Now that 2018 is behind us, it’s time to share with you my favourite reads of the year! I didn’t want to write this post while we were still in 2018, just in case my very last read of the year became a new favourite, and in the end, that was a very wise decision! For this post, I ordered my favourites through chronological order, because I couldn’t choose between some of them, but also because chronological order reflects my reading year more. That being said, let’s jump right into it!
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Daphne du Maurier might be my favourite author, but I waited for as long as I could before diving into Rebecca. It’s her most famous work – with reason -, but she wanted to be known for more than *just* that one, and I wanted to respect her in that. I had also watched 1997 mini-series years ago, so I already knew everything that happened. Yet, nothing can ever prepare you for the beauty of du Maurier’s words. Rebecca is intoxicating, with an amazing gothic atmosphere and a fascinating plot. Like all of du Maurier’s works, it made me want to visit Cornwall so much and I’m aching for the day I’ll finally be able to go there. While I already knew the story, it still took me by surprise and upon finishing it, I had to go back to reread the first chapters of the story. Daphne du Maurier, I love you so much.
Renegades by Marissa Meyer
At the time I read Renegades, I hadn’t fallen in love with a young adult novel in six months. However, from the moment I picked that one up, I knew that my problem was fixed, because Renegades was everything I could have asked for. As I adore slow-paced plots and super abilities, this one was perfect for me and I couldn’t get enough! This novel is about people you’d call superheroes, villains, but also secret identities and humanity, while giving you the points of view of characters who belong to two different sides. It has a very rich world, full of politics, and you’re left wondering who the villains of the story are, which is something I adore. I have yet to pick up the sequel, but I’m so excited to see where this story is going!
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Ah, Children of Blood and Bone. One of the two books that put me in a fantasy slump for most of the year, because I loved it too much. I am often scared of the hype, but Children of Blood and Bone amazed me. The world-building was spectacular, it flew perfectly and introduced everything you need to know about Orïsha, where the series takes place. This book focused on racism, fear and hatred of people who are different from you and how those feelings can lead to prejudice, violence and even slaughter; it echoes our society, especially the stories about unarmed black men, women, and children shot by the police and it makes the story even more important. I also fell for all our main characters, without being able to pick a favourite and I’ve been missing them for months.
The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
The City of Brass is the second book that contributed to my fantasy slump. After these two, I couldn’t read fantasy anymore without being disappointed, because they were too good. This novel is a Middle-East inspired fantasy novel (it’s set in 18th century Cairo at first!) with a very dense plot and so many layers weren’t revealed until the very end, which made me love it even more. I couldn’t catch my breath because I always wanted to know what would happen next. As I have a soft spot for morally grey characters and The City of Brass had several, I couldn’t help but love them. Moreover, I loved how it didn’t make it easy for its characters mastering new abilities, because it can be the case in fantasy, but The City of Brass didn’t suffer from it at all! It was such an amazing fantasy novel.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Sometimes, you are lucky enough to find a book that feels so much like you and you can’t get enough of it. You know that this book and you will stand the test of time. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is one of mine. To be honest, it never is a good idea to make me talk about it, because that’s it: I want to reread it again, as it feels so much like home. This book introduced me to one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read, as well as to one of my favourite fictional characters, Juliet Ashton. She inspires me so much and we share many similarities! Besides, I loved how much this novel was about reading and loving books, how books can bring us together during tough times. It also had so many different book references and I loved it all the more because of that: from the fact that Juliet was a writer who published a biography about Anne Brontë to the fact that it was set on Guernsey, where Victor Hugo was exiled (and wrote Les Misérables aka my favourite book), I couldn’t have been happier.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo at the right time in my life and from the very beginning, I already knew it would end up being one of my favourite books ever and I already wanted to reread it. This book is about Evelyn Hugo, a very famous Hollywood actress, her life from the 1950s to today, her career and her seven husbands. I can’t say too much, but I am thankful I’ve read this, I am thankful for what it brought me and I will reread it for the rest of my life. Evelyn Hugo was such an interesting character, she was ruthless, ambitious and so inspiring, she will stay with me for a very long time. I’m not saying anymore, but anyone who has read this will know what I’m talking about, but just thank you for it all Taylor Jenkins Reid. I reread it just recently, and I want to do so again.
