2019 Year in Review

Books I read in 2019

In 2019, according to Goodreads, I read…

18,241 pages across 45 books!!!

This was a personal best for me. I set out wanting to read at least 30 books and I nearly doubled it…! My goal for 2020 is going to be at least 50 books.

As with my 2018 books, I’ll include a list of the books I read in 2019 with ratings, a little bit of my opinion on them (though not a full review), and may at some point go back and write full reviews for a few of my favorites!

The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski
-The Winner’s Curse (4/5 stars)
-The Winner’s Crime (4/5 stars)
-The Winner’s Kiss (3.5/5 stars)

Amazon.com: The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy ...

I really, really enjoyed this series. I am a huge fan of angst, enemies to lovers, and slow burn. Yet, despite this having EVERYTHING I could want, I found the burn to be a bit TOO slow moving actually. Particularly in the third book, and perhaps end of the second…the utilization of other troupes began to irk me. Particularly the use of the miscommunication/missed connections troupe (i.e., characters having a misunderstanding that affects the entire plot moving forward/characters *just* missing each other in passing), was VERY frustrating. AND the use of the amnesia troupe (i.e., one characters loses their recent memory, often completing forgetting their love interest and their romance), which I have never really liked. In fact, the only good use of this troupe is in Mockingjay, and even then, on my first read of The Hunger Games series, it was a bit grating.

The Folk of the Air series by Holly Black (5/5 overall)
-The Cruel Prince (4/5 stars reread)
-The Wicked King (5 stars)
-The Queen of Nothing (5 stars)

I truly don’t even know where to begin on this series. In fact, even trying to formulate thoughts on it is inspiring me to reread them and write a separate blog post about them. All I can say is, Jude and Cardan serve enemies to lovers better than ANY book characters that existed before them. This series is CHEF’S KISS EXCELLENCE and I recommend it to anyone and everyone. I’m actively reigning in my love for it so I can save all this energy for a review of the series.

A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas (5/5 stars overall)
A Court of Thorns and Roses (reread; 5/5 stars)
A Court of Mist and Fury (reread; 100/5 stars)
A Court of Wings and Ruin (reread; 5/5 stars)
A Court of Frost and Starlight (4/5 stars)

Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas (5/5 stars overall)
-Heir of Fire (reread; 5/5 stars…my favorite of the series!)
Queen of Shadows (reread; 4.5/5 stars)
Empire of Storms (reread; 4.5/5 stars)
Tower of Dawn (reread; 4/5 stars)
Kingdom of Ash (5/5 stars)

I’m going to be working on an SJM post shortly…bare with me! Just know that I love these books immensely, and SJM is my absolute QUEEN. It seems that lately it’s the cool thing to hate on her– and look, I get it, she might not be for everyone. Some have said her books fit better in the New Adult genre than YA. I, however, tend to disagree, because I’m of the mind that teens should be allowed to read about safe and positive sex experiences…if YA can include murders, foul language, and other sensitive topics…it can include sex scenes.
But bottom line, no series has made me feel ~home~ within the pages of a book like I have while reading Feyre’s journey since I read Harry Potter as an adolescent. If this makes me basic, I’m so sorry but I must live my truth!

ARC Book Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge | Young Adult At ...

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (4.5/5 stars)
This book immediately became one of my favorites as I was reading it. The love story in this is delightful, and we all know I love a broody, misunderstood villain love interest.

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge (2.5/5 stars)
I wasn’t a huge fan of this book; I felt like the world building was overly simplified and I wasn’t especially taken by the romantic plot, nor the main characters personality or dilemmas. The opening of the book drew me in immediately, but once I realized it wasn’t a villain love interest, I lost a lot of interest. Sorry folks, I’m just simply not into the good-guy, blonde-haired prince!

The Pisces by Melissa Broder (0/5 stars)
I’m not joking when I say I have never hated a book more. The ending made me feel terrible, hopeless, and depressed. This is exactly why I do not read adult “romance”, and I truly have not picked up an adult focused book that is supposedly ~raved about~ since. There is also extensive animal abuse in this book that results in the death of an animal. Please do not read this book, I know the cover is super interesting. Do not let it fool you.

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan (3.5/5 stars)

I have said it before, and I shall CONTINUE TO SAY IT…I love a villain love interest. There’s also a plot twist in this book that I really enjoyed. It definitely also falls into the horror genre, which isn’t a personal favorite of mine, but I’m definitely looking forward to reading the second book– and hoping that the relationship between the main character and love interest progresses a little more (I felt like they didn’t get to actually know each other well enough, but hell, Kylo Ren saw Rey like three times through ForceSkype and was ready to give it all up so!)

Uprooted by Naomi Novik (4.5/5 stars)

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (4/5 stars)

I read both of these books pretty close together; They’re very different, and truly don’t deserve to be lumped together…but what connects them for me is Novik’s beautiful prose throughout both of them. I’m ashamed to say I don’t always notice writing style as much as I should for an avid reader, at least until on a reread, but Novik’s prose is just so wonderfully smooth and luscious. She writes strong girls so eloquently and with so much fine detail. The endings of both of these books are some of my favorite last pages of any books I’ve ever read. Between the two of them, I probably prefer Uprooted, since the romance subplot is a bit more in focus, but these are certainly two of the most beautiful stories I’ve ever read, and I think of them often.

