I read so many great books this year, and I cannot wait to share this list! I read 88 books in 2019, and it was so hard to narrow down my 12 favorites! I decided to do this list after my least favorites list to end the year on a positive note! I hope you enjoy!!
12. Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
I had to include this book, as it meant the world to me. I loved Ramona so much – from her dedication to her family to her love for her friends. I also loved the fact that this book is about her questioning her sexuality, but the author did it in a way in which she is never valued less by other characters because of it. I really adored Ramona, her family, her friends, and her romance!
11. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
This is the dark historical fantasy I have always needed! I adored literally everything about this book. The magic was super dark, there was just a subtle hint at a romance, and the girls in this book are fierce and strong. Gemma, the main character, is super complex emotionally and super resilient. I love her!
10. The Wicked King by Holly Black
I didn’t get to The Queen of Nothing this year, so this is my only Holly Black book on this list! Unfortunately, I loved it but not as much as The Cruel Prince, which was (I’m pretty sure) my third favorite book of 2018. This one was definitely not even close to as amazing as the first one, but it was still amazing. All I will say is that the plot twists in this book literally gave me chills.
9. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
I know it was a good reading year when a book as good as this one is this high up on my list. I loved everything about it. Reid and Lou had one of the best enemies to lovers romance I have ever read, the world-building was incredibly interestingly done, and there was not one boring moment in this book. This witchy book did not let me down.
8. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
This book was amazing. A Court of Thorns and Roses is like my third favorite series ever, and Throne of Glass could never hold a place in my heart like ACOTAR does, but I still loved it. Celeana has been a character I have been dying to read about for years, and she did not disappoint me. This book was just as cheesy and love-triangle-y as I hoped it would be!
7. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Speaking of cheesy, this book is next level. I loved every single second of reading this book. The weird romance between Rose and Dmitri, the high school drama, the I’m-not-like-other-girls thrown in there! I love older, cheesy YA books, and this one is the epitome of those! I genuinely love this book with all of my heart.
6. Again, but Better by Christine Riccio
I never would have imagined that this book would be on this list. I bought it purely to support Christine, who I have watched for many years. It didn’t really seem down my alley, as I am not usually a fan of pure contemporary romance. This book shocked me in the best possible way. I will always cherish my signed copy of this book because I adored this story. The romance was great, the main character was hilarious, and the time travel-y bit thrown into the story was so much fun!
5. We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
I have talked about this book since I read it in May. What a fantasy! There is political intrigue, forbidden romance, incredibly well-placed plot twists, an intricate world, and so much pining! The characters all have so much dimension that they really feel like real people. It is so good.
4. The How & the Why by Cynthia Hand
This is a book about a girl who is searching for her birth mother who gave her up for adoption after getting pregnant as a high school student. I cried during this entire book. It is told both as a normal story and in letters. The letters are what set this book apart. They are so emotional that I would have tears streaming down my face trying to read them. I loved both the girl who gave the main character up for adoption and the main character. They were just teenage girls trying to live their lives in the best way that the could, and I was rooting for them the entire book.
3. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
This book is always going to have a special place in my heart as the first adult book I have ever read for pleasure. It was very, very narrowly beat on this list by the two Cassandra Clare books that came out this year (shocking, I know), but it will always be one of my favorite books I have ever read. The main character, Alex, is a total badass morally gray character, and I adored her. My favorite ship of the year comes from the book. There is a small part of this book basically told in flashbacks that tells the story of a broken romance and it is by far the best romance I have read this year. This is the spooky book of my dreams.
2. The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare
As some know, Alec Lightwood has been my favorite character in fiction since I read City of Bones over five years ago, so it is shocking that this was not my favorite book of the year. I obviously adored it, though. There were so many queer characters in this book, which made me so happy! The plot was so fun and easy to follow, which was another aspect I loved. All in all, this book was fun, romantic, and only grew my love of Alec and of Magnus.
1. Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare
In the five years since I read The Infernal Devices, I have never understood why people love Tessa, Jem, and Will so much. I liked them but loved the side characters (Gideon, Sophie, Cecily, Gabriel, Henry, Charlotte, etc.) so much more. I still love the side characters more, but I understand the love of Jem. I still don’t love Will that much, but that is beside the point. This book made me cry in public. A book really has to move me to do that. Jem is one of the sweetest, kindest male characters I have ever read about. One thing I commend Cassie so much for is her male relationships. She writes male characters who are not afraid to express their platonic love for each other. Jem was such an interesting character to follow, seeing as how his life has been so complex. The story about Anna Lightwood made me cry at school, the story about Alec meeting Rafe made me cry at school, and the last story (about Kit) made me practically bawl at school. Every time I think about Jem telling Kit that Kit has no need to feel grateful for living with him and Tessa because he loves Kit, and he would not have it any other way, I get tears in my eyes. This book made me love Jem Carstairs more than I ever thought possible.
Thanks for reading! ❤