It’s December, which means yearly book roundup time! I haven’t read as much as I’d have liked to this year – my Goodreads challenge page is a pit of failure and despair – but there have been some real gems. I’m also planning on cramming in a ton of books over the holidays, so there may be some last-minute changes to these lists in a few weeks… but for now, here are the top 5 adult and top 5 YA books that I read in 2018:
Top 5 Adult Fiction
Pachinko - Min Jin Lee
Multigenerational saga, spanning around seventy years, about a Korean family in Japan. Absolutely incredible, and I’m very excited for the TV adaptation.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman
I was so addicted to this, I got up at 5am to read it before work: a funny, touching and uplifting story about a lonely woman with an very dark past, slowly opening up to the world around her.
Home Fire - Kamila Shamsie
The story of three British Muslim siblings and how they’re affected when the youngest follows in their jihadi father’s footsteps and goes to Syria - devastating and very insightful.
Rainbirds - Clarissa Goenawan
A brilliant debut about a Japanese man investigating his sister’s brutal murder. Lyrical and dreamlike - a good one for fans of Murakami.
Life After Life - Kate Atkinson
I’d been meaning to read this for years so I’m glad I finally got around to it! A story of an English woman born in 1910, living her life over and over until she realises what she’s supposed to do with it.
Top 5 YA Fiction
Long Way Down - Jason Reynolds
One of my top 3 books of the year: a short but very powerful novel in verse about a teen boy on his way to kill his brother’s murderer.
Darius the Great is Not Okay - Adib Khorram
Really beautiful story about a Persian-American boy’s first trip to Iran, his relationship with his father and his budding friendship with his grandparents’ neighbour.
Our Year of Maybe - Rachel Lynn Solomon
I adored this - a complex story about a girl who donates a kidney to her best friend, who she’s in love with, and how it changes their friendship.
A Line in the Dark - Malinda Lo
A dark and atmospheric thriller about a girl secretly in love with her best friend, who begins dating another girl from an elite boarding school.
The Summer of Jordi Perez (and the Best Burger in Los Angeles) - Amy Spalding
This was so cute! A fun and summery story about a lesbian plus-size fashion blogger falling for a rival intern at her summer job.