My Top 5 Favorite Books of 2018 So Far

2018 has been a wild year so far, not just for me but also for our world as a whole. However, I’ve always found getting lost in a good book to be such a perfect escape from the stresses of everyday life. I’ve read so many amazing books so far this year, and the following five are a few of my absolute favorites.

1. Everything Here Is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee

I’ve always enjoyed quieter, more character-driven family dramas, and this book did not disappoint in the slightest. It follows two sisters, Miranda and Lucia, throughout their lives. Miranda is older and more responsible, while Lucia, who struggles with mental illness, is younger and more carefree. This book was an interesting look into the life of someone living with mental illness. The prose was gorgeous, and the characters were complex and interesting. I read this entire novel on one long car ride, and it was such an emotional experience. I highly recommend picking this novel up!

2. Circe by Madeline Miller

I’ve been a fan of Madeline Miller’s writing ever since she released her debut novel, The Song of Achilles. I was so excited when I heard that she was going to be releasing her long-awaited second novel, which focused on the powerful witch Circe from Greek mythology. Although it took me a little over two weeks to finish this novel— , which, if you know me, is a weirdly long time span— , I savored every word of it. The plot was captivating, and the writing was gorgeous. Madeline Miller has such a way with words. If you haven’t read this one yet, you definitely should.

3. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

Sometimes you just need a light, fluffy book to make you smile, and this one definitely delivered. It’s the companion novel to Becky Albertalli’s highly acclaimed Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, which was recently adapted into an equally adorable movie. This book follows Leah, one of Simon’s good friends, as she struggles with college decisions, a fracturing friend group, and her sexuality during her senior year of high school. Not only is it sweet and funny, it’s also diverse! This book made me smile, laugh, and even cry a little, and it’s definitely one to pick up and enjoy on a rainy day.

4. Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott

Megan Abbott always delivers with intriguing plots, beautiful prose, and complicated female characters, and this book was no exception. It follows two friends from childhood, Kit and Diane, at their laboratory job and focuses on the horrible secret the two of them share. It’s best to jump into this one without really knowing much about it, but one thing I will mention is just how excellent Megan Abbott is at capturing the messed-up, complex relationships between women. Pick this one up if you want to be shocked!

5. The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

I read a lot of young adult literature, and, often, there are books that the YA community hypes up that just aren’t that good. This book, however, was not the case. It follows Leigh Chen Sanders, a teenage girl who recently lost her mother and is convinced her mother is now a bird. She travels to Taiwan to stay with her mother’s family, and the novel follows her journey with understanding who she is and who her mother was. The prose is dreamy and poetic, and the novel highlighted tons of important issues, like race, mental health, and suicide. I was shocked by how much I loved it, and I definitely recommend picking it up.