QP: Favourite Books of 2018

QUICK Picks

2018 has been a great year for reading. I have enjoyed a lot of books but of them there have been a few that have really stood out. The majority of the books selected are ones that I haven’t been able to get out of my head, my mind has been drawn back to the stories or characters of the books.

Check out the below ‘quick picks’ of some of my favourite books from 2018.

darkest part of the forest

The Darkest Part of the Forest

by Holly Black

Goodreads ||  Author

While I didn’t rate the book five stars, I did enjoy it a lot. Throughout the year I have kept returning to it and thinking about the storytelling. The Darkest Part of the Forest has renewed my interest in not only Holly Black but stories that feature Fae.

Quick reasons why I love the book:

  • The Story: The idea of the boy in the coffin that has been there for years and the town that is on the borders of the supernatural was just great. I keep thinking about how effortlessly I was pulled into this story.
  • The characters: I really enjoyed the characters and the siblings in this book. The way in which the story ends with the protector, the lover, and the prince, was so great. Also loving the QUILTBAG representation.

roughtradecover

Rough Trade

by Sidney Bell

Goodreads ||  Review || Author

I stayed up until 4am finishing this book. I got so little sleep that I said screw it and chucked a sickie.

Quick reasons why I love the book:

  • The Story: The story has so hard hitting, it was not only interesting, engaging, and action packed, but it was incredibly emotional. I’d call the novel a character study except its so much more, what with all the action, suspense, and romance.
  • Ghost: My goodness. I was rooting for Ghost – for him to find peace and happiness. I hadn’t read (still haven’t) the first two books in the story so I didn’t get to see what he had previously been through but the story none the less made me feel for him, his pain, and self doubt.

 


Adultolescence-Gabbie-Hanna-free-ebook

Adultolescence

by Gabbie Hanna

Goodreads ||  Review || Author

For me, this book of poetry came out of nowhere. I was and still am, unaware of everything else Gabbie Hanna has done – although I do know she has a YouTube channel. Initially seeing this book in one of the libraries I work at and read for my poetry month feature, this book surprised and delighted me.

Quick reasons why I love the book:

  • The Poems: They are just so enjoyable. I remember smiling, laughing, and being moved. Some people have been dismissive of Hanna’s style but to be fair so many people are dismissive of poetry completely. So pretty much, I enjoyed her poems so that is good enough for me.

It was nice reading poetry written by someone close to my own age, experiencing issues similar to mine. The fact that so many of them were funny made this a book that I keep going back to – well I want to but two lovely people from the libraries have borrowed the copies and haven’t bought them back for over six months 😦


Grilled+Cheese+diner+copy (1)

Grilled Cheese and Goblins: Adventures of a Supernatural Food Inspector

by Nicole Kimberling

Goodreads ||  Review || Author

Grilled Cheese and Goblins was such a surprise! Reading the blurb didn’t prepare me for how much I enjoyed the stories and characters. Once again, I still think about this book and will probably be giving it a reread later in 2019. Needless to say I am keeping an eye on the author!

Quick reasons why I love the book:

  • The concept: The title says it, the ‘Adventures of a Supernatural Food Inspector.’ Once you start the book you suddenly release all of the avenues that this opens up! Human meat, magical food, and even Apocalypse ending blintzes.

NSP

Nine Star Press

Goodreads ||  Review Tag || Publisher Site

Okay so I know Nine Star Press isn’t a book, but they are a publisher I was unaware of before this year. So my stumbling upon them was an amazing development for 2018. I have been lucky enough to be approved to read and review some Advance Reader Copies of their novels and I have enjoyed all of them.

Just in case you haven’t jumped on the Nine Star train, here is the official bio of who they are and what they publish.

NineStar Press is an LGBTQA publisher owned and managed by LGBTQA people. We adore romance and erotic romance, but we also have an enormous interest in showcasing amazing literary works about characters less represented in fiction: ace, aro, trans*, nonbinary, genderfluid, bi, pan, etc. We also like genre-bending fiction, fusion genre, and stories that don’t quite fit into a particular category.

Quick reasons why I love the publisher:

  • The content: So I have pretty much loved very book of this publishers that I have read. My only complaint is that I don’t have enough time to read every new release 😦 or every book in their back catalouge 😥
  • The Covers: Do yourself a favour and have a quick look at all of the amazing covers on all of the books available from Nine Star Press. They are so fabulous and beautiful!

Notable Mentions: 
  • Finding Aurora by Rebecca Langham – I have only just finished this book and would have included this in the list if I hadn’t have written this a month ago 😛 Finding Aurora was just such a great read, I enjoyed it immensely and I have a two books (one book and one anthology) from the author that I have been meaning to read for six months. I swear I will get to them!
  • Baking Lessons by Katie Allen – this was such a fun romance read. I really enjoyed the characters and absolutely devoured the book. It would have gotten a mention above but aside from reading and loving it, it didn’t have the same impact as the chosen books. Also on a sneaky aside, I have’t published the review post about it yet 😛 But spoiler I loved it and you’ll probably see the post in January or February!
  • Research and Desire Series by Katie Allen (again) – If you haven’t been paying attention, I finished the Research and Desire series and loved them all. I have been going on a Katie Allen marathon and making my way through her back catalouge. I was a fan when she was publishing with Ellora’s Cave and only just found out she continued to write after they went defunct. So I have been devouring everything – keep an eye on this space because I have four posts lined up in the new year from her ❤

 


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Quick Picks: Xmas Presents!

