I can’t believe another year has gone by and it’s time for another “best of” roundup! This year I decided to focus on my top ten reads of the year, and most of these books have 5 star or strong 4 star ratings. These books aren’t all 5 stars because I wanted to focus on the books that really stuck with me regardless of how I rated them! This year almost all of my favorite reads were from 2019, which is a change from last year where I chose a few more back list titles. I also read a lot of ARCs this year so that could be a contributing factor. My top 10 ten list this is almost ALL YA fiction this year which is a change from last year as well where it was almost a 50/50 split between YA and adult!
*Please note these books are not ranked in any particular order (though Kingdom of Ash was probably my overall favorite)!
I’m also linking this post up with Top Ten Tuesday– What a perfect post to end this year on!
The Diviners (2012) // I joined The Diviners read-a-long to motivate me to finally get to this series (the books are soooo long) and was enchanted by the audiobook! It’s a long one but so worth it, and has really reignited my love for historical fiction!
Kingdom of Ash (2018) // I managed to make it a year past the release date with no spoilers and THOROUGHLY enjoyed the finale to the Throne of Glass series. This ranks as one of my top 3 favorite books in the series (after Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows).
The Wicked King (2019) // Loved this book a million times more than The Cruel Prince (that one was OK but this one was GREAT) and also loved that Holly Black can tell a great fantasy story that’s not 5,000 pages long!
Girls with Sharp Sticks (2019) // I thought my appetite for dystopian was long gone until this novel. I love the boarding school setting, the Stepford Wives vibe, and the feminist perspective that shows have sexism can still seep in even for the most privileged of women. I cannot wait to read the sequel in 2020!
With the Fire on High (2019) // My first Elizabeth Acevdeo novel did not disappoint! I seriously could not put this book down! I loved everything about it, from the amazing food descriptions (the protagonist is an aspiring chef) to the family dynamics, and how it handled a story about a teen mom without making it a cautionary pregnancy tale. I think out of all of my favorite books I read in 2019, this would be the one I’d recommend as having the most impact through it’s storytelling.
We Set the Dark on Fire (2019) // I loved how many amazing Latinx stories were published in 2019, and this one had major Handmaid’s Tale vibes (one of my favorite adult fiction novels of all time) but with some twists. Though the story borrowed for some of its framework, it was told with such a fresh perspective (and at times chilling too given today’s political and social climate) and I loved the little excerpts from the school’s “handbooks” at the beginning of each chapter- little touches like that really make me feel more immersed in a story!
Patron Saints of Nothing (2019) // I read this in like a day and a half during my honeymoon which was no small feat considering I was in Disneyworld and hopping between rides and parks the whole time! We would get back to our room and I’d immediately head right to the balcony to read this while watching the inevitable afternoon storm. The story follows protagonist Jay who travels back to his original country of birth, the Philippines, to find out what happened to his cousin who disappeared. There’s a stark look at the political climate, classism, inequity of wealth, and other tough yet important topics in this and I also appreciated that the narrator also spent time exploring Jay’s dual identities of being half white and half Filipino as well and how that impacted his identity.
The Rest of the Story (2019) // I was not expecting to enjoy this as much as I did since Once and For All was quite frankly a huge letdown for me. This novel, however, felt like I was getting a beloved vintage Sarah Dessen story and has solidified itself alongside my other summer favorites of hers such as Along for the Ride.
Dear Haiti, Love Alaine (2019) // I had no idea until I started reading this novel that it was going to be told in an epistolary format and I ADORE that. It had so many Meg Cabot Princess Diaries vibes while being unique in focusing on the protagonist’s journey to learn more about her family’s culture and turbulent past. LOVED this one and can confidently say I’ll read whatever the authors write next!
Twice in a Blue Moon (2019) // I went into this novel with lower expectations as I had actually seen a lot of reviews saying it lacked Christina Lauren’s usual magic but I really enjoyed it! Granted, I didn’t really care much about the romance in the adult timeline, but I loved the whole premise of the protagonist being the secret child of a celebrity and being thrust into the limelight of that fame as a yound adult. I would 100% recommend if you’re looking for a “romance” but more interested in the character’s background and the behind the scenes look at filming a movie!
So many amazing books this year! What were your favorite reads of 2019? Let me know in the comments!