Top Books of 2018 for Heroine Addicts
Sisters were doing it for themselves in historical fiction, alt-historical fiction, romance, and a graphic novel
Reviewed by Rosalind Faires, Fri., Dec. 28, 2018
Sisters had no choice but to do it for themselves this exhausting year. I found my succor in brave, foolish, heartfelt heroines whose adventures took me across genre and through the deep, dark woods of 2018.
Dread Nation (Balzer + Bray) Yes, Reconstruction-era zombies are buck-wild, but you're a fool if you let that or this book's YA classification stand between you and Justina Ireland's richly written alternate-history thrill ride.
And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready (Little, Brown and Company) As someone accused of being both broody (in the keen-to-child-rearing sense) and anxious, you better believe Meaghan O'Connell's brutally illuminating memoir laid me flat.
Spinning Silver (Del Rey) Fairy tales have always been en vogue, but it's rare to find one with such singular imagination, deep reserves of compassion, and true timelessness. Naomi Novik's novel earned immediate placement on the "Will Reread, and Soon" shelf.
The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock (Harper) Am I so keen on this because I read it on the heels of a Harlots binge-watch? Maybe, but Imogen Hermes Gowar's novel succeeds on its own merits – as an enthralling glimpse at 1780s London that extends profound generosity toward all its characters.
The Prince and the Dressmaker (First Second) It doesn't get more universally appealing than Jen Wang's stunningly illustrated and deeply kind fin-de-siècle fable about a prince and the young seamstress he employs to design the dresses he wears in secret.
A Duke by Default: Reluctant Royals (Avon) Alyssa Cole's book was there when no one would rewatch The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement with me! Swoon-worthy and whip-smart, for those who like their regal fantasies with both feet in the real world.
The Proposal (Berkley) A skin-crawling public proposal brings two witty, hardworking commitment-phobes together. Jasmine Guillory's book offers genuine laughs about second-guessing things around the person you like and genuine heartstring tugs about the challenges of being vulnerable.
Honorable mentions: Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi, All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung, The Lost Queen by Signe Pike