Reader Favorites – Tasha J’s Best Books of 2018 List

by Maryse on December 23, 2018 · 12 comments

in Book Recommendations

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TASHA!!!! I’m so happy that your “favorites” post coincides with your big day!! :D

Tasha J is my other book-twin (actually, Amy, Tasha J and I should be book-triplets ’cause we seem to freak out over the same book genres and heartaches and thrillers alike). Her choices will “knock you in the feels“. Not only the touchy-feely heartache ones. Nope. They’ll knock you in the fear-feels, too!!

Not only do I LOVE this list ’cause it’s gonna be my next TBR list, but Tasha sent over some AWESOME personal photos to share with us (of our beloved blog-baby, Jasper!!!).*squeeeeeeee* (scroll down to the end of this post to see him and her!!) :D

“Hey, Maryse!

I’m going to try to attach a few pictures and I’m computer illiterate, so I hope this works! This is my best of 2018 list and since today is J Man’s 7 month birthday (and the kids are all at my Mom’s) it’s the perfect time for me to do it!

In no particular order…. (also, perhaps you can find some of my comments for a few of these. I almost never review books and I always have trouble putting into words how they made me feel.)”

1. Beartown: A Novel by Fredrik Backman <— Oh how I LOVED this book! It has so much depth and heart, spirit for the game, small town hardships. You get to delve into each character, their struggles and family dynamics, and what happens/ it’s ripple effect through the whole town- it’s just so well done. And so important. I’m still dying to jump into book 2. Though, it definitely is a standalone, I crave more.

Tasha: I can’t believe I waited so long to read it, loved loved it! Granted, it was also the only book I read, but it would’ve won anyway. ;) …It’ll knock you in the feels!

…Loooved it. Definitely had that Friday Night Lights feel, except hockey AND a much deeper issue/message

2 One Plus One: A Novel by Jojo Moyes.

Tasha: …Jojo Moyes- One Plus One. Not K.A. style, but you’ll love it. I’m sure of it.

Little grumpy meet, fun road trip, real life problems, a little drama, funny, brainy kid, moody kid, and romance!! That was probably poorly described, but you should try it!

…I paid full price for this one too, haha, and it’s GOOD!!

3. The Broken Girls by Simone St. James <— SO GOOD! This one scared me, I’m easily scared now a days though, so could just be me. :P I get chills just thinking about “Mary Hand” and that darn chant.

Tasha J: It’s different and spooky and stuff.

4. Lying in Wait: A Novel by Liz Nugent

Tasha J: Well, I’ve just finished Lying in Wait. My mouth dropped at the end. It was a very well written, engrossing read. I kept thinking these people are completely nuts throughout. And even though it was predictable, it still felt fresh to me and I was thoroughly invested in the characters.

And I’m mad for them.

5. How to Walk Away: A Novel by Katherine Center <—This one gave me the same feels as Me Before You. There’s a sexy PT *waggles eyebrows* and I just loved Margaret and her sister’s relationship. Heartwarming book.

6. All Your Perfects: A Novel by Colleen Hoover.

7. Everything You Want Me to Be: A Novel by Mindy Mejia. This was an Amy rec. and I absolutely adored it. It was so much more than I thought it would be. I was thinking more thriller, but it gives so many feels.

Tasha J: Amy, I finished Everything You Want Me to Be and it was fantastic! All consuming, don’t wanna come up for air, 5 Stars! I was on the verge of messaging my rage to u on GR towards the end. Totally thought I had it worked out a couple times. Lol

…gave me all the feels and mystery and thrills

8. I Suck at Girls by Justin Halpern. I read Sh*t My Dad Says, also by this author and loved it too. I just like the way Justin Halpern tells a story. It’s easy to read and feels like you’re listening to a friend talk about his life. There were plenty of moments I laughed out loud. His Dad was in here too and he’s my favorite character to read.

Tasha J: Justin Halpern’s I Suck at Girls was lighthearted, funny, and quick for people with time. ;) And his Dad was back in it and I LOVE his Dad. He’s hilarious. Though Justin definitely has his moments too. They have such a great relationship.

…read a scene that had my belly hurting from laughing so hard.

