Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (★★★★☆½)
My first read of 2018 took me by surprise, mostly because I had no idea it was a murder mystery. Thankfully, I wanted to watch the HBO series and I’m a read it first kind of girl. Due in large part to the suspenseful nature of the novel (who done it and who!?!) I flew threw this Australian contemporary drama. Read: Pretty Little Liars for adults.
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (★★★★★)
A dark fantasy set in the world of faerie, The Cruel Prince hits the ground running with a brutal double murder. What follows is a tale of revenge, beautiful dresses, crosses and double crosses, courtly drama, cruel faeries, even more murder, and magic, proving that this novel is deserving of all the online hype. Could it be Holly Black’s best faerie story yet? Damn straight it is!
Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire (★★★★★)
I could read 8,000 more books set in the worlds (plural) of Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series, which takes place at a boarding school for children forever changed after their adventures in other dimensions. The first two books are amazing in their own right, but Beneath the Sugar Sky is my favorite due to its multiple settings, including an underworld inhabited by the dead and a land made entirely of sugary treats. A candy land if you will.
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton (★★★★☆½)
Set in a decadent fantasy world inspired by the court of Marie Antoinette and Japanese beauty rituals, Dhonielle Clayton’s latest novel combines magic, fashion and palace intrigue in the best way. Filled with lush descriptions of frothy dresses and mouthwatering food, The Belles is a fun if predictable new series about a world obsessed with being beautiful.
Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones (★★★☆☆½)
Thanks to beautiful writing and an intriguing premise inspired by Labyrinth, Wintersong starts off incredibly strong. Then the plot completely stalls. Similar to The Star-Touched Queen, Wintersong has a promising opening, but struggles after a sudden change in the plot, sabotaging the remaining story line. Because how entertaining can your novel be when nothing happens for the last 200 plus pages?
Notes on a Case of Melancholia, Or: A Little Death by Nicholas Gurewitch (★★★★☆½)
Written by the creator of The Perry Bible Fellowship, this darkly funny picture book published through Kickstarter follows Death, who is struggling both with work and a duty to his family. With illustrations etched entirely by hand, every adorable page is a work of art, and the perfect ode to the books of Edward Gorey. Trust me, it was well worth the three year wait.
Scythe by Neal Schusterman (★★★★☆½)
In the future, everyone is granted immortality at birth (because science fiction). Enter the scythes, citizens who are tasked with the messy job of controlling the population. I’m a big fan of books that deal with death, and thanks to an intriguing premise and some superb world building, along with a great cast of characters, the first book in the Arc of Scythe series surpassed all my expectations.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (★★★★☆½)
The Hate U Give is one of the most important young adult novels in recent years. Dealing with extremely relevant topics, including the Black Lives Matter movement, Thomas’ debut novel creates some much-needed dialogue in the literary world about race and class issues in America. My only regret is that I didn’t read this powerful novel sooner.
Wires and Nerve Vol. 2: Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer (★★★★★)
Maybe I’m biased (spoilers: I’m definitely biased), but the conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s graphic novel duology Wires and Nerve is perfection. Adorably funny, super exciting, and a perfect excuse to hang out with all your friends from The Lunar Chronicles again, this is the series ending you didn’t know you needed but that you definitely wanted.