My Top 12 of 2018

My 12 Top Books of 2018!

I have been dithering over this post for SO long. I head over 100 books this year and trying to decide which ones came out on top was really hard. 

It is because of that there have been many drafts of this post, at one point it had over 30 books in it…yep. I’ve managed to whittle it down to 12, I mean there are 12 months in the year… 

A Court Of Thorns And Roses
A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas 

In 2018 I found one of my favourite new series’s. I’d heard all about this online and I fell in love and devoured the series as well as getting 2 of my closest friends hooked. 

This was initially a Beauty and the Beat retelling but becomes so much more. I couldn’t put these down and I can’t wait for the next in the series. My review for the first book is here

The Exact Opposite of Okay - Laura Steven
The Exact Opposite Of Okay – Laura Steven

Laura Steven’s debut was incredible. The protagonist, Izzy, is an aspiring comic and screenwriter whose life is turned upside down after a picture of her with a politicians son goes viral. 

This was not only a really funny read, but it also had a heart to it. What was unique to this novel is that the protagonist takes hold of what those are saying about her and keeps herself going with a ‘screw you’ attitude – without being robotic. Oh, and it has a kick-ass Feminist vibe. I wrote all about my love for this book here

Vox
Vox – Christina Dalcher 

I made it my mission to a get copy of this at YALC this year. A dystopian future America where women are limited to 100 words a day and confined to their homes. Until one of them is needed.

This was pretty dark and incredibly relevant to what’s happening to women’s voices and something we cannot ignore. I wrote a review after I stayed up way too late finishing it. 

This Is Going To Hurt
This Is Going To Hurt – Adam Kay 

A non-fiction book I think that everyone should read, in particular those making decisions about the NHS. Adam Kay was a Doctor in Gynaecology, taking us through the highs and the many lows this was a huge eye opener. 

I laughed while reading this, but I was also in tears at other moments. All I wanted to do when I finished was thank each and every one of my doctors. An incredible book that deserves all the praise it is getting. Review here

Orbiting Jupiter - Gary D. Schmidt
Orbiting Jupiter – Gary D. Schmidt 

When I bought this at YALC I had no idea I would be so emotionally invested in the story. A family take in a teenager who has been in a juvenile facility and is a teenage father, told through the perspective of a young boy who becomes his foster brother. 

The ending truly shocked me and it was incredibly well written as well as being quite short. You’ll love it, I want to read it again but I don’t think I’m ready for the emotions. Here’s my review.

Notes on a Nervous Planet - Matt Haig
Notes On A Nervous Planet – Matt Haig

Matt Haig’s first book was brilliant, and then he released the follow-up. Matt has a way of speaking to you through whatever is going on in your life.

Feeling anxious? Ill at ease with the state of the world or what’s going on around you? This is the book for you. More info here.  

New Erotica For Feminists
New Erotica For Feminists 

Three words. Satire. Feminism. Humour. 

That’s all you need to know to fall in love with this collection. I laughed so hard but also felt really empowered after reading – all my thoughts are here.

Feminists Don't Wear Pink
Feminists Don’t Wear Pink And Other Lies

This is an amazing collection from women across all backgrounds about not just Feminism, but also what it means to be a woman. 

Not only was this a joy, it was also easy to read and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone. You can read my review over here

Girl Made of Stars
Girl Made Of Stars – Ashley Herring Blake 

Something within this book spoke to my heart. Following the unimaginable pain of being caught between a best friend and brother – she has accused him of rape. She wouldn’t lie, but how could he do that? 

It took a true talent to write this book. Also, plus points for a bisexual protagonist where their sexuality isn’t the plot. My full review is here

Only Child - Rhiannon Navin
Only Child – Rhiannon Navin

I could not stop thinking about this novel after I read it. Set during and after a school shooting we see the world through the eyes of six-year-old Zach after he survives, but his older brother doesn’t. 

This will break your heart but it’s such an important read. I couldn’t believe this was a debut novel it is so well written and I think Rhiannon Navin is one to watch. I was also part of the book tour.  

