THE YA ROOM’S TOP PICK FOR 2018

New Years Eve has finally arrived. This year has flown by too fast for my liking. But what a year it has been. More importantly, what a year to come. With YA Day on the horizon and all the fantastic upcoming book releases, what is there not to be excited about?  Who else plans on staying up until midnight on New Years Eve reading a good book? I know I will be. I plan on rereading the Grisha trilogy in order to get me ready for the release of King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo. But enough of talking about the future. The year is not over yet. So lets take a walk down memory lane, and gush over our favourite books of 2018. Get ready to add some amazing books to your ever-growing TBR.

Rainbow

Sarah’s picks:

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

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I’m never going to stop gushing about The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats & Piracy! I mean, how could I not be obsessed with a badass queer pirate doctor?! I aspire to be like Felicity. What a queen. This book is just such a fun, addictive read that will have you on the edge of your seat and cracking up over her wit and sarcasm. I also adored how Monty and Percy made a couple of appearances in this book too!

If you’re a fan of adventurous stories with snarky characters and some of the best banter you’ll ever read (let’s be real, of course you’re a fan of all of those things), then you need a copy of this incredible book on your TBR! I NEED ANOTHER BOOK WITH THE MONTAGUE SIBLINGS ASAP, PLEASE AND THANK YOU.


City of Ghosts

9781407192765 GHOOOOOOSTS. *clears throat* Sorry about that. I’m just so excited to scream some more about one of my favourite books of 2018 – and QUEEN V! Those of you that know me will understand my love for Victoria Schwab. And she’s done it again! She’s stolen another piece of my heart with City of Ghosts, leaving me desperate to get my hands on the next book in this series, Tunnel of Bones. BRING ON 2019!

City of Ghosts is a middle grade book about a girl whose parents are making a paranormal TV show in Edinburgh, and her best friend is a ghost, and she’s able to pass through the Veil and into the ghost world. It’s absolutely, undeniably incredible. If you like Ghostbusters or Buzzfeed Unsolved, this is a must-read for you!


I Was Born for This

x293Oh look, it’s I Was Born For This. Because y’all know I haven’t screamed enough about that book this year! WHAT A NOVEL. Seriously, I don’t know why so many people are sleeping on this book. It’s such an amazing queer contemporary novel about bands and fandoms and anxiety and love and I’m highkey considering getting a quote from that book tattooed on my body. No joke.

Let me get this out there: Alice Oseman is just an incredible human. She’s a writer, and a webcomic creator, and she also made this amazing interactive game set around the characters of I Was Born For This. I’m already excited for her next book, even though I know nothing about it, nor when it will be released. But if it’s anything like I Was Born For This, or any of her previous books, I know I’m going to love it!


A Thousand Perfect Notes

36389267 Can you believe I read this book about five times this year, and it ripped out my heart every one of those times? WHY DID I DO THAT TO MYSELF?! It was just such a powerful, heart-wrenching book, and I feel like a part of me wanted to keep rereading it so I could check in with my characters and make sure they’re doing okay. I MISS THEM SO MUCH.

A Thousand Perfect Notes is a book about a reluctant piano prodigy and his strict mother who wants him to succeed as a way of living through his success and staying in the spotlight. It’s also about a girl who’s the human incarnation of sunlight, and cake, and park play dates. It’s just such a beautiful book that will stab you in the feels, and then you’ll say thanks.


What if It’s Us

9781471176395Ahh yes, how could I not love a book by two of my favourite authors of all time – Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli?! YOU DO NOT WANT TO SLEEP ON THIS BOOK, PEOPLE. I seriously cannot believe how much of myself I saw in What if it’s Us, from the character who’s a writer, to the worshipping of coffee, and even the abundance of musical references. And it’s set in New York City! COULD A BOOK BE MORE PERFECT?! I THINK NOT.

This is the kind of book that I’ve picked up in random bookstores and pressed into the hands of anyone even just glancing in the direction of the YA section. It’s a book that everyone has to read. Not only is it one of the most adorable romances I’ve ever read, it’s the kind of book that will just suck you into that world and make you want to live alongside these characters for ever. I do hope we get to see more of Arthur and Ben one day soon!

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Shaun’s picks:

Truly Devious

TRULY

For me, this is such an out of the blue choice (pun intended… get it, because the book is blue. It’s a good pun and I like it lol). It truly is an odd choice though, because Truly Devious is not a fantasy book. I repeat, not a fantasy book. As someone who only reads fantasy this is completely out of character. But this book, with its beautiful prose, transported me into a world that is just as imaginative and vivid as any fantasy. And that is not even the best part. Yes, this is a mystery/crime book, but its strongest aspect is its cast of characters, and ingeniously crafted dialogue that is far too relatable. My favourite character (who I want to marry) is Nate. He is an author struggling to write his second book. I haven’t even managed to publish my first, but all his anxieties and fears are just like mine, #soulmates.


Three Dark Crowns Series

two dark

Don’t tell me that choosing an entire series is cheating, because I don’t want to hear it. I love these books to bloody pieces, which is questionable considering we got off to a rocky start. That is right, I hated Three Dark Crowns. Something about the writing style didn’t fit well with me. That, and the small fact that the book felt like a prequel. Thank the heavens the ending had me hooked, giving me reason enough to even consider touching One Dark Throne. Now I am hooked! I love this world, its characters and its bombardment of plot twists. This is a deviously dark fantasy series for the ages, putting me in a constant state of shock, horror and utter bliss.

P.S. I no longer hate Three Dark Crowns. After a much needed reread, I am now in love with it.


