HERE WE ARE, FOLKS. We’re down to the last few days of 2019! It’s always such a weird mix of feelings that comes with another year ending, isn’t it? It’s like a weird sense of nostalgia for the past twelve months, but also the feeling that the next twelve are going to be so much better, right? It’s exciting, in a way, to have the future creep up on us. Next year’s a new year full of new releases, new favourite books to discover, new authors to try… and I’m looking forward to all of it.
But before I start getting too excited about all that (and a little overwhelmed), it’s time to look back on my top ten favourite books of 2019! It was so hard picking only ten for this list, but I was super strict with myself and forced myself to choose from my countless favourites. I read so many incredible books this past year – I fell into so many different lives, battled monsters, and gained a better understanding of not only the protagonists I read about, but also about myself.
So without further ado, here’s my top ten!
I was unprepared for how much I was going to love this book. How much it was going to mean to me, and how much of myself I would see in it. I dove into this novel expecting a cute contemporary about love and dumplings, but honestly, it was so much more than that. It’s about mental health and microaggressions and family, and just wow. The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling absolutely blew me away. If you haven’t read this one yet, you definitely have to add it to your list!
This year, we were blessed with another Angie Thomas book! And if the rumours I’ve heard are correct, it may even be heading to the big screen soon. The Hate U Give is one of my all-time favourite books, so naturally I assumed that no book that followed would ever live up to it. But BOY was I wrong. On the Come Up is such an incredible, empowering and addictive novel that I absolutely raced through. The audiobook was phenomenal as well! Don’t sleep on this one, folks.
The Gilded Wolves is definitely my most unexpected favourite of 2019. Being a fantasy novel, I was already hesitant about this book going into it. It’s a bit of a hit-or-miss with my fantasy reading experiences, and I hadn’t heard too much about it going into this book. HOLY CRAP. It was freaking amazing! It was queer, it had magic, and I just never wanted it to end. As soon as I finished reading it, I went back and read it again. And seriously, I never do that. Even if you’re not the biggest fantasy lover, you should definitely add this one to your TBR!
One of my friends had been pressuring me to read this book ever since it was released, so this year I finally gave in. I’M CERTAINLY GLAD I DID. I’m a massive fan of mysteries and thrillers, so I honestly don’t know what took me so long to get around to reading this book! It was so good, y’all! Set at a boarding school on the top of a mountain, this story centres around a mystery that will have you reading into the early hours of the morning and has incredible cast of characters that I’d have no hesitation in taking a bullet for. I NEED BOOK THREE!
Ever since I read Evelyn Hugo last year, I’d been super eager to get my hands on her next release. Because I had an amazing reading experience when I listened to Evelyn Hugo on audio, I decided to try that again – and that was certainly the best way to go about it. Narrated by a full cast in a series of interviews, Daisy Jones & The Six tells the story of a fictional band’s rise to fame (and all the drama that happened along the way). I finished this book in less than a day. I just couldn’t get enough of it! And yeah, I was one of those people who googled to see whether the band was real afterwards. Don’t judge me.
This is also kind of an unexpected favourite of mine! I looooove Cassandra Clare, but I just felt like the hype surrounding Queen of Air and Darkness hadn’t even died down before this book was released. Or maybe I was just slow getting over that glorious Emma and Julian content. So when I read The Red Scrolls of Magic, I was taken aback by how much I loved it! It’s honestly one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. I was laughing aloud on practically every page (and swooning a fair bit as well). Ahh, I just adored it!
Of course I had to have a Queen V book on this list! And her recent release, Tunnel of Bones, was certainly one of my favourites of hers. WHO AM I KIDDING?! All of her books are my favourites! I just adore how cute and slightly creepy her middle grade series is, and listening to it as I walk around my neighbourhood when it’s getting dark is my favourite thing to do around Halloween. Gotta love a good ghost story! I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book in this series.
I read the entire Scythe series this year, and I can safely say it’s the best trilogy I’ve read in a long time. Since I’m always trying to stay on top of new releases, it’s rare that an entire series comes out before I decide to pick it up. But Scythe just kind of… slipped under my radar – which I’m almost happy about because it meant I could binge the entire series in one go! While I loved all the books in this trilogy, the second one was definitely my favourite. Second books sometimes feel like a “bridge book” to the epic conclusion, but Thunderhead was totally epic in itself. If you haven’t had the time to read this series yet, now’s your chance!
2. Wayward Son
It felt like ages since Carry On was released, and finally – FINALLY – we got a second book! Dare I say it was even better than the first? I absolutely loved reading about Simon and Baz going on a road trip across America, having to fight vampires, and being super adorable together, as usual. Plus, look at that COVER! Heart-eyes for daaaays. I’m seriously willing to sell my soul to get an early copy of the next book. You know, just putting that out there.
And here we have it, number one! My favourite book of 2019! It was such a tough decision to pick a favourite after reading 120+ incredible novels this year, but I think the award has to go to Red, White & Royal Blue. No book made me laugh, swoon, and tear up more than this phenomenal novel did. It’s queer, it has the “enemies to lovers” trope… what more could you want from a book? Nothing. That’s your answer. If you haven’t yet picked up this book, DO IT! You won’t regret it.
What are some of your favourite books of 2019? Did I mention any of yours? What are some of your most anticipated releases of 2020? I’d love to know!