Top 18 Best 2018 Releases

Back in July, I did a Top 10 for my favorite early 2018 releases, and for my favorites reads from the first half of 2018 that were earlier releases (click the links to read them). 

Just like my July post, these won’t be in any particular order, but unlike my July post, this list will include ALL 2018 releases. If there’s an amazing book that isn’t on my list, it’s probably only because I haven’t read it yet.

18. Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

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Release Date: 12/4/2018
Rating: (Currently Reading)
Series: The Dark Artifices #3
Review: (Not Yet)
So, I’m still reading this book. And it’s huge. I have no intention of rushing through it to make sure it deserves to be on this list. Instead, I’ll just put it on the list because at the point I’m at in the book right now, if it keeps up the way it’s going, it will deserve this spot.

17. Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco

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Release Date: 9/18/2018
Rating: 4.5/5
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #3
Review: Yes
The third book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper Series. I marathoned this series back in August, and read an ARC of Escaping from Houdini immediately after. And I loved it so much! This probably isn’t my favorite installment, but it was still amazing. I can’t wait for book four!

16. Umbertouched by Livia Blackburne

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Release Date: 11/6/2018
Rating: 5/5
Series: Rosemarked #2
Review: Yes
Last year, Rosemarked surprised me with how great it was. This year, I was so excited for Umbertouched and it lived up to every expectation! It was such a perfect conclusion, and everything about it was so great! I’m still floored by these characters and their development.

15. Defy the Worlds by Claudia Gray 

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Release Date: 4/3/2018
Rating: 5/5
Series: Constellation #2
Review: Yes
So I actually read an ARC of Defy The Worlds last year, but I wanted to include it in this years list because it was released this past April. I love this universe and this series, and I can’t wait to see where it goes. Although, that ending nearly killed me. (And sidenote: I hate this cover change. And I will mention it every chance I get.)

14. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

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Release Date: 10/23/2018
Rating: 5/5
Series: Throne of Glass #7
Review: Yes
I can’t believe this series is over. I’ve been a fan of the Throne of Glass series for years now and seeing it all end was bittersweet. I’m still surprised this book managed to tie everything together as well as it did, considering it’s wrapping up a series that began in 2012.

13. Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston 

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Release Date: 2/27/2018
Rating: 4.5/5
Series: Heart of Iron #1
Review: Yes
I’m completely obsessed with Anastasia, and it was too perfect that this book came out when it did because I got to read it while going to see Anastasia on Broadway. But even if I wasn’t obsessed with the original, I would love this book. It was so fun, and left me dying for the sequel.

12. Seafire by Natalie C. Parker

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Release Date: 8/28/2018
Rating: 4.5/5
Series: Seafire #1
Review: Yes
I did not expect the dystopian/sci-fi edge of this book, but I really loved it. I just need more all-girl pirate crews in my life. I can’t wait to see where this series goes.


11. What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

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Release Date: 10/9/2018
Rating: 5/5
Series: N/A
Review: Yes
What If It’s Us was so perfectly adorable and fun and entertaining and there were so many musical references. Any book that references the musical Aida deserves five stars. This book was everything I wanted from it and more. I really hope Becky and Adam work together again because this was magical.

10. My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, Brodi Ashton 

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Release Date: 6/24/2018
Rating: 5/5
Series: The Lady Janies #2 (But can be read as a standalone)
Review: Yes
This trio of authors always manages to make me smile. My Plain Jane was just a fun and happy read that I couldn’t help but adore. It’s definitely quirky and weird, which just makes it more hilarious. I never imagined loving a Ghostbusters meets Jane Eyre retelling, but then again, I never imagined the story of Lady Jane Grey to be a comedy and they did that so well in their first book.

9.  A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi 

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Release Date: 10/16/2018
Rating: 5/5
Series: N/A
Review: Yes
Tahereh Mafi is just an amazing author and I loved this book so much. I waited almost two hours in a line at BookExpo to get this ARC and meet her, and it was so worth it. The themes, the writing style, the characters. It was all amazing.

8. Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller

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Release Date: 2/27/2018
Rating: 5/5
Series: Daughter of the Pirate King #2
Review: Yes
I had an actual countdown to when this book would be released? You know when you are just in the mood for a certain genre? I was craving some epic pirate adventures and created a countdown to when this book would be released. And it did not let me down. I love this book and this series so much. I’m so excited for what Tricia Levenseller does next.

7. Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

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Release Date: 3/6/2018
Rating: 5/5
Series: Shatter Me #4
Review: Yes
Yes, Tahereh Mafi is on this list twice. No, I see no issue with that. The Shatter Me series is one of my all-time favorites, and I was so scared when I first heard about Restore Me. Now, I realize, I had no reason to be afraid. This book was perfect. It added so much to the series and the world and I need Defy Me immediately!

6. The Traitor Prince by C. J. Redwine 

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Release Date: 2/13/2018
Rating: 5/5
Series: Ravenspire #4 (Can be read as a standalone)
Review: Yes
C.J. Redwine is such an underrated author! I have loved every book I’ve read by her. The Traitor Prince is no exception, in fact, it may be my favorite Redwine book. If you haven’t picked up her Ravenspire series, please do. Every book can be read as a standalone, but they all take place in the same magical world. This book is so well-written, with fantastic characters and one of my favorite antagonists.

5. Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

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Release Date: 9/4/2018
Rating: 5/5
Series: N/A
Review: Yes
This is the only not-YA book I’ll include on this list, but I had to mention it. It took me by surprise. I knew I would like it because Christina Lauren are amazing, but I didn’t expect to love it this much! I couldn’t put it down, staying awake until almost 2am just to finish the book.

4. Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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Release Date: 3/13/2018
Rating: 5/5
Series: The Illuminae Files #3
Review: Yes
This series is just fantastic. Every aspect of it is amazing, and I’m so sad it’s over but I’m also so happy with this as the last book. Everything about it was just perfect, and I can’t wait to read Jay and Amie’s next series. I’m still in shock that this one is over. Please, if you haven’t read it, pick up Illuminae! It’s a really unique sci-fi that will stick with you.

3. To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo 

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Release Date: 3/6/2018
Rating: 5/5
Series: N/A
Review: Yes
So, I preordered this book expecting I would want more pirate and siren adventures after reading Daughter of the Siren Queen. I was right about that, but I didn’t expect how great this book would be. Alexandra Christo is amazingly talented, and this book is just the perfect blend of dark fantasy, sarcasm, and enemies-to-lovers romance. I really look forward to reading more from Alexandra Christo.

2. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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Release Date: 1/2/2018
Rating: 5/5
Series: The Folk of the Air #1
Review: Yes
This is another book that I technically read an ARC of in 2017, but it was so amazing I need it to be on this list. Plus I did read the published edition in 2018, so it counts! I know this book has gotten a lot of hype, but it’s well deserved. It’s so deliciously dark and twisted with fascinating characters and a compelling plot full of endless surprises.

1. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

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Release Date: 3/6/2018
Rating: 5/5
Series: Legacy of Orisha #1
Review: Yes
Speaking of books that have received a lot of hype! Children of Blood and Bone has really taken over the world. Everyone is reading it. As they should, because it is that amazing. Tomi Adeyemi’s writing style is breathtaking, her plot is gripping, and both her characters and her world is so complex and amazing. This book is so important.

Honorary Mentions:

Yes, there are even more books I need to mention. I’ve included links to my reviews in case you want to hear my opinions on these awesome books:

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh, Allied by Amy Tintera, Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett, The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead

What were your favorite books released in 2018?

Top 10 Best 2018 Releases (So Far)

There have been a lot of amazing releases this year, so far. Obviously, I haven’t been able to read them all, but I still wanted to talk about some of my favorites!  There are a few I haven’t quite gotten to yet (A Reaper At The Gates) so don’t think they’re not on this list because I hated them. I just haven’t had the time to read them (or I’m really afraid to read them, like with Reaper. Please Sabaa don’t hurt these characters anymore they need a break!) Also, I’m not including any books being released after June, I’ll make a different list in December or January covering all of those releases.

Okay on with the top ten!

Sidenote: I’m extremely indecisive so they aren’t in any particular order, with the exception of the first three probably being my top 3 reads this year. 

