2019, the year in books

So… it’s almost 2020. I know. I can’t believe it, either. 2019 has been a year full of ups and down and, thankfully, it has been quite an incredible year, reading wise. I look at how my shelves have grown, I look at all the incredible books I’ve discovered and I feel blessed and happy and thankful for my year in books, that’s for sure.

I learned a lot about my reading in 2019.

I’ve read more books than I ever did this year.

I can read faster when it’s a contemporary read. I can read faster when I’m reading on my e-reader, for some reason, too.

I’ve been, more than ever, a contemporary hoe, with probably 90% of my reads being contemporaries. I just love character focused stories, swoony love stories and diverse reads so much, too. I also happen to be a fan of all the drama every now and then.

I’ve read a lot of recent releases, most likely because of the hype and everyone talking about these books and I’m still too easily influenced by it all.

I also learned that it’s okay to take your time and, even if sometimes I want to rush through all the books, it’s okay to take a break, too.

Today, I’m here to talk about my favorites of 2019…. well, we are. Just like last year, I decided to do this “year in books” kind of blog post with my lovely sister and co blogger, who has just as well some incredible recommendations to share. I hope you’re ready for all the BOOKS!

1. Favorite protagonist

Nyx: Evelyn Hugo!! πŸ“– The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid

I’ll be forever screaming about this book and this character!! She’s a real enigma and a goddess among women. Evelyn Hugo is a woman who knows what she wants and lives unapologetically with a refreshing awareness of her actions and their consequences. She knows her power and uses it to get what she wants! Of course, she made terrible decisions but she’s not a bad person. I absolutely loved to see a character that was morally grey and just real!

Marie: Cameron πŸ“– If I’m Being Honest, Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

HELLO this is me screaming about Cameron again, I love her very very much okay she’s bold and amazing and hello I love her. I just feel like we need more books with these kind of characters.

We’re talking about more awesome characters we’ve read about this year in this blog post!

2. An author you cut ties with

Nyx: Um…I don’t think I cut ties with any author this year. I mean I’m more in love with some authors than others but there isn’t anyone who wasn’t worth reading. It was a pretty good year!

Marie: Hmmm same here, I don’t think I’ve had a major disappointment that made me want to NOT read any book by any author this year.

3. A book that surprised you

Nyx:Β  πŸ“– Our Year of Maybe, Rachel Lynn SolomonΒ 

It’s comtemporary, romance and YA, I shouldn’t have been surprised but here we are. It was such a powerful story with relatable characters. I loved the friends trope and the family dynamics, everything felt so three-dimensional. It’s messy and emotional and you should pick it up asap!

Marie: πŸ“– Scars Like Wings, Erin Stewart

This book really surprised me and made me want to cry, made me emotional and just, ah. It was such a beautiful, heartbreaking read and it surprised me so much, because I didn’t expect to love it that much. Read it, friends.

4. A book that rocked your world

Nyx: πŸ“– American Royals, Katharine McGee

I found my new obsession. Royalty, drama and romance, I’m all here for this!! We follow the POVs of four women entangled in the palace, it’s FUN and deliciously dramatic.

Marie: πŸ“– We Set The Dark On Fire, Tehlor Kay Mejia
I’m obsessed with this book okay, I really am. I adore this book. The writing, the world-building, the characters, the underlying commentary on today’s world. The boldness, the fierceness, everything about it.

5. Favorite book cover art

Nyx:πŸ“– Summer of Salt, Katrina Leno

Look at this beautiful cover! You can almost smell the salt of the sea. It screams summer, sisters and magic. It’s not only pretty on the outside, it’s pretty inside! This was moving, and powerful, and magical, and sweet, yet also heartbreaking.

Marie: πŸ“– The Speaker, Traci Chee

I feel like this series deserves more praise and I read The Speaker very recently and adored it. I’m always stunned by this cover art, too.

6. A take-my-money

Nyx: πŸ“– The Towering Sky, Katharine McGee

My little guilty pleasure and the perfect conclusion to this story! I know this series is a bit problematic but seriously I loved all the drama! The characters, their relationships and their growth, everything is on point. If you’re looking for a trilogy about cheesy teen romance/thriller stories, with gossip and misunderstandings, this is for you!

Marie: πŸ“– Red, White & Royal Blue, Casey McQuinston
Everyone raved about this book before it even released. Everyone talked about it even more after it releases. It’s not (only) the hype that made me buy this one, though. It’s the royalty trope, the romance and this ended up being such a hit. It was funny (I laughed out loud so much), it was endearing, I adored it.

7. A sequel that overshadows the first book

Nyx:Β πŸ“– Crooked Kingdom, Leigh Bardugo

I haven’t read a lot of sequels this year…oops! Anyway, I’m picking the conclusion to the wonderful series Six Of Crows because it was THAT good! It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me gasp out loud, and it made me smile. And those characters, oh man, I love them.

Marie: I… I actually read two sequels this year, oops. I guess I just don’t read a lot of series? So I’m going to answer with The Speaker again for that one. This is such a complex series that just gets better and better and the layers to it all, I’m, wow. Can’t wait to read the last book.

8. Favorite diverse read

Nyx: πŸ“–Darius the Great Is Not Okay, Adib KhorramΒ 

The story focuses on biracial teen Darius, who goes to Iran to visit family he has never met before. We follow him as he learns how to navigate his unfamiliar family landscape and his friendship with a boy named Sohrab. It’s about our bonds with people, identity, and mental health. The writing is poignant and I loved how the author explored the family dynamics. Go read it now!

Marie: πŸ“– I Wanna Be Where You Are, Kristina Forest
One of my favorite reads of the year, for sure and a stunning debut. It’s a really wonderful road trip romcom with the ex best friend turning complicated relationship trope, I Wanna Be Where You Are has a wonderful cast of POC characters and some of my favorite characters, and romance ever.

9. Most disappointing book

Nyx:πŸ“– Before I Disappear, Danielle Stinson

I expected more from this story but unfortunately it wasn’t what I thought it would be. I really enjoyed the sibling vibes but I felt very confused about the world and how everything worked.

Marie: πŸ“– EnchantΓ©e, Gita Trelease
I’m really sad about this one, because I thought I’d enjoy it a lot more. Magic in Paris around the Revolution time? It sounded so good, but unfortunately it was a little… too slow, for me to really get carried away with it all.

10. Favorite ship

Nyx: Cath & Levy πŸ“– Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell

I loved Cath, she felt so relatable. She’s awkward and sucks at social interactions but she’s also cute and smart. Levi is not the hottest guy on campus, he’s not broody like many bookish characters boyfriends are. He’s funny and sweet. I loved them together. I loved seeing them going from being acquaintances, to friends, and turn into something inseparable.

Marie: Daniel & Birdie πŸ“– Serious Moonlight, Jenn Bennett

I could have gone with SO many ships for that one, but I decided to settle on this Jenn Bennett one, because I loved these two very much. Jenn Bennett writes some of the best romances and I adore her stories so much. Serious Moonlight is one of my favorites!

11. Most anticipated book for 2020

Nyx: πŸ“– The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Suzanne Collins

That question is TOO DAMN HARD! There are so many awesome books coming out in 2020!! Anyway, I’m going with The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (what the hell with this title??!). I’m a HUGE Hunger Games fan so I’m really really excited about this one but also really scared that I’ll be disappointed. Anyway, I need it now!

Marie: πŸ“– Time of Our Lives, Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka.

Is anyone surprised? I am not.

Looking for more anticipated reads for 2020? We have a list of young adult contemporaries releasing in 2020, as well as YA fantasy, sci-fi, magical realism stories for 2020.

πŸ“– Favorite 2019 books

This is the hardest question to answer, ever, but…. let’s try this out okay and select our best reads of 2020…. with a very nervous laughter.

Nyx: And the hardest question for last…

  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
  • Fangirl
  • 180 Seconds

Marie: …… I’m nervously laughing while looking at my 2019 reads. I don’t know how to pick 3, someone send help.

What were some of your favorite books this year? Any books you’d recommend?

We’d love to hear from you in comments!

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

65 thoughts on “2019, the year in books

  1. I’m so glad you liked Fangirl! It’s one of my favourite books ever ❀ also I’ve noticed that I read faster on an e-reader as well. I’ve been reading more on my Kindle lately! I’m so excited for the new Suzanne Collins book as well, (and equally scared) great post! And have a happy and prosperous new year ❀✨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! 😊 Oh, sorry to hear that! Hopefully you’ll catch up in 2020 😁
      Yaaay, I hope you’ll LOVE it as much as I did 😍😍

      Like

    1. Ahh yes, I hope you’ll get a chance to read it! πŸ™‚ and I’m not sure why either, I feel like I maybe need less focus than with fantasy reads ahah πŸ™‚

