Hi dear friends,
Today in #BestBooksof2018 the topic is books that surprised me or that I discovered *as in I saw the light* in 2018.
I confess that it was one of the hardest topics of this challenge as 2018 has been a really excellent year quality wise!
So today you have multiple winners with a big favorite.
My big favorite is a book and an author that totally blew me away! Father Figure by James Cudney alias Jay.
I knew Jay/James from his daily blog posts and already had a feel of his writing but never in my most crazy dreams would have I imagined how incredible his story was! Nor how a mastermind at plotting and scheming Jay was!
I still have to read his other books and I will because he is extremely talented and two of them are already on my kindle.
But what made Father Figure so extraordinary?
Father Figure has three fundamental assets:
1) The plot. I’ve rarely read a book written with such finesse about intricate plots. Few authors can write such complex plots without losing the reader at some point. Until now my two plot masterminds were Beth Flynn and JL Myers. Well James joined them in my “evil plotter masterminds” pantheon.
That’s the kind of stories I adore. When the plot gets slowly, discreetly more and more intricate until you realize you’ve been carefully led a certain way and all these innocent facts were part of a vast and complex scheme. I’ve been played all along and never realized it!
2) The characters. You have sweet and innocent vs spunk. They are brilliantly fleshed out and I walked in these girls‘s shoes from the first sentence.
3) The writing and the setting of the stories. James’s writing holds enough details to have me BE on a college campus in the eighties. Or walk in the streets of that small Mississippi town enjoying the sun on my skin or breathing the summer air. The writing flowed effortlessly detailed but not flowery or heavy. Just the perfect match for that story.
My other winners as in books that really were fantastic surprises are:
A Girl Like Lilac by Victoria L James
Because I loved:
-the childhood sweetheart trope;
-the poetic and effortlessly flowing writing;
-the drama but not overtly high angst;
-the family stories and secrets this small town hid;
-the love story;
A Shot in the Dark by LJ Stock
I loved it because:
This book is essentially character driven. And what fabulous characters!
Miki was brave and selfless.
Dustin was the hero most dream of. He caught me in his web. I was mesmerized by his charm and charisma.
The purpose of the story is about a path you have to walk. It’s about the twists that cruel mistress we call Fate can impart upon you.
It’s about resilience and second chance.
I cried buckets once more in the train and of course just before work when I was all doled up with mascara and all.
I smiled. I swooned. I hurt. I rejoiced. In one word: I felt.
Atticus by Sawyer Bennett
I loved it because:
I cried when Atticus was lost and miserable.
I huffed and puffed when Hazel was such a mess.
I smiled when Hazel decided to save Atticus and that no one would hurt him. Over her dead body!
I laughed at Atticus shenanigans as it reminded so much of my dog.
I cried again when some moving moments happened in the book.
I rejoiced each time Hazel achieved something.
This is a feel good and insightful coming of age story.
One that will leave you all warm and fuzzy inside.
One that will make you want to adopt Atticus or at least follow him on IG.
Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff
It was my first Jay Kristoff and like the first cigarette is rumored to *I don’t know I never smoked* it went straight to my head. And my heart. And my blood pressure. And…
I adored it because:
It’s packed with action upon action and mixes old tales with new world*how Jay Kristoff succeeded in writing Moby Dick in a sci fi story shows how the man must be crazy yet talented*
Because nothing is as it seems and everyone has secret.
Because the characters are fantastic.
They are and feel real, even the bots and droids.
Moving even the bots and droids.
Funny even the bots and the droids!
They make a crew of misfits. Banter is flying and sarcasm the ruling money!
Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre
I loved it because:
This series is pure Adventure with a big “A”!
It should be prescribed when you suffer from boredom and routine because you will embark on a living spaceship and explore space.
Of course you will have thrill, suspense, angst secrets, battles …
Now do tell me all about your best surprises/discoveries read in 2018!
Thanks for reading!
I love when a book exceeds expectations! I had a lot of that this year with books by Matthew Reilly, Strange Practice, The Beast of London, Ready Player One, Murderbot Diaries and Wolf by Wolf!
I haven’t heard of Jay’s books before. I will have to check him out. I have every one of these on my list to get. How am I ever going to get to all these wonderful books? I am going to run out of money and time before I can get to them all. I will die trying tho. =)
I understand. It is always the TBR mountain that keeps growing. I hope you love the book if you choose to take it on next year! 🙂
Your enthusiasm for these books make me excited about them too. I have several o my list already and will surely be adding Father Figure!
Laura Jay is just a fantastic writer!!!
I don’t think there’s been any books that surprised me this year so far… Maybe my finals brain is talking. I’ve heard Lifel1k3 is a surprise from many though, so hopefully it’ll be the case for me as well!
I hope you will love it Sophia! And I hope your finals went well!
So many great books in your list.. I’ll check them out. The only ones I already know are Jay’s book and Honor Among Thieves.. As usual I enjoyed reading your post. I’m just curios though, have you ever dreamt of being a writer?
Well Lili that’s a question several authors have asked me but I think I would be exacting LOL
Hi! I was scrolling thru today’s posts and saw this one… then went… WHAT!?!?! I’m in the countdown? This is such an honor. I was truly shocked… been reading them the last week or so and loving all the titles and covers… some I remember from your reviews, others I missed the first go ’round… but wow, thank you!
I love to include those twists and shocks. Drama is my name, I just tell everyone it’s Jay. 🙂
When am I coming to Belgium or when are you coming to the US??? 🙂
You come when you want Jay!!! I’d be happy to welcome you in my humble abode LOL And if I go to NY my next travel to the US we’ll have to meet !!! I already know that I would also visit Suanne and Talia (redhotink) if only to share a meal or a cup of coffee and chat!
Atticus is one I have been wanting to read, because I am a Sawyer Bennett fan. It sounds really heartwarming from what you wrote. Yeah!!
Crossing my fingers that you’ll love it Sam but I am ready to bet high in this one!
Your enthusiasm for these titles is so infectious, I want to go out and buy them all! 😉
I’m happy to hear you’ve turned to a life of SF too, and enjoying a new genre.
Hahahaha Alexandra I should ask for a fee to the publishing houses then 😉 But it means that my job is done! The job to convince everyone to read these books <3
Im going to try the Sawyer Bennett book and LJ Stock and Ann Aguirre books. I hope I like them as much as you did.
Me too Ezi!!!! And happy holidays ;-)))
I’ve read James’ latest Academic Curveball and thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ll have to check this out!
Oh Jacquie it was just fantastic! And I have to read the Braxton mysteries 😉