2018 has come to an end, which is both a relief and a shock, but that means it is time to do a wrap-up for the year and tell you about my favourite reads of this year. I am going to be telling you about my Top 10 books I’ve read this year, although some of them are series, so technically it is more than 10, but shhh we don’t need to talk about that! Feel free to tell me about your top 10 reads in 2018 down below and let’s just get into my favourite books I read this year!
The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
I decided I would just get the obvious out of the way first because I think we all knew that Leigh Bardugo was going to make an appearance on this list. I read her books for the first time this year and I have actually now read all of her books that are out because I ADORE them! I have reviews up for the Six of Crows Duology and maybe for the Grisha Trilogy too, so I will link them if you want to know more of my thoughts, but as you can probably guess, I loved these books to pieces and I don’t have a single negative thing to say about them. This trilogy was my first delve into the Grisha verse and it definitely got me hooked! Review: https://www.samanthadrage.co.uk/2018/07/03/book-review-the-…by-leigh-bardugo/
Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo
Oh look – more Leigh Bardugo books! Is anyone surprised? I of course read the Six of Crows Duology straight after I had finished the Grisha Trilogy and loved it EVEN MORE! I didn’t think that was possible, but I did! I fell in love with every single one of the characters and felt so constantly immersed in the story. I truly felt like I was apart of it and Kaz and his plans constantly kept me on my toes. If you haven’t read Leigh Bardugo’s books yet then PLEASE read them! If you have then feel free to come and talk to me about them either down below or on my Instagram (@theoriginalbookdragon) because I have so many thoughts and I’d love to chat! I also read The Language of Thorns straight after, but it didn’t make it on this list because I thought there were already a few too many Leigh Bardugo books on here and you all might want to here about someone else. Review: https://www.samanthadrage.co.uk/2018/08/10/book-review-six-…by-leigh-bardugo/
The Periodic Table of Feminism by Marisa Bate
If you told me last year that there would be a non-fiction book on my top 10 list of the year I would have laughed in your face, but here we are I guess. This was one of the first non-fiction books I read and it is one of the ones that helped me see that the genre isn’t as boring and useless as I previously thought it was. This is a book about women throughout history who have done something to help the feminist movement and that worked to empower women around the world. It is split into the different waves of feminism that have happened over the centuries and proved to be incredibly educational as well as funny, inspiring and empowering. I adored this book and I now that I’m writing about it again I really feel like re-reading it, so look out for my wrap-up’s later this year and you might see it!
Simon vs the Homosapien’s Agenda by Becky Albertalli
I read Simon vs the Homosapien’s Agenda this year in anticipation for the film ‘Love Simon’ after thinking about reading it for years and I am so glad I did because I loved it! I’ve always been a bit scared of ‘real life’ based books because I am definitely more of a fantasy girl and especially books that focus on more difficult topics. I love that they are being written and these things are being talked about in more mainstream media, but I can sometimes find some of these things quite triggering and even reading about someone in a school setting can be upsetting for me, so I was wearing of reading this, but I have it ago and it was just as good as everyone said it was. I actually still haven’t seen the movie because I didn’t get to go and see it while it was in cinema’s and it isn’t on the English Netflix, so I’m still working on that, but hopefully I’ll get to it next year as well as the many other book to movie adaptations that I have yet to see.
Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
Leah on the Offbeat is of course the much anticipated companion novel to Simon vs the Homosapien’s Agenda, which I actually picked up just a few weeks after finishing Simon as soon as it came out. I loved this one too although not quite as much as I loved Simon. I still gave them both 5/5 stars and I did love them both, but Simon is definitely my favourite of the 2. I do love Leah though and I loved all of the important topics that were discussed in the book and Leah as a character overall as well of getting to see all of the characters from Simon get a happy ending! I do have a review for Leah on the Offbeat, so I’ll leave that here for you to read: https://www.samanthadrage.co.uk/2018/07/13/book-review-leah…becky-albertalli/
The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan (Trials of Apollo #3)
I have been a huge Rick Riordan fan since I was a kid and that will never change, so I am of course still reading his books today and I think The Burning Maze is the best one yet! I love the original PJO gang and Heroes of Olympus was great, but the Trials of Apollo series really is amazing and this most recent installment was both fabulous and HEARTBREAKING! I’m not going to spoil anything, but I’ll just say that if you love the PJO gang and the HoO gang then you are doing to be Devastated by the end of this book – Devastated with a capital D, so just beware. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The Fandom by Anna Day
This is the only book on this list that I didn’t give 5/5 stars, but that is only because I think the writing could have been slightly better. I do think this was a debut novel though, so for a debut this is still fantastic. I have a review up for this as well, so I’ll link that too if you want to know more, but the basic premise of this is that 3 girls somehow fall into their favourite fantasy world and one of them has to take the place of the main character and die in order to return to the real world. There is a whole lot of double crossing that goes on and my favourite part is the way it explores the relationship that readers have with characters and what we would actually do should we be put in their situation. I have a lot of other thoughts on this though and I could talk for hours about everything that goes on and is discussed in this book, but if you want to know a bit more then you can check out my review here: https://www.samanthadrage.co.uk/2018/06/09/book-review-the-fandom-by-anna-day/
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
Yes, yes there is another Leigh Bardugo book on this list, but I thought I could get away with this one because it isn’t set in the Grisha verse and is part of the DC series that seems to be going on at the moment. I am a huge Marvel fan, but I was never really into DC until the Wonder Woman film came out, which got me hooked! I love Wonder Woman so much, she is so inspiring and is such an amazing character, so when I saw there was a book about her I read it straight away. This was actually the first Leigh Bardugo book I ever read and I adored her writing then, but for some reason I didn’t make the link in my head that she was the same author of the Grisha Trilogy until I started reading it and I thought ‘hang on, this writing style seems familiar’ and then I made the link and was even more hooked. I love this book mostly because it has Wonder Woman in it and it is just an expansion to the character I fell so head-over-heals in love with from the film, but we also get to see way more of her powers and her though process than we do in the film and we met some other amazing complex characters that had a phenomenal group dynamic (obviously, because it is Leigh Bardugo) and it also of course has Leigh Bardugo’s fabulous writing. I really like Wonder Woman and Leigh Bardugo… can you tell?😂
The Asperkid’s (Secret) Book of Social Rules by Jennifer Cook O’Toole
Some of you might not know this, but I’m autistic and that diagnosis is still quite new to me, so my mum suggested that I read this book that she found called ‘The Asperkid’s (Secret) Book of Social Rules’ to try and help me understand what my diagnosis meant and how I could work around it and try and get on in the neuro-typical world that I live in. I’m not really sure if it was necessarily the best written book ever or if many other people would enjoy it, but I gave it 5/5 and it is on this list because it meant a lot to me to a read a book written by someone who gets it and has the same problems as me and to get advice for how to deal with all the little things that most people don’t have to think about. It made me feel so incredibly understood and it was just such an amazing feeling.
The Secret Library by Oliver Tearle
The final book on my top 10 list of 2018 is ‘The Secret Library’, which I loved purely because I’m a bit of a nerd. It is a book all about all of the books from history that have shaped and changed literature into what we know today and I found it fascinating to read. I’m a bit of a history geek as it is, so combining history and literature together was a recipe for success in my eyes!
Those are my were my top 10 favourite books I read in 2018! They weren’t in any particular order (although I would say that the Leigh Bardugo books are definitely first) as I couldn’t be bothered to sit and antagonise over which ones I loved more! I hope you enjoyed hearing about the books I loved this year and I hope I have just as many to tell you about at the end of 2019! What amazing books did you read in 2018? What books are you hoping to read and love in 2019? I’d love to know, so leave a comment down below or come and chat to me over on my Instagram (@theoriginalbookdragon)!
Goodbye for now!
Over and Out