favourite reads of 2019

Hello again, bibliophiles! Look at me, back again so soon.

Now that the bad news has been dealt with, neatly and quietly, I’m finally allowed to take some time to just squeal a bit (as I do best) about the books that absolutely won my heart in 2019. With 31 books under my belt for the year and a vast majority of them being solid winners, making this list was as always, a tremendous task.

5: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

 

 

Being one of the very first books I read in 2019, I have to admit that my memory of this book isn’t serving me all too well. The story is about a prince who each night takes a new bride and has her executed the very next morning. Our protagonist is a young lady destined to be his next conquest, but she is determined to uncover why exactly the prince is doing this and take revenge for his cruelty. She does, of course, make some interesting discoveries and becomes the first of his brides to live past her wedding night.

The Wrath and the Dawn is written in a magical, prose-like way that makes it feel as though you’ve been sucked into a fairytale. The mystery of the plot and the way each character is woven into the story kept me quite literally on the edge of my seat reading this, desperate for more. This book got a 4 and a half star rating from me on Goodreads and I definitely need to pick up the sequel in 2020.

 

4: Words on Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton

 

 

You might remember me raving about this book last year (and even organising a giveaway for it). Words on Bathroom Walls stole my SOUL. Adam is schizophrenic, on a trial for a new medication, starting at a new school and falling in love for the first time. It’s an absolute recipe for disaster and best believe, this book delivers on the chaos. The main character’s snarky wit and self-deprecating jokes left me head over heels for him and the fact that the story is told through letters he writes to his therapist allows the reader such a personal, in-depth view into his mind that you feel as if Adam is sort of just sitting on your couch having a chat with you.

Not being schizophrenic myself, I obviously cannot account for how realistic the depiction of the illness was, but I can say that the novel helped me to understand a lot more about it. Everything about this story was perfect and I would genuinely recommend it to any reader of any age. You can also check out my full review here to read more of my thoughts on why this book was flawless.

3: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

 

 

It wouldn’t be a favourites list without Bardugo’s name somewhere in the post, would it? It’s quite alarming to me that Leigh made it onto both my favourite and LEAST favourite reads for 2019, but I guess you just can’t win ’em all. In 2019 I finally read the Grisha trilogy. I was miles behind the rest of the world and I desperately needed to catch up – thus a binge ensued.

I thoroughly enjoyed the series so much more than I expected to, based on everyone’s horrible opinions of these books. Despite all the hate, I liked the characters and character development, I obviously loved the world and the plot was just plain awesome and badass. No questions asked. The Darkling is probably my second favourite villain of all time (after Sebastian Morgenstern, obviously), and although Alina and Mal are as flat and dry as a salt plane (what?), this series also includes some of the most well-written characters I’ve ever encountered in YA (cue Nikolai Lantsov). All in all, this entire series was gorgeous and the conclusion in Ruin and Rising was spot on.

 

2: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

 

 

Yet another book I was way, way behind on reading but I finally did it and oh boy, what an experience. That’s exactly what the Night Circus is, an experience. It’s not just a book, not just a story. It’s not a romance or a fantasy or a mystery, it’s everything. There is no way I can explain the plot of this novel, it simply is what it is. It’s magic and everybody must read this book. Right now. If you take away one title from these recommendations, let it be this one. I realise that this is not so much a discussion on the book as it is incoherent rambling but all I can truly say is that the plot is so intriguing, the writing is completely transportive and there is a large chance this book will change your life.

The only reason I didn’t give it a full 5 stars is that the events at the end of the book confused me ever so slightly. But don’t let that deter you from reading this. Seriously. READ IT.

 

1: Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

 

 

Okay, okay, I admit defeat. I once again allowed my inner screeching fangirl to take over and win the whole year. This book FINISHED me with all it’s can’t-breathe, heavy-breathing, squeeze-your-eyes-shut, fling-the-book-across-the-room, squeal-and-roll-off-the-bed moments. I’m evidently a person who lets my emotions get the better of me and this book was just 421 pages of pure feelings. The enemies to lovers trope will get me every time and this time it got me man-down on the ground unable to function or think straight.

Basically, this book is about the prince of Wales and the First Son of the United States ending up in some political altercations which lead to their respective families trying to patch things up, which inevitably leads to a whole lot. I loved absolutely everything about this book. The writing, the story, the romance, the drama and angst, the sneaking around secret love trope, the diversity, and the actual political elements of the story too. Everything merged together perfectly to rip my heart into shreds and then set my soul on fire. I finished this in about three days and then struggled through a book hangover for about 2 weeks after finishing it. If you’re into pretty boys and cute, heart-squelching romance, pick up this book. And I mean like, yesterday.

 

I tried to keep this post short and sweet and ultimately, I failed, but if you made it this far I thank and congratulate you! Did you read any of the books on this list in 2019? What was your top read of last year? Let me know in the comments so we can chat! If you enjoyed my incessant rambling, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog for updates whenever I post and follow me over on Bookstagram for more regular chats and reading updates.

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