One of my goals on my vision board for this year was to simply “Read More”, but more specifically I wanted to read one book a month. So 12 total, and I figured that was doable. One way I did this was to start a mini book club with a friend I made in my last year of college. My friend and I had always talked about all the books we wanted to read and talk about, so we decided to start our own mini book club. We’d try to meet once a month at the local Barnes and Noble and scour the fiction section (our personal choice) for books that we wanted to read and talk about or ones that we thought we would personally like. So a few of the books on this list were mini book club books (I’ll denote those with a *).
I got into the habit of posting all the books I read on my personal Instagram Story, and I got some incredible feedback from the people that followed me. I had no idea there were so many people out there who, like me, never knew what to read next and loved the small comparisons I made between books and movies or shows. I found it was easier to compare them to shows since I watch a lot of television (aka binge Netflix any chance I get).
So here are the books I read in 2018:
Harry Potter 1-7 by J.K. Rowling
I had actually never read these before, but ALWAYS wanted to because I adored the films so much. I found the first one at second-hand bookstore for $5 (I know right) and the rest is history. Truly and incredible series, and J.K. Rowling has an impeccable way of connecting things from the Muggle world to the Wizarding World and from the first book to the last book. I can’t wait to read the series again. For anyone who adored these books as much as me there’s a rad HP podcast that does a chapter by chapter breakdown and they have so much fun doing it.
The Book of Essie by Meghan Maclean Weir
I found this book through the Book of the Month emails I get every month. It’s a monthly subscription service where they select five books and you can either get none, one, or all of them for a monthly price. Anyway, this book has one main character (Essie) who has an extremely large religious family that has their own reality show (sound familiar?) The story is witty and I really enjoyed the way it was written from different perspectives throughout the whole book. Although things did seem a little predictable.
My Husband’s Wife* by Jane Corry
This was the first book my friend and I chose for our mini book club and it was a WILD ride from beginning to end. We could barely discuss the book while we were reading it unless we were on the exact same page because that’s how quickly things happened in the book. I really enjoyed this book and being able to dissect it afterward. Highly recommend as a book to read with someone else!
The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison
I found this on Amazon just browsing one day and it seemed interesting, and it was only $5. It was hard for me to get into this book because I found that there really wasn’t much it was working toward. It vaguely reminded me of an episode of Criminal Minds, but even then I sadly wouldn’t recommend this book because I felt that it was lacking a lot. I believe it was the author’s first book (??) there are two other books with the same characters that the author had written, but I didn’t get too attached to the characters to want to read them.
Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
When I read the back of the book it reminded me vaguely of the Stepford Wives, and I always enjoyed that film so I had to read it. It was FAR from the Stepford Wives. The author has a way of making you feel anxious for the character and absolutely terrified for what is going to happen next. I absolutely loved this book and read it in less than a week. My only fault with the book was how she made the sister with Down Syndrome talk. Having worked with children and adults who have Down Syndrome they speak as normally as you and I, but for some reason, the author chose to make her talk in broken sentences like a child would. Other than that she is a brilliant character and she is incredibly pertinent to the story.
Then She Was Gone* by Lisa Jewell
Absolutely chilling. The thought, the connections, the feelings, the way you feel on edge about certain characters. I read this in about three days because I literally couldn’t put it down. I HAD to know what was happening next. This was literally like your favorite crime show come to life, but with a sick twist in the end. I’d definitely recommend this to anyone going on vacation or a road trip and wants a good read.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenna Han
Who else binged this movie on Netflix an embarrassing amount of times (). I thought the movie was so cute that I had to read the book, and sadly I was not a fan. The Peter Kavinsky we all fell in love with on the small screen is not the same PK in the book, he’s actually kind of an a**hole in the book. My heart broke a bit, to be honest, and I wanted to give him a second chance (like Lara Jean — funny story, I made my dad watch the movie and he paused it 30 minutes in, turned to me and said “It’s creeping me out how similar you and the main character are.”) so I read the second book in the trilogy…
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
This book was honestly a headache. I love a good Rom Com (don’t let the book choices this year fool you, I can get down with the sappy love stories because I am a hopeless romantic), but this was just not it… PK was still a brat, LJ was too insecure, Kitty was AWFUL, and the quasi love triangle doesn’t even have the chance to fully develop before LJ gives up and [SPOILER ALERT] goes back to PK. Safe to say, I won’t be reading the third book.
We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach
My Book Club bff and I were wandering around Barnes and Noble on a lovely Saturday choosing our next book when I stumbled upon this book. Honestly, I only picked it up because of the cover (I thought it had a minimalist and solemn vibe, and I was here for it). I actually fell in love with this book. It follows four students from the same high school in different cliques/ lifestyles during their last two months on Earth before a massive asteroid is supposed to collide with the planet and wipe out everyone and everything. I found myself having the same thoughts as these kids when it came to what I would do with eight weeks left on Earth, and I thought it was cute and funny, and cheesy (in a good way) all at the same time. It even had me crying at some parts. Highly recommend as a fun/ mind opening read!
If I had to choose my favorite book for the year it would have to be Behind Closed Doors. Obviously, the HP series takes the cake, but that would be so clichè to say that’s my favorite. Months after the fact I’m still thinking about Behind Closed Doors… So much so that I bought B.A. Paris’ newest book entitled Bring Me Back that I think I’ll start 2019 off with!
What books did you read in 2018 that you loved, liked, or wouldn’t recommend? Leave a comment! I want to add more to my nightstand 🙂