Top Ten Tuesday: Best of 2018

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! It seems like the time has finally come to choose my top ten books of 2018 out of the 200+ books I’ve read this year. This is a little bit of an intimidating challenge, but I’m going to do my best. These ten books are in no particular order.

You might notice that all of these are fiction! I might do a top non-fiction list on another day. 🙂


The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

my review

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…



The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

my review

Told in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen. 

The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. 

A high-action story written with a poet’s hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard. 


Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

my review

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?


Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

my review

For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him. 

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.


Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

my review

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern-day Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?


Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

my review

The story of the heart can never be unwritten.

Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away.

But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly bookish friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother…only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.

Told in alternating timelines between Then and Now, teenage Elliot and Macy grow from friends to much more—spending weekends and lazy summers together in a house outside of San Francisco devouring books, sharing favorite words, and talking through their growing pains and triumphs. As adults, they have become strangers to one another until their chance reunion. Although their memories are obscured by the agony of what happened that night so many years ago, Elliot will come to understand the truth behind Macy’s decade-long silence, and will have to overcome the past and himself to revive her faith in the possibility of an all-consuming love. 


What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

my review

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is? 


Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

my review

Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia’s.

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak.


Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

my review

The one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie fan Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online as Alex. Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new archnemesis. But life is a whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever it is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.


Love Scene, Take Two by Alex Evansley

my review

Debut author Alex Evansley delivers a sweet summer romance in this inventive novel about a young heartthrob and teen author falling in love.

Teddy Sharpe is kind of famous. He might actually be on his way to being really famous, especially if he’d nailed an audition for the lead role in the movie adaption of the newest bestselling young adult book series. There’s just one problem: He totally blew the audition. And he’s stuck in a tiny North Carolina airport. And his maybe-ex-girlfriend kind of just broke up with him.

The weekend isn’t exactly looking good until Bennett Caldwell, author of the very book series he just auditioned for, takes pity on him and invites him to her family’s lake house. Away from the glitz and glam of Hollywood for a few days, Teddy starts to relax . . . and somehow he and Bennett just click. But dating is hard enough when you aren’t the subject of several dozen fanblogs, and the Internet is full of juicy gossip about Teddy and Bennett . . . gossip that Bennett might not be prepared to handle.

Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, Alex Evansley’s debut novel, written from both Bennett and Teddy’s perspectives, will have teens laughing, swooning, and falling in love along with these fantastically relatable characters.


Did you do your own Top Ten Tuesday post today? Feel free to leave your link in the comments and I’ll check it out! What were your top books of 2018? Have you read any of these? Let’s talk in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to read by the pool

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today we’re talking about good books to read by the pool. When I think of pool reads, I think of cute romances that are light on the drama. The ten books below fit the bill for me! I read most of these books in one sitting… or at least within a day or two.

What are your favorite poolside reads?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that awaken the travel bug in me

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s theme is ten books that awaken the travel bug in me, which was a little difficult since I’m one of the (seemingly) very few people in the world that does not like to travel.

I get so stressed out!
I worry about everything!
I’ll probably embarrass myself trying to communicate in a foreign language!
I feel like I have to do something every minute or otherwise what was the point in getting myself there!

But, that said, I did come up with ten books that kind of, sort of made me feel like I might want to pack a bag and go somewhere.

🤩 Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett: First of all, Jenn Bennett could make me want to do anything. But this story of two former friends-turned-enemies-turned-lovers made me, a person who hates the very idea of camping, want to go spend a week in the wilderness.
💋 The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde: I don’t really like the ocean. I like sitting on a beach next to the ocean (not in New Jersey, though) but not actually being in the ocean. That said, the yacht trip in The Brightsiders sounded like so much fun and is something I would’ve loved to do with my friends back in the day. Or even now.
⛩️ Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse: I loved the setting in this book! It takes place in Japan and it’s so vivid — the karaoke clubs, the trains, the hustle and bustle of daily life. It would be so fun to visit.

🌳 The Green Unknown by Patrick Rogers: I mentioned in my review that this book made me want to pack up and explore an unknown country. A couple months later, I stand by that statement.
🌀 Break of Day by Andie J. Christopher: Yeah, I know, they get stranded in Cuba during a tropical storm. But the whole thing is so romantic and it just really made me want to go to Cuba. Maybe not during hurricane season.
✈️ The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane: Okay, here’s another one that’s a little weird. The whole premise of the book is that the main character is stranded in Ireland after her plane crashes. But the people she meets are so nice! The scenery is so vivid! I would love to visit Ireland under better circumstances.
💔 Frenched by Melanie Harlow: I might be in a relationship that’s going on ten years… but I might still also be a little tempted to take a trip to France to see if I can meet anybody like Lucas.

🤸 Infini by Krista & Becca Ritchie: Basically, I just want to meet the love of my life, Luka Kotova. Going to Vegas is secondary.
💍 Roomies by Christina Lauren: I basically live down the street from NYC. (Okay, it’s a short train ride, but still.) Is it really considered a “travel bug” when a book makes me want to hop on the train and go to a bunch of musicals and meet a cute subway musician? I’m going to say yes.
⚜️ The Beau & The Belle by R.S. Grey: I think that of all of R.S. Grey’s books, this one has the most vivid scenery. It’s set in New Orleans and I really just want to go eat a bunch of food down there.

