Monday, 31 December 2018

My top 5 reads of 2018

2018 was an OK reading year for me. I set my Goodreads challenge to 52 with the intention of reading a book a week, I thought it would be easy because in 2017 I read 67 books, although I did make my goal this year with 57 books it just felt like more of a struggle and at times I was reading shorter books just for the sake of it. Despite feeling a bit meh about some books, I also managed to read some proper crackers, so here are my top 5 reads of 2018.

A man called ove by fredrik backman1. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
This is the best book I have read this year and I love it so so so much. The main character, Ove, is a grumpy old man living in Sweden who thinks he is surrounded by idiots. He is forced into early retirement from the job he has had for most of his life which has left him feeling very uncertain about his routine. Things start to change with the arrival of a new family across the street who think that his standoffishness is funny and charming.
Honestly I felt every emotion when reading this book. It is hilarious, heartwarming, charming and sad. I cried happy and sad tears at this book and I just think it is absolutely wonderful.

This is going to hurt by adam kay2. This is Going to Hurt, Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay
I pretty much never read non fiction, so for me to read one and for it to skyrocket into my favourites list must mean it's pretty special.
As the title suggests, Adam Kay was a junior doctor and this is just full of anecdotes from his time working through the ranks in a hospital. Adam Kay specialised as an obstetrician and gynaecologist and as you can imagine he has plenty of funny stories to tell about his time doing the rounds, I actually laughed out loud so many times reading this my husband who is not a reader at all wanted to pick this up.
Underneath the humour though is a very sad message about the state of the NHS and how overworked our junior doctors really are. This is a compelling read and I have a full review here: This is Going to Hurt book review

scythe by neal shusterman 3. Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Imagine a future where there is no sickness, no one dies from old age because you can be re aged and death just isn't a thing because re-animation exists. It sounds pretty good right? Well in Scythe this is what has happened, and as a result of this something needs to happen in order for the population to be controlled in order to avoid all of the worlds resources being depleted. Scythe's are the answer to this issue. They are a group of people who reap the lives of people in order to keep the population under control, so as you can imagine they aren't too popular.
Citra and Rowan are very different teenagers, but both end up having to compete against each other as Scythe apprentices, even though neither of them wants to be a scythe, but there is more to the Scythedom than meets the eye.
The plot of this book is just fantastic. It's fast paced and very clever, but most of all it's quite thought provoking because it feels as if this could be something we are heading to in the future. I also read the sequel Thunderhead this year too which is equally brilliant.

4. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
little fires everywhere by celeste ng2018 is the year that I started to read more 'literary fiction' and Little Fires Everywhere has received so many rave reviews I decided to read it for myself, it did not disappoint.
Shaker Heights is a quiet, upper class suburb of Cleveland, where even things like the colour of your house has to be approved by
the Shaker Heights committee. Elena Richardson is a very typical Shaker Heights mum with a seemingly perfect family, that is until Mia Warren turns up.
Mia is an artist who travels around with her daughter Pearl and have never stayed in one place for too long. Mia rents the small flat from Elena and instead of paying rent ends up cleaning for the family.
Elena's friends have adopted a Chinese-American baby but after a certain chain of events Mia and Elena end up with very opposing opinions of what the outcome should be.
This is a fantastic look at how people in neighborhoods can end up entwined even if they don't have any direct links and a great look at family lives and people. It's a delicious slow burner and totally addictive.

legendary by stephanie garber5. Legendary by Stephanie Garber
Legendary is the sequel to Caraval, which is also brilliant. It's always hard to talk about a sequel without revealing any spoilers for the first one, but I will try.
In Caraval we followed sister Scarlett as she participates in Caraval (pretty much a magical carnvial) created by the master Legend (lets say head magician). Legendary focuses on Scarlett's sister Donatella. Tella has made some dodgy deals with dangerous people, and to hold up her part of the bargain she has to try and find out Legend's true identity, something that no one has managed to uncover.
I actually preferred Legendary to Caraval. Tella is a more adventurous and exciting character but also quite flawed which makes her interesting to read about. The plot is developed from the first book really well and I love the magical carnival that reappears in this book too.

It was quite hard to narrow this list down to just five books. The first three were no brainers but after that it was definitely a close call as there have been some heavyweight contenders this year. What were your favourtie reads of 2018?


  1. I really, really, really need to finish Legendary. And stop get distracted by other books 👀

  2. Great list!! I still need to get to ALL of these! :) Happy 2019!

  3. I'm desperate to read "This is Going to Hurt" and "Scythe" sounds amazing. I love Neil Shusterman! I'll definitely have to see if I can borrow that from the library!

    Fantastic post!

  4. Great list! Scythe sounds fantastic! I may have to get that one!

  5. These books sound really interesting. I read a lot of biographies by woman last year like Tina Fey and Anna Kendrick so I need to get into reading more fiction again x

  6. I loved Scythe, really need to read Legendary though. So glad you enjoyed them!

  7. I've been making it a goal to read more books, so thank you for the inspiration! I've not even heard of any of these, so I'll look for them in my bookstore.

  8. I have a Man Called Ove in my TBR, and I am so please to hear that you thought it was wonderful!True, Little Fires Everywhere has been an all out rave especially on social media. Awesome list! Hope you're having a wonderful January!

  9. I have been reading more in the last year and need some more book recommendations - thanks for this

  10. I'm glad you enjoyed Scythe so much! I really enjoyed it too, and it definitely was thought provoking! And I've been thinking of reading 'This Is Going To Hurt' for a while. It isn't my usual kind of book, but it does look interesting! You've encouraged me to give it a go! :)

  11. Oooh, Scythe sounds really good and right up my street. Books like these are becoming so popular these days, it's hard to know which ones are worth reading so I'll definitely give this one a go if you think it's worth it! x

  12. Shamefully I didn’t get around to reading much at all throughout 2018, but I hope to read a lot more this year. I love the sound of A Man called Ove, I’ve just added it to my amazon basket ready for pay day! Thank you x

  13. I've not actually read any of these books!! But all of them are on my TBR. I'm so glad you enjoyed them Kelsey!


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