Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

I actually read quite a few books by authors I’d never heard of last year and had an absolute blast doing it. Already I can think of a number of them who fill my heart with such joy for having written such amazing books and as such I’m exceedingly excited to be showing them to you. So, sit back, have a read, and definitely pick up the books by these authors because you need them in your life just like I did.

secondhand origin stories10. Lee Blauersouth, author of Secondhand Origin Stories

This is the first book I ever came across that used Xe/Xer/Xim pronouns and it really opened my eyes to the fact that we need more of this in published books. Simply by virtue of the fact that there aren’t a bunch of amazing novels available for people using these pronouns to read and see themselves in shows how inadequate the selection is currently.

briar and rose and jack9. Katherine Coville, author of Briar and Rose and Jack

This was kind of a shocking book and therefore shocking new author. I deeply enjoyed reading the story and seeing how Sleeping Beauty was melded with Jack and the Beanstalk and Coville did not disappoint. I found I was shocked at the middlegrade rating and definitely believe this book should have been more a young adult story due to the fact that the language didn’t quite fit the age range middlegrade usually covers unless the kid is an exceptional reader. Regardless, this story was rather impressive.

queen song8. Victoria Aveyard, author of Queen Song

While I did not fall in love with Aveyard’s Red Queen, I was utterly amazed with her prequel novella for the series, Queen Song. The depth of the characters and the story itself was truly such an immense pleasure to spend time reading to the point that I cared more about it than I did about the rest of her series. There are moments when you realize you’ve been exposed to someone’s best work and for Victoria Aveyard I really believe Queen Song was it.

a danger to herself and others7. Alyssa B. Sheinmel, author of A Danger to Herself and Others

Mental illness is a topic that not everyone manages to write well. Sheinmel, however, manages to capture it more perfectly than I could ever have imagined. It’s an immense journey to follow the main character through her path of self-discovery within the confines of a mental health facility, learning why she is there and what her next steps are in dealing with her diagnosis. I don’t want to say too much as that would certainly give the plot of this novel away, but I have to say I was very impressed with how her story was handled.

happily6. Chauncey Rogers, author of Happily

I was lucky enough to have participated in a blog tour for Chauncey Rogers’ Happily and it was honestly really exciting. One of the most unique twists to a Cinderella story that I’ve ever seen, this story focuses on the idea that the woman who has been brought forth to marry the Prince is not the same woman who left her shoe behind. With a play on the idea that the shoe could fit just about anyone–though in a rather unexpected way–this book is thoroughly fun and exciting.

the prince and the dressmaker5. Jen Wang, author of The Prince and the Dressmaker

I could cry for how utterly fantastic this graphic novel is. From beginning to end, this book not only challenges norms and stereotypes but discusses the intricacies of keeping yourself secret, opening up to the world, and familial acceptance. There’s obviously a lot more to it and I’m really only scratching the surface with these issues. This is ultimately another of those books where the social commentary is immensely beneficial to experience and immerse oneself in.

The Belles4. Dhonielle Clayton, author of The Belles

I think that, if Dhonielle and The Belles is not an author and a book that you read in 2018 you best be picking it up in 2019. The various pieces of social commentary that she expertly weaves into her exceptional novel are so monstrously important that I truly feel this is a book (and series) that everyone should get their hands on and devour as quickly as possible. There are so many moving pieces to this book that you might not pick up on the first time around, too, which makes this book truly one of the most impressive I’ve read in my entire life, not just 2018.

The Wendy3. Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown, authors of The Wendy

These amazing people were the authors of the first amazing book I read in 2018. It was my first ever physical ARC and a book that I would feel deeply in love with enough to end up rereading it only a few short months later. I ended up with a copy of their companion novella as well and was equally amazed by it as I had been with their Peter Pan retelling in January. Erin and Steven are definitely authors to have on your radar because they truly do write amazing stories.

the enchanted sonata2. Heather Dixon Wallwork, author of The Enchanted Sonata

I fell absolutely in love with this Nutcracker story from the very moment I started it. The way Heather Dixon Wallwork writes is just so beautiful and musical in a way that I never imagined I’d come across in a novel. To say it was impressive would be a large understatement. I’ve always loved the story of Clara and the Nutcracker and this one is by far the best version I’ve ever had the pleasure of coming across and that is an incredible feat. The way Wallwork weaves her story leaves you feeling as though you were actually there within it, hearing and smelling and experiencing the events of the story right alongside the characters themselves. If you haven’t yet read it, I would really suggest that you do.

to the best boys1. Mary Weber, author of To Best the Boys

This one was a bit of a shock to me, really, because I hadn’t expected that I would find a book within the last week of December that I loved almost more than any other book this year. In truth, I think this author really did write my favorite book of 2018. The commentary on social class, gender, and so much more that paralleled our world built this book up to be so impressive that there was no possible way I wouldn’t fall in love with it. There was just so much amazingness that went into this book and I’m so glad that I found this author and am definitely looking forward to reading some more of her work in the future.

I loved all the books by these authors immensely and I would 100% suggest going out and getting copies of each, but the top five especially if you don’t want to read all of them. But seriously, check these books out. And, as always, have a happy time reading!

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