The time has come again for a book wrap up. Here are my 6 favorites from last year.
The Secret History
I finished this book at the beginning of 2018, and I still crave the feeling I got while reading it. There are books you love because the world feels real and transports you (Harry Potter) and books you love because of the characters (The Catcher in the Rye). Then there books that read like shooting a FEELING directly into your veins. And this one is it. The Secret History is dark, smart, and will leave you tense and gasping all the way to the end.
Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
I notice a theme with some of my favorite books and that is setting, which Call Me By Your Name has in spades. Italy. Good god, it’s lovely. But also, Elio. Elio is the sweetest summer child that ever was. His emotional narration rips into your heart with teeth that will leave their venom behind, forever infecting you with FEELINGS. Elio’s narration will blur your vision with his angst. You will remember your exact self at teenage-years-old. In short, you will fully comprehend the concept of “shook” when you finish this novel.
Six of Crows | Crooked Kingdom
Four words for you: No mourners, no funerals. I feel like I need a rollie and a burning whisky as I write this. I’m kind of cheating on this one saying both were top reads of last year, but really, this entire universe is just…wow. The first novel in this duology gave me a revelation about how I read. The world is flat-out stunning–sexy, smart, but the characters and plot are phenomenal too. If you love action, slow burn, heists–shit, I didn’t even care about heists until reading this–smart heroes, villains, and the gray ones between, read Six of Crows. If you want to be completely transported, this series is your ticket to Apparating.
I was looking for good fantasy feels when I started this book; let’s just say I struck gold (*waves hand* you’ll get it when you read it). It was even better than Uprooted (which I reviewed as one of my best reads of 2017) a feat I never dreamed possible, in this dimension or its parallel. I was craving fantasy, and this book is the genre’s epitome. When you read this, you will want to be zipped up in a sleeping bag and buried in a tomb with Spinning Silver clutched to your chest.
Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren
I have read four of Christina Lauren’s books and nary a one has disappointed me. But this one…whew. This is one of those books that overreaches its genre and plucks the strings of your soul and stays and stays and stays. I just got all mushy thinking about it again. This book is about gangly teens, growing up, reading in reading nooks, overcoming loss, and finding your soulmate over books. It’s endearing, funny, heartfelt, hot, and now I want to read it all over again.
I did not read a lot of horror last year–three, in fact, and one was a novella–and it will show in how inadequately I will sing the praises of this novel. But this book, this little iridescent bundle of sci-fi horror like you’ve never seen before had me holed up for days and contemplating which lines I wanted to tattoo on my body. The setting is stunning, but the narrator, and the way in which she just wields a good story like a shank in a psychologically and physiologically threatening frontier, is VanderMeer’s prize piece.
Have you read any of these? What did you think? Did you have any favorites from last year? Please, share in the comments. I’m always looking for my next fix.