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
Alice Oseman’s books were so special to me this year, I binge-read them all back to back in a week (I rarely ever do that for a series or an author) and Alice Oseman became my newest favourite author. I read this one in June, when I was terrified of what my future would hold and it helped me so much. Frances Janvier became one of the characters I relate to the most and I am beyond grateful she exists in this amazing novel. Everyone has read this one years ago, so I’m very late to the party, but I am so thankful for this book, how nerdy it is, for Frances and Aled and for what it brought me. I adore Alice Oseman’s words so much and I would read her grocery shopping list. It’s been months now and I still can’t put into proper words how much this means to me. That’s just about it.
Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier
What. A. Surprise. I have two of Daphne du Maurier’s novels in my favourite books of 2018 list. I just couldn’t help myself. I have often written that Daphne du Maurier was probably my soulmate and have always meant it: no one gets me as much as she does and I will forever be heartbroken not to have lived at the same time as she had. But anyway. In this novel, I fell in love with the descriptions of Cornwall, with the atmosphere, with the way the pirate’s life was described. I adored Dona St Columb, because I could relate to her so much, she felt so modern, was so smart, witty, independent and fierce, she also needed more from her life, and I get that. Frenchman’s Creek is a story about finding who you are after having to hide it for so long, about sexual awakening, about duty, about family, about passion. It’s very far from the “silly” love story some people want to make of it. It means the world to me, feels like home, and I’m so glad that Daphne du Maurier wrote it.
The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb
Remember when I mentioned my fantasy slump? Well, I eventually got out of it and it’s all thanks to the Farseer Trilogy. Special thanks to my parents and my boyfriend for making me read it, even though I got a book hangover from it. This time, I’m not talking about one book, I’m talking about the trilogy, because I think about it as a whole and it’s spectacular throughout. If I had to choose, Royal Assassin would be my favourite, but I just love the trilogy more, if that makes sense? This series is a medieval fantasy following FitzChivalry, the illegitimate son of a prince, who comes to co
urt and secretly learns to be an assassin for his king. The Farseer Trilogy is full of court politics, has such a spectacular world-building, fleshed-out characters (I feel like I know them all by heart!) and while its slow pace isn’t for everyone, I didn’t really mind. I haven’t been able to get this story out of my mind ever since I started it in November, even though I’ve tried. Even today, weeks later, all I want to do is dive into the next trilogy, The Liveship Traders. I’m so happy that Robin Hobb’s world is made of so many series, I wish they could last forever.
A Game of Thrones by by George R.R. Martin
Last, but certainly not least, A Game of Thrones was the last book I read in 2018 and it became one of my favourites. I’ve been watching Game of Thrones (the show) for years, sometimes I adore it, sometimes I’m feeling a bit meh about it, so I was always unsure whether I wanted to read the books or not. However, everyone kept saying that the books were way better, so I gave in… And while I only read the first one, I’m already in agreement (it might also be because I like fantasy more in books than in movies/TV shows). I already knew most of the story, but it’s a complete different experience through George R.R. Martin’s words: the world is richer, the characters more fleshed out and I just appreciate it more? I’m not quite sure I can explain, but I was so excited to go back to it every time (even though I read it slowly) and I need to buy A Clash of Kings tomorrow so I can take it to Algeria with me the day after. Oh, and while we’re at it, I need all things Westeros, thank you very much.
So that’s it for my favourite books of the year! I’m so happy I got to discover all the books I mentioned in this post in 2018 and I already miss them, I cannot wait to reread them over and over again. If I had to pick just one favourite, I could almost do it… I’d just have to pick two instead, aka The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, but I’m sure most of you knew that already. 2018 was such an amazing year for me and I’m sad to see it go, but having all those books to look back on is everything I need.
What were your favourite books of 2018?