Top 10 Books To Read in 2018

Since it’s a new year, there are still too many books I wanted to read in 2017 but sadly didn’t get to. Here’s some of the ones at the top of my list that I hope to get to throughout 2018. Let me know if you’ve read any of them and your thoughts on them. ūüôā

*Click on pictures of books for Goodreads links.

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Favorite Books of 2017

So this reading year has been an eventful one. I think it’s definitely been the least amount of books I’ve read but in terms of genre, I think I’ve more widely than I’ve ever done in my life so I would count that as a success. Even with only 65 books completed in contrast to my usual 100+ books, I feel satisfied. The amount doesn’t seem to matter anymore and looking back on what I’ve read this year, I’ve learned so much, especially in regards to¬†the ownvoices books I’ve read. None of this are in any particular order though the last few are probably my all time favorites.

23447923There’s something about Benjamin Alire S√°enz’s stories that stick with you. I think what makes this book memorable is family dynamic. I don’t think I’ve ever read an amazing father figure like Sal’s dad, Vicente. In general, there’s just this nostalgia I associate with this book. It’s just an utterly beautiful story. Read my review here.







28587957 This is probably one of the select few novels about race written by a white author that I can accept as well done. In fact, Jodi Picoult did an immense amount of research fro this novel and although she can never depict the authentic experience being black in America, I can appreciate the effort. This book was targeted towards white people, to be able to recognize their privilege and realize that the corrupt justice system does not serve equally to people of color. In general, this novel is brave and though it will never be entirely accurate, it presented an incredibly powerful story. Read my review here.




32620332Going into this book, you might expect a glamorous story about a celebrity full of gossip, scandals and affairs. You’re not entirely wrong, but what this story offers is nuance. Not only is Evelyn Hugo’s story incredibly compelling, but it’s also unique. Evelyn Hugo carved out a career for herself, being Cuban and bisexual along with many other experiences. There is no good or bad depiction of Evelyn Hugo, she’s just morally grey Evelyn Hugo who’s story is unlike anything I’ve ever read before.¬†Read full review here.¬†






Considering this book was my very first read of the year, I think it goes to show how memorable it was to me. Celeste Ng’s writing is addicting and this story was incredible. It’s introspective, emotional and manages to explore many different themes from family dynamics to racism. The hype is absolutely worth it for me. Read full review here.








I usually don’t include memoirs on lists of favorite books, but I found this one to be exceptional. I love The Daily Show and Trevor Noah’s humor and his memoir was on par with it. Learning bout the Apartheid and his mother and childhood, it was so much more interesting than most memoirs I’ve read. Also, by listening to the audiobook, it really did feel like Trevor Noah was telling his story to you. If you would like read any memoir,¬†Born A Crime¬†is probably one of the most authentic ones I’ve read.






Listening to the audiobook is probably the best way to read this book. Ta-Nehesi Coates’ voice is entrancing. Many reviewers described reading this book like being woken up from a dream. I don’t think there can be enough educating on marginalized experiences so this is an absolute must read.








I’m pretty sure this is on nearly everyone’s list and I don’t think anything I say will do this story justice. I genuinely don’t have really anything bad to say about this book because the truth in this fictional story is what makes it so incredibly powerful. I know that this is going to be a classic in the future and going to be remembered for years.








Another Celeste Ng book, what’s new? It’s strange because I initially thought that I liked this book less than¬†Everything I Never Told You.¬†It didn’t have the same addictive quality and there were parts that had dragged. But in the end, I kept thinking about this story and it’s characters and themes of family and motherhood. It goes to show that as more time passed from when I finished this book, the more I loved it. Celeste Ng is an amazing storyteller and one of my favorite authors so I think I’ll love everything she writes at this point. Read full review here.





