Every year, I share a list of my favorite reads from the previous year, as well as some books that I thought were stinkers. This is my 10th year compiling this list. For those of you who are finding this for the first time: my lists are what *I* personally loved and didn’t like from what I read in a given year.
I’m not looking for “quality” literature, but what was a good story, what held my interest. I tend to go for Young Adult lit as well as books that are probably best classified as “chick lit.” A little romance, a little suspense, memorable characters, a relatable storyline… or one that completely takes me somewhere else.
The books on this list were ones I read in 2018, though some may have been published in a different year. This is a glimpse at my bookshelf and what I recommend friends read (and stay away from). As spoiler-free as I can make these (not spoiling any more than what you would see in the brief Amazon description or book jacket).
Links are Amazon affiliate, so if you purchase one of these, I will get a small (ridiculously small, but hey, it will go towards more books) commission.
After Nightfall by A.J. Banner: Someone is dead after a super awkward dinner party the night before. All of the characters did something shady so I suspected them all, which kept me reading. Nicely paced, great ending.
This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel: This one was recommended to me by a friend. I knew nothing about it but there was some sort of Amazon deal for it so I snapped it up and just went along for the ride. I’m so glad that I did. I fell in love with Claude and his/her kooky, imperfect, loyal family.
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert: Sometimes you just want a light, fluffy, sweet read. This is a lot like the movie You’ve Got Mail, only with a restaurant critic and a chef. It’s fun, pure and simple. Predictable, but will make you smile.
The Cast by Amy Blumenfield: Twenty-five years ago, a group of ninth graders made a video for their friend. Now, those friends are having a reunion. This group of friends is all a bit of a mess, but they do their best to be there for each other. Touching, sweet, and a little bit heartbreaking.
Between You and Me by Allison Winn Scotch: No matter how amazingly a love story begins, reality can set in. This is one couple’s story. One tells from the beginning, one from the end, working back.
All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover: Hoover is probably one of my favorite authors. This is another marriage gone sideways like the book above this, but at the same time, not at all the same. I should mention here that her Verity is one of the first books I’ve read in this new year and it will definitely make my 2019 list. It’s a departure from her usual and I can’t stop thinking about it.
The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager. Another from this author made my list last year and this one might just be even better. Emma returns to the camp where years ago, a girl disappeared. The mystery kept me guessing and resolved in a way that I did not see coming.
A List of Cages by Robin Roe: This one belongs on a list of one of the best books I’ve ever read, EVER. It’s YA and so powerful. I don’t want to give spoilers, just trust me on this one. And have tissues nearby.
One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus: It’s like The Breakfast Club with a deadly twist. I was sucked into this one because the teaser for it said that if you pay attention, you’ll be able to solve the mystery right from the start. I thought I had it and I was oh-so-wrong. My 14 year-old had the same initial suspicion I did, though he hasn’t finished it yet, so when he asks me if he’s right, I just mumble something and tell him to keep reading. Just saw another book come out by this author and, knowing nothing about it, I’ll purchase it on the strength of this read alone.
A Spark of Light by Jodi Piccoult: This is classic Piccoult: tacking a controversial issue and having plenty of twists along the way.
Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage: I hesitated to put this one on here because I could see how I could equally put it on the keepers list or the stinkers list. Because it may not hold up on a rereading. It’s twisted and you hate the characters. But it was also fascinating in a morbid way, so I’m including it.
Accidental Hero by Nicole Snow: This one was a Kindle freebie (at the time I snagged it). I check Goodreads ratings for Kindle freebies because sometimes those are stinkers- but this one was and still is as of right now- rated high. But this “romance” had a main character who was too much like a caveman and there was a plot about a gang that was way over the top. Not for me and reminded me that I am allowed to stop reading a book if it’s that awful.
Eye of the Beholder by Nana Malone: another romance that I probably should have quit. Especially since I got to a point where I thought it had to be almost over, check my progress on my Kindle, and found out I still had more than half of the book to go. Bad boy story gone boring and way longer than it ever needed to be. Part of a series… that I will not be reading.
Two by Two by Nicolas Sparks: It pains me to put this book on this list, since, if you go way back to my early lists, he was on my Keepers. But somewhere in the mid-00’s, all of his books started feeling too much the same to me. And this one had a main character whom I found way too woe-is-me, I’m-the-perfect-man but good-guys-finish-last and everything-is-my-wife’s-fault. Blah. Nope. Pretty sure this is the final time I’ll attempt a Sparks book.
If you want to see what else I read or am reading, be sure to follow along on Goodreads. You can also check out my lists from previous years below. If there’s something you’ve read lately that you loved, be sure to pass on that recommendation… or feel free to tell me a book you think I should stay away from: life is too short to read boring books.