How is it possibly half way through 2018? Time seems to fly so fast now that I’m a parent and, ironically, now is when I pray for the days to slow down so I can savor them with my littles who are still in the fleeting stage where they love their mama more than their friends. In an effort to spend more active time with my kids and be more present (since they are still too little to read on their own for family reading sessions) I have spent 2018 focusing on Audiobooks. Chauffeuring two busy kids around plus hours of car time for my job, has given me lots of time to listen and I’ve completed 48 books in the first half of 2018, which means I could go in to a major reading slump and still reach my Goodreads goal of 52! These are some of my favorite 5-star reads, including many new-to-me authors and very different genres.
Glass Houses (Inspector Gamache #13) by Louise Penny
This book completely exceeded my expectations for number 13 in the series. The way it is written is completely brilliant by starting with a trial and flashing back to events that lead up to the trial. Penny fluidly goes between the time periods. I love her imagination on this story and how she keeps coming up with new creative crimes in the little town of Three Pines. I loved this and it won’t disappoint fans of the series.
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
I absolutely loved this book! I randomly heard of it and the library audiobook happened to be available. This is a Prince and the Pauper retelling and unlike anything I have read in a long time. The main character, Sage, is a 14-year-old boy, which in itself is unique for me since most of the books I’ve read in the last year have strong female leads and that seems to be trending. At times, it is hard to believe the narrator is only 14, but then again, there is nothing that is extremely non-age appropriate either. I did not expect the way the story twisted and it was excellent. I literally could not stop listening to this because I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. A nice cliffhanger of power, potential budding romance, hint of war, betrayal, and a sprinkling of loyal characters I can’t wait to see more of in the next book. I’m SO glad all three books have already been published so I can binge read them.
Now I Rise by Kiersten White
This book really developed characters and themes nicely and was even more captivating than the first one. I absolutely loved the insight into Radu and Lada and a deeper look in to their minds and motivations. Such great ups and downs, manipulations and betrayals. My heart aches for Radu throughout the book and I think his emotional growth from the beginning of the first book to the end of this book is amazing, and plausible. While Radu struggles with his choices and betrayals, Lada seems to become more obsessed with her goal of becoming prince and only gets more ruthless and cold. The ending of book 2 gives just a glimpse of the possibilities and themes of the 3rd one, which comes out this summer and is now one of my most anticipated releases of 2018.
Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Wow. Just… Wow. This was an amazing finale to an amazing series! I listened to all 3 on audio which has a full cast and is phenomenal. It introduced two new characters and brought together the couples from the previous two books to create a powerhouse cast of characters and action. I can’t believe that after two books of twists and turns I was still surprised by this book. I absolutely love the series and it is one of my favorite of all time.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
This was a great listen. I loved the humor and light-hearted tone that the narrator Monty brings. Yet there are still heavy moments and topics such as abuse and forbidden love. Very out of my usual reading genre of fantasy but I thoroughly enjoyed it.