It is now officially 2020, which means that not only are we in a new year, but also a new decade ready for the taking. But before we start to tackle this year and our resolutions, both bookish and not, we need to look back at the previous reading year and round it off in the same way I do every year with this end of survey created by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner. I always enjoy taking a good look at all the books I read in the past year through this tag, and so I’m really happy to be doing it for the third year in a row.
However, this year I have done things slightly differently, as I am only going to be answering the questions relating to the books I read in 2019, not the ones referring to my blogging life or my goals for 2020. This is for a multitude of reasons, but mostly because I tend to always do posts about my goals for 2020 and the books I want to read myself, and so I would rather just leave all of that stuff for that separate post rather than make this post insanely long.
So here is my end of year survey for 2019!
Number Of Books You Read: 40
Number of Re-Reads: 1
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy (19 books in total)
As is the case every year, it was insanely hard to just pick one best book for 2019. But in the end, I just couldn’t not give it to Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater, which also happened to be my most anticipated release of the year. It was beautifully written, included so many complex and intriguing characters and wove together a detailed plot that I can not wait to see continue.
I was so excited to read The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke, but unfortunately this book fell completely short of my expectations. The story just wasn’t as interesting as I thought it would be, and whilst the world did seem like something I would like to know more about, ultimately the plot itself just feel too short for me to truly enjoy this one.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston surprised me in the best possible way by becoming one of my favourite books of the year and one of my favourite romances after I picked it up very spontaneously. This book just took both me and the book community by storm this year, and for good reason as it was a beautifully cute romance that I will continue to recommend to anyone interested.
Other than recommending book online, the only book I actually pushed people to read was The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, as I have a few family members and friends that really like sci-fi so I couldn’t not tell them about this gorgeously written one.
I started alot of great series this year, but the Shadow Game series has to be my favourite as I was introduced to the captivating yet deadly world of the City of Sin in Ace of Shades. This book captivated me from the very start, so its not surprising that as of writing this post I am currently in the middle of King of Fools because I couldn’t wait any longer to continue this series!
A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir somehow upped the stakes of this series even further and re-ignited my love for everything about this fantasy from the splendidly written characters to the gorgeously rich world and politics.
After nearly deciding to just leave this series unfinished, Always & Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han instantly put that thought to rest as it reminded me why I enjoyed these books and the wholesome, comforting feeling they gave me whilst reading. The moment I started this final book my heart just warmed and placed a smile firmly on my face until the very last sentence.
Seeing as Amanda Foody has become one of my favourite authors this past year, she is definitely my favourite author I discovered in 2019. I just adore her writing and her ability to create such rich and intriguing fantasy worlds and stories, and I can not wait to read so much more from her.
Last year there were so many books that I loved from genres that tend to be outside of my comfort zone, but if I had to pick a favourite it would have to be If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio. This book was dark and gorgeously written with superbly complex characters, and so I am very happy that I stepped out of my usual reading habits to give this one a go.
A Darker Shade of Magic was definitely a book that I could not put down, as just when things looked to be slowing down slightly something else would crop up to throw a spanner in the works. I was just constantly needing to know what could possibly happen next to Kell and Lila, and I hope that the action doesn’t stop in the sequel.
I feel like so much happened in The Devouring Grey by Christine Lynn Herman that I may have to reread it before Deck of Omens to make sure that I don’t miss anything in the sequel. Not that I’m complaining as this was one of my favourite books of 2019, and so one I would definitely love to relive and return to!
Not only was Call Down the Hawk gorgeous on the inside, but it also had my favourite cover of the year, which gives me another reason to constantly gush over this one.
Eleanor Oliphant was by far the most memorable character of the year, both because of her unique personality and her growth throughout this book. She just had such a unique personality that whilst unlikable at first slowly grew to be more and more likable as we got to understand her character and her story, and so I don’t think there was anything about her that was not insanely memorable.
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman made me realise just why so many people love Neil Gaiman’s books, as from the very start this story made me feel super nostalgic for old fairy-tales and childhood stories just from the way that it was written. It just felt so reminiscent of old myths and fantasy stories despite being an entirely new story for me, and so I am now super curious to see if Neil Gaiman’s other books have this same quality about them.
I have to say Dear Martin by Nic Stone for this one for a multitude of reasons. Not only was the story itself a very harrowing and eye-opening one, but the discussions I had about the book through my book club were also ones that really made me think alot deeper about this story and the issues it raised.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab has been on my shelf for so long now that it is almost a crime that it took until 2019 for me to finally pick it up and read it. This book was action-packed and had such an interesting and unique world and magic system that I will definitely not be waiting to continue on with this series.
