Oh hey! It was another busy reading year for me – the #allthebookreviews partner read really took off and we have been loving it.
A huge thank you to all of the amazing publishers that provided copies to us and to me in exchange for my honest reviews. So many great authors were discovered this year as well as revisiting some favorites. I even broadened my horizons this year into some other genres. Last year I typically stuck with thrillers and suspense novels, but I had a lot of great horror, historical fiction, fiction, and even a manga this year.
Like last year, I’ll be having 3 parts to this simply because I read a lot of books this year. Not as many as 2017, but still a lot! This was also my first time being able to go to author events in Minneapolis – and even more exciting is that two of those books made the list 🙂
So, here’s part one of the books I loved in 2018 (and would highly recommend ALL of them being added to your TBRs)
Top Books 2018 – Part One:
GRIST MILL ROAD – Christopher J. Yates
5/5 stars – A horrible act is committed by a young boy, with his friend as the only witness. What they did changed a young girl’s life forever and now, decades later, this secret is threatening to come back to haunt them. Definitely more of a suspense than a thriller, but I absolutely loved it.
NEED TO KNOW – Karen Cleveland
5/5 stars – A fast political thriller that had me flipping the pages. Russian sleeper cells in America, deadly secrets, and a CIA Analyst caught between it all. Espionage and nonstop action make for a book you’ll want to finish in one sitting. This one is the perfect selection for book clubs!
FRESHWATER – Akwaeke Emezi
5/5 stars – FRESHWATER was one that surprised me. A debut novel that deserved all of the buzz is garnered. Emezi examines the surreal experience of having a fractured self. Ada is a young Nigerian woman that has developed separate selves within her mind. This is a result of being born “with one foot on the other side”. Told through her collective selves – Ada, Saint Vincent, and Asughara, we are given an image of how she navigates life. Beautifully written and a truly engrossed and mystifying read.
MISTER TENDER’S GIRL – Carter Wilson
5/5 stars – Probably one I have been the most vocal about this year. Based off the Slender Man stabbing and urban legend, this was all kinds of creepy and suspenseful. After being attacked by two classmates, a young woman is trying to outrun her past. Her father immediately stopped making the Mister Tender graphic novels and now decades later someone is stalking her and resurrected Mister Tender. Who is harassing her? Is she in danger? I was able to meet Carter Wilson at a book signing this year – so fun!
OUR LITTLE SECRET – Roz Nay
5/5 stars – Another thriller that had all kinds of buzz! I love the style of having the story being told through interrogations. Starting in a police interrogation room, the readers are brought through a story of obsession and love. When Angela’s ex’s wife goes missing she finds herself telling the story of how she and H.P. know each other and their history. The readers are brought through a twisted tale of love, pain, and how far obsession and revenge will take a person.
THE FATHER – Anton Svensson
5/5 stars – While I loved the follow up to this one, THE SONS, I think THE FATHER inched out ahead. Based on the true story of the brothers that terrorized Sweden with a string of bank robbers and even a bombing, this was so enthralling to read. Co-authored by one of the brothers (the one that wasn’t involved), we get a glimpse into their home life and how the actions of their father created the men they became. This brings in the question of nature versus nurture, can you create a criminal?
THE SANDMAN – Lars Kepler
5/5 stars – This was a huge hit this year for a lot of readers and with good reason! This psychological thriller is set in a mental institution – what more could we want? A young prodigy in the police force must go under deep cover in a psychiatric ward to try and get information on a killer. How far is she willing to go and how much can she sacrifice to find out who the accomplice is? Will they be able to out smart the killer before they discover who she is?
JINXED – Thommy Hutson
5/5 stars – This book gave me all the Scream vibes (the movie). If you’ve followed me for a while then you’ll know that those are my favorite horror movies, and Hutson did an incredible job putting this into a book. Theater students on an isolated island to attend a prestigious school are being killed one by one by a killer with a mask that mocks them. Who is the killer? Will anyone survive?
THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD – Paul Tremblay
5/5 stars – While I have enjoyed Tremblay’s other books, this one is by far my favorite. End of the world feel, impending doom, and a sense of dread you just can’t stop from creeping up on you. Wen and her fathers, Eric and Andrew, find their peaceful day at an isolated cabin interrupted when Leonard approaches the seven year old girl. “None of what’s going to happen is your fault” and “Your dads won’t want to let us in, Wen. But they have to. We need your help to save the world.” I’d say those sentences help set the tone of the book from chapter one!
WE ARE WHERE THE NIGHTMARES GO – C. Robert Cargill
5/5 stars – A collection of short stories with one thing in common – horror. There will always be standouts and I think the title story was one of my favorites (who doesn’t love the rules of a nightmare being incorporated?). There was one that took place in Clive Barker’s Nightbred universe, zombie dinosaurs, the screams of those being killed, and many more.