Wednesday 12 December 2018

My Favourite Books Of 2018

2018 has been the year I've gotten back into reading and I'm so, so happy about that. After going such a long time without even thinking about picking up a book, I decided that this was going to be the year I went back to something I used to absolutely adore. I've got through far more books than I imagined I would so I thought it was about time I picked some of my favourites. This was a very tough choice, I've read such a variety this year from classic love stories to terrifying thrillers but I've chosen 6 (random number I know but there was a few that I just couldn't leave!) that have stuck with me ever since I finished the last page.
stack of books

1. Five Years From Now by Paige Toon

There was no way this was going to be anywhere other than at the top of the list. I'd not read any of Paige's books before but I spotted this in a supermarket one day, read the synopsis and then was annoyed at myself for weeks for not just picking it up at the time! When I eventually got round to reading it, it exceeded all expectations. I went into it obviously expecting a love story but it was so much more than that. The story of Nell and Van was so intense and their love for one another so strong, it just breaks my heart to even think about it still. Something about this just got me and each book I've read since has had a lot to live up to. The way Paige writes makes you feel as if you're in the story with each of the characters and going through what they are which is so clever. Every five years when it seemed there may be a chance for Nell and Van, I was desperate for things to work out. Whilst this may have not had the exact ending I wanted, it's a beautiful love story and I don't think it will be too long before I'm re-reading it.
Five Years From Now book

2. One Day In December by Josie Silver

It was so close between this and Five Years From Now for the number 1 spot. It's another book that once I read the synopsis, I knew I would have to buy it. Whilst I expected to enjoy it, because it's the sort of book I'd usually go for, I never thought I'd read it all in three hours because I couldn't stop. It's like my hands were glued to it, each chapter I just had to keep going. It's about Jack and Laurie whose eyes meet through a bus window and they instantly fall in love. Despite her searching, Laurie can't find him anywhere after her bus drives off, that is until her best friend Sarah brings home her new boyfriend. Yep, it's Jack. What follows is a brilliant story of friendship, true love and how if you're meant to be with someone, you'll always find your way back to one another. I was rooting for Laurie and Jack right from the beginning and I felt every single thing they did. I was an emotional mess at times but then beaming from ear to ear in other chapters. It just had everything you want in a love story. It's got a very Love Actually feel to it and with it being set around Christmas and New Year, it would make a wonderful gift. A really beautiful book in every way.

3. The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Different to the other books so far but one that shocked me more than any other book ever has. I've really been into thriller type books this year and this was one that really intrigued me. You assume it's about an angry ex-wife, jealous of her 'replacement' but wow there is so much to it than that. Every assumption you make throughout will be wrong, trust me. Every single time I thought I had worked out who the 'bad guy' was, the story flipped on its head and I was right back at the start trying to figure it out. It was complex but not confusing if that makes sense. It does require some real thinking every few chapters but it's written so well, at no point did I think 'this is too much'. I've just never known a book have so many twists and turns, and the one that is revealed at the end of part one blew my mind. The same thing happened again with the epilogue. I could never guess where it was going and I loved it for that. It kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.
The Wife Between Us book

4. The Sisters by Claire Douglas

Another thriller that really did impress me. I've always stuck to romance type books until this year but The Sisters was the first of another genre that stood out to me. It follows Abi who moves to Bath for a fresh start after her sister's death. She quickly becomes friends with siblings Bea and Ben, who she soon discovers have some unsettling secrets of their own. From the start, I really didn't know where this was going to go. Weird things start happening once Abi is settled and whilst the obvious culprit is Bea who has been a little weird from the start, it's really not as simple as that and we uncover quite a deep backstory. Given everything Abi has been through, at times it even comes across like she's doing a serious of crazy things just for attention so it really does change throughout and I could never quite work out where it was going to go next. It has a brilliant twist at the end which I couldn't stop thinking about for days and now if somebody is asking for book recommendations, this is always my go to. It always tend to be priced around £2 on Amazon so if you haven't read this already, give it a go.

5. Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

This is one of the latest books I've read and it was definitely more of a mystery novel than anything else. Different to everything else I'd already read before it but incredibly gripping. This is about Laurel who is trying to rebuild her life after her daughter Ellie's disappearance. Just as she's getting back on track, she meets Floyd, he seems like the perfect man. Then she meets his daughter who looks identical to Ellie. Instantly it makes you think of so many different scenarios about what could have happened to Ellie and if Floyd can really be trusted. It throws you straight in but we get flashbacks so we can really build up the story ourselves. I loved Lisa's writing, you really do feel for so many of the characters and it was never just a straightforward path to the culprit. The ending was actually really emotional too which I wasn't expecting. I've got a full review of this going up in a few days in case you want to know more!

6. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

This is the book that made me include 6 on this list because I just couldn't leave it. It was the first book this year that made me want to carry on reading and it really made me fall back in love with it again. It was the book everyone was talking about so I was a little worried it wouldn't live up to the hype but I had no reason to feel like that. I absolutely loved the character of Eleanor, I thought she was very relatable in that she didn't have this perfect life and was actually quite down and miserable a lot of the time. She clearly had her struggles growing up and I liked how her story unfolded, leading us a massive twist at the end that I really don't you think get any inkling about. To say it was Gail Honeyman's debut, I thought it was brilliant and I'm excited to read more from her in future.
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine book
It was incredibly difficult to whittle down all of the books I've read this year into this small list as hardly any disappointed me but these all stood out to me when thinking back over the year. Now I really do love nothing more than getting stuck into a good book, it takes me away from all things social media for a while and opens up this whole new world. I can't wait to discover even more brilliant books in 2019.

Which books stand out for you from 2018? Have you read any of these too?

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