Obligatory Christmas Post // Top 10 Books of 2018

Well hello there, friend. It's holly-jolly time, which means the season of stressing over gifts. If you know a bookworm (which then you're very lucky. congratulations) or if you are the said bookworm, it can be overwhelming to know what books to buy or even just check out from the library (let's be real, even that takes major commitment).

here's a snowy picture so you know this is an official Christmas post
Aren't you glad you have me to solve all your problems? (actually, don't answer that)

Top 10 Books of 2018

 Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi (Goodreads)
Going into Whichwood, I had no idea what to expect. Furthermore (aka book 1) stole my heart with beauty, paper foxes, and COLOR EVERYWHERE, but the synopsis for Whichwood advertised loneliness and dead bodies??? where did all the happiness and color go???

I promise that it does come back, even after the gruesome bits. For a middle-grade, it sure was...gorey? no, it had "gore" but it never felt over the top or out of balance with the loveliness of the story. 

The writing is enchanting, whimsical, haunting (in a pretty way), and very touching (THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP IS REAL, GUYS).

Perfect for all you #winteraesthetic, slightly macabre frens. 

Walking on Water by Madeleine L'Engle (Goodreads): oh boy. I could write a novel about this book and all that I've learned from it. 

I don't enjoy most writing self-help books, but LET ME TELL YOU, this is not your average writing self-help book. #1. It's geared towards Christians, but if that ain't your thing, there is still plenty of good advice and insight into the craft. 

It's all about faith and the cosmos, but also actually sitting down to write and getting to know your characters. 

Perfect for you philosophical frens. 

 Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie Dao (Goodreads)
Slytherins, listen up, we have found our handbook. jk please don't murder people. BUT SHE'S SO COOL SO MAYBE IT'S OKAY???

It's a retelling of the Evil Queen, which I didn't pick up on until I finished it (i'm clever like that). This is honestly one of my favorite retellings ever. 

I wish that I had more coherent thoughts on it, but short of actually throwing it at you, I can't properly convey my love for this book.

Perfect for all you Slytherin babes. 

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Goodreads): Basically perfect. Love the characters, the plot, the romance was kinda cute, loved it all. 

LET'S TALK WORLD-BUILDING. I DEMAND suggest gently that every writer who wants to know how to build an epic, grounded, tangible society MUST read The Children of Blood and Bone

Not to mention the plot was technically "quest to save the people" but it wasn't cliche, so this proves that the book gods do hear our pleas. 

Perfect for all writers, and Black Panther fans.

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo (Goodreads): If Grimm's Fairy Tales were set in the Grishaverse, the result would be exactly this (in fact, I'm pretty sure that was the whole idea, so good job for stating the obvious Evangeline)

Every legend and fairy tale feels like it carries the weight of centuries. I can almost hear each one being whispered in candlelight to children before bed, which I will for sure be doing. 

Perfect for anyone who needs a bedtime story.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Goodreads): There are so many racial misconceptions, all across the world. Everyone thinks that they know what the other people's motivations are, and so no one takes time to actually get to know people. 

The Hate U Give is a perfect example of books and music and ART being one of the best ways to start bringing understanding to whoever needs it. I enjoyed this book as entertainment, and I enjoyed it as a strong message. 

Within the first few chapters my heart was stomped on, and I think that's very rude, but it was done so well that I can't really get mad. BUT IT HUUUURTS. 

Perfect for people who like emotions because, boy howdy, does it get emotional.

 The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (Goodreads)

*pterodactyl screeching* THIS BOOK. 
I kind of already wrote a review for it (here), but whatever. 

If you read Six of Crows and felt like it wasn't gory or sarcastic enough, then you'll love The Lies of Locke Lamora. It has all your favorites, like:
  • sweet monk who gives orphan boys a home, and then turns around makes them work for him, criminal style.
  • SHARKS !!! (which I mentioned in my other review but I think it's worth mentioning twice)
  • literally all the sass you could ever want. 
  • ummm super hardcore characters doing super hardcore things. 
  • like, 
  • at one point I had to set the book down because I was so stressed that they were getting hurt
  • ALSO: prepare for your heart to be ripped out and thrown into a blender because Scott Lynch pulls no punches. 
Perfect for you secret criminals.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (Goodreads): I was skeptical when I started it, and for the most part, it says the same thing in A LOT of words. I think if it were up to me, I would cut over 2/3 of the book.

Now I know that isn't exactly setting it up as Best Book of the Year, but towards the end, it introduced an idea that has quite literally changed every aspect of my life: Territory vs. Hierarchy. It's reframed all of my goals, what I think success is, my faith, my relationships with other people, etc. 

I think that everyone should be familiar with Territory vs. Hierarchy, so....


Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (Goodreads): This is one of the most creative books that I've read. Anyone who thinks there is nothing new under the sun has never read Strange the Dreamer.

It took tired genres and easily cliche tropes and created something sparkling and fresh. It's sci-fi fantasy, which doesn't sound that exciting or new, BUT WAIT UNTIL YOU READ IT.

As per usual, my curmudgeonly heart says that there was too much kissing, but maybe that's because I'm destined to die alone surrounded by 13 cats.

The characters are endearing, and even the ones I thought I would hate ended up having redeemable or relatable qualities.

Perfect for fans of aliens and epic quests.

Have you read any of these? What are your top books of 2018??



    ...well thanks, I guess, Evangeline *happily dies in the flood of books* xD

  2. *has Strange the Dreamer sitting on bedside table right now* *MUST READ IT*

    My favorite books from this year are the Inkheart series, All the Crooked Saints, and my reread of the Mitford series ;)

    1. Ooo, yes, All the Crooked Saints is a good one. And I adore the Inkheart series. You have good taste in books.

  3. GAH, Children of Blood and Bone was SO DANG GOOD. *counts down days until next book*

    And I wish I’d had this list about a week earlier so I could add them all to my Christmas list. Oh well . . . that’s what Amazon gift cards are for, right? ;) Great post!

    1. WHO CAN WAIT THAT LONG??? certainly not me.

      lol I'm here for all your post-Christmas book-buying needs.

  4. GAH Evangeline you are killing it with these reviews! 100% took notes and will be running to the library to go out and find a large majority of these. Especially the one on writing by Madeline L'Engle?? Had no idea she had written any such book. SUPER STOKED. Merry Christmas Eve!!!

    1. I hope you enjoy them, and I hope your Christmas was wonderful!!! <3

  5. I have started Strange the Dreamer this year but dropped it because it was too big and I renewed it from the library too often. So yeah... Hopefully I'll get to it next year.

    1. #relatable Strange the Dreamer really is a fridge of a book, but it's all worth it. :D

  6. Ooh, you're making me interested in Children of Blood and Bone & The Language of Thorns. Seems like you had a great reading year! :D

    1. I think you would enjoy The Language of Thorns!!! And yes, I had a wonderful reading year. <3


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