Reader Favorites – Jennifer’s Best Books of 2018 List

by Maryse on December 26, 2018 · 11 comments

in Book Recommendations

Jennifer’s back!!! And she’s got a GREAT list for us. Short and sweet but her favorites sound amazing, and that one there to the left just might be her VERY FAVORITE of 2018!!

Hi Maryse,

I haven’t been too active on commenting on your blog this year but you are still my go-to for great recs and bargain reads. I am also a frequent silent but observing member of the Goodreads group Maryse’s Book Blog….meeting place.

I had a fairly successful reading year and wanted to share some of my favorites as I’ve really enjoyed others’ favorite lists.  So here goes in the order I found them this year.

The Song of Achilles: A Novel by Madeline Miller <— This was epic; it brought Ancient Greek and Trojan mortals and gods to life for me again from vague recollections of high school required reading. It was about the moving love story and life story of Patroclus and Achilles. The audiobook was excellent and helpful with the pronunciation of unfamiliar names. Wonderful read.

An Ember in the Ashes and A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir <— Books 1 and 2 of a series and I was blown away by the multilayered and complex characters. This is a fantasy that is not straightforward but twisting with unexpected turns. Character pairings are uncertain and the world building is unique. Awesome reads.

Jennifer: Incredible series with fantastic world building, twists and turns. Can’t recommend it enough.

The Obelisk Gate and The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin <— These are book 2 and 3 of a trilogy. I rated the first book 4.5. Great book but it lost half a star because the author dropped the reader into the world, vocabulary and action with no preparation so it was initially disorienting. But books 2 and 3 were brilliant. Great fantasies with complex story arcs that kept evolving. I had never read a story like this, the author’s imagination is unbelievable.

Before We Were Yours: A Novel by Lisa Wingate <— This was an emotional journey told from the past and alternating view of the present through a granddaughter’s eyes.. very compelling story telling and unbelievably disturbing that poor children were viewed as commodities to be sold. Amazing story.

And finally… the amazing Holly Black! I read The Darkest Part of the Forest (which Bev may have been raving about…can’t remember between the time I got this book and actually read it) and The Coldest Girl in Cold Town.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black <— the author cleverly set fairies in a small human town. Everyone knows they are there and lives with faery influence in everyday life. The author had realistic teenagers, a kick ass heroine, and great love of family. This is a stand alone and a great adventure story.

My favorite of the year may be The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. Again very impressed with this author’s ability to weave fantasy elements into everyday normal life. This time she does it with vampires and realistic teenage characters. Her heroine is a teenage girl with a strong moral compass who never gives up. This is a brilliant take on vampires, a romantic slow burn, with a twisting plot. Wonderful.

That’s it…not a huge emphasis on straightforward romance…I’m a big fan of fantasy/paranormal romance and M/M reads as you may be able to tell from the list. Merry Christmas and looking forward to a great 2019 reading year!


Thank you Jennifer!!! :D

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

bev December 26, 2018 at 12:52 PM

Now this list is speaking my language, lol.

I so need to catch up on the next book in the Ember in the Ashes series .
Can’t believe I haven’t read The Cruel Prince yet because the two Black books you listed are so good.
I seriously need to read The Fifth Season. So much love for this series and has been sitting in my library since 2016.

Really love your list.

Tasha J December 26, 2018 at 1:35 PM

I love this list! Short and sweet. I’ve read 2, but I want to read every one on here. :D

Jan December 27, 2018 at 1:33 AM

Yeah I need to read the Fifth Season too. I got it as a freebie a while ago and haven’t even started yet LOL. And I’ve heard from lots of people it’s great. Thanks for sharing your list, Jennifer.

Jean December 27, 2018 at 3:11 PM

I haven’t read one of these books! I love books that are “new to me”! Thanks for sharing Jennifer! I’m especially intrigued by The Coldest Girl in Coldtown!!!! Adding to my TBR!!

Tessa December 28, 2018 at 12:02 AM

I so need to continue to read Ember in Ashes series. I really enjoyed the first one. Oh, and if you love those Holly Black, you have to read Cruel Prince, unless a bully is something you detest. :)

MichelleS December 28, 2018 at 12:35 PM

Fantasy, Paranormal & m/m… girl, you are speaking my love language here! Yippee. Gonna check out any I haven’t read yet.

MichelleS December 28, 2018 at 12:38 PM

If that’s your catnip, and you’re ready for all that AND dark & twisted, try Beautiful Monsters!

MichelleS December 28, 2018 at 12:40 PM

When I see Song of Achilles all I can see is Brad Pitt from Troy. Not a bad thing, actually! Not a complicated read??

Michele G December 29, 2018 at 1:04 AM

Oh yes. I do love The Ember in the Ashes series too…and Before We Were Yours was excellent! You have some other yummies listed up there that are already on my TBR…and are now calling my name.

Jennifer December 29, 2018 at 2:50 PM

Tessa I really liked Cruel Prince…just didn’t love it. But I am looking forward to the 2nd book in January… have you read 1.5, Lost Sisters? It was good as well.

MichelleS I love Jex Lane…read the first 2 but haven’t continued yet. And that is why Madeline Miller is so great. She sets ancient mythology stories in modern-ish, understandable writing. Dive in….her writing and story are great!

Thanks guys these lists are great.

Amy January 13, 2019 at 11:25 PM

Add me to the list of peeps who still need to finish A Torch Against the Night, especially with how good An Ember In the Ashes was.

Love how all of the covers look together up there. Great list, Jennifer!

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