Guess who’s back, back again? Daniella’s back, tell a friend. In 2019, I promise to be a better book blogger. I have finally sorted out a place for me to write, which includes an actual desk and chair, so no more hunching over a laptop on the sofa. For my first post of 2019, I am diving right in with Top Ten Tuesday, and discussing my top ten books of 2018.
In an ideal world, I would be able to review a book immediately after reading, but unfortunately, I am the worst and I do not do that as much as I would like to. I am going to split this post into two, with the first half being the books that I have reviewed (yay!) and the books I haven’t reviewed… yet.
There are some cracking discussions in The Exact Opposite of Okay, including privilege, online bullying and sexism, but what I loved the most was the way Izzy completely rips into the idea of the ‘Nice Guy’ and the “friend zone”. Honestly, once you read how ridiculous the concept of the ‘friend zone’ is, you’ll never use the term in a serious manner again.
I had high expectations for Cross Her Heart after loving Sarah’s previous books, and this did not disappoint. If you pick up this book, be prepared to cancel all of your plans. Once you start reading this book, you will not want to stop.
I’m not alone in saying this, but Holly Bourne really does keep getting better and better with each book she writes. I loved the message behind Are We All Lemmings of Snowflakes? – the message to be kind, not only to others but also to ourselves. Self-care isn’t solely about sitting in bubble baths or slathering on the face masks, it’s about showing ourselves the same compassion and kindness we wouldn’t hesitate to give someone else.
With key events in history woven throughouteach narrative, you can tell that Sally has thoroughly researched this novel inside and out. Even though this is a work of fiction, Things a Bright Can Do does an excellent job of portraying the Suffragette movement in action, and in particular how it was affected by the arrival of the First World War.
Wonderfully authentic and relatable, Floored is a fantastic YA contemporary with six unforgettable characters. I would wholeheartedly recommend Floored to anyone who is looking for a realistic coming-of-age story (or six!) that will make you laugh, cry and laugh some more.
Skylarks by Karen Gregory
I was a big fan of Karen Gregory’s debut novel, Countless, so I was excited to hear of her newest release, Skylarks. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy, and I lost track of how many times I refreshed the Waterstones website, waiting for it to be in stock. Skylarks follows the life of Joni, a teenage girl with a family on the poverty line. When she meets the rich and privileged Annabel, sparks fly, despite their different backgrounds. One of the things I loved most about Skylarks was the relationship between Annabel and Joni; it was incredibly cute *squeals*. I devoured this book in a matter of hours, and I am aching to read it again, so I can take my time and appreciate it fully.
The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill
I am a big fan of Louise O’Neill, and thanks to YALC 2018, I met her! She knows I exist. When it came to choosing my books for the #YALCathon readathon I immediately picked The Surface Breaks. A feminist retelling of The Little Mermaid? Yes, please! In true O’Neill style, the story was dark, the writing razor sharp and overall The Surface Breaks was an unforgettable read. I read this book through my local library but my bookshelves are now demanding that I buy a copy of the gorgeous hardback edition. I must resist.
How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne
Holly Bourne is one of my favourite writers, ever. I love everything she writes; as you can see both of her 2018 releases were my favourite reads this year. Whilst Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes? was another string to Holly’s YA fiction bow, How Do You Like Me Now? was her first adult fiction novel, and it did not disappoint. Tori Bailey wrote a bestseller about her relationship in her twenties, and now she has hit her thirties, everyone wants the sequel. The problem? Tori has writers’ block, and her Prince Charming has turned into a toad. How Do You Like Me Now? is a timely and incredibly witty story of figuring yourself out when everyone else has their life together. Even though I am not in my thirties, Tori’s story resonated with me. It also had me laughing out loud several times whilst reading. I want more.
Vox by Christina Dalcher
I am determined to review Vox by Christina Dalcher at some point, so all I will say at this point in time is that you need to read this book. Vox imagines a world where women are limited to speaking 100 words a day, any words spoken after the limit has been reached results in a painful electric shock. This book was horrifying, yet equally compulsively readable. I read this book during any spare moment I had. Vox is a book I have been recommending to anyone who will listen. Keep an eye out for my full review – I promise it is on the way!
The War on Women by Sue Lloyd-Roberts
And finally, one of my last reads of the year became one of my favourite books, ever. Despite owning The War on Women by Sue Lloyd Roberts since 2016, its taken me until 2018 to read it. I wish I had read it sooner. Sue was a journalist, passionate about highlighting the inequality that women all over the globe face, even in our modern world. The War on Women is a collection of these stories, resulting in a powerful and moving book. There were times I had to put the book down, as I was close to tears. If you consider yourself a feminist, this is a book that you must read.
What were your favourite books that you read in 2018?