Best of 2018 | 13 of My Favorite Reads of the Year!

December 31, 2018 rissiwri 51 Comments
Best of 2018 Books

Best of 2018 | 13 of My Favorite Reads of the Year!

December 31, 2018 Rissi JC 51 Comments

Here we go. It’s the end of another year, and Finding Wonderland is ready to talk about those “best of 2018 books.”

Though it’s a task to put these lists together, this is one of my favorite things to publish. It’s not only fun to put the publications together and get them publication ready, it’s also so much fun to blog hop and discover what all my book besties loved best.

On a personal reading level, it’s been really difficult to make this into a list. What I mean by this is that it was tough to make up a 10+ list. I think this is more because of the number of books* I read versus the quality of the books. Plus, as I talk about often, I feel like I’m really polishing the genres I best connect with or enjoy. This is so important to me because if you’re not enjoying a book, it’s not worth the time it takes to read.

That said, of course I did discover some lovely favorites. Below I share all of these said books.

PS: Earlier this past week, I published the “best at the box office” list, so if you’re curious about those picks, you can check those out.

*Not sure I should mention this, but I think my count is just above 30, but then again my Goodreads life is non-existent, so… who knows about its accuracy.

Best of 2018 | 13 of My Favorite Reads of the Year!

(This post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Read the disclosure page for details.)

(review links when applicable in titles)


1: Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof

I feel like this was a novel that I did like upon the turn of the final page, but the more I think about it, the more I think it grows on me. There’s something quietly powerful about its premise. Amazon | Goodreads

2: The Geography of Lost Things by Jessica Brody

Thanks to the publisher I was able to read this one this year, and the story is one I really did enjoy. It’s not one I anticipated liking as well as I did, so I think that’s part of where my joy came from while reading this. Amazon | Goodreads

3: The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

This one is surprising, but it’s really cute. It’s also the only book I’ve read by Maurene, but reading this one made me want to read Maurene’s I Believe in a Thing Called Love. Amazon | GoodreadsBest of 2018 Books

4: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Finally I read this charmer. It’s such a fantastic novel, and one I really enjoyed discovering just prior to the Netflix adaptation. It’s a magical kind of read you have to experience for yourself. In fact, this one just might be my overall favorite. MaybeAmazon | Goodreads

5: Olivia Twist by Lorie Langton

A unique approach to a Charles Dickens’ classic (Oliver Twist), this historical YA is well written with a nice little mystery. Amazon | Goodreads

6: The Saturday Night Supper Club

This one almost didn’t make my 2018 list because I could swear I put it on my 2017 list since I read the book late in 2017. Fortunately I double-checked myself, and alls well that ends well. Amazon | Goodreads

Best of 2018 at the Box Office: Heroes, Romance and More!
7: Dead Drift by Dani Pettrey

This one ends Dani’s fast-paced Chesapeake Valor series, and though it’s shorter than normal (this girl isn’t complaining), it’s still fabulous. Amazon | Goodreads

8: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows

This one was on dozens of lists over the years, and is one I always “understood” enjoyed popularity. But again thanks to Netflix’s unexpected prompt, I finally decided to read this one. I now understand from first hand knowledge why it’s so universally loved. Amazon | Goodreads

9 & 10: Geek Girl: Model Misfit and Geek Girl: Picture Perfect by Holly Smale

From my observation, these books are underrated in the U.S. But what they aren’t is low on fun. No matter how old I am vs. the target age group, I still adore these novels. They’re just old-fashioned fun. ‘Model Misfit’: Amazon | Goodreads • ‘Picture Perfect’: Amazon | GoodreadsBest of 2018 Books

11: Falling for You by Becky Wade

Each time I pick up a novel by Becky Wade, I am assured of a beautiful read. This is partial reason why she’s always on these lists. Though I don’t think I liked Willow’s story quite as well as True to You, I suspect this is mostly because Nora is a bookworm and I #relate! Amazon | Goodreads