Continue reading

Review: Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston

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Overall: 4.5/5 Stars

Characters: 4/5

Setting: 4/5

Writing: 5/5

Plot and Themes: 5/5

Awesomeness Factor: 5/5

Review In A Nutshell: Heart of Iron is an extremely fast-paced read, full of mystery, adventure, and action, all set in a fascinating sci-fi universe. But at the heart, this book is truly about home, love, family.

“I’ll always come back for you. I promise you on iron and stars.”

(anyone else singing In A Crowd Of Thousands after reading this quote? Just me? Okay…)

Heart of Iron follows four different characters and is a loose, sci-fi retelling of Anastasia. I’ve recently become obsessed with Anastasia, so this premise really did hold the key to my heart. First, there is Ana, who was found as a child with no memories of her past and raised by a crew of outlaws. She was found with D09, also known as Di, a Metal who is suffering from severe glitches and may not be able to function for much longer. Then there are Jax and Robb. Jax is the pilot of the outlaw ship the Dossier, and Robb is an Ironblood, a royal mess, who is looking to see if his father survived the rebellion so many years ago. The same rebellion that killed the royal family including the young Ananke, who was thought to be the Goddess herself. When Robb and Ana collide while searching for the same coordinates, Ana has no choice but to journey to the past to discover things about her she never would have thought could be true.

Since this is a sci-fi story, there are a few different planets and species to understand, however, the setting was never really that big of an aspect of the book. While the locations the characters went to were explained well, there isn’t much explanation of the rest of the universe. This was something I expected going in, considering Ashley Poston had previously only published a contemporary and she really just had to jump in and learn to do it. This isn’t a bad thing, the focus is instead on the plot and characters, which I enjoyed. The writing style was descriptive and very fun to read, but despite the technology and science aspects, a lot of this book focused on court and politics. This does make sense since it’s based on Anastasia, which is a historical fiction with just a touch of fantasy.

The plot was extremely fast-paced, to the point where it did feel a little jarring jumping into it. There is constant action and not a slow moment in the book. However, this does lead to some of the relationships to feel a little rushed. After less than a hundred pages through the book, it starts to feel more natural, but it does take a second to adjust. This does, however, make the book almost impossible to put down. Despite how much you know about Anastasia and think you know exactly what will happen, there is an abundance of unpredictable turns. A lot of the story differs from the original tale, which is really important for good retellings. No matter how badly I want a word for word YA book version of Anastasia (someone please write that!), what Poston added and changed really makes it stand out. Less of this book revolves around the rumor and the legend, instead focusing more on the mystery of the rebellion and what truly happened that night.

The characters in this book are so fun to read about. While, as I mentioned before, some of their relationships feel a little rushed, these characters are still awesome, and I still adore the friendships and love stories that this book creates. There are plenty of diverse characters, and a gay relationship so that made me super happy. Ana and Di were adorable, and I was shipping them the whole time. Robb and Jax felt a little more rushed initially, but I don’t care, I still loved them. The rapid switching of point of views may not work for everyone, but I really enjoyed their different perspectives and found it added a lot of suspense (to the point of frustration, but I guess that’s the point).I especially loved reading from Di’s point of view, I found it the most interesting, but this could also be because I just adored Di as a character. There were a lot of great minor characters as well, and all of them were well developed. I swear, every single time there was a scene with Di and EOS I couldn’t help but smile. My only complaint with the side characters was that due to the fast plot, whenever a character died I felt like there was never enough time to really have it sink in, although I guess that would be the same for the characters, so it isn’t that much of a complaint.

Also, THAT ENDING!!! Ashley Poston really pulled no punches with that ending and I both love and hate her for it.

Pros– Fun characters, interesting world, gripping and compelling plot

Cons– Relationships felt rushed, the pacing was almost too fast

Overall- 4.5/5 stars.

If you are looking for a fun, action-packed read with cute relationships and a fascinating mystery, Heart of Iron is the perfect book for you.

Also, be glad I only included a few unnecessary musical-based puns in this. Now excuse me as I continue to freak out over the ending and continue with my countdown until the sequel is released.

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Note: This review was originally written for my other blog, and had been written months ago. Follow my blog to see new reviews twice a week, and please be patient as I transfer over old posts to the new website!