Top YA of 2018

I only read seven YA books that were released this year. ONLY SEVEN! Y'all, that is shameful! The only explanation I can sheepishly offer is that I had a lot of major life changes this year that left me with little time and brain space. (I did read other YA that I LOVED that was older, like Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, but that doesn't count for this list. I will probably spend the rest of my life trying to catch up on books that I have to read, and I will never read them all.)

Okay, so, I decided to take my seven and then pick my top 5 out of them. What got left off? Surprisingly, the Sarah J. Maas books. I know! They're usually at the top of my yearly lists, but the other books I read were SO stellar, to say nothing of the amazing books that I still did not get to read and will be at the top of my list for 2019 (Tomi Adeyemi, Hank Green, and Justina Ireland, for example). I also read some fantastic adult romance and even a couple non-fiction books as well.

Here are my top five on the year:

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

This book is number one with a BULLET. It's the finale in a spectacular sci-fi series that occupies a place on my favorites shelf. (Like, my actual physical shelf of favorite books.) With its "found footage" format the entire series is like House of Leaves meets Battlestar Galactica, but it never gets old or stale or gimmicky. Obsidio itself takes things to a whole new level, with the introduction of some brutal new characters and the reappearance of some old friends for the grand finale, and there's nothing we love better than the takedown of an evil mega-corporation. And as per usual, the full-cast audio recording is AWESOME.

Read my review here.

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

I should note that my opinion of this book was influenced heavily by the fact that I saw Elizabeth Acevedo speak (and read an excerpt) from this book at Portland Book Festival this year, and then I went home and watched a bunch of her slam poetry before finally reading along with the audiobook (because she narrates it), so I'm in love with this book but I'm also in love with the author.

Told entirely in poetry, The Poet X is the story of Xiomara Batista trying to navigate her way through her life, with her uber-religious mother on the one hand and her curvy body and rebellious spirit on the other. It is beautiful and heart-warming, and the added treat of being able to hear it read made for an amazing experience.

Read my review here.

Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

I love a good adventure quest, and throw in the fact that it's by the same authors of the Starbound trilogy, and that it's been billed as "Indiana Jones meets Tomb Raiders in space," and I'm sold.

It was compelling, smart, and full of stuff that even went over my head a little, but I enjoyed it. The sequel comes out in a month, and I can't wait!

Read my review here.

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

A modern-day Pride and Prejudice set in the hood, with an Afro-Latina heroine and themes dealing with gentrification and cultural appropriation. Nuff said.

Read my review here.

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

A love story with an Asian-American girl lead and a lot of bigger, heavier issues interspersed among funny text conversations. Come for the cute, stay for the everything else.

Read my review here.