the list is finally here!!! My Favorite Books of 2018 ft. gay romance & intense friendship & the foxhole court

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This list nearly destroyed my very life because it was SO DIFFICULT to write?????? I was emotional. I was tormented. I nearly took on a strict ice cream diet and changed my college major. But in the end, there was a definite top five for my little gay heart c:

Please prepare for the absolute best books in the entire world coming at youu

1. The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic

*perhaps no one is surprised at allllll*

I’m so in love with everything about this series, I just feel like TFC checks all the boxes. There’s a slow burn gay romance, found family, a demisexual lad, and every character has a tragic past. I don’t understand how anyone could not be trash for this, the entire idea doesn’t agree with modern science.

I remember reading the first book for free as a kindle version with amazon, and 72 hours later I was strung out on the series, covered in sandwich crumbs, and FINISHED with all three books. my life had become overwhelmed &&&& I was 10000% unable to cope.

I’ve reread all three books four times at this point and I want to somehow reread them again before the year ends. i’m both scared of and okay with the fact that I’ll never love anything as much as I love tfc. oh dear god, it’s such a grave responsibility to spread the good word about this series lskdfjls

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image from Tumblr (because ngl the real cover is not quality)

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2. If We Were Villains by M.L Rio

For my second favorite book of 2018, I’m going with If We Were Villains!!!!!! This was special to me because it was the first audiobook to make me fall in love with audiobooks.

Also, it caused my heart to explode in my ribs, how DARE James and Oliver by so cute???????? there is nothing in this world better than characters who are obsessed with something. Passionate people are everything and in this case they lived and breathed Shakespeare and. *blushes with love*/// I recommend reading this story with warm cup of tea. Made of tears.

I’m currently reading The Secret History and it’s so much like this book!! (except it’s sadly less gay)

if we were villains

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3. Emma Mills’ Books

My #1 weakness is fluffy contemporary books featuring ❤ intense ❤ friendship <3. If you wanted to bribe me for any purpose, just hold an Emma Mills in front me and I’ll cave instantly. I will hand over my entire college fund, just say the word

imao all three of these books are really just one giant book about friends & slow burn romance & general platonic bonding. *kisses fingers like an Italian chef*

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4. Wolfsong by TJ Klune

JOE AND OX!!!! THE GRAND STORY OF BEST FRIENDS – LOVERS FOR THE AGES! ALSO FOUND FAMILYYY & HILARIOUS DIALOGUE. TJ Klune can write humor and tragedy so seamlessly TOGETHER and full disclosure, it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s whiplash and frankly inhumane. But I cannot resist it whatsoever

I also love Bear, Otter, and the Kid, but Wolfsong is slightly superior. Gosh. I love this so much. I made so many friends in the TJ Klune fandom?????????? Five excellent stars.

Wolfsong (Green Creek, #1)

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5. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

When will I see this book && not burst into sparkly tears??? IT’S BECOMING A PROBLEM. Evelyn is my lord and savoir, if you want your bisexual queen, welllll here she is.

I reserved this one until last minute because everyone said it made them cry. I hate the prospect of crying without the promise of an overall //romantic// ending, and no one would tell me if Evelyn got to keep her true love, Celia, in the end??????? So, I avoided this like leftover spaghetti. I hate spaghetti so much

But this book was so worth it, my own daffodil Evelyn is a lovable, wholesome, badass. Without thinking about Evelyn at least once per day, I cannot remain healthy.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

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Honorable Mentions (my other favorites!)

6. Rock N Soul by Lauren Sattersby// I’ve reread this three times and I want a sequel with my entire heart. A gay ghost/human love story, but with a fluffy ending, because any other ending would have resulted in me rising against the world in general retaliation.

7. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters// Charles Dickens, but sapphic. Sue and Maud are my wannabe aesthetic.

