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 Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (★★★★★)
A dark horror fantasy, Albert’s debut novel is about a fairy tale author turned cult phenomenon, and her granddaughter Alice, who has been raised as far away from everything to do with Althea Proserpine and the Tales from the Hinterland as possible. That is until her mother is kidnapped and she’s forced to learn the horrible truth of her past. From the dark fairy stories within the book, to a trip to a magical land and a journey of self-discovery, The Hazel Wood is three amazing tales all rolled up in one.
My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix (★★★★☆½)
Both funny and horrifying, Grady Hendrix’s re-released novel is one giant walk down nostalgia lane, but with 100% more demonic possession. Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since a disastrous roller rink party, that is until Gretchen goes missing one night and returns possessed by a demon. With everyone else snowed by Demon Gretchen, it is up to Abby to save her bestie with the power of friendship.
Deep Dark Fears and The Creeps by Fran Krause (★★★★☆)
The Deep Dark Fears collection is a humorous look at humanity’s strangest and darkest fears. A webcomic turned into two collected editions, Deep Dark Fears and The Creeps are unique looks at strangers’ most horrifying and baseless fears, submitted through Tumblr and illustrated by Krause himself. Get ready to feel slightly less crazy!
When It’s Real by Erin Watt (★★★★☆½)
The dynamic writing duo known collectively a Erin Watt are back with another poor girl falls in love with rich guy romance. This time around, 17-year-old Vaughan Bennett is forced to save her struggling family by pretending to be the girlfriend of famous pop star Oakley Ford (a Justin Bieber type). Will their fake love turn into real love? Don’t be stupid, of course it will.
A Long Conversation by Cassandra Clare (★★★☆☆½)
Shenanigans abound in this short story set during the tail end of Cassandra Clare’s Lady Midnight. Watch as all your fan favorites act totally out of character and do incredibly rude things like propose during someone else’s engagement party. While not a necessary read, this short story does bridge the gap between events in Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows, so at least there’s that.
Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers (★★★☆☆½)
Set in a world where murder is commonplace and gods are real, Sarah Ahiers debut novel starts off incredibly strong, but the world building goes a bit too far when literal ghosts are introduced. Not to mention that horse named Butters. While I ultimately enjoyed the story and any non-ghostly world building, the novel was too uneven for my tastes.
Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld (★★★★☆)
The first trade in a new graphic novel series by young adult author Scott Westerfeld takes place after a series of localized disasters around the globe bends reality itself. Full of terrifying and incredibly imaginative monsters, so-called Spill Zones around the world have turned former idyllic towns into nightmarish landscapes. Intriguingly plotted and beautifully colored, my only complaint is how quickly I devoured this.
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (★★★★☆)
Even though it was just as beautifully written as its predecessor, I had a lot of trouble getting into the second book in The Raven Cycle. Despite the extremely slow start however, The Dream Thieves ended up containing my favorite new character — the enigmatic Mr. Gray — and cemented my new favorite Raven Boy: Ronan. Just as predicted.
I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly (★★★★☆)
I didn’t know what to expect going into the soon-to-be adapted I Kill Giants, but I certainly didn’t anticipate being a crying mess by the end. While the graphic novel started off confusing, frustrating and a little too on the juvenile side for my tastes, I was blown away and incredibly touched by the final reveal. Get your hankies ready, because this one takes a hard left turn!