Top 18 Reads of 2018

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2018 was an amazing reading year and it was so hard to narrow down my favorites because I have read too many good books this year. I originally was going to do my top ten but then I was like eight and there was so many that I hadn’t included so I decided to do my top 18.  So without further ado let’s get into my top 18 reads of 2018.

1, Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak, My Review

I’ve been waiting for this book ever since I read The Book Thief six years ago. I was terrified that I wouldn’t like it and that it wouldn’t have been worth the wait but thankfully it was everything that I wanted and more.  I know a lot of people were disappointed and I totally get that because it’s a very different book from The Book Thief. I still loved it and fell in love with every single character. This book broke me and I can’t wait to read it again so I can suffer all over again.

2. Everything I Never Told by Celeste Ng.

I’ve been hearing praise about Ng’s book for so long, but it’s taken me years to get around to reading her and I can’t believe it took me so long to read her amazing works. This book was so intricately crafted and I absolutely adored how the character’s motivations and fears were slowly revealed. Celeste Ng is an expert storyteller and really knows how to create both intriguing storylines and fascinating characters.

3. Station Eleven by Emily St-John Mendel.  My Review

When this book first came and everyone was raving about it, I remember reading the synopsis and not really understanding what all the hype was about. I finally got around to reading it this year and now I finally get why everybody loves it so much. It’s one of those books where it’s best to go in knowing very little because whatever synopsis you’ll read will never do it justice. This is the most brilliant post-appocalyptic book I’ve ever read and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I finished reading it.

4.  More Than This by Patrick Ness.

The Chaos Walking Trilogy is one my favorite series but even though I’ve had this book on my shelf for a good three years, I never got around to reading it until this year. This is another one of those books that you just need to go in blind. This book took a turn that I really didn’t expect at all and I’m still trying to wrap my head around what I read. Ness  knows how to craft a remarkable world and More Than This is just further proof of that.

5. A Little Life by Hanya Yangihara. My Review

THis book is pretty much the equavilant of someone punching in the gut over and over again for 800 pages. This book destroyed me: I  don’t think I’ve ever cried so much over a single book.  You really have to be in the right state of mind to read this book because it’s a really rough read. And yet despite how much it hurt me to read it, I loved it. Despite all the tragedy, it’s also an incredibly beautiful book. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to reread it because it took so much out of me but reading it was a journey that I’ll always remember.

6. They Both Die at The End by Adam Silvera. My Review

Yet another book that ruined me. Why do readers enjoy sadness so much??? Anyway I wouldn’t expect anything less from Silvera since he’s pretty much the king of  making his readers suffer. They Both Die at The End is no exception and thanks to him I cannot listen to American Pie without feeling extremely sad and thinking of the precious cinnamon rolls that are Matteo and Rufus.  You know you think I would have prepared for the ending because the title pretty much spoils it but yet I still clung on to the hope that Silvera would give us a happy ending. Foolish of me, I know.

7. Scythe Series by Neal Shusterman. My Review

I know I can always count on Shusterman for writing books that make me think and the Scythe series is no exception. I wasn’t utterly convinced by the synopsis but once I read Scythe I was completely in love. The  world building in this series is phenonemal and there are so many twists and turns. I didn’t think it was possible but Thunderhead was somehow better than Scythe and I can’t wait for the third one to come out. This better be a long series because three books is not enough to sustain me.

8 Beartown by Fredrick Backman.

I’m usually super wary of translated books but whoever translates Backman’s books is super talented because  I have absolutely loved both books that I’ve read of his. Beartown is such a beautiful book and heartbreaking book . There’s this amazing vibe to his books that is really indescribable which somehow makes them a 100x more amazing. This was such a character driven storu which are my favorite types of stories. The way he crafted all of his characters was absolutely phenonemal.

