Posts By: Rashika

Friday, December 28, 2018

Xpresso Reads’ Best Books of 2018

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Wow. I genuinely cannot believe the end of the year is here???? And I have to pick favorite books I’ve read?? (EVEN THOUGH I HAVE A COUPLE MORE I WANT TO READ) Ugh. I decided to bring back this format from 2016 because it is way more fun then just listing a bunch of books I liked.

A book with a title that SCREAMS ‘read me’


Yes. I am secretly 10. I mostly read this book because this title made me feel like I was going to dive into a cute read but holy fuck, Death by Toilet Paper hit all the right emotional notes. This book is funny but more than that, its actually heart breaking????? I did not expect a book with a title like this to actually have the ability to make me extremely emotional. 

A cover that made me swoon because of the gorgeousness


I did not actually read this book but choosing a gorgeous cover is hard when there are SO MANY and there is just something about this one that spoke to me.

A sequel that lived up to book 1


I had to wait a very long time for this sequel but it was absolutely, 100% worth it. I am gonna be 30 before this series ends but thats okay because I love this series.

A series that concluded with me dying of heartbreak because I was so sad to see it end.

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So, I’ve been terrible with keeping up with new releases this years and read more backlist than frontlist but I got to binged a couple series’ and two just, REALLY blew my mind and I was extremely sad to see these come to an end (even though they officially ended a while ago.) READ GALLAGHER GIRLS AND THE NATURALS, FOLKS.

A book with a super cute romance


I am not sure super cute romance is an accurate description because I feel like the romance in this book is much more than that. It’s fucking amazing and is why this book was my favorite romance of the year.

A book with the BEST angst


I have probably read a bunch of books this year that I would describe as angsty so when I had to think of the book with the best angst, it took me a while to figure out which one stood out the most BUT WHEN I THOUGHT OF IT, the answer was always right in front of me. The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You truly hit all the right marks for me. It was just so SO SO GOOD and I am sad I waited so long to read it. I am also sad I can never read it for the first time again. 

A book I wish I had not read this year


Umm, there are a bunch of books that made it to the shortlist for this category but I chose True Confessions because even if other books made me upset, they didn’t bore me to death. This line from my review says it all: “I am pretty sure actual cardboard cutouts have more chemistry than the main characters in this book.”

Something Different


I’ve never ever ever willingly picked up comics. I read graphic novels all the time but they, imo, are different than comic books. BUT a bunch of my friends were fans of the Saga series so I decided to give it a shot. I had literally no idea what to expect but I did not expect to fall head-over-heels for this series and this fictional family. I FUCKING LOVE THESE comics and sad I haven’t read volume 9 yet. 

A book that made me LOL so hard


Is it weird that a non fic that isn’t even a memoir is the funniest book I’ve read this year? IDK. I read a bunch of funny stuff but What if? was both educational and really funny so its a double win in my book.

A non-fic that made me feel ALIVE


I am not reading much non-fic but I’ve read the most non-fic I’ve ever read in any year this year and loved a lot of what I read. Why I Am No Longer Talking to White People About Race holds a special place in my heart. 

Fav Historical Fiction


This is one of the first books I ever read that offered readers an insight into the India/Pakistan partition and how fucking horrifying it was. It was also #ownvoices and I might have cried just a bit seeing a huge part of my family’s history told in this well-written novel.

Fav Contemporary


#OzYa always amazes me and I am glad I finally read Vikki Wakefield this year. Ballad for a Mad Girl was not what I expected when I dove in, but I did love it.

Fav Fantasy


I have not read many fantasies this year but Tess of the Road was fucking phenomenal and made its mark. I went into it incredibly reluctant because I missed the Seraphina fam and wasn’t sure I wanted to read a book without my friends but Hartman won me over so much that I think I might have loved Tess’s story more. It’s so fucking honest and I don’t have any other words tbh.

Fav Sci-fic


I have read maybe 4-5 sci-fic novels this years which is NOT THAT MANY. I honestly shouldn’t have even kept this category but The Disasters deserves a mention because it definitely reminded me why I fell in love with sci-fic in the first place and it was a WHOLE lot of fun. IT NEEDS TO BE READ. 

Fav Graphic Novel


Real Friends was the kind of book I desperately wish was around when I was younger because it was so validating. So completely worth it. 

Fav Picture Book


I’ve read more picture books this year than I thought I would which means that I have more than a few options when it comes to choosing a fav but this one stood out by miles. 

Fav Novel Written In Verse

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I honestly cannot choose between these two because they are both so well written and were both five star reads for me.

Fav Mystery

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Am I cheating again by choosing two books? Do I care? I don’t really because both of these are so different and reminded me why I used to read this genre so much. They are both well written and will fuck with your mind and feels. 

