2018 Reading Year in Review: Rowena

Posted January 9, 2019 by Rowena in Features | 3 Comments

I went into 2018 not wanting to pressure myself with reading challenges and I definitely felt no pressure this year but I was also pretty bored with not having goals outside of reading 100 books. Reading 100 books in a year is not a challenge for me so I’ll be challenging myself in my reading for 2019.

I tracked the hell out of my reads this year with the help of Sarah over at Sarah’s Bookshelves. She has an amazing reading tracking spreadsheet that makes my inner nerd swoon in delight.

I read quite a bit of books written by female authors. In fact, all of the books that I read in 2018 were written by women. 18% of the books I logged were diverse reads that featured main characters that were POC and 31% of the books I read were by new to me authors. I’m hoping that in 2019, my percentage of diverse reads goes up. Brown people like myself need love too! =) Another percentage that I thought was interesting is that 82% of the books I read were part of a series. Not a lot of standalones in there so I’m hoping to up that number next year as well.

Let’s break this year down, shall we?

Quick Stats for the Year

Books Read: 141 | Books DNF’d: 8 | Books Re-Read: 9
eARCs Read: 60 | eBooks Read: 52 | Audiobooks Read: 16
Pages Read: 44,884 | Time Listened: 163 hours, 74 minutes
Debut Reads: 6 | Backlist Reads: 55
New to Me Authors: 30

The Breakdown

2018 was the year that I wanted to focus on reading books that I already have. Sure, it’s a goal of mine every year and this was the first year that I actually accomplished that. I read 55 books from my TBR pile, books that were sitting on my bookshelf for months and months and months. That’s a huge accomplishment for me.

January 2018 (12)
February 2018 (10)
March 2018 (12)
April 2018 (6)
May 2018 (6)
June 2018 (16)
July 2018 (8)
August 2018 (23)
September 2018 (20)
October 2018 (10)
November 2018 (12)
December 2018 (6)

That brings me to 141 total books read for the year and that’s counting the DNF’s that I read far enough into to count. I averaged about 12 books a month and that included first time reads as well as re-reads. Now, let’s break it down some more.

By Genres

Contemporary (63)
Historical (19)
New Adult (13)
Paranormal (9)
Romantic Suspense (2)
Urban Fantasy (13)
Young Adult (14)

It is not a surprise to me that most of the books I read last year were contemporary romances. I know what I like and I tend to stick with that but I’m super happy with the number of books that I read outside of my comfort zone. I don’t read very many paranormal, urban fantasy books but I read a lot of those in 2018 and I enjoyed the heck out of a lot of them so I’m hoping to read more from those genres in 2019.

By Format

Hardcover (0)
Paperback (0)
eBook (117)
Audiobook (16)

I read zero print books. Haha, I’m a total digital girl now. I also discovered that I don’t mind audiobooks if I speed up the reading to 1.5X the normal speed and they’re a good thing to listen to while I’m at work doing things that I don’t have to have complete focus on. Makes the work day go by so fast.

By Source

Purchased (52)
Library (0)
Gift/Personal Loan (21)
ARC (57)

Yippy skippy, I read a huge chunk of books that I purchased myself and that makes me super happy since most of my reads in the last few years have been ARC’s. I’ve been trying to balance my ARC pile with my TBR pile and I’m finally seeing some results in that. Yay!

My Favorites and Least Favorites Breakdown


My favorite read of the month goes to Brooklynaire by Sarina Bowen because holy cow, Nate and Becca’s story rocked my socks. I adored pretty much everything about it and cannot wait for more…we’re getting more, right? I love that series.

My least favorite read of the month goes to Love Between Enemies by Molly E. Lee. That book just wasn’t for me. The heroine got on my hot damn nerves at every turn, even in the end when all is well again, I still didn’t like her but what saved that book from being a complete bust was the hero. What a fantastic kid Gordon was. Love, love, loved him. Another book that I couldn’t get into was Man Hands by Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby. I gave up at about a little more than a third through the book because I wasn’t connecting with anything, the characters, the humor so I quit it. That’s the very first book by Bowen that I’ve ever quit. That makes me sad.


My favorite reads of the month go to Runaway Groom by Lauren Layne, Sweep in Peace and One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews. All three of those books were fantastic reads and I’m thirsty for more from both authors.

My least favorite read of the month goes to The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory. The very first time that I read that book, I zipped right through it and glossed over a lot of things that I didn’t think were a big deal until I was writing down my thoughts for my review. I realized that those things that bothered me, bothered me a great deal more than I originally thought so I read the book again from cover to cover and…I didn’t like a lot of things that went on in the book so my enjoyment of the book suffered. The heroine got on my nerves and the hero treated his friends poorly so he got on my nerves too.


My favorite read of the month goes to Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews (anyone surprised?) and my least favorite read of the month goes to Over Us, Over You by Whitney G. Burn for Me was just so freaking good. I loved the world, the magic, Nevada and Mad Rogan and everyone else we meet in that book. As for Over Us, Over You, it was too immature for me and I stayed annoyed with the main characters so I DNF’d that one. I’m wondering if I’m going to have to break up with Whitney G. soon. I haven’t cared for her last few releases that I read. Hmm.