If you asked me why I decided to include this book last, I really wouldn’t be able to give an answer. This book is haunting and just plain melancholy. But what I really loved¬† is the plain honesty in it. Roxane Gay is forthright in her writing, she never sugarcoats her experiences. Her writing is compelling and her story is powerful. I don’t think you’ll find a story like Roxane Gay’s one and at this point I’m rambling. I really don’t think I can say anything that will do her story justice so do yourself a favor and read it.¬†Hunger¬†is an absolute must read. Read full review.¬†


Fall Reading Recommendations

So this is kind of belated, big surprise there. Since fall is my favorite season thus far, I really wanted to recommend books that I’ve read that are perfect during this season, if you’re a seasonal reader. I’ve tried to include variety with a balance of all genres as well as include some lesser known novels. ūüôā

1.¬†The best way to describe this book is harrowing. It is so unbelievably raw and emotional, you’ll most likely be in tears in the end. This story is not a happy one but it was truth of it that kept me going. It’s a story that tackles bigotry and racism through the eyes of a Latina girl and black boy. You’ll probably feel miserable by the end but the author managed to perfectly capture he scene at the time. Why I chose it for the fall, I can’t explain. But the authenticity of it just made me think of this season. |¬†Read full review here.¬†
2.¬†¬†Allegedly¬†is a book that will absolutely mess with your mind. There’s an unreliable narrator which adds to mystery of this story while also bringing up systematic racism and domestic abuse. It’s the kind of psychological thriller that keeps you guessing, the gripping quality has to do with what happened in the past rather than the present. The ending killed me, so be prepared for that. Obviously, the perfect rainy day read.
3.¬†The cover is evident that this is the “I’m going to get paranoid” book.¬†I Hunt Killers¬†is a little bit like¬†Criminal Minds¬†and the¬†The Mentalist.¬†The main character Jazz is a lot like Patrick Jane, he’s arrogant and kind of an asshole but he’s incredibly clever. Sadly, it has some of the typical teenage angst and some unrealistic elements, but the plot and the villains especially are the most interesting in the story. Bonnie, Jazz’s girlfriend is also a WOC and she calls him out on his shit which is always a plus.¬† It’s also clear to see the author did his research, the investigations and killings are always explained in detail.¬†It makes you wonder if Barry Lyga really is a serial killer. |Read full review here.
4.¬†This is one of the very few required readings that managed to leave a mark on me. I read it back in 7th grade but I can still remember the voice of the narrator from the audiobook we were listening to. Despite this being about a bunch of white, foolish teenagers, the true violence of the story was what drew me in. It wasn’t until later that I realized a boy was sexually assaulted in this book by another boy. The author wrote such a taboo book and that to me, as a reader and writer is admirable. Stay gold and read (or reread) this story.
5.¬†If you truly want to experience gore during October, give this book a try. Personally, this to me is one of Rick Yancey’s best works. The descriptions of the monsters were so vividly horrible that I absolutely loved it.¬† In case you think the writing may appear juvenile since the main character is eleven, it’s told in diary format written by Will Henry when he’s much older. Besides the monsters in the story, the nature of Professor Warthrop and Will Henry’s relationship is so intriguing to read about. Granted, it’s a very toxic and manipulative relationship, but it’s still so interesting to read about. Would highly recommend for a scare.
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6.¬†I couldn’t make a recommendation post without including some Victoria Schwab. She’s a master at incorporating mortality and morally gray characters into her stories. Personally,¬†Vicious¬†is my favorite of all of her
books and the best written (I have read all of her other works). Victor and Eli are as morally gray as you can get and their insanity is what truly drives this story.¬† Honestly, the idea of two pre-med students going power hungry and insane isn’t too far form the truth. |Read full review here.




The Liebster Awards (I’ve been nominated!)

I’m really excited and surprised to announce that I’ve been nominated for The Liebster Awards! I was really surprised to see that that Nina from Just Add A Word¬†nominated me! Thank you so much to Nina for nominating me, I really appreciate it. Be sure to check out her blog, it’s amazing. If you didn’t know, The Liebster Awards is essentially a way for bloggers to discover various other blogs and nominate blogs that aren’t as popular, typically ones that have under 200 readers.

