my favorite reads of 2019

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.

Twitter description
⭐ 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.

Twitter description
⭐ comic book/webcomic creator and Chris Evans (more or less…)
⭐ #ownvoices
⭐ 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.

Twitter description
⭐ 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.

Twitter description:
⭐ 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.

Twitter description
⭐ 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.

Twitter description
⭐ 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?
⭐ L!!

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!

Twitter description:
⭐ also binge-read the entire manga
⭐ adorable brothers
⭐ characters you will become too attached to
⭐ alchemy!
⭐ 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.

Twitter description:
⭐ EPIC fantasy novella
⭐ people born without gender, confirm gender themselves whenever it becomes clear to them
⭐ twins!
⭐ rebellion
⭐ 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.

Twitter description:
⭐ 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.

Twitter description
⭐ heartbreaking coming-of-age story
⭐ girl has to go on “roadtrip” to get an abortion
⭐ friendship
⭐ 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.

Twitter description
⭐ fantasy novel inspired by China/Chinese history
⭐ engrossing, captivating and mind-blowing
⭐ brutal
⭐ 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.

Twitter description:
⭐ 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

Those were my favorite reads of 2019! Have you read any of these books?
Which books made your favorites list?

10 of My Favorite First Lines

When I am trying to decide which book I’ll read next, I often read the first few lines of a book. That helps me decide. Does it capture my attention? So today, I thought I’d share 10 of my favorite first lines/beginnings of books!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (DOSAM #1) by Laini Taylor // I think this is the perfect start of the book. It’s like a prophecy of the book? You ask yourself so many questions before starting. Angel? Devil? How does it end?

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson // I think this sentence just fits so well with the book. Being unimportant is really relative. The person who believes this, feels unimportant in her family. But in the rest of the country, she is incredibly important. And anyone can really be important, even if you feel like you aren’t.

There were great advantages to being unimportant.

The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) by Samantha Shannon // I like this quote, because as with DOSAM, it makes me think about the book before I’ve even read a whole page. Why aren’t there more? Where did they go? Who is us? What happened?

I like to imagine there were more of us in the beginning. Not many, I suppose. But more than there are now.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah // I knew I would love this book from the first sentence. It’s just so beautiful, honest and probably true.

If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.

The Martian by Andy Weir // This first line just sets the tone for the book. It made me laugh, because it was so unexpected. Like I said before, I love the humor in the Martian, and how Mark Watney is always so snarky. It’s also very true. Stuck alone on Mars? Yeah, you’re pretty much fucked.

I’m pretty much fucked. That’s my considered opinion. Fucked.

The Bone Witch (Bone Witch #1) by Rin Chupeco // I loved these lines, even though I can’t really explain why. It starts with a beast. An angry one. And a fierce girl. That’s pretty much all you need to start a book, no?

The beast raged; it punctured the air with its spite. But the girl was fiercer. She held no weapons except for the diamonds glinting like stars above her brow, against hair like a dark mass of sky.

The Crown Tower (Riyria Chronicles #1) by Michael J. Sullivan // This makes me laugh so hard. Why? The Riyria series revolve around Hadrian, a mercenary, and Royce, a thief. They steal things. That’s what makes this so funny to me.

Hadrian Blackwater hadn’t gone more than five steps off the ship before he was robbed.

Dark Legion (Blood of Blood #1) by Paul Kleynhans // I really like to include this book in my posts, because I think it’s very underrated. It’s an intriguing fantasy book about a slave/assassin/prince. There’s a lot of killing in this book -and the sequel. I love this first line because it not only sets the tone for an assassin book, but also because of the slave turns on master aspect.

I held the dagger to my master’s throat, and time stretched – measured by a dozen slow-drawn breaths.

The Moon in the Palace (Empress of Bright Moon #1) by Weina Dai Randel // I love a good  foretelling or prophecy. There’s really not much more explanation necessary, I think.

The day my future was foretold, I was just five years old.

Eragon (Inheritance Cycle #1) by Christopher Paolini // This is one of my favorite series from my childhood. I absolutely loved it -and still do. Isn’t this a great first line? From the beginning, you’re told that from this moment, the entire world will change. So let’s enjoy the ride, and see what happens.

Wind howled through the night, carrying a scent that would change the world. 

Those are 10 of my absolute favorite first lines! I’m sure I could come up with more, but I figured this list was a great place to start. Have you read any of these books? Are you interested in any because of the lines mentioned here? What are your favorite first lines?

My Top 14 of 2014

2014 is officially over , which means it’s time to have a look at my favorite books of 2014. To be clear, these aren’t books that were released in 2014 but ones that I read during the year. I’m not really going to talk about the synopsis or anything, I’m just giving you the title, cover and link. I’m doing this because if I were to rave about every single of these books, this post would be about 5 pages long. I have included the GoodReads link in the titles, so if you’re curious about a book, you can find the information there. These are in no particular order by the way. Let’s get into it!

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  1. The Shadow of the Wind (Cemetery of Forgotten Books #1) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  2. The Magician’s Guild (Black Magician #1) by Trudi Canavan
  3. The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson
  4. None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio
  5. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

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  1. Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas
  2. Murder of Crows (The Others #2) by Anne Bishop
  3. The Blood of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus #5) by Rick Riordan
  4. Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3) by Maggie Stiefvater
  5. The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard #1) by Scott Lynch

the spirit thief maybe someday Cress ignite me

  1. The Spirit Thief (Legend of Eli Monpress #1) by Rachel Aaron
  2. Maybe Someday (Maybe #1) by Colleen Hoover
  3. Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer
  4. Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi

Have you read any of these or did you make a list as well? Let me know in the comments below!

