Oh my gosh, this was an incredibly hard post to write!
I struggled so hard to cut this list down to 10 books — and it didn’t work. Then I tried to cut it down to 20 books — and it kinda worked? I originally had about 30 books on this list, decided that was way too many, and cut it down to 20 again — and decided to write up another post of books that almost made it to my top 20.
20 – 17
The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty
- The sequel to The City of Brass, where Nahri is trying to build her hospital in Daevabad and everyone else is trying to kill each other
- I would die for Alizayd al-Qahtani and if anyone says a bad word about him, you’re dead to me
- Literally the plot of this book is so wild and amazing, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time
- If Muntadhir and Jamshid don’t get together in the last book, I’ll riot
Heartsong by T.J. Klune
- The third book in the Green Creek series is definitely the saddest and most heartbreaking by far
- Robbie and Kelly are the cutest couple ever! They’re adorable together, even though the book was so angsty because they spend a bit of it apart
- Again, the best characters of this book were Carter and the Timberwolf WHO NOW HAS A NAME WHICH IS GAVIN
- Need the last book ASAP
The Electric Heir by Victoria Lee
- The final book in the Feverwake duology, which doesn’t come out until March 2020, but I got to read an ARC
- Literally mesmerising! This book will shock a lot of people because of a particular relationship that develops, but I thought it was handled with so much sensitivity
- TW: pedophilia, statutory rape, domestic abuse, generational trauma, violence
- Noam and Dara are so prefect, I adore them 😭
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
- I really didn’t expect to love this book but I’m so glad I did!
- A historical bildungsroman about a young woman from a small town who falls in love with a traveling singer girl who dresses like a boy, and follows her to London
- Plot sounds slow but it’s actually really fast! It’s basically a woman who explores her sexuality all over London
- Love all the horrible characters!
16 – 13
Proper English by K.J. Charles
- A historical murder mystery in a country home and two very different women come together to find the murderer and accidentally fall in love!
- The sweetest romance ever, Fen is a sweetheart and Pat is a badass. Literally the grumpy and sunshine trope in a nutshell
- The wlw and mlm solidarity we deserve
- Will literally read anything KJ writes
Crier’s War by Nina Varela
- This book was such a surprise! I knew I’d like it but didn’t expect to love it
- In a world where androids rule and humans are almost slaves, a girl tries and gets a position in the royal palace in order to kill the king’s android daughter
- THE ROMANCE IN THIS. BEAUTIFUL. STUNNING. EPIC.
- Where is the second book?
Any Old Diamonds by K.J. Charles
- Another book by KJ Charles on this list and it’s just as amazing as the other
- A young man hires two jewel thieves to steal his father’s wife’s expensive and famous jewellery set as revenge for allowing his sister to die, and he falls for one of the thieves
- The romance is a slow burn and so realistic! THE FLIRTING IS TOO MUCH!
- An unrepentant criminal is actually a soft but only for the love interest!
The Winter Quarters by Anna Veriani
- Literally the best friends to lovers I’ve ever read in my life. Making me rethink whether enemies to lovers is the superior trope (nah, it is, but FtL is a close second)
- Kai goes and stays at his best friend Hiro’s hot springs in Japan, and they realise all those unrequited feelings for each other aren’t so unrequited after all
- The romance was beautiful, the intimate scenes were hot, and the writing was amazing!
- Will read anything Anna Veriani writes
12 – 9
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
- This is one of the best middle grade books I’ve ever read, why didn’t I read it sooner?
- A girl is cursed by a witch to become elderly so she leaves her family and goes to find the wizard Howl, the only person she thinks might be able to break her spell
- SOPHIE AND HOWL ARE ADORABLE TOGETHER OMG
- Also Calcifer the demon is one of the best characters ever, no I don’t take criticism
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
- If you want to cry buckets, then read this book
- It’s about a young man with a low IQ who takes part in an experiment to increase his IQ, and he becomes a genius
- I was a bit worried that this book would be ableist, but it actually discussed the ways in which disabled people are treated by abled, and how abled people only respect them when they seem abled
- GUT-WRENCHING. You will definitely cry reading this
The Soldier’s Scoundrel by Cat Sebastian
- This book is so sweet, I got a tooth ache!
