Book Lists

Lisa’s Favorite of 2018

2018 has come to a close and here are some of the books I enjoyed reading most last year! What were your favorites of 2018?

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

When Will’s brothers is shot and killed Will knows he is going to follow the rules, which include not crying and killing the person who shot his brother. Armed with his brother’s gun he gets on the elevator he’s faced with ghosts from his past and is forced to take a closer look at the cycle of violence he’s about to perpetuate.

(Full Review)

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

A delightful graphic novel about Prince Sebastian who hires dressmaker, Frances, to create beautiful gowns for him. With her help he becomes Lady Crystallia and takes Paris by storm. As his friendship with Frances blooms his secret begins to overflow into his everyday life and Frances is putting her dreams on hold to protect him and pretty soon it all comes to a head.

Illegal by Eoin Colfer

Two brothers embark on a journey across the Sahara towards Europe looking for jobs, a better future, and their sister. A graphic novel, showing two separate timelines, showing a dangerous and harrowing journey and pages with a single image can break your heart.



The Bitter Side of Sweet by Tara Sullivan

Amadou has spent the last two years looking after his brother, Seydou, as they work under brutal conditions on a cacao plantation, depending on the owners to release them once their debt is paid off (but knowing deep down that he’s never seen anyone go free). Then the first girl, Khadija, arrives, followed by an injury to his brother and Amadou knows he has to act. A novel that shows the human cost of the large chocolate industry.

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

A world where most people are a shade of gray (hair included) and only a select few – ‘The Belles’ – are born with any natural beauty and have the power to make others beautiful (for a time at least). In every generation of Belles one is chosen to be the queen’s and Camellia is determined for it to be her. But as the Belles are enmeshed in society they discover secrets, power struggles, and ugliness just beneath the surface of their new life.

(Full Review)

Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

Chapters as short little vignettes tell the story of a Nigerian girl, with dreams of earning a scholarship to university, whose village is attacked by the terrorist group Boko Haram. The men are killed and the women and children are taken. A heartbreaking (and at times extremely difficult) and harrowing, but important read that tells a fictionalized account of real life girls, many who are still missing.

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

It’s not always easy to figure out what’s happened in Suma’s books, that always have a dash of surreal and supernatural. Two best-friends, connected by their passion for ballet, full of potential and a bright future as ballerinas, until the murders. Two other ballerinas are now dead and one of them is to blame. While one is sent to Aurora Hills detention center, the other’s ballet career flourishes. Within the prison walls there is Amber, and two strange nights at Aurora Hills. What really happened?

Honorable Mention:

Impostors by Scott Westerfeld

It’s just enjoyable being back in the Uglies universe again!

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