The rules are simple:

1. Thank the person who nominated you.

2. Answer the 11 questions given to you.

3. Nominate 11 other blogs and give them 11 questions to answer on their post.


1. If you rated by a checklist, what would be the number one quality you look for in a book for it to be enjoyable?

In order for a book to be enjoyable for me, it really just depends on the genre and what the synopsis entails. Firstly, I would want the story to include what drew me to the book in the first place. Synopses can be misleading at times. Writing style normally doesn’t bother me, since every writer has their own unique and distinct writing style, but I normally would expect the writing to be consistent throughout the book. In addition, a substantial plot or story line is important as well. I really enjoy character driven stories as well but a main story line is the key component to a book. Complex characters (whether they are fictional or if it is non-fiction) that have substance and development. I like to read about three dimensional characters not one dimensional caricatures. I especially love to read about morally grey characters, people who aren’t necessarily “good” or “bad.” This checklist ended up being a lot longer and more complicated than I expected. Essentially, I look for a story with substance, consistency and complexity. That sounds like I’m talking about a recipe.

2. Do you believe in not judging a book by its cover? To what extent does first      impressions affect your reading choices?

I think at one point we’ve all judged books by their covers. Personally, I think it’s impossible to¬†not¬†judge a book by it’s cover. Our very impression of ¬†a book is based on the cover, the cover is what draws us to the book in the first place. I’m going to be honest, if I see a person on the cover, I’m less likely to read it. For example, the conventionally attractive white model on a cover is so overdone and I’m more likely to ignore it if I come across it. There are some exceptions, if there is a POC on the cover (a rare occasion), I’m more interested. I’ve been trying to judge less on the cover and more on if I’m interested in the story line. It’s pretty difficult but I think we have to remember that a book cover doesn’t determine the story. The publishing company determines what book cover will help promote the book not the author. Sometimes it’s a success while other times it’s not. Bottom line, I think everyone needs to work on focusing more on the synopsis and not what’s on the book cover.

3. If you could have dinner with 3 authors (dead or alive), which ones would you pick?

The first one is pretty obvious, J.K. Rowling. There’s so many questions I would want to ask her, Harry Potter or otherwise. I would also love to meet Chimamande Ngozi Adichie, it would be great to have tea with her and talk about feminism and our experiences. She’s actually one of my biggest inspirations so it would be a dream to meet her and talk to her. Check out her essay, We Should All Be Feminists or really any of her TED talks. Lastly, I would love to meet Rick Riordan who genuinely¬†seems like a nice and funny person. It would be interesting to see how much of his personality is shown in his books, like PJ’S sarcasm.

4. Which genre do you read most of? Least of?

A year or two ago, I would probably say fantasy because I used to read a lot of it. I’m not as interested in fantasy as I was before but I still love it but I actually find myself reading more contemporary and literary fiction. This actually used to be a genre I never read, but I’ve come to appreciate it more (especially after reading¬†Homegoing By Yaa Gyasi).¬†I generally don’t read a lot of non-fiction but recently I’ve been reading quite a few. I think people are hesitant to read non-fiction because they’ll expect it to be boring, but a lot of non-fiction is written in prose and reads like a story. I would recommend listening to the audio book for it if you enjoy listening to a book.

5. What are your top 5 bookish pet peeves?

1. Ridiculous descriptions of eyes- Authors like Cassandra Clare & Sarah J. Maas always have long, overdone descriptions of eyes. We get it, his eyes is a mesmerizing shade of golden and he looks unreal like an angel or Greek God. But ¬†do they have to go on for a paragraph using various types of figurative language to describe someone’s eyes. WE GET IT.