8. The Wicker King by K Ancrum// TWO BOYS WHO ADORE ONE ANOTHER + A PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER, Also, this featured a sprinkle of polyamory, which was so interesting & diverse.

I prefer reading monogamous relationships (although i respect polyamorous relationships with my whole soul) but the dynamic between these three character was so beautiful for me!!!???? I can’t wait to read K Ancrum’s newest book, The Weight of the Stars (((i have the arc in my hands, brace for unhinged ranting)))

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12. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Ben Saenz// This is probably my number one comfort book c: Even though the author is problematic, boy oh boy can he write a wholesome love story/friendship c:

13. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller// don’t look at me, this book has made me pathetic af

*cries a single tear*

14. The Captive Prince by C.S Pacat// Damen and Laurent love one another so much & this was so slow burn and wonderful. give me the fan art

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15. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater// GANSEY IS MY ENTIRE HEART

16. A List of Cages by Robin Roe// Do you need a book full of soft! boys and brothers! adoring one another!!!???? well, do I have the book for youuuu

17. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee// My first m/m book I ever read, which sent me spiraling into the gay romance person I am today. I just love best friends to lovers so profoundly!!!!??????? do we need any other trope? do we really, Carl?

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18. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell// Simon Snow and Baz make me feel euphoric, they are pastel rainbows of hand holding.

19. Vincent and Theo: The Van Gosh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman// I have no idea why this book is not more popular!!!! it’s about Vincent’s relationship with his brother Theo, which was such an intense and affectionate platonic bond???? also, ////IT’S ABOUT VINCENT, my hero////

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what is your favorite thing you read this year?

have i convinced you to read anything this year? bc that would instantly make me feel like a quality person.

any recommendations for me based on the above books? i love your recommendations 🙂



67 thoughts on “the list is finally here!!! My Favorite Books of 2018 ft. gay romance & intense friendship & the foxhole court

  1. Ellyn says:

    Malanie, I just got We Were Villains out from the library and I’m reading something else at the moment so I’m making my mum read it. But, I’m definitely reading it next month and it’s your fault (thank you).

    Also, yes Evelyn Hugo is amazing and I need to re-read it asap.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Destiny @ Howling Libraries says:

    HOW have I honestly not read The Foxhole Court yet, what is WRONG with me? It’s so high on my TBR yet I keep putting it off and I honestly think it might be subconsciously because I’ve hyped it so much in my own head that I’m a little scared to finally read it? Sigh. Who knows. Also, thank you for the reminder that I need to buy Wolfsong because my 2019 super heavy duty book ban goes into place 😂😂😂

    Oh and CAN WE PLEASE JUST SCREECH ABOUT CAPTIVE PRINCE FOREVER?!?! Oh my god, what a series 😭😭😭😭

    Liked by 1 person

    • malanielovesfiction says:

      skldfjlskjdf DESTINY U WOULD LOVE THE FOXHOLE COURT SO MUCH. i’m calling it absolutely right now. your love for Neil Josten will be so intense???????? i’m so excited for youuuuuuuuuuu & your future Fandom Experience

      + i miss Wolfsong!!!!! i’m so glad i’ve reminded u, because Ox and Joe = the most wholesome couple in this world ❤

      ++ sometimes I open to random pages in The Captive Prince series, because i miss those beautiful ANGELIC buttersprinkles

      & yesterday I opened to the scene where Laurent is like,,,,"you're…..*blushes* very attractive"


      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nimika @ wordhaven says:

    “i’m both scared of and okay with the fact that I’ll never love anything as much as I love tfc.”- this is the TRUEST shit I’ve heard all day, no joke. I felt this. Big same.

    The Secret History and If We Were Villains are both on my Destroy Yourself™ list and now that they’re validated by you, it’s an urgent matter I need to take care of immediately.

    Omg. Mal. I finally read This Adventure Ends and *insert screaming and incoherent babbling here for 2.7 mins*. Sloane is such an icon and I love the wholesome friendships and the slowburn romance and the coolest™ dad ever in this book. I need to read Foolish Hearts next *soon* but I’m already trash for Emma Mills, you can take it in writing.

