Happy New Year! My Top 10 2018 Reads.

I know I haven’t really been posting regularly for the last few months, and first of all, I’d like to apologise for that.

In October I ended up in the hospital, turns out that on top of all my other physical and mental health issues, I am also Type 1 Diabetic. It’s been a lot to get my head around, and to adapt my life to. I’ve had a bit of a rough time typing up my reviews, and keeping my memories in order so I can’t put my thoughts into words properly.

Then the DWP finally gave me a decision about my changing from DLA to PIP, and that’s been an experience too. We’re fighting to get everything sorted, and I’m hoping it will be done soon so I won’t have that to worry about.

I’m telling you this in the spirit of honesty. I am super thankful for you guys following my blog, and supporting the thing I love, on here, and across social media.

However, I did manage to get through 67 books during 2018. Here is my top 10:

10. The Scent Of You -Maggie Alderson.510wwk9m1VL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_

Are you still married if you haven’t seen your husband for months? Polly’s life is great. Her children are away at uni, her glamorous mother – still modelling at 85 – is happily settled in a retirement village, and her perfume blog is taking off. Then her husband announces he needs some space and promptly vanishes. As Polly grapples with her bewildering situation, she clings to a few new friends to keep her going – Shirlee, the loudmouthed yoga student; Guy, the mysterious, infuriating and hugely talented perfumer; and Edward, an old flame from university. And while she distracts herself with the heady world of luxury perfume, Polly knows she can’t keep reality at bay forever. Eventually she is forced to confront some difficult truths: about her husband, herself and who she really wants to be.

You can find a link to my review here.

9. The Story Keeper – Anna Mazzola.

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Audrey Hart is on the Isle of Skye to collect the folk and fairy tales of the people and communities around her. It is 1857 and the Highland Clearances have left devastation and poverty, and a community riven by fear. The crofters are suspicious and hostile to a stranger, claiming they no longer know their fireside stories.

Then Audrey discovers the body of a young girl washed up on the beach and the crofters reveal that it is only a matter of weeks since another girl disappeared. They believe the girls are the victims of the restless dead: spirits who take the form of birds.

Initially, Audrey is sure the girls are being abducted, but as events accumulate she begins to wonder if something else is at work. Something which may be linked to the death of her own mother, many years before.

My review can be found here.

8. The Extinction Trials – S. M. Wilson.

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In Stormchaser and Lincoln’s ruined world, the only way to survive is to risk everything. To face a contest more dangerous than anyone can imagine. And they will do ANYTHING to win. But in a land full of monsters – both human and reptilian – they can’t afford to trust anyone. Perhaps not even each other…

Review can be found here.

7. The Distance Between Me And The Cherry Tree – Paola Peretti.

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Mafalda is a nine-year-old girl who knows one thing: some time in the next six months her sight will fail completely.

Can Mafalda find a way through a seemingly dark future and still go to school, play football and look after her beloved cat? With the help of her family, and her friends, Mafalda needs to discover the things that will be important to her when her sight has failed. 

This book broke my heart, but you can find my review here.

6. The Gilded King – Josie Jaffrey.

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In the last city on Earth, death is just a step into the trees. In the Blue, the world’s last city, all is not well. Julia is stuck within its walls. She serves the nobility from a distance until she meets Lucas, who believes in fairytales that her world can’t accommodate. The Blue is her prison, not her castle, and she’d escape into the trees if she didn’t know that contamination and death awaited humanity outside. But not everyone in the Blue is human, and not everyone can be contained. Beyond the city’s boundaries, in the wild forests of the Red, Cameron has precious little humanity left to lose. As he searches for a lost queen, he finds an enemy rising that he thought long dead. An enemy that the humans have forgotten how to fight. One way or another, the walls of the Blue are going to come down. The only question is what side you’ll be on when they do

You can find my review here.

5. Sawkill Girls – Claire Legrand.

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Who are the Sawkill Girls?

Marion: The newbie. Awkward and plain, steady and dependable. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find.

Zoey: The pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she’s broken—or maybe everyone else is.

Val: The queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives; a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies.

Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires. Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight…until now.

Okai, so this is one of the books I’ve not yet managed to get a review put together for. I loved this book so much though. I gave it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

4. Girls Of Paper And Fire – Natasha Ngan.

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Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It’s the highest honour they could hope for…and the most demeaning. This year, there’s a ninth. And instead of paper, she’s made of fire.

Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. Ten years ago, her mother was snatched by the royal guards, and her fate remains unknown. Now, the guards are back and this time it’s Lei they’re after – the girl with the golden eyes, whose rumoured beauty has piqued the king’s interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but oppressive palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit a king’s consort. There, Lei does the unthinkable – she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens her world’s entire way of life. Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

This was one of my last books in 2018, and it was so worth the wait. I thought it was great! Another 4.5 out of 5 stars.

3. Starfish – Akemi Dawn Bowman.

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Kiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin.

But then Kiko doesn’t get into Prism, at the same time as her abusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the West Coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. And now that she is finally free to be her own person outside the constricting walls of her home life, Kiko learns transformative truths about herself, her past, and how to be brave.

A luminous, heartbreaking story of identity, family, and the beauty that emerges when we embrace our true selves.

You can find my review of this here.

2. Everless – Sara Holland.

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Time is a prison. She is the key. Packed with danger, temptation and desire.

In the land of Sempera, the rich control everything – even time. Ever since the age of alchemy and sorcery, hours, days and years have been extracted from blood and bound to iron coins. The rich live for centuries; the poor bleed themselves dry.

Jules and her father are behind on their rent and low on hours. To stop him from draining himself to clear their debts, Jules takes a job at Everless, the grand estate of the cruel Gerling family.

There, Jules encounters danger and temptation in the guise of the Gerling heir, Roan, who is soon to be married. But the web of secrets at Everless stretches beyond her desire, and the truths Jules must uncover will change her life for ever … and possibly the future of time itself.

This was one of my first 2018 reads, and it was amazing. I cannot wait to start reading Evermore, which was released 31st December 2018 to find out what happens in the last book of this duology. You can find my review of Everless here.

A quick honorable mention to Nimona – Noella Stevenson. download (80)

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel has been hailed by critics and fans alike as the arrival of a “superstar” talent (NPR.org).

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

I loved this book. The graphic style is gorgeous and I absolutely loved the story. I haven’t managed to get review put together and posted yet, but will hopefully be able to do that soon.

1. The Wicked Deep – Shea Ernshaw.51XvY-wN4QL._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

So I absolutely LOVED this book. It is my favourite read of 2018 and I cannot wait to read her next book.

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