12: Just Let Go by Courtney Walsh

Not sure what more I can say about this one that I haven’t already. It’s a stunning novel with themes I needed at the time, and let’s be honest: the themes are daily struggles and reminders I need. Amazon | Goodreads

13: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

On Finding Wonderland, no “best of” list would be complete without a Kasie West novel. I adore her books and stories. Makes me all the more excited for 2019 because she has not one but two books that will see publication. Amazon | Goodreads


This brings my Best of 2018 Books list to a close. In all likelihood I’ve forgotten a book or two, but it’s not intentional. Perhaps in 2019 I’ll do better with my Goodreads life, but then again, maybe I’ll continue on this path of disorganized crazy. Either way, I did enjoy the chance to talk about these 13 books – all of which were memorable for very different reasons.

Tell me fellow bookworms and friends, what are your Best of 2018 Books? I want to hear all about them. Share all of your thoughts below!

#Bestof2018 | Talking about my 'Best of 2018' with 13 of My Favorite Reads of the Year! Click To Tweet

*Also, joining That Artsy Reader Girl and the January 1st Top Ten Tuesday meme!

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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51 Comments

  • […] Best of 2018 | 13 of My Favorite Reads of the Year! […]

  • Sarah @ All The Book Blog Names Are Taken December 31, 2018 at 11:10 pm

    Lovely list, Happy New year!

  • Mir @TBRandBeyond December 31, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    PS I Like You was so cute, I need to read more Kasie West books

    Here is our TTT for this week:
    https://tbrandbeyond.com/2019/01/01/top-ten-tuesday-8-books-i-could-re-read-forever/

  • Greg December 31, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    The Geography of Lost Things looks like such a good read, and To All The Boys I have not read, but after seeing the Netflix adaptation I can imagine the book is sooo good!

    Happy New Year !!!

    • Rissi JC January 2, 2019 at 3:43 pm

      It is! I was pleasantly surprised by how well I did enjoy this one, and in fact, really want to add a finished copy (I read a NetGalley copy) of this one to my shelf. Enjoy ‘Lost Things’ and ‘Boys.’ Both are charming. :)

      Thanks so much for the visit, as always, Greg.

  • Brooke Lorren January 1, 2019 at 2:19 am

    I think Maureen Goo has a new book coming out this spring.

    I find it amazing that even though I read 80-something books last year, there are so many books on these top-10 lists that I haven’t read yet! Happy New Year!

    Brooke Lorren recently posted: Best Books I Read For the First Time in 2018
    • Rissi JC January 2, 2019 at 3:45 pm

      If she does (and I think you’re quite right), I’ll be really excited. I did enjoy this one, and since I’m a contemporary reader, I look forward to more from her. Good for you! 30-something is my total for the year, which is always pitiful by comparison to everyone else. :D

      Thanks for the visit, Brooke!

  • Chrissi Reads January 1, 2019 at 3:32 am

    I love that I was just waiting for the Kasie West mention. From looking at your list, I can see quite a few books that I’ve enjoyed! Happy New Year, Rissi!

    • Rissi JC January 2, 2019 at 3:47 pm

      You knew there’d have to be as least ONE on this list, right?! ;) I feel like I also read something else by her in 2018, but I cannot remember what it was. Oh, well. I’ll make up for it with next year’s list since she has TWO new releases coming out this year!

      Appreciate your visit, Chrissi; as always. Happy 2019!

  • Carmen January 1, 2019 at 5:45 am

    I must admit that I saw the Netflix adaptation countless times, but still, I have not read the “To All The Boys I`ve Loved Before” trilogy. I should pick it up at some point, preferably before the sequel comes out.

    Carmen recently posted: My Favourite Books of 2018
    • Rissi JC January 2, 2019 at 4:07 pm

      The TATBILB book is amazing, Carmen. I haven’t re-watched the Netflix adaptation, but do need to. It’s without hesitation, one of my favorite films of 2018! Hope you enjoy the books if/when you have the chance to read them. :)

      Appreciate the visit.