Most Important Read of 2018


This is not a new release. This is a book I pre-ordered in 2016 and then promptly put off reading because I didn’t want to live in a world without any Marchetta to read. Of course, I am the world’s biggest dumbass because Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil is not the kind of book that deserved to sit on my shelves for two years, waiting patiently to be read. ITS NOT. I AM SORRY. I LOVE YOU. SO MUCH. Marchetta, obviously, killed me with emotions overload. It was fun 🙂 

What were some of your favorite reads of the year?? What books do you wish you hadn’t read?

Twelve 2019 Books I Am Most Looking Forward To

Posted by on 12/27/2018 • 6 Comments

I’ve been so bad with new releases this year that I am not sure I even deserve to do a post about 2019 books I am most looking forward to but you know… every year is a good year for books and 2019 is no different!!! These occur in no particular order and there are tons I haven’t mentioned but I wanted to keep this as short as possible. 

1. What Lies Between You In Me by Courtney Milan

Its funny because I mentioned this last year as a sequel I was looking forward to in 2018 but 2018 has passed and I am still waiting. I JUST WANT TO BE REUNITED WITH MY 55 yo son. 

2. Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki…

Ridiculously Awesome and Fun: The Disasters by M.K. England

Posted by on 12/24/2018 • 1 Comment

I dove into The Disasters with almost no expectations. I had grabbed it on a whim and only vaguely remembered it had something to do with space. I’d say I regretted doing this but honestly, it was truly the best way to read this book because I ended up being taken completely by surprise by its awesomeness and just, IT WAS SO GOOD and it’s so GREAT to have a book completely surprise you.

There are many space books out there and it’s likely you’ve read and loved some of them. I am here to tell you The Disasters is better (or at least I think it is.) It’s the space book I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW I NEEDED. Are you tired of all those space books that are super…

Summer-y YA for Winter Blues Mini Reviews

Posted by on 12/19/2018 • 1 Comment


Love & Luck Jenna Evans Welch


Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind.

So when Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and Ian’s criticism.

And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds…

Some Mystery and Bland Characters: The Lonely Dead by April Henry

Posted by on 12/14/2018 • 1 Comment

Ugh I don’t even know how to word as I write this review. I’ve written and deleted the first sentence about a 100 times. BUT. I guess. Here is the thing, I read an April Henry novel years ago, liked it, and read a BUNCH by her this year. Just looking at the books in the chronological order they were published, it seems that the books have gotten progressively worse? Which is to say, that her later books have lost that kick a lot of her earlier books had.

If you’ve been a fan for a while and coming to this book because you have come to expect some thrill and some mystery from April Henry, you should stay. If you want anything more than that, like character development and…

Heisting Were-Dragons: Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst

Posted by on 12/12/2018 • 0 Comments

THIS BOOK HAS WERE-DRAGONS AND HEIST. If that alone isn’t enough to get your interest, there is no way I could change your mind with my boring-ass words. But I do have a review to write so I guess you could stick around if you felt like. I’d much rather you just read the book though.

MOVING ON. I’ve been reading Sarah Beth Durst for quite some time now and I’ve never read a book by her that I didn’t like. I expected Fire and Heist to be set in a high fantasy world so it took me a little longer to get around to read it but it’s actually set in an urban-fantastical world and I LOVE URBAN FANTASY. When you dive into a book featuring heists and were-dragons,…

Not the Worst: Inkling by Kenneth Oppel

Posted by on 12/10/2018 • 1 Comment

I love Kenneth Oppel. I’ve been reading him since I was but a wee lass (middle school.) I was extremely excited to read Inkling but honestly, it didn’t live up to my expectations. It’s not that it isn’t a good book, but Kenneth Oppel is not a writer of good books, he is a writer of excellent books and nothing about this book in particular screamed excellent too me.

Don’t get me wrong, it has a lot going for it, but I think I never really connected to the characters and perhaps I am just too fucking old now to appreciate adorable monsters created from Ink.

Ethan has a hard-knock life. His mother passed away a while ago and his father does not know how to function as a human…

Lush & Powerful: Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Posted by on 12/05/2018 • 6 Comments

I am a mood reader and my mood this year has led me to read WAY WAY WAY more contemporary novels than fantasy novels, even though there was once a time when I would avoid contemporary novels like the plague. I dove into Girls of Paper and Fire because it sounded great but also came highly recommended from a friend. The first time around, I got to about 10% and then stopped reading because I just didn’t have the energy for a fantasy but then, I picked it up again and got completely sucked in. Girls of Paper and Fire was so refreshing not just because it’s so wholly different from the contemporaries I have been reading lately but also because it takes some common fantasy tropes and puts its…