Because 2019 wasn’t the best reading year I could’ve hoped for, I won’t be doing a too long list of my favorites of this year. Although this is partly due to me reading a lot of books on writing, it’s also because I haven’t read that many books that just really blew my mind either. So, 5 seems like a good number to leave it at.
Do note that this does include some re-reads and that’s partly because, like I said, I didn’t read that many books that blew my mind and partly because they’re just that good.
So, with that said, here’s my top 5 of 2019!
Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.Read full blurb over on GoodReads.
Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.
Now the only real reason why this is an honorable mention is because I wanted to keep this list to 5 and because I’ve re-read this book so many times since I first read it that actually giving it a spot would kind of be cheating.
This is more than likely one of my favorite contemporary books of all time and one I re-read whenever I want to be comforted, read something I know I’ll enjoy or that is just familiar.
5. You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins
This elegant young adult novel captures the immigrant experience for one Indian-American family with humor and heart. Told in alternating teen voices across three generations, You Bring the Distant Near explores sisterhood, first loves, friendship, and the inheritance of culture–for better or worse.Read full blurb over on GoodReads.
This is a book that I picked up in part because several people over on Booktube have talked about it (it was released in 2017 so I’m just late to the party here) and in part because I wanted something different storytelling-wise when I decided on this one.
I like the multi-generational aspect of this book and how we get to experience the past as well. It’s also helped me realize that I want to pick up more books that play with that style of writing and that deal with more than one perspective as well.
All in all I enjoyed this one a lot and it gave me a much needed cleanser as well.
4. Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Hanna Donnelly is the station captain’s pampered daughter and Nik Malikov is the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. Together they struggle with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, blissfully unaware that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall with news of the Kerenza invasion.Read full blurb over on GoodReads.
I’ll be the first to admit that getting through this series is taking some time. That’s mostly to due with the way this series is formatted and how my reading slows down since I’m looking at all aspects of every page. In that sense it’s sort of like when I read comics and manga in that I slow waaay down in order to not miss anything.
That said, this has been everywhere and it truly is really good. I have Obsidio lying ready for when I feel like getting back into this world and I am looking forward to seeing how it all concludes in the end!
3. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.Read full blurb over on GoodReads.
Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.
This is one of the books I was talking about when I mentioned that some of the books on this list would be re-reads.
I decided that I wanted to re-read The Witchlands series from the beginning in order to make my way to Bloodwitch. A book which I’m still reading, not because it’s bad, but because I’m starting it over and over again so that the break between me finishing it and the next one coming won’t be too long. Essentially I’m torturing myself.
That said, this is a really good fantasy series that has an interesting magic system, enjoyable characters and a great plot. Truly, if you’ve been on the fence about reading it, please give it a go!
2. Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.Read full blurb over on GoodReads.
This is one of those books that have gotten so much love from so many people that I was a little hesitant to even pick it up. What if I didn’t enjoy it as much as they did?
However, I found that I really did enjoy it a lot and it also reminded me a lot of The Soul Mirror by Carol Berg which I truly loved (while it is part of a series, I have only read this one and I didn’t find it hard to get into so I think you’d be fine to only read/start with this one if it sounds like something you’d enjoy.
1. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.Read full blurb over on GoodReads.
This is a book that I just happened to read at just the right time. I was feeling really weary with reading in general and I wanted something familiar, yet new and that I felt like I had a good chance at enjoying.
Enter Holly Black. Now, this is a love letter to vampire novels and it shows and it was just what I needed. I didn’t know how badly I craved a vampire story until I read this and like I said, it was just what I needed when I needed it.
So there you have it! My 5 favorite books of 2019. What were some of your favorites?