It’s the time for reading reflections, another reading year has almost ended and I’m rather sad. I’ve read so many fabulous books this year; I’ve read debut novels, novels from authors whom I haven’t read from before, I read my first indie book and my first blog- tour book. Yes, I’ve DNF’d a small few (single digits) but it’s been by far the best reading year I have ever had!
I didn’t manage a lot of reading at the beginning of this year, studying will do that! Fast forward to when I finally graduated with a analytical and forensic science degree, I could finally enjoy some reading! I have managed to read almost 60 books this year, mainly from July 1st which is my biggest record *pat on the back*.
I couldn’t just pick 10 reads so I compromised and went with 15!
My first 2018 read was The Green Mile by Stephen King, I have always loved the film but
I had never read the book. Well wasn’t I missing out. I’m a bit dubious about reading a book after watching the film at times, but The Green Mile did not disappoint. I believe that it won awards for having a film adaption that was so close to the book storyline, which rarely happens i.e.. The Shinning! The book left me in one of the biggest book hangovers I have ever experienced, it was superb. I advise anyone who hasn’t read it to go any purchase a copy!
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris was another great read of this year. This book told the story of Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew who became
a tattooist within Auschwitz, tattooing the identity numbers on the people who arrived as prisoners of Auschwitz – Birkenau. Such a heartfelt read that will shake you to the core and leave you with a sweep of emotion. Based on a true story, a story of love and survival.
We now come to the beautifully written We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I absolutely loved this read that was borrowed from a wonderful bookish friend! This is a young – adult novel published in 2014 (why I only read it this year, who knows?!) It also won the Goodreads Choice Awards for best young adult fiction, it was THAT good! A Los Angeles Times writer described this YA novel as;
“a classic story of decaying aristocracy and the way that privilege can often hamstring more than help.”
Plain and simple, just a great bloody book!
One of my best reads was a eARC that I was lucky enough to receive from Netgalley. The Similars by Rebecca Hanover is a debut in which the storyline follows (POV) Emma who goes to a prestigious school where six Similars (clones) have just been accepted. One of the clones has the face and exact DNA of her dead best friend Levi. Emma is thrown into a school year of mystery, what begins with uncertainty becomes a mission of protection of the Similars and their DNA families from a mad scientist on the path of revenge.
I believe this is categorised as a young – adult fiction read again, but it was super! I couldn’t put it down and it left me with a huge WOW feeling. I’m super stoked for the sequel that is out (couldn’t find a date sorry!). The Similars is due for release on the 1st of Jan, what a book to start 2019 with!
One or two of the remaining 11 in my top 15 have already been reviewed by me on a previous post, so I’ll just link them to that post.
We shall start at the bottom of this glorious pile of bookish beauty! Mitch Albom has got to be one of my favourite writers of all times, his writing just speaks to your heart and soul. I read The Five People You Meet in Heaven in 2015 shortly after my dad died. The book helped during my grieving process, as well as his other novels; Time Keeper and For One More Day. The Next Person You Meet in Heaven is a sequel, in the way of reoccurring characters and the same type of storyline. It broke my damn heart. This book and most of Albom’s books have such underlying meanings that makes you see your life in perspective; this read in particular teaches you that you have an impact on someone else’s life through the actions you make, whether you know it or not. We are all connected. Powerful stuff!
At the beginning of the year I had never read any independently published books, honestly if I had not become a book blogger I perhaps would have never found the indie treasures that I have. The first author that had faith in my few day old blog was Nathan O’Hagan, for who I am so thankful. His book ‘Everything Falls Apart’ like Mitch Albom’s books have underlying meanings within a collection of short (amazing) stories. I came away feeling somewhat enlightened after reading it. Books like these are sometimes hard to find and people tend to push aside independently published books for the mainstream published reads, next year please put it on our reading resolution list to read more Indie work you will find some diamonds!
We all know that Stephen King is the King of Horror, he’s pure brilliance in man form! Until this year I had never read Pet Sematary, watched the film so got the gist of it but it was so bad! Ii am looking forward to the remake but maybe that’s for another post *lightbulb*. This year an instagrammer I follow was doing a read-along of it over Halloween, I thought this is it! I bloody loved it! I could not put it down. Pet Sematary scared me both in the traditional sense and as a parent, I think anyone with children would do the same (read it to find out what) For me, the book was about a parent trying to protect the innocence of his children in regards to death and grief. What haunted me the most was that Stephen King used aspects of his personal life to create the foundation of the storyline, which makes it more scary! Written with such imagination, story unfolds naturally and I can’t fault it. Will be re-reading next Halloween!
We Own The Sky by Luke Allnutt is a debut novel, I can’t tell you how I feel about it until the 10th of Jan because it’s for a blog – tour. What I can tell you is that it is indeed in my top 15 reads of 2018 and you can pre-order it now for its release date on the 10th of Jan 2019! Sorry!
Gillian McAllister is another one of my all time favourite writers! Her debut novel was Everything But The Truth, from that book I knew that I would read every single one of her books! No Further Questions is Gillian McAllister’s third novel, also known as The Good Sister on US soil. (fourth novel; The Evidence Against You is to be released in 2019 *eek*)
“The police says she’s guilty.