Black Moon Rising by Frankie Rose (3.5/5 stars)

So some things about this book...

1. This is 100% published Reylo fanfiction
2. It begins, right in the first sentence, with an…explicit scene…
3. Yes, I read it in exactly two sittings

4. Yes, it is trash
5. YES, I absolutely need a sequel immediately

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman (3.5/5 stars)

I had pretty high hopes for this book as the film is one of my favorite films of all time, and I saw it three times in theaters. However, I struggled to find the magic of the story between the pages that I had experienced through watching the film. As any avid readers knows, this is almost never the case with a book adaptation. Perhaps it was physically seeing the Italian countryside, along with Timothee’s portrayal of Elio and his subtly yearnful expression, that produced the emotional reaction within me that has made me love the film and story so much. But I just didn’t get the same depth of feeling through reading the neuroticisms of the protagonists’ most inner thoughts in this book. The one exception being Mr. Perlman’s monologue, which is exquisite in any form.

Master of Crows by Grace Draven (4/5 stars)

Villain love interest. Beauty and the beast retelling. I loved it. Also, it’s pretty hot. I mean, look at that exposed back!

Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco
-Stalking Jack the Ripper (3/5 stars)
-Hunting Prince Dracula (3.5/5 stars)

Everyone seems to love this series, but the plot of these books revolve around mysteries and murders, and the main two characters, who are actually truly amazing, do a lot of investigating dead bodies. It’s not that I’m squeamish, it’s just that I find mysteries and murder stories quite boring to be honest.
Look, if the entire book was Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell arguing, flirting, and bantering…I would read all of them in a heartbeat. I would never shut up about how great they are. But the fact is that 95% of the plot is them working on solving the latest mystery…and I’m just not interested in all that enough to keep reading!

Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward (2.5/5 stars overall)
-Dark Lover
-Lover Eternal
-Lover Awakened

I fully feel like I’ve been gaslighted into reading these books. Sarah J Maas HERSELF has recommended these books. There’s also like 25 of them (LOOK AT ALL OF THEM!). But they read as if they were written by an alien species who interviewed 80 year old grandmas in the 1990’s and asked them about current “hip” lingo, and then the aliens decided to make the books SEXY. WHAT ARE “SHIT KICKERS”? Why does everyone carry around pagers and flip phones? I truly have never read a series where the dialogue between the male characters sounds so contrived and fake. It is totally unbearable. I wish I recalled more insane things about these books but I think I’ve blocked it from my memory. But…..the sex scenes are kinda hot though. I mean, I did read three of them. Oops.

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones (DNF)

Simply put, I didn’t finish reading it because it got a little boring and then I read on Goodreads that the ending was really sad..and I’ll be honest with y’all…I’m here for a good time, not a lesson on lost love and life in general.

An Enchantment of Roses by Margaret Rogerson (2.5/5 stars)

I love the premise of this book, and read almost all of it in a day. I just wish it were longer, and the world was more thoroughly fleshed out. This book also made me not want to get invested in standalones. It’s much better to get attached to characters you can read about for like 3-7 books!

Three Dark Crowns series by Kendare Blake (3/5 stars overall)
-Three Dark Crowns (4.5/5 stars)
-One Dark Throne (3.5/5 stars)
-Two Dark Reigns (3/5 stars)
-Five Dark Fates (DNF)

It is rare to find a premise of a series that is this unique. I LOVED the first book, and felt connected and invested in all the characters, but the series went on for one book too long, got a little too convoluted, and I ended up not reading the final book…which apparently got terrible reviews. I’m glad I didn’t finish as my favorite character died and several plot lines went unresolved or wrapped up insufficiently (I’ve since read how it ends), so, I actually would not recommend this series, though these are some of my favorite YA covers of all time.

Immortals After Dark by Kresley Cole (4/5 stars overall)
-A Hunger Like No Other
-The Warlord Wants Forever

These books are like what I think JR Ward is trying to do. Sexy immortals. Enemies to lovers. Slow-ish burn. Not exactly Shakespearean level prose. But I absolutely devour these books in like three sittings. I highly recommend them if you’re into the New Adult fantasy romance genre, though I will say some are better than others, and it’s possible to skip over the ones you aren’t that interested in. Also, the guys tend to be very “alpha male” in this series, as many of them are like “hundreds” or “thousands” of years old. Sometimes it’s grating, but…these truly might be the hottest books I’ve ever read. Also, they tend to kick off RIGHT in the first chapter, so it’s perfect for curing a book slump. You’ll probably see me reviewing more of these soon!

An English Bride in Scotland by Lynsay Sands (1.5/5 stars)

This book is absurd, and I ended up finishing it on audiobook and skipping ahead a little. I don’t really have anything to say except…it’s just not for me!

The Professional by Kresley Cole (2/5 stars)

This book is also absurd, by the author of the Immortals After Dark series. It’s no secret I prefer fantasy over contemporary, so once the couple got together and the tension was resolved, I was not interested in their story whatsoever. I don’t even think I finished this.

I hope you guys enjoyed my 2019 Year In Review! Thanks for reading!

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