Love, Hate And Other Filters
Love, Hate & Other Filters – Samira Ahmed

The first book I finished in 2018 made it to my top 12. This was an incredible debut that spoke out in defiance of hate and Islamophobia. 

I also fell in love with the protagonist Maya and her coming to terms with her own identity. This is also an own voices novel. I wrote a review about why I love it so much here

Moonrise
Moonrise – Sarah Crossan

Well, did this break my heart? Yes it did. I’d read one of Sarah Crossan’s novels before and couldn’t get on with it but the premise of this was too incredible not to try. I’m so glad I did. 

Written in poetry and telling the story of a family facing the execution of a loved one, it not only made me tear up but also want to give it to everyone I know.

There we have it, my top 12 of the year! Did any of your favourites make the list? Let me know in the comments below! 

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J Maas

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“Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.”

Feyre has to fight for the survival of herself and her family. After killing a Wolf in the woods she can’t believe her luck, they will be able to eat and sell furs, for a little while at least. That is until she is told she has killed a faerie and she must pay. She will either live with the faeries, a kind she despises, or die and leave her family to fend for themselves and almost certainly die.

Wow, wow, wow. This has been on my radar for a while but I didn’t know if Fantasy was my thing but after picking it up I thought I’d try. This was on my list of books to read in 2018, and it was a solid start. Seeing as I started this at the end of January and I’ve now finished the series so far you can guess my feelings towards it.

The world building in this was something else, it’s rare that you feel you can see the story play out in so much detail, but not so much that it bores you. I was rooting for Feyre the whole way through the novel and was constantly in awe of not only her physical strength but her character too.

What wasn’t clear when initially read is that this is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but I’ll add this is only to a point. It doesn’t feel Disney-esque, rather you share Fayre’s mix of wonder and suspicion throughout. Who can she trust in this world and will she ever get home? I was absolutely hooked from the first page to the point where I was teased for constantly being stuck between pages.

This wasn’t predictable, wasn’t something I’ve ever read before and I immediately bought and ordered the rest of the series while also, successfully, getting one of my best friends to read and fall in love with it as well. I genuinely care about Feyre and what’s going to happen to her in the next novel. While the novel appears tied up at the end you’ll find yourself constantly thinking of little questions until you give in and read the next book A Court of Mist and Fury.

Of course, I gave this 5 stars! It deserves nothing less in my opinion. This has made me want to read more of the same genre and slightly want to worship Sarah J Maas. I know from reviews some people aren’t in love with this book but I don’t see it. I’d 100% recommend picking this up because it is a wonderfully written novel.

Have you read this, what were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

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Monthly Favourites – February

Books

 

I read a lot of books this month once again (a mix of paperback, ebook and audiobook) but these three really stood out! After starting the A Court of Thorns and Roses series last month I couldn’t wait to read the rest of the season. I finished these very early on in the month and I already want to read them again…I’m serious. For non-fiction in February, I listened to Brave by Rose McGowan, I had no idea who she was from films just that Rose had started a movement. It’s not an easy read but it’s important and will blow you away. You can read about all the books I read this month here.

Fashion

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Only one fashion favourite this month and it’s this adorable dress from Primark! My grandparents picked this up for me and it is SO flattering. I love a dress where I can easily throw extra layers underneath!

Home

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I finally, finally, finally went to IKEA at the beginning of the month and got a second bookcase! Although it doesn’t look too full here there might still be a few books at my parent’s house that I need to bring over…oops! This is one of the slim Billy Bookcases and I looooove it!

Life 

 

This month it was Valentine’s Day and I was given a giant dragon, which has been named Puff after Ali drove all around the local towns looking for a Unicorn he wanted to get me, they’d sold out! I’ve also had some quality time with Wickett as well as my lovely Godkids Lexi and Ollie and finally, I managed to pick up some new Pop Vinyl’s! Don’t you think Ron and Ginny look fab?!

Top Five Posts

Growing Up With Young Parents 

What Do You Do For Fun? 23 and ‘Boring’

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag! 

Book Review: Everything I Know About Love – Dolly Alderton 

7 Things I Wish I’d Known As A New Graduate 

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January Favourites!

