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!! 📖 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 📖 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: 📖 Our Year of Maybe, Rachel Lynn Solomon
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: 📖 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: 📖 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: 📖 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:📖 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: 📖 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: 📖 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: 📖 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: 📖 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: 📖Darius the Great Is Not Okay, Adib Khorram
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: 📖 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:📖 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: 📖 Enchantée, 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 📖 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 📖 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: 📖 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: 📖 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.
📖 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
- 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!