Before, we get too far into 2019 (because HELLER it’s passing crazy quickly) I had the urge to share with y’all my favorite books I read from last year’s book binge.
First let me start off by saying if there is a newly-released book that everyone is raving about, this girl has either read it or it’s on my bookshelf. Immersing myself into the worlds of novels has been a thing I’ve done my whole life to escape reality. Quite frankly, movie’s and TV will never live up to the enjoyment that comes from a good book! I get asked often for my latest recommendations so I am really excited to incorporate that into my blog.
Fun Fact: A tradition of mine is to start and finish a book every time we take a beach vacation.
Favorite book’s I’ve read on the beach: The Selection by Keira Cass and Daddy’s Girl by Mary Higgins Clark. I distinctly remember two separate beach trips where I skipped out on game nights to read on the balcony. Even as a teenager. It will always and forever be my favorite way to relax.
Variety is a definitely a pattern with my reading choices. Years ago, I was hopelessly addicted to Romance and Sci-Fi/ Dystopian Fantasy genre’s. Vampire’s were in and so were realms that weren’t of this universe. Now my taste varies from Mystery to Paranormal to Thriller and honestly, whatever I pick up that has an enough of an intriguing synopsis to real me in.
Out of all the great reads from 2018, these are my best picks. Shopping links are linked to the titles.
New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver delivers a raw and heart-pounding story, perfect for fans of E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars or Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects.
Dara and Nick used to be inseparable. But that was before the accident that left Dara’s beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged.
When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked.
Now, Nick has to find her sister—before it’s too late.
In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other
My Thoughts: This read was one that had me on the edge on my seat, picking apart every word for clues and not knowing where the book was going to take me. I was in constant shock and sadness throughout the story. The bond between two siblings is unbreakable and Lauren Oliver captures that raw emotion beautifully.
When Niko Hayes decided to move to Montana, he only had one thing in mind; a college degree. That all changed when Sandra Chambers, the school’s freak mystery girl, found him. His friends warned him to be careful, that she was…well, crazy; Niko didn’t listen.
“Something about her, something about how she looked at him, the way she smiled, captured his heart. I can’t help but watch in awe at how every person this girl passes stops and stares at her; yet, she doesn’t seem to notice. Either she’s used to this kind of treatment or she truly doesn’t know what she is to the world. I shake my head at my thoughts. I just met this girl, I don’t even know her name; and yet, I can’t get her dark eyes out of my head.”
Although, Niko ends up realizing that maybe he should have listened to his friends when Sandra turns out not being who she claimed to be.
My Thoughts: Wattpad.com and Indie writer, Grace DeMato, brings us a tale of both bitter sweet and edgy, dramatic first love with the complicated story of two opposites attracting with a force they can’t control. I cried more than once when reading this story and I have begged her many times for a sequel. I’m a sucker for a star-crossed duo that fight the odds to be together. Niko has to be one of my favorite characters of all time. She captures both of their personalities PERFECTLY and reminds me a lot of my stubborn youth. Did I mention she’s one of my best friends and we met through the release of the online-only version of this book? Grace is an aspiring author and one to definitely watch for years to come!
Riverdale meets Final Destination in this fast-paced and deliciously creepy novel about an innocent game that turns deadly at a high school sleepover.
It was supposed to be a game…
Junior year is shaping up to be the best of McKenna Brady’s life. After a transformative summer, McKenna is welcomed into the elite group of popular girls at Weeping Willow High, led by the gorgeous Olivia Richmond. For the first time in a long time, things are looking up.
But everything changes the night of Olivia’s Sweet Sixteen sleepover. Violet, the mysterious new girl in town, suggests the girls play a game during which Violet makes up elaborate, creepily specific stories about the violent ways the friends will die. Though it unsettles McKenna, it all seems harmless at the time.
Until a week later, when Olivia dies…exactly as Violet predicted.
As Violet rises to popularity and steps into the life Olivia left unfinished, McKenna becomes convinced Olivia’s death wasn’t just a coincidence, especially when a ghost haunting her bedroom keeps leaving clues that point to Violet. With the help of her cute neighbor, Trey, McKenna pledges to get to the bottom of Violet’s secrets and true intentions before it’s too late. Because it’s only a matter of time before more lives are lost.
My thoughts: From the first page, I was hooked. LITERALLY. I breezed through all 3 books in the trilogy like it was nothing! Zoe has a way of writing like that, leaving you with suspense but giving just enough to make you crave page after page. It was years ago when I read the online version on Wattpad.com and met the author. Now, Light As A Feather, is a new hit tv series on Hulu, staring Dylan Sprayberry, Peyton List, Brent Rivera, Liana Liberato, Ajiona Alexus. I will admit, the tv show doesn’t hold a candle to how great the series is and I strongly recommend reading the book first. No, seriously, I command you to READ FIRST! I can’t wait to read more of her works and support another author friend in her writing journey. P.S. Zoe is a huge fan of our Enduring Lip Color by LimeLife!
Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller!
“Astounding. Thrilling. Amazing.” —Gillian Flynn
“Unputdownable.” —Stephen King
“A dark, twisty confection.” —Ruth Ware
“Absolutely gripping.” —Louise Penny
For readers of Gillian Flynn and Tana French comes one of the decade’s most anticipated debuts, to be published in thirty-six languages around the world and already in development as a major film from Fox: a twisty, powerful Hitchcockian thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house.
It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening . . .
Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.
Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.
What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.
Twisty and powerful, ingenious and moving, The Woman in the Window is a smart, sophisticated novel of psychological suspense that recalls the best of Hitchcock.