  • Jo January 1, 2019 at 6:21 am

    I haven’t read the Guernsey book but I did enjoy the film-I might read the book, but I’m not keen on epistolary formats so maybe not.

    Jo recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday #192
  • Kyra Morris January 1, 2019 at 7:59 am

    The Geography of Lost Things and The Way You Make Me Feel sound so good! *_*

    I’m super happy to see Olivia Twist on this list, as I have it out from the library and have high expectations for it!

    My TTT post!

    • Rissi January 6, 2019 at 11:27 pm

      Both are indeed good reads, Kyra. If you do read them, let me know what you think – and I’d love to know what you think of Olivia Twist post reading it. :)

      Thanks so much for the visit! Happy 2019.

  • Erica Robyn January 1, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Wonderful list! I LOVED The Guernsey Society!

    • Rissi January 6, 2019 at 11:39 pm

      SAME! I completely understand why everyone universally loves this story. :)

      Thanks so much for the visit, Erica.

  • nikki @bookpunks January 1, 2019 at 9:03 am

    I really loved the movie of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and now you have me thinking I should read the book sometime. So adorable. Yey.

    Here’s to all of 2019’s reading!!

    • Rissi January 6, 2019 at 11:42 pm

      The book is SO adorable, Nikki as is the film. I’m all in this headspace of “must-watch-TATBILB-movie-again.” Not that it’s a bad place to be. ;)

      YES!! Here’s to a great read of reading indeed; and many thanks for the visit. :)

  • Nicci @ Sunny Buzzy Books January 1, 2019 at 9:03 am

    To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is one I want to read. I’ve seen the movie – which I loved – but the book is always better. :)

    Nicci @ Sunny Buzzy Books recently posted: TTT: Best Books I Read In 2018
    • Rissi January 6, 2019 at 11:51 pm

      I liked both! They’re so cute and entertaining, and I love that we’re left in smiles. :)

      Thanks so much for the visit, Nicci.

  • Ashley S. January 1, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Falling for You made my list too. That was pretty much a perfect contemporary romance for me. SO GOOD! I really need to read Sons of Blackbird Mountain. I loved Bischof’s The Lady and the Lionheart so much and really need to find the time to read this new one from her. Awesome list! Happy New Year! :)

    • Rissi January 6, 2019 at 11:54 pm

      *high five* Gotta’ love those good contemporary romances. Joanne’s latest historical is lovely, and I think you’ll really enjoy it. Let me know what you think if you do. :)

      Happy 2019 – and many thanks for the visit, Ashley.

  • Kelly @ Wandering Through Books January 1, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    I feel like having too many favourite books is the opposite of a problem (although probably for TTT it’s a challenge), I’m glad you had a good reading year! Hope 2019 goes well!

    • Rissi January 7, 2019 at 12:01 am

      There’s lots of truth to this, Kelly; I’m always glad to discover new favorites (and have lots of them!), but because I didn’t use GR this year, I forgot SO many that I had read. Oh, well! Hopefully in 2019, I’ll do better. :)

      Thanks so much for visiting.

  • Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense January 1, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    I think I enjoyed I Believe in a Thing Called Love just a little more than The Way You Make Me Feel, so I hope you enjoy the former when you do get to it. Happy New Year, Rissi!

    • Rissi January 7, 2019 at 12:03 am

      Glad to know this, Alicia! While I did really like this sophomore novel from Maurene, I did have a few quibbles with it. I’m excited for her 2019 release, and of course, I Believe in a Thing Called Love, too! :) Thanks so much for the visit!

  • Anne@Headfullofbooks January 1, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    All the Boys I Loved Before has been on my TBR for years. I must read it in 2019. My 2018 Favs Happy New Year!