9. Dead Girls by Nancy Lee <— This is so different from what I normally read. I was searching for some short stories when I found this (on paperback through some used bookstore on Amazon, there is no kindle version). The endings to all of the stories were unfinished. Just left off with no real conclusion and I waned to keep reading more about them. But, done that way, felt just as real and raw as the stories themselves. Sally, in Parts was probably my favorite of the stories. When I started, I wasn’t sure it was going to be my thing, honestly. I didn’t really like the first story. It was done in a little different way than the rest, but I stuck with it and am so happy I did.

Tasha J: Nancy Lee’s Dead Girls was fantastic! Totally not quite what I thought it would be, probably better. I feel like this one is way underrated or something just from the lack of reviews on Amazon or GR. It’s not on kindle either, but I got the paperback (used) within a week for $5. Each short story in it is 30 pages long and they are gripping! Real and raw. The 1st story actually didn’t do it for me, but I was curious enough to keep going and see what it was about. Sally’s Parts hooked me and each story from then on were great.

10. End of Day (Jack & Jill Series Book 1) by Jewel E. Ann <— Just read this one recently and HAVE to read book 2 ASAP. It was so good. Bada** heroines are my favorite to read. Add in some hotties, heartbreak, mystery?! Eeeep….just thinking about it, I wanna jump into book 2 so bad.

11. Binding 13 and Keeping 13 by Chloe Walsh <— LOVED this series. They’re the kind of books that suck you in and you just get lost in. The characters are so well drawn out, and lovable and humorous. I pulled a couple all nights and monstrous migraines for these babies. I can’t wait for Joey’s book.

12. That Guy by Kim Jones <— Everything I love in a romance. This book was laugh out loud funny. An easy, fun book with a sexy hero and a quirky heroine.

Tasha J: Well, I didn’t stop reading it once I started. It was hilarious! I like how it pokes fun at the usual romance tropes and yet still manages to play out a lot of them and not be too corny, but funny. There’s a lot of cursing and probably some more crass moments, but I didn’t even mind. Sometimes that stuff annoys me.

I loved the crazy heroine and “that guy”. Lol, the anger from him was so good. I have country family, and some of the stuff she says totally fits in with them. Haha..The “watermelon crawl” song is now stuck in my head.

13. Beautiful Player (The Beautiful Series Book 5) by Christina Lauren <— Can’t believe I waited so long to read this one!!

Tasha J: I finished Beautiful Player and I loooved it! I’m mad at myself for waiting so long to read it, but I swear it was one of those I thought I had. The only thing that irritated me a little was the conflict, but not enough to bother me too much.

14. Transcend and Epoch by Jewel E. Ann. These books introduced me to one of my new favorite authors!! New to me concept for a story, but done so well. Gave me those old school feels. I also pulled some all nighters on these and I’m so not built for those anymore.

Tasha J: Ohmygurd!!! I just finished Transcend and I have goosebumps! Ahh, I NEED to jump into Epoch right now and I can’t cuz life is in my way. It’s gonna drive me nuts all day.

Tasha J: I stayed up until 2am to finish Epoch. It was epic, I had a knot in my throat and tears in my eyes a good portion of it, and now I’m paying for the sleep. Bc there’s no sleeping in w/littles OR a hungry baby in the belly. :’( When I don’t sleep much, my eyes get real glassy like I’m stoned. I feel ridiculous today and I have to go to a baby shower soon for HOURS!! I should’ve stayed away, but I couldn’t resist!

15. The Perfect Mother: A Novel by Aimee Molloy <—  I read this right up until I had J. This one gave me that Liane Moriarty feel I had been searching for.

Tasha J: It was really good, I’m surprised it’s her first novel. Still followed through on the Big Little Lies feels for me, didn’t see the big reveal coming so a total win!

16. Waiting for the Sun: Waiting for the Sun, Part One by Robin Hill <— Another I can’t believe I took so long to read! I was pleasantly surprised by how awesomely good it was. I mean, I knew it would be, everybody said so. But still, I worried, what if I didn’t like it as much? Damien stole my heart and I cant wait to dive into the next book! Oh, and the acknowledgements?? I had the biggest grin and my eyes got all watery and stuff….love you R!! :)

Tasha J: Ahhh, Waiting for the Sun is getting super intense in the feels and I’m scared!! I feel like covering my eyes, taking a peek *deep breath* and then covering my eyes again. Lol

