjell is the captain of Tiras‘s guard, and is on a mission to find any remaining Volgar. Not only is Kjell a strong warrior and leader, he is also a very gifted healer. But his healing comes at a price; for every life he saves, he gives up a day of his own life. But he stumbles upon a young woman named Sasha who is in desperate need of healing, and he doesn’t even hesitate to save her life.

A Daring Arrangement (The Four Hundred #1) by Joanna Shupe – ★★
I am not sure if this is because I just don’t read that much historical romance, or that I just couldn’t connect with these characters or story, but this just did not work for me. Honestly, I think I’m going to try a Tessa Dare book, and if that doesn’t work for me then I’m just going to swear off historical romances for a while. This was just so boring. Nothing happened what so ever. And I’ll admit, I picked this up because I was craving romance, so maybe the fact that the romance didn’t even start until 70% into the book made me really not enjoy it.

The Abyss Surrounds Us (TASU #1) by Emily Skrutskie – ★★★★★
I fell totally in love with this story and it surpassed every high expectation I had for it. The writing is addicting, the story is so unique, and this book holds my now favorite enemies to lovers, angst-filled relationship of all time. Oh, and it’s between two girl pirates. Sold yet? You should be. This book was a gift.

Hideaway (Devil’s Night #2) by Penelope Douglas – DNF @ 58%
I’m just going to DNF this and pretend that Corrupt is a standalone. You all, this is just awful. From the Japanese main character who constantly talks about dojos, to the constant grey area consent, to pedophilia and even incest. I can’t. I cannot do this. And I refuse to read a Damon redemption story for the next book. This is easily one of the worst things I’ve read all year.

Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) by Kendare Blake – ★★★★
This world is gloriously feminist, and I loved each point of view from the different islands. And the writing? Beautiful, lyrical, genius. And I fell so very in love with each sister, easily, and happily. These characters are honestly a tier above almost every YA character I’ve ever read. And again, this was such an amazing journey and I hope more people give this book a shot, despite the mixed reviews.

Okay, my loves! I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did actually doing it! And I absolutely cannot wait to do this again for 2019, but with an even more exciting twist! And hopefully I have just as many five star reads ahead of me, and hopefully no DNFs! Let me know below if you all do something similar to this with your reading year! And I hope you’re all reading something that’s five star worthy! Merry Christmas! ❤️🎄🎁

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41 thoughts on “I Read My “Top 12 Books I Must Read in 2018” List

  1. the conqueror’s saga is also not my jam. i think i might try the trader baru cormorant though. so many people have said it’s the bomb! and the abyss surrounds us???? it sounds so so good and i feel personally attacked that no one told me it was about gay pirates. here i was adding it on the cover alone and my friends just let me???? without telling me???? xD

    a very merry Christmas to you! 💛💛💛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Song of Achilles is definitely on my list of books I must read in 2019, I honestly can’t believe I haven’t gotten to it sooner! When I first started seeing The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo all over Goodreads I didn’t think it sounded like my thing, but with the amount of 5 star reviews I’ve seen urging everyone to read it I think I need to give this book a shot.

    I hope you enjoy even more books on your 2019 list! Merry Christmas! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are going to LOVE TSOA, Abi! I can’t wait for you to pick it up! And I bet you’d love Evelyn Hugo, too! Hehehe!

      Merry Christmas, sweetheart! I hope you’re having the happiest of reading! 💖xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a REALLY cool idea. i had like, one book in mind from 2017 that i wanted to read in 2018, but a whole list??! this is so awesome. i’m so glad you enjoyed so many of these. my sister tells me the secret history is AMAZING and she loves it so i really hope to read it! and i read and i darken this year. it was okay, i really loved the characters but i found myself really bored with the story itself?? i hope to read the second book to see what i think – i’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it too much. i think i might have to create a list for 2019 – which will definitely include evelyn hugo which i think i will love since everyone does ahah. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You should totally do it, Ilsa love! The Secret History was the first book I read this year, and I havent been able to stop thinking about it! Ahhh! I loved it so much! I can’t wait to see your list! And I cant’ wait to see you fall in love with Evelyn Hugo! 💖xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh what a fantastic idea for a post, I love it! And it looks like you got through some great books you loved, that amazing 🙂 I really hope to read Evelyn Hugo next year and love it as much as everyone else 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. congrats on actually all the books u set out to read! i don’t think i could do that, but now i really wanna try 😮
    i read the secret history almost five years & still think about it so yeah…… it just never leaves u…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You could TOTALLY do it, Anna! But thank you so much for these kind words. The Secret History is a book that just… I can’t stop thinking about it! I hope you’re having happy holidays and happy reading! 💖xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. you know what, you truly inspired me to at least TRY that!!
        ahh happy last days of the year & a great new year to you too!!! :>>>


  6. Ahh, Mel, congrats on reading them all! Let’s just say I definitely would not have read all of them if I had done the same thing as you. 😉 I’ve heard so much about The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, and I think I’ll have to read it this year. Happy new year!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sad some of these were disappointing but glad you found a few faves!! Song of Achilles especially, always. And I am still so glad The Abyss Surrounds Us worked for you!!

    Liked by 1 person

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