If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen these favorites before. That’s because I made a thread of my favorite reads of 2019 on there because I couldn’t find the will to actually write a blog post about it. For those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter, don’t wish to, or don’t have a Twitter account, here’s my list compiled in a blog post.
These are in no particular order! I couldn’t pick a favorite from these whatsoever. I adored all of these books for different reasons, and they all deserve an equal place in my list. Let’s get started.
The City of Brass (Daevabad #1) by S.A. Chakraborty
This fantasy novel brought back my love for the genre. It’s such an atmospheric and captivating read! I ended up binge-reading the book in only a few sittings simply because I didn’t want to put it down.
Here’s my description of this book on Twitter:
⭐ made me fall in love with fantasy novels all over again
⭐ couldn’t put this down, I was attached to it until it was done
⭐ gorgeous, atmospheric, fantastic
Fence volumes 1, 2 and 3 by C.S. Pacat
Did I read all three volumes in one go? Yes. Have I been desperate for the next volume ever since? YES. This is an adorable series about a boy who competes to join the fencing team at a private school so he can become the best and show the father who left him for a new family. It’s got adorable friendships and what I’m hoping will become an epic romance.
⭐ fantastic group of characters
⭐ boys fencing team and competitions
⭐ slow-burn romance
A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert
I’m so grateful to Destiny for putting this author on my radar, because I hadn’t enjoyed a romance book as much as I did this one in a long time. This restored my faith in the entire genre. Yes, it’s that good.
⭐ comic book/webcomic creator and Chris Evans (more or less…)
⭐ black, plus-sized, autistic main character
⭐ healthy relationships and communication, yes!!
Noteworthy by Riley Redgate
I can’t believe it took me so long to read Noteworthy because it might be one of my all-time favorite YA contemporaries. It’s about a girl who disguises as a guy to join the all-male a cappella group in her school because she can’t get the lead role in a musical as an Alto 2. There’s SO much to love about this book, and I’ll gladly redirect you to my full review of it.
⭐ girl disguises as guy and joins all-male a cappella group
⭐ Chinese-American, bisexual MC
⭐ discussion of gender/sexuality
I Hear the Sunspot by Yuki Fumino
The reason I fell in love with manga this year. I saw this series on an app (translated) and proceeded to buy paperbacks of it immediately, then binge-reading them all. I screamed about this series to literally everyone, and if you haven’t read them yet PLEASE DO.
⭐ made me fall in love with manga
⭐ LGBTQ+ contemporary
⭐ disability rep: hard of hearing MC
⭐ so adorable!!
⭐ got way too invested in this and stayed up too late to read it
The Shadowglass (The Bone Witch #3) by Rin Chupeco
I know I’ve been talking about this YA fantasy trilogy for literal years, yet here I am doing so once more. I won’t stop until everyone has read it. This Asian-inspired fantasy series centers around a girl who discovers she’s a Dark Asha (“bone witch”) when she accidentally raises her brother from the dead.
⭐ the finale I’ve been waiting for!!
⭐ made me cry on public transport
⭐ catch me rereading this soon
⭐ if you haven’t read this Asian fantasy about a bone witch, what are you doing??
Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba
After reading I Hear the Sunspot, I wanted to truly dive into the world of manga. And what better way to start than by reading some of the most iconic manga in existence? Death Note did not disappoint whatsoever. I binge-read all the volumes, was absolutely glued to the pages.
⭐ binge-read the entire manga
⭐ teenager with God complex, killing people by writing their name in a notebook
⭐ watch him spiral out of control
⭐ what is right or wrong?
Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa
After tackling Death Note, I jumped over to Fullmetal Alchemist. Once again, I absolutely fell in love with the manga and read the entirety of it in a matter of months. I’m quite proud of that accomplishment, as there are 27 volumes of FMA!
⭐ also binge-read the entire manga
⭐ adorable brothers
⭐ characters you will become too attached to
⭐ just two boys trying to get their bodies back
The Black Tides of Heaven by J.Y. Yang
THIS NOVELLA! I’ve already recommended it to multiple people who have added it to their list of books to buy. While this is not a novella that is entirely unknown, it hurts me to see so few people in the bookish community mention it. Maybe I’m just not following the right people? Anyway, if you want an SFF read and LGBTQ+ representation, you need to pick this up. J.Y. Yang is brilliant, and I will read everything they write.
⭐ EPIC fantasy novella
⭐ people born without gender, confirm gender themselves whenever it becomes clear to them
⭐ literally everything you could ever want
Our Dreams at Dusk volume 1 by Yuhki Kamatani
An #ownvoices LGBTQ+ novel from a non-binary author? Sign me the hell up. And look at that artwork!! I don’t even know what to say about this manga because I’ve only read a few volumes and feel like it’s far more character-centered than plot-centered. All I can tell you is that you need this in your life.
⭐ LGBTQ+ manga
⭐ about a boy finding a safe space
⭐ exploring gender and sexuality
⭐ adorable!! gorgeous drawings!!
⭐ author is non-binary
Girls on the Verge by Sharon Biggs Waller
This YA contemporary novel made me so angry. I was hurt and filled with rage and indignation. This is the story of a girl in the US who discovers she’s pregnant and wants to get an abortion. She can only do so with legal permission though, which she doesn’t receive. Abortion is illegal in her state, prompting her to go on a road trip with friends to get the procedure.
⭐ heartbreaking coming-of-age story
⭐ girl has to go on “roadtrip” to get an abortion
⭐ such an important read!!
The Poppy War (The Poppy War #1) by R.F. Kuang
I put off reading this fantasy novel for quite a while because I was intimidated by it. I knew I’d probably end up loving it, but wasn’t sure whether I was ready for that. That sounds absolutely ridiculous, I know, but I hope at least one of you can relate. I should never have put this one off because it was incredible.
⭐ fantasy novel inspired by China/Chinese history
⭐ engrossing, captivating and mind-blowing
⭐ main character who is neither good nor bad
The Wise Man’s Fear (Kingkiller Chronicles #2) by Patrick Rothfuss
I finally did it. I read the first book in the series in 2015, then decided to put off reading the sequel for so long I forgot what happened in book 1, making me even more “scared” to continue reading. As this is the favorite series of one of the best people in my life, I decided it was time to buckle up and re-read the first book so I could continue the series. I read them quite quickly, considering the size of the books, and ADORED THEM. This series is SO GOOD.
⭐ epic sequel to an already incredible first novel
⭐ keeps taking me on a surprising journey
⭐ too attached to the characters already…
⭐ can’t recommend it enough