- A historical romance about a soldier who wants to find out why his sister hired a scoundrel, so he tags along when the scoundrel is hired by a young woman to find out who’s blackmailing her
- I’ve read this book three times this year because it’s just so good!
- The romance killed me! I am deceased! Oliver and Jack are a new OTP
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
- The atmospheric book of my heart
- Alex receives a scholarship to Yale and becomes part of the Ninth House, a secret society that makes sure the other secret societies don’t commit crimes, when she suspects one of the Houses committed a murder
- I will literally read anything Leigh Bardugo writes, especially if the main character is anything like Alex
- Darlington is an angel whom I love
8 – 5
How to Be a Normal Person by TJ Klune
- TJ is the only other author to have two books on this list, because he and KJ are amazing and deserve all the love
- Gus likes his world ordered: he does the same thing everyday and is definitely not lonely. But when an asexual stoner named Casey comes to town, he rocks Gus’ perfectly organised world
- Gus is potentially autistic but it’s never stated explicitly
- This book is so sweet and adorable and focuses so much on consent and how you don’t need sex to have a meaningful, romantic relationship
The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons
- DISASTER BI — that’s all you need to know about this book to read it
- But if you need more: Kihrin is the illegitimate son of a powerful royal family and is plucked from the streets and placed in the middle of a centuries-long war
- Demons, gods, soul magic, sassy immortal beings, gender and sexuality fluidity
- I would die for Galen D’Mon, my baby
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
- Literally the most unique book I’ve ever read in my life
- Set in the far, far future, the world is ending and three very different women traverse the earth and try to survive: one is trying to find her missing daughter; another is sent on a mission; and the last has been forced into a school to help her learn to control her powers
Docile by K.M. Szpara
- This book doesn’t come out until March 2020, but holy shit it is amazing
- A young man sells himself into sexual servitude to a trillionaire in order to get his family out of debt, which has now become inherited in this dystopian, near-future world
- So much discussion around consent, both in terms of sex and society
- K.M. Szpara will be an author to watch, I’m calling it now!
4 – 2
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
- Pretty sure this book is on everyone’s best of 2019 lists
- Alex, the son of the first female president of America, falls for Henry, the prince of Wales
- So romantic, so beautiful, so touching
- Another disaster bi
- My favourite parts of this book is the emails the two men send to each other where they quote famous historical queer people
The Binding by Bridget Collins
- Didn’t expect this book to be so amazing but it was! I cried so much throughout it!
- Emmett becomes an apprentice to a book binder in a world where horrible or traumatic memories are taken from people and bound into books
- There’s a bit of mystery to this book but also the most beautiful and tender romance ever!
- Love the world building, and I desperately want a sequel
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
- The best feminist fantasy book I’ve ever read in life!
- Ead, a warrior mage, watches over Queen Sabran who’s death is prophesied to raise a sleeping, apocalyptic dragon
- So many amazing queer characters and characters of colour! All of them are amazing and you will fall for them
- A f/f romance is at the centre of this book, with a side past m/m relationship
- Please write a sequel Shannon, I need to know how my girls are doing!
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
- The most amazingly written book I’ve ever read. I am in awe of Erin Morgenstern’s prose
- A young man named Zachary finds an old book with a scene of his life in it, and is swept up into a magical journey to find a mysterious underground library underneath the earth
- The best cover in the world, I’m making that statement!
- Such a unique storyline that makes no sense but also makes perfect sense
- I adore this and Morgenstern has become one of my favourite authors
What’s your favourite books of 2019? Have you read any of my favourites? Let me know!