    The Wicker King + Captive Prince + Ari & Dante + Carry On = all v. iconic gay romances that destroyed me in one hundred different ways, I’m glad you’re here to share the pain.

    Speaking of iconic romances, The Raven Boys 💛💛💛 bc there are no ships in that book, everyone loves everyone and every story is a love story and have I mentioned how much I love Gansey?

    This was a great post, I see you doing your humble duty in expanding my tbr even further and I applaud you because it’s not like my Goodreads is screaming at me or anything. :’)

    Liked by 1 person

    • malanielovesfiction says:

      OMGGGGG everyone who sees me asks (naively) “are you ever not reading that book with the orange paw print?????” &&& I just let them carry on w their lives, they don’t understand our struggle & dedication to the Neil Josten Aesthetic
      *is emotional*/////////I relate to Andrew Minyard so much?????????????Because neil josten is the most important thing in this world///////
      random but important question: which language does Andrew most enjoy hearing Neil speak with? bc listening to neil passionately argue with ppl in French is likely a Religious Experience. but German is highkey their *couple* language? AND NEIL IS PROBABLY SO CUTE FUMBLING AND FLAILING AS HE PRACTICES SPANISH. WHOLESOME!NEIL.
      also, I live for the day we get to obsess over IWWV together, OLIVER AND JAMES!!!!!! ARE!!!!!!! SMOL!!!!!!!!!!!! I was constantly stressed while reading that book bc oliver is so goddamn pure & the other characters were NOT GENTLE with himmmmmm.
      +++++++ I just now needed a long moment bc you’ve read THIS ADVENTURE ENDS lskdjfldskjfdskljf lskdflk sldkflsdkfl,

      I’m surprised that my instinctive Emma Mills senses didn’t immediately alarm when you turned the last page????????? AHHHHHH I’M USELESS AND CRYING AND I LOVE SLOANE.
      I will forever relate w my whole entire being to Sloane being unable to form the words “I love you” to her friends, bc she’s trash at communicating, so instead she embarks on a quest to somehow find them an impossibly expensive/rare/missing painting. SLOANE IS THE TRUEST SWEETHEART AND NO ONE KNOWS IT.
      +++ I’ll conclude this essay by saying Gansey is my lord and savior c: c: c: when ronan comments that gansey uses a special voice just for when he’s talking to Adam? ADAM DID NOT APPRECIATE GANSEy NEARLY ENOUGH

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nimika @ wordhaven says:

        I KNOW I’ve said this way too many times already today but ILYSM FOR ASKIMG THAT QUESTION.
        no joke, one of my favorite things in TFC is Attitude Problem Neil. Like, the scene where Neil straight up BROKE into the Monster’s room and dissed Kevin in French for a minute straight while everyone just watched in astonishment? Goddamn. And when Neil revealed to Andrew that he could speak German, too and Andrew lost his cool? GODDAMN. (*Inserts every other moment where Neil roasted Riko on national television, Jean in that Banquet, the Ravens in the press conference and the FBI officer in Baltimore. These scenes made me feel emotion again*).
        Ok, that wasn’t even your question. So, I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but after I finished reading the trilogy for the first time, I attacked Nora’s Tumblr because THERE’S SO MUCH OF EXTRA CONTENT ABOJT THE BOOKS THERE? Like, you can write a WHOLE book from every single thing Nora talks about on her blog. Anyway, so one of the things that Nora said was- remember the promise Neil made to Andrew in the Baltimore game that Andrew could ask him to do anything if they win? Well, what Andrew was going to ask Neil (if he hadn’t gotten himself kidnapped) was to learn Russian with him. Yes, you read that right. My baby wanted his own private language with Neil which no one else will understand.

        I’ll just leave you with this.

