The best and worst of 2019

Today I’m sharing my favorite and least favorite books of 2019! Drop me a comment and let me know if you agree (or don’t)…

9. One Day in December by Josie Silver
I loved almost every element of this book! The slow-build romance was so torturous and also so delicious; I’m pretty sure I read this book in .2 seconds flat. If you’re looking for a book that will make you believe in love and pairs well with a snowy day, look no further.

8. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
This book had quirky characters, witty dialogue, and that perfect fake-romance-that-bleeds-into-real-romance trope that I love so much I’d eat it for breakfast. The audiobook is very well-done as well!

7. Renegades by Marissa Meyer
Superheroes? Check. Secret alter egos? Check. A couple that everyone knows is into each other except for the actual couple? Double check. This book was so incredibly fun to read and reminded me why Marissa Meyer is a master at her craft.

6. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
And speaking of Marissa Meyer… Heartless is the Queen of Hearts origin story that we didn’t know we were craving until we got it. I’m not kidding when I say I swallowed this book whole. Okay maybe I am kidding, but this book could have been a 2,000 page brick of a novel and I still would’ve read every page like it was my job.

5. Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
I loved absolutely every word of this book. The audiobook was wonderful to listen to, and and McQuiston delivered an inspiring story about identity and bravery. I’d read this book again and again and again, and I’m pretty sure I’d love it more every time.

4. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Didn’t we all read and fall in love with this book this year? I’ll admit that I wouldn’t have picked this book is it hadn’t been for Reese Witherspoon’s book club (and the fact that my mom ordered it on Amazon and let me steal it from her), but I’m so glad it crossed my path. This North Carolina-based novel had me falling in love with my state all over again.

3. The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
I need to know who let me live this long without reading this book. I need NAMES, people, because all of y’all who knew this book existed and knew it was the perfect book for me but let me wait this long better ‘fess up. The Royal We has romance and royalty and banter and true love and family relationships and pretty much everything I love in a book.

2. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
This book was so interesting to read because it’s the kind of book that I normally wouldn’t enjoy. But, Alice Hoffman’s writing style was so captivating and atmospheric that I would’ve read a book about her describing the color of paint as it dries. Excuse me while I casually go read everything she’s ever written.

1. The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Nicola Yoon knows how to put a story together, and that’s just that. Her words are so perfectly placed and her narratives not just tug on your heartstrings, but yank on them so hard that you feel like you’re permanently bound to the book. All this to say, The Sun Is Also a Star is an absolute masterpiece.

9. Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter
The downside of having a great reading year is that it means that my least favorite books are not terrible books. Like Take the Key, there wasn’t anything expressly wrong with it, but it was a very meh read for me. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t stand out.

8. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
To me, this book was pretty lukewarm. It had potential to be so atmospheric and intriguing, but there were lots of gaps in strange places that took me out of the story when I wanted to dive deeper.

7. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
I haven’t meshed well with this series, and yet I keep reading it for the sake of feeling like I can talk about one of the most prominent series of my generation. The characters seem more immature than their age and, to me, read like cardboard caricatures. It’s a fun adventure and I’ll finish the series out of obligation, but that’s about it.

6. Jackaby by William Ritter
Reading Jackaby felt like reading a book that was trying to be Sherlock Holmes without actually being Sherlock Holmes. I wanted it to be more unique and intriguing, but I’ll probably keep reading to see that tiny, tiny spark of romance that I LOVED blossom into something (hopefully.)

5. The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle
The premise and the world-building definitely supported the characters, who fell flat for me. Their reactions and personalities were very inconsistent and didn’t feel genuine.

4. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
It’s warm, it’s sandy, it’s a beach. That’s pretty much all this novel has going for it. If you’re looking for an easy book and aren’t looking to do much analysis, this is the series for you.

3. It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
Aaaand here we are at the sequel. This series is so 2006 to me: there’s so much angst and drama in response to things that don’t seem terribly dramatic. These characters are trying to grow up and comprehend mature emotions in an immature way, and it kind of bothered me.

2. The Rule of Many by Ashley Saunders and Leslie Saunders
Yeah, this book wasn’t it for me. It’s an interesting idea, but the pairing of futuristic aspects with the current American landscape just didn’t work for me. It felt like the novel was trying to cover too many topics and spread itself thin.

1.The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
I didn’t get past 60 pages on this book, so it earns the title of the worst book that I read this year. The world was so unbelievable and the characters were lackluster; you can probably tell by now that having flat characters is a kiss of death for me. I’ll follow along on an iffy plot if the characters are colorful, but if they don’t feel real to me, I have very little motivation to finish the book.

Did you read any of these this year? What’s on your 2020 TBR?

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4 thoughts on “The best and worst of 2019

  1. I also had a Shadowhunter book as one of my worst 2019 reads, but mine was Queen of Air and Darkness. I had to DNF it after 100 or so pages because I hated everything that was going on and it felt like CC was trying to undo everything she told us was bad and that had been worked through in The Mortal Instruments. It’s now completely put me off reading any other Shadowhunter book, even the ones I’d know I’d enjoy.