2018 in Review | The Best Books of 2018

2018 has been an absolutely incredible year here at Red Rocket Panda. Although I technically set up my blog in April 2017, I didn’t start properly blogging until January 2018 and I cannot believe how much this blog has grown – I’ve made some fantastic friends, read a tonne of brilliant books, and enjoyed bringing you all content throughout the year.

One of the things that surprised me the most is that I managed to not only smash my original reading goal of reading 50 books this year, but I also smashed my second goal of 75. As of today, I have read 81 books which is 55 books more than last year. I wanted to share with you all some of my favourite books as well as new-to-me authors that I’ve read and discovered this year!

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Best 2018 Releases

I’ve had a bit of a complicated relationship with new releases this year. There have been some that I was super hyped to read but that disappointed me, some that I was highly anticipating but never got round to them, and then the ones I did manage to read and loved.

Here are those special 2018 releases that I loved!

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Best Pre-2018 Releases

It is so hard to narrow down a few select books as my favourite 2018 reads because I have read so many books that were published prior to 2018 that blew me away this year. All of the books that I’ve chosen as are ones that all kept me up late reading and ones that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about even long after I finished them. They’re ones that I’ve recommended over and over again in my posts throughout the year and I’m certain that I will continue to recommend them for many years to come!

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Favourite new-to-me authors of 2018

I did not expect to discover so many phenomenal authors this year and I’m literally blown away by these wonderful people’s books. All of the people of this list have definitely become auto-buy authors for me! I have been super fortunate to meet and/or interact with some of these authors at various events and on twitter, and it has made my little fan heart so huge. Thank you to all of these authors for creating such incredible worlds, memorable stories and heart-warming characters.

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From left right: Akemi Dawn Bowman (Starfish), Aliette de Bodard (The Tea Master & the Detective), Pierce Brown (Red Rising), Kaia Sonderby (Failure to Communicate), Adrian Tchaikovsky (Children of Time), Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give), J.Y Yang (The Tensorate Series), and Emma Newman (Planetfall)

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I can’t wait to see what books 2019 brings me! Unsurprisingly, I already have a huge TBR pile that I’m excited to get started on and hopefully, I’ll be able to find the time to get through them all haha.

What were your favourite reads of 2018? Did you discover any new-to-me authors whose works have become auto-buys for you?

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25 thoughts on “2018 in Review | The Best Books of 2018

  1. I absolutely adored SKY IN THE DEEP by Adrienne Young this year! It was one of my tops, and it was her debut, so I’m really excited for her next novel coming out next year! Another favorite, a pre2018 release, was AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS by Margaret Rogerson, and she’s quickly became a favorite of mine!

    New to me this year was Holly Black after THE CRUEL PRINCE, so I’m planning to dive into more of her novels!

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  2. I adored the Belles too (especially the teacup pets)! It was SO GOOD and I’m so stoked for The Everlasting Rose.

    I keep seeing people say they loved Illuminae and I’m getting more and more hyped for it lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great blog! I also love the Red Rising saga and Pierce Brown. This year, I really liked Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff, The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams, The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett, Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews, Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor. lots more! 🙂

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    1. I can’t believe I didn’t pick up Starfish sooner. I kept seeing it around and seeing everyone talking about it but for some reason it didn’t grab my attention? I’m so, so glad that I decided to give it a go especially as Akemi is such a lovely person!


  4. For me personally I feel like I’ve hardly read any books and its more been Year of the Fic and Re-reads. But I did enjoy the Tea Master and the Detective and loved the hell out of In the Vanishers Palace. The Wrong Stars by Tim Pratt was good space opera that I would definitely recommend, and I’m looking forward to picking up the sequel. Congrats on beating your target! Here’s to a good reading 2019

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  5. Congratz on all of the great reads! 🎉

    I didn’t start reading seriously until late this year so its hard for me to comment on that. Maybe in 2019? 😅

    Hope you have a great 2019. 😊

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  6. Starfish and Obsidio and Children of Blood and Bone! ❤

    Drama aside for the latter, I absolutely enjoyed those books so, so much. I've yet to get my hands on Summer Bird Blue, but I definitely will at some point! Not to mention Aurora Rising? How can we say no to a new book by Kaufman and Kristoff together?! My 2019-reading heart beats faster just thinking about it, haha.


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