This has been a bit of a crazy year for me.

  • Did my capstone and graduated
  • Roadtripped/moved to Maine
  • Roadtripped/moved back to Colorado (thanks ERIC for stealing my roomie. Kidding, kidding.)
  • Finished a complete draft of a novel for the first time in several years, typing some 60,000 words or something crazy from November 1-December 5.

So, that’s my excuse for the very little reading I finished this year, and the main reason why I’m doing a top five instead of top ten. Also, this way I can explain more without this becoming too long.

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Honorable mention (because I’m a cheater): Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I had to read this book pretty quickly, because the emotional turmoil is just SO intense. I loved how it took Eelyn time to work through her feelings, and how when she gets life-altering news, things don’t just pop! back to normal. I didn’t love Young’s prose, though, and there were some things about the romance subplot that felt forced to me. Also, I’d rate cleanliness at about 16 and up. But overall, I liked it.

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Number 5: Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This wasn’t a perfect book by any means, but it was a really fun quick read. I liked that it got more of the detective side of Bruce Wayne than is often used on screen. I liked the exploration of Bruce before Batman. I liked that he was more innocent, but you’re starting to see him wondering about how justice works in practice and, by the end, leaning toward the morally grey, brooding heartthrob we all (okay, at least me) know and love. My biggest complaint about this book is that there isn’t more. I want a sequel way more than the other books about other characters in the DC Icons series. Sigh

The War Thor by Jason Aaron

Number 4: The Mighty Thor, Volume 4: The War Thor by Jason Aaron (Text), Russell Dauterman (Illustrations), Mahmud Asrar (Illustrations), Valerio Schiti (Illustrations) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I read a few comic book collections/graphic novels this year, and this was probably my favorite. Why? Because it made me cry. I’m one of the people who actually like Jane Foster’s Thor (don’t @ me), but Volstagg was the star of Volume 4. And he’s such a big teddy bear. And yeah. Like I said, I cried.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Number 3: Cinder by Marissa Meyer ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book was nothing like what I was expecting. Because of that, I was a little thrown at first. I also didn’t realize The Lunar Chronicles are a continuing story, because for some reason I thought it was a universe of mildly connected stand-alones. Not sure why, but there you go. But dang, I couldn’t get this book out of my head for a few days. The world was original and fascinating. I didn’t super love Kai, but I really liked Cinder. I’m excited to read the rest of the series.

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes
Photo by me

Number 2: Fawkes by Nadine Brandes ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Oh my word, y’all. This book is so good. Stayed-up-past-1am-twice good. I’m so mad at myself for not reading it as soon as it arrived!

I loved the characters. I loved how feisty and brave and confident Emma is—she definitely was my favorite. I loved how earnest Thomas is. I loved the world. I loved the added fantasy elements. The magic system was solid and not over-complicated, which I appreciated. (Side note—it was interested reading this book and Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson in the same year, because they both have magic systems based on use of color. But they are wildly different for many reasons. And the color magic in Warbreaker I found overly complicated, confusing, and at times distracting because so much effort had to be put into explaining it. One of many things I didn’t love about Warbreaker.)

I loved the message of seeking after and standing for truth. That beliefs must be align with Truth. I teared up several times at the end.

It was a tad predictable, especially if you know your Stuart and English church history, but that didn’t diminish my enjoyment.

Unblemished by Sara Ella
Photo by me

Number 1: The Unblemished Trilogy by Sara Ella ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Okay, I cheated. (Again.) But it also would have been kinda silly to list the three books of a trilogy all separately, right?

I actually read Unblemished and Unraveling last year, but I reread them this year before reading Unbreakable. And I rarely reread books because I always feel like I need to read one of the many unread books I have.

Let. Me. Tell. You. This series is so real and so relatable and so gut-wrenching and Ky is my new book boyfriend (but I also am just here for Kymber. Is that an admissible ship name? It’s what I’m going with.). I nearly died last year when I finished Unraveling and Unbreakable wasn’t out yet. This series gave me aaaaaaaall the feels. And it’s so uplifting and all about the redeeming power of love—romantic, non-romantic, and self-love. And Eliyana grows so much throughout the series, which I love to see. Plus, music is a big part of Eliyana’s story, and all the musical and pop references made my heart happy.


Did you read of my top books of 2018 and love them? See any on this list you’re now adding to your to-be-read list for 2019? Let me know in the comments!

Curious what else I read this year? Check out my Goodreads Year-in-Review: https://www.goodreads.com/user/year_in_books/2018/36881220

Until next time,
And have a Merry Christmas,
Selina


Selina R. Gonzalez

Selina R. Gonzalez is an author of medieval fantasy. Her debut novel, Prince of Shadow and Ash, book one in The Mercenary and the Mage duology, will release in early summer of 2020.

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