My Thoughts: If the description alone doesn’t have you hooked already, then I don’t know what will, sister. To put in perspective how much I loved this read, I devoured it in a 3 hour flight from cover to cover. This book gives you exactly everything you could want in a thriller : it leaves you completely surprised by the ending and also, leaves you in a complete book high.
“The twists come as fast [as] you can turn the pages.” —People
“Provocative and shocking.” —Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author of Find Her
“I read this novel at one sitting, absolutely riveted by the storyline. The suspense was beautifully rendered and unrelenting!” —Sue Grafton, New York Times bestselling author of X
It all started at a dinner party. . .
A domestic suspense debut about a young couple and their apparently friendly neighbors—a twisty, rollercoaster ride of lies, betrayal, and the secrets between husbands and wives. . .
Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all—a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night, when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately lands on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.
Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they’ve kept for years.
What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family—a chilling tale of deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness that will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist.
My Thoughts: The proof is in the description. EPIC! It was a quick read for me because I was downright ANGRY most of the time at the events surrounding the main plot and was holding some serious grudges and judgment towards the characters. I love a book that can evoke emotion like that, and it did just that to me, right down to the very last pages with an ending that left my mouth hanging wide open.
One of People’s, Glamour’s, and Buzzfeed’s Best Reads of Summer, from the New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone
“Jewell expertly builds suspense by piling up domestic misunderstandings and more plot twists than an SVU episode. It’s a page-turner for readers who like beach reads on the dark side.” —People
“Faithful to the thriller genre, Jewell makes liberal use of red herrings and plot twists… The answer to the whodunit is a sly—and satisfying—surprise.” —The New York Times
“Full of suspense yet emotionally grounded…Fans of Liane Moriarty, Paula Hawkins, and Carla Buckley will adore this peek inside a gated community that truly takes care of its own, no matter the consequences.” —Booklist (starred review)
Imagine that you live on a picturesque communal garden square, an oasis in urban London where your children run free, in and out of other people’s houses. You’ve known your neighbors for years and you trust them. Implicitly. You think your children are safe. But are they really?
On a midsummer night, as a festive neighborhood party is taking place, preteen Pip discovers her thirteen-year-old sister Grace lying unconscious and bloody in a hidden corner of a lush rose garden. What really happened to her? And who is responsible?
My Thoughts: For me, the slow start to the story and uncomfortable scenes were worth pushing through to get to the heart of a great book. With loving mystery, means having to understand that sometimes a weird suspicion of characters and disturbing contexts are a key part of a plot. This read was tied together perfectly and wrapped up any missing pieces to the puzzle by the last page. It shines light on the harsh reality that childhood isn’t forever and the youth of today is growing up faster than we’d like to admit. I love when a mystery is hard to decipher. I pinned the guilt on the least-obvious perpetrator the entire time and I bet you will too.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Do you ever suspect that everyone else has life figured out and you don’t have a clue? If so, Rachel Hollis has something to tell you: that’s a lie.
As the founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Rachel Hollis developed an immense online community by sharing tips for better living while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own life. Now, in this challenging and inspiring new book, Rachel exposes the twenty lies and misconceptions that too often hold us back from living joyfully and productively, lies we’ve told ourselves so often we don’t even hear them anymore.
With painful honesty and fearless humor, Rachel unpacks and examines the falsehoods that once left her feeling overwhelmed and unworthy, and reveals the specific practical strategies that helped her move past them. In the process, she encourages, entertains, and even kicks a little butt, all to convince you to do whatever it takes to get real and become the joyous, confident woman you were meant to be.
With unflinching faith and rock-hard tenacity, Girl, Wash Your Face shows you how to live with passion and hustle–and how to give yourself grace without giving up.
My Thoughts: Wow. JUST WOW. Rachel gives you a big slap in the face with a healthy dose of “Suck it up, Buttercup!” that almost every modern women needs to hear! I’ll leave it at that. Trust me, girl. You need this book!
***A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER***
A New York Times Book Review “Editors’ Choice”
Entertainment Weekly — Thriller Round-Up
The Wall Street Journal — 5 Killer Books for 2016
Hollywood Reporter — Hot Summer Books…16 Must Reads
“This thriller’s all of your fave page-turners (think: Luckiest Girl Alive, The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl) rolled into one.” —TheSkimm
“Both [Gillian] Flynn’s and Miranda’s main characters also reclaim the right of female characters to be more than victim or femme fatale… All the Missing Girls is set to become one of the best books of 2016.” —Los Angeles Review of Books
“Extremely interesting…a novel that will probably be called Hitchcockian.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Are you paying attention? You’ll need to be; this thriller will test your brain with its reverse chronological structure, and it’s a page-turner to boot.” —Elle
Like the spellbinding psychological suspense in The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive, Megan Miranda’s novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse.
It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.
The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.
Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.
Like nothing you’ve ever read before, All the Missing Girls delivers in all the right ways. With twists and turns that lead down dark alleys and dead ends, you may think you’re walking a familiar path, but then Megan Miranda turns it all upside down and inside out and leaves us wondering just how far we would be willing to go to protect those we love.
My Thoughts: Can I just say, I want to read this AGAIN! Another ending I did not expect, and maybe that’s what ultimately translates to a “great book” to me. I love the excitement behind the unanswered questions as I’m unraveling a mystery. The hold her disappearance had on this small town never loosened, even after all the time that passed. The author did a fabulous job writing character with tension and unresolved issues you can feel as the story progresses. Put this one in your Amazon cart right now!
I highly suggestion grabbing these to add to your collection and cozying up with a blanket then reading them one by one! Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of these from my list. What did you think? Please, no spoilers for our readers. Can’t wait to hear YOUR thoughts!