She insists she’s innocent.
She’s your sister.
You love her.
You trust her.
But they say she killed the person you care about most”
It felt like I held my breathe the whole time that I was reading this book, it was flawless and so well written. Gillian as always, has created a twisty, nail – biting masterpiece that you will find difficult to put down! *Note* Follow her on twitter and Instagram because she is a writer who interacts with her fans, which is great, and her cat is the cutest! Also, please read her books! You won’t regret it!
I was also a Shirley Jackson reading – virgin at the beginning of the year, I read both We Have Always Lived in A Castle and The Haunting of Hill House. The Haunting of Hill House (THHH) was my favourite, and this is why the Netflix show had disappointed me. It was part of another Halloween read-along, I came out of the book in awe of Shirley Jackson’s ability to write an eerie and unsettling story, I am converted!
Well, what can I say about The Surrogate by Louise Jenson?! It was such a fantastically chilling read, I love psychological thrillers but this one kept me awake in shock of the twists that revealed themselves. I have read The Sister by Louise, so I knew that her thriller writing abilities were top notch and again I was so blown away that it left me with a book – sized hangover! How is this for a heart – thumping blurb;
“Kat and her Husband Nick have tried everything to become parents. All they want is a child to love but they are beginning to lose hope. Then a chance encounter with Kat’s Childhood friend Lisa gives them one last chance.
Kat and Lisa were once as close as sisters. The secrets they share mean their trust is for life…. Or is it?”
That’s all i’m giving you mwahahaha, you’re going to think you know what’s going to happen and then BAM twist hits you with a massive slap in the face. The Surrogate is a must read thriller.
I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell is a masterpiece of strength and courage. This book tells of the seventeen events in which Maggie came face to face with death, including a childhood illness, a mismanaged labour and a terrifying encounter with a man down a dark path. Heart racing *gasp* stuff my readers! I’m not a massive memoir reader but I read in an evening as part of a 25infive readathon back in October. Anyone who experienced what Maggie did would question life, but she persevered and overcome all her deathly obstacles and is quite the inspirational woman. Devoured it. Loved it.
Th1rte3n by Steve Cavanagh is just fantastic, well thought out book within the Eddie Flynn series, before this book I had never read any of Cavanagh’s stuff but now I type this like an excited fangirl anticipating his next book ‘Twisted’ which is out 24th Jan in kindle format or the 4th of April in paperback. I was glued to Th1rte3en, I carried it around with me everywhere just incase I so happened to get five free minutes to read an extra chapter. This book was one of those ‘one more chapter’ reads, even at 2am. I also must disclose that this book is so grippingly chilling that I had to check that my house was locked up multiple times. I can’t recommend this read, Cavanagh has won multiple awards for his writing HE IS THAT GOOD!
“Murder wasn’t the hard part. It was just the start of the game.
Joshua Kane has been preparing for this moment his whole life. He’s done it before. But this is the big one.
This is the murder trial of the century. And Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house.
But there’s someone on his tail. Someone who suspects that the killer isn’t the man on trial.
Kane knows time is running out – he just needs to get to the conviction without being discovered”
As well as being a practising lawyer and being asleep in his spare time (About the Author states on Amazon) he also co-hosts the podcast ‘Two Crime Writers and a Microphone’ which I would highly recommend, especially the Bad Sex Awards episode it’s hilarious. He also interacts with his fans which I think is always lovely!
My most recent read out of these lovelies is The Lingering by SJI Holliday, as it’s in my top 15 reads, you may have already guessed that I loved everything about this book. It radiated a dark, creepy brilliance but also completely broke my heart. Holliday’s ability to create a magnitude of in-depth characters with several layers of personality is phenomenal. The Lingering is a massively compulsive piece of reading material that I thought I had sussed, oh the twists. It’s one of the books I shall be raving about for a very long time, and there will be another Holliday release next year (cheers). Highly recommended!
Finally, we come to a classic, best served at Christmas with a large glass of Bailey’s; even though I read it in October it’s definitely a winter read! And Then There Were None was the first book I had read by Agatha Christie, oh the shame! Why I waited for so long I don’t know, it was bloody excellent. The whole story is basically a murder mystery (obviously it’s AG) set in a house on an island. The ten characters who are complete strangers are invited to stay at a island mansion for one reason or another, by an unseen guest. On the first night a man is found murdered by cyanide poisoning. As the survivors realise that the killer is among them, they wonder who will be next…. until there are none DUH DUH DUM! It’s a sit on the edge of your seat literary masterpiece with the right amount of ingenuity and tension!
These reads aren’t in order from 1 – 15, they are all as equally as brilliant! Plus, I don’t say this often but they are 100% the kind of books that you will never get bored of reading. I have found some great authors this year, as well as reading work from my favourite authors. I am going into 2019 a very happy reader indeed.
Thank-you so much for reading my post, I know it’s so long, but I needed to explain the love I have for these books. If you haven’t read them make 2019 a year to read them!
Whatever you do decide to read,