My Favorite Books of 2019

It's the end of the year which brings upon that time where I write about my favorite books of the year. Sometimes I do categories like favorite couple, mystery, romance, friendship, etc. But this year I'll simply go through my year from beginning to end to see what books stood out to be my favorites of the year. I'm lucky enough to have twelve favorites on this list. Have you read any of them?

My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise, I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cap mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead...

2019 started off rough with my first book read being a disappointing two star read. The previous year wasn't the best personally but it was getting better. I finally had a breakthrough read that really made me stand up and pay attention. We Have Always Lived in the Castle started off my want to read all of Shirley Jackson's books. After watching The Haunting of Hill House's Netflix adaption I wanted to give the author a shot and she surprised me by how much I enjoyed her book. I loved the palpable animosity in the air. The characters were odd and memorable. There was just something about this story that you know had more meaning behind it. I' grateful for this book because it was the first book to really get me out of my bleh mood towards reading.

Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians...

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she's playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…

It took me a long time to find another book that wowed me. From January 31st all the way until June! Enchantée was one of my very few reviews of the year so you know I liked it. Basically all the elements in this story impressed me. I was at a point where YA was continually either disappointing me or becoming boring. This didn't feel YA or at least it felt like the YA I would have read when I was a teen. Not that I didn't read some trashy YA (and still do). I just had a hard time finding something worth reading. This was worth reading.

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children                                                               No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere... else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

And then came the favorite books all at once. After Enchantée right after the other almost I found books and characters I fell in love with. My summer was great. Every Heart a Doorway was one of those books. I absolutely LOVED the concept of these different portal worlds that these children felt they belonged to. This series could be very dark and somewhat controversial if you really think about it. I absolutely loved the main character, Nancy, in this story. I did think that some of the things about her world wouldn't be right in the real world but she fascinated me nonetheless. I was dying to read more about her in the next series but I've only gotten a glimpse...

An aspiring teenage DJ must learn how to navigate life when people find out that she's the daughter of a famous singer.

Fifteen-year-old Delilah “Dizzy” Doucette lives with her dad and brother above their vintage record store, The Vinyl Trap. She’s learning how to spin records from her brother’s best friend, and she’s getting pretty good. But behind her bohemian life, Dizzy and her family have a secret: her mom is the mega-famous singer Georgia Waters. When this secret is revealed to the world, Dizzy’s life spins out of control. She must decide what is most important to her — the family she has or the family she wants.

Spin through me for a loop. I love YA contemporaries but I hadn't read one yet that was as amazing as I was hoping then came this book. I can't believe that hardly anyone knows about this book. Please read this book. It's so good. There are multiple POV's in this story but the main one is Dizzy. You won't get confused. It enhances the story and it's a father, brother, and sister. They are all dealing with someone important possibly coming back into their lives. It's so good. Please read this! Most underrated book I've read in a while.

High school senior Cameron Bright’s reputation can be summed up in one word: bitch. It’s no surprise she’s queen bee at her private L.A. high school—she’s beautiful, talented, and notorious for her cutting and brutal honesty. So when she puts her foot in her mouth in front of her crush, Andrew, she fears she may have lost him for good.

In an attempt to win him over, Cameron resolves to “tame” herself, much like Katherine in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. First, she’ll have to make amends with those she’s wronged, which leads her to Brendan, the guy she labelled with an unfortunate nickname back in the sixth grade. At first, Brendan isn’t all that receptive to Cameron’s ploy. But slowly, he warms up to her when they connect over the computer game he’s developing. Now if only Andrew would notice…

But the closer Cameron gets to Brendan, the more she sees he appreciates her personality—honesty and all—and wonders if she’s compromising who she is for the guy she doesn’t even want.

Luckily, there was another YA contemporary right after Spin that I loved as well. If I'm Being Honest was a highly anticipated release. I felt very connected to the character because it felt very much like me (although I'm not this brutally honest). It also had a character who was not so great learn and grow from their mistakes. One of my favorite books, Before I Fall, did the same thing. If I'm Being Honest wasn't perfect but it gave me hope for YA. I was really not feeling YA anymore if you can tell.

First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a "haunting"; Theodora, the lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

Since I enjoyed We Have Always Lived in the Castle I thought why not read The Haunting of Hill House? I was entranced! I made the idiotic decision to finish the story at night. The lights flickered. It was pitch black everywhere but my room. My heart was racing. What a mistake. Jackson's writing cemented itself in my mind as something I knew I needed to read more of. I want to read all of her books and short stories now. Her stories are told so beautifully. The atmosphere surrounding the story was perfect. There was a moment in this story that I wish I knew what they were running from but also I am terrified with finding out what it was. Fantastic story. Probably my number one favorite of the year.