QUICK Picks

Prepare yourself for an incredibly self indulgent post about all the things I want for Xmas!

candy_mountain_yule_log_slice_christmas_2018

Candy Mountain Yule Log

by Lush

Quick  run down: Every year I try and buy a few of these limited release bubble bars. The bars smell amazing and are so easy to use. You simply crumble them under a running tap and bam – you have a bubble bath.

It appears that this year instead of being little pyramids, Lush has made them into a bit more manageable shape. I usually try and grab as many as I can in the online boxing day sales but I never turn them down as a present!

Quick reasons why I love it:

  • The Smell: They are amazing – a soft and sweet vanilla.
  • The Luxury: Bubble baths are a large part of my self care routine and these beauties make them all the more luxurious.

tropico6

Tropico 6

by Kalypso

Quick run down: I have sunk so many hours into the Tropico games. Tropico 6 is a simulation game where you play as El Presidente, a ‘legally’ elected leader of a Caribbean/Cubanesque island.

Pretty much this is Sims City but on a island with a catchy soundtrack.

Quick reasons why I love it:

  • The Soundtrack: the Latin jazz sounds that play throughout each of the Tropico games.
  • The Humour: the humour of the game is really tongue in check. The reoccurring characters of the game are also really fun.

Lunar Chronicles

The Lunar Chronicles Box-set

by Melissa Meyer

Quick run down: Okay so stay with me on this one, I own Cinder and Winter. However, I do not have the other books. I also love box sets so…

If you don’t know the series, I would really recommend you check out it out! The books are retellings of classic fairy tale and they are all interconnected and amazing. I tend to recommend the series to young adults at the library and I haven’t had any complaints yet.

Quick reasons why I love the series:

  • The larger story: The five books all interconnect to tell a larger story. I’m just going to let you in on a secret, the ‘Winter‘ book is about ‘Snow White’ and the other characters from the book all join together and there are ‘seven’ of them… Yep details like that make me so happy!
  • The covers: I know a lot of people give Cinder a tough time about the cover – what with the whole weird looking foot in a shoe but I love it and I love them all!.

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Quick Picks: Book Series I Abandoned

QUICK Picks

The relationship between myself and book series is a strained one. While I won’t shy away from series, as a rule I don’t really like reading them unless they are really close to completion. I simply do not have the patience nor the desire to re-read the earlier books.

I am very aware that I should be more supportive of authors and their series, because if we don’t support the start of a series, then we are less likely to the end of the series. So yes, I will read first parts of series, I just might not do it if you’re super mega popular as I will make myself wait. A Song of Fire and Ice, I am looking at you.

greenrider

Green Rider Series

by Kristen Britain.

Goodreads ||  Author

Quick story run down: The Green Rider series, follows the story of Karigan G’ladheon as she joins and adventures as part of a group of  royal messengers, the Green Riders.

I found the first book, Green Rider, in a $2 bin at my local Golo back when I was a teenager. From the very first chapter, I fell in love. There was something about the book that captured my attention and I devoured the rest of the series.

Quick reasons why I stopped reading:

  • The length in between books: The first book was published in 1998 and the sixth book was published in 2017. 19 years. It has taken 19 years for six books to be released and the latest book, isn’t even the last!

I don’t want to be that person but ain’t nobody got time for that. I got sick of waiting for the next books and to be honest by the time the books came out I had completely forgotten all the plots of the previous books. Continue reading “Quick Picks: Book Series I Abandoned”

Quick Picks: M/M Romance novels

Pride Month

QUICK Picks

I am a sucker for romance novels ❤ Even more so if they’re ones with QUILTBAG characters. Some of my favourite novels from the romance genre, are ones that have two men as the romantic leads.

Don’t get me wrong, I am just as likely to be reading romances with f/f, m/m/f, f/f/m, and how conventional of me m/f pairings. In addition to these, I also have an incredible weakness for romances that feature trans and/or asexual characters.

I have grandiose plans to eventually feature each of these pairings in a similar post. So keep your eye out! In the mean time, the below are just a quick look at some of my favourites from the m/m romance genre. I hope you enjoy.

undermyskinUnder My Skin

by M.L. Rhodes.

Goodreads ||  Author ||  Amazon

The publisher of this series has stopped operating, however the book is scheduled for re-release within either 2018 or 2019. 

Quick story run down: Sebastian Keller is a straight laced ‘smart guy’ who runs his own travel book shop. Dylan Radamacher is the bad boy owner of the ‘Rad Tattoo’ store that just opened up next to Sebastian.

In a book that combines two stories, you see Sebastian and Dylan break down their misconceptions of each other. As they both learn more about each other, you see their walls fall down as the pair start to hit it off. A sweet and sexy romance story follows.

Quick reasons why I love the book:

  • Cute characters: From beginning to end Sebastian and Dylan make me smile.
  • Enemies to lovers: I’m a sucker for that trope and while the pair may not have been enemies, there was some understandable animosity between them.
  • Re-readability: I found this book about eight years ago and I have re-read it some many times. I caved and tracked down a physical copy.

Continue reading “Quick Picks: M/M Romance novels”