The City of Brass

THE CITY OF BRASS

I came across this book after watching Read Between the Wine’s youtube review. She is such a fantastic BookTuber. And her review of Zenith, by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings, had me drowning in tears of laughter. Go watch it. You will not regret it.

If you are a fan of An Ember in the Ashes, then you will love this book. Too me, it is like the adult fantasy equivalent, which means it’s amazing.

When creating this list, it came down to deciding between The City of Brass, and The Poppy War. That was possibly the hardest decision I have had to make this year. Yeah, that is what my life has dwindled down to. Sad, I know.

The City of Brass is a magical, spellbinding book that you will fall in love with. And, if that’s not enough, it is S. A. Chakraborty debut book.  I am green with envy.


Spinning Silver

SPINNING

Uprooted is my favourite fantasy book. Spinning Silver was my most anticipated book of 2018. I recommend this book to so many people, even before I had a chance to read it myself. Unfortunately, a lot of my friends didn’t like it. Their main complaint was that it was too slow-paced. Where as Uprooted is full of action, Spinning Silver lets you dwell in the every day lives of three very different, but awe-inspiring women. And I loved every moment of it. I love books that give you insight into what it is like to live as their characters, while still absorbing you in a magical world filled with ice fairies and fire demons.

Although, Spinning Silver hasn’t replaced Uprooted in my heart, it has left a permanent imprison on me and is a clear example of excellent story-telling and phenomenal writing.


Dance of Thieves

Dance of Thieves_FINAL 9.18

This year I managed to read all three books in the Remnant Chronicles. The last book in this series (The Beauty of Darkness) is comparable to a tome. Which made me all the more proud when I finally finished it.

I was so excited to read Dance of Thieves, yet some how I kept delaying. I am glad I didn’t let uni and work get in the way of the inevitable – me falling in love with this new cast of characters. This may very well be the last book I read this year. And what a way to end what has been an amazing year of reading. I have read more books than I have ever read before. Although, I didn’t make my goal of reading 100 books, #nextyearsgoals.

Dance of Thieves has Mary E. Pearson classic romance elements, but this books is so much more. It is filled with lies and deceit. Betrayal and murder. And a fast-paced plot that will have you up all night. I couldn’t have asked for more. This book trumps it predecessors, and has me on the edge of me seat waiting… no, begging for the next instalment.

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Bianca’s picks:

A Map of Days

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is one of my favourite books OF ALL TIME so can you imagine my excitement when this new trilogy was announced? There was a lot of squealing. However, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this book, since it’s set in America (and not the appropriate gloominess of Wales like in the first book) and would maybe turn out to be an instalment we didn’t need, but OMG I absolutely loved it and I’m sorry I ever doubted Ransom Riggs. It was the same, perfect haunting creepiness of the first trilogy but with a whole new wildness of the American peculiars. I loved seeing a new world with new rules (read: no rules), but still adventuring along with old characters. The writing is just so good, and Jacob Portman is my book boyfriend for life. I really, really can’t wait for the next one. I love this universe so much.


Queen of Air and Darkness

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Speaking of universes I love so much, here’s another one! SHADOWHUNTERS! Cassandra Clare is the absolutely queen (see what I did there?) of characters. They’re my favourite aspect of her writing. And The Dark Artifices is my favourite trilogy out of all of them. I’m getting worked up all over again just writing this because this book was just so, so good. Emma and Julian are the greatest love story EVER TOLD and don’t even get me started on Thule. It was all so amazing, and so satisfying, and I couldn’t even be too sad when I closed the book because we are blessed with TWO MORE BOOKS in the Shadowhunter universe in 2019.

Queen of Air and Darkness was a really satisfying conclusion filled with so many twists and turns. I still think about it. And have you seen those illustrations?! I stared at the last one for a lot longer than a sane, healthy human should have.


Twice Magic

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It should be no secret by now that I am a huge fan of Cressida Cowell, so of course her most recent release was going to be one of my favourites for this year! Twice Magic is the second instalment in the Wizards of Once series, and follows Wizard boy Xar and Warrior girl Wish, who have been taught to hate each other since birth. They joined forces in first book to stop the Witches, and the adventure was even better in this book. The story is filled with magic and adventure and wonderful places and characters. I could go on about Cowell’s writing all day. She also provides all the illustrations for her books, and they’re worth picking the book up on their own.

You didn’t know you wanted to read about a love triangle between a fork, a spoon, and a key, but trust me, you do.


Ash Princess

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I’m going to be honest with you here and say I only picked this one up for the cover (I mean, are you seeing this?!) but I’m so glad I did, because it became a fast favourite.

It felt like a wonderfully fresh fantasy world with well-done characters and a plot that kept me on the edge of my seat. The writing was so gorgeous and captivating. There’s an extremely cool magic jewel system. As soon as I finished the book I just wanted to pick up the second one, so I’m beyond excited for its sequel, Lady Smoke, to be released in a few months. Even after almost a year of finishing this book, I still think about it. If you love fantasy, it’s seriously one you don’t want to miss.


I Am Heathcliff

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I only discovered Wuthering Heights earlier this year and I fell so hard and fast. Like, low-key obsessed. So when I discovered this anthology of stories inspired by Wuthering Heights (through Juno Dawson’s Twitter, who is the only contributor to this anthology that I’d heard of) I bought it straight away.

I was not disappointed, this is an absolute must for any fan of Wuthering Heights! All the stories were different and uniquely written, and I loved not knowing what was going to come next or what element of Wuthering Heights the inspiration was drawn from. But every story had an atmospheric, dark Gothic feel that I loved so much, and usually had a possessive love feel. If you’re like me and just can’t get enough of Emily Bronte’s only book, make sure you don’t miss this one.

 

Rainbow

Happy New Years from all of us at The YA Room

XOX

 

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