Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 in Review | Best Books

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be looking back on some of my best reads of the year.  As of December 25, I've read 109 books, and there have been 13 standouts! I've had a wonderful reading year and getting the list to just 10 was impossible.

As was the case with my previous post, "2018 in Review | Worst Books" I went over to my goodreads and looked over the books I read. There were so many that I enjoyed, so trying to whittle it down to my favorites was quite difficult. My current read (Queen of Air and Darkness) might become a favorite, so hopefully I can finish that up before the end of the year! Keep in mind that this list is purely my opinion, and this list might not be indicative of your tastes.

Without further ado, here are 13 books that were above and beyond.

Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
I've always heard amazing things about Simon vs., and I am so glad I decided to read it! The book was spectacular, as was the movie adaptation. I haven't read this since February, but I'd love to revisit the book one day so I can bask in all the cuteness. 

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
I's Jenn Bennett! How could she not be on this list? Her YA contemporaries always deliver, and I should probably try out her adult novels. Starry Eyes was a wonderful read, and also another book I really want to own but don't. Starry Eyes is a combination of friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, and exes to lovers all in one relationship and I loved it. Also, there is a great relationship between the main character and her step-mom, which was great to see! 

The Martian by Andy Weir
 I'm not a science person. Before I started reading The Martian, I saw some complaints about the science jargon of the book. Thankfully, all the scientific language didn't turn me off the book, even though I might not have understood everything completely. Mark's journey on Mars is so entertaining and always dangerous, and in the end, very inspirational. I'll hopefully own this soon.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
My Lady Jane would not have made this list unless it was for the audiobook. The audiobook is simply wonderful, and I highly recommend it. The narrators do a wonderful job with the narration, and I sometimes laughed out loud, which I rarely do when reading or listening to books. The second book might have been a little disappointing, but My Lady Jane was wonderful.

Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen
When I first finished Reign the Earth, I didn't love it. Don't get me wrong, I really liked the book, but it wasn't love. The more I sat on it though, the more I enjoyed the novel. Shalia endures so much throughout the book, and her strength and endurance is really inspiring. I'm very intrigued to see what happens in the next and final book, Imprison the Sky.

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi
Emergency Contact was so wonderful. When I requested it on Netgalley, I thought I would enjoy the book, but I didn't know it was going to be a favorite of mine. I related to Penny so much, and her anxieties really spoke to me. Her and Sam are so cute together, and I love how they are always there for each other. I'm so excited for Mary H.K. Choi's next book, but I will have to prepare myself for some crying.

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Obsidio is the third and final book in Kaufman and Kristoff's Illuminae Files trilogy. While it wasn't my favorite - Gemina still holds that title - Obsidio was a fantastic conclusion and I was left very happy with everything that occurred. One day I hope to read the series back to back, as I definitely forgot some key details when I first read this. 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
 I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty hesitant to read The Hate U Give, just because it's been so hyped up. The Hate U Give deserves it's praise, and I think it such a powerful novel that everyone should read.

Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
This was the year of Christina Lauren for me. I hadn't read anything by the author duo this year, and then I read over 10 of their novels in one year, three of them being on this list. Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating is so funny, heartwarming, and sexy. Right when I finished the book, I went back and skim/reread it. I think this is a great romance novel for veterans and new romance readers alike.

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
And Christina Lauren is back again! Autoboyography is a love story about two teenage men in Provo, Utah, which is the hub of Mormonism. Tanner, our MC, falls in love with Sebastian, who is two or three years his senior and a part of the Mormon church. Cue a heart wrenching, wonderful, sexy, and at times painful love story that left me in tears. And not to be vain, but this cover is EVERYTHING.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Contemporary romances really worked for me this year, didn't they? The Kiss Quotient is yet another contemporary adult romance that was astounding. We have Asian and Asperger's rep, both of which are own voices, in this book, and it really itself apart from the plethora of romances out there. The romance felt so genuine, and the dual POVs worked spectacularly. 
Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren
Beautiful Player marks Chrisitna Lauren's third and final appearance on this list. The novel has one of my favorite tropes - falling in love with your best friend's brother - and, to be frank, it was so hot. I loved the romance and the other focuses on fitness and being social, as those are both aspects of my life I consistently try to improve. 

Analee, in Real Life by Janelle Milanes
Analee, in Real Life hit me real hard. I saw a lot of myself in our titular main character, especially with her insecurities, and I loved her story. While some readers were a bit disappointed with the ending, I thought it was perfect, and emphasized Analee's personal growth. While there is romance in this novel, Analee focuses more on character growth and familial relationship than romantic ones. 

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? What are some of your favorite books of the year? 

Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you soon with another post!

Happy Reading!

Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!


  1. Wow congrats on your reading goal! That's impressive!

    I've heard good things about The Kiss Quotient and I love the look of it. It's always brilliant when dual POV works!

    1. Thank you Amy!

      I totally agree; when dual POV works is a wonderful thing. :) Hopefully Hoang accomplishes the same with her upcoming novel. :)

  2. Congrats on reading 109 books. I loved Simon Vs. I read it when it first came out, and it was one of my favorites that year. Happy 2019!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Thanks AJ! It feels so long ago since I read Simon Vs! I can't believe it was just this year. :)

      Happy 2019 to you as well!

  3. My Lady Jane was one of my favorites of the year, too!

    1. It was just so fun! I didn't like the sequel as much, but it was still entertaining. :)

  4. I also really enjoyed The Martian. It was such a hilarious read. Congrats on reading 109 books! That's amazing! I hope you have a great 2019.

    1. I completely agree! I wasn't expecting the book to have so much humor, and it really fit my sense of humor as well. Thank you! I managed to squeak in another two before the year's end! Thanks Abby; you as well!

  5. Starry Eyes, TKQ, and Josh and Hazel all made my favorites shelf this year. They were just perfection for me

    1. Great minds think alike! All of those authors are also having 2019 releases too! Hopefully their next ones won't disappoint. :)

  6. So many greats here - I loved the Simon book and movie. I was so pleased with the way the film adaptation turned out. :)

    1. The adaptation was wonderful! If only all YA adaptations would take their cue from Love, Simon!