And you probably don’t need another end-of-the-year best of book list, but this is the only one from your That’s Normal pals, so print it out and tack it up on your fridge like it’s 1999 and you don’t know how to use internet bookmarks yet, and you still buy books at Brentano’s instead of Amazon.
That’s Normal Best Books of 2018
Sometimes, if you’re like me, you are sitting around desperately WAITING for a certain author to release a new book. That was the case this year for me, waiting for Madeline Miller, author of one of my absolute favorites, Song of Achilles, to come out with her newest tragic turn on the classics. Circe hit my kindle one morning in April, and I was rapt.
A new spin on an old witch, Circe deftly explored what we don’t always know in the stories we think we know. An origin story for the ages, Miller took on family, love, sex, power, magic and motherhood and crafted a beautiful tale with them all. Even if you are into classics, myth or legend, Circe is a 2018 Goodreads Choice Award Winner for good reason. Like the witch herself, Circe weaves you into your spell and changes you into something new when she’s done with you.
The Cruel Prince
There are a lot of books out there that center around faeries. There are so many iterations of these magical beings, but Holly Black’s take on them is one of my favorites. She makes them evil – manipulative, tricksy, but oh, so beautiful and alluring. The Cruel Prince was the first book I read in 2018, but it still takes the cake for me. I forced it on Boozy Book Club, I recommended bookmarks based on the characters, and I can’t wait for the sequel to come out so I can force that on people too.
The Kiss Quotient
Not only did The Kiss Quotient win the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance of 2018, it also starred as That’s Normal’s Boozy Book Club book in June. So you know it’s good.
The Kiss Quotient is Pretty Woman if Julia Roberts was a man and Richard Gere was a thirty year-old woman with Asperger’s Syndrome. Honestly, that should be enough to convince you to read it. The characters were relatable, the chemistry was undeniable, and the story left me with a huge smile on my face.
Muse of Nightmares
Laini Taylor takes YA Fantasy to an entirely new level. The worlds and characters she creates are unparalleled in their depth and whimsical creativity, and her writing is gorgeous and heartbreaking and incredibly expressive. According to Taylor all the best stories are beautiful and full of monsters. Muse of Nightmares is the sequel to my favorite read of 2017, Strange the Dreamer, and it lived up to its predecessor by being my favorite read of 2018. The series has such an imaginative setting and plot, with its demigods and floating citadels, but it plumbs the depths of human emotions. It’ll drown you and wring you out to dry, but then give you a hug and a cookie.
Other 2018 Books We Really Loved
Still Me by Jojo Moyes: Because the queen of killing us softly finally finished her Lou Clark story and we cried.
Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi: perfect cover, perfect romance, perfect early-college anxiety. Awkward turtles falling in love over texts. PERFECT.
Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren: Goofy girl feels undateable; best guy friend falls in love with ALL her crazy. We fall in love with book.
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White: monsters, gothic spookiness and madness … but mostly women not putting up with men’s bullshit. HOLLA 2018!
We hope you find some reads that you didn’t know you needed, and here is to a new year full of new books in 2019!