Best of 2019

Happy Christmas Eve, readers! I know my posts have slowed down over the past two weeks, and that was because I was away on vacation and didn’t have time to schedule out enough posts in advance to cover all of my usual posting days. Things are back to normal this week though, and the year coming to an end, I figured it would be a good time to look back at my favourite books of the year – the ones that made it on to my best of year shelf, which I tend to keep very, very limited.

This shelf is far lighter this year than it usually is, with only 8 books out of, so far, a total of 167 books. A quick refresher as to the criteria I use: the book has to be published this year with a rating from me of 4 stars or higher, and ones in which I found, overall, very little to criticize – that is, book that had something that I felt made it stand out over the others I’ve read this year.

1. Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston (🌟🌟🌟🌟 1/2)

I’m currently on my third re-read of this book which says practically everything I need to say about it. I expected to like this when I first heard of it, but certainly did not expect for it to end up my uncontested favourite of the year. As someone for whom contemporary is not a go-to genre, and romantic comedies even less so, this wonderful debut novel completely took me by surprise at how much I enjoyed it. If you haven’t read this book yet, I would highly recommend it as a must read for this year!
Check out my full review here.

2. Kingsbane (Empirium #2) – Claire Legrand (🌟🌟🌟🌟 1/2)

After the roller coaster that was Furyborn, I had very high hopes for the next installment in Rielle and Eliana’s stories – and Kingsbane certainly did not disappoint! My favourite thing about this series remains the grand fantasy feel to it, and how easy it is to get swept along by the tale. Kingsbane does a marvellous job with character development as well and I’m loving how intricate the plot is turning out to be – this is not a series that suffers from the second book syndrome and I’m very thankful for it! I definitely recommend this series for fantasy fans!
Check out my full review here.

3. American Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt – Stephanie Marie Thornton (🌟🌟🌟🌟 1/2)

I have my favourite eras when it comes to historical fiction, and usually tend to avoid those closer to present day since my tastes tend more towards stories centred around figures in history farther in the past. Stephanie Thornton however, is an author whose works I’ve read and enjoyed before, so I took a chance with this book, and it was so worth it! Well researched and beautifully written, this book brings to life the irrepressible, irreverent rebel that was Alice Roosevelt in this engrossing and lively narrative.
Check out my full review here.

4. The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo #4)
– Rick Riordan (🌟🌟🌟🌟 1/2)

I’ve been reading Rick Riordan’s books since I was 11, and every year, without fail, his books end up amongst my favourites. This year was no exception – the latest installment in The Trials of Apollo was a marvellous read. Apollo, who has gained a new perspective of mortal and demigod life, now finds himself facing the consequences of several of his past actions, something he never had to worry about as a God – and the difference is that he actually regrets them now. I say this with every book in this series, but Apollo’s character development is phenomenal. He is becoming more human by the day, something I felt was evident even in the tone of the narration, as the books are told in Apollo’s voice. I seriously have no idea what I’m going to do when this series ends next year and there are no more Percy Jackson stories.
Check out my full review here.

5. King of Scars (Nikolai Duology #1) – Leigh Bardugo
(🌟🌟🌟🌟 1/2)

It’s so good to return to the Grishaverse! Given that Nikolai is the focus of this series, this was pretty much an automatic addition to my TBR. Zoya’s POV was a surprise, and it was even more surprising just how good it was. It’s really hard to not give away spoilers for this book, but I loved every plot twist and cliffhanger and that ending – that was just evil. I need the sequel already!
Check out my full review here.

6. There’s Something About Sweetie – Sandhya Menon
(🌟🌟🌟🌟 1/2)

I’ve always been a fan of Sandhya Menon’s books as personally, I find them hugely relatable, and this book is by far my favourite yet. It had its laugh out loud moments and engaging dialogue, but what I liked best was the message within, one that is not necessarily only for teens or young adults, but for readers of all ages, to love yourself the way you are. The author’s note is lovely, so don’t skip it! We need more characters like Sweetie in YA, who challenge society’s expectations and standards of beauty.Check out my full review here.

7. EnchantΓ©e – Gita Trelease (🌟🌟🌟🌟 1/2)

Now this one is set in one of my all time favourite eras of history – 18th century France. The court of Versailles, the pomp and grandeur, the decadence, the intrigue, and the complex etiquette, has always been a huge fascination for me. As such, it, along with the French Revolution are areas of history that I’m quite familiar with – and have even higher expectations for. EnchantΓ©e was a beautiful read with fantastic world building that really draws the reader into the time period, lending a very authentic feel to the tale.
Check out my full review here.

8. The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) – Roshani Chokshi (🌟🌟🌟🌟 1/2)

Although The Gilded Wolves does a fine job with world building and story telling, the reason it is on this shelf is the characters. Six central characters can be a lot to handle, but I was very impressed with how complex and well developed each of them were, and even more so with how easily the POVs came together. At no point did the story ever feel disjointed, and with all the magic and mystery woven in, I would definitely recommend this to fantasy fans.
Check out my full review here.

Special Mentions:

These are some of the other books that I really enjoyed this year not on my best of shelf but I have very high hopes for the sequels.
1. The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious #2) – Maureen Johnson
2. Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1) – Shelby Mahurin
3. King of Fools (The Shadow Game #2) – Amanda Foody
4. There Will Come A Darkness (The Age of Darkness #1) – Katy Rose Pool
5. The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses #1) – Cassandra Clare
6. Stepsister – Jennifer Donnelly
7. Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1) – Emily A. Duncan

How has your reading year been? Did any of these books make it onto your favourites this year? Let me know in the comments below!

10 thoughts on “Best of 2019

  1. nanacosis December 27, 2019 / 7:32 am

    Will be adding Red White and Royal Blue to my list for January! I want to read the book so bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • journeyintofantasy December 27, 2019 / 7:36 am

      It’s definitely worth a read! Just finished my third reread and it gets better each time. Hope you enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bossylibrarian December 27, 2019 / 10:48 am

    Red, white and royal blue is getting a lot of recommendations! Enchantee sounds fantastic. Thanks for the list!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sarah December 27, 2019 / 9:41 pm

    I love hearing about people’s favorite books, whether its ones they read this year or overall. I have only heard of a couple of the books from your list, so I will have to check some of these books out. I love discovering new books and authors.

    Liked by 1 person

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