Friday, January 4, 2019

TOP 12 FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2018 // including my 2019 bookish schemes mwahaha

It's 2019. O_o

An unoriginal way to start my first post of the year, I know, but it's just sooooo mind-befuddling. Another year gone, a brand-new one shoving in.

Today I'm going to say one more goodbye to the past year by talking about my top favorite books read in 2018. What I've done is reviewed every month and found the top read from the (relatively short) list of books I read that month. Looking back, I definitely encountered some SUPER special stories last year, and I'm confident of finding even more fantastic ones this year!

Let's recap the bookish dimension of 2018.

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The Royal Ranger by John Flanagan

I honestly don't remember all of this book. I do remember how it blew my expectations, which weren't low to begin with, out of the water. It broke me to see Will in the state he was in, and I LOVED the introduction of Maddie into the Ranger world. She fit right in, the little firecracker. Also the character development was A+++.

And I definitely remember screaming about this book, especially the ending, in my Goodreads review. XD

Runner-up: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan



Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Gaaaaah, thinking about this novel makes me want to drop everything and read it again! Jodi Lynn Anderson is one of my favorite authors (except for Tiger Lily and Peaches - let's not talk about those), and one reason is because her style is so quietly powerful... It's amazing. The characters in Midnight at the Electric were amazing too, and the way she wove several generations together was GENIUS.



Messenger by Lois Lowry

My relationship with The Giver quartet went from casual appreciation mixed with light disappointment to ENORMOUS LOVE MIXED WITH UTTER HEART-SHATTEREDNESS. And Messenger is where the utter heart-shatteredness began. This book packs a BIG punch into a fairly short book. <3

Runner-up: Son by Lois Lowry (The Giver Quartet #4) XD



Goliath by Scott Westerfeld

I hadn't even heard of the Leviathan trilogy before stumbling across the audio for book 1 on my Libby app. By the time I finished this last installment (not on audio, though), I was a puddle of feels. Alek and Deryn stole my heart, and the setting was FASCINATING. Scott Westerfeld is a new favorite!


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Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc by Mark Twain

Mark Twain is one of my favorite classic authors, all thanks to this epic masterpiece of a novel. It's a historical fiction he spent YEARS researching before putting pen to paper, which speaks to the great respect he had for historical accuracy. And it paid off, because this is... IT'S JUST AMAZING, OKAY?? Twain's style is breathtaking, and I was blown away by his representation of Joan of Arc. The whole story is just so perfect. <3

Runner-up: Dagger's Sleep by Tricia Mingerink



The Blood Race by K.A. Emmons

Excuse me while I go and scream for love of this book. Every single storytelling aspect was executed SO WELL, I almost can't handle it. The character development butchered my feels like they were a hunk of helpless meat, and so did a certain... erm... I don't want to risk spoiling even a small thing. But yeah, this book was nothing short of INCREDIBLE. Lived up to the hype 1000%!

Runner-up: In 27 Days by Alison Gervais



On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson

My expectations were high as a kite, and they were exceeded. I still can't get over how relateable Janner Igiby is! He's literally THE most relateable character I have ever encountered in a book. To me, at least. :) Also, the twists had me squealing.



A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens is another HUGE favorite classic author. He and Twain and Victor Hugo are probably my top three...? But then again, I don't really want to say that, because there's also Jane Austen to consider. And Emmuska Orczy.

But I digress. A Tale of Two Cities is a MASTERPIECE. Sydney Carton did major, major things to my heart. <3333



A Certain Sort of Madness by Nicki Chapelway

Would you look at that - an indie book made it to my top 12! And it deserves it, because the ragtag group of charries featured in this amazing fantasy novel are the most fun, most heart-rending collection of darlings you'll ever meet. <3 Following their crazy adventure was epic.

And I kind of want to marry Dante, not gonna lie. XD



Snakehead by Anthony Horowitz

My favorite Alex Rider book (so far, that is - I have two left to go) is Scorpia, which I read in the summer. October was a bit of a slack reading month, I think. I read two 4-star Alex Rider books and one 3-star graphic novel, and that's it. :P

Reading the (majority of) the Alex Rider series in 2018 has been a wild ride. Alex has gone through so much, and I feel like I've gone through it with him. Sort of. Obviously, I don't actually feel like I've almost died countless times or work for MI6 or anything...

Snakehead was a great book, as all of them are. What makes it stand out is Ash - an interesting and complex "guest star" character!



Entwined by Heather Dixon

I'm just going to post my brief Goodreads review here, because it wraps up my feelings for this YA Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling really well.

