Thursday, January 2, 2020

Best Book of 2019 Pt. II -- 2019 Releases!

Now that we've covered my top backlist titles and 2019 debuts, we can finally move onto my favorite 2019 releases! There were so many to choose from, but there were definitely a select number that really stood out to me. As with my previous 'best books' post, I decided to highlight a couple titles that particularly meant a lot to me. Without further ado, let's jump in!

The Wolf in the WhaleDarkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle, #3)The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy, #3)This Tender LandWanderers

1. The Wolf in the Whale by Jordanna Max Brodsky: I don't usually have a single favorite book each year, but if I had to pick it was unquestionably be The Wolf in the Whale. It's beautiful, unforgettable, and one of the best stories I've read all year (or even years). (Review)

2. Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff: Although there seems to be some controversy over whether this was a good or bad finale, I loved it. The ending had some issues that weren't my favorite and I don't love the pairing that ended up surviving, but despite that everything else was utterly riveting and beautifully written and I just wish I could bask in this book and world forever. Kristoff's writing in the Nevernight series has been some of my favorite--ever--and I'm so sad that this book marked the end of this one. But it'll always be there for re-reads!

3. The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden: A perfect ending to a perfectly magical trilogy. Arden's prose in incomparable and she paints such a vivid story with incredible characters and a fairy tale atmosphere that I just can't get enough of. I almost don't know what else to say about this book, save that it was one of the best endings to a trilogy (the other ending to a trilogy I loved is also in this favorites list) and I will never stop loving this trilogy. (Review)

4. This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger: This was probably my favorite unexpected read of the year. I knew nothing about this book when it showed up on my radar, but I decided to pick it up and it was one of my best decisions. This is a really beautiful and heartbreaking tale of four orphans on an unpredictable and dangerous odyssey towards what they hope is a better life. I can't recommend this book enough to anyone! (Review)

5. Wanderers by Chuck Wendig: I was blown away by the sheer scope of this novel and am still pretty much in awe of it. I loved how Wendig explored a lot of different themes that are really core to our issues and values in society all while still telling a story that was impossible to put down. This book is a hefty one at about eight hundred pages, but I promise it's worth every page--I ended up finishing this one while on vacation this year because I just couldn't stand not knowing what would happen at the end! (Review)

The Unbound EmpireSpit and Song (Ustlian Tales #2)The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War, #2)The Hod King (The Books of Babel, #3)
Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7)Jade War (The Green Bone Saga, #2)

6. The Unbound Empire by Melissa Caruso: If you haven't read the Sword and Fire series yet, you need to! It's unbelievably good and so underrated. The Unbound Empire is the final book in the series and it was one of the most satisfying and perfect endings I've read. (Review)

7. Spit and Song by Travis M. Riddle: Riddle's Balam, Spring made my list last year and now Spit and Song is on it for this year, which I think is a great tradition. Spit and Song is one of those that was just so much fun that I can't help but think back on it with so much fondness and positivity. The story was great, the characters were relatable and incredibly well developed, and the writing was engaging and entirely readable. (Review)

8. The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang: This is a bit of a 'sleeper' favorite for me and I almost didn't even put it on this list because, to be honest, I sort of tend to forget I read it this year? I'm not sure why, but this book was such a ride! It was very different from The Poppy War, but just as intense, unpredictable, and compelling. (Review)

9. The Hod King by Josiah Bancroft: Bancroft is such a unique and imaginative voice in the fantasy genre and I have loved reading his Books of Babel series. I didn't love the second books much, but with The Hod King I once again fell in love and I was blown away with how wild Bancroft's imagination must be. There's really something special about Senlin and his journey up the Tower. This series is continuing strong and I'm so anxious for the next book to arrive next year in 2021! (Review

10. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas: Whether you love S.J. Maas or hate her (the arguments about her are so old these days, let's just enjoy whoever we want), I can't deny that I found this final installment of the Throne of Glass series to be truly an incredible book. I think it's pretty mixed among people, but I loved it and thought it was so entertaining, exciting, and one of her best books yet. It's quite literally unrecognizable from the first book in the best ways possible and for being a nine hundred+ page book, I wasn't bored for a single page--and I think that says something.

11. Jade War by Fonda Lee: I didn't realize how much I would fall back in love with this intense, cutthroat world created by Fonda Lee. I love all of the politics and incredibly nuanced roles of the characters and the intricacies of the world involved in this story. This is such a fantastic series so far and Jade War really stood out to me as strongly written novel that I keep seeming to come back to. (Review)

Have you read any of these? What were some of your favorite 2019 releases!?


  1. I'm so happy to see Wanderers on this list, I loved it as well. And you've reminded me I need to start Fonda Lee's series😁

  2. AWESOME list! I hope you find many top reads in 2020! :)