It’s finally time to talk about all the books I loved and adored in 2019 and I’m already very very excited. These may not all be the ones I rated 5 stars and I may have even found some flaws in them, but they are all the books which I felt a deep connection to, have already reread (atleast some of them) and I would love to share them all with you. Because I have a huge list, I’m gonna divide based on my favorites for each month.
All of you already know how much love I have for Red, White and Royal Blue because I have been shouting about it for the past one year now, but I still can’t stop. My first favorite of 2019, it remained my top throughout the year because it’s that special.
I couldn’t believe I had waited so long to read The Song of Achilles because it’s such a well written and emotionally affecting read that I couldn’t forget it for a while. And as expected, it involved a lot of tears.
Watch Us Rise is a powerful YA contemporary with lots of commentary on white beauty standards, fatshaming, feminism and intersectionality. It had it’s issues especially regarding white feminism, but I really connected with all the other themes.
The Right Swipe is a super sexy romance featuring a powerful black woman CEO and a soft cinnamon roll ex-football player hero, while also talking about important issues like workplace sexual harassment and the longterm affects of CTE on football players. I loved Rhiannon so much as a character and can’t wait to see her again in the rest of the series.
Heated Rivalry is probably my favorite sports romance of the year and I can’t tell you enough how much I love Ilya and Shane as a couple. The development of their relationship over almost a decade is just brilliantly written and it is at times both sweet and sexy. The author said she would be writing a sequel for them soon and that sounds amazing.
The Huntress is a thrilling fictionalized story of the strength and resilience of women who fought in WWII and survived, and also those who fought years later to bring justice to the Holocaust victims, even when the world was ready to forget them all.
The worst part about Descendant of the Crane is the fact that we don’t know if it will ever get a sequel. This book has so many twists and turns and betrayals that I was on the edge of my seat for most of the time. What a debut.
I wasn’t even gonna read The Priory of the Orange Tree but once I started, I just couldn’t stop. It has an expansive world and mythology, an excellent cast of characters and a sapphic romance for the ages.
And one of my most anticipated releases of 2019, We Set the Dark on Fire is the most fiery and passionate romance of the year set in the backdrop of a revolution, and after that mind blowing cliffhanger ending, the sequel can’t come soon enough.
Good Talk is a book that left me feeling a lot of things and with many questions on my mind, because I just found it so relatable and relevant to my current life. Too real and heartfelt, maybe even painful at times, but nonetheless a very important read.
I would have never read Aru Shah and the End of Time if not for some cajoling by my dear friend Nandini, but thank god she did. Because, this book is just so much fun and the elements from the Mahabharata are perfectly captured.
Shadow of the Fox is the beginning of one of my favorite current YA fantasy series and it was such a delight to read. A sweet and lovely protagonist like Yumeko, a funny and unlikely ensemble cast and a quest full of adventures and monsters – what more could I have asked for.
The Candle and the Flame is what you would call a quiet fantasy, it doesnt have a lot of high stakes but reading it just gives an amazing feeling. And the setting of the fictional City of Noor is probably my favorite of the year. Such a charming and unforgettable debut.
A smiling fat brown girl on a cover – I was in love with There’s Something about Sweetie since the first time I saw it, and it will always have a special place in my heart.
I adore The Bone Witch trilogy but the finale The Shadow Glass is my favorite – this series has the best characters, beautiful relationships and an ending that blew my mind. A perfect trilogy…!!!
And now the perfect standalone of the year for me, Sorcery of Thorns. While I love the adorable romance and the ever mysterious demon Silas, the heart of this story is a love of books and I resonated with it very deeply. The climax fight is just perfection.
One Giant Leap is not great by any means, but it’s the sweetest romance I read last year and I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. And the setting of space travel and a delightful set of nerdy characters make for a charming story that will make you smile.
Hungry Hearts is an anthology that has all my heart – a beautiful amalgamation of food and culture and the importance of both in our lives, it’s a heartwarming read and definitely made me very hungry.