You know that moment when you finish a book, a huge smile on your face, and think, "This is the most perfect story ever"?
This delicious tale - full of strong sisterly bonds and magic tea sets and very creepy villains and silver handkerchiefs and dancing - made me feel the warm flickery bit inside. <3

Runner-up: North! Or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson



The Monster in the Hollows by Andrew Peterson

The fact that the Wingfeather Saga has made THREE appearances in this post is saying something about how fantastic this series is - and I haven't even read The Warden and the Wolf King yet. If On the Edge of the Dark Sea of the Darkness was amazing, The Monster in the Hollows goes ABOVE AND BEYOND AMAZING.

I have no words. NO WORDS. Only a ruthlessly battered heart.


So those are my top twelve 2018 reads! Now for some bonus reading stats, and then some of my reading plans for this year.



The Boy Knight by G.A. Henty - my review

The Sound of Life and Everything by Krista Van Dolzer - my review

Both are 2-star reads (I gave The Sound of Life and Everything 3 stars on GR, but honestly it should only be 2). I didn't rate anything 1 star last year! #blessed



Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson - my review

Books: 80

Pages: 24,297

Longest book: The House of Hades by Rick Riordan (597 pages)

Shortest book: Shower Thoughts by Gray Marie Cox (3 pages)

Average book length: 303 pages


I've only thought of a few bookish plans, and they're weird ones. Because weird is fun. :D

- Read a book from my Peter Pan retelling TBR every month until I run out -

So far I only have three books on said TBR that I have access to: Lost Girl by Chanda Hahn, Tigerheart by Peter David, and Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell. To be honest, I don't expect to add anymore any time soon. XP They're just SO HARD to find, you know??

I'm excited to be reading these ones, though! I don't know a whole lot about the latter two, but they call to me, so I'm going to try them out. I've heard plenty of amazing things about Lost Girl (shout-out to Ivie for letting me know it was free on Kindle!), so I'm especially excited for that one.

- Read a book from my Kindle library every month - 

I'll start this when I've finished my Peter Pan plan (#alliteration). I've got QUITE a few books, mainly indie ones, sitting on my Kindle app, and I'm tired of keeping them waiting. ;)


To another amazing reading year! *clinks tea cup*

The Lord's Truly,
What are some of your favorite books of 2018? What about your most notable DNF? Or maybe a weird reading plan you have for 2019?? Whatever you wanna talk about, I'm ready to chat with you! Comment below, bookdragon friends!


  1. Yaaaayyy you liked the Royal Ranger!!! That one has to be my favorite of the series. <3

    I haven't read any others of these, tho I do want to read the Blood Race. XD

    Happy new year and good luck with your goals!!

    1. It seems like soooo long ago that I read it (and it was a full year ago), but I remembering being BLOWN AWAY by how awesome it was!! :D The Ranger's Apprentice series is very close to my heart too. <3

      The Blood Race is VERY, VERY good. There are a couple gritty parts, content-wise, but I LOVE IT SO MUCH AND YOU SHOULD TRY IT OUT.

      Happy New Year, Danielle! Good luck with your goals too!!

  2. I just can't understand how people can't help but love Dickens, especially A Tale Of Two Cities. Have you heard Hard Times? That's another of my favorites. And so yes to those Giver books! Those books just shattered me, too.

    As for another peter pan retelling book, I think Kara Swanson, author of "The Girl Who Could See"

    1. You know what? I don't understand it either. A Tale of Two Cities was PERFECTION. I don't know if I've heard of Hard Times, but I'll definitely have to check it out!

      Messenger and Son DESTROYED me, eeeeeeeek.


  3. Henty books can be hit and miss for me. Some of them are really, really good...and others are just okay. He tends to follow the same sort of plot (adventurous boy goes on adventures with best friend...saves a girl...continues adventures...marries the girl in the end), but sometimes the setting or characters really stand out. I especially enjoyed Through Russian Snows, which deviated from the standard plot more than usual, and was just super interesting. For the Temple is also a favorite.

    But the Wingfeather Saga is just amazing. Janner is sooooo relatable (eldest siblings troubles, I feel his pain, lol) and the way the books are written is just EPIC.

    I hope to read The Blood Race this month - and I CANT WAIT

    1. I read The Cat of Bubastes a long time ago and really enjoyed that one! I really slogged through The Boy Knight, though... :P I haven't heard of Through Russian Snow or For the Temple, but I'll see about reading them if I have to read any more Henty books for school. :D It's cool that you like a lot of them!

      YESSSSS, WINGFEATHER FOR THE WIN. *high-five* Janner is so relateable to me because of the sibling struggles too!! AGREED.

      IT'S SO, SO, SO, SO, SO GOOD!!!! *ahem* (too much "so," I know... XD)


    Am I too obsessed with this book?? Probably. Do I care?? NOPE.