9.Leah on The Offbeat by Becky Albertalli. My Review

I am so sad that Becky is never going to explore the Simonverse again.  Nonethless, Leah on The Offbeat was the perfect way to end it. It was everything I wanted in a book like this and more. Leah was one of the most relatable characters I’ve ever encountered and I loved reading an entire book from her perspective. There were so many tiny things about the book that made it all the more perfect from scenes with Blue and Simon to incredibly on-point pop culture references. Albertalli is the queen of contemporary and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

10. What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera.

This is basically the ultimate collab in YA history and I was terrified because the queen of contemporary and the king of making his readers suffer writing a book together? This couldn’t end well. And yet it was so incredibly amazing!! Both perspectives were incredibly beautiful and the romance between Ben and Arthur was so great. I know a lot of people were mad about the ending but I loved it and thought it was perfectly bittersweet.

11. Far From The Tree by Robin Benway.

This is a beautiful story about the families we find and the ones we are born into. It’s one of those contemporaries that really makes you think about your place in the world. The way Benway crafted all the different relationships was absolutely brilliant. There was a lot of nuance to the book and it’s one of those contemporaries that you can think about at depth for many hours after reading it.

12.The Summer of Jodi Perez by Amy Spalding. My Review

This is the sapphic summer romcom of my dreams and I seriously need to this be a movie right now. This is the ultimate summer read and the romance was so swoon worthy!!! It was just such a fun fluffy read and is everything I could want in a contemporary and so much more.

13. The Spy With The Red Balloon by Katherine Locke. My Review

This book is the dream book I didn’t even know I had. You’ve got amazing queer Jewish siblings with the best relationship ever. You’ve got people punching Nazis. You’ve got the best speculative fiction concept ever. Locke has redefined historical fiction and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. I can always count on her to have amazing kickass Jewish characters.

14. Sadie by Courtney Summers.

I am so happy that Courtney Summers is finally getting the recognition she deserves. She always delivers amazingly flawed characters with incredibly honest storylines. The story was so intriguing and Sadie was such an amazing character. To add to the general amazingness, the format was incredibly unique. I didn’t read the audiobook but I heard it’s amazing so I think I might try my hand at listening to my first audiobook.

15. The Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North. Book Review.

Give me a book that has time incorporated into it somehow and you’ve basically given me my new favorite book.  I love books that deal with the complexities of times and this one blew me out of the water.It was so incredibly unique and by the time I was finished, I was questioning my entire existence.  It was one of those books that was so well developed that I almost felt as though the implausible events that took place in the book could be real.

16. The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White.

This is one of the most brilliant retellings I’ve ever seen. It takes all the minor characters in Frankenstein and brings them at the forefront.I actually had never read Frankenstein but after reading this beauty, I delved into Shelley’s original work and it made reflecting on my reading experience all the more interesting. White turns an already fascinating story into the story that Shelley may have written if she hadn’t been restrained by the constraints of her time. It’s a beautiful feminist retelling that I think would do Shelley proud.

17. Our Year Of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solomon. My Review

While Solomon’s Freshman novel was amazing, her sophomore novel was absolutely phenomenal. She writes contemporaries like no other and I love getting aquainted with her incredibly complex characters. She writes the Jewish experience so incredibly and portrays so many different sides to the issue. Please do yourself a favor and pick up this book when it comes out in January. You won’t regret it.

18.  The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Tretton.

Tretton took the mystery genre and brought it to a whole different level and I am still astounded by all the different turns this book took. I cannot imagine all the work that must have gone into this book. I am always amazed by mystery writers but this was something else entirely. Very few mysteries are able to shock me but this book grabbed me from page one and had me enthralled until the very end. I struggle to see how he could possible top this book but I can’t wait to see what he does next.

What Were Your Favorite Books of 2018? Have You Read Any of The Ones I Mentioned? Let Me Know in The Comments Down Below!

