I’m back again with another roundup post! Although I only posted recently about some of my 2019 books, those were really just looking back on the ones I anticipated loving. This post will be all about my top favourite books of 2019, and a breakdown on why I loved them so much! I’m keeping this post SPOILER FREE, so don’t worry if you haven’t read any of them yet.
NINTH HOUSE by LEIGH BARDUGO
Ninth House marks Leigh Bardugo’s first step into the world of adult publishing, and it was certainly a bold step. This book was one that kept me captured, eager to read more and once I finished it, I wanted to read it all over again. I’ve loved Bardugo’s writing for a long time but this book was truly a triumph for her style. As much as I love YA fantasy, there’s something about adult fantasy that really makes me excited to read. I can’t wait to see more adult fantasy books from her.
(Note that Ninth House contains scenes of violence, rape, drug abuse, and other potentially triggering content. Please take care when reading this book.)
KING OF SCARS by LEIGH BARDUGO
Back to YA with Bardugo now, and settling back into the world of Ravka. King of Scars was something that I was so excited about, but also wary of – I didn’t love the Grishaverse trilogy as much as I love the Crows duology, so had to remember that this book would be more Grishaverse rooted. That worry went out of the door when I read this! With the return of fan favourite characters like Nikolai, Zoya, and Nina, this book reminded me of everything I love about Bardugo’s magic writing skills, along with the ability to throw readers completely with twists, surprises and cliffhangers!
THE QUEEN OF NOTHING by HOLLY BLACK
Oh, Holly Black. You fae queen you. The Folk of the Air series was one that I unexpectedly adored when The Cruel Prince shocked me to the core when reading. Since then, I have absolutely loved every instalment of this trilogy, and the final book left me in a state of adoration as it was The Perfect Ending. Filled with the same amount of fae cunning, trickery, deception and thrills of the previous two, The Queen of Nothing won’t disappoint those hardcore fans! Now that I know how it ends, the series begs for a reread!
WAYWARD SON by RAINBOW ROWELL
Carry On is one of my favourite books, and I’ve read it twice. I was so excited when Wayward Son announced, eager to see how the characters would be getting on after the ending of the first book. Wayward Son is definitely a tonal shift compared to the first book, but that’s the beauty of it. The characters are having to work on a lot after the end of the first book, and also having to deal with a very different set of situations. Relationships are pushed, boundaries reach breaking points, and there’s the underlying worry of whether things will ever be the same again. I loved this book A LOT okay??
LOOK BOTH WAYS by JASON REYNOLDS
Time for something younger on the list with a middle grade book I adored! Look Both Ways is a collection of ten short stories, each focusing on a different child walking home from school. But, one of the best things about it is that all of the stories are intertwined together! It’s such a clever concept and really makes the stories feel more like a community. There are stories that will make you laugh, make you cry (make sure you have tissues for ‘The Low Cuts Strike Again’ and ‘Call Of Duty’), and make you feel hopeful in this wonderful book of friendship, family and feelings.
LOOK UP! by NATHAN BRYON & DAPO ADEOLA
Going even younger now with a picture book! I don’t review books for younger children here on my blog but I couldn’t resist shouting from the rooftops about this adorable picture book. Look Up! Is about a young girl called Rocket who loves space and desperately wants her brother to look up to the sky and appreciate it as much as she does. The illustrations are utterly delightful and there are so many little things to pick up from looking at the art, and the story is so sweet and charming! Make it your go-to Christmas present this year for little readers!
AURORA RISING by AMIE KAUFMAN & JAY KRISTOFF
I don’t usually read space books as I don’t usually find them as intriguing as fantasy reads, so reading and enjoying Aurora Rising was a surprise to me. With a group of misfit teenagers, a sarky main character, an amazing space elf whom I ADORE and tons of hijinks and schemes that would take a miracle to pull off, this book easily became a favourite and has made me excited with the fact that I enjoyed a space book – so hit me with recommendations!
THE BLACK FLAMINGO by DEAN ATTA
You know when a book really makes you feel seen? That’s what happened when I read The Black Flamingo. With brilliant pieces on race and how invasive it feels to be questioned about your heritage, it was a book I loved instantly. Some of the verses are really moving, and Michael’s story of building confidence and self love is ultimately one that everyone should read!
I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST by MASON DEAVER
This is a book that I knew would be a massively important one for nonbinary teenagers. I Wish You All The Best, although heartbreaking at times, is also an incredibly uplifting book about a nonbinary teenager. This is also an ownvoices book, with Mason Deaver being nonbinary themself. It’s also their first novel, and I can’t wait to read more from them!
REDWOOD & PONYTAIL by K.A. HOLT
Although I’m not a huge fan of poetry, this was the second verse novel I read this year and adored it! Redwood & Ponytail is a story of first love and the strange feeling of not knowing who you truly are. This book was so clever too as sometimes the verses were incredibly similar, showing that the characters were thinking and feeling the same about a given situation. I wasn’t expecting to love this one as much as I did!
BIRTHDAY by MEREDITH RUSSO
I loved Meredith Russo’s first book, and knew that I would love Birthday too. I really enjoy books that are written over a certain time frame, and with Birthday being written over the space of a few years I was thrilled to see how well this worked! It’s definitely a heartbreaking read at times – and caused me to shed a tear on the train – but is so clever, brilliant and a gripping read that it was hard not to love it.
(Note that Birthday includes scenes of transphobic bullying, self harm and attempted suicide. Please take care when reading this book.)
So there you have it – my favourite books of 2019! Do you see any of your favourite books on this? Or are there any on there that you disliked with a passion? I’d love to hear your thoughts on these books!