Expectations vs Reality: My 18 Favourite Books of 2018

I can’t believe it’s nearly the end of the year – how did that happen?! I’ve read some great books and some not-so-great books this year, but it’s safe to say that 2018 has been a fantastic year of YA. We’ve been blessed with new characters to obsess over, new adaptations to rewatch until we can quote them, and new worlds that seem so real we could just fall right through the pages and into them.

But not all of my predictions for my year of reading were accurate. This time last year, I shared with you 18 books I predicted I’d fall in love with during 2018 – so I thought it would be fun to revisit my original post and spill the tea on whether these books were as amazing as I hoped they would be. Enjoy!

PREDICTIONS OF MY FAVOURITE 18 BOOKS OF 2018…

All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages

Expectation:

This is an anthology about queer people throughout time, and some of my favourite authors are contributing! I’m so excited to get my hands on this book of beautiful, rainbow-y goodness.

Reality:

I really enjoyed this! It wasn’t my absolute favourite book of the year – I think I always get a little overhyped when it comes to anthologies and then feel a bit let down because I just want more time with specific stories, but it was still really great! I loved the stories by some of my favourite authors and discovered some new faves as well. Definitely worth a read!

The Way You Make Me Feel

Expectation:

THERE’S A BOY NAMED HAMLET. And food trucks! And a prankster! That’s literally all I know about this book, but that’s okay. I can’t wait to read this gorgeous novel – I mean, just look at that cover. HEART EYES FOR DAYS.

Reality:

I’m so disappointed I didn’t manage to pick this one up this year! It sounded so amazing and I’ve heard great things about it, but I just can’t justify buying a ton of expensive hardbacks when I do most of my book shopping locally. If I see this one at my local bookstore, I’ll definitely be picking it up though!

From Twinkle, With Love

Expectation:

Ever since I read (and fell in love with) When Dimple Met Rishi, I’ve been desperate to read From Twinkle, With Love. And it’s about filmmakers and mysterious emails! GIVE ME ALL THAT GOODNESS. RIGHT NOW.

Reality:

YES! I loved it! It was just as cute and swoon-worthy as I had predicted, and I’m so pleased I had the chance to read it. I’m a sucker for everything Sandhya Menon writes. I can’t wait for her next book! If you’re a contemporary lover and you haven’t read this one, you’ll have to add it to your TBR.

The Beauty That Remains

Expectation:

This is a book about music, art, and tragedy, and wow, I know this one is going to punch me in the feels already. It reminds me a little of I’ll Give You the Sun from the blurb, and if it’s anything like that phenomenal book, I’ll be very pleased indeed.

Reality:

This is another one I didn’t get around to reading, unfortunately! But I do have a copy sitting on my bookshelf, just waiting to be read. I didn’t get a chance to read this one because I was too busy either reading review books, or when I got to read something just for fun, I chose to pick up a more light-hearted read. When I’m in the mood and I don’t have any other reading commitments, I look forward to giving this one a go!

Let’s Talk About Love

Expectation:

Excuse me while I flail a minute. *clears throat* THIS BOOK IS ABOUT A BIROMANTIC ASEXUAL GIRL. I’M A BIROMANTIC ASEXUAL GIRL. IT ME. THIS BOOK IS ME. I’VE NEVER SEEN THAT REPRESENTATION BEFORE. I’ve really connected to books about bisexual and asexual protagonists, but WOW. I really hope this one lives up to my expectations, because I’m hoping for amazing things. It’s just so amazing to feel represented in the books you read. I’M CRYING RAINBOW TEARS. PLEASE HOLD ME.

Reality:

This one was really cute! I think I built up my expectations a little too high again, but I still really enjoyed it. My favourite part was of course seeing a biromantic asexual protagonist for the first time – it just felt so good to finally see the entirety of my sexuality represented on the page. I look forward to seeing what Claire Kann writes next!

#PrettyBoy Must Die

Expectation:

THIS IS A STORY INSPIRED BY #ALEXFROMTARGET. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. #ALEXFROMTARGET! There’s also spies and the CIA – AND FANGIRLS – and ahh, this book just sounds like something I’m going to fall in love with. After all, everyone loves a pretty boy on the run.

Reality:

Damn, another one I didn’t get to pick up! Same reason as above – the hardback was a little out of my price range and I couldn’t find it at any of my local bookstores. But I’m still really interested in reading it at some stage if I can find a copy a little more in my budget!

Final Draft

Expectation:

I’m such a sucker for books about writers and other content creators, and so many of my favourite books of 2017 were about authors, YouTubers, and artists. I’m sure a lot of you are also writers, and isn’t it just the best feeling to be able to relate to a protagonist’s passions? CAN’T. WAIT.

