A Fiction Feast // The Five Best Books I Devoured in 2018

When people think of the end of the year and the beginning of a new one, most probably think of fresh starts, setting goals, and all the resolutions they won’t stick to Ignore the pessimist behind the curtain. Sure, I think of those things too, but mostly I think of all the FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD that will soon be taking up happy residence in my belly. November has Thanksgiving, December has Christmas, and January has New Years, all of which are holidays generally celebrated with oh-so-wonderful feasts.

There’s osechi ryori (おせち料理 – traditional Japanese New Year food), minced pies, turkeys, suckling pig. And don’t forget the chocolate pot roast with dismenshio… no, it’s pismechio… no, it’s disminglishmaguh… duh… with yogurt. (If you can name that movie, we will be friends forever).

Hint: It’s not Elf.

But there’s something else that I love to devour besides food. Can you guess what it is? Bet you can…insert dramatic pause… Yup, it’s books! I really had you sweating there, didn’t I? Don’t worry, this won’t be on the final exam. Reading books is kind of like eating – not a day goes by that I don’t do either. Plus, I talk about both with equal levels of excitement. So, I thought it fitting to celebrate the end of 2018 by having a (fiction) feast; a fancy five-course meal where I share with you the five best books I devoured this year. (And then when we’re done, let’s go get something real to eat. I’ll be hungry by then, because when am I not hungry? Hint: the answer is never.)

The Soup Course: Arc of a Scythe Series

Okay, so technically this is two books. Bite me. But don’t actually, please. In Scythe, Neal Shusterman cooked up a delectable, dark treat that made my taste reading buds tingle with delight Psst, reading buds? That’s not even a thing, Kat! The world of Mid-America is crafted with such detail, such ingenuity, that it feels disturbingly believable in many ways. Not to mention that the end of Thunderhead burned the entirety of my soul and turned it dead black. YOU CAN’T DO THAT TO ME, NEAL!!!! Can I call you Neal? Is it too informal? Should I call you Mr. Shusterman instead?

The Fish Course: The Young Elites Series

It’s no secret that I have not been very impressed with Marie Lu’s other works. So, imagine my surprise when this bittersweet story braised my heart and broiled my emotions with it’s freshly-crafted characters and its rich worldbuilding. Adelina is a saucy, morally-grey character (which I will never not love) armed with a will of iron and a mind of sharp steel. Plus, who doesn’t need more BA antiheroines in their life? NOBODY THAT’S WHO.

The Main Course: Shadow of the Fox

Instead of trying to describe my love of this book with words (which would be inadequate), let me instead use a GIF of Kermit the Frog losing his mind. Because that’s how I feel about Shadow of the Fox.

The Dessert Course: Circe

This sweet novel will forever hold a piece of my heart. Not only is Madeline Miller’s writing over-the-moon amazing, but she breathes new life into a cast of characters that we all thought we knew. (We were wrong, of course.) As a mother of a rambunctious two-year-old myself, I connected very deeply with Miller’s depiction of motherhood, and was moved to tears many times. Circe is a book that is heartwarming, heart-breaking, and full of heart all at once.

The Cheese Course: The Poppy War

You know that saying, “Write what you know?” Well, R.F. Kuang does just that. She has a BA in International History from Georgetown University, where her research focused on Chinese military strategy, collective trauma, and war memorials. Drawing direct inspiration from her studies and from the history books, she set out to write a story centered around the 1937 Rape of Nanjing. The Poppy War is not a book for the faint of heart. It doesn’t brush the realities of war under the rug. No. It teaches lessons taken from historical fact, in all its harsh reality, and dresses it up as a fantasy novel.

After-Dinner Snacks: The Cruel Prince & The Belles

What are some of your favorite books that you’ve devoured this year?

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?

Share your thoughts in the comments!


61 thoughts on “A Fiction Feast // The Five Best Books I Devoured in 2018

    1. I am so glad that you liked my silly little post 🙂 And GYAH YESH I AM SO GLAD YOU ARE GOING TO READ THEM!!! Please feel free to message me every and all of your thoughts about them because I just utterly love fangirling over books (esp. ones that I loved as much as these two).

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow! I love how you did your favourite books as food courses, it is a very unique idea. The graphic design of your blog and posts are so pretty and well done. I would totally love if you could share how you design your blog. Also I really did enjoy The Belles and The Young Elites.Btw Happy New year! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot, Maram! Your kind words mean so much to me! Actually, sometime this month (or at the latest, next month) I hope to be posting a series of blog articles about my graphics, so stick around until then 🙂 If you have any questions or need some help though, please feel free to ask 🙂


  2. I’m in love with these graphics 😍 like I’m in love with all of your graphics in general, but these are just so cute! I really want to read The Poppy War, but I’m worried it might be too graphic for me. I can’t really stomach graphic violence so I’m not sure it would be a good idea to read them haha. Also I’m definitely hungry now haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GYAH MICHELLE THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! I’m so glad that you like how my blog looks, cause I’m a low-key perfectionist about it haha.

