Monday, 10 December 2018

My Top Reads Of 2018

It's my favourite time of the year where I get to look back on the previous eleven months and choose my best parts of the year, and I'm kicking things off with books! I read some incredible books this year, and for the past six months I've read more than I have in a long time so I'm very pleased with my reading for this year. Here are five of my favourite books I discovered this year!

READY PLAYER ONE BY ERNEST CLINE
"In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past, and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. 
When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win - and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape".

This is a must-read of the science fiction genre that I finally picked up at the very beginning of this year, and absolutely devoured. A lot of people adore this novel for its inclusion of 80's pop trivia, however as I was born in the 90's, that wasn't my biggest incentive for loving this novel. My knowledge of the 80's meant that I definitely experienced a few moments of excitable recognition, but for me it was the continuously building plot, the development of the characters, and the race to the finish line that had me devouring this book. It's been a long time since I read a novel that was the perfect example of the phrase 'I couldn't put it down', and the level of detail in this book made for an incredibly enticing read. I loved every second of it. 

KATHERINE BY ANYA SETON
"This classic romance novel tells the story of the love affair that changed history - that of Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt. Set in the vibrant 14th century of Chaucer and the Black Death, the story features knights fighting in battle, serfs struggling in poverty, and the magnificent Plantagenets - Edward III and Richard II. 
Within this era of danger and romance, John of Gaunt, the king's son, falls passionately in love with the already married Katherine. Their well-documented affair and love persist through decades of war, adultery, murder, loneliness and redemption. This epic novel of conflict, cruelty, and unnamable love has become a classic since its first publication in 1954".

This is a novel that worked its way onto my 'to read' pile purely due to the fact that it's both my mum's and gran's favourite novel. They have both been asking me to read this for years so this summer I finally settled down to give it a go, and I loved it. If you're interested in historical fiction then I urge you to pick this up. I've been slowly dipping into this genre since I watched the adaptation of Philippa Gregory's novel The White Queen, so I knew that I would at least enjoy this novel, but I was sincerely surprised by just how much I was gripped by it. Of course given the time period of the novel, there are a number of outdated themes and attitudes, but Katherine's story and growth as a person throughout the novel is wonderful to read and I highly, highly recommend.

THE POWER BY NAOMI ALDERMAN
"All over the world, women are discovering they have the power. With a flick of the fingers, they can inflict terrible pain - even death. Suddenly, every man on the planet finds they've lost control. The Day of the Girls has arrived - but where will it end?"

I went into this novel thinking it solely a thriller, so when I was greeted with themes such as religion, sexism, feminism, and more, I knew I was in for a daring and explorative story. This novel perfectly combines the intense storytelling and gripping events of a thriller, with the intelligence of adult themes, drastic opinions and frightening possibilities. I know I'll be revisiting this novel in the future, this time fully prepared to digest everything this novel puts forward and explores. I have to say some scenes are heavily explicit, so if that's something you prefer to avoid then maybe this book won't be for you, but if that's something you can deal with then definitely, definitely give this a read. 

DARK MATTER BY BLAKE CROUCH
"'Are you happy with your life?'. Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason's never met smiles down at him and says, 'Welcome back, my friend'. 
In this world he's woken up to, Jason's life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.
Is it this world or the other that's the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possible make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could've imaged - one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a ferrying, seemingly unbeatable foe".

This novel was recommended to me by a friend and couldn't have been more up my street. It's a science fiction thriller and another novel that shocks and entices you from chapter to chapter. I love reading exciting stories that also teach me something new, and I thoroughly enjoyed the science that forms the basis of this story - it was always explained in a way that you could understand and therefore believe what was happening. I'm positive this will become another sic-fi classic and I urge anyone remotely interested in the genre to give this a read. It also tells a rather beautiful story underneath all of the science and terrifying adventure, and is definitely one to add to your reading list.

A QUIET KIND OF THUNDER BY SARA BARNARD
"Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life - she's been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He's deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means she's assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn't matter that Steffi doesn't talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she's falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it". 

I won't say too much about this novel as I've already spoken about it in depth in a separate post, which you can dive into here. A Quiet Kind Of Thunder is a lovely, heart-warming, fresh take on a YA romance novel, and if you're looking to end your reading year with a sweet and adorable story, this is it!


What books have you loved this year?
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6 comments

  1. I am going to have to remember some of these and add them to my ever growing reading list!

    Danielle xx
    https://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

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  2. I've had Dark Matter on myself for a couple of years now (I think?). Although I probably need to read it soon since I've read nothing but good things about it :)

    czai @ the Blacksheep Reader

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  3. I loved A Quiet Kind of Thunder too! SO MUCH omg it was emotional and also adorable?! I love that kind of contemporary. 😍Some of my top picks for this year definitely are The Wicker King, Muse of Nightmares, The Cruel Prince and The Foxhole Court *flails*

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    1. It really was - I was 'awwing' so much throughout! <3 I haven't read any of them so I'll definitely have to look them up!! Thank you for the recommendations <3 x

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