Top Books of 2018

Goodreads Challenge: 50
Books Finished: 51
Books DNF: 19

Last year I was ambitious and wrote out all the books I read.  This year I’m just going to talk about my top picks and biggest disappointments.


Top 10 Books/Series

10. Blister by Jeff Strand

Blister coverSurprisingly much more insightful than what it’s billed to be.

9. Two Hearts by Peter S. Beagle

Two Hearts coverYou can read this for free through the link.  It’s honestly the best I could hope for from a sequel to such an epic work.  It continues the themes without being trite and the resolution is beautiful if bittersweet.

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The State of the Reader: 12/19/18

<–The State of the Reader: 12/5/18          The State of the Reader: 1/2/19–>

A weekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Purchased: 1


Books Finished: 2

Title: Muse of Nightmares
Series Title: Strange the Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Date Added: December 20, 2017
Date Started: October 6, 2018
Date Finished: December 5, 2018

Muse of NightmaresMedia: Hardback

There was one point where I thought the plot was a little slow, but the ending more than made up for it, and it wasn’t so much slow as establishing.  It’s just as amazing as the first book and one of the few duologies I’ve read, though there might be (and god I hope there is) more.

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The State of the Reader: 12/5/18

<–The State of the Reader: 10/24/18          The State of the Reader: 12/19/18–>

A weekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Purchased: 9


Books DNF: 2

  • A Lick of Frost by Laurell K. Hamilton (Meredith Gentry) – Somehow or another LKH made silver hair boring.  I didn’t think that was possible, but she did it.  “But his hair was uniquely his own, silver, like metal beaten into hair.”  Are you…fucking…kidding me?  I didn’t even finish the first chapter and I took the rest of her books of my TBR list.  I love her earlier work, but you can tell she now only cares about collecting a check.
  • The Stillness of the Sky by Starla Huchton (Flipped Fairy Tales) – Fuck abusive parents and fuck kindness when you’re being abused.  I know I have a huge issue with blaming the victim in stories like this.  I want to shake them and tell them to not put up with it, even though I know intellectually that that’s not fair.  It’s not the victim’s fault their abusers are trash.  I’m much more cognizant of it in real life, but in stories I hate a particular type of naivete in protagonists.  I think I hate when naivete is unrealistic even for fairy tales.  The MC is actually shocked her drunken, abusive father is willing to sell her to a whorehouse in order to pay his debts and continue to get his fix.  It just bugged me that she wouldn’t expect this from a man who’s done nothing but beat and belittle her since her mother left.  This is a Jack and the Beanstalk retelling, which isn’t one of my favorite stories in the first place, and I’m not invested enough in the character.  The ironic thing is this story is what got me interested in the Flipped Fairy Tale series in the first place.  I added it then realized it was the “second” in the compendium so I read Shadows on Snow first,which was okay.  It’s not like they’re in any order; I think it’s just the order Huchton wrote them.

Books Finished: 5

Title: Alex + Ada: The Complete Collection
Series Title: Alex + Ada
Author: Jonathan Luna
Artist: Sarah Vaugn
Date Added: October 28, 2016
Date Started: June 17, 2018
Date Finished: October 28, 2018
Reading Duration: 133 days

Alex + AdaIt didn’t take me this long to read this entire collection; I just split it up to pad my reading total.  The Complete Collection is made up of three books, but I read the one pictured above.  People rated the second and third higher than the first, and I’m not really sure why.  It’s an excellent series, and even though it doesn’t do anything new, it refines many previously touched on points in fiction involving AI sentience.

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The State of the Reader: 10/24/18

<–The State of the Reader: 10/10/18          The State of the Reader: 12/5/18–>

A weekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Purchased: 3


Books Finished: 4

Title: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
Series Title: Montague Siblings
Author: Mackenzi Lee
Date Added: August 18, 2018
Date Started: September 24, 2018
Date Finished: October 16, 2018

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and VirtueMedia: eBook/Kindle

This book was not remotely what I expected, and that’s a wonderful thing.  It was spectacular.  Even though it took place in the 1700’s, there was nothing occurring that’s not relevant today.  Racism, sexism, homophobia, ablelism, etc. were perfectly represented along with how people can have both privilege and oppression as well as the intersection of it to navigate, as is the case with Percy as the half-black son of an English gentleman and a woman from Barbados.  While he has wealth and the privileges that go along with that, he has more than one obstacle to navigate.  Monty showcases how you can completely not understand someone’s point of view if you insist on only viewing it through your own lens, and it was often Felicity who completely got where Percy was coming from even as she herself had some seriously problematic views about homosexuality.  None of the characters were perfect and that’s exactly what made them so.

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The State of the Reader: 10/10/18

<–The State of the Reader: 9/26/18          The State of the Reader: 10/24/18–>

A weekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Purchased: 6


Books DNF: 1

Title: The Book of the Unnamed Midwife
Series Title: Road to Nowhere
Author: Meg Elison
Date Added: September 22, 2018
Date Started: September 28, 2018
Date DNF: October 3, 2018

The Book of the Unnamed MidwifeI did not DNF this book because it’s poorly written.  I DNFed it because it is too fucking real and I couldn’t handle it.  Meg Elison (whom I didn’t realize I followed on Twitter until I started reading this) has written the most realistic depiction of the world after an apocalyptic pandemic where 98% of the population dies and the ration of men to women is 10:1.  It’s fucking nightmarish if you’re a woman, and yet nothing in either history or current events makes it ring untrue.  It is exactly what would happen and the main character, our unnamed midwife, does everything she can to avoid the horrific fate of other uterus bearers by pretending to be a man, stocking up on weapons, and hiding.  She carries thousands of birth control shots with her to administer to those who can’t escape assault, and it was after a recounting of a horrific childbirth that I knew I had to call it quits.  It was too triggering for me.  So if you’re set off or bothered by that, rape/sexual assault, genital mutilation, suicide, disease, and just general grimdark, this is not the book for you.  It’s an important book that needs to be in the zeitgeist, but no one should potentially harm themselves by reading something potentially damaging.

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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (Strange the Dreamer #1)

Title: Strange the Dreamer
Series Title: Strange the Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Date Added: April 18, 2016
Date Started: August 26, 2017
Date Finished: December 20, 2017
Reading Duration: 116 days
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult (YA)

Strange the Dreamer coverPages: 528
Publication Date: May 28, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Media: Hardback


The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?


When we become waterlogged, and the cage disintegrates, we will intermingle.  When this paper aeroplane leaves the cliff edge, and carves parallel vapour trails in the dark, we will come together.

-Dear Esther

The dream is strange and strange is the dreamer.  Lazlo, the only other name he has.  A war orphan raised by monks, he very early on falls in love with story even as he’s near broken by abuse, and the one tale he can never forget is of the forgotten city of Weep.  Lazlo’s passion for this lost land is equivalent to mine for Final Fantasy VII, which no one can ever quite share.

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20 Questions Book Tag

Another one from the indomitable Writer Michelle Payne.  I think I can answer 20 book questions 🙂

1. How many books is too many books in a series?

Hm, that’s one of those “it depends” questions.  If the series remains fresh and relevant, keep going, but if the plot lines are going stale and the characters are stalling, I think it’s time to retire it.  I’d say 20+ books is too much with the same characters and setting.

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?

They’re evil and I love them. Re: Strange the Dreamer.

Strange the Dreamer cover

3. Hard copy or paperback?

I prefer paperback.  They’re easier to carry around and to read.  Hardback usually has an annoying cover that, while aesthetically pleasing, tends to flap around and get in the way.

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