2. Using sexuality as a plot twist- This is especially infuriating and extremely offensive. Sexuality shouldn’t be portrayed as a huge scandal as it is shown in some books, a person’s sexuality is not their personality. It’s obviously apart of them, but why does their entire character have to ¬†revolve around their sexuality. It’s especially infuriating when it’s written by straight, cisgender authors who have never been in the person’s shoes and immediately write harmful stereotypes into their story. I’m a firm believer that if it isn’t own voices, the author has no right to write and make assumptions about a person’s sexuality without having the experience.

3. Territorial Male Characters- No one likes this trope. It’s disgusting, unhealthy and creates a power imbalance. It is the literal foundation to a unhealthy, abusive relationship. It’s sad to see so many books written where the male love interest is territorial when their female partner talks to another guy (Ahem, Sarah J. Maas).

4. Deaths of POC or LGBTQ+ Characters-¬†This seems to always happen in any forms of entertainment whether its a movie, T.V. show or book. What is the point of adding “diversity” to a story if the character is going to be killed off? There are several instances when there’s a group of people, majority are white with 1 or 2 people of color and they end up being killed off leaving the white people as the survivors. Not to mention that a lot of these instances can portray the “white savior” trope which is another trope I hate. Don’t include people of color and LGBTQ+ just to have them killed off.

5.¬†Tragic Backstory-¬†I’m sorry but can their be one character who actually had a good or decent life? In order to be a hero or villain, there doesn’t have to be the typical backstory. Obviously with a villain, there is most likely a traumatic experience attached to it. But I’d like one story where there isn’t a tortured soul with a tragic backstory. Someone who had a decent life and isn’t brooding, angsty and miserable.

6. Print book, ebook, or audiobook? What are your thoughts on the other two?

All of them. I use all three formats pretty frequently, though I mostly use print and audiobook format. Ebooks can be difficult to read at times but I think it depends on the person. As for audiobooks, I love listening to them especially while I’m in a car or bus. Whenever I read a book in physical format in a moving vehicle, I always get nauseous so audiobooks are what I normally listen. Audiobooks being counted as actual reading has been a controversy for a while. I definitely consider to be considered reading since reading doesn’t ¬†decoding and understanding words only using your two eyes. For more information I would recommend watching emmmabooks video on if audiobooks are considered actual reading. Link is here.

7. Do you use bookmarks? If so, do you make or buy them or simply use a tissue or receipt or your cat’s tail?

I wish I had cat so I could use their tail as a bookmark, but sadly I don’t have any pets yet. I definitely use bookmarks and I have far too many of them. Most of them I collected from my school library.

8. This might be a weird one, but: Do you judge books by their authors? For example, if an author is an evil villain that feasts on the unborn (or some other negative that’s a bit more grounded in reality), does that affect your enjoyment of their book?¬†

This is an interesting question and something I’ve been conflicted on. I definitely don’t want to judge a book by an author based off of the author’s personality, especially when I haven’t read their books previously. Recently, someone on Twitter pointed out some homophobic comments Brandon Sanderson made that were really offensive. I have read books by him before and I was planning on reading his popular Mistborn series. It left me really conflicted on whether or not I should read his books. The comment was made years ago and he claims to have changed his opinion but didn’t apologize for his comments. I know that I don’t want to support who makes offensive, homophobic comments but should I stop reading their books altogether? It is true that an author’s personality bleeds into their books. If I were to read their books, I know I would be very cautious and critical.

9. Does every book require a romantic subplot? Does it detract from the main story line, or is it crucial in terms of character development?

Absolutely NOT. In fact, I think a romantic subplot can deter from a character’s development. ¬†In my experience, whether a book is adult or young adult, there is almost always a romantic subplot and its normally heterosexual. There are exceptions, of course. But it’s an overdone trope that really doesn’t add anything to a story. Why do a boy and girl immediately have to have feelings for each other. Why can’t they just be friends?¬†A character can grow on their own without a love interest. A lot of the times, a love interest can do more harm than good.

