Here it is: my favorite books I read in 2019! This list is always fun to make, since you can look back on books you’ve read this year that made you cry, gasp and surprised you. These are the top 10 books of my year and these aren’t ranked because that’s too hard but my top 2 are my favorite of all year and they are probably tied for number 1. Also, any re-reads this year don’t count. Only back list titles and new releases are on here. Here we go!
I wanted to put all of these on the list, but I had to condense it down to the top 10. These books are all fantastic and I really enjoyed all of them this year. I completely recommend all of these honorable mentions, but this fell just short of this list. Now let’s get to the top books of the year!
10. The Cold Is In Her Bones by Peternelle Van Arsdale
I read this book clear back in the first half of January but this book completely took me by surprise. I read it within 48 hours which is rare for me. Van Arsdale just sucks you right in with her ethereal and captivating prose as we follow a young girl whose only grown up with her parents and no friends. But then when she gets an actual friend, her friend starts to fall under the Demon cruse that affects girls. So Milla goes in search of the truth, despite the Demon curse slowly taking over her as well. This book is inspired by Medusa and it was atmospheric, beautifully written and had deep themes of forgiveness, feminism but also not being afraid of who you are. This was a wonderful standalone that quickly became a favorite.
9. Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Once in a while, a quiet story comes along that really hits you in the feelings. I heard about this book when it came out a couple years ago, but I finally picked it up this year from my library and it blew me away! This book is under 300 pages but it really packs a punch. We follow Adri in 2065, Catherine in 1934 and Eleanor in 1919 and they’re all connected. Adri is going to leave Earth to help make Mars habitable for humanity. But before she leaves, the organization finds a distant relative of hers and Adri stays with a family memeber she didn’t know about. While at the old house, she finds the old letters from the two other girls and we get their perspectives as well. All three girls are facing tough decisions in their lives, whether to leave home, follow their dreams and also cope from loss. Anderson beautifully weaves this story together about family across time and the choices that we make when we’re young. This book should a modern YA classic, with its deep themes and wonderful writing. It’s quieter stories like these that us as humans that we’re never truly alone in the world and if we choose to, we can embrace so much more from the world than we expected. There were a few times where I teared up and felt so much emotion. This is a book I can’t recommend enough.
8. Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett
I like but don’t love YA contemporary, but this book STOLE my heart! I listened to the audio book and I immediately was swept in this story about shy Birdie who finally has some independence after her strict grandmother passes away. Her mother died when she was young and her mother’s friend Mona has always looked out for her. But when she meets Daniel, a boy who she nearly had a one night stand with, Birdie tries to figure out what she really wants. This was an awesome, diverse contemporary with a sweet love story and a LOT of David Bowie and murder mystery references. Birdie is a major murder mystery aficionado and it was fun to see her do profiles of people she knew. Birdie also has narcolepsy, which was something I hadn’t seen in YA before and was expertly handled. This book made me really appreciate the contemporary genre and Daniel is a freaking treasure.
7. Spectacle #1 by Jodie Lynn Zdrok
I saw a couple reviews of this book from some of you and your reviews inspired me to get this book from my library. Now I still think about the genius of this book and the SERIOUS creeps I got from this! It’s crazy to believe that Parisians did go visit the morgues daily and see the dead bodies. But this is a fantastic historical murder mystery book with a light fantasy element and Jodie did such a fantastic job! Nathalie is a great character as she tries to figure out who this killer is, especially since they know about her. This book gives you all the Jack the Ripper vibes and the last few lines are pure genius! I have the sequel that I cannot wait to start and I beg of you to not sleep on this book if you love murder mysteries and historical fiction. It’s a perfect blend.
6. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
This book has gotten such positive hype this year and it makes my heart SO happy! I loved Rogerson’s debut novel and I was eagerly awaiting this new book. This book has all the magical libraries, funny banter, great romance, funny Silas and all the Old Kingdom vibes a girl could want. This standalone novel was so expertly paced, beautiful world building and an overall fun and exciting story. Elisabeth was just a wonderful, smart and quirky girl who must uncover a conspiracy after she’s framed for a crime. She teams up with a grumpy sorcerer named Nathaniel and they are perfect together. This book is completely worth the hype and has made Rogerson an auto read and auto buy author for me. She’s a genius!