My favorite read of the month goes to Hot Asset by Lauren Layne. It had everything that I love in a Lauren Layne novel but also in a romance. Strong characters, a sizzling romance with hella chemistry and supporting characters that keep me thirsty for more. I’m looking forward to the other books that Layne releases for these characters. Kennedy and Kate are going to be great, same with Matt and Sabrina. Woot!

My least favorite read of the month goes to If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say by Leila Sales. The message had the potential to be really good but the delivery didn’t work for me at all. I closed that book with so much rage that I just might give up the author because I’m too scared that I’d get another one of those. Just, no.


My favorite read of the month is a two-way tie between Hooked on You by Kate Meader and Speakeasy by Sarina Bowen. Both books were wonderful and I connected with both couples and their romance so much. I adored both Bren and Violet and Alec and May. So much goodness there.

My least favorite read of the month goes to Regrets Only by Erin Duffy. I had such high hopes and while I didn’t hate the book, the main character disappointed a bit with things I wished she was above but wasn’t.


My favorite read of the month goes to The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang because it was everything that I wanted and everything that I hoped it would be. Hoang did not disappoint and I’m super anxious for the next book in the series. Special shout out to Lauren Layne too who delivered a bunch of goodness that I devoured in June. I adored both I Think I Love You and Hard Sell. Such great stories.

My least favorite read of the month was my lone DNF. I just couldn’t continue, it was slow, I didn’t connect with the heroine so I gave up. That book was More than Words by Mia Sheridan.


My favorite reads of the month go to all of the Jenny Han books. I read each of them like three times and I still haven’t fully moved on from them. I just adored the books, Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky so much. I’m super ready for the Netflix release of the movie on August 17th.

My least favorite read goes to Every Time You Go Away by Beth Harbison. It was too slow to pick up and in the end, it was just okay.


My favorite read of the month goes to Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren. It was such a fun book and I loved both Josh and Hazel because they were a lot of fun. They didn’t make sense on their own but together, they were such a fun couple that I loved getting to know. I laughed a lot during the book and I can even see how Hazel would be too much for people (hell, even Hazel knew she was too much) but I loved that Josh loved Hazel just as she was and did’t want her to change or hide her personality from the public.

My least favorite read of the month goes to the lone book that I didn’t finish at all. It just wasn’t for me. I was bored and the hero was getting on my nerves and the writing style didn’t really engage me so I dumped it and moved on. That book was My Grumpy Fake Boyfriend by Jackie Lau.


My favorite reads of the month are Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan and Seduction of a Highland Lass by Maya Banks. Both books rocked my socks, made me cry buckets and I just enjoyed those books so much.

My least favorite reads of the month go to Say You’ll Stay by Corinne Michaels and Hot Dad by Whitley Cox. Both of those books were a mess and I didn’t enjoy them at all.


My favorite read of the month goes to Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks. I read this book for my book club and I ugly cried my way through it. The heroine turns out to be such a strong woman that I couldn’t help but root for throughout the entire book. She went through so much and when the hero comes along to become her champion, grows to love her more than he hates his enemies? Gah, it hit me all up in my feels and I just adored it to pieces. My book club and I enjoyed it so much that our book discussion book for next month, is the next book in the series. I can’t wait to jump back into that world.

My least favorite read of the month goes to Shadow and Ice by Gena Showalter. I’ve never read anything by Showalter and I don’t think that this was the best book for me to begin my reading adventure through her books. I just wasn’t invested in what was going on and it took me a long time to connect with the hero because he was so cold and deadly and the heroine drove me batty with how crazy she was.


My favorite read of the month goes to Wait for It by Mariana Zapata. I thought that book was well written and so much fun. I loved seeing Dallas fall in love with Diana and I adored Diana and her nephews. It was good to see all of the other characters from Zapata’s other books, especially Kulti. swoon

My least favorite read of the month goes to my last read, Ache for You by J.T. Geissinger. Holy cow, I wanted to throat punch the shit out of the heroine from beginning to end. She found every wrong conclusion to jump to and jumped. She jumped to so many conclusions that I was surprised she didn’t just jump right off a cliff. She completely ruined the book for me. I need a long break before I ever jump into another Geissinger book.


My favorite read of the month goes to The One You Fight For by Roni Loren. Taryn and Shaw’s romance was heartbreaking and emotional and just all around good. I adored both of them and loved reading their romantic journey.

My least favorite read of the month goes to Mystery Man by Kristen Ashley because I freaking hated that book. Hawk did nothing for me and Gwen was annoying so yeah, seriously, this book was just bad all over for me.

Do you track your reading each year? How did your year in books look? Share in the comments!

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3 responses to “2018 Reading Year in Review: Rowena

  1. Kareni

    Wow! This was certainly a comprehensive review of your reading, Rowena; I’m impressed. And, no, I don’t keep data on what I read. I’ll guess that I read two to three hundred books and that most of them were written by women. I also do a lot of rereading.

  2. Hey girlie!!!I did the same thing with challenges too….even the Goodreads challenge I set at one book so I could just relax with my reading although I have always done challenges so it kinda drove me nuts at times. But this year so far I am on FIREwith my reading so it was a good decision. I love your comprehensive look at your reading for 2018. I am tracking my reading this year through Air Table so I can get a more comprehensive look at my reading and what I can improve on.

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