In 2018 I read 62 books in total and about 20 of those authors were new to me. When I went through my finished titles for the year on Goodreads, I was pleasantly surprised to see so many new authors. I kind of figured I read maybe 10 new authors last year. A lot of these new authors actually ended up being in my favorites for the year too. (Another pleasant surprise.)
Nic Stone – Dear Martin
This book was very powerful and hit me square in my emotions. It is a call to action for the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and anyone who doesn’t believe in racial inequality should pick this book up. Nic Stone’s writing is concise yet impactful, and I can’t wait to read her other novel, Odd One Out.
Catherine Rider – Kiss Me in New York
This book was the blog’s Book of the Month pick for December 2018, and it fell flat. I really did not enjoy Rider’s writing. It reminded us of early-YA from the 2000’s; it lacked the sophistication and creativity of the modern YA genre.
I was formally introduced to the Slow Burn Queen herself this year, and I do not regret it one bit. All in all, these books were some of my favorites from the year. Zapata really knows how to draw out the suspense and romantic tension. After binging a few of her books its necessary to cool it to not burn yourself out (and also so you don’t run out of new Zapata books). She has 9 novels out currently. I can’t wait to read more of her books in 2019.
Helen Hoang – The Kiss Quotient
This was another of my favorites of 2018. (Are you sensing a theme?) Hoang has such a unique writing voice where each of her characters are distinct and wonderful. Each character has their own voice that stands apart. She has her second novel, The Bride Test, coming out it May, which I intend to pick up.
Jill Baguchinsky – Mammoth
This book was actually an ARC I received. The premise was really fun, and it was completely bingable. The writing is playful and doesn’t take itself too seriously. I can’t wait to see what see Baguchinsky publishes next.
Katie Henry – Heretics Anonymous
Another favorite of 2018! This book also doesn’t take itself too seriously, AND it’s filled with very high levels of snark (which is perfect for my tastes). Henry tastefully hits on subjects like religion, beliefs, personal paths, and catholic school idealism. She has her next standalone novel, Let’s Call It a Doomsday, dropping in August.
Courtney Summers – Sadie
This was another Book of the Month pick, this time for September. I didn’t hate it, but I dint love it either. It ended up being a good book with an interesting twist on the formatting, but in the end the it was over hyped and didn’t meet my expectations. I am still excited to see what Summers does next.
Tara Brown – Fling Club
This was another ARC I received that I really loved. I read it right in the beginning of my romance novel phase and it definitely set a mood and expectations for all those following. I regarded the plot as romance plus, meaning there was more to this novel than a basically romantic plot, which I appreciated. the writing flowed and kept me guessing until the end. I plan to read more of Brown’s novels in the future (I mean, she has plenty to choose from. Goodreads marks 30 distinct works.)
I can’t believe I hadn’t read any of Bracken’s books before 2018, especially since I’ve heard such good things about her Passenger duology. I initially picked up The Darkest Minds in prep for the movie release ( I really dislike seeing movies before I read the book) but I guess I never got around to seeing the movie. The first book pulls you so completely into their world as the main character escape by the skin of their teeth time and time again. I’m really hoping to round out this trilogy (or maybe it’s a quartet now?) and pick up her duology soon.
Astrid Arditi – Olympian Challenger
This was my very first approved ARC from NetGalley! It was a refreshing take on Greek mythology mixed with modern age character; very reminiscent of Percy Jackson. Overall I enjoyed the writing in this novel and I can’t wait to read its sequel, Olympian Heritage.
Christina Lauren – Roomies
This was a book I got through a Goodreads giveaway (Thank you Goodreads BTW), and it took me awhile to get around to reading. Ultimately the plot fell flat, but the writing was good. I didn’t really connect to these characters, but apparently it was just me. Although I recently read Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating and completely loved it, so I don’t know what happened with Roomies. I’ve also heard great things about their YA novel, Autoboyography, so I’m excited to pick that up eventually.