5. The Gilded Wolves #1 by Roshani Chokshi
Holy crap this book surprised me and also really won my heart. I’m not a fan of her first book, so I was nervous going into this. But this blew my low expectations out of the water and this has stayed with me all year. This historical fantasy is set in Paris in 1889 and we follow a band of misfits who are trying to find a magical artifact that was stolen from the powerful Order of Babel. We have: Laila, Enrique, Zofia, Séverin and Tristan. Enrique and Zofia quickly became favorites with their distinct voices and they were fantastic. This book also tackles dark themes of colonialism, which really shed some light for me on things I didn’t know about. But Chokshi crafts a gorgeous world and exciting treasure hunting plot and it’s a wonderful series opener. I’m dying to see what happens next!
4. Aurora Rising #1 by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I hadn’t read this duo’s previous series before diving into this series, so I didn’t have any expectations like others did. But this was one CRAZY, fun and hilarious series opener and the audio book is the way I suggest to consume this story. We have a group of real misfits, human and alien, who are trying to figure out the origins of the mysterious Aurora who was awoken from cryo sleep. Bad people want her for her strange abilities and there’s also a war many years in the making on the surface. I just loved this book so much. The humor clicked with me, the characters were all unique and funny in their own way and the all space stuff reminded me of Star Wars. I also didn’t expect how it would end and I need my group to be safe lol. While this book has gotten some mixed reviews, I loved it and I’m literally dying for the next one 🙂
3. The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett
It’s the top 3 books people! At number 3 is the book that put Jenn Bennett on my map. I was offered an ARC of this book from a publicist and after reading the plot, I immediately said yes. This book is set in the 1930’s Eastern Europe. We follow Theodora, the daughter of a famous treasure hunter, who teams up with her old flame to go find her father. Her father was looking for a bone ring that belonged to Vlad the Impaler himself and dark cultist people will kill for that bone ring. This book is pretty much perfect and that’s a lot coming from me. You can easily get lost in this historical Eastern Europe, rich with language, history and culture all around. Bennett did her research on this part of the world and this was another book that stole my heart. I loved Theo and Huck’s chemistry and their adventure. This gave me all the Dracula vibes that satisfied my vampire loving heart. This was the year for standalone books and this is one of the best ones.
2. The Kingdom by Jess Rothenburg
I only read this book back in April, but this has stayed with me all year. I haven’t shut up about this book and I doubt I ever will. This book is a brilliant take on a Disney-esque theme park, but with A.I. princesses who try to make your dreams come true. We follow Ana, one of the A.I. princesses as she sees the world and questions what lies beyond the park. She will also become accused of murdering Owen, a park employee that she fell for. Did she really do it? Told in case files, interviews, an app and both the present and past timelines, this was brilliant. I nearly refused sleep so that I could finish this. I read this within 24 hours and I kept shouting about this book to the high heavens. This talks about freedom, what it means to be human, objectifying beauty and so many other things in one compact book. I’m already due for a re-read of this book that should be a modern YA classic.
1. The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Who is surprised by this? No one lol! I would say that this book ties with The Kingdom as my two favorite books this year. I read and listened to this book in one year and it’s pure magic. We follow Ryn, a gravedigger who has to care for her two younger siblings after both their parents died. Then, bone houses are rising at night and causing problems for her town of Colbren. Then, Elliot, a young map maker comes to town with questions of his own. They venture off into the forest where the fae use to live to try and stop the bone houses from rising. This book has pretty much everything: humor, a loyal animal companion, the undead, romance, perfect writing, creepy atmosphere, fae lore and awesome characters that you care about. I went into this book with no expectations and I was basically sucked in from page one. This book was what I needed to read when I first opened my Kindle and it still had that same magic when I listened to the audio book recently. Emily Lloyd-Jones is now an auto buy author and I can’t wait to for more books by her! If there’s one book to read from this year, let it be this one!
This was quite the year for new releases! Six out of my top ten were standalone books which made it a great year for solo books. Plus, many of these books were complete surprises. But I look back on all ten of these books with a smile and happy heart and I hope next year has more awesome books ahead.
Are any of these your favorites? What are some of your favorites of 2019? Let me know in the comments!