      Like

  2. Oh, I had so much fun reading your answers! ❀

    I really want to read American Royals but it's apparently popular in my library! Books with royalty, contemporary, or fantasy, are pretty popular! The Speaker has such a fascinating cover 😍😍

    I binged The Lunar Chronicles this year and I. LOVED. IT. Also The Wicked King left me really wORRIED but I really really liked it! And of course Red White and Royal Blue ahhhhhh in my tags and recommendations this book always shows up after I read it πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ no shame haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so so much!
      Haha, I’m not surprised! This book is 😍 I hope you’ll get to read it soon! 😁
      Yeees, I’m SO in love with The Lunar Chronicles 😍😍
      Hahaha, well…Red White and Royal Blue was just THAT good 😁😁

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a cute post idea! I love Cameron so much (If I’m Being Honest)! I think she’s my top character from this year as well. I really want to re-read the book.

    ‘Red, White & Royal Blue was such a fantastic read! It was way better than I was expecting.

    I really want to buy ‘Serious Moonlight’, but I need to read some of the books I already own first ha-ha!

    ‘Time of Our Lives’!!! I’M SO EXCITED!!! Marie — possible buddy read???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you, Jenna! Cameron is so awesome, I adore her and I wish we could read more with her as a main character, for sure πŸ˜€

      YES YES I AM VERY excited about it and yes yes possible buddy read, that would be awesome!!! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello Marie and Nyx!!
    Really loved your picks for this post. I can’t agree more about Evelyn Hugo- she is one of my favourite characters of all time. I also really loved Fangirl and Red, White & Royal Blue as well. They are both heartwarming and hilarious books πŸ™‚ Have a happy new year! Here’s to another year of wonderful reads πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hiii! 😁 Thank you so so much! Yeeees, I love her 😍😍
      Totally πŸ€—πŸ€—
      Thank you, you too! Here’s to a fabulous 2020 filled with amazing stories 😘✨

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Same for me – contemporaries read faster for me, and I read faster on my kindle. For me, I think it’s because I can see the font better than I can in any book. On to your “bests”. I read 12 of those, and I see books that own my heart. Scars Like Wings was phenomenal. Our Year of Maybe had me crying like a baby, but that’s the Rachel Lynn Solomon effect. I LOVED If I’m Being Honest. That duo is fantastic! American Royals was everything I wanted it to be. McGee’s books are definitely guilty pleasures for me too. I am usually all about the low-drama, but she just does it right. Forest won my heart with IWBWYA. I am so looking forward to her next release. Jenn Bennett really does write the best romances, and for me, it’s because she crafts amazing characters. I am also looking forward to Time of Our Lives. It sounds perfect to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh okay that’s a good reason! I’ve always wondered why, I feel like maybe I’m turning the “pages” way faster on my ereader too so I feel like I’m quick hahahaha.
      Ahhh did you read Rachel Lynn Solmon’s other book then? I have it on my TBR and I can’t wait to try it out πŸ™‚
      I can’t wait to read more by Forest, her debut was incredible. And yes yes yes time of our lives will be amazing! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo seems interesting! I’ll check it out.

    However, I don’t know why I didn’t like Fangirl much. It seems off to me :/ However, I like Rowell’s Attachments!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yaaay! It was epic! I hope you’ll love it as much as we did 😍😍
      Oh, that’s too bad. I also read Attachments but I didn’t like it as much.
      Thank you so much for stopping by 😘😘

      Like

  7. I find I read faster when it’s an ebook as well. It’s strange and I have no idea why that happens.

    Fangirl πŸ’™ that book is perfect. I adore that book so much and Crooked Kingdom floored me. I was an emotional wreck by the end.

    I have mixed feeling about the new Suzanne Collins book. I adored the hunger games when I read them, but I’m nervous about this one because I don’t think we need a prequel and maybe my reading tastes have changed since I first read her work so I might not love it as much as I want to.