        Liked by 1 person

        • malanielovesfiction says:

          HOLY SHIT


          i’ve always wondered what he was going to ask because it was never addressed & i thought maybe they just forgot? bc andrew was v stressed over neil’s trauma. but never in my wildest dreams did i think we’d be gifted with this???????????????????


          Liked by 1 person

  4. Dezzy @ The Thoughtful Voice says:

    AAHHH I ADORE THIS POST WITH ALL OF MY HEART!! YES @ emma mills’ books (i’m SO excited for famous in a small town), evelyn hugo, the song of achilles, and the gentleman’s guide!! i love all of these books so much, i can’t even 💓 wonderful post, malanie!! i’m definitely going to check out the other books you mentioned since we have such a similar (& great) taste in books 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • malanielovesfiction says:


      i am a shaking disaster for emma mills, i need to go out into the world and buy myself a copy of First & Then; only then will my shrine be complete.

      i am going to go full-on cry an embarrassing amount when famous in a small town is in my hands

      also tysm ahhh i’m blushing c’:

      Liked by 1 person

  5. may says:

    *all of us pretend to be shocked that aftg is your #1 fav of the year*
    that series is very rude tbh, like the emotions it makes you feel???? i didnt ask for them, take them away from me

    youre hyping up we were villains WAY TOO MUCH AND NOW IM EVEN MORE EXCITED TO READ IT fhdadakj
    i love you for loving emma mills so much, im glad im not the only trash fan for these masterpieces.

    and evenly hugo and a list of cages and the raven boys. your taste in books is divine if it might say so. i cant wait to see what books 2019 brings and to hear all about your ranting and ravings and expanding my tbr even more than it already is

    Liked by 3 people

    • malanielovesfiction says:

      oh god, tfc has permanently changed me as a person, my true potential for obsession has been exposed.

      i just want nora sakavic to write something else?????? WHY IS SHE HIDING FROM US? we have been nothing but mild and retiring

      also KSJDFLSDKJFD u are going to enjoy iwwv with your entire soul, it’s going to be emma mills level love,, i’m calling it righttttt now c: c: c:


  6. Marie says:

    Ahhhh what a great list and so many books I haven’t read, I feel so ashamed 😂 I NEED to read more of Emma Mills’ books as soon as I can, I really enjoyed First and Then by her, but that was ages ago and I NEED all of her other books in my life. Evelyn hugo is also on my TBR, can’t wait 🙂
    I’m so happy to see A List of Cages in your honorable mentions, that book just broke me, I loved ittttt. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. thebookcorps says:

    This is the gayest list I’ve ever seen in my life!! I’m so proud!! I adore almost every book on this list — particularly Captive Prince — and the ones I haven’t read I definitely will be! Much love to The Seven Husbands and TSOA!! Both those books killed me 😭💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • malanielovesfiction says:

      AHHH THIS COMMENT IS SO DEAR TO MY HEART ❤ ❤ ❤ i strive to produce the gayest possible content c: c: c:

      damianos and laurent are just,,,,,,ULTIMATE SLOW BURN ❤ now my enemies-lovers standard is so high, bc they actually truly hated one another, but then in the end? they were so? IN LOVE AND FLUFFY

      Liked by 1 person

  8. kozbisa says:

    I fell in love with Emma Mills last year, when I read Foolish Hearts. Yesterday, I read Famous in a Small Town, and today I finished This Adventure Ends. Loved them both. Now I just have to read my copy of First & Then.

