• Janelis Medina

Top 10 Best Books of 2018

We are well into the new year, 2019, but I still can’t stop thinking of some of the books I read in 2018. Considering the first half of 2018 was spent out of school (for once), I had a lot of free time to read different books. I asked friends for recommendations and scoured through Amazon Books and Barnes & Nobles and got quite the collection for 2018. Since 2018 is also when my husband bought me a bookshelf and an Amazon Kindle, I finally had unlimited space for all my new books.

To be clear, not all these books were published in 2018. I just happened to read all these books in 2018. These are my top 10 favorite books I read in 2018 (that you need to read too!):

1. Inferno - Dan Brown

I LOVED THIS BOOK! I don’t think words can describe how much I loved this book in 2018. Dan Brown is such a talented author in the way he can both create a puzzle, and then unravel it just so perfectly in the book to deliver the ideal plot-twist ending. In this Dan Brown book, the conspiracy theory was if overpopulation is killing the world, is it ethical to poison half the population to let the remaining survive? Dan Brown had you flipping on both sides of the coin when reading this and even with the ending, still had me thinking, did they do the right thing?

2. Angels & Demons - Dan Brown

I loved this book as much as I loved Inferno. If I could, I would give both of these books the #1 slot because once again, Dan Brown blew me away. This time with the conspiracy theory of does the Illuminati exist and are they really as dangerous as we are led to believe? Or is organized religion just as dangerous? The combination of the puzzle with art and history are just beautifully married in this book to deliver everything you can possibly want in a book. Even though this was turned into a movie starring Tom Hanks, I don’t think there could ever be a movie created that would do this book justice. That’s how GREAT it is.

3. The Nightingale - Kristin Hannah

This book was recommended to me by my friend Kimberly and I am so glad I listened to her because this truly was such a terrific novel. This was the first time I read a book by Kristin Hannah but I will definitely be reading more in 2019 because I loved this story of two French women in Nazi-occupied France and the ways they managed to rebel and protect others, no matter how much danger it put them in. Kristin Hannah managed to write these characters in a way that made you truly care for them. Even though this is only a book, it felt real and anytime the characters experienced grief, I was sobbing along with them.

4. Fire & Blood - George R. R. Martin

For those that know me, I am obsessed with the Game of Thrones series. I love the books, I love the show, I love the author. So when I learned that there was a book that would discuss the history of the Targaryens before the events of Game of Thrones, I had to get my hands on it. I loved learning about the Targaryens and I also feel like there were plenty of Easter Eggs in the book that tied back to the Game of Thrones series, which made me immediately go back and read Game of Thrones again after I finished this one. My favorite part of the book was getting to read about the building and evolution of King’s Landing.

5. Educated - Tara Westover

This book was bought for me as a gift from my friend Angelica and I wasn’t expecting much when I first got it, but was immediately immersed into the story and childhood of Tara Westover. Never attending school until she was 17 years old, she was raised by overzealous parents who were constantly preparing for the end of the world and thinking that the government was coming after them. I couldn’t believe that Tara had experienced the things she did, right here in the United States, in the last 30 years. Reading this book really put me in check and recognize my bias for thinking this was “too crazy” to really happen.

6. Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard

I am glad I didn’t read this until 2018 because I was able to buy all 4 books in the series and read them back to back. I hadn’t been this excited about a young adult series since The Hunger Games. I loved everything about it, the Reds versus Silvers, the powers, the betrayals, the revolution, etc. There wasn’t a flaw I could find with the first book because I really enjoyed the main character Mare and how she actually had a power even though Reds aren’t supposed to have powers. Victoria Aveyard did a great job crafting each character in the novel and creating the ultimate villain that I never saw coming.

7. Crazy Rich Asians - Kevin Kwan

Reading this book was just such a fun experience. I know many people probably think you can’t have fun from reading a book, but I mean this book was just so captivating and entertaining that I wished I could be friends with the characters in the book and just watch all the drama unfold. From discovering she has a rich boyfriend to realizing how much his family hates her to scornful ex-girlfriends, Rachel Chu has the ultimate dramatic bae-vacation in Singapore as she learns how the crazy rich really live.

8. Bird Box - Josh Malerman

I read this one because I watched the movie with Sandra Bullock (whom I will love for the rest of my life) and I can’t believe I didn’t read this book sooner! It was such a thrilling read where I felt like I was constantly on the edge of my seat. I finished the book within only a couple days because the anxiety kept getting to me of whether Malorie and the kids will finally arrive at the safe place and who the monsters will get next. I think what made this book so incredible was there was no true “monster”, only some force that turns into your greatest fear, which really now is the most terrifying thing.

9. Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty

This was the first book I read by Liane Moriarty and it started my binge on her books because she really just gets me. One of my guilty pleasure reading confessions is I love reading books about drama. Drama. Drama. Drama. I really just can’t get enough of it. I did grow up watching novellas with my abuela so really can you blame me? In this one, it follows three women in a “perfect” suburban community until we delve deep and realize how imperfect yet connected their lives really are.

10. The Meg - Steve Alten

So this isn’t the most incredibly written or complex novel in the world… but it is still just so good! Like Crazy Rich Asians, this book was just such a fun read! I am someone who loves shark books and movies, but after the failure of the book Jaws, I didn’t think I would ever find a shark book that would satisfy me. That is until I read the Meg and it was just everything I could ever want in a shark book from a terrifying huge shark to creative and gruesome deaths to an underwater chase for the Meg and her newly born babies before they eat everyone!

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