My top most anticipated release of 2019, A House of Rage and Sorrow was as explosive as I expected it to be and the roller coaster ride just amazed me. I think I raced through it in a couple of hours because I couldn’t put it down for even a second.
Jade City is a book that took it’s time but once it got a hold on me, it wouldn’t let go. I was tense through most of it and the twists and turns just killed me.
I don’t know what I was expecting from Govinda, but I didn’t expect it to just completely mesmerize me. What an imaginative retelling of my favorite epic. And hatsoff to the author for attempting this for her debut.
The Merciful Crow is definitely one of my favorite debuts of 2019, with it’s brilliant cast, fascinating world and magic system, an endearing romance and great commentary on class and oppression. I’m very eagerly waiting for The Faithless Hawk.
Three Parts Dead is a book that is pretty out of my comfort zone, but I just wanted to give it a try and it completely blew me away with the unique world building and magic system. I’m quite excited to continue with the rest of the series.
I feel like Steel Crow Saga is one of the most underrated fantasy novels of last year and it deserves so much more hype. It has an excellent ensemble of diverse characters, I loved how queernormative it was, the commentary on war and colonization is on point, and it wears it’s Asian inspiration on it’s sleeve. Love it so much.
Bringing Down the Duke was a delight to read and as someone who doesn’t know much about the suffragette movement in the UK, I loved the setting and getting to know more about the struggles the women faced who were fighting for their rights. And the romance is a lot of fun.
I never knew the whole story of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, so reading She Said which is about the investigation, the scope of it and the sheer number of courageous women who came forward to tell their stories, made me feel all kinds of things. This can be a very rage inducing read but also a very important one at the same time.
Probably one of my top favorite YA fantasies of the year, There Will Come a Darkness has excellent worldbuilding, another ensemble cast which I fell in love with and some amazing action sequences. I can’t wait to read the sequel.
Burn It Down is an anthology that really affected me, with it’s number of essays on women talking about their relationship with anger and how it has affected them during their life. I think this is a very important read and I know I will be going for it again and again.
Blowout is a fascinating read (and listen) about the Oil and Gas industry and it’s impact on global geopolitics, and I had so much fun listening to it narrated by Rachel herself. It’s very informational, can feel pretty bleak at times but still ends with a dash of hope.
While Catch and Kill is also mostly about the Harvey Weinstein investigation, it’s also a story about the intimidation tactics used by powerful people for covering up their crimes, and the lengths to which sexual harassment is covered up across major corporations. Hatsoff to Ronan for his work but also for his excellent writing style, because this one surely reads like a spy thriller.
I never thought a history book would make this list, but How to Hide an Empire is a brilliantly written book about the unknown (or deliberately misrepresented) history of the American empire which exists till today. I learnt a lot of things here and I think it should be required reading for everyone who want to know more about their country.
This is How You Lose the Time War literally has nothing going for me because it is completely out of my comfort zone, but I got lost inside the poetic beauty of this love story and had to try very hard not to cry in public. Such an imaginative book.
The Poppy War was a great debut and I really enjoyed it, but The Dragon Republic took the whole story to another level and I’m just glad that I decided to read this series. It’s absolutely brilliant and I can’t recommend it enough.
I saw Killers of the Flower Moon on a must read books of the decade list, and decided maybe I should give it a try. And what a riveting read this was. The writing itself is exceptional, but it’s the content that is almost disbelieving to read about, and I wish everyone in the country would get to know more about this bloody history of Oklahoma.
I was definitely motivated to read Blood of an Exile because of the presence of dragons, but this book turned out to be so much more. Almost two very different worlds in one, a highly unlikely group of characters coming together to form beautiful friendships and some excellent twists and turns – this became an instant favorite and I can’t wait to read Sorcery of a Queen.
A very unexpected read which wasn’t even on my radar, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories totally blew my mind with the author’s storytelling as well the very important themes he was able to talk about within just a few words.
Are any of these your favorites too? What are some of your favorite books from last year? Let me know all your thoughts or links in the comments below…