10.¬†How do you feel about rating a book before it’s published and without having an ARC? For example: if you love the author, do you automatically give all their upcoming releases 5 stars? If the author has done a controversial thing, do their works deserve automatic 1 stars?

I’ve seen people on Goodreads do this quite a few times and I don’t agree with it all. I wouldn’t rate a book I didn’t read at all. Whether I love the author or not. Its especially terrible when people rates books they haven’t read or before its release date one star. People on Goodreads may look at the overall rating and might not want to read it because of the low ratings. It’s cruel to the author especially and just plain wrong.

11.¬†Which series do you which could’ve ended differently? (Without spoilers, if possible.)

This is pretty hard for me since I like the conclusion to most series, but I’m going to have to say The Hunger Games trilogy. Let’s just say that certain characters should have survived and a certain character should have died.


1.¬†Kathleen from¬†she turns pages¬†– Kath’s instagram is amazing and so is her blog and book reviews.

2.¬†Greg & Aisha from¬†GAscribing¬†– This is a blog that focuses more on writing but there are book reviews as well. I discovered this blog through Aisha’s instagram @thatothernigeriangirl¬†(give her a follow). There are also other contributors to this blog as well and it’s nice to see a mix of both reading and writing which is something I’ve been trying to incorporate into my own blog.

3.¬†Olga from¬†Reading Between Oceans¬†– I love Olga’s username, I wish I could come up with something that creative. I’ve been friends with Olga on Goodreads for a while and I really enjoy Olga’s reviews on her blog.

4.¬†Fleur from¬†Fleur Henley¬†– Fluer’s blog is so underrated so be sure to her a follow! She has some really interesting posts and discussions. Recently, she wrote a post on tips for reviews and they were really helpful

5. Srishti and Yomna from Srishti and Yomna РThis is a cute blog especially if you enjoy YA books.

6. Katherine from FabledHavenРKatherine is another great blogger that wants to see mroe POC and LGBTQ+ representation just as much as I do.

7.¬†Kristin from¬†Always With a Book¬†– Kristin’s blog is very interactive, she’s part of book clubs, she reviews from a number of genres posts frequently.

8.¬†Mrs. Bro from¬†The Brief Leaf– Mrs. Bro is actually a middle school teacher that does book reviews. Her reviews are short and concise which is different than msot book bloggers, she’s able to sum her thoughts and opinions into a paragraph or so which is something that’s preety dififcult for me. Obviously.

9.¬†Linda from¬†Linda’s Wonderland– Linda’s blog is so beautiful (I love the logo). She also includes some unique posts as well.

10. Krista from Cubicle Blindness Reviews РKrista has some great reviews and reviews book from self published authors which is always a great thing to do since most are so underrated.

11.¬†Esther from¬†Bite Into Books– Esther’s reviews are well written and she also reviews lesser known books and short stories.

My Questions:

1. What are your views on diversity in literature? Do you think it should be implemented in every story? 

2. Who are some of your favorite POC and/or LGBTQ+ characters?

3. What are some of your favorite non-fiction books or memoirs?

4.¬†Do you feel that you’re represented in media? Is there a particular character you identify with? What would you like¬†to see more of, in terms of representation?

5. What are your views on mental health representation in literature? Name a few books that you think portray mental health in a respectful light.

6. What are some of your favorite Own Voices books?

7.¬†What are your views on reading problematic books? Would you read a book that’s been reviewed as problematic and offensive? For example, Carve the Mark has been accused of being racist and abliest. Imagine you were genuinely interested in the book but are hesitant to read it because of the¬†controversy. Would you still read it?

8. Besides diversity, what other things would you want literature and stories to improve on?

9.¬†Do you believe that authors have the right to write books about another person’s experiences? For example, do you think a straight author has the right to write about a gay character’s experince or a transgender character’s experience?

10.¬†Do you read only for entertainment or do you read to educate yourself as well? What are some lessons or morals you’ve learned from reading?¬†

11. List some of your favorite books so far this year and why you loved them so much.