Did you participate in this week’s theme? What books make you want to pack a bag and explore the world? Let me know in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d slay a lion to get early

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today we’re talking about those books that we would love to get early (and might do anything to get). I’ve actually had to revise this list a couple times since I’ve received some ARCs that I never thought I would get!

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee! I loved The Gentleman’s Guide and cannot wait for its follow-up. Felicity was a great character and I’m so excited to read about her adventures.

To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin! I was lucky enough to get an ARC of The Big F, Maggie’s debut. It was an amazing book and I’ve been waiting on pins and needles for her sophomore novel.

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera! It’s no secret that I’m a huge Becky Albertalli fangirl, but the cover of this book has actually slayed me. I want to frame it and put it on my wall.

Archenemies by Marissa Meyer! I don’t know how I ever got lucky enough to get an ARC of Renegades but it was one of the highlights of my blogging life in 2017. I have to know what happens next!

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab! I actually got an ARC of A Darker Shade of Magic back in the day and I’ve been a big fan of Schwab’s ever since. It feels like I’ve been waiting forever for Vengeful, so I am open to just about anything to shorten the wait!

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab! Yep, it’s another Schwab book. I follow her on Twitter and every sentence she shares from a new book makes me want to read it even more. Who even knows how long we’ll have to wait for this book. I need it now!

I’ve been meaning to read more Kasie West since I’ve really enjoyed what little I’ve read from her so far, but I’ve just never gotten around to it. Still, Listen To Your Heart has an adorable cover and I love the vibe of her books.

Save the Date by Morgan Matson! I haven’t yet read all of Morgan Matson’s work, but what I have read, I’ve absolutely fallen in love with. I’m thinking it’s pretty doubtful that I’d ever be approved for an ARC of a book this hyped, but hey, I can dream.

Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka! I was over on Twitter one day and there was a thread where debut authors could talk about their books. The way that these authors were talking about this book made me hop over to Edelweiss and immediately request it. I never have any luck on Edelweiss so I’m just over here waiting for this book to finally come out.

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne! I loved The Hating Game and Sally Thorne quickly became one of my must-buy authors. Twitter’s about to show up for the third time on this short list… Honestly, Sally has been killing me with her vague tweets about this book! It sounds so amazing! Please, save me from my misery and give me this book asap.


Books that originally appeared on this list that I actually got advance copies of are: The Raging Ones by Krista & Becca Ritchie, Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett, The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo, and Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over by Shani Petroff.

Monthly Favorites: March 2018

Not only is it really hard to believe that March is already over (I swear it was just St. Patrick’s Day), but it’s also hard to believe that I had so many highly-rated books last month! I had six four-star reads and five five-star reads out of seventeen total books, which is probably the best I’ve ever done.

Without further ado, here are my top three picks from March of 2018. This was a really hard decision, but I think I made the right choices.

 Best YA Best NA  Best Adult
my review my review my review

What’s the best book you read last month?

ARC review: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

⭐ Goodreads ⭐ Amazon ⭐ 

Future astrophysicist Zorie is a planner. She plans to attend an upcoming star party with her friend Avani. She plans to avoid her neighbors, the Mackenzies. She plans to help out her mom and stay out of her dad’s way. When her friend Reagan invites her on a spur-of-the-moment camping trip, all of Zorie’s plans are in disarray. Even though she hates disrupting her plans, drama with her parents helps her make the decision to go. The camping trip is nothing like Zorie’d expected – what was supposed to be a girls weekend ends up co-ed and it’s not long before Zorie finds herself stranded in the woods with Lennon Mackenzie, her former best friend turned biggest enemy.

I’ve never been a camper. I’m from Wisconsin, where camping is the thing to do and I’ve never even once slept in a tent. I can’t imagine making the decision to just rough it and hang out in the wilderness for a week, but apparently, this is a thing that people do! More power to them, but it’s not for me. Except… after reading this book, I kind of want to go camping in the middle of nowhere!

Jenn Bennett checked all of my boxes in this cute, swoony romance. We’ve got childhood friends who had a falling out. Enemies-to-lovers. Multiple friendships getting hashed out. Interesting, multilayered characters. Some family drama that is actually properly dealt with and not just swept under the rug. There’s also a healthy discussion of safe, consensual sex, which is always a plus for me (and something that I wish would have been more common when I was an actual Young Adult).

I really and truly loved this book and was legitimately upset every time I had to put it down. Luckily, I had downloaded it to my phone so I was able to sneak in a few pages here and there! I ended up finishing in less than 24 hours, just as I did with Alex, Approximately.

Jenn Bennett is an author to watch and Starry Eyes is sure to be one of my top books of the year.

Final rating: ★★★★★

I received a free advance copy of Starry Eyes from The Fantastic Flying Book Club in exchange for my honest review and participation in this blog tour. Thank you!

This review originally appeared on my Tumblr as part of the Starry Eyes blog tour.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten new releases I’m looking forward to in 2018

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s theme is top ten new releases I’m looking forward to in 2018, which I had a lot of fun coming up with.  I’ve noticed pink and teal seem to be the trend in these book covers, and I’m totally cool with that.

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Summer Skin 🔹 The Brightsiders 🔹 The Way You Make Me Feel

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My Plain Jane 🔹 Stay Sweet 🔹 You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone

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Royals 🔹 Starry Eyes 🔹 Emergency Contact

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On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Which 2018 releases are you looking forward to?