My 2018 Reading Year in Review

Hi, all! I thought it would be fun to share with you all the books I read in 2018. In total I read 110 books (not sure why it says 109, but that’s ok!). I read so many great books, and also some not so great ones. But I’m so happy I got to share my reading journey with you and I hope to continue to do it again this year!

All data and images are courtesy of Goodreads. If we aren’t friends yet I’d be honored if you added me! ❀


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I feel so privileged that a large portion of these books were ARCs, and that I got to buddy read a lot of them with some of my dearest friends. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my bookish life over the past year. I love you all!

xx,

Amy

December 2018 Wrap Up

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Hello, friends! I know it’s already the first week of the new year but I still wanted to quickly mention these books I finished in December 2018!

In December I co-hosted TistheSeasonAThon and I completed all the challenges by finishing three books. They are included in my wrap up below. I had such a wonderful time interacting with everyone who participated. Seriously, seeing your daily vlogs, photo challenges, and twitter sprints made my heart so full! And thank you to everyone who tuned in to our live show on Heather’s (Bookables) YouTube channel! It was my first live show so I was a tad awkward, but I hope you’ll give it a watch if you have time! πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to host this readathon again in 2019.

I also, sadly, DNF a book which was an anticipated release for me. I’m not happy with that decision, and I may revisit it again in the near future when I’m in a better head space for that genre. I feel like this is a “me” problem. I was getting burnt out toward the end of the year and just was not in a YA fantasy mood anymore, so I fell into slump-territory. Don’t you just hate that!?

Okay, enough of my rambling! I know I said I was going to make this quick but apparently I lied. LOL.


My December 2018 Wrap Up:

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One Day in December by Josie Silver | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Snow in Love by Kasie West, Aimee Friedman, Melissa de la Cruz, Nic Stone | β˜…β˜…β˜…

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6) by Cassandra Clare | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

The Girl King by Mimi Yu | DNF @ Chapter 9/page 120

Mammoth by Jill Baguchinsky | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Winter in Paradise (Paradise, #1) by Elin Hilderbrand | β˜…β˜…β˜…

Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7) by Sarah J. Maas | β˜…β˜…β˜…

 

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson | β˜…β˜…β˜…

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

The Mortal Instruments: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 1 by Cassandra Clare & Cassandra Jean | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel Manga | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…


That’s it! I’m not sure how much reading I’ll accomplish in January since I’ll be out of town a lot. However, if you’re on instagram and you want to follow me around at Disney World, I’ll be posting instastories as I go! You can find me @acourtofcrownsandquills.

xx,

Amy

My Top 5 Backlist Books Read in 2018

Hello, friends! Since I decided to only share my top ten favorite books that were published in 2018, I also wanted to share my favorite books that weren’t published in 2018. I chose five that I loved so much, and I highly recommend!


5. Scythe by Neal Shusterman (2016)

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This is the type of morbid dystopian (er, utopian?) that I’ve always wanted. I was immediately captivated by this complex/controversial system.


4. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (2017)

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I wish I read this book the year it came out. The world, characters, magic system, the writing. OH THE WRITING. Such a beautiful masterpiece!


3. Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson (2009)

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This was the first Brandon Sanderson book I’ve ever read and I’m so glad I chose this one. I am in awe of how complex this world was and how I was able to find so much humor in it, too!


2. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (2017)

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If I were to put this in my top 2018 list, this would be number two. This book hit me so hard and I cannot ever stop gushing about it.


1. The Wicked King by Holly Black (2019)

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Okay, I’m cheating. This is NOT a backlist title. It’s due to release on January 8, 2019. However, I HAD to include it because this book ties with The Cruel Prince for the number one spot. No book has quite devastated me like this one did.


I only kept it at five because it just felt right. πŸ™‚ Out of all the books I read in 2018, I really wanted to give these books a boost because they really are so fantastic and mean so much to me!

