The 20 Best Books of 2018

Best Books of 2018

I can’t believe how quickly this year went by and with so many fantastic reads it was hard to narrow our choices down to just 20.  We read over 240 books this year and had a great time reminiscing about our favorites of the year. We read across genres and years but wanted to specifically call attention to new releases. So, enjoy our list of the 20 best books of 2018 and let us know if any of them made your to-read list!

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The Best Books of 2018: Mysteries & Thrillers

Wife between us

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Everything that you think you know in this book is just an assumption. You can assume that you are wrong. I cannot say much about this book because I do not want to spoil anything but, it is such a perfect domestic thriller.

Warning: do not start it if you don’t have time to finish it. Nellie is so excited about her upcoming wedding that is just days away. She cannot shake the feeling that someone is following her. This is a psychological thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat and question what you think you know!

Find this book in Unreliable Narrator Books / Popular Thriller Books

The favorite Sister and other faux celebrity and influencer books

The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll

It’s a thriller and chick-lit and feminist literature all in one! You start off knowing there is a murder and then traveling back to find out what happened and why she was killed.

But here is the kicker – the victim is a REALITY TV STAR. So the whole thing is like watching a behind-the-scenes look at Desperate Housewives.

It was seriously amazing guys.  It’s truly the perfect beach read and a great one for our list of reality tv books.

let me lie

Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

I absolutely love every book that Clare Mackintosh has written but, this was her best book yet!!! Every time I thought I knew what was going on, I realized I was completely wrong.

Anna’s parents apparently committed suicide, though she think it was murder. Now pregnant, Anna is on the hunt for answers. If you love a good twist, an excellent plot, and great writing, this is the book to read!

7 12 Deaths

The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

This is one of the best books that I have read in a really long time. It is so smart and so well written- the complexity of the plot line is mind-boggling and kept me absolutely entranced until the very last page.    

Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered every day at 11:00 PM. In order to escape Blackheath, Aiden Bishop must solve her murder. He will wake up every day for 8 days inhabiting a different host body. 

Everything is explained and in hindsight is so clear but, will keep you guessing throughout the entire book. This is a locked room mystery but with a twist, and a delightful one at that.

Best Books of 2018: YA

Love Hate

Love, Hate, and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

This accurate depiction of high school crushes also focuses on Maya, an Indian-American Muslim, who faces Islamophobia in her suburban Chicago school.

In the story, Maya’s budding relationship with a non-muslim classmate helps her break out of her shell and determine what kind of life she really wants, even if it goes against her strict parent’s wishes. The love story feels genuine and realistic for high school and the end left me with warm and fuzzies.

the beauty that remains

The Beauty That Remains by Ashely Woodfolk

What a fantastic debut novel! Ashley Woodfolk is an author to look for in the future.  Each teen in this story is learning how to cope with life in the aftermath of intolerable loss.  Woodfolk tells each of their stories with such emotion and understanding and integrates them seamlessly.

Logan, Shay, and Autumn are all dealing with loss differently and Woodfolk does a wonderful job of telling their stories. The stories seem so genuine- not neglecting the role of friends, parents, and siblings when dealing with loss.

Despite being about a difficult topic, this book is so readable and relatable.  Teens, young adults, and adults alike will be able to read this book and relate. 

Best Books of 2018: Contemporary Fiction

my sister serial killer

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Easily one of the most unique books about sisters and books in general, I’ve ever read. This debut was fabulous. Despite the title, this book is more literary fiction than anything else. Korede has to hide the secret that her gorgeous sister, Ayoola, is a serial dater who murders her many boyfriends.

When Ayoola sets her sights on the only man Korede fancies, Korede has to decide where her loyalties lie. More about the emotional bonds of sisters, the murder is just an undercurrent of the story forcing emotions to the surface of this book. This is one of the best murder mystery books of all time and an African novel that is not to be missed.

Us against you

Us Against You by Fredrik Backman

Backman does it again with this book.  He writes about characters that are so real in a story that is so compelling that you cannot help but keep turning the page.  This story picks up exactly where Beartown left off so reading Beartown first is a must. 

I thought that Beartown ended well and it wasn’t until I started reading this book that I realized the story wasn’t nearly finished.  Maya, Ana, Amat, Bobo, Peter, and Benji are all back with their stories.

The Best Books of 2018: Historical Fiction

great alone

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Another Kristin Hannah story, another NYT best seller – and for good reason! I liked this coming-of-age story set. in the Alaskan wilderness.

This isolation book is so haunting.  I could not get it out of my head.  Kristin Hannah is an amazing writer with wonderful characters.  Her stories feel realistic almost to a fault.  They are heartbreaking and heartwarming and utterly unforgettable.  I did not think that I would like a book about Alaska but, I could not put it down.

Ernt Allbright has come home from the Vietnam War traumatized and as his mental state deteriorates, his wife, Cora, and daughter, Leni, must learn to navigate the Alaskan wilderness on their own. If you love family drama books set in the 70s, this one is not to be missed.