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They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera Book Review

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Goodreads Summary:Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day. On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day

My Rating:5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

After reading all three of the books that Adam Silvera has published as of yet, I can safely say that he is one of my favorite authors. He really understands human emotions better than any other author I’ve ever read and all of his books are guaranteed to tug at your heart strings. All of his books are very tough reads so you really have to be in the right head space but if you are able to read his books I highly recommend that you do. They’re all gems and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with. ( also I’m lowkey terrified for his collab with Becky Albertalli. The queen of fluff writing with the king of angst??? it’s  not gonna end well that’s for sure)

So I know that the book is literally called “They Both Die At The End” but  I was kind of hoping that there would be some sort of twist where they don’t actually die but nope the title is very truthful. It’s a very interesting experience to read a book and grow to love the characters full well knowing what their fate will be. The entire book I was just bracing myself, waiting for the ax to fall. It was very nerve wrecking but I mean I wouldn’t expect anything less of Silvera. Going into it I was a little wary that knowing how it was going to end would hinder my  enjoyment  but I sill loved it with every fiber of my being. Rufus and Matteo are both precious cinnamon rolls and they deserve happiness and love and curse Silvera for hurting my beautiful children.

I absolutely love the concept of a world where you get a call when you’re going to die. It really made me think about what I would do if I lived in such a world and I honestly don’t know.  On one hand I feel like it’d be nice to know if you’re going to die, but on the other hand it’s kind of terrifying. I really loved seeing how not only Rufus and Matteo dealt with this knowledge but also the people around them. This book is kind of like The Sun Is Also a Star in that though it’s primarily a dual perspective novel, we also have chapters that follow the perspective of people who Matteo and Rufus come across during their day. Honestly those chapters were some of the most emotional ones and I really liked seeing the different views of this world and the events in the book. I honestly would be super down for a sequel in the same world because I feel like there’s so much that could be explored.

As with any Silvera novel, the diversity is impeccable and is #ownvoices. Matteo is  Puerto-Rican and gay while Rufus is Cuban and bisexual.  I kind of guessed that a romance would be inevitable and while I really did love them separately, I honestly feel like the day wasn’t enough time for the chemistry to be properly established. I could definitely see myself loving it if it was given enough time but I’m just not the biggest fan of insta love.

What Would You Do If You Had One Day To Live?

 

 

 

 

More Happy Than Not Book Review

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Goodreads Summary:

In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for sixteen-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again—but he’s still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he’s slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely.

When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron’s crew notices, and they’re not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can’t deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can’t stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is.

Why does happiness have to be so hard?

Rating:5/5 stars

Plot

More Happy Than Not is basically a story about a future where you’re able to undergo a operation that buries traumatic memories.This book raises a lot of interesting questions about if you choose your sexuality and if it’s something that you can change about yourself.Not only is this book about accepting you are, it also discusses issues such as race, depression as well as family dynamics. More Happy Than Not is a book packed full of interesting times and concepts, that make you really think about memories and how important they are. We take our memories really for granted and often wish them away. I while there are so many reasons why one might want to erase the bad ones,I think this book shows that it’s important to keep them, no matter how bad.

One of the things I loved was the turn it took. I really didn’t expect the twist halfway through, and it was done and such  a way that just made me went “omg” and then everything just clicked into place. That also kind of sucked because just as I read the twist and wanted to keep reading, the bell rang and i had to get to class. I’ve never wanted to read a book more than I did then. I seriously applaud Adam Silvera for the subtlety that he delivered his twist?? I don’t know if that made sense, but yeah.

Characters:

Honestly all the characters were great(well everyone expect for his neighbourhood friends, and his dad) but apart from them all the characters were really interesting, and even if i didn’t totally agree with their ways, I felt that they had a lot of depth to them. While at first I kind of didn’t really think much of Aaron’s Mom, she really turned around in the end, and I really grew to love her. Even Eric, Aaron’s Brother turned out to be okay.

Aaron’s struggle brought me close to tears which  never happens,I just couldn’t help but feel so sad about Aaron struggling to be who he is in a world that doesn’t welcome him.

Also as a side note, Aaron is such a nerd and Scorpius Hawthorne is  totally a nod to Harry Potter

Writing: 

Like any contemporary, the story was very easy to read, and Adam Silvera has a very compelling voice. I also really liked the way he constructed the story, so it was kind of a jumbled storyline. I love stories where things from the past are revealed later on, and I think Adam did this very well