It is never too late for lists, right? Because…like, since I took a break from blogging at the end of the year, I didn’t do all those fun year-end list posts everybody and their pet chinchillas were doing. Soooo I thought I’d just do them NOW. Because LISTS.
If I had to sum my life up it’d be: Writing, reading, and watching movies. (Geek, anyone?) Since I talk about my writing probably more than I should here, I thought today I’d switch over to my other two favorite subjects and list my top five favorite reads and movies watched in 2018! These weren’t necessarily movies and books that came out in 2018 (though some are), but MY first time reading/watching them.
NOTE: I’m revealing no big spoilers in this post. So if you haven’t read/seen some of these, DON’T WORRY. You should be safe. :)
Let the geeky-dom begin!
TOP 5 BOOKS OF 2018
Okay, so actually choosing my 5 favorite reads was SO HARD. I honest to goodness loved almost everything I read last year. Which is a miracle. It was a good reading year! I really don’t even know if these were my top faves (decision ACK), but they were definitely some of my tippity top favorites!
In order of when I read them…
WIRES AND NERVE
by Marissa Meyer
A GIFT TO US LUNARTICS.
Wires and Nerve is a graphic novel that follows The Lunar Chronicles (only one of my most favorite series EVER). And this time Iko is the star. Yessss.
The plot is pretty simplistic. Not a lot happens, and there’s some random scenes that seemed to be there just to feature members of the Rampion Crew. But honestly? I DIDN’T CARE. I think the point was just to delight the fans in visiting their beloved characters again. And it succeeded! I was squealing each time a new one appeared. Plus having a whole story set in Iko’s hilarious POV this time was a DELIGHT.
It’s definitely one you’re going to want to pickup after reading The Lunar Chronicles. Otherwise it’ll make nooo sense and spoil, erm, EVERYTHING. But if you’re a “Lunartic” like me YOU NEED DIS.
Also, I can’t decide if I liked the first volume or second (Wires and Nerve: Gone Rogue) better. THEY WERE BOTH SO GOOD. But it’s really just one story anyway, you can’t really have on without the other, so let’s just go with both!
by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Can we just talk about how shameful it is that I’ve yet to read all the Tales of Goldstone Wood books yet, being as how I’ve been reading them since their creation??? Why is it taking me actual YEARS to get through what is one of my most favorite series? I DON’T KNOW. I think I’m subconsciously savoring them. They’ve been such a big part of my life and I don’t want them to ennndddd! D:
Shadow Hand. Wow. It reminded me why I love these books so very much. Mrs. Stengl’s writing is breathtaking. Like…I have no words. And THIS BOOK. It was, without a doubt, the most complex, convoluted of all the stories so far (which is saying something) and I LOVED IT. The story was rich and full and had sooo many things going on but then it all came together in the end and just I don’t know how she does it.
This one follows Daylily and Foxbrush, whom we met in Veiled Rose (still my favorite of the series!), and whom were always, erm, somewhat unsavory characters. I was very curious how having characters who before had been portrayed as antagonists of a sort would work as protagonists. WELL. I should have had more faith in Mrs. Stengl. No spoilers here but…it was brilliance. Every word. Her stories are like devouring your favorite dessert. Rich and delicious and filling. I’m so in love with this series. <3
by Nadine Brandes
You may have heard of this one. Being as how it’s pretty much all anyone was talking about all last year. AND WITH GOOD REASON.
This is a historical fantasy (such a cool genre!) about The Gunpowder Plot. Not only does it have real life historical events in it, but it tosses in FANTASY THINGS. Yessss to alternate history pleaseandthankyou.
Our teenage protagonist, Thomas Fawkes (son of the Guy Fawkes), is determined to learn color magic and be accepted by his father. WELL. When his father pulls him into a plot to kill the king, things get…messy.
The entire world revolves around “color” magic, which is when a person can basically use telekinesis to move any object of the color of mask he/she owns. So, like, if you have red color magic, and wear a mask, you can move any object the color red. SO UNIQUE RIGHT? It’s a bit more complicated than that, but I don’t want to give too much away. There’s also a plague going around which turns a person to STONE. So, ya know, fun stuff.