      The Poppy War is really really good, but yes, it is graphic. Chapter 21 is the most triggering chapter in the book. If you want to read The Poppy War but skip over chapter 21, here’s a summary of it written by Read at Midnight:

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yay to reading good books and yay to food– I have so much chocolate around the house in post-christmas time and I extremely happy about it 😂
    This list includes many books I need to get to. I keep hearing lots of people talking about how good scythe is– should I take this as a sign to buy it immediately. The poppy war is one I have wanted to get to for a while and I love that’s is taken from historical fact– I didn’t know that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Being surrounded by delicious sugary foodstuffs sounds like a pretty great place to be in haha 🙂 And Sythe is great – I would definitely add it to my personal collection if I wasn’t on a strict book buying ban. The Poppy War is definitely Fantasy, but apparently a lot of it was based on fact, which is so interesting, like you said! Anwyas, thank you for always stopping by and for being amazing! I hope you have a wonderful 2019!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes it does haha 😂
        Yes I will add it on to my goodreads list and hopefully get round to it soon. Aww.. a book buying ban– I was on one of those last year. Good luck 😂
        Yes it sounds like a interesting read– I should get to it soon. 😊
        You’re welcome– I love your content. Thank you for writing it 💛
        Thank you, I hope you have a great year too!!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Okay, I was nodding with excitement all the way through this because THE FOOD IS MY FAVOURITE PART OF NEW YEARS TOO. And woah, those Japanese New Years dishes look stunning! And the presentation!

    Love the way you formatted this. I think I definitely need to add The Poppy War to my wishlist now. Its one of those books where I’ve seen the cover floating about a lot, but didn’t know anything about the plot. It sounds really good! Yup, taking this rec thank you very much. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES A FELLOW FOODIEEEEEE!!!! I knew there was something I liked about you haha 🙂 And yes, The Poppy War is amazing! It’s very graphic, but not just for the shock/wow factor. It’s meant to be instructive and realistically show the destruction of war. The author talks about why she included the brutality on her blog and it was interesting to read the thought process behind her choices. (here’s the link, in case you’re interested: https://rfkuang.com/2018/05/13/on-the-necessity-of-brutality-why-i-went-there/ ).


    1. DON’T SPEAK TO ME ABOUT THUNDERHEAD. I AM STILL DEAD TO THE WORLD ABOUT THAT CLIFFHANGER ENDINGGGG. haha, but seriously, I agree. I don’t think I will ever get over how it ended. Like, whatever I was thinking would happen, it was not that. Thank you for all of your sweetness and kind words, Erin! They are so appreciated! I hope you have a wonderful 2019!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Scythe and Thunderhead are really quite phenomenal. I love the detail Shusterman put into the world and I love that he clearly wants to make readers think. I’m excited for book three!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am really excited for book three as well! And I agree – I love that Shusterman isn’t just making this dystopian world for purely entertainment. He is clearly trying to make a point. Thanks for your wonderful comment 🙂


  6. Aww, I love how this post was formatted, Kat! It’s just as cute as the rest of your blog ❤ And aahh Shadow of the Fox is actually an eARC I was unable to read in 2018, but I really want to finish it since I've heard the best things about it! And I definitely want to read The Poppy War as well — so many people have loved it and I have a feeling I will too! Hope 2019 brings you even more amazing books, Kat! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Haha, love this post!
    I love both food and books, and you are right! Some books are like dessert, some are just some light snacks. It’s nice to mix them up for a “balanced diet” 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. omg I LOVED The Cruel Prince (I’m rereading it right now too ahh!) and I can’t wait for the sequel. I also have The Poppy War on my TBR for this year…I’ve heard it’s super dark and super impressive and I am here for this. I also want to read Circe so bad! Somehow I read a ton of books last year, but…am still behind?! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE WICKED KING EITHERRRRR. Sadly, I am poor and have to wait for it to be available at my library, so I might get around to reading it sometime in … *checks waiting list* 2029. But anywho, yes, I would totally recommend both the Poppy War and Circe! I hope you get around to reading them sometime this year!


  9. the “book” courses??? HOW ARE YOU SO CLEVER???
    scythe was so fdkljfkla GOOD. have you read thunderhead yet, bc i didnt know how it could get any better and it SOMEHOW DID!! the cliffhanger had me screaming

    kat im SO EXCITED for the poppy war, i hear its really gruesome so im trying to find the right time to start it (my brain is currently in contemporary mode, ugh) but youre making me want to pick it up!! awesome post bby 💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dawwww thank you so much! I’m so glad that you enjoyed this! I was trying to think up something creative to do and since basically my mind is almost always thinking about food and books, I just put my two true loves together haha.


  10. I just bought my copy of Shadow of the Fox after reading your (amazing!) review on it 😊 I’m so excited! I also bought Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles, so I think I’m going to read Circe after finishing that novel too. These wrap-up posts are all introducing me to such amazing novels! 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I should go back and finish The Young Elites! I was really enjoying it when I got distracted with something else! And Circe! I cannot wait to get to it. I’ve heard wonderful things about it. Great list Kat 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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