This is the season where everyone likes to wrap up their year, posting book lists and recommendations as a way of summing up a fantastic year of reading. So, I thought I’d join in with the fun, and let you know my absolute favourite books of 2018. I’m not at all generous with my five-star reviews, but these are the books that really impressed me this year.
#1 – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a timeless classic that I will never fail to recommend. This is a story that I used to love as a child, but I reread it this year, and was surprised by how much it still appealed to me. This really is a book filled with madness, but it’s also a beautiful story, one that can really open your mind and demonstrate the power of the human imagination.
You can read my review of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland here.
#2 – The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray may just be my favourite classic of all time. It was so easy to read, but not because the writing is simple. Wilde’s writing is poetic, complex and enchanting – all at once. The story, meanwhile, is really compelling. It’s a gothic novel, but it is also a story about art and romance (and appearance). I therefore feel as though this is a story that anyone could (and should) enjoy!
You can read my review of The Picture of Dorian Gray here.
#3 – The Shining by Stephen King.
I have huge affection for this book; it is what brought me out of a five-year reading slump, and it is easy to see why. Stephen King’s The Shining tells a fantastic story that both draws on gothic traditions, and adds to them. More than anything else, though, this story introduced me to the world of Stephen King. He is such an incredible writer, creating characters who are just so believable!
You can read my review of The Shining here.
#4 – Circe by Madeline Miller.
Madeline Miller’s Circe is probably my favourite book on this list – perhaps my favourite book of all time. I absolutely adore mythological retellings, particularly if they focus on Greek myths. Yet Circe doesn’t just retell myths; it adds to them, making them into something emotional and riveting that honestly makes for an incredible reading experience.
You can read my review of Circe here.
#5 – Scythe by Neal Shusterman.
Scythe came as a surprise to me. I picked it up when I was looking for an easy, YA read. What I wasn’t expecting, was to be thrown into a compelling world that is both action-packed, and immensely thought-provoking. The story of Scythe is good, but the ideas it presents are something else altogether. This is a dystopian thriller that may just (you never know) predict our future.
You can read my review of Scythe here.
#6 – Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.
I finished Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet for the second time this year, and I have definitely changed my opinion of it. When I first read it, I found it a little too unbelievable, despite the beauty of the writing. This time, however, I found myself really enjoying the play. Yes, the writing is beautiful, but the story is good, too – if it seems full of cliques, it is because it started the cliques!
You can read my review of Romeo and Juliet here.
#7 – The Outsider by Stephen King.
After reading The Shining, I was keen to see what else Stephen King had to offer. This 2018 release certainly impressed; it is one of those stories that just keeps improving. You think the tension has finished – you think the drama is over – and then it returns in full force. The Outsider is an incredible story that I can thoroughly recommend.
You can read my review of The Outsider here.
#8 – Red Rising by Pierce Brown.
This list ends with what came as another surprise. I started reading Red Rising because I was looking for a good fantasy story, but I had no idea, back then, that it was so popular. Now, of course, I can understand why so many people like it; Red Rising tells the story of a world divided by class (and by colours). It is dramatic, emotional, and incredibly well written.
You can read my review of Red Rising here.
#9 – Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman.
The sequel to Scythe, Thunderhead impressed me almost as much as the first book in the series. It is a little slower, and perhaps a little less thought-provoking than Scythe, but it also seemed a lot more intense, and the ending definitely left me reeling.
You can read my review of Thunderhead here.
#10 – Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin.
Fever Dream was a book that caught me by surprise. It is a slightly abstract book that tells the story of a woman who must fight to recover her memories as she lies in a hospital bed with a strange, mysterious boy sitting by her side.
You can read my review of Fever Dream here.
#11 – Morning Star by Pierce Brown.
Although I was not overly impressed by the second book in the Red Rising series, this third book was very entertaining. I’m not usually accustomed to this level of sci-fi, I found the story really engaging, and even experienced goosebumps towards its conclusion!
You can read my review of Morning Star here.
Thank you so much for checking out which books I have enjoyed reading this year. Of course, these are only the top ten – there are many more books that I have enjoyed reading this year, and it has been a pleasure to read so many authors’ work.
What have been your favourite books in 2018? Let me know!