Book Related

Best of 2018

Another year means another reading year and more books to be added on our TBR pile. I have been doing well with my reading on the first half of the year until I fall into the biggest slump of my life. Even so, I managed to complete my reading challenge in Goodreads.

I read a total of 27 books. Out of 27, I will narrow down my best of 2018 into 5 books. It is because most of the books that I have read this year are series or part of a series. So I will only choose one book if I love that series.

But before anything else, here are the books that I have read this year!

 

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TOP 5 ~ Champion by Marie Lu

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(This is the synopsis of the first book of the trilogy to avoid spoiling those who haven’t read the trilogy.)

Synopsis: What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

 

Champion is the concluding novel in Marie Lu’s Legend Trilogy. I have read a lot of dystopian books in the past and up until this day, I find that the ending of this book is unique than those of the others. The thing with dystopian stories is the government is their enemy. And they all end in one way, destroy, overthrow, or fight the government. And that is where this book differs from the rest. I am not a fan of the protagonists in this story, but I really like how they wrap things up. It is the first time that the protagonist of the story stands together with the government for the reason that they love the world that they live in and grew up with. They would like to preserve it and save it. I somehow think that they embodied one of my favorite quote: hate the sin not the sinner. But I still have issues with this book. A LOT of issues if you ask me. But I am focusing on the bright side.


TOP 4 ~ The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

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Synopsis: Jay Gatsby is the man who has everything. But one thing will always be out of his reach. Everybody who is anybody is seen at his glittering parties. Day and night his Long Island mansion buzzes with bright young things drinking, dancing, and debating his mysterious character. For Gatsby—young, handsome, and fabulously rich—always seems alone in the crowd, watching and waiting, though no one knows what for. Beneath the shimmering surface of his life he is hiding a secret: a silent longing that can never be fulfilled. And soon this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel.

 

The thing with this book is I do not actually love it. I only gave it a rating of 4 out of 5. But the more that I think about this book, the more that I appreciate the story. The story is the perfect representation of the lyrics sad beautiful tragic”. Before reading this book, I only heard The Great Gatsby being used as a theme for parties because of Gatsby’s glamorous party. But after reading the book, there is so much to this book than those parties. Up until this moment, I could still think about the story, the ending and the characters in this book.

 


TOP 3 ~ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

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Synopsis: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the pivotal fourth novel in the seven-part tale of Harry Potter’s training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup with Hermione, Ron, and the Weasleys. He wants to dream about Cho Chang, his crush (and maybe do more than dream). He wants to find out about the mysterious event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn’t happened for a hundred years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. Unfortunately for Harry Potter, he’s not normal — even by wizarding standards.

 

I’ve been determined to finally finish the Harry Potter series. I am not one of those people who grew up reading Harry Potter so this is my first time reading this book. I have reread the first three books at least twice now but I was intimidated by this book because it’s a bit chunky. However, the year has finally come and I finally push through with this book.

It is another one of those case where I gave this book a 4 out of 5 but would still make it to my best of the year. The thing that I like most about this book is that it explores the wizarding world outside Hogwarts. We get to see the different aspect of the life of a wizard. Moreover, they introduced the other wizarding schools. I like that aspect of the story. But I was annoyed by two characters, Snape and Rita, that made me rate this book a 4.


 

TOP 2  ~ Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

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Synopsis: Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.

Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you’ve got.

They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.

They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.

 

I don’t have a high expectations when I dived into this book. The first book in the series, Every Heart a Doorway is an okay book for me. The story is good and unique but it lacked something. But this second book gave me more than what I could ask for. It’s is painful and beautiful to see how Jack and Jill grew up. The events that happened in this book is painful because you will know how the story will end because of the first book. And if you are going to read the Wayward Children series, I suggest that you read the second book first before the first one. Trust me.

 


BEST BOOK OF 2018

In The Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken

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(This is the synopsis of the first book of the trilogy to avoid spoiling those who haven’t read the trilogy.)

Synopsis: When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.

 

There are two things that I like the most about the whole trilogy – the character development and the friendship. The character development in this trilogy can not only be seen in the protagonists but also in the side characters. You can see them grow individually and as a group. The gang or the group of characters that has been introduced to us in this whole trilogy are like my children now. While reading this trilogy, you would learn to care for them, you would love them and they may or may not ruin you in the end.

And although I have been referring to this trilogy as a whole, I choose the last book because so much character development happened here, especially with Zu. And of course, the ending is not that perfect but it is the realistic approach. I could actually see it happening in my country if kids would develop superpowers.

Highly recommending this if you haven’t read this book!

 

 


That’s it. That is my top 5 books for the year 2018. I’m hoping to read more books this year and hopefully, no more slump. What’s your best book of 2018?

 

Till next time!

Maria ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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