Books come in all shapes and sizes covering thousands of different topics but some stand out more than others. This list is a celebration of my reading year. My favourites for 2019 and books I want to reread sooner rather than later.
These aren’t in any particular order (they are all 5 stars) but I tell you why I loved each and every one of them. They brought me joy, they brought me sorrow, they gave me chills, they gave me butterflies, they brought me personal growth. These are why I read. Each one is special to me, and absolutely unforgettable and I must insist… these are must-reads!
Stalking Jack the Ripper & Hunting Prince Dracula
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege, stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.
Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practise of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her sheltered world.
The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.
It is the first in a series of gothic mysteries with Hunting Prince Dracula as the series sequel. Bizarre murders have been discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?
I’ve only read the first two books in the series so far, but I think it is safe to say that the Stalking Jack the Ripper books are amongst my favourites of all time.
The Outsider by Stephen King
2019 was the year in which I wanted to make an effort in reading more Stephen King novels. Even though I don’t like watching horror movies at all, I always wondered if I would have a liking for the genre in books.
The Outsider isn’t a horror novel in it’s purest form when you think about the Horror genre. I would describe it more as a psychological thriller with a bunch of nasty twists and turns. The story itself is outstanding, and King’s writing is superb.
The Institute by Stephen King
In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check-in, but you don’t check out.”
For a full review of my thoughts, click here.
A Tale of Magic by Chris Colfer
I’ve read the first 3 books in The Land of Stories when I learned that a sort of prequel book was about to be released. A Tale of Magic is about Fourteen-year-old Brystal Evergreen who always had known she was destined for great things–that is if she can survive the oppressive Southern Kingdom. Her only escape is reading books, but since it’s illegal for women to read in her country, she has to find creative ways of acquiring them. Working as a maid at her local library gives her the perfect excuse to be near them and allows her to sneak a few titles home when no one is looking. But one-day Brystal uncovers a secret section of the library and finds a book about magic that changes her life forever.
Heartstopper Vol. 2 by Alice Oseman
After reading Volume 1 at the end of 2018, I couldn’t wait for the second volume to be released.
Nick and Charlie are best friends. Nick knows Charlie’s gay, and Charlie is sure that Nick isn’t. But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is discovering all kinds of things about his friends, his family … and himself. Heartstopper is about friendship, loyalty and mental illness. It encompasses all the small stories of Nick and Charlie’s lives that together makeup something larger, which speaks to all of us.
Tilly and the Bookwanderers by Anna James
This is a perfect tale for those who love both magic and books, and they are brought together in a wonderful way in ‘Pages & Co: Tilly and the Bookwanderers’. Essentially, it is the story of youngster Tilly and her ability to ‘bookwander’ – where characters can come to life and jump from off the page and into the real world. It also allows readers to join their favourite fictional characters in the world portrayed in the book in which they feature. As if that wasn’t enough bookish goodness, Tilly’s grandparents, with whom she lives since the disappearance of her mother, own a North London bookshop. It was in that shop that Tilly had her first wandering experience and where she initially encountered classic children’s characters. With the help of Anne of Green Gables and Alice in Wonderland. Tilly is determined to solve the mystery of what happened to her mother all those years ago, so she bravely steps into the unknown, unsure of what adventure lies ahead and what dangers she may face.
Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly
Song For a Whale was such a wonderful story to read. I have always loved whales and being near the ocean. This story brought me just a bit closer through a 12-year-old girl named Iris. Iris is deaf and hardly has any friends at her school. She goes through most of her day alone and not fitting in. When she learns about a whale with a unique song in one of her classes she becomes obsessed with this whale.
A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
A Curse so Dark and Lonely is a refreshingly original Beauty and the Beast retelling told through the dual point of view of Harper, the ‘beauty’ and Rhen, the ‘beast’. This book drew me in instantly, jumping straight into the action and the rest of the story flew by just as fast, despite its size. I’m glad that Rhen is not a beast throughout the entire book as this is an aspect of the story that has always been a little hard to swallow for me. I also like how the story started in our modern world, where Harper is practically dragged into the fantasy world of Emberfall.
I knew the story from a news-reporting perspective, but reading the story from the perspective of family and reading about everything that happened that wasn’t covered by the news, made me sick to my stomach multiple times. I’ve cried multiple times during this book and still am having an increased heart rate when I think about the story.
What are your favourite books of the year? Do we have books in common? Let me know in the comments!