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I hope you’re all having a happy new year so far! ❀

xx,

Amy

My Top Ten 2018 Publications

Happy New Year!

Wow. Here we are. A new year brings a new list of our favorite books. I surprised myself by finishing 110 books in 2018. Out of 110 books, I gave 29 of them 5 stars. I had A LOT of 3 and 4-star reads.

The books I chose below were all 5-star reads for me. I judge books based on a few things, but the most important thing to me is how much I enjoyed it. I like page-turners and well written characters and plots. But what matters the most to me is the overall entertainment and enjoyment I receive from the book.

I’m going to post two lists. Today I will share my favorite books published in 2018, and then tomorrow I’ll share a (shorter) list of my favorite books I read in 2018 that were NOT published in 2018!

So without further ado… here are my ten favorite books published in 2018:


10. LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff

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LIFEL1KE was just SO FUN. I loved the action, friendships, and good vs. evil themes all throughout this book. I already know DEV1AT3 is going to be a must-read for me in 2019.


9. Bruja Born by Zoraida CΓ³rdova

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Bruja Born is the sequel to Labyrinth Lost. This is a Latinx own-voices novel that’s filled with magic, tragedy, and sisterhood. I loved every page of it.


8. Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

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Another book that was just so fun for me to read. I loved the action and mayhem so much. And to be reunited again with my favorite antiheroes, Victor and Eli, filled me with so much joy. Plus this book is worth the read just for Marcella alone.


7. Blanca y Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore

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This book totally swept me away. It’s own-voices and so incredibly atmospheric and haunting.


6. Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

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I knew Muse of Nightmares was going to be a hit and it did not disappoint. I love the world that Laini Taylor constructed, and I loved the side story about Kora and Nova even more.


5. Circe by Madeline Miller

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I don’t often read books based on mythology but Circe totally blew me away. It’s so beautifully written and feminist. I now want to read all of Madeline Miller’s works.


4. Heartstopper: Volume 1 by Alice Oseman

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This self-published edition of the webcomic filled me with so much happiness. I cannot stop gushing about it. Please, if you are ever in need of a pure, heartwarming story, pick this up.


3. The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

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I’m in awe that this is a debut novel. R.F. Kuang stunned me with her writing and world building. This tale is dark, brutal, and tragic — and I loved all of it.


2. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

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This own-voices book is full of so much good. I cannot recommend it enough. Yes, it’s steamy and romancey, but I loved the dynamic between the two main characters, as well as the family relationships. Also the Southeast Asian rep which meant so much to me.


1. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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The Cruel Prince was one of the first books I read in 2018 and was the first review ever on my blog. I guess it’s no surprise this book made it on my top ten. It is THE book that inspired me to start blogging. And, wow, that a journey it’s been! I love this book so much (I even reread it on audio) and hope you’ll give it a chance sometime! It’s a faerie world filled with dark, political intrigue, and enemies-to-lovers romance. ❀


That’s it! I also want to thank every single person who has ever reached out to me via my blog, instagram, twitter, goodreads, etc. You all mean so much to me and I am so thankful that just even one person reads my reviews or takes the time to leave a comment. I wish you all nothing but the best for 2019!

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xx,

Amy

Disappointing Reads of 2018

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Let’s spill some tea!

But, okay, really. I do want to talk about some of my most disappointing reads of 2018. I want to preface this by saying I am not trying to offend anyone and if you ended up loving these books on my list then I think that’s great! Unfortunately these just weren’t for me or I really expected more.

The following were books I rated between 1-3 stars. In my opinion 3-star books are good. In fact, it means I still enjoyed them and recommend them. However, the books on this list mean I had some issues with certain aspects of the book, or it just didn’t live up to my expectations (especially when it’s the last book in a 7-part series!)

All of my reviews are linked below, too!

Alright. Here we go.


The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert β˜…β˜…

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This book was marketed as a dark fairytale for fans of A Court of Thorns and Roses and… it was basically the total opposite. I was also not a fan of the main character or how the plot was handled at all.


Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer β˜…β˜…

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I had the highest hopes for this book since I kept hearing it was perfect for Dexter fans. But really it reminded me of Hostel where there’s just a bunch of unnecessary gore for pure shock value. I felt like none of it contributed to the story and the plot went nowhere.


Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd β˜…

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From the get-go this book, in my opinion, had weak world building and a weak magic system. Not only were both not well fleshed out, but the characters were also boring. And don’t even get me started on the “bury your gays” trope. I just cannot deal with that.


Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young β˜…β˜…β˜…

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Okay, I DID LIKE THIS BOOK but I was not a fan of how slow everything progressed. And the romance was so hyped up but it was very minimal. Nothing great stood out to me. It was just… average. I expected more, I’m sorry!


City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare β˜…β˜…

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Yikes. Okay. Hear me out. I’m a fan of the Shadowhunters books, but I really didn’t love the first book (City of Bones) when I read it last year. But I’m glad I continued on with the series because it’s been such a fun journey. However, I really didn’t think anything could be as bad as book 1… but I guess it was possible… because book 4 was awful. You can read my ranty review (I’m so sorry) but let’s just say I was pretty much angry with everyone.


The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda BΓ©rubΓ© β˜…β˜…

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You know it’s bad if you can’t even remember why you didn’t like this book. But the horror elements did not grip me. It was all just… so boring. Also there was an unreliable narrator which completely kills a story for me.


A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer β˜…β˜…β˜…

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Again, this is one of those books that I enjoyed reading but in the end I just didn’t feel fulfilled. The opening scene was quite a mess, and then the once the kidnapped girl ended up with the beast I kind of stopped caring. I will say I did love the cerebral palsy rep and the secondary characters were great. But I didn’t love the “beast” and it was just a mediocre story. (Please don’t hate me.)


Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas β˜…β˜…β˜…

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Sigh. Y’all. I did like this story and the ending was fine. And I will always love my favorite characters. But there were so many things that just rubbed me the wrong way. I really did love the battle scenes. Truly, I did. I just think this book could’ve been SO much shorter in order to get the same emotional affect from us. And some of my favorite characters got the shaft, so there’s that. Bummer.


That’s it! I hope I didn’t offend anyone. These are just my feelings about these books. I know some of my opinions are controversial and that maybe we, as reviewers, shouldn’t let our high expectations get in the way of rating a book. But I have to rate a book honestly despite what everyone else thinks. I hope that makes sense! πŸ™‚ I’d love to hear what books you didn’t end up loving, too!

xx,

Amy

November 2018 Wrap Up

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Hi, everyone! It feels so weird that 2018 is almost over. I also hit another major reading slump, but I’m really proud of myself for reading all of these books! I read some really great books and discovered new authors I now consider new favorites!


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Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Solitaire by Alice Oseman | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Heartstopper Vol. 1 by Alice Oseman | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

EnchantΓ©e by Gita Trelease | β˜…β˜…β˜…

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer | β˜…β˜…β˜…


I hope you had a wonderful reading month! I will be co-hosting a holiday themed readathon on December 3-9, so if you’re interested please check out my blog post for all the info! ❀ Happy reading!

xx,

Amy

October 2018 Wrap Up

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October totally flew by but it was a great reading month for me! And it was also the first time I hosted a readathon with some amazing friends. I had the best time reading those thrillers and I’m really pleased with how so many of you joined us! Thank you!

Below are the books I read in October along with my ratings and links to my reviews. ❀

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Vengeful (Villains, #2) by V.E. Schwab β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

The Tea Dragon Society by Kate O’Neill β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… | Buddy read with Melanie!

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… | Buddy read with Melanie!

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… | Buddy read with Sue & Melanie!

