Hi everyone! So, as you’ve probably already guessed we’re going to be talking about my 14 favorite books of 2019 today! I wanted to have this post up in the beginning of January but then I had a bunch of other posts to upload and… here we are. But better late than never, right?
Last year, I separated my young adult contemporary, young adult SFF and middle grade favorites posts because there were just too many books to talk about but this year that’s sadly not the case. I’m not sure whether I just read less, whether my standards for books have become higher or whether I read more meh books, but while I did read a lot of books I really really enjoyed I don’t think I’ve found any books that, when I think back to them, fill me with the same joy that I had about my favorite books in 2018, which makes me a little sad. (I later wrote a whole post about it and actually found out why but I don’t know what to write here otherwise so we’re just leaving it like this.)
So, let’s just get into it and let me tell you about my favorite books of 2019!
All the Ways Home by Elsie Chapman is a book that I rated about 4 stars when I first read it, but I still can’t stop thinking about it. This was such a wonderful story about grief, a boy exploring his parent’s home county Japan for the first time and family. I loved this one, and I hope to reread it soon.
Other Words For Home by Jasmine Warga was such an incredibly touching, beautifully written novel. I loved it from start to finish and I think my Goodreads review says it all: “I guess dinner tonight will be seasoned with my tears”.
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart is a book I picked up on a whim not really knowing anything about it, but I ended up being blown away by it. This is a story that explores family, connections, grief, and running away and it’s so incredibly beautiful.
Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai was a book I picked up because it was a recommendation from CW so I knew it was going to be good, but I didn’t realize just how good it’d be. Pie in the Sky follows two brothers and their mom who move from from China to Australia, and it explores them trying to navigate this world where they don’t understand anything that’s being said (which is explained so very well through gorgeous illustrations), and working through the grief of losing a parent by secretly baking cakes.
Some Places More Than Others by Renée Watson was the second Renée Watson I’ve ever read, and she’s such a phenomenal writer. I underlined a ton of sentences in this book because they were so beautiful, and this was that kind of book that you’d hug to your chest after reading it because you just want to stay close to this story and its characters a little longer (sadly I was reading the e-arc so it wasn’t possible for me.)
Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills is a book that I read for my “best friend pick my TBR” challenge, and it’s easily the most fun YA contemporary I’ve read this year. This book was so cute and made me incredibly happy, and I just want to thank Fadwa for making me read this one.
Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough is one I read very recently and, while it took me a little while to get into, I ended up adoring it. Blood Water Paint tells the story of the Atemisia, a painter in Rome 1610, and the aftermath of rape and it was so incredibly well done and perfectly balanced the tenderness of the relationship between a mother and child in flashbacks, and the absolute fierceness of the stories the mother tells her child. It was just incredible.
With The Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo is a book probably no one is surprised to see on this list. I’m a huge fan of Elizabeth Acevedo’s work and she once again made me fall in love with these characters, the story and her writing, and I cannot wait to reread this over and over and over again. Especially the cooking scenes, because those were *chef’s kiss*. Pun intended.
Rogue Heart by Axie Oh is a book I’m surprised to see on this list myself because I didn’t enjoy the first book in this duology, Rebel Seoul, much. However, this book was so much better and for the first time in a while I felt completely invested in an SFF book. You can read my full review here.
Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali was such an incredible book. It tells the story of a girl fighting islamophobia and a boy struggling with his MS diagnosis, and how they fall in love, and I just loved every single thing about it and want to push it on every single person ever.
The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells was a series I picked up on a whim because they sounded very interesting (and queer) but since they’re adult sci-fi I didn’t expect to love them so much but I did. I really, really loved them and ended up marathon reading every single novella, and I can’t wait to read the full length novel that comes out next year.
Red White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston was just so much fun. I feel like with a lot of books that try to be funny it just seems like the author is trying a bit too hard and the book isn’t actually funny, but Casey McQuiston got it so right. I laughed out loud multiple times while reading this, while I normally don’t go past snorting over a book, and I just know this is a book I’ll return to when I’m feeling low because it can cheer me right up.
The Reluctant Royals by Alyssa Cole – after reading the first book in this series (A Princess in Theory) last year and loving it, I decided to continue this series and ended up reading everything there is to read in this series, the two novels and the two novellas, and loving all of them. With You Can’t Escape Love being my favorite, because it’s so delightfully nerdy. If you want to dip your toes into the romance genre this would be a great place to start, because this series is so fun and swoon-worthy and just so, so good.
On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden is a graphic novel I read in its original form; a webcomic. I had heard quite a few things about it and I was very intrigued, so when I started reading it I couldn’t stop myself until I finished it and my eyes were hurting from staring at my screen for too long. I loved the characters, the world, the (f/f!!) relationship, the art… everything about it is gorgeous and I’m so glad I read it.
So, those were my favorite books of 2019. Have you read any of these books? And if you did, would you consider them as favorites too?