Well, we’ve finally got to the end of January! A long and pretty gloomy month as far as the outside goes! For the majority of us, it’s also meant that there hasn’t been a lot of spare cash, so it’s been a pretty tight month too, with little to spend so this is definitely going to be a shorter favourites post than usual.

 

Books

It’s been an amazing month for books, so much so I wrote a roundup for the month, but there are three that I have to mention. The first hasn’t been released yet, but you’re going to want to add it to your TBR. Only Child by Rhiannon Navin is a tough read that focuses on the aftermath of a school shooting from a child’s perspective. Next up is A Court of Thorns and Roses, something that I have finally given into and fallen in love with, I can’t wait to keep reading the series, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Finally, Love, Hate & Other Filters is a stunning debut and will be on top 10 lists this year, I have no doubt, read my review here.

 

Couple Paramore 2010, 2013, 2014, 2018

Music

My biggest music highlight was going to see Paramore for the 4th time! Every time I see them I feel like I reach another big point in my life. The best part was seeing it with Ali. I wrote about it here.

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Watching 

I started watching back in November I think? I am definitely hooked though. I’m not a hardcore Trekky but the series is absolutely incredible and I’m really excited to see where it goes next.

 

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Fashion

With money being tight this month there wasn’t much to go on fashion or beauty BUT there was one. I picked this up in New Look for under £5! I absolutely love the fact it compliments my figure after a bit of weight loss too!

Top 5 Blogs 

Life Update: I’m Being Published! 

I’ve Been Hiding My Face! 

How’s 2018 Going So Far

Harry Potter Haul: Updated

My Goals For 2018

 

What were some of your favourites, anything I should check out in February? Or maybe one of mine has inspired you! Let me know in the comments below!

January – A Great Month For Books!

We’re almost through the first month of the year already which, let’s be honest, is welcome for many of us (anyone else crawling towards payday?). That said it’s been an absolutely brilliant month for books, in total I’ve read 13 books at the time of writing in this month (!!).

I don’t quite know how I’ve managed so many this month but I’m happy with it, especially as 8 of them were 4 and 5 star reads. So, why not share them with you and hopefully you can get some great recommendations and it’s a varied lot for you all.

Love, Hate & Other Filters – Samira Ahmed 

A wonderful debut about growing up and balancing cultures in the US today. This was a wonderfully written novel and tackles Islamaphobia head on. You can read my review here.

Night – Elie Wiesel

Deemed a classic piece of Holocaust literature I wanted to read this. It’s an absolutely heartbreaking novel and reiterated the horrors of the camps.

Promise Me, Dad – Joe Biden 

I read this after watching an interview with Joe Biden and Stephen Colbert. Joe seemed like a genuinely nice guy who cared a lot about his country. I listened to the audiobook of this and hearing the emotion in his voice broke my heart. A truly unique look at dealing with the loss of a loved one.

Only Child – Rhiannon Niven 

This is going to be a bestseller and if it’s not there’s something wrong with the world. This is brilliantly written and emotional novel, from the perspective of a child who survived a school shooting, losing his older brother in the process. An incredibly emotional read. Look out for my blog tour post on the 22nd Feb!

Everything I Know About Love – Dolly Alderton 

A brilliantly funny but also open look into the life of Dolly Alderton. This was a great read and I feel like it talks to twenty-somethings about similar experiences. I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of this book and my review will be coming up on Thursday!

The Secret History of Us – Jessi Kirby 

I was sent this by the lovely people at Harper 360 and wow, wow, wow. Memory loss, complicated relationships and trying to rebuild after trauma. Loved it, review to come in Feb!

A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J Maas

I’m kicking myself for not picking this up before. I’d seen the ACOTAR books being raved about all over the internet and I just decided to go for it. This was incredible, if I didn’t have it in my hands I was thinking about it, a week after I finished I was still thinking about it. When I saw the next in the series I had to buy it. So, so, so good.

50 Queers Who Changed The World – Dan Jones 

I always want to learn more, I found this in Foyles on a trip to London and it seemed interesting. This was a brilliant look at Dan Jones’s perspective of figures of importance in the LGBTQ community. The illustrations were brilliant too!

 

How was your reading month? Let me know in the comments below!