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The Best and Worst Books of 2018

Hey guys, Arin here! Today we are going to be going over the best and the worst of my reading in 2018. According to goodreads, I have read 222 books in 2018, but that includes short stories, graphic novels, and my five rereads of TMI (I may have a slight problem, but the first step to fixing a problem is admitting there is one, so I am well on my way). Given that, the actual number of books I read is probably significantly lower, I would safely say it is in the 150 range. I wish I could say I will be able to read this many in 2019, but given what my 2019 is shaping up to look like, that seems very improbable. Nevertheless, let’s go over my highs and lows of 2018.


Per usual, I am horrible at ranking things, so these will all be in a random order that doesn’t really mean anything.


Now presenting, the bests of 2018:


A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving

Favorite Quote: “If you care about something you have to protect it – If you’re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.”

What I loved: What didn’t I love, tbh? I read this as part of the assigned reading for my AP English Literature class (and then wrote an essay about it on the AP exam). My teacher pitched the book as: “John Irving sat down one day and thought, ‘what would it take for someone with no trace of any sort of faith to become Christian? And then he wrote this book.” While that may make this sound like some sort of religious propaganda, I  swear it is not. I cannot pinpoint why I loved this novel so much, especially given that it has some very weird elements, but I now hold this book and its characters very close to my heart. I especially love how the concept of faith is explored throughout this novel.


Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Favorite Quote: “It only takes one pebble to start an avalanche.”

What I loved: I loved seeing my baby Kady Grant back in action! I loved seeing all of the characters interact during an epic final showdown! I love how I cannot remember any specifics about this book other than Kady’s hair is no longer bright pink and Nik and that damn parachute!


In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It by Lauren Graham

Favorite Quote: “In conclusion, don’t worry about it. You already have the most and you’re already one of the bests.”

What I loved: I loved how a 50 page novella made me sob my eyes out. I love how Lauren Graham brought me comfort when I was super stressed out about college and future careers and student loans and all of those super fun topics. If anyone is graduating high school or college soon or is just stressed about where they are in life in general, I would highly recommend reading this.


City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

Favorite Quote: “‘Heroes aren’t always the ones that win,’ She said. ‘They’re the ones who lose, sometimes. But they keep fighting, they keep coming back. They don’t give up. That’s what makes them heroes.’”

What I Loved: That one scene where Jordan is trying to teach Jace how to meditate and Jace is just like “I love weapons” and Jordan gives up. Clary being a general badass and saving the day, what a legend!! Emma Carstairs!!! Basically everything except for that one scene with Izzy and Simon and the Lord Montgomery part because it made me super uncomfortable!!!


The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

Favorite Quote: “Maybe I still haven’t become me. I don’t know how to tell for sure when you finally have.”

What I Loved: I loved Cameron! Her personality and internal dialogue were so so good. Also the found family trope was strong with this one and I live for that. Side note, if you’ve read this book I would highly recommend checking out the movie, it did pretty good for an adaptation.


Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Favorite Quote: “It’s okay to not be okay.”

What I Loved: I cannot express how much I loved this book or how much I want everyone to read it. I loved getting to see glimpse of new cultures and new religions, I loved getting to see Darius’s character grow and how that growth affected his relationships with others, I loved the emphasis on family and finding where you truly belonged. Also, the mental illness representation! I loved that mental illness was openly talked about many times throughout the story.


Sadie by Courtney Summers

Favorite Quote: “It’s a real tragedy and I mean it. It’s sad when people don’t realize their worth.”

What I Loved: I loved the fast pace and the mystery aspect of it all. I love how I got utterly lost in this story and read it in about three hours. I love how I still think of the last line occasionally and get chills.


Now, moving onto the worsts of 2018. I should note that I tend to just stop reading books if I don’t like them, so it is kind of hard to find books that I finished that I didn’t like. Anyways, moving on:


Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

What I Didn’t Like: I feel like I should note that I did actually enjoy this book, so please don’t attack me! It just did not live up to the hype I had built up for it, plus that whole scene on the football field (or whatever sports field it was) made me really uncomfortable and I’m not a fan of the message it spread.


Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

What I Didn’t Like: The ending. The ending was just ????. Like, what kind of ending was it? It was very out of character and I am not here for it.


I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

What I Didn’t Like: It is hard for me to pinpoint what I did not like about this novel, especially since I have enjoyed this book the past couple times I have read it and have plans to continue on and finish the series in 2019, but I just did not like this book when I read it. I found the plot full of cliches and only found myself caring about one character that was only present in the last 60 or so pages and the dog.


Waiting For Godot by Samuel Beckett

What I Didn’t Like: Everything, I did not enjoy any part of this. I hate that I was forced to read this and talk about it for a week straight in school.


Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by JK Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

What I Didn’t Like: It will be a lot easier for me to list the one thing I did like: Scorpius Malfoy.


I have one additional category for the year, the book that made me scream the most in 2018:


Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

This is probably where I should apologize to my roommate and everyone on my hall in my dorm for screaming and shrieking at 1 in the morning the day after this book came out, which was coincidentally the week before finals. I could not help it, a lot of things were happening and I was feeling a lot of emotions and the way I dealt with them was by literally screaming.


Well, that’s about it for me. How did your 2018 go (reading wise or just in general)? Did you read any of these books? Let’s discuss in the comments!

8 thoughts on “The Best and Worst Books of 2018

  1. Oooh I love this post Arin! I’m honestly really proud of how much you reread TMI this year. I probably shouldn’t be encouraging that bc how will we ever stop rereading Shadowhunters books?? lmao why are we like this

    And I 100% agree that Scorpius was the only redeemable part of The Cursed Child. I don’t even want to remember that book but Scorpius was definitely great.

    Also, I love that last category you have there about QOAAD… that is RELATABLE.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just love how you created this post with a favorite quote and a short blurb about what it meant to you. And now I’d like to grab up a copy of In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It — sounds like something I could really use about right now. Goodreads says I’ve read 305 books as of today, but I’d venture to guess at least half of those were picture books since I try to keep up with plenty of #kidlit with my 5 children. I like that Goodreads also gives us a page count as that’s sometimes an easier track record for me to consider my yearly accomplishment. Have a great new year, Arin!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh, thank you so so much! I would highly recommend In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It! It really helped me during a pretty rough week. Congrats on your Goodreads challenge, that is amazing! I hope you have a great new year as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I also really liked Obsidio!

    I think Mockingjay is generally considered the weakest book. The ending is kind of unhappy in that Katniss seems unhappy, but I guess I don’t necessarily think Collins is wrong that this is a believable ending.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, I’m glad to hear other people liked Obsidio! I think it is a believable ending, it just didn’t seem to suit Katniss’s character in my opinion. She spent the first two books talking about how she didn’t want children, so it just took me off guard when it ended with her having two kids.


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