We’re one quarter of the way through this year! We’ve survived so much in the year of Beyoncé 2018 and in a few short months, I’ll be seeing Taylor Swift perform Reputation live. I thought that a very fun thing to do this year would be to talk about my favorite books and see how this list evolves as we go through the year. Also, I’ve already read 60+ books this year so… It seems fair that I get to have a list of 10 favorites each quarter. So let’s get started!
1. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
I would be incredibly surprised to see this book fall from my Top Ten by the end of the year because it’s such a beautiful and well-crafted novel. I love family sagas generally, but this one was so phenomenal in the way that it explored the black experience in America and in Ghana by using vignettes throughout history. Now, I know next to nothing about Ghanian history so that was all new to me, but a lot of what the American chapters covered introduced me to new things or made things I knew feel more real. I am not sure this makes sense, but honestly, just read this book.
2. Rock Hard by Nalini Singh
I remain obsessed with this book and legitimately want to read it again already. Charlotte and T-Rex are absolute perfection. Charlotte’s tragic past means that she tries to protect herself as much as possible and has therefore formed very few personal relationships. Her friendship with Molly shines and her romance with T-Rex absolutely devastated my heart. I just adored this book more than I can really express.
3. The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
This book is joy Jasmine Guillory trapped within the pages of a book. Seriously. In case of emergency, break glass and read this book. Also, go buy a cheese plate and some tacos. But read this book.
4. We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union
Like Hunger by Roxanne Gay, Gabrielle Union was honest and pretty raw about the things she chose to share. I think Gabrielle Union is funny and poised and clever and basically every good thing that you can come up with. She makes incredible points, but my heart literally shattered when she talked about being a privileged rape victim. Shattered. I’ll never forget her discussion of that. I also really, really appreciated hearing her discuss raising her step-sons and what that’s been like for her and Dwayne Wade (her husband). I really loved the entire memoir, honestly. I would highly recommend it.
5. Take the Lead by Alexis Daria
Oh my goodness was this romance novel delicious or what? Nominated for two RITAs and deserving of both, in my humble opinion, Daria knocked it out of the park with her debut romance novel. This book has characterization like nobody’s business and sexual tension that had me delighted and also dying a bit because omg, the steam! This book was a treat and just angsty enough to make you worry a little bit about how the story was going to end. Truly, genuinely a delight.
6. The Lady Hellion by Joanna Schupe
First of all, let me just say that bless 2018 for bringing Joanna Schupe into my life because I find her books delightful. The Lady Hellion was a special treat because our hero is suffering from PTSD that has him unable to leave his house without having a panic attack and our heroine is a gutsy, crime-solving independent woman who winds up helping him piece by piece. There’s always a risk of trauma + love making it seem like love can fix everything and nbd. But this book never came across that way for me and I really loved the characters, the adventure, and the sexy, sexy times.
7. Grin and Beard It by Penny Reid
Sienna, my beautiful, darling, beloved heroine to end all heroines. I adore Sienna. My Goodreads review is something along the lines of Jethro is great and all but Sienna is everything. That’s 100% a true statement of how I feel about the heroine in Grin and Beard It, the second of Penny Reid’s brilliant The Winston Brothers series. Sienna is a Latina, Oscar winning, fat, funny, and confident heroine and the sex positivity in this book was fantastic. I do want to note that although I did not notice any offensive stereotypes or problems, Sienna is a Latina woman written by a white woman and I’m also a white woman, so I hope I’m not steering you wrong.
8. Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray
This book has some incredible quotes about patriotism and really seemed poignant given 2018. The audiobooks for this series remain absolutely incredible and I just adore most of the characters so much. I’m so excited for book four, I can’t even handle it.
9. You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins
This book is a YA family saga and it’s as beautifully written as Homegoing, but since it focuses on fewer people, allows you to make more of a connection with the characters. It is so beautifully crafted and the story is woven together with prose that brings the characters to life. It is so, so good and definitely deserved the nomination for Best Book Award or whatever that it was nominated for last year. I wouldn’t have been upset if it had won over Far From the Tree by Robin Benway, but I loved that book as well. Honestly, there have been such incredible YA titles lately that it’s difficult to choose what is the best of the best. I definitely would recommend this novel though!
10. Beyond Jealousy by Kit Rocha
God bless, Rachel. She’s amazing. And Cruz? And Ace? Yes, please. The three of them together are a delight to read and I just love them so much. SO MUCH. Okay, yes.
So there you have my list of ten! What have been your favorite books so far this year? Let me know in the comments below!