17. The Lingering by SJI Holliday <— I just finished it and it took me totally by surprise. I mean, the blurb grabbed me, I thought it would be something a little different, and it was releasing right around Halloween, so I was super excited. I’d never read this author before, but now I have all her books! YAY! Anyway, it’s a psych thriller with some paranormal undertones, I suppose. I didn’t think it was overpowering. Great writing and kept me completely invested in the puzzle of what the newcomers were hiding. :)

Tasha J: This is the book I was so excited to come out around Halloween and bugged the author like crazy bc it wasn’t showing up on Amazon U.S. kindle right. And, I’m so glad it did and I FINALLY got around to reading it. It’s a lot different than I thought it would be. I thought it would be way spookier, but it’s not. It’s mysterious and of course there is a paranormal storyline, but it’s not overpowering. I’m loving what all is happening with the newcomers, Jack and Ali, I feel like I might know some things, could go a couple diffeeent ways, and of course I want to know what happened with the history of Rosalind house too. Really well written, first time reading this author.

YEP!!! Consider this my new TBR list. ;) Thank you so much Tasha J!!!

Like her reading style, like I do? Check out more of her favorites:

And while we’re here, let’s indulge in her adorable photos, shall we?

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Leslie M December 23, 2018 at 8:47 PM

Look at how big J-man is getting!! So cute. I also love the tree. :)

I swear everyone has Binding 13 on their list. I will tackle that one after the holiday madness.

bev December 23, 2018 at 8:51 PM

17 best books. You had a great reading year.
Beautiful photos. He is such a handsome little man.

Jan December 23, 2018 at 9:36 PM

Oh thanks for sharing the beautiful photos! 7 months already. Wow. What a cutie your little J-man is.

Interesting selection of books, although I haven’t read many of them LOL. Binding 13 of course. And yay for one of my top favs Beautiful Player. So glad you finally read and enjoyed. And yay for Waiting For The Sun!

Joy Pryor December 23, 2018 at 9:38 PM

Omg, what a cutie! He’s adorable! You’ve given me much to consider! I’ll be reading the blurbs for most of the books on your list. I’m a sucker for a HEA but occasionally I will venture to the dark side, lol! Thanks for the list and the pics of your Christmas Cutie!

Tasha J December 23, 2018 at 10:21 PM

Aww, thank you all! He’s a total turd. I just said tonight that he’s so different from the others, he’s like an alien baby. Lol! And that purdy tree is coming down Christmas Day. Or the next day, at least. I can take no more of pulling him off of it/cord being messed with.
Anyway, about the books. I DID have a pretty good reading year. I’m still bummed I missed some biggies I wanted to tackle, but overall I’m happy with my lot. :)
And Joy, more than a few of these have HEAs! They’re not all dark and heavy, I promise. :)

D.G. December 24, 2018 at 9:10 AM

Aww…what a cutie pie! Just want to love on those cheeks! Merry Christmas Tasha!

R. Renee December 24, 2018 at 9:40 AM

Thank you Tasha! Love you too! And love the pics!

I was told How to Walk Away is great on audio so I have that one on hold. Beautiful Stranger too so now I’m curious about Beautiful Player.

Nay December 31, 2018 at 10:28 AM

Great list, Tasha! Just added most of these to my tbr. Jasper is adorable!

Jenn December 31, 2018 at 4:22 PM

Not sure how I missed your list Tasha and your adorable little man! Before I looked at your list I immediately had to scroll down to see your pictures. Love them! Now as far as the list I read the Transcend Duet-a favorite of mine as well! Along with Waiting For The Sun, I just Read it and LOVED it. I need to look up the others on your list!

Cheryl January 5, 2019 at 10:24 PM

Tasha, great list. I loved That Guy too. Hard to believe J-man is 7 months old. Adorable.

Amy January 13, 2019 at 9:36 PM

Loved your list, book triplet!

WOW! More votes for B13/K13 and the Transcend duet!! Woo-hoo!!

How To Walk Away is up next for me, especially after reading your description. Knowing how Everything You Want Me to Be affected you as it did me, I just KNOW I’ll love HTWA.

What a sweet little guy!! He’s beautiful (and so are you ;) ).

Jennifer January 26, 2019 at 6:15 PM

Loved The Broken Girls. 4.5* for me….great contemporary fiction recommendation. Thank you!

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