My Top 5 Reads from 2019

2019 wasn’t a great year for me, reading-wise. Not only did I not read many books, I also didn’t read very many books that I adored—except for rereads, of course.

For this list, though, I wanted to only talk about the books that I read for the first time in 2019—otherwise, this whole post would just be me talking about rereads. That made the list a lot harder to make, but after a lot of time staring at my Goodreads page and trying to make a decision, I finally came up with this.

So here it is: my top 5 favorite books from 2019, in order from least favorite (but still great, of course) to most favorite.

5. The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

This is a book that I read way back in the beginning of the year. At the time, I’d only read four books, three of which had been 3 stars. I was on the verge of a reading slump and I desperately wanted something that I would love. So, on a whim, I bought this book as an ebook, and I absolutely tore through it. Then I got the sequel (it’s a duology), and I tore through that, too.

It’s a historical fantasy duology set in Russia, where two enchanters are competing to become the tsar’s Imperial Enchanter. It had beautiful atmospheric writing that really brings the magic to life. We get to see the two enchanters use their powers in really creative ways in an attempt to outdo each other. It’s pretty romance-heavy, though, which usually isn’t my jam, but in this book, I was so fascinated by the characters and their dynamic that I didn’t mind it—and actually, I loved it. 

I will say that I didn’t love the second book as much as this first one, but it was still good and I’d definitely recommend the duology overall.

4. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

If I were doing bookish superlatives, this would probably be the book I picked for “most surprising,” because I honestly wasn’t expecting to love this book as much as I did. It took me a little while to get into the writing style because it’s a little more abstract than I’m used to, but once I got into it, I really got into it. It was completely a contemporary, real-world story, but the way it was written made it feel a little otherworldly, like magical realism or surrealism. Not only that, but the story of these two twins trying to find themselves and each other was just… beautiful. I loved the way it focused on family.

3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

I’m currently reading Harry Potter for the first time ever, and so far, this is my favorite one. I’d watched all the movies before, so I’m familiar with the story, which was maybe why, for me, the first three books in the series were good, but not great. This is the first one I gave a full five stars to. It was engaging and interesting, even though I already knew some of what happened thanks to the movies. I’m excited to see where the rest of the series goes.

2. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

It’s not often I say this, but I have to give Twitter the credit for pushing me to read this book. Specifically, I have to thank the Luminaries Twitter thread the author, Susan Dennard, started back in June. It was a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure thread that I, and a lot of other people got super into, and thanks to it, I decided I wanted to read more of her writing, in a more book-like format.

I’d heard of Truthwitch before, of course, and I’d been kind of interested in it, but it wasn’t until the Luminaries that I discovered I wanted to read it. And now I’m so glad I did. I loved Truthwitch, and I loved its sequel, Windwitch. I haven’t yet read the other two books, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to get to them soon, because I’m sure I will love them too.

1. Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

This book is by the same author duo that wrote the Illuminae Files, which is one of my favorite trilogies, so I went into this book pretty much knowing that I would love it—and I was not disappointed. This book made me emotional in ways none of the other books I read this year could match. It explores friendship and found family and has a pretty great team of misfits.

The second book in the series is supposed to come out in May, and I can’t wait to read it. This book was fantastic and opened up so many questions that I need to know where it goes next.


Those are my top 5 books from last year! Are any of them the same as yours? Let me know what your faves were down in the comments, and we can discuss!

Thanks for reading, everyone!
-Ariel

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