What really captured me with this novel was how well-though-out and poignant it was written. You really felt like you were in foggy London, and knew the characters. Thomas was a precious cinnamon roll and such a teenager. The heroine, Emma, managed to be strong but feminine at the same time (totally breaking the emotionless “strong female character” stereotypes). And each side character had their own personalities and agendas. I was so swept away with this world.
Then the PLOT. So many twists. So. Many. Twists. GAH. I loved it! Oh, and feels. Feels eeeeverywhere. Gotta love a book that stomps your heart and kicks it in the ocean. FUN STUFF!
My one qualm was the allegorical part felt a bit…weird. It portrayed a sort of God-figure, but in a very…unexpected way. I wasn’t sure I liked it. But, at the same time, the story was full of beautiful messages and made me THINK, which I always love.
Overall, I thought it was amazing and well deserved of the hype.
THE HOUND OF DUVILLE
by Kyle Robert Shultz
BE STILL MY BEAUMONT AND BEASLEY LOVING HEART.
I won’t say too much about this one, because I already did a whole review for it just a few months ago. BUT. Definitely, definitely one of my favorite 2018 reads.
This is a novella following the Beaumont and Beasley series (MY FAAAVE!!!). It definitely needs to be read after the first main 3 Beaumont and Beasley books, but if you have read them you MUST get this one in your life! It harked back to the first book, following Nick and Crispin, as they try to discover a hilarious curse sweeping through Talesend. The brotherly banter (NICK AND CRISPIN MY BOYS <3), the humor, the side-splitting references to a couple of well-known movies, the whole hilarious curse. It was perfection!
Until the end which destroyed my heart and soul but YA KNOW. I apparently enjoy books ripping out my feels SO.
BUT YES. I adored this little story so so so much, and just talking about it is making me want to reread it!
HARRY POTTER AND
THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN
by J.K. Rowling
I mentioned recently that I read the Harry Potter series for the first time in 2018 annnnnd I fear I’m becoming one of those people who now makes an HP reference like every other sentence. I’M SORRY. The hype is real!
Though I loved every. single. book. The Prisoner of Azkaban was my faaave! (With Goblet of Fire coming at a very close second.) Things really start to pickup, the characters are growing but still young and foolish and adorable, Lupin is introduced (LOVE HIM!), Sirius, too, enters the picture, and then THE ENDING. The whole plot twist and craziness that erupts in those last few chapters was eeeeverything. It was so twisty and epic and GAH. YESSSHHH.
But also can I cheat and just put the whole Harry Potter series here? Because it was definitely my favorite read of all of 2018. I had such a wonderful time entering the Wizarding World! And now that I’m here…I’m never leaving! Bwahahaha.
And there we have my top-ish reads of 2018! But, seriously, I loved practically every book I read. You can see all my 2018-reads on my GoodReads shelf HERE. Because we bookdragons are inherently nosy. *grins*
TOP 5 MOVIES OF 2018
I’m only going to be listing movies that were new to me, and not rewatches because then we’d be here alllll day. Heh. (I just really like movies!)
Once again, in order of when I watched them (I think)…
THE GREATEST SHOWMAN
So yes, I saw this for the first time in April and AAAHHHHHH!!!!! What brilliance did my eyes just behold?
Confession: I’m not a big musical person. I KNOW. You may disown me, no hard feelings. (Okay, maybe a few.) Musicals just…aren’t my thing. So when I saw the huge hype for this movie I was just like, “Meh. I don’t think I’m interested.”
Let’s just say my friends kidnapped me and forced me to watch it, insisting I’m going to enjoy it (as good friends do). And…I had to eat my words. All of them. The opening got my heart thrumming, I think I didn’t blink for the entirety of the movie, it took my breath away, and when they asked me which was my favorite song when it was over I was like, “ALL OF THEM!” Yep. I enjoyed a musical. More than that, I LOVED a musical.
But wow, this movie. It truly captured that sense of wonder that I haven’t seen in cinema for a long, long time. The story was beautiful, the characters were alive, the chorography was astounding, and the songs are something I now keep on repeat on a constant basis. It’s honest to goodness one of my top favorite movies now.
So yeah, words were eaten.
Was this my favorite or least favorite movie of the year? I DON’T KNOW. I do know it ripped out every feel I’ve ever had and turned it to ash so THANKS, MARVEL.
