3 Best & 3 Worst Books of 2018

Hello! Welcome to the New Year! I hope everyone has a good one and achieves all of their goals for 2019!

So, I’m a sucker and love these kinds of posts, as anytime where I can be a little snarky or shed some great light on my favorite reads, I will take! Please note that these are just my opinions, and yours may differ from mine! I’d love to chat about it with you in the comments!

This is not limited to books published in 2018, but to books that I have read throughout the year.

These books are in no particular order.

3 Best Books of 2018

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

This book checked all of the boxes for me — it was spooky, great characters, great story. If you’re looking to ease into some American classics, but are intimidated by some other authors (Herman Melville, I’m looking at you), this is such an amazing one to start with.

Read my review here.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

This is the perfect adult high-fantasy — amazing characters, page-turning with an awesome story (not to mention the violence and sex). Again, the perfect ADULT fantasy . . . be warned this is not YA, haha.

Check out my review here.

The Secret Place by Tana French

While I would recommend reading Faithful Place before this one, this is probably the best thriller I have read, so far, in my life. French just keeps raising the bar.

Read my full review here.

Runner Up

Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle

While I only gave this book 4 stars, I think this one holds the most memories this year, as I read the entirety of it on the train traveling places in New York City. I will forever remember it.

Check out my review here.

3 Worst Books of 2018

How to Set a Fire and Why by Jessee Ball

If you have a blurb that compares your book to the author of probably my all-time favorite book, and then your book is absolutely nothing like it and trying way too hard, automatic one star.

Read my rant here.

The Living End by sStanley Elkin

I don’t even want to think about this.

You can read my review here. (It was one of my first reviews ever, so beware.)

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

*clears throat* YOU WILL NEED TO SIT DOWN WHEN READING THIS REVIEW. I think this book upset me the most from all of my reads in 2018. Get someone to write about topics who has no idea what they’re like (particularly being overweight), and you wind up with a disaster.

Terrible, terrible, terrible. Offensive, poorly written, just terrible.

You can read my rant here.

Runner Up

I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

Looking for a cliché filled, over-trying novel that everyone else seemed to like except me? Well, you’ve found it, and you can read my review here.


I hope you all have a wonderful New Year. Thank you for being here and supporting me! I cannot wait to see what 2019 brings!


What was your best/worst read of the year? What are your New Year’s resolutions this year? Let’s chat in the comments.

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October 2018 | In Review

FullertonBotanicGarden

This month has been wild! My most anticipated book released, and new, great things in my life are happening! What a great month!


Books Read

Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson: (218 Pages) I love Shirley Jackson, and while I found this to have some likable quotes in it, I was very disappointed to find that I didn’t particularly like this work as a whole. 3 out of 5

Red Rising by Pierce Brown: (416 Pages)

The Adventure’s of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain: (224 Pages) I had to read this for a class, and let’s just say I didn’t enjoy it too much.

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What if It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera: (448 Pages) While I had a couple issues with this one, overall, it was a good time. 4 out of 5

Currently Reading

KOA

All I’m saying is that this book is a a monster, and I’m enjoying every second of it.

Notes:

I feel like I’ve been particularly absent this past week or two, as I’ve been trying to avoid ANYTHING to do with Kingdom of Ash, but I will try to be more adamant on your blogs soon.


What was your favorite read this month? Let’s talk in the comments below!

WHAT IF IT’S US by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera (Review)

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Amazon | TBD | Goodreads

448 Pages

ARTHUR is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

BEN thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them . . . ?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t nail a first date even after three do-overs?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

What if it’s us?


I pre-ordered this one a week before it released, and I was really looking forward to it!

I’m going to be straight out, I’ve never read anything by either of these authors (I know…). But here are some of my (probably unpopular) opinions about it.

I had multiple issues with this one, that I can’t seem to get past.

I want to state, firstly, that I really enjoyed the characters, Ben and Arthur, and I was really rooting for them throughout the way (but let’s face it, Dylan was my favorite).

But the issues that struck me from completely loving this one were:

  • I just re-read the synopsis, and I felt like I just read the first 300 pages of this book.I don’t think it goes without saying, because it says it in the description above, but Ben and Arthur go on a mad hunt for each other, they find each other, and then have complications. That’s a good 300 to 350 pages of the book. I feel like it’s like those movies where the trailer spoils everything. There was never anything that kept me really on the edge or completely shocked.
  • Pop culture referencesWhile a couple are fine, I felt that there seemed to be some sort of recent pop-culture reference on every page, which makes me believe this book is going to date horribly. One or two are fine, but when it’s constant, I just don’t feel it.

The things that gave this one bonus points, in my mind however, were it’s use of language. I feel Albertalli and Silvera really captured how teens talk today and how harshly they react to things, which is refreshing.

In the end, I really enjoyed this one, but there were just a couple things described above that really frustrated me and what I believe kept this review from being a solid five. I believe my overall experience with a book (enjoyment wise) is a huge factor for my end rating, however. And, like I said, in the end, I enjoyed this one, and that’s one of the main, huge factors, from tipping this to a 3 star, I believe.

If you’re looking for a light, cute, funny read, I would definitely pick this one up.

Rating:

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Have you read What If It’s Us? What did you think? How did it compare to Albertalli’s and Silvera’s previous works? Let’s talk in the comments!

July 2018 In Review

Presented by Mark Allen

July has been such a great month! Here are the highlights!


 

Books Read

  • Storm Front by Jim Butcher: (352 Pages) This was an okay read. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. 3 out of 5
  • Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven: (388 Pages) I had soooo many issues with this read. It was, honestly, just plain offensive. 1 out of 5
  • Surviving Adam Meade by Shannon Klare: (256 Pages) I haven’t made the official announcement yet, but I am a part of the blog tour for this read! I will post details soon!
  • Nevernight by Jay Kristoff: (427 Pages) I didn’t have many expectations when going into this, but it is easily the favorite of the month. 5 out of 5!

 

  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger: (240 Pages) This was a buddy read with Sara!
  • The Color of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah J. Harris: (368 Pages) I felt the story in this was a little overshadowed by the focus on the MC, however I felt the MC was brilliantly crafted. 3 out of 5

 

DNF’d

The Pawn

  • The Pawn by Skye Warren: Maybe there was a reason this was free? But, this just wasn’t for me and I had to stop about 20% in. Check out Sara’s review, here! I think it pretty well sums everything up.

Highlights

  1. One of my amazing friends, Nora, visited and was so lovely to dedicate a whole day to hanging out with me! I got to canoe for the first time, and while half the time was yelling at each other and running into moths, I still had a blast!
  2. Front Row for the Hunchback of Notre Dame:

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  • I was fortunate enough to sit front row for an amazing community production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Like…guys, this was professional quality, and I’m still thinking about it. I was stunned. It was so, so, so amazing.