2019 Wrap-Up: My 5-Star Books (Part 1)

Hi guys! 🤗

Can you believe that it’s almost the end of 2019? I could swear it was February like two minutes ago, and I was arguing with myself over how much chocolate is too much to buy yourself for Valentine’s Day (“treat yo’ self” was still a thing 😂). Anyway, since time is a constant value that marches on, whether I agree with it or not, it’s time to take a look back at this year in books! I set a low-bar Goodreads challenge for myself this year, because between planning my wedding, work, and graduate school, I wasn’t sure how much time I’d have for reading. Luckily, I surpassed my goal of 25 books with 35! My 36th is in process, but it’s a reread of Harry Potter 1, so it won’t really have a place in this post anyway. Everyone knows that’s a 5-star read.

Instead of reviewing every book I read this year, I’m just going to take a look back at my favorites. I’ll be going through all the books I gave 5 stars through the year, starting with January and ending with my last 5-star book of the year! However, while writing this post I realized my list of books is looong. So this will be part 1 of 2. I’ll post the second half of my Best Books of 2019 in a couple days! If you’re interested in seeing all the books I read this year, head over to my Goodread’s page here. I’d love to be friends! 🥰

The Wicked King by Holly Black

This is the second book in Folk of the Air trilogy. I always love the way Holly writes the fae world. Her style is hauntingly poetic at times, a constant reminder that faerie worlds are often much more dangerous than fairy tales would have us believe. The main protagonist, Jude, is strong and independent but also flawed and believable. I couldn’t help rooting for her success over Carden, the cruel prince we met in the first book (even though I kinda love him). I highly recommend this series! It’s such a fast read and I didn’t want it to end.

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

I don’t normally read non-fiction or autobiographies. But I follow Anna on Twitter and she always seems so funny and down-to-earth. So when my local library had this audiobook available, I decided to give it a shot. Turns out, I loved it! It might have been partly due to it being read by Anna herself, but I loved the pace of the book, her reflections on silly life moments, the bits of humor and puns thrown in, and just learning more about this women I admire. It was a nice change of pace from my normal genres. I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to try an autobiography but is worried it might be boring. This certainly wasn’t.

Cage of Darkness and Cage of Destiny are the second and third books in a fantasy series by Jennifer Anne Davis. I read these on my Kindle after getting the first book for free through a Kindle deal. Then of course I had to buy the rest to see how the story ended. They totally got me. Anyway, these books were fabulous! I love finding lesser-known stories that end up becoming some of my favorites. These center around Allyssa, a princess raised to be the perfect queen of her kingdom. However, she’s never been sure she wanted to responsibility of leading a country. By night, she acts as a vigilante and makes a difference she can more easily see in her people’s lives. However, war is coming to her kingdom and she soon get entangled in assassination plots and schemes to avoid marrying a prince she doesn’t love. I loved that this wasn’t the typical princess story. Allyssa can definitely hold her own and I loved watching her character development!

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

First off, this title is pronounced “nosferatu”, which I’m embarrassed to admit I totally didn’t get by looking at it. I had to rely on my old pal Google because apparently, I suck at reading license plate language. Knowing the title makes the book make so much more sense though. 😂 I loved this book! It was imaginative and creepy and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys modern horror. Joe definitely inherited his father’s talent for giving his readers the creeps. Great Halloween read! Or you can read it in April, like I did for some reason. 😅

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

I don’t know why I waited so long to read this book! It was magical and wondrous. I’ve always been interested in Egypt and the myths of Djinn. This book was a beautiful mash-up of real and fictional worlds. It also had a lot of diverse characters, which I really appreciate. I still haven’t read the second book in the series, but it’s on my top TBR for the new year!

This Cruel Design by Emily Suvada

This is the second book in a series, the first being This Mortal Coil. It’s a really interesting (and honestly, very likely) take on a dystopian world. In this version, a virus has knocked out most of humanity. The survivors are separated into a new government and a resistance, and everyone utilizes technology to their advantage. Our heroine is Cat, and she’s just discovered some messed up things about her past. With the help of a random group of friends, she’ll try to prevent the spread of a new, possibly worse, issue while trying to determine if the villain is really all bad. Definitely kept me guessing!

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

I’m probably one of the last people to have read this book. My husband gave me his copy, after telling me it was his favorite book, 3 years ago when we were newly dating and I kept bugging him about his die-hard fav books (those things are important to book nerds). For some reason, I still didn’t feel up to reading it! The creation of the TV show from Amazon Prime finally pushed me to read it. I hate seeing a movie/show before reading the book (unless I have no intention of reading the book in the first place). Long story short, I adored this book. I loved the humor, the two main characters and their unlikely friendship, and the pokes at so many famous religious practices and beliefs. Gaiman and Pratchett are masters, and I’m so glad I finally stopped being so stubborn and gave this book a shot. It’s clever and heartwarming.

So that sums up the first half of my favorite books read in 2019! Do we have any in common? I’d love to hear what you read this year, and if you loved any of the same books that I did!

Thanks so much for reading!

Cheers! ☕️

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