I’ll leave you with three honorable mentions. I know, I really shouldn’t do this… BUT I’M DOING IT.

the book of ivy seeker ugly love

  1. The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1) by Amy Engel
  2. Seeker (Seeker #1) by Arwen Elys Dayton
  3. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Top 10 Books of 2014 So Far

As I am writing this post, I have read 96 books this year, which to be honest I’m proud of. It’s quite a lot, isn’t it? But as always, there have been books that I loved more than others and I thought it was time to show you my favorite reads of 2014 so far. I add so far because obviously the year isn’t over yet, and I might still discover a new favorite or even 10 new favorite books of the year. And yes, this post would have made more sense in July, seeing as that is when the first half of the year is over. But I only started this blog in September and I thought it was still worth sharing. So, let’s get on with it!
By the way, these are not in any order.

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  1. Murder of Crows (The Others #2) by Anne Bishop
    This is the second book in a series called The Others. The first book is called Written in Red and would also be included in this list had I not read it last year. It’s the story of Meg Corbyn who is a cassandra sangue, which is a blood prophet. The first book starts when Meg escapes the people who “own” her and runs to the Lakeside Courtyard, run by Simon Wolfgard. In this world, The Others own all the natural resources and basically, humans don’t have all that much to say. The Others live in their own communities, like the Lakeside Courtyard. READ THESE. They are so amazing, I don’t even have words for it.
  2. Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan
    Greek myths told from Percy Jackson’s perspective? I was immediately sold. This book made me laugh out loud so many times! I love Rick Riordan, he’s one of the only authors on my auto-buy or auto-read list. Even if I don’t know what the story is about, if he wrote it, I will read it.
  3. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
    Emily and Sloane are best friends and while Sloane is the outgoing type, Emily is more shy. And then Sloane disappears. No texts, no note and an empty house. The only thing she left is a bucket list for Emily, with activities Emily would never have done alone. It leads to a lot of unexpected events and honestly, this book is so much fun. And yes, there is a bit of a love story connected but the main topics of this book are self-discovery, becoming more confident and the power of friendship. Loved it.
  4. Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas
    I read the first book Throne of Glass and the prequel novellas in The Assassin’s Blade as well this year and while I loved them all, Crown of Midnight is my favorite so far. If you haven’t heard about this series, the first book is about a female assassin, Celaena Sardothien, suffering in the salt mines of Endovier. Until she competes to best the King’s Champion -which is basically his personal assassin. If she succeeds, she’ll no longer have to fulfill her punishment in the salt mines. A female assassin in an assassin-competition? Sounds incredible to me!
  5. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
    Long title, I know… This book is a strong character-driven story. It’s told through Ari’s point of view, but sometimes it almost feels as if you’re reading through Dante’s eyes too. It starts when they are children and you watch them grow into teenagers. And not only the boys but also their families are very present in this story, which I loved. I can honestly say I have never read anything like this. It just blew my mind.

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  1. Isla and The Happily Ever After (Anna #3) by Stephanie Perkins
    Good news for those who haven’t read the first two books: you don’t have to! These are companion novels and follow different characters -although the characters from previous books may appear in the one you’re reading. I loved the first book, Anna and the French Kiss, and really liked the second one, Lola and the Boy Next Door. But Isla, I adored you. I felt so connected with Isla in this book, we are very similar in the way we think and act. Anyway, if you like cute, contemporary romantic stories, go check this out!
  2. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
    It’s hard to call this book a favorite because of the devastating story it contains. Forbidden is about two siblings, Lochan and Maya, who fall in love. Yes, brother and sister fall in love. Props to Tabitha Suzuma for writing a story about something that is so taboo. I didn’t expect to feel for the characters as much as I did. If you are hesitant about picking this up because you have a brother or sister, I do too. And thinking about romantic love between siblings kind of makes me nauseous but somehow, this story didn’t make me feel that way. I have a review about this one coming up soon, so look out for that!
  3. The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson
    Brandon Sanderson has been the focal point of a lot of hype this year. Honestly, I think it is well deserved. Fantasy is one of my favorite genres ever, and the world he created in the Mistborn series is truly exceptional. In this world, some people can use Allomancy, which is the burning of metals in your body. Different metals lead to different outcomes: by burning one you can become stronger, while another one may enhance your vision. So, combine this world with a thieving crew -who are Allomancers- trying to overthrow the Lord Ruler and what do you get? An epic story.
  4. The Magician’s Guild (The Black Magician Trilogy #1) by Trudi Canavan
    Another fantasy story! In this world, the people who are able to use magic join The Magician’s Guild. In the Guild, you get an education in magic and only people in the Guild are allowed to use magic. But only rich people or people from noble families are accepted in. The story is about Sonea, a girl from the poorest part of the capital, who one day, breaks the magical barrier the magicians are holding up. The only way to do so however, is by using magic herself. The breaking of the barrier causes Sonea to run away, and after that follows the most suspenseful cat-and-mouse game I’ve read in a while. Not enough people have read or heard about these books and that makes me sad, because they are truly great.
  5. The Shadow of the Wind (Cemetery of Forgotten Books #1) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
    I am not going to give you a synopsis of this book because I think it’s best to go into it not knowing what to expect. Just know, that this is a book about a book, its author and a boy obsessed with both of them. It took me on a crazy rollercoaster ride because I never knew where the story was going to go next. Definitely recommend this one, and I still have to read the second and third book in the companion series.

So those are the 10 books I loved the most during 2014 so far. Let me know in the comments whether you’ve read any of them or what your favorite reads of the year were!