Provo Library’s Best Books of 2018 | YA Non-Fiction, Fiction, & Graphic Novels

Every year my local library puts on a “Best Books of…” event and I love it! A lot of the books I’ve already heard of, but I always come away with new books on my TBR! Even though I do work here, I wasn’t part of putting on the event or choosing the books–I was able to just attend as a patron, so that was super fun as well. I made my book club come with me too, so hopefully some of these books will make it into our discussions! Here’s a link for anyone who missed my post on the Adult non-fiction and fiction list.

Provo Library Best Books YA

Bolded books are ones that are on my TBR. Italics are ones I’ve read.

Non-Fiction
Fiction
Comics & Graphic Novels
Have you read any of these? What young adult books would you add to the list?

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Provo Library Best Books YA

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Provo Library’s Best Books of 2018 | Adult Non-Fiction & Fiction

Every year my local library puts on a “Best Books of…” event and I love it! A lot of the books I’ve already heard of, but I always come away with new books on my TBR! Even though I do work here, I wasn’t part of putting on the event or choosing the books–I was able to just attend as a patron, so that was super fun as well. I made my book club come with me too, so hopefully some of these books will make it into our discussions! Keep an eye out for the Young Adult list–I’ll be posting that in a few days as well.

Provo Library Best Books Adult

Bolded books are ones that are on my TBR. Italics are ones I’ve read.

Have you read any of these? What adult books would you add to the list?

Pin this!

Provo Library Best Books Adult.PNG

 

Let’s just say it’s been a while since I’ve read some of these books [Mini-Reviews]

There are so many books that I read last year that I still haven’t gotten around to reviewing. Hopefully, this post can make a (small) dent in that list.

mini-reviews

The Conspiracy of Us and Map of Fates by Maggie Hall

map of fates

conspiracy of us

I really thought I was going to like these books because it seemed like it was going to be one massive treasure hunt. Instead, we’re gifted with insta-love and a completely unnecessary love triangle. I also don’t really understand why there’s this slight magical element? I mean, one of the characters is literally fireproof and I don’t know how that can be explained without magic. The main character is so naive and very annoying. I never understand why protagonists have such a hard time being left behind on “missions” when they have no training and would clearly only get in the way. I, personally, would be happy to sit on my behind in the hotel room and let people with ACTUAL TRAINING take care of the dangerous stuff. I honestly don’t know why I even bothered with the second book, but I am definitely NOT going to be reading the third one. 3/5

Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen

Orphan Monster SpyI wasn’t super impressed by this book. I thought it actually started off pretty strong, but it didn’t maintain that excitement through to the end. While I felt like it had a different tone from most books, that didn’t really make things any more interesting. The plot was fine, but not super engaging and I had a hard time figuring out what the end goal was supposed to be. Our main character is going through a bunch of stuff, but for what? I also didn’t find myself connecting to any of the characters. The main character was…fine. Kind of bland–you really don’t get to know her that well. The author also chose to include some pretty messed up characters, but I didn’t really feel like they added to the story. 3/5

The Archived by Victoria Schwab

The ArchivedThis book had been on my TBR forever because I really liked the Monsters of Verity duology. Also, I love any kind of twist on the “library” so if you know any good alternate library books, let me know in the comments! To get into my review, I felt like the world was pretty complex and didn’t really get explained very well at the beginning, which just left me feeling confused. I was also very confused for the first three chapters because I didn’t realize that Da and Dad were not both Mackenzie’s father. I liked Mackenzie as a main character, but she made some really questionable decisions. I never really understood her resistance for sharing information with the librarians, but especially Roland. He seemed to obviously be on her side and some things could have been prevented if she had been more transparent. I thought Wesley was a bit much as a character, but I did like watching his relationship with Mackenzie develop. Owen, on the other hand…that relationship seemed to come out of nowhere. In the end, there was a twist that I did NOT see coming and I’m just left with so many questions. Like, what is up with Ms. Angelli? Such a mystery. 4/5

