It’s that time of year again! I always have fun blogging my favorite reads of 2019 and this year I set a goal to read 70 books. Toward the end of the year, I struggled to complete it because we moved, my cat died and life got super busy with a new position at work. However, I managed to complete my goal just in the nick of time!
Here are some of my very favorites published in 2019. Have you read any of them? Let me know what you think and tell me about some I may have missed!
The Chain by Adrian McKinty
Imagine getting a call that your daughter has been kidnapped and the only way for you to get her back is to pay a ransom, then kidnap someone else’s child. You can’t go to the police, target the children of law enforcement or politicians and if you don’t complete your assignment within twenty-four hours, your child is dead.
So begins The Chain, an elaborate kidnapping ring that’s been going on for years.
Twists and turns abound in this thriller and what’s even more terrifying is how realistic the plot can be. The story moves very quickly and you will have a hard time putting this one down!
The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda
Every summer, Sadie vacations with her family in the town of town of Littleport, Maine, spending most of her time with her best friend Avery who lives in the town year round. The girls are inseparable, but one summer, Avery is found dead.
The police rule it a suicide, but Sadie isn’t so sure. And some of the townspeople act like she’s to blame, casting suspicious glaces in her direction whenever she’s in town.
So Sadie sets out to figure out what exactly happened to her friend, to both clear her name and put her friend to rest.
The Last House Guest is another page turner from author Megan Miranda. The ending wasn’t easy to figure out, which is always a plus when it comes to mysteries!
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This book is phenomenal. If you love music, especially 70s style rock, you will be in heaven when you read Daisy Jones & The Six. The format is written in oral history style, which took a few chapters to get used to, but once you have that down, you’ll be riveted by the story of a band’s rise to fame, then subsequent fall from stardom during the 70s.
Is it based on a true story? Possibly. It definitely feels like maybe Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac are the inspiration behind this fictional account, but who really knows. I’ve also heard the audio is exceptional, so if you enjoy listening to audio books, give it a shot in that format and let me know what you think.
Recursion by Blake Crouch
Helena Smith’s mother is suffering from Alzheimer’s and she wants nothing more than to bring back her mother’s precious memories. So she begins experimenting with a new technology that will preserve special moments in life while also allowing them to relive learning to drive, getting married, the birth of their children or the last few moments with a loved one who is about to pass over into the afterlife.
Blake Crouch remains one of the best science fiction authors out there and this follow up to Dark Matter is stellar. Earlier this year, I wrote a more in depth review of Recursion, so be sure to check it out.
Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly
Take everything you know about the ugly stepsisters in Cinderella and toss it in the trash! This story about Isabelle, the step sister who cut off her toes so the glass slipper would fit, is brilliant.
Her whole life, Isabelle has wanted to be like Cinderella and it’s left her wanting. So she sets out on her own adventure, thwarting evil plans for the kingdom and redeeming herself in this fractured fairy tale.
I couldn’t put Stepsister down and you won’t be able to either.
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
This was just as good as “The Hate U Give.”
I really enjoyed the plot and plight of the main character, Bri, as she deals with the struggles of the inner city and trying to make it as a teenage rap star. The rap battles reminded me a lot of the movies “8 Mile” or “Patti Cake$,” and I liked the subtle connection to T.H.U.G. It’s pretty awesome that Thomas wrote the rap songs/lyrics herself instead of having someone else do it.
Thomas is a wonderful new voice in YA fiction and I’m really excited to see where she takes us in future novels.
The Grace Year by Kim Liggett
During their sixteenth year, the young women of Garner County are banished to the wilderness. They’re thought to possess a magic power as they’re coming into adulthood that affects both men and women, so they’re sent out into the woods to overcome the magic and return on their seventeenth birthdays pure and ready for marriage.
Not many make it back home – there are poachers out in the wild, ready to kill them and sell their bodies on the black market. They also turn against each other.
Tierney James wants to change all that, but surviving her grace year and starting a revolution in her society will come with great costs.
The Grace Year is a mix of The Handmaid’s Tale and a female version of Lord of the Flies. At times it can be brutal, but it’s an excellent story that leaves you with an uneasy feeling. Definitely recommended for fans of dystopian with a feminist edge.
The Starless Sea by Erin Morganstern
Zachary Ezra Rawlins stumbles upon an ancient book hidden deep within the library’s stacks and as he’s reading the enchanting story, he discovers he’s a character in the book. Stunned that a story from his childhood exists within the pages of a book, Zachary sets out to find out how and why he became part of the story.
The clues – a bee, a key and a sword, lead him to a secrect society and masquerade party held deep in an underground library and readers are treated to an adventure like no other.
Erin Morganstern, who is best known for her debut novel, The Night Circus, returns in this highly anticipated sophomore novel. It’s masterfully written and honestly, there’s no one else this good out there at the moment. I hope it won’t take her another eight years in between novels, but if all the rest of her books are as good as The Starless Sea and The Night Circus, they will certainly be worth the wait.
Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi
Book two in the spectacular series that kicked off in 2018 with Children of Blood and Bone. Zélie and Amari struggle to unite the kingdom of Orisha as Amari tries to assume her spot on the throne. Her mother and brother have other plans though, and with the return of magic to the land, the maji find that the opposing side also has access to those powers and are using it against them.
Children of Virtue and Vengeance is a non-stop thrill ride that leaves you wanting book three immediately. There’s romance, action and fantasy and Adeyemi remains one of the top writers in the young adult fantasy sphere. If you haven’t read this series yet, what are you waiting for??