    Happy new year to both of you! πŸ’™

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yees, Fangirl is 😍
      I totally agree with you about the emotional wreck at the end, haha!
      Yeah, I get it. I’m super excited about it but also super nervous! I really hope I won’t be too disappointed 🀞
      Thank you so much, happy new year!! 😘✨

      Like

    1. Yeees, they are so cute together 😍 Yaaay!! You need to read it, it’s such a great story 😊
      Same here, also loved it!
      Thank you so much for stopping by 😘😘

      Like

  8. Huh, now I definitely need to get to The Speaker I guess! Also I am with Nyx, gotta go with The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes as most anticipated! Like it doesn’t even matter what is else is published, nothing could compete! I loved Serious Moonlight, We Set the Dark on Fire, and American Royals too! And Our Day of Maybe made my best of list LAST year since I read it at the tail-end of 2018! Great recap, glad you both had such awesome reading years!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeeeees, I’m SO excited about it!! πŸ€—πŸ€—
      Thank you so so much, here’s to a 2020 filled with even more amazing stories 😘✨

      Like

  9. aaahhh you have no idea how happy I am to see Darius on your favorites list for the year, Marie!! RW&RB was definitely a take-my-money book for me as well, I knew I would love it and wanted to own it. and I agree so much with Nyx about Evelyn Hugoβ€”she truly isn unapolgetic and I LOVE her moral greyness!!

    I hope you enjoy Time of Our Lives, Marie!! it wasn’t my thing, but I definitely loved the strong family vibes and I feel like you will too πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Darius is so so amazing, I love it SO much ❀ ❀ I can't wait for the sequel to be released!
      And ahh you've read it, you're so lucky! I'm sorry you didn't love it though 😦 maybe you'd have more chance with some of the authors' other books? πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh so many I loved on here too!! Eeep. ALWAYS love Fangirl and I’m dying for the new Hunger Games book too 😍 Darius the Great was one of my favourites too ahhh I am so glad it’s getting a sequel. And Red White & Royal Blue was so funny omg, the absolute most endearing and funny and heartfelt romcom I’ve read ever, probably. I can’t wait to reread it. πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeees, Fangirl is 😍 Yaaaay, I’m SO excited!! πŸ€—πŸ€—
      I also loved Darius, I’m really looking forward to the next one 😊
      Totally!! It’s the kind of book that immediately put a smile on your face 😁
      Thank you so much for stopping by and happy new year!! 😘✨

      Like

  11. There are so many books mentioned here that I hope to get read this year. The Reader is definitely on that list although atm I only own book two πŸ˜… hopefully I’ll get book one soon so that I can get started on the trilogy. I’m hoping to get to Red, White & Royal Blue soon too (I’m in the queue for it at the library, I just have no idea how long the wait is) and once I get reading again (I’ve been stuck in a slump and having a headache on and off this week so once it’s gone I’m hoping to get started reading again) I’m going to put myself on the waitlist for Evelyn Hugo too. I’m sorry to hear about Enchantee – I tried to read it but was stuck in another slump phase and couldn’t get into it. I do plan to try again once I’m reading though. I hope you both read lots of fantastic books in 2020

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AH I hope you’ll get book one of The Reader soon and will lov it, I love it SO much πŸ˜€
      I’m curious to hear your thoughts, if you end up finishing EnchantΓ©e! It wasn’t for me, but I hope you’ll enjoy it πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Ahh all these books sounds so amazing and I have only read one of them…. I have some reading to do πŸ˜…
    I really liked all your answers! Sounds like both of you had a great year in books πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I completely agree that the cover for Summer of Salt is adorable and you can feel the beach-y vibes from it immediately!! I really want to read this book so I hope that I will get to it soon!!
    I also love the cover for The Speaker– I think is is a unique design and the colours are so vibrant!! *heart eyes*
    Ahh… Darius really was a wonderfully diverse story and it all felt so authentic. I’m so glad I heard about this book through the book community, it really deserves all the hype!!
    I’m sorry EnchantΓ©e was disappointing as it did sound so magical!!
    I love that you both included loads of books in the favourite books of 2019 bit because that is such a mood!! And I can see so many amazing books and some that I need to pick up myself!!
    I hope you both have a wonderful reading year in 2020!! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeees, so pretty! I hope you get to read it soon 😊
      Totally!! I love it too 😍😍
      Darius is such a great story, I feel like more people should know about it! 😊
      Thank you so so much, have a wonderful 2020 !! 😘✨

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Lovely post!! Daniel and Birdie are the CUTEST and are so underrated in my opinion! Hehe. I love them so very much. I also seriously need to pick up Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solomon after hearing both of you talk about it so much! I hope your 2020 is filled with amazing books, Marie and Nyx! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 😊
      Yeeees, you really should! It’s such a great story! 😍
      Thank you so so much, I hope you’ll have a wonderful 2020 😘✨

      Like

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