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… | FridayFrightAThon

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… | FridayFrightAThon

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware β˜…β˜…β˜… | FridayFrightAThon

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… | FridayFrightAThon

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5) by Cassandra Clare β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

 

And that’s it! I hope you had a fantastic reading month and I can’t wait to hear what everyone is reading in November!

xx,

Amy

September 2018 Wrap Up

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Hi, everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic reading month. I read some great books in September. I can’t believe how fast it flew by and I am very thankful for all the amazing reading opportunities I had: the best buddy reads, ARCs, and getting to be part of the reviewing campaign for Holly Black’s new e-novella, The Lost Sisters! I also participated in ContemporaryAThon, which I… sort of didn’t quite read everything I intended to. LOL.

But overall I finished 13 books in September. Below are links to my reviews, too!

Physical Books

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Lumberjanes, Vol. 3 by Noelle Stevenson and Shannon Watters β˜…β˜…β˜… (ContemporaryAThon)

Phoenix Unbound (Fallen Empire, #1) by Grace Draven β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… | Buddy read with Melanie!

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2) by Cassandra Clare β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… | Buddy read with Melanie!

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3) by Cassandra ClareΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… | Buddy read with Melanie, Sol, Chelsea, & Terri!

Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich β˜…β˜…β˜… (ContemporaryAThon)

Blanca y Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… | Buddy read with Melanie and Jen!

Fight or Flight by Samantha Young β˜…β˜…β˜… | Buddy read with Lilly, Leigh, & Melanie!Β (ContemporaryAThon)

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4) by Cassandra Clare β˜…β˜…

eBooks:

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The Lost Sisters (The Folk of the Air, #1.5) by Holly Black β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

E-novella provided by NOVL for The Lost Sisters campaign!

Digital Galleys via NetGalley & Edelweiss:

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Paramnesia (The Deadish Chronicles, #1) by Brian Wilkinson β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

I Do Not Trust You by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold β˜…β˜…β˜…

Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd β˜…

I know October is already shaping up to be a fun month filled with haunting reads, and I am so ready! I will also be co-hosting #FridayFrightAthon, so please check out that page for more info. I’d be so honored if you joined us!

And now onward to October’s reading! I am wishing you all the happy fall reads, and some spooky Halloween books if that floats your boat! πŸ™‚

xx,

Amy

August 2018 Wrap Up

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Hello, friends! I hope you all had a fantastic month. I can’t believe summer is almost over, but if you know me, you’ll know I am soooo looking forward to fall and cooler weather! I am a bit disappointed I didn’t get to read as much contemporary this summer, but I’ll try to make up for that during ContemporaryAThon in September.

I read 10 books in August, and I am quite proud of that considering I was traveling for two weeks. Not all reviews are done yet but I will update as they come! All my current reviews are linked below. πŸ™‚

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Fence Vol. 1 (Fence #1-4) by C.S. Pacat & Johanna the Mad: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Toil & Trouble: 16 Tales of Women & Witchcraft (ARC) by Tess Sharp, et al: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Seafire (ARC) by Natalie C. Parker: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Bad Man by Dathan Auerbach: β˜…β˜…β˜…

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

 

Digital ARCs via NetGalley:

Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer: β˜…β˜…

The Raging Ones by Becca & Krista Ritchie: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

The Leading Edge of Now by Marci Lyn Curtis: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Sadie by Courtney Summers: β˜…β˜…β˜…

I hope you all read some amazing books, and that fall will bring you some more wonderful reads! ❀

xx,

Amy

July 2018 Wrap Up

I slowed down my reading a little bit this month since I hit a massive reading slump after finishing The Wicked King and I was traveling. But I am still so proud of myself for finishing five books this month! I’m still working on some of the reviews but, for now, here is my wrap up!

 

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Grace & Fury by Tracy Banghart β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2) by Holly Black β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer, #2) by Laini Taylor β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

 

Digital ARC:

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The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Berube β˜…β˜…

Overall it was an excellent month — look at those 5-star reads! I loved them with all my heart. Did you have any 5-star reads this month? Let me know! πŸ™‚

xx,

Amy