My Favorite Books So Far in 2018
I have read a lot this year, so I thought I would make a list of my top books of the first three months of 2018. These are the books that I have read and cannot stop thinking about.
My first book of 2018 was Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. What a way to kick off 2018. This novel about two families and their interwoven lives is set in the 1990s in the perfect planned community of Shaker Heights, Ohio. Mia and Pearl Warren find themselves in Shaker Heights after years of brief stints in other cities. When Pearl befriends the Richardson children, their lives will never be the same. Little Fires Everywhere is definitely deserving of all the hype and praise. Celeste Ng could write a phone book, and I would immediately devour it. I know for a fact this will end up on my best of 2018 list. And bonus, Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington are making it into a miniseries!
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman is another book that lives up to all the hype surrounding it. Eleanor is a social outcast. She does not know how to interact with others, and finds herself baffled by societal norms. When she and a new coworker witness an older man’s fall, the three of them embark on an interesting friendship. What makes this book so intriguing is not necessarily Eleanor’s new relationships, but the backstory on how Eleanor is the way that she is. I adored this book. It is refreshing to see a protagonist like Eleanor and all of her quirkiness. We need more representations like Eleanor in literature and film. I cannot recommend Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine enough!
Jasmine Guillory’s debut The Wedding Date started getting a lot of buzz thanks to Roxane Gay’s praise for it. It came out in February, and I read it in one sitting. It’s the story of Alexa and Drew, two career-oriented thirty-somethings who meet in an elevator and flirt up a storm. Drew asks Alexa to pose as his girlfriend to a friend’s wedding. What was supposed to be a fun weekend fling turns into more when neither Alexa or Drew want to stop seeing each other. The Wedding Date encompassed a lot of romance tropes, but Guillory used them in such a fun way. It was great to see an interracial high-powered couple in a romance novel, and this one addressed some racial issues, while still remaining light and lovely. If you are looking for a romance novel that is not your mother’s romance novel, then definitely give The Wedding Date a try.
There is a reason Oprah picked Tayari Jones’ An American Marriage as an Oprah Book Club pick. Jones’ story about a newlywed couple whose lives are forever changed when Roy is falsely accused, then convicted of rape. His twelve year sentence puts an impossible strain on Celestial and Roy’s young marriage. After five years, Roy is released and is determined to make up with Celestial. However, Celestial has been growing closer to her friend Andre. Jones explores marriage, wrongful incarceration, and race in this incredible novel. I loved all the Atlanta references as well. If you read only one book published this year, it has to be An American Marriage. Also can we talk about how gorgeous the cover of this book is?
And finally, my love for Penny Reid knows no bounds. I have read everything she has written so far this year. And while I love everything she has written, my absolute favorites are Beauty and the Mustache, Dating-ish, Marriage of Inconvenience, and the whole Winston Brothers series. Penny writes smart, quirky heroines and incredibly hot, loving men. I have raved about Penny in almost every post, so all I will say here is that if you are looking for a fun, smart romantic comedy, give any of Penny's books a try! And if you like her writing, then you have plenty of her stuff to get your fix.
Cheers to another couple of months of great books!