Emily Wibberly & Austin Sigmund-Broka – Always Never Yours
Another Favorite!!! I think this book is actually in my top 5 for 2018 (it might even be #1). I literally suggest Always Never Yours anytime someone asks for recommendations. This book is playful, fun, and self-aware. Megan, one of the main characters, is bold and completely aware of who she is and what her reputation is. I loved this book and everything about Emily and Austin’s writing. Their next book, If I’m Being Honest, comes out in April and you can bet I already pre-ordered it. I’m also excited about their third novel, As We Go Forth, which is set to drop some time in 2020.
Maurene Goo – The Way You Make Me Feel
I had high expectations for Maurene Goo’s writing, but ultimately it ended up being one of my least favorite books of the year. The premise of the book was trying too hard to be current with the time and left me with a weird feeling. I also did not like the main character; her redemption arc like was a deflated balloon. One day I might pick up another of Goo’s novels, but I doubt it will be in the near future.
Kevin Kwan – Crazy Rich Asians
This book was another let down after so much hype. The writing was confusing and there were at least 10 different POVs. And when the book takes place over a 2-week span, that’s just too much bouncing around for me. Also, there’s so many confusing characters that there’s literally a family tree in the beginning of the book; I found myself flipping to the front at least twice a chapter. And let me tell you, nothing breaks reading consciousness like flipping back and forth a million times.
Lyndsay Ely – Gunslinger Girl
This was another underwhelming read. The premise sounded amazing-gunslinger girl moves to the unlawful city of sin? Yes, please. But in the end that book contained little to no action and missed the mark on all targets.
Sally Thorne – The Hating Game
This is another book I am constantly commending to anyone who will listen. The characters and writing are dynamic. Throughout the book you learn things, but their true meaning only shows itself in the resolution of the book. The romantic build up is glorious and the love-to-hate dynamic fraught with tension. This book is a truly stunning debut from Thorne, and I can’t wait to read my copy of 99 Percent Mine, which is released on January 29th!
Wendy Brant – Zenn Diagram
To be honest, I don’t remember much about this book except that it had an interesting premise and had something to do with math. If I’m remembering correctly, I saw the major plot twist from about a third of the way in. Brant’s writing is perfectly middle of the road, but with an unusual enough premise, I would probably pick up another of her books.
Ashley Poston – Geekerella
One more favorite in the bin! This book was super cute and totally nerdy. (And now that I think about it, it’s just about time for a re-read…) The flow of this book is perfectly measured so that it keeps you hooked the entire way though. I also really liked how the atmosphere of the con was written. Poston’s next book, The Princess and the Fangirl, takes place in the same world/universe as Geekerlla and it will be released in April.
Mindy McGinnis – The Female of the Species
This book also made my 2018 favorites list. It was the first book I read in 2018 and left quite an impact. The premise of this book is unique and undeniably fascinating. McGinnis’ books span a multitude of different genres; from contemporary, to historical fiction, to fantasy, and she writes each of them well ( which is usually difficult to do). I have at least 3 more of her books on my TBR currently.
Jennifer Mathieu – Moxie
I don’t remember much about this book except that it had a good message, but the plot lacked the amount of intensity I desired. The writing was decent, I just wished for a more convincing feeling from the moxie rebellion. Also, the book skipped forward a lot in the span of a school year. I believe there was like a 3 month jump at one point, which could have been filled with rebellious antics.
All in all, the year was a mixed bag of new authors. I either really loved the writing and the books, or I just felt a slight apathy to the whole thing. Hopefully 2019 will have a better ratio. Until then…
Reviews For Books Mentioned Above:
BOOK OF THE MONTH REVIEW: Kiss Me in New York
BOOK REVIEW: Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin
BOOK REVIEW: The Wall of Winnipeg & Me
BOOK REVIEW: From Lukov with Love
BOOK REVIEW: The Kiss Quotient
BOOK REVIEW: Mammoth
BOOK REVIEW: Heretics Anonymous
BOOK OF THE MONTH REVIEW: Sadie
BOOK REVIEW: Fling Club
BOOK REVIEW: Olympian Challenger
BOOK REVIEW: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating