TOP 20 Best Books Of 2018

I know everybody including the neigbor’s cat already posted their list of 2018 favorites, but I thought: one more list isn’t going to hurt anyone, right? Plus I wanted to put my absolute favorite stories of 2018 in a proper spotlight. Somehow I managed to read a whopping 245! books last year, something I still can’t wrap my head around. And somehow, even with so many books, only 7 books managed to receive the full 5 star rating last year. This is extremely low even for me, and I think I’ve been way too critical with my ratings in 2018… On a brighter side, no less than 52 books received a 4,5 star rating, which means I still pretty much loved them anyway. And since there are lots of titles I feel deserve a spotlight, I’ve decided to make this a TOP 20 instead of naming only ten books. And to cheat even further, there are a few authors that I read and loved multiple books of last year, so I’m cheating and counting each author as just one. 😉

Curious about which titles made my list yet? I’m sure there is one title that won’t be surprise for you, since I’ve been raving about it ever since I finished it and deserves the extra love in the form of being named my absolute favorite read of 2018. And that title is…

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Goodreads Choice Awards: Alternative Winners

I always look forward to the yearly Goodreads Choice Awards in November, as it always gives me lots of new titles to read as well as a chance to celebrate those books I loved reading during the year. Sadly, I’ve also seen the tendency that popular authors tend to get the vote no matter how good the work of lesser known or popular authors was… So I’ve decided to put together my own little post and give the award to those books and authors I think should have won instead in certain categories.

Of course I haven’t read all books in each category, so my opinion might vary in the future and I don’t claim the other books are bad. I just feel other titles deserve to be in the spotlight as well. Ready? Here we go!

# BEST MYSTERY & THRILLER #

WINNER: The Outsider by Stephen King. I haven’t read this particular King title yet so I can’t judge properly, but I also feel he got a lot of votes based on his popularity and I think there were other titles more worthy to be getting the award. There is one book that stood out for me far far above the rest… And I’m still surprised it hasn’t gotten more votes. Who should have won the award for Best Mystery & Thriller? Drumroll…


The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton is my absolute top read this year so far, so I’m a bit disappointed it hasn’t gotten more votes… This book will always be the true winner to me. Find out more about why you should read this book if you haven’t already in my review.

An honorable mention goes to The Date by Louise Jensen, which was absolutely brilliant and deserves all the love. Need more reasons? Find out in my review.

# BEST ROMANCE #

WINNER: This Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. I admit I haven’t read this particular title yet, but I do feel there is another title that should have been nominated and won instead… I’m surprised it hasn’t received more love. Which one?

The Smallest Part by Amy Harmon! I love her books in general, and this title is no different. She makes me forget completely I’m normally not a fan of the genre, and I loved every single minute of it. Need more convincing? Here’s my review.

An honorable mention goes to All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover, a title I really enjoyed as well despite a few flaws. Find out more in my review.

# BEST HORROR #

WINNER: Elevation by Stephen King. I did read this title and only gave it a two star rating, so you can understand I was really disappointed it actually won the Best Horror category. Another case of getting the popular vote? In my review why I didn’t enjoy the title. So who should have won instead? My vote goes to one of my favorite horror/serial killer thriller series…

The Summer Children by Dot Hutchison! I absolutely loved this third book of the series and I honestly can’t understand why it hasn’t been receiving more love… I can really recommend all three books. Read more about my opinion here.

An honorable mention goes to Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage for having one of the most creepy main characters I’ve encountered this year, especially since Hanna is only a child. Not a perfect read, as I write in my review, but it definitely gave me the chills.

# BEST MEMOIR & AUTOBIOGRAPY #

WINNER: Educated by Tara Westover. I did read this memoir since there has been a lot of hype around it, but sadly it turned out to be an underwhelming experience for me. Want to know more about the why? Feel free to read my rant here. Who would I have loved to see win then? There was one memoir that especially made an impact on me:

The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton. A truly inspiring memoir about a, innocent man having to spend thirty years on death row. A true eye-opener and very powerful. Read more about why you should read this one here.

# BEST DEBUT AUTHOR #

WINNER: Children Of Blood And Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. I did enjoy this story mostly, as you can read here, but I think there were other titles more worthy of the award. These include the following titles and authors:

The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor, Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young and The Tattooist Of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. There are a lot of titles I still need to read though, so hopefully I’ll be adding more titles to this list in the future.

# BEST YOUNG ADULT FICTION #

WINNER: Leah On The Offbeat by Becky Albertalli. I did enjoy reading this title, as you can see in my review, but there was another title I enjoyed even more. Which one?

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas. Without doubt one of my favorite YA reads this year and without doubt worth reading. Find out more about the why here.

# MIDDLE GRADE & CHILDREN’S #

WINNER: The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan. I admit I have never read his books, but I guess he does get the popularity vote here… There was a book I absolutely loved this year and would have loved to get the award instead; especially since she is one of my absolute favorite authors. Can you guess already? It’s…

City Of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab! I’m in love with this new MG series and I was over the mood when I saw the sequel being announced a few days ago… Even if you don’t tend to read a lot of MG, if you like YA you should still give it a try. It’s absolutely wonderful. More about the why here.

 


What did you think of the Goodreads Choice Awards winners? Any favorite among my alternative winners? Any other titles you would recommend?


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Best Of… October 2018 @aharmon_author @bookouture @johnmarrs1

I had originally decided to include this new feature in my monthly wrap ups, but I just felt there were too many facts squeezed into one little post and the whole purpose of putting my favorite reads in the spotlight was lost. So this is me giving those favorites their well deserved extra attention! I think most people will be able to guess what my favorite read of October was… Although there were a few other serious contenders. Without further delay, October 2018’s favorite is… *drumroll*

The Smallest Part by Amy Harmon!! Of course I just HAD to pick this story as my absolute favorite. Not only was it the only full five star rating of the month, it was also one of the top reads of the year and one I cannot recommend enough.

What I said in my review:

“This story has once again reconfirmed my love for her work. What an absolutely brilliant and moving story! ”

“Between the wonderful writing style, the excellent character development, an interesting plot and the paranormal angle The Smallest Part has everything and more needed to turn this into one of my top reads this year.”

Click here for my full review


There were five titles with a 4,5 star rating in October, but I’ve decided to only feature four of them. Three out of four actually belong to one of my favorite genres this time around. (I’m sure you can guess what genre.) All four of them are without doubt excellent reads and deserve all the praise! In the order I’ve read them:

What I said in my review:

Before She Falls is creepy, dark and disturbing with a lightning fast pace and a few heartstopping moments; any fan of the genre will be in for a treat with this series is general.”

“This story has everything I could want of a thriller: a creepy serial killer, a clever plot, suspense, plot twists, interesting characters, an original touch… All blended together into a perfect detective thriller smoothie”

Click here for my full review

What I said in my review:

“There is just something about the way she writes that makes me forget all about the fact that is not my favorite genre, and she is one of the few authors that can make me enjoy it.”

“It’s short, well written, well crafted and entertaining, and 200% worth your time.”

Click here for my full review 

What I said in my review:

“There is just something about the writing style that draws you right in, grabs you and won’t let you go until you reach the final page. This is one of those books you’ll have to clear up your schedule for, because you’ll want to read it in one sitting!”

The Perfect Family is another well crafted, suspenseful and deceiving psychological thriller that won’t let you go until you know it all… Perfect for fans of the genre.”

Click here for my full review

What I said in my review:

“If you are looking for a well constructed, elaborate and intriguing detective thriller with an original twist, Her Last Move is a great choice.”

“I really like how Her Last Move isn’t just another detective thriller, and adds its original twist to it. The plot itself is quite complicated with three different POVs to consider as well as various background stories. But it all just worked for me, and both the suspense and plot twists are well handled. “

Click here for my full review


Have you read any of these titles above? What did you think of them? What were your favorite reads in October?


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You can also find me at GoodreadsTwitterInstagramFacebookBloglovin’.

Best Of… September 2018 @tjenkinsreid @RachelAmphlett @bookouture

I had originally decided to include this new feature in my monthly wrap ups, but I just felt there were too many facts squeezed into one little post and the whole purpose of putting my favorite reads in the spotlight was lost. So this is me giving those favorites their well deserved extra attention! I think most people will be able to guess what my favorite read of September was after my raving review… And it’s also the second time an Evelyn steals the show. Without further delay, September 2018’s favorite is… *drumroll*

The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid!! There was just no way I couldn’t not pick this title as my absolute favorite. Not only was it the only full five star rating of the month, it was also one of the top reads of the year and one I cannot recommend enough.

What I said in my review:

he Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo had me hook, line and sinker. Not only was I impressed by the writing style right from the very first page, it was the story itself that fascinated me as well.”

“The character development in The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo is sublime. I never imagined enjoying this book so much, but this is one of those books that you just HAVE to try even if you aren’t sure the genre would be for you. Trust me, you will regret it if you don’t.”

Click here for my full review


There were five titles with a 4,5 star rating in September, but I’ve decided to only feature four of them. Once again the titles belong to a wide variety of genres, just the way I like it. And all of them are without doubt excellent reads and deserve all the praise! In the order I’ve read them:

What I said in my review:

Gone To Ground is already book number six in the series, and once again an excellent read. This series hasn’t disappointed me yet! I always look forward spending more time with Kay Hunter, and time always flies as soon as I start reading the first page.”

“Disturbing, shocking and chilled me to the bone… Gone To Ground is without doubt another excellent to this series. I can highly recommend all six books to any detective thriller fan.”

Click here for my full review

What I said in my review:

City Of Ghosts delivers right from the cover until the very last page. I knew I could trust my instincts when I picked up this title, but this first book of a new MG paranormal series has proven once again you cannot go wrong with anything Schwab writes.”

“It was hook, line and sinker when I started reading City Of Ghosts and I had to put all other tasks on hold until I finished reading it. The writing, the characters and their development, the Scottish setting, the ghosts, the plot… There is a lot to love in this story, and Cassidy and Jacob have already found a place in my heart.”

Click here for my full review 

What I said in my review:

“Make sure to brace yourself before you start this one, because it won’t be a happy journey. Radiance Of Tomorrow tells the story of what happens in the ruined village Imperi after the war in Sierra Leone ended. The beginning sets the tone of what will become a heartbreaking, devastating and very emotional read, with little lights shining upon the hope the characters have things will become better in the future. “

Radiance Of Tomorrow has a wonderful bigger message and is without doubt a very powerful and emotional read.”

Click here for my full review

What I said in my review:

“The writing is solid, engaging and makes you fly through the pages as you try and figure out what happened to Seth’s wife and what she is hiding.”

“Suspenseful, well written, shocking twists and slightly disturbing… There is a lot to love in this story and there is a lot to keep you on the wrong path for a long time. There are definitely plot reveals that will manage to surprise you before you reach the final page! The Wife’s Secret is an excellent psychological thriller and a true pageturner.”

Click here for my full review


Have you read any of these titles above? What did you think of them? What were your favorite reads in September?


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Best Of… August 2018 @sourcebooks @RachelAmphlett

I had originally decided to include this new feature in my monthly wrap ups, but I just felt there were too many facts squeezed into one little post and the whole purpose of putting my favorite reads in the spotlight was lost. So this is me giving those favorites their well deserved extra attention! I think most people will be able to guess what my favorite read of August was after my raving review, especially since I called it my new absolute favorite of 2018. So without further delay, August 2018’s favorite is… *drumroll*

The 7 Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton!! There was just no way I couldn’t not pick this title as my absolute favorite. It’s one of the best books I’ve read to this date and I was blown away by just how good it was. This is THE book I will recommend over and over again to those who haven’t read it yet!

What I said in my review:

“Let’s start with another metaphor: even days after reaching the final page of a new all-time-favorite, I’m still picking up the pieces of my mindblown brain. The 7 Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle is unlike anything I’ve ever read before, and I have read my share of mystery/thrillers during my time on this planet.”

“Brilliant. Mindblowing. Flabbergasting. Extremely well executed. And overall 200% worth your time.”

Click here for my full review


There were five titles with a 4,5 star rating in August, but one was a reread so I won’t count it. The four titles I featured here actually belong to a wide variety of genres, just the way I like it. All of them are without doubt excellent reads and deserve all the praise! In the order I’ve read them:

What I said in my review:

Fredrik Backman is a true master in creating unique and flawed characters that you cannot help falling in love with.”

“Basically, I loved every single minute of this book, and while nothing can beat Ove, both My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry and Britt-Marie Was Here currently share a second place on my list of Backman favorites.”

Click here for my full review

What I said in my review:

“What a wonderful wonderful read! My only complaint would be that I wish the story would have been longer, because there is so much to love and only a limited amount of pages to do so.”

“For such a short read, the character development is sublime and part of the reason this story works so well. Nancy, Sumi, Kade, Jack and Jill… I just loved the diversity of the characters, and I can really appreciate the inclusion of lgbt elements. ”

Click here for my full review 

What I said in my review:

Mortals And Immortals Of Greek Mythology is ment to give children a little insight in who is who in Greek mythology with the help of both lovely illustrations and easy to follow short descriptions and stories around the characters.”

“Wonderful to look at and educative at once: this handy and interesting guide will be an entertaining journey for both young and old.”

Click here for my full review

What I said in my review:

Call To Arms has exactly the same quality I have become used to. Strong, solid and engaging writing, excellent character development, an interesting plot… This detective thriller has it all.”

Call To Arms is another excellent addition to this series and I can’t wait to find out what happens in the next book. I can highly recommend this series if you enjoy the genre!”

Click here for my full review


Have you read any of these titles above? What did you think of them? What were your favorite reads in August?


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You can also find me at GoodreadsTwitterInstagramFacebookBloglovin’.

Best Of… July 2018 @RachelAmphlett @bookouture

I had originally decided to include this new feature in my monthly wrap ups, but I just felt there were too many facts squeezed into one little post and the whole purpose of putting my favorite reads in the spotlight was lost. So this is me giving those favorites their well deserved extra attention! I had no new 5 star reads in July, but four titles were without doubt almost perfect. Lots of titles to choose from! But there can be only one the winner… So without further delay, July 2018’s favorite is… *drumroll*

Hell To Pay by Rachel Amphlett!! There was just no way I couldn’t not pick this title as my absolute favorite. I’m still kicking myself for taking this long to start the series, and book number four is without doubt the best one I’ve read yet. I can’t wait to continue with the series this month!

What I said in my review:

“As always, the writing is sublime, the plot well developed and the story definitely has some shocking surprises in store. ”

Hell To Pay might just be the best book yet, or at least the story with the most intensity of the bunch. Be ready for some very explosive plot twists and scenes! This one will leave you staring at the last page with your heart beating like a maniac. SO good!”

Click here for my full review


There were three more titles with a 4,5 star rating, funny enough all belonging to different genres this time. And all of them are without doubt excellent reads and deserve all the praise! Here we go:

What I said in my review:

“If you love a good road trip story with well developed and interesting characters, lots of sightseeing, funny moments, a dash of suspense and a dose of romance that is just right, you will love The Getaway Girls as well. ”

“Entertaining, uplifting, a pinch of suspense and a healthy dose of summer romance… This story will make you forget about your own problems for a while as you join the main characters on their journey.”

Click here for my full review

What I said in my review:

“If you are like me a fan of WWII survivor stories, My Real Name Is Hanna is a must-read.”

“Well written, well developed, emotional, harrowing, heartbreaking and with a healthy dose of local customs and excellent descriptions of the setting… Oh yes, there is a lot to love in My Real Name Is Hanna.”

Click here for my full review 

What I said in my review:

“For a story that is ment for such a young audience, it is surprising just how much you will be able to relate to the underlying message as an adult.”

“The illustrations and easy and well written prose are to help kids understand and enjoy, but I truly think this is a story for all ages.”

Click here for my full review


Have you read any of these titles above? What did you think of them? What were your favorite reads in July?


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Best Of… June 2018 @bookouture @jdbarker @RachelAmphlett @Lisalregan

I had originally decided to include this new feature in my monthly wrap ups, but I just felt there were too many facts squeezed into one little post and the whole purpose of putting my favorite reads in the spotlight was lost. So this is me giving those favorites their well deserved extra attention! I had two new 5 star reads in June as well as five other titles with an almost perfect rating. Lots of titles to choose from! But there can be only one the winner… So without further delay, June 2018’s favorite is… *drumroll*

The Date by Louise Jensen!! There was just no way I couldn’t not pick this title as my absolute favorite. I read a lot of thrillers, but this story simply was something else!

What I said in my review:

“Fascinating, highly addictive and utterly absorbing! If you are a fan of the genre, you simply MUST try this one. Trust me, you won’t regret it.”

“Holy cow, what a read! I literally dropped everything I was supposed to be doing after reading the first few pages and couldn’t put it down until I reached the very end. Not only is the writing sublime, but the suspense is spot on and I’m always a sucker for the amnesia element.”

Click here for my full review


There was another 5 star read in June (The Border) and five further titles were given a 4,5 star rating. All of them are without doubt excellent reads and deserve all the praise! I’ve decided to include all six titles for honorable mentions, since there are two series involved as well. Here we go:

What I said in my review:

“I really liked how Steve Schafer isn’t afraid to state the hard, painful and shocking facts, describing to us in a realistic way how the teens have to run for their lives.”

“he writing style managed to put me under its spell and I couldn’t let this story go until the very end. Ever feel like putting everything on hold until you reach the final page? That is what happened while I was reading The Border.

Click here for my full review

What I said in my review:

“Dark, gritty, twisted, disturbing, intense… Just keep similar adjectives going, and they will apply to this first encounter with the 4MK killer. What a read!”

“Hooked from the first page? Check. More twistedness and new disturbing and horrifying killings? Check. A healthy dose of plot twist bombs that will leave you absolutely flabbergasted? Check. New insights in the backgrounds of the main characters? Check. Fleshing out of the previous plot while adding a LOT of new suspense and a very strong and promising base for an excellent third book? Check.”

Click here for my full review of The Fourth Monkey // The Fifth To Die 

What I said in my review:

“There is just something about the main character that makes it really easy to like her, and of course the whole mystery around what happened will have you intrigued. I’m rooting for Kay here!”

“Highly addictive, well written and a plot and plot twists that will keep you hooked until the very end! Oh yes, if you are a fan of the genre, you are missing out if you don’t read this series.”

Click here for my full review of Will To Live // One To Watch

What I said in my review:

“Lightning speed pace, excellent writing, dark, twisted, disturbing, suspenseful… Oh yes, this story will keep you in its claws and there is a lot to love here.”

“Imagine a war zone with plot twists bombs dropping on you, danger around every corner and no clue how to reach the ending safely… Trust me, Her Mother’s Grave is a story you won’t soon forget.”

Review will be posted on July 19th


Have you read any of these titles above? What did you think of them? What were your favorite reads in June?


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