I know there’s still some time left before 2018 ends, but it’s definitely time to start making the lists and anything that I read that I want to add to the list after compiling it is going to be just mindblowingly awesome. (Very likely. I have some amazing books on my TBR pile that I’m hoping to get to before the year ends.)
In no particular order, let’s go take a look at the books I’ve enjoyed most this year! (Well, up to today anyway.) As usual, though, I’m restricting myself to 10 books.
1. Baker Thief by Claudie Arseneault
I GET TO TALK ABOUT THIS THIS YEAR. I loved this so much. It’s such a fun enemies-to-significant-others story. It’s got everything you’ve come to love from a Claudie Arseneault story: a diverse cast in all ways, a lush and delightful (city) setting, great queer rep (especially ace and aro), solarpunk aesthetic and ideals, family (blood or chosen) looking out for one another, and fantastic relationships all around!
Did I mention it’s got witches and superpowers and secrets and that this is a delightfully bilingual book? And that it’s just gorgeous in its descriptions and the action is just fantastic and, wow, I just. What are words. I adored this book last year and I was so happy to reread it this year. 😀
2. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
This book blew me away when I read it. It’s raw and powerful, packing a really hard punch. Again, what are words? I just. I couldn’t put this book down. Zélie’s quest is just so emotional and engaging. Adeyemi deals with aspects of fantasy narratives that most other books just glance past or glean over without too much thing.
And it’s just… I loved these characters and the way they struggled to communicate with one another given how large a bridge there is between their positions in life. Just. MARGLEASDSN. Read it.
CN: Assume that, if it’s something commonly warned for, it’s included in this book.
3. Dreamstorm by M.C.A. Hogarth
The conclusion (not counting the epilogue novella) of The Dreamhealers Saga! And wow did it not disappoint. I was swept away by the first time I read it. And then I read it again to write an essay about the series as a whole and it was still wonderful and delightful. It’s got a fantastic mix between calm, domestic scenes and THINGS GOING HORRIBLY WRONG. Also there is possibly too little baking to feel like a ‘proper’ Vasiht’h book, but there is also baking and delightfulness and just… It is a book that make me intensely happy this year.
4. Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann
Aaaaaaaaah! I was so excited about this book last year, especially when I heard about what some of the changes from SwoonReads were, and just. Woooooooow. I loved this so much. I adored Alice. She’s such a delightful geek. And looooook. Like. I know plenty of books that do this, but still. Loooooook. Aces getting happy endings! And not being, like, dead by the end of it. I wish thiiiiiis had been my very first ever ace book. That would’ve been so, so, so nice. <3
5. Storm Wings by Becca Lusher
Book 4 of Wingborn. So definitely read the others first. We continue the adventures of Mhysra and her friends. The slow-burn romance fiiiiiiiiiiiiiinally goes somewhere and wow was that good. Also contains one Stirla shopping with a tomboy princess. That scene is every bit as good as it sounds and, honestly, this book deserves to be on this list of my favourite books for this year just for that chapter.
And then the dragons showed up and we finally learn what’s going on with Mouse and some of what’s happening with the Overworld and just aaaaah my heart. (Also Becca put in Moar Bumble just for me and how could you not love that massive, winged pup?)
6. The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
AAAAAAAAAAAH! THIS IS SO GOOOOOOOOOOOOD. And, okay, it is superdark and I don’t recommend reading it on your own or in places where you cannot be emotionally compromised because this will gut you with feels. And also darkness but they’re part of the feels and I just. WHAT ARE WORDS. This is easily THE BEST book I’ve read, like, ever. It is that good. I loved it and I’m am in awe of it and just. Go read it. Unless the warnings are things you cannot read, then don’t, of course. Be safe. But otherwise this is SO GOOD and wooooooow.
CN: Assume that, if it’s something commonly warned for, it’s included in this book. I am not kidding all the warnings apply. There are, like, zero exceptions to this. If you need a warning for anything, tread with caution.
7. Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan
Last book in The Memoirs of Lady Trent. This is my fave of the lot, but I don’t recommend reading it without first reading the others. They’ll make much more sense. Or you could start with this one and play Spot The Foreshadowing with the rest, I suppose. But this has sooooo much languages and linguistics and fun stuff!
Also dragons. Lots of dragons. And adventures and alt!Victorian ladies going on adventures FOR SCIENCE! And it’s just great.
8. Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis
Speaking of alt!Victorian ladies doing things FOR SCIENCE… Okay, so that’s not technically what Cassandra is doing in this book, but she’s definitely a sciency-magic lady who is very frustrated by the fact that she can no longer do science-magic after spending, like, all her life, getting to be accepted and allowed to do it.
And then she gets herself trapped in a bargain with one of the fae. THIS GOES ABOUT AS WELL AS YOU’D EXPECT and then there’s her former fiancé who’s determined to not-ruin their relationship. (To be fair, Cassandra needed to be whacked with a pillow and literally everyone but Cassandra knows it and there’s sibling teasing and shenanigans afoot.)
And this is just a ton of fun.
9. Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones
Loooooooook at this. Looooooook at it. It’s so lush and gorgeous and wonderful. I do kind of prefer the first book, but that’s partially because the first book is a little more straight-forward in its narrative. This one is all twisty and turny and relies far more on magical realism and unreliable narrators both and requires much more careful reading. Also it has a larger cast and delves into lots of questions about mental health and just. Wow, this was such a beautiful book to read.
10. Moon-bright Tides by RoAnna Sylver
CUTEST F/F ROMANCE. Technically this is a short story, so it’s also a short read. It has so much in it, though. A neurodivergent witch, a mermaid, a fantastic setting that garners lots of questions (but enough answers to make the story work and the reader want moar) and just. MARGLEFLUDDLE. WORDS.