Millie Quint is devastated when she discovers that her sort-of-best friend/sort-of-girlfriend has been kissing someone else. And because Millie cannot stand the thought of confronting her ex every day, she decides to apply for scholarships to boarding schools . . . the farther from Houston the better.

Millie can't believe her luck when she's accepted into one of the world's most exclusive schools, located in the rolling highlands of Scotland. Everything about Scotland is different: the country is misty and green; the school is gorgeous, and the students think Americans are cute.

The only problem: Mille's roommate Flora is a total princess.

She's also an actual princess. Of Scotland.

At first, the girls can barely stand each other--Flora is both high-class and high-key--but before Millie knows it, she has another sort-of-best-friend/sort-of-girlfriend. Even though Princess Flora could be a new chapter in her love life, Millie knows the chances of happily ever afters are slim . . . after all, real life isn't a fairy tale . . . or is it?

Her Royal Highness was the absolute cutest, fluffiest, romance I could have ever hoped for. It was pretty much perfect. It was exactly what I wanted in a romance. I kind of would love to read it again very soon. I read the first book in the series, Royals, recently and it's not as good. I'm hoping there is a third book going to be announced this year.

This fourth entry and prequel tells the story of Lundy, a very serious young girl who would rather study and dream than become a respectable housewife and live up to the expectations of the world around her. As well she should.

When she finds a doorway to a world founded on logic and reason, riddles and lies, she thinks she's found her paradise. Alas, everything costs at the goblin market, and when her time there is drawing to a close, she makes the kind of bargain that never plays out well.

I've got to say, the second and third book in the Wayward Children series weren't that great. I was really disappointed with the third book in the series particularly. The message of the story was increasingly thrown in my face as the series progressed. I wanted showing, not telling. In An Absent Dream made me excited about this series again. Lundy was someone I didn't really care about but I found her fascinating afterwards. This was possibly better than the first book. I think I connected to Lundy so easily at first because she was a reader. Then she went into this world of rules and I kind of think that world would be one I would get sucked into. I understood this world. It could be dark as anything but that's what made it fascinating. Here's hoping the next one is good too. Although, I didn't like Jack and Jill's story with the second book.

In a world where everyone takes wonders like magic spells and dragons for granted, Coco is a girl with a simple dream: She wants to be a witch. But everybody knows magicians are born, not made, and Coco was not born with a gift for magic. Resigned to her un-magical life, Coco is about to give up on her dream to become a witch…until the day she meets Qifrey, a mysterious, traveling magician. After secretly seeing Qifrey perform magic in a way she’s never seen before, Coco soon learns what everybody “knows” might not be the truth, and discovers that her magical dream may not be as far away as it may seem…

I was shocked with how beautiful the artwork and how perfectly I could see Witch Hat Atelier as an anime. I could tell that this would be an amazing read when looking at previews and I was right. Such a great start to a series. A very interesting magic system. I even asked for this for Christmas and got it. I'm contemplating buying the rest of the series as it comes out and I don't but manga. I don't like how manga can go on for forty plus volumes but I'm willing to buy them if they are going to be this good. Thankfully my library should suffice for now. If you like manga, you should check Witch Hat Atelier out. 

I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin.

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.

But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…

And then came Red Sister. Wow, this book blew me out of the water. I am so happy I gave this book a shot. It's made me want to read more adult Fantasy. I love this series called Final Fantasy since I was a kid and these types of books with wars, fighting, and multiple interesting characters makes me think of them. I loved Nona. She was the best. I have a soft spot for fighters like her.

With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.

I listened to With the Fire On High and it elevated what a narrator should sound like in the rest of my audiobook picks. The narrator was the author herself and she did a fantastic job. This is a story featuring a Afro-Latina who is a teen mom who loves to cook. I loved Emoni because she was all about her daughter. She showed how you take up your responsibility and do right by your kids even if you had them young. The food and her cooking course just made all of this better as a lover of all things food in books. If you are hesitating on whether to read this book or not, don't. It's good, trust me.

I'm not going to post the summary of this book since it's the third in the series. Yes, I finished the Book of the Ancestor series. The first book, Red Sister, was fantastic and I loved the finale, Holy Sister, as well. Honestly, there were a lot of elements in the series that I just could not understand but I still really enjoyed where Nona's story took me. I cried my eyes out. I loved the slow pacing. I loved Nona, of course. The story took me places I was expecting which is always a treat. This had a great conclusion. The spin off series can't come sooner. Holy Sister was my last book of the year and it ended off my year strong as a five star read. I highly recommend this fantasy series. Come on, who wouldn't like a fantasy with assassin nuns?

Have you read any books off this list?
What were some of your favorite books of the year?


  1. I don't know any of these books. Wishing you a wonderful year of reading ahead!


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