Reality:

It’s not you, book, it’s me. I mean, I probably shouldn’t have read this book while I was drafting a book of my own… It just made me feel so guilty reading about someone else who was writing when I wasn’t writing myself and ahh! I just couldn’t. This book stressed me out too much and reminded me that I should have been writing. I’m sorry for not doing you justice, book.

The Belles

Expectation:

This is one of the most hyped books of 2018, and I’m desperately hoping it doesn’t disappoint. I mean, beauty? Secrets? A royal family with a dark side? YES PLEASE. This book sounds absolutely phenomenal!

Reality:

Another one that lived up to my expectations! It was so beautifully written and I loved the world this story was set in. I just couldn’t put it down! The next book is definitely one of my most anticipated reads of 2019. I need that book in my hands right now!

Sometime After Midnight

Expectation:

#AlexFromTarget meets queer Prince Charming?! M/M romance and indie bands?! EXCUSE ME WHILE I CRY. I can’t believe we have to wait until June to read this gorgeous novel, because I need it in my hands RIGHT NOW. Even that cover! Wow. #need

Reality:

Another one I didn’t get to read this year, unfortunately!

Ship It

Expectation:

I’m getting Queens of Geek vibes from the blurb of Ship It, and all I can is YAAAAS! Fangirls! Comic Con! Gay characters! Fanfic! I’m just so excited for this book. IT SOUNDS LIKE THE BEST THING EVER.

Reality:

Someone shame me (no please don’t, I’m fragile). Didn’t read this one!

The Brightsiders

Expectation:

Heck YAS! I don’t know much about this one besides it being about a teen drummer with family drama, paparazzi, and coming out as bisexual. THAT’S RIGHT – WE’RE GETTING ANOTHER BICON TO LOVE NEXT YEAR FROM JEN WILDE. I won’t stop wearing a bi flag as a cape next year. I’m serious. I’ll be living in it.

Reality:

Before you attack me for not having read this one, I do have a copy on my shelf! I will read it when I’m not reading review books! I promise! I’m still really excited!

Tyler Johnson Was Here

Expectation:

I’m expecting big things from this book – The Hate U Give big. It sounds similar to The Hate U Give in that it’s about a police raid and a shooting that gets caught on camera, and I’m sure it’ll be just as raw and powerful as Angie Thomas’s novel was. This is going to be one of the most important books of 2018.

Reality:

I think… I’ll just go hide now… I have a copy sitting on my shelf and I still haven’t read it…. I just got distracted this year with reading other books, okay? I’m sorry. I’m a disappointment.

Queen of Air and Darkness

Expectation:

This is the last novel in The Dark Artifices series, and I know it’s going to rip out my heart and throw it into a boiling pit of lava. THIS SERIES HAS ALREADY DONE THAT TO ME THOUGH. So umm… I’m not sure how much this book is going to take from me. My soul? My will to live? JUST PLEASE LET MY CHARACTERS BE HAPPY, BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, STAY ALIVE.

Reality:

I’M CURRENTLY READING THIS ONE AND I JUST FEEL LIKE SCREAMING 24/7. THINGS ARE NOT OKAY. THIS BOOK IS HURTING MY FEELINGS AND SOMEONE NEEDS TO PUT IT IN THE NAUGHTY CORNER.

Miles Away From You

Expectation:

This book is about a transgender girl, loss, and trying to find who you are when the person you love might never come off life support. I’m tearing up just thinking about this book. Apparently it’s told through a series of instant messages, which sounds really interesting and unlike anything I’ve ever read before.

Reality:

Unfortunately, I think this is one of my least favourite reads of 2018. I was really looking forward to the trans rep, but I just didn’t enjoy it. I thought it was poorly written in parts and I can’t ignore the trans people in the book community that have called out some of the problematic elements, like the protagonist going on a journey of self-discovery after the death of a trans girl. It just doesn’t sit well with me.

A Thousand Perfect Notes

Expectation:

Ever since our favourite blogger and Queen of the Internet, Cait, announced she was releasing a novel in 2018, it’s been something I’m desperate to get my hands on. I really admire Cait for her witty and unique blogging personality and for being such a positive force in the bookish community, and I’m sure I’ll love her book as well. This book is about music, abuse, and hope, and I’m sure it’s going to leave me in a puddle of tears. What else could we expect from Cait? Well, dragons, but I think this book will suffice.

