it’s that time again: top 10 books of 2018

I personally love reading everyone’s lists of their top books of the year (my TBR always explodes!) So here are my top 10 of 2018. They are in no particular order, and, to no one’s surprise, they are pretty much all YA and nonfiction.

The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X R Pan – this was one of the first books that I read this year, and WOW! Leigh is a Taiwanese-American teenager who believes that after her mother has killed herself, she turned into a bird. A fabulist novel that looks at depression, grief, and being biracial, it has stuck with me and still makes me think, 12 months later.

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson – I absolutely adore Jenny Lawson. Author of two memoirs about her life and mental illness, she is one of the most hilarious authors that I have ever had the privilege of reading. This book made me cry with laughter, whilst still managing to be incredibly poignant. A must-read, in my eyes!

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi – this is a debut novel about a Nigerian woman called Ada who has a ‘group of selves’ inside of her. (This is hinted to be multiple personalities, but it also talks about ogbanje.) A twisty, difficult novel, I thought that it was a brilliantly realised depiction of mental illness that I will not be forgetting anytime soon. There are a lot of trigger warnings though, so do look out for those.

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado – this GODDAMN BOOK, y’all. I have not stopped analysing and dissecting the short stories within this book since I read it. Full of queer women, fabulism, and horror, this was pretty much everything that I hoped it to be, bar the novella in the middle. I am eagerly awaiting her next book, whatever it may be!

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – I don’t really need to talk about this one very much, do I? Lazlo is a (dreamy) librarian who is obsessed with the ancient lost city of Weep – and one day, some people turn up from Weep, looking for help with a mysterious problem. It is full of magic and romance and I cannot BELIEVE that I haven’t read the sequel yet.

I Am I Am I Am by Maggie O’Farrell – this is a memoir about Maggie O’Farrell’s 17 brushes with death during her life so far. I don’t even know what made it so good – the writing was incredible, and I found the themes of vulnerability and the thin line between life and death really interesting. But it was so much more than that!

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty – another nonfiction about death (oh god, what am I like!), this is by the woman who runs the Ask a Mortician Youtube channel. This is a funny look at different experiences of death, and the death industry in the US. Fascinating stuff.

This Savage Song/Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab – why was I so late with reading Victoria Schwab?! These were the first books that I read by her and I was OBSESSED. The main characters Kate and August, the world-building and the plot were so. fucking. good. I don’t often cry at books but I was actually sobbing at the end of Dark Duet. I really must read some more Schwab next year.

Sadie by Courtney Summers – one of the most hyped books of this year, I’m sure that you’ve heard of this too. And let me tell you, I thought that the hype was so totally worth it with this book. This is the story of Sadie, a teenager looking for the murderer of her younger sister, and the true crime podcast about her once she goes missing. Everything about this was so hard-hitting. (Make sure to look up the trigger warnings for this one.)

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan – a queer fantasy based on Asian history? Yes please! While I am not usually a fantasy person, I thought that this was brilliant. I loved the main characters Lei and Wren, I thought that the world-building was perfectly done, and it tackled a lot of interesting themes such as class and privilege. There are many, many trigger warnings for this one, too.

Honourable mentions:

Under Rose-Tinted Skies, The Kiss Quotient, The Poet X, The Rental Heart

That’s it from me! Let me know if you’ve read any of these books, or what your top 10 books of 2018 were!


9 thoughts on “it’s that time again: top 10 books of 2018

  1. Grab the Lapels says:

    It sounds like the Ngan book succeeds because it’s literary fantasy. Now, I don’t want to sound snooty by adding on the word “literary,” but I’ve been to many conferences at which authors who avoid the low-hanging-fruit of a genre still use the conventions of genre fiction. I’ve heard panelists talk about literary horror, literary fairy tales, etc.


  2. Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

    Girls of Paper and Fire I desperately want to read! I am nervous about the trigger warnings you mention, however… I haven’t heard anyone call them out. Can you be a bit more specific to help me prepare my brain?

    I recently picked up This Savage Song and I cannot WAIT to read it. I love Schwab’s adult work; I haven’t read any of her YA or MG yet. I had best get on that.

    Great list, Wendy!


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