    Love this post, not just because of The Blood Race, I promise. <3

    So excited for you to read Lost Girl. I'm thinking about getting the next book soon because PAYDAY!!!!! 😜😜

    But, I'll keep you updated on everything. <3

    1. THE BLOOD RACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      *nods* Yep, you probably are. And I don't care either. ;) It makes sense, considering this book is epicness personified... Or, erm, bookified??

      ME TOO!!! I hope the next book is just as good as the first! (Yep, my expectations for Lost Girl are HIGH.)

      Thanks, girl. Means a lot. <333

  5. DO NOT SPEAK TO ME OF MESSENGER. THAT BOOK DESTROYED ME UTTERLY. *cries* That may or may not be the reason that I haven’t read Son yet . . . Maybe this year!

    And HECK YES the Blood Race was amazing! I need to buy Worlds Beneath this year - that cliffhanger was just too much!

    Great post, Lila! Good luck with your reading plan for 2019!

    1. *zips lips* NOT SPEAKING OF MESSENGER. My heart has scars from Messenger, I'm pretty sure... *sobs*

      YOU MUST READ SON!!!!!!

      Yesssssss. And SAME, I still haven't read Worlds Beneath! What am I doing???

      Thanks so much, Nicole! Good luck with any reading plans you have too!

  6. I read the Royal Ranger first and then read the rest of the series and then read the Royal Ranger again...but by the time Id gotten around to starting the first one I'd already forgotten all the major plot points and characters so it worked? *shrugs*

    I still need to read Blood Race...

    Good luck with the Peter Pan Plan! It sounds like a lot of fun!

    1. Lol, that's so funny! It's nice you forgot all the major stuff, so that way you'd get the full experience of all the plot twists throughout the series. ;)

      *whispers* Read iiiiiiit... XD

      Hey, thanks! I certainly hope it'll be fun! :D

  7. So many good books. I'm just starting A Certain Sort of Madness and I love it!

    1. IKR!! And YAYAYAY, I'm so happy you love ACSOM! It's AMAZING, isn't it???

  8. AGH all of these books are so good! At least, all the ones I've read (and particularly Wingfeather Saga, Messenger, and the beautifulness that is A Certain Sort of Madness xD I'm not going to fight you for Dante,, he's hot. And swoony. Nicki is brilliant at writing romances and awesome male leads, I gotta say. xD

    1. I LOVE THEM ALLLLLLL. <3 <3 <3

      Indeed, Dante had me SWOONING. XD Yesss, Nicki is GENIUS at romance and male leads. It's kinda unbelievable. O_o

  9. I love the Ranger's Apprentice series! I just bought the first book in the Early Years spinoff, and I can't wait to read it. Also yesss, A Tale of Two Cities is great!!!

    1. It's a fantastic series, let's be real here! :D

      I love A Tale of Two Cities with all my heart. <33333

      Thanks for commenting, C.B. Cook!!!

  10. Man, everyone I know is always telling me I should read mst of these books, but I haven't yet! What is my problem!?

    A TALE OF TWO CITIES!!!!!!!!!! Of the five Dickens's novels thst I have read, that is my favorite!!! I didn't like it until the ending, but oh, wow!!!

    Also, you read 80 books!!!??? You are amazing!

    1. GET WITH IT, CLARE. (jk, jk, no pressure! Those books aren't going anywhere! :D)

      EEEEEEEEEEK, I LOVE IT!!! And I really need to read more Dickens novels... I mean, I recently read Oliver Twist, but there are morrrrrrre. XD

      Well... some of them were short stories. But only some! ;P Thanks, Clare, you're amazing too!! <3

  11. I NEED TO READ THE BLOOD RACE. I might have to see if I can find it on Kindle, because...shipping. It's a killer. xP There are so many amazing books on this list, and others I must check out!!

    Have a wonderful 2019! <3

    1. YES. YES, YOU DO. It's an incredible novel!!!

      Thank you so much, Melissa! I do hope you check out some of the books - they're in the post for my top 12 favorites of the year for a reason, hehe. :)))

      You too!! <3 <3

  12. Honestly, Midnight at the Electric just looks so amaze. xD Best of luck on your schemes!

    1. It IS amaze. XD Thanks, Faith! Whatever 2019 schemes you have, I hope you successfully complete them all!! <3

  13. I loved this post. :D We seem to share a similar taste in books! I'll definitely be checking out some of the titles you mentioned.

    1. Thanks, Kathryn!! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! And oooooh, similar taste in books??? We're besties already, lol. ;D

      Please do! They're all EPIC stories.

      Thanks for commenting, Kathryn!

  14. This is such a cool way to format your list of favorite books of the year! By choosing your favorite from each month. These all sounds so great! Have a great reading year!

    1. Thanks, Hannah! I had a lot of fun with the format! And it really does help narrow things down more easily. ;D

      They are great!! And you too! I have a feeling this year is going to be just EPIC in terms of books. XD


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