The lost Vintage

The Lost Vintage by Anne Mah

This mystery book feels like a warm hug. A little bit of historical fiction, a little bit of mystery, and a little bit of romance. It was so lovely to read at sunset with a glass of wine.

The writing, the story, the whole thing made this book a no-brainer for our feel-good books list and our fiction books about wine.

Kate is working to become a certified wine expert and the only thing standing in her way are the Burgundy wines at her family’s estate (and her first love who lives nearby).

While dealing out the basement filled with generations of belongings, Kate starts to learn about her family during the WWII occupation. Of all the WWII books, this is the one we recommend the most and we have never had anyone not love it.

Where the Crawdads sing

Where the Crawdads Sing Deluxe Edition by Dehlia Owens

September 2018 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

I will admit when I saw the description of this coming-of-age book, I was not sold.  A trusted individual, who has never steered me wrong in the past, gave me an advanced copy so, I took the leap.  And wow, am I glad I did.  I read this book and then recommended it to everyone I knew.  It is one of the best mystery novels I have ever read.

This 70s book has that spark, that special something, that makes it extra. The book begins when a body is found in a North Carolina marsh and is identified as Chase Andrews. The story moves between the past and the present to tell the story of Kya Clark, The Marsh Girl, who is a suspect in the murder.

We have an entire post dedicated to this book and how to host a book club around it which makes it a perfect book for book clubs! If you love this book, check out our list of 13 books like Where the Crawdads Sing.

For more books like these, check out our list of 13 books like Where the Crawdads Sing

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton - A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick! #reesewitherspoonbookclub #nextyearinhavana

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

July 2018 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

I picked up Next Year in Havana after Reese Witherspoon recommended it in July – I wasn’t disappointed! This historical fiction tale about a young Cuban American woman who visits Cuba for the first time to spread her grandmother’s ashes is one of my favorite books of the year. What Marisol thought would be a simple quest turns her world upside down as she uncovers secrets from her grandmother’s past. Cuba becomes a character in this novel and it’s truly spectacular.

The Best Books of 2018: Fantasy

51B rPb8zIL

The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar

This book is about Syrian life and a modern-day refugee seeking safety.  The story is spliced in with another taking place centuries before – a mythical adventurer looking to learn the map-making trade. War-torn Syria is hard to read about, but the mapmaker’s tale helps lessen some of the heavier moments.

You will be rooting for both heroines in this moving tale destined for our list of books that will emotionally wreck you.

Circe

Circe by Madeline Miller

The Odyssey is one of my all-time favorite books and I think I read Du’Laires Book of Greek Myths more than any other book when I was in middle school. Which means I ADORED Circe!

Circe, the nymph who is but a footnote in Du’Laires and gets overshadowed in The Odyssey was a fascinating goddess I can’t believe I knew so little about. I’m desperate to read Madeline Miller’s first book – The Song of Achilles now that I read this adult fantasy book.

Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of Air #1) by Holly Black

When Jude was seven years old, her parents were murdered and she was taken to live in the high court of the Faeries with her two sisters. Now, ten years later, Jude is living as a human among faeries and trying to find her place in Court.

This is book is filled with angst, treachery, and drama that makes it completely addicting. I ordered the sequel the minute that I was done with this book, which is the first in a trilogy.

If you are looking for books like A Court of Thorns and Roses, this pick is tamer but addictive as well. This series should be on your radar for books that are more appropriate for the younger YA audience as well.

Find this book in YA Fantasy Romance / Fae Books/ Books Like A Court of Thorns and Roses / YA Fantasy Series / Ultimate List of YA Fantasy / Enemies-to-lovers books

Spinning silver

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

I adored this YA fantasy book by Novik. I loved the strong female characters, the story, and the writing.  This book is a classic retelling of Rumplestiltskin that is complex and wonderful and the ending had me in tears.

Miryem’s family are moneylenders but her family is in poverty because her father does not collect his debts. In an effort to save her family, Miryem begins collecting the debts herself and soon a rumor begins that she can turn silver into gold. Soon, these rumors spread to the king of Staryk, and Miryem’s life changes forever when he comes to see if the rumors are true.

Find this book in YA Fantasy Books / The Best Winter Books / Fairy Tale Retellings / Books with Colors in the Title

legendary 1

Legendary by Stephanie Garber

I read this early and let me tell you- It is amazing.  It was on our list of upcoming adult releases for the summer but, if you loved Caraval, you must read this book! 

I am not sure how it is possible but, it is better than the last one.  It started full steam ahead and did not stop.  This story is told from Tella’s point of view and begins immediately after Caraval ends.  I loved it and can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

The Best Books of 2018: Non-Fiction

educated

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

This coming-of-age book had me thinking about it for DAYS. I mean truly, DAYS. This book about poverty shows the impact how a lack of education can impact generations.

Tara’s journey was inspiring, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking all in one. This nonfiction book about cults had great insight into more extremist religions and survivalists.

I don’t usually read memoirs and I heard great things about this book.  I loved it so much- it made my list of favorites for the year last year.  It is such an amazing story that reads like a novel rather than non-fiction.

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