ebook | Paperback

The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher

The ChristmasaurusThis is such a fun middle grade Christmas book. The language was pretty silly throughout, so I would definitely recommend for younger middle grade readers, but I think that age will find the silly language really enjoyable. This book has wheelchair representation which I don’t think I’ve seen in any other books–let alone middle grade. I’m no expert, but it felt like it was portrayed accurately and definitely felt super respectful. I also thought that the characters developed in a realistic way. Even though Brenda is horrible, I felt like I understood her and that’s not always the case with antagonists. I loved all of the illustrations throughout and the Christmas feels were SO STRONG. There’s a twist at the end that I didn’t see coming (am I just oblivious???) which was such a fun surprise. I recommend getting the version of the book that comes with the soundtrack–not necessary, but a really fun and festive bonus. 4/5

ebook | Hardcover | Musical Edition

Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake

Two Dark ReignsOkay, I’m hoping to get through this review without any spoilers, but it’s book three in the series, so I’m really sorry if I reveal anything from the first two books–unintentional. After the second book I wasn’t sure how invested I would be in the rest of the story–I didn’t really see where Blake could take it from there. However, the third book got me reinvested real quick. I found myself liking this book much more than the second one and the different POVs continued to be a nice change of pace. I enjoyed each POV equally. There continue to be many, many questions and I need the next book asap. The ending took me by surprise and I’m still not sure exactly what’s going on or what’s going to happen. There’s some interesting things going on on the island and I guess we’ll just have to see what happens next. 4/5

ebook | Hardcover

My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, & Brodi Ashton

my plain janeI love this series! The tone is fun and light and easy to enjoy. Once again, I thought the rotating perspective worked well, but Jane’s sections were probably my least favorite. I do wish that I’d read Jane Eyre first, though, because there are certain plot points that were so strange and I don’t know if they were extra or if they’re part of the original text. This is partly why one of my 2019 reading goals is to read Jane Eyre. I also liked that this is somewhat of a “Jane Eyre origin story”. The plot itself was good, but not completely thought out or explained. Why do the talismans work on ghosts? What really determines if a ghost moves on or not? Is a special “moving on” room really necessary? I also felt like red rooms were mentioned several times and I don’t really know why. Despite all that, the tone of the book is so enjoyable that I happily overlooked the times when things weren’t fully explained and I’m excited to continue on with this series. 4/5

ebook | Hardcover


Recommended from this post:

The Perfect App for the Person Who Keeps Planning on Reading Classics but Never Actually Does

This is me. I am the person who has a list of classic books that I want to read eventually, but never do because when it comes down to it I have too many other, more current books to read instead. Classic books just always take me so long to read and it’s not like they’ll ever be unavailable to check out, right? That’s always my rationale at least. But then I discovered the most wonderful app called Serial Reader (this is not a sponsored ad, I just seriously love this app). So here’s how it works. You pick a book that you want to read and set a time to receive new issues every day. Then, once a day you’ll receive a manageable portion of the book to read. The app even tells you how long it will take for you to read it! Once you’re done with your issue, then you just have to wait until the next day to keep reading. Before you know it, you’ll have finished the whole book one manageable portion at a time!

Serial Reader 1

There’s a really wide variety of books to choose from and as far as I know, there isn’t a limit to how many you can read at one time. You can highlight and take notes and it will save all of those for you in the app. The app itself is free, but if you purchase the upgrade (I think it was either $1.99 or $2.99) then you can read ahead to future issues and use the handy dandy “Read Later” function. So far, I’ve finished Northanger Abbey and am currently reading Wuthering Heights. On my “Read Later” list I have Jane Eyre, The Scarlet Letter, Frankenstein, The Haunted Hotel, The Woman in White, and The Mysteries of Udolpho. The only drawback that I’ve found so far is that the app only has the rights for books published before 1930. So books like 1984 and Farenheit 451 aren’t on there.

I have my issues set for 7 AM, shortly after I wake up, so that I can read them at any point during the day. I’ve only tried reading one at a time at this point–more than that might be a little much for me–but it feels good to know that I’m knocking some classics off of my TBR without taking too much time away from the other books that I’m reading!

Has anyone else tried this app? What did you think? Let me know if you end up downloading it and what your first read is going to be! What are some of your other favorite reading apps?

HELP WANTED: Popsugar Reading Challenge 2015

Alright, I am making one final push to finish the Popsugar Reading Challenge for 2015 (click here if you want to start planning for the 2016 reading challenge). Here’s a link to my 2015 list so far.

I need help with these three items:
A funny book
A memoir
A book a friend recommended

Keep in mind that I mostly stick to YA (especially now that I only have a month left to finish these). You can look at my Goodreads page to check if I’ve already read something. Please give me your recommendations!