But, at the same time, getting to see all the heroes we’ve been following for TEN YEARS (yeah, I’ve been a Marvel fan since the first Iron Man movie #geek) come together in one movie was a TREAT. I wasn’t sure how they’d handle having so many main characters, but they did it brilliantly. (Though the lack of Bucky scenes was an atrocity! *cough, cough*) I also felt like they did well bringing together all the different styles of the movies. When the Guardians were on camera, it felt like a Guardians of the Galaxy movie. During Steve’s scenes, it felt like a Captain American movie. Tony definitely brought his Iron Man style with him. Etc., etc. It was great!
It wasn’t a perfect movie. I have complaints. But overall I LOVED it. …Or hated it. I DON’T KNOW. UGH. FEELS.
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP
Look at that, another Marvel movie. Is anyone surprised???
After Infinity War gobbled up my heart and spit it out, I was very much looking forward to a more lighthearted movie. Ant-man was such a hilarious movie, and I couldn’t wait for this sequel. IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT. It held up perfectly to the first movie. If anything, it was even better!
The humor was just as gold, the villain was fascinating, Scott was as loveable as ever. I absolutely loved it! Definitely refreshing after the heart-stomping cruelty of Infinity War.
Were just not going to talk about the post-credits scene.
OH, MY HEART.
Okay, so Winnie-the-Pooh is my EVERYTHING. The Hundred Acre Wood was my childhood home. I watched the Disney movie on repeat like…daily. I had stuffed animals of the characters. I even watched the Disney show of it. I still get thrills when I’m exposed to anything Winnie-the-Pooh related. It’s my comfort zone. My happy place. My home.
So when I heard that they were making a movie about an adult Christopher Robin my first reaction was…huh. (I’m such a deep thinker.) I didn’t know if to be excited or worried. On the one hand, it was a very interesting concept and looked cute. But on the other hand, WHAT IF THEY RUINED MY BELOVED CLASSIC???
Well. WELL. I should have had more faith in Disney. This movie was everything. I cried the second the opening credits came on. I wish I was joking but NOPE. The opening scene showing the map of my dear Hundred Acre Wood, and the sweet scene taken directly from the book of young Christopher Robin and Pooh had me bawling. And from there I was just a tearful mess.
Because they didn’t ruin my childhood home, they brought it to LIFE. I felt like I was Christopher Robin, now an adult, letting the world weigh on my shoulders, only to step back into my childhood home and relive all those happy memories.
When I was little, I never really played with dolls much. I played with stuffed animals (like, seriously, my stuffed animal collection was ridiculous). I always felt a special kinship to Christopher Robin, because his form of play was always my form of play. His stuffed animals and quaint little secret world. That was me.
So having Disney bring that world to life, with respect and charm and heart, was everything I didn’t know I needed.
HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE
Oh look! More Harry Potter things!
Though the Prisoner of Azkaban was my favorite book, The Goblet of Fire was definitely my favorite movie. I felt like it brought the fun charm of the books to life more-so than any of the other movies did, while also piling a bucket of feels on top of you…just like the book.
My sister and I watched it together and we were giggling uncontrollably through the first half of it, then sobbing relentlessly by the last half. So yep. It was perfect!
(Also David Tennant, guys. DAVID TENNANT!)
Although, I have to say, I was shocked how well all the movies followed the books. Like…I was not expecting them to be so true to the books. Especially not all eight movies! There were definitely things they skipped but…they only had so much room, so I can forgive them. I certainly had some qualms (I wouldn’t be a true bookworm if I didn’t), but, overall, I was extremely pleased with the movies! (But we’re not here to talk about my HP opinions are we? Maybe one day I’ll do a whole HP post and give you allllll the opinions from me you never wanted. BWAHAHAHA!)
OKAY. I will spare you of exposure to yet more of my geekiness (for now). But, overall, 2018 proved to be a fantastic year for books AND movies!
Can’t wait to see what all geekery I can get myself into this year!
TALK WITH ME!
Fangirl/boy tiiiime! What was YOUR favorite book and movie devoured in 2018??? I MUST KNOW. And have you read/watched any of these? Because you know I will happily flail over them with you!