At the end of last year, I wrote up a list of my favourite books from the year. Today marks exactly halfway through the year and so I thought I would mark it by highlighting my favourite books from this year.
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To avoid writing a list of every single five-star read I’ve read so far this year, I have decided to narrow it down to the top five I’ve read so far. These aren’t in any sort of order though as I think I’ll leave that for my final top five books at the end of the year.
I’ve read some absolutely fantastic books with one may well already be the best I’ve read this year and it’ll take a lot to change that.
So here they are, the top five books I’ve read this year so far.
The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne
The first book on my list is the first of two fantasy novels this year that I gave five-star reviews after they blew my socks off. I’d heard a lot about John Gwynne with his name coming up repetitively in a list of “best active fantasy authors” and so I decided to pick up his latest series Shadow of the Gods and was very impressed.
Shadow of the Gods uses a Viking-esque nordic theme and adds fantastical elements. I can’t decide if it’s high-fantasy or whether it just utilises a lot of already well-established Nordic mythology. Either way, Gwynne creates a fascinating world with some brilliant characters, making the second in the series a must-buy for me.
Illborn by Daniel T. Jackson
I followed Daniel T. Jackson on Instagram (can’t remember why) but started seeing his book pop up. Then I started to see others mention it. Finally, Daniel DMed me on Instagram and asked me to check out his book, so I decided to pick it up and give it a read and was absolutely obsessed.
Jackson has managed to create a fantasy novel that features hundreds of pages but doesn’t feel long at all. He creates a new world, builds fascinating stories and has you constantly wanting more. I was doubtful going into this book that it was being overhyped, but after reading it, I can assure you it very much isn’t.
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
East of Eden is a book that I borrowed from my parents when they were having a clear-out of their bookshelves as they moved out of our family home. I have obviously heard of John Steinbeck and studied Of Mice and Men in high school. However, whenever you google Steinbeck, East of Eden is the novel of his that many consider his greatest. And it is.
East of Eden blew me away. It’s an epic novel that features every plot line you can think of, some incredibly detailed characters with character arcs and some of the most incredible writing I’ve ever read in a book. As it stands, I’d have to say this is my favourite book of the year so far – if not, ever.
The Appeal by Janice Hallett
The Appeal is a book that I read really early on in the year and it has stuck with me as one of the best reads I’ve read this year. It’s one of the smartest books I’ve ever read.
The Appeal is told in the form of emails and sometimes messages. The emails are correspondences between members of an acting club, preparing for a big performance. The owner’s daughter gets a rare type of cancer and so proceeds the events of everyone trying to raise money for them to get the treatment and suspicions begin. When a murder occurs, we’re then brought forward to two young law students trying to work out who the killer is.
As I said, it’s very well done and there’s even a twist which makes you want to reread it to look back and see if it makes sense (it does of course).
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
It Ends With Us was my first Colleen Hoover book. I’ve heard a lot about Hoover on social media and I often find that these social media-hyped books can be overhyped, unfortunately. However, this one was not.
It Ends With Us is a brutal and mature look at abusive relationships and the difficulties that really come with those sorts of situations. It’s a book that will make you angry and sad on the same page and it’s a book that will make you fully appreciate how life isn’t as easy as yours possibly is.
It Ends With Us will always stick with me as it educated me. It showed me that abusive relationships aren’t always filled with evil people that are easily recognisable.
So those are my top five books of the year so far!
So there you have it – halfway through the year, these are the books that I think have been the best I’ve read this year.
There are a couple of fantasy belters on here as well as a classic and even a contemporary emotional novel. Let me know if you’ve read any of these or whether having seen they’re on my list you’ll definitely now consider picking them up.