    Liked by 1 person

    • malanielovesfiction says:

      omg i just finished the weight of the stars and SDKJFLKSJFLKDSJLKJDFSKL can we plz talk about how august and jack and rina are parents nowww????????? I WAS NOT EXPECTING THEM TO MAKE AN APPEARANCE IN THIS NOVEL, i underestimated k ancrum as my lord and savior


      Liked by 1 person

        • malanielovesfiction says:

          & i love how August was still dealing with his mental health,&&& it didn’t just go away. it was so realistic and i adored k ancrum even morrrrrrre

          also, the way jack and august + sometimes rina cuddle during august’s bad days, and jack goes to pieces when august is having trouble???????? PLS STAB ME DIRECTLY IN THE HEART.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    You have a lot of favourite books for 2018 Malanie (I say like my faves of 2018 list will be any shorter!) 😀 There are a few I’m definitely not surprised to see on here. I’m glad The Foxhole Court made it though, it’s going to make my list for sure so it’s nice to see the person who convinced me to pick up the series has it on their list too! 😀
    Carry On is my ultimate comfort book, and actually you have a lot of my all-time favourites on your list; The Raven Boys, The Song of Achilles, The Gentleman’s Guide. These are all amazing book, and I’m sure 2019 will have many more amazing books.
    Great post, and happy reading! 🙂 ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • malanielovesfiction says:

      OMG I NEED TO SEE YOUR LIST WITH MY ENTIRE HEART!!! I’m so happppy you loved that series, you’re the only person I successfully convinced to read it && I still haven’t recovered from the joy i’ve felt c: c: c: c:

      also, i’m hoping you’re right and 2019 is just as good!! it’s going to be such a struggle to measure up, i think, because this year included so many amazing books ❤ including GANSEY! MY TRUE LOVE

      Liked by 1 person

      • Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

        I will be posting an end of year recap, and it will be full of favourite reads so you won’t have long to wait (The Foxhole Court will be on it, and I’m glad I did read it because it really is a favourite of mine now).
        Yeah, but given some of the books being released in 2019 I have no doubt the year will end up surpassing this one! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  10. taylortalksbooks says:

    I really need to jump on the Emma Mills bandwagon! I own a few of her books but have yet to read them and I’m a little annoyed with myself! Ahh I also love how you mentioned The Wicker King! I feel like that one is suuuper underrated aghh. Great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • malanielovesfiction says:

      i miss Ari and Dante!!!! my last reread was around march of this year, so it’s been a LONG minute && i’m feeling devastated. absolutely time for a rereaddddd



  11. Norrie says:

    Lovely list 🙂
    You mentioned Foxhole court so many times, i ended up getting a copy when i saw it was free 😀 Not sure when i’m gonna read it, but you set the bar really high for that one. Haha 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Meeghan reads says:

    AGHH!! I’ve been trying to buy The Foxhole Court for a few months now and it’s so hard to buy!! (I’m not an Amazon shopper because postage to Australia is basically the same as buying limbs on the black market.) But yes to basically everything else. Gansey is life (but Ronan is my soulmate); Baz is a god; Damen and Laurent are *sigh* I don’t even have words; Ari and Dante are gorgeous. I just want more beautiful (tortured) little souls to love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • malanielovesfiction says:

      lol i had no idea abt amazon + Australia?????? OMG I’M SO SADDDD. i read the first book free w the amazon ebook version, but the author is so obscure and smol, i wish the books were more popular &&& easy to get one’s hands on lskjdflksdjflksj

      +++ i want more tortured souls as welllll, i live in fear that 2019 will be my peak reading year, how can it get better than Laurent and Damen??????? I’M DOOMED FOR ETERNITY.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Inge | The Belgian Reviewer says:

    Oh I haven’t read any of these but First and Then and Aristotle and Dante are on my readlist/wishlist ! Recommendations? Any Colleen Hoover novel 🙂 also Where The Light Gets In by Lucy Dillon was such a great read this year about friendship (and dogs). Great choices lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

    • malanielovesfiction says:

      i miss ari and dante SO MUCH! this post made me realize how much i need to reread in 2019, +++++ OMG I NEED TO READ COLLEEN HOOVER SO MUCH! your rec has officially made me more determined, now i feel excited.

      also, the rec ft. friends & dogs is now my #1 priority c: c: c:

      Liked by 1 person

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