Reality:

YAAAAS! Expectations on point – if not exceeded! A Thousand Perfect Notes was easily one of my favourite novels of 2018, if me having read it four times so far is anything to go by. It was heart-wrenching and beautifully written, and not a day goes by when I don’t think about those cinnamon roll characters and hope they’re doing okay. Please tell me they’re living their best lives, Cait? Are they eating enough cake?

Vengeful

Expectation:

I feel like I’ve been waiting for this book MY ENTIRE LIFE. I read Vicious by V.E. Schwab a couple years ago now, and honestly, it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. VICTORIA IS QUEEN. Need I say any more? So of course, I’m desperate to get my hands on the Vicious sequel. I’d donate my soul for an ARC in a heartbeat.

Reality:

Let me just take a moment to bow down to my Queen… okay, done. Queen V has done it again! She’s blessed us with another incredible novel (well, plus City of Ghosts), taking us back to the world of Victor Vale. I honestly can’t find the words to tell you how amazing this book was. I just never wanted it to end! If all my gushing about Queen V the past couple of years hasn’t convinced you to pick up one of her books yet… I have nothing to say to you.

What If It’s Us

Expectation:

I don’t know much about this book except that it’s by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli, AKA TWO OF MY FAVOURITE AUTHORS EVER. I was so shook when I found out about this book, and I know it’s going to ruin me, like all of Adam’s books do. Though maybe there might just be a twinge of hope that Becky’s managed to sneak in. HOPEFULLY. I’m still scarred from They Both Die at the End. And History is All You Left Me. And More Happy Than Not. And Adam’s existence on this world in general.

Reality:

This book just completely blew me away! WHAT A NOVEL. It was everything I hoped for and more – it made me laugh, cry, and wish I could just pack up everything and move to New York City. I saw so much of myself in What if It’s Us, from the characters who were obsessed with musicals, to the coffee appreciation, and even the mentions of writing. It was just perfect.

(Don’t) Call Me Crazy

Expectation:

This is an anthology about mental illness, and I think this is going to be one of the most powerful and important books of 2018. And Queen V is one of the contributing authors! Although anthologies tend to be a little hit-or-miss for me, I have high hopes for this one, particularly because it’ll be dealing with such an crucial issue that needs to be talked openly about more, and one that’s also very close to me. Please, please don’t let me down.

Reality:

I didn’t manage to get my hands on a copy of this one either, I’m afraid! I do hope to read it sometime in the near future though.

Let's Talk

How did some of your most anticipated books of 2018 end up? Did you read any of the ones I mentioned? What did you think of them? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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23 thoughts on “Expectations vs Reality: My 18 Favourite Books of 2018

  1. LET ME JUST CRY FOR A SECOND 😭💛💛YOU ARE TOO LOVELY AND MY HEART IS SO FULL RIGHT NOW *happy flail* And I also need to finish drafting my expectations vs reality post like this one (I do one every year too and it’s so fun ahhh!) and omg I don’t blame you for not having a chance to read everything. Same. 😂Although I just got The Brightsiders from the library so I’ll finally get to read that one! And I agree about Miles Away From You…ugh. And actually don’t think you’re missing much with Ship It. But Tyler Johnson, Vengeful, What If It’s Us, and Let’s Talk About Love all met my expectations too ahh!!!

    • I WILL NEVER STOP SCREAMING ABOUT ATPN 😍 (except maybe for the two days it takes me to forgive you after crushing my soul again with The Boy Who Steals Houses – it’s going to ruin me, I know it will) 😭 Ooh I look forward to seeing what you think of The Brightsiders! How cool is the cover?! 💖 So pleased you enjoyed all those other ones too! SO MANY GREAT BOOKS THIS YEAR, AHH WE WERE BLESSED ❤️

  2. Aghh I also reaaaally wanted to read Sometime After Midnight because I was obsessed with the premise, but since the world hates me I never found the right time to read it. Hopefully 2019 will fix that! This was such a fun post, I hope you have a wonderful rest of the year! 🙂

  3. Some of these were on my list, too, but I didn’t get to them. Thank you for being honest with this post – I’ve never posted about my most-anticipated-reads before because I’m always worried about feeling guilty for not reading everything I mention, whether it’s because of time-constraints or I hear something that kills my excitement after the book’s release. This post makes me reconsider doing that.

    • Thank YOU for reading my post! And there’s no need to feel guilty! There are so many incredible releases each year and it’s IMPOSSIBLE to get to all of them ❤️ And it’s totally fine to change your mind about books you were once excited to read as well! I hope to see a “most anticipated reads” post from you in future ☺️💕

  4. *adds books with bi rep to massive TBR*

    Don’t be ashamed about not getting to some books this year! It totally happens and you are not alone!

    (Also, I love your blog! Your posts are really fun to read!)

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