Sometimes we’re not who we want to be because we’re supposed to be something else – Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
At 210 pages long, Dear Martin by Nic Stone was the shortest book I read this year. In contrast, the longest book I read, or rather listened to, last year was The Diviners by Libba Bray which has a total of 578 pages. For the longest book, this one actually wasn’t anywhere near as big as some of the other books I’ve had in this spot in previous years, and similarly I usually have much shorter books than Dear Martin as my shortest ones of the year.
Finally a thriller that I actually thoroughly enjoyed, Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus definitely shocked me both with its reveal and with its beautifully woven plot whose twists I never saw coming. This book perfectly utilized its small town setting to create a creepy mystery that had me suspecting every single character we were introduced to bar the actually culprit, and kept surprising me right up till the very last page.
How could I pick anyone other than my loves Alex & Henry from Red, White and Royal Blue who stole my heart from the very first moment Alex discussed his hatred for Henry. These two also continue my trend of gay couples being my OTP’s of the year, which is something that is completely unintentional but at least means that I am reading some amazing diverse reads, something I hope to continue in 2020.
Delia and Josie’s friendship in Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee was such an important aspect of this story and one that I absolutely adored reading about as they struggled with the idea of moving away and leaving each other behind. This also proves just how good Jeff Zentner is at writing beautiful friendships!
The only book that I could really choose for this one is Call Down the Hawk, as not only was it my favourite book of 2019 but it was also from one of my all time favourite authors. Maggie Stiefvater somehow managed to not only beat, but also exceed my extremely high expectations for this one, whilst also reminding me just why she is one of my favourite authors.
After Cait @ Paper Fury raved about The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner, I decided to pick it up and give it a go for myself, something which I am so glad I did even if this book did break my heart. I don’t think I ever would have read this one had it not been so highly recommended and talked about, which is another reason why I love the online book community for letting me know about books I otherwise would have been oblivious to.
Levi from Ace of Shades stole my heart as soon as we were introduced to him, and continued to make me fall even more in love with him as the story progressed. He is just such an interesting and complicated character who wants to both protect his gang and is willing to risk it, and I can not wait to see more of him in King of Fools.
I am still slightly in shock that Red, White & Royal Blue was Casey McQuiston’s debut novel because of just how good this one was. It was funny yet heartbreaking and had one of the best hate-to-love romances I’ve read in a long time, and so I will definitely be checking out Casey McQuiston’s sophomore novel whenever it is published.
The amount of thought and detail that was put into creating the world of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, with this universe so vivid and well built that it almost seems impossible that it is not real. We are introduced to so many different species and worlds that are each so unique and interesting that I can not wait to learn more about them all.
A cute little contemporary is exactly what I turn to when I want a fun book that will just warm my heart, and When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon certainly met that need. It was one that I could always turn to to put a smile on my face and so I can definitely see myself returning to Sandhya Menon to do the same in 2020.
Eliza & her Monsters by Francesca Zappia touched my heart in so many different ways, and so Eliza’s story and struggle with anxiety and depression was definitely one that made me cry in 2019. This book was just so beautiful yet heartbreaking and so its not surprising that it made me very emotional whilst reading it.
I feel like so many people talked about The Devouring Grey by Christine Lynn Herman before it was released, but then as soon as it was I didn’t hear even half of much about it. So whilst this one certainly wasn’t completely under everyone’s radar, I still think it didn’t get half as much praise as it deserves as it was one of my favourite books of the year and so was definitely a gem in my eyes.
No book in 2019 truly crushed my soul like The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner did. This story of three friends each facing their own struggles surrounding family and growing up truly pulled at my heart strings as it made me care so deeply for these characters, and so I would definitely recommend having a pack of tissues on hand when reading this one.
Not only was Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuval written in a super unique format of documents and interviews, but it was also just such an interesting story unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It was sci-fi that also scared me and was action packed and was just a combination of so many different things that I find it super hard to explain this story or put it into words, which is always a sign of a very unique read.
Despite being one of my most anticipated release for 2018, when I finally did get around to reading All of This is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor it unfortunately made me very mad in the worst way. I can’t even remember all of the things that annoyed me about this book because I just blocked it out of my mind, but what I do know is that I was definitely not a fan of this book in the slightest.
How was your 2019 reading year? What were some of your favourite books from the past year?