Book Recs: Best of 2018

As 20gayteen comes to a close, me and Anna wanted to take a moment to reflect on the best books we read this year. Of course, you know that, given the chance, each of us alone would be able to go on for days about our best reads, so, after some deliberation, we decided to only post three books each (yeah, I know. Only. Three).

Not unexpectedly, we then each took ages in picking those three (there have just been so many amazing books this year!). But, in the end, we have this. Three books each, representing (some of) our favourites from 2018. Enjoy!


Girls of Paper and Fire
Natasha Ngan
Published: 6th November 2018
Rep: wlw mcs (ownvoices), South-east/East Asian mcs (ownvoices)
Genre & tropes: fantasy
TWs: sex slavery, sexual assault, rape, violence

Why Do I Rec It?

You know how sometimes it feels like you’ve been searching for a good f/f fantasy novel for years and that, if one ever comes along, it’ll be some sort of miracle? Well, this is that miracle. Yes, it’s a heavy read, but it’s so, so worth it.


How to Make a Wish
Ashley Herring Blake
Published: 2nd May 2017
Rep: bi mc (ownvoices), Black li, wlw relationship
Genre & tropes: contemporary
TW: toxic parent

Why Do I Rec It?

It’s a beautiful, soft story about a canonically bisexual girl (they use the B word!) & it’s never about her coming out or even figuring out she’s into girls. As much as we need coming out stories, that’s a very refreshing thing to read. And on top of that, we have an amazing – though difficult – relationship between her and her mom.


Summer of Salt
Katrina Leno
Published: 5th June 2018
Rep: bi mc, lesbian mc
Genre & tropes: magical realism
TWs: discussion of rape of side character

Why Do I Rec It?

If you want a mix of absolutely gorgeous worldbuilding and writing, and a wonderfully developed relationship, then this book is for you. Reading this is like getting wrapped in a blanket – it’ll make you feel warm all over – and the book itself is so enthralling you won’t be able to put it down.


Almost Like Being in Love
Steve Kluger
Release date: 11th May 2004
Rep: gay mc & li (ownvoices)
Genre & tropes: contemporary, coming of age, second chance romance, road trip

Why Do I Rec It?

Despite what the title says, this is a love story. One that allows the characters to grow as people, make mistakes and make amends, that lets them fight for what they want. It takes the characters home the longest possible way & leaves the reader with an incredible feeling of hope, of being invincible. It’s also absolutely hilarious and written in a cool way, through emails, lists, post-it notes, journal entries, court transcripts…


Out of the Blue
Sophie Cameron
Release date: 15th May
Rep: lesbian mc (ownvoices), bi li, mixed race mc
Genre & tropes: contemporary, fantasy
TWs: attempted suicide, death of a parent

Why Do I Rec It?

I’m going to call this as the most underrated YA LGBT release of the year mostly because, (a) I loved it, and (b) I feel like it went mostly ignored. It’s a brilliant story about grief and reuniting friendships and finding new friends. Oh yeah, and angels are falling from the sky.


A Tiny Piece of Something Greater
Jude Sierra
Release date: 17th May 2018
Rep: mlm relationship, Brazilian li, mental illness: cyclothymia (ownvoices)
Genre & tropes: contemporary, romance

Why Do I Rec It?

What’s special about this book, is that it talks about all the ache of living with a mental illness, the struggles, all the ways in which it can break a person. At the same time, though, it’s never painted as something bad. And in part thanks to a wonderful, healthy relationship, it’s actually one of the most hopeful & tender books I’ve read.


So, that’s it for our wrap-up. Are there any on here you’ve read? Are there any we’ve convinced you to put on your TBR? What were your top reads of the year?

We hope you’ve had an amazing 2018 and that you’ve enjoyed the content we’ve provided. Have a wonderful New Year and all the best for 2019!

6 Replies to “Book Recs: Best of 2018”

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