It’s my favorite post of the year! It’s time to talk about the best books I read in 2019. This has been a sucky reading year overall – I did read a fair amount of books, but not a lot of them stuck with me. So making this list was the hardest task ever, there just weren’t so many books that deserved to be on the favorites list. The way I see it, a favorite book is one that stays with you long after you’ve read it, that makes you care and that you were always excited to pick it back up. Some of these weren’t 5-star reads, but they were reads that fit the previously described category. So let’s talk about my favorites of 2019.
8. Lucky Caller by Emma Mills
I think as long as Emma Mills keeps writing her books will be on my favorite reads of the year list. Lucky Caller comes out in January of 2020, but I read it earlier in 2019 and it’s got everything that Mills books always have – family, friendship and love, and her books never fail to make me feel safe and welcome and this one was no different. And this book has my favorite Emma Mills love interest – Jamie, I cannot wait for you to meet him because he is PRECIOUS. And there’s a 90s radio show, so you’re in for a treat. My review is coming soon, so you can look forward to that one!
7. Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills
Like I said, it’s hard for me to read an Emma Mills novel and not include it in my list, so here’s another one. I loved Famous in a Small Town even more than Lucky Caller. It really got to me, especially the family part and I love how important it was for our main character to help her community. This was one of the more serious Mills novels, and it dealt with some harder topics, but I loved how she did those, it was really nuanced and careful, and I could not recommend this book more. It made me cry and laugh and all I can say is — you have to read Emma Mills. You can find my full review HERE, and I also did a post about all of her novels HERE.
6. Normal People by Sally Rooney
This was a 4 star read for me, but despite that, it was a book that really stuck with me throughout this whole year and one I think made me feel the most, even if those feelings were mostly anxious one. I adored Rooney’s writing and I think she really does have an uncanny ability to write about relationships and the interpersonal in such a precise, detached way, and yet manage to completely authentically and deeply portray them in all their complexity. I really loved this novel, but it did make me feel incredibly anxious, which was possibly the point. I cannot wait to read Rooney’s other book, but I can safely put Normal People on my best of the year list. You can see why in my review HERE.
5. The Wicked King by Holly Black
Despite the fact that I did not love The Queen of Nothing (review can be found HERE), I LOVED The Wicked King. I think it’s a fantastic novel, that does a lot of things incredibly well. It’s a perfectly paced novel, that manages to build both upon the plot and raise the stake of the whole series to a new level, it also manages to build Jude and Cardan’s relationship perfectly. Holly Black elevates their dynamic to a whole new level and I was literally glued to the page whenever I picked this up. I read it in a day, despite the fact that it was exam season and I had so many things to do. I loved it, and I wish Queen of Nothing delivered on the stakes this book set. You can read more on The Wicked King in my review HERE.
4. Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
I cannot deny that this was one of the best books I ever read, period. The writing is superb and incredibly unique, Muir has a really strong writing voice and it echoes throughout this story. Moreover, this story is so layered and carefully constructed that I was really impressed by it at all times. Not only that, but I absolutely adored these characters and I found myself trying to sneak in more pages every chance I got. It’s definitely a read that most surprised and impressed me this year. You can find my review for Gideon HERE.
3. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
This book made me the happiest this year. It’s been a while since I became so attached to new characters, but I loved every single one of the idiots in this novel. This book is hopeful and beautiful and it made me physically ache because it was just that good. I read it twice this year, and both times I was so ecstatic to be reading it and so excited about the mere prospect of reading. I felt safe and welcomed and loved when I was reading this and I think McQuiston did a wonderful thing with both the characters and the story itself. It’s current and political, but it’s also full of hope and sincerity and it’s just a lovely read. Everything you heard is true. So I hope you’ll pick it up if you haven’t already. You can read more gushing in my review HERE.
2. Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard
You all know that my love for Dennard and her Witchlands series knows no boundaries, but she really took it to a whole new level with Bloodwitch. This was the perfect book. It built on previous books and added so many layers and tied so many plot lines up, only to open new, exciting ones. This story has one of the most intricately built worlds in all of YA Fantasy and I am just in awe with what Dennard is doing with this series. I loved Aeduan and his character arc in this and I think Dennard has such a knack for writing fantastic character arcs. All of her characters grow and change so organically, and I loved every minute of this novel. Please pick up this series ASAP. More of my thoughts can be found HERE.
1. Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater
NO ONE IS SURPRISED. I knew this book was gonna end up on my favorites, I just wasn’t sure where exactly. Turns out, it’s right on top. It is slightly unfair to compare it to other reads because I am already too attached to the characters (some of them), but this book stands on its own even without The Raven Cycle. I think it’s a very different read, more focused on the characters inner turmoil than their relationships, and I think the plot is much more defined and fleshed out, but it still has that Maggie vibe to it. I loved it, I loved Ronan’s growth and I have to say it, Declan Lynch wins this book. I LOVE HIM OKAY. If you want to hear more of my thoughts, you can find them HERE.
And those were my favorite books of this year! I am excited to get a move on on my reading in 2020, and I would love to hear from you – what was your favorite book of 2019? Let me know!
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