My 2019 Book Round-up

by - December 30, 2019

I read 74 books in 2019. This is the year I got into YA, fantasy, and started blogging about books. This is also the year I graduated university, got a job, received 5 full manuscript requests (and also 5 rejections on those requests), and moved to a different city. 2019 was full of various highs and lows; it's frankly exhausting. But books are the only thing that haven't let me down just yet :')

Here's my round up of books released in 2019!

Best Book of 2019

I'm convinced that Sorcery of Thorns will become a modern classic. Margaret Rogerson's writing has a timeless brilliance. She reminds me of Dianna Wynne Jones, Tamora Pierce, and all those other OG female fantasy authors. Her books could have been published in 1990, 2019, or 2029... and they'd still be amazingly good.

Best Debut of 2019

We Hunt the Flame offers a familiar fantasy story but does it in such a refreshing way. The characters are unforgettable, the pacing is stellar, and the romance sizzles. I am so excited for the sequel! Faizal's world has captured my heart. This was a 5 star read for me, and I had very little complaints. It's unbelievably good for a debut.

Biggest Disappointment of 2019

I was so excited for Gumiho. Sooo excited. I mean, a YA fantasy set in Korea... written by a Korean?? And it's enemies to lovers? And it has K-drama vibes?? And the female protagonist is a man-eating monster? SIGN ME UP. But I couldn't even get past 20% of this novel. It was a total disaster. I don't even fully blame the author. I just feel like it wasn't ready to be published. It needed more editing. I feel like marketing is to blame for this... but eh. Sorry, Kat Cho.

Best Series Finale of 2019

A Question of Holmes is, no doubt, the best series finale I've read all year. Okay, honestly, I haven't read a lot but... most series have the unfortunate trend of worsening the longer it goes on. It's very rare for me to enjoy a series the entire way through. The Charlotte Holmes series had its ups and downs (the middle wasn't as good as the start or end)... but wow, that ending! It's everything I want in a series finale; it offers closure on the characters' relationships, growth, and emotional traumas. It's a quiet book about healing and looking forward. About putting the pieces back together again. About navigating who you have become and who you want to be. It has that quiet intimacy of fanfic, which is probably also why I adore it. :) Most of all, it gives Charlotte and Jamie the happy ending they deserve.

Worst Series Finale of 2019

If you follow me on Twitter, then you know I'm a huge Renegades fan (and a lover of Marissa Meyer in general). I was SUPER hyped for Supernova, because it promised the big conclusion to all our questions and conflicts: how can Nova finally reconcile her two loyalties, what happens when Adrian's secret identity is finally revealed, and can these two archenemies have a happy ending? Just looking at that cover had me hyped because damn, it looks good. [Also, now I want an AU where Nova becomes the most powerful prodigy of all time. Sis deserves it]

The first half of this novel was the usual fast-paced, un-put-down-able goodness. But two plot twists in the second half just ruined it for me. I felt like one of them contradicted the thematic points of this entire series, and the other one was too easy a resolution. I love the Renegades series because it's about moral grayness, redemption, and power. It's actually a very philosophical series that tells you there are never any easy answers, even when our world is so black and white. So for the last book to fall into that exact same black-and-white trap of morality was the biggest disappointment of them all.

Most Underrated Book of 2019

Publishing is all about the splash. But some of the best books are the quietest. The ones that fall under the radar. This year I actively tried to read more unpopular books, or at least the ones that aren't always being talked about. I wish more people talked about Silver in the Wood. It's a very quiet, magical novella about a supernatural guardian who falls in love with a curious human. The setting is historical, but the m/m romance isn't questioned, and it is super wholesome and sweet. It even melted my little black heart. :')

Best Backlist Book I Read in 2019

I don't know why it took me so long to read Rebecca but... I finally did. And reader, IT WAS AN EXPERIENCE. I sobbed while reading that book. I downright SOBBED. I gasped at the plot twist. And when I finished, I flipped back to the start and began reading once more... That night I dreamt of Manderley again...

Rebecca is a true classic. It might've been published almost a hundred years ago, but it's still relatable and still packs a wild punch. I saw myself in the narrator. I was blown away by the atmosphere. And I wish I could create something as beautifully Gothic as this story.


Well, those were my biggest reads of 2019! Thanks for looking back on this year with me. What are your top reads of this year?

You May Also Like