5. Catch Me if You Can by Frank Abagnale Jr.
One of the most common things you think about in regard to true crime novels is that they usually deal with death and the grotesque. It’s for this reason that Catch Me if You Can is one of my favorite reads this year.
It’s about Frank Abagnale Jr. (who wrote the book, which makes it more autobiography than anything but I’m still counting it as true crime) and his exploits as essentially a con man for many years. For different points of his life, he was a Pan Am pilot, a doctor, and a lawyer. He was eventually convicted, but because of his talent, he ended up working with the FBI as a consultant years later.
It’s fun, wacky, and a lot more lighthearted than the other true crime novels you typically read, which puts it above the pack already. The fact that it doubles as a sort of autobiography just adds to its intrigue.
There is a movie out starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks that is equally as good (or so Christian has told me), but they do take a few liberties with his life. Basically, if you’ve only seen the movie and think you know everything about his life, you are wrong and should definitely read this as your next true crime book.
4.Broken Things by Lauren Oliver
I got this when I went to BookNetFest, which is amazing because this year was my first time going, and it’s already paying off so much! I got this one as an advanced reading copy, which I love because it still has the fresh feel to it.
It’s about these girls who are believed to have killed their friend because of their obsession with a certain book, and the murder is based on a ritual from the book. The girls then come together to search for who really killed their friend.
It’s only so interesting, and I know that sometimes saying something is interesting makes that thing seem less so, but Broken Things really deserves that distinction. There are so many twists and turns that I wasn’t expecting.
The great thing that this novel did is that those twists and turns aren’t exhausting, unlike some other mystery novels. You want to know what’s happening and you want to know what you’re getting yourself into.
If you’re a fan of YA novels, YA mystery, or just plain old mystery itself, you can do no better than this book. It’s just an interesting and fun book that you won’t regret.
3. Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm by Philip Pullman
Total disclaimer: Philip Pullman is one of my favorite authors. He wrote my favorite book series/trilogy (His Dark Materials series) and I have reviewed each of the books as well. So, I may be a little biased when it comes to this author, but nevertheless, this is a book I highly recommend anyone to read.
Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm is an anthology series of Pullman’s favorite fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm. It has some of the more popular ones and others that are lesser known. Unlike other translations, he finds the original texts and then gives them a modern translation. What’s great is he goes through the stories and adds notes talking about the themes and gives you a better insight into the story.
I’ve read some fairytales that I had never heard or read before in this book, and the translation coupled with the notes gives each new story a breath of fresh air that doesn’t wear you down. It’s just fun and being able to read something that isn’t from the His Dark Materials fantasy universe adds to that freshness and lets you discover his writing isn’t just a fluke.
Honestly, anything new (to me and in general) by Pullman will always end up as one of my favorites that I read.
2. The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden
I was so excited to read this book, you have no idea. I had waited so long to read The Bear and the Nightingale because I had lent it to somebody (you know who you are), and after I finally had, it was so good, which was great because, by the time I had read the first book, the second one came out.
This book, though, is amazing. I love the storytelling and the fantasy worldbuilding this book continues in the story. I love finding out new things from the lore and the fact that it builds the story and the entertainment from the first one is tantamount to the story Katherine Arden provides for us.
An added bonus: I love having the hardback version because the cover art is just so beautiful. I know we say we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but sometimes a cover can really give you an idea of how great a book can be, and this cover does that.
1. Obsidio by Jay Kristoff & Amy Kaufman
This is it: the best book I read of 2018. The finale of a book series that I fell in love with on my first beginning start on this entire book blogging and BookTube—Obsidio.
This book and its series are very close to me, not because this series happened to come across my radar when I first started making videos, but because I fell in love with the intricate storytelling and the way it was so different from the other books that I have read.
Just being able to get the third and final book of the series and getting a conclusion to a story we’ve been following for years, having characters finally meet and wrap up each of their own stories was just amazing. Yes, some people were a bit disappointed in the ending, but for me, even though I had my own issues with it and I did see what everyone was saying, it still remains one of my favorite reads of the year.
And that’s the thing about all of this: I loved this book, flaws and all. I loved reading it and taking in the story, and although there were some things that maybe weren’t the best, it was still so satisfying to finish a story that I fell in love with years ago. That’s why Obsidio is my number one favorite read from 2018.