    • Rissi January 7, 2019 at 12:11 am

      It’s SO sweet, Anne! Let me know what you think if/when you read Jenny’s book. :) Appreciate your visit. Thanks!

  • Aj @ Read All The Things! January 1, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    I’m glad you found so many great books. Happy 2019!

    • Rissi January 7, 2019 at 12:12 am

      Me too, AJ! Lots to enjoy, and discover in 2019, too. Happy New Year – and thanks for the visit. :)

  • Lauren @ Always Me January 1, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    Olivia Twist sounded so good – I need to get to it!

    Thanks for sharing, Rissi!

    • Rissi January 7, 2019 at 12:13 am

      It’s lots of fun, Lauren! If you do give it a chance, let me know what you think. Thank you – as always, for the visit. :)

  • Amber Holcomb January 2, 2019 at 10:49 am

    Great list, friend! Sons of Blackbird Mountain was another wonderful read from Joanne Bischof, and I really enjoyed listening to the audiobook version of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before this year! I recently borrowed P.S. I Like You from the library, and judging by the fact that it’s on your list and everyone seems to love it, I’m excited to dive in! Hopefully very soon. :)

    Hope this is an awesome reading year for you! #BookBesties

    ~Amber

  • Amber Holcomb January 2, 2019 at 10:51 am

    Oh, and how could I forget to mention The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society?? I read it before 2018, but I definitely loved that one too! Great choice! :)

    • Rissi JC January 7, 2019 at 10:10 pm

      Jenny’s books are darling, and of course, I always like Joanne’s books; they have such depth. Kasie’s books are pure sunshine, and I adore every second of it – even if they are far removed from my age group. ;) Let me know what you think if/when you read it!

      Three cheers for ‘Guernsey,’ it’s a 2018 favorite for sure.

      Glad you were able to stop by, Amber – as always. #BookBesties :)

  • Courtney Clark January 2, 2019 at 11:25 am

    YES to everything about Becky’s, Courtney’s, Joanne’s, Dani’s, and ‘Guernsey’! All of them are excellent stories! I see a few more I need to check out, thanks to all your gushing and the good reviews elsewhere. I *still* haven’t read a Kasie West novel, though it seems I would love one! Which is your absolute fav so far? (Or one you think I’d like best?)

    Here’s my best-of contemporary list from the weekend!

    • Rissi JC January 7, 2019 at 10:14 pm

      Right!? *high five* We just understand these things, right? :)

      Kasie’s books are pure sunshine. I mean, sure, they’re WAY out of my age range, but they put a smile on my face, so as long as they keep doing them, I’ll keep reading ’em. Let’s see… a favorite!? Well, I did really like Lucky In Love but that doesn’t seem popular generally speaking; The Distance Between Us has some Gilmore Girls vibes, and P.S. I Like You is adorable with its old-fashioned note-passing love story. :)

      Cannot wait to read your list!! :)

  • Poinsettia January 2, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    I’ve heard so many good things about To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before! I need to make time to check it out. Here is my Top Ten Tuesday.

  • Dani January 3, 2019 at 7:35 am

    Thanks so incredibly much, Rissi. So honored!

  • Teresa Mary Rose January 6, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    I have got to catch up with the rest of the world and read To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before! Great list.

  • Jo ~ Beyond the Lamp Post January 7, 2019 at 3:02 am

    Hi Rissi!
    The only one of these books I’ve read is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, but I loved it, so might have to add some of these others to my list (and read Guernsey again!).

    Jo ~ Beyond the Lamp Post recently posted: Review: This Life or the Next – Demian Vitanza
    • Rissi JC January 7, 2019 at 10:30 pm

      Hi, Jo! Thanks so much for visiting Finding Wonderland. :)

      ‘Guernsey’ was a new-to-me read this year, but it’s lovely. The characters are realistic and genuine, and it makes us really “feel” something for them and their stories. Hope you enjoy some of these if you read any – I’d love to know if you give any a chance.

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