It’s nice to reach the end of the year and try and focus on the positives as much as possible. I always love looking back at books I’ve read, films and TV shows I’ve watched and new hobbies/interests I may have picked up. It’s always really fun to remember what new things you’ve discovered and connected with throughout the year!
These aren’t in an order of any kind; they’re just all books that I’ve loved and I can’t pick between favourites! They’re favourites for different reasons.
Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman
I ADORED this book. Honestly, I thought this was absolutely beautiful. The story was brilliant and so different, particularly for YA. It was full of hope but dealt with very hard themes such as abuse. The relationships in this were all so, so unbelievably complex which is the major thing I admire about this book. I thought the sibling relationship between Kiko and her brothers in particular felt so real and beautiful.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Another amazing book. I’d been wanting to read this for ages and kept saying “I’ll read it soon!” and kept not getting round to it. The characters all have so much personality and none of them feel one dimensional or like they were just shoved in without much thought. At the Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera event, I remember one of them saying that there’s always a book which you love before you’ve even read it and I was sat there like “The Hate U Give”! because I really was always championing it even before! It really is a great job I loved it so much!
Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Katherine Webber
I did a review of this very recently for Blogmas so check that out if you want more info on how I felt about it. In short, I loved this for the relationships – specifically the main romantic one and how we saw it grow and break down. I think the way empathy is built is so impressive as we are rooting for the relationship one minute but feel conflicted and want it to break down the next. I can’t wait to read more by Katherine Webber.
I Am Thunder by Muhammed Khan
I read this book in preparation for YALC as I knew he was attending and I’d heard wonderful things about the story. I was not disappointed! The story gripped me from start to finish and the characters felt really fleshed out and real. The dialogue is something I distinctly remember as it feels so accurate of teenagers now (I sound like an old lady!) which makes all of them feel much more real. I’m really glad I got to meet Muhammed at YALC and tell him how much I loved this book!
Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
I was so late to this party – I know! I read this early on in the year before the film adaptation came out (also wonderful). I had heard only brilliant things about Simon Vs. before reading it and of course, I kept seeing people talk about it on YA Twitter! I was not even a little disappointed because it truly lived up to the hype. Simon and his friends were such a great bunch of characters and the romantic storyline and guessing who Blue is the whole time was brilliant. It’s such a feel good book (eventually…I of course did not find the blackmail aspect feel good, but the ending sure is!).
I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman
Another author we were lucky enough to interview this year! We interviewed Alice along with Akemi and it was such a wonderful day. This book was full of wonderful representation, had a really great bunch of personalities in it and was just a joyous and fun read! I really want to read the rest of Alice’s books now – at least one of which will definitely be read in 2019.
They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera
This was one of our book club reads and I think what furthered my love for it was the discussion we all had about it. It’s an amazing concept written brilliantly. The two main characters, Rufus and Mateo are both flawed and loveable and the way they interact with each other and those around them is really interesting. I also loved the different viewpoints we get to see in short little chapters – other characters that all connect, often in seemingly tiny ways but which make a huge impact.
I really have been lucky this year with my choices of books – I have been pretty picky in mainly reading only what I really want to read and I’ve enjoyed this much more. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you read as long as you enjoy it and want to read it.