Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books I Read in 2019

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This week’s TTT topic is “Favorite Books I Read In 2019”. As of 9pm on December 30th when I’m drafting this post, I’ve read 73 books (tho I still have my current read to finish and I might even try to squeeze in a quick graphic novel before the new year).

This was sooooo hard. My top 10 outta 73 books?? It took me so long to come up with which book was my top read of the year. It was also so difficult to equally consider books I read at the beginning of the year with books I’ve read more recently. I feel like I could look at this list 2 hours later and the order would completely change. Oh well. 😆

Before I get to my list, I wanted to quick note that I arranged them in ascending order (or would it be descending order? eh, I don’t care). So I’ve started with my 10th favorite and ended with my overall top read of 2019!

Let’s get to it!
(omg, this is my last post of 2019 and my last post of the decade. Crazy!)

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.


10. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

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After adoring the movie in high school, I finally read the book! Even though the ending was rushed and bizarre, this book was so fun, hilarious, and whimsical! I loved how Sophie was powerful in her own right and how Jones’ played with fairytale tropes across the book. Definitely plan to continue on to the companion books.

9. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

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Yes, it took me until 2019 to finish the Six of Crows Duology.  But ahhhhhh, how is it that Leigh Bardugo is such a masterful writer?? This book was incredible and now I still can’t believe that I haven’t read King of Scars.

8. Mothers of Sparta by Dawn Davies

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Including a memoir on this list?? Who am I? But seriously, between my internship and the Memoir class, 2019 has really taught me to appreciate memoirs.
My favorite part about this memoir was Davies’ writing: she’s witty and snarky yet hard-hitting when she needs to be. Her voice was so distinct and I can’t wait to see what else she writes.

7. Final Draft by Riley Redgate

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I did not expect to love this book as much as I did! I seriously wish I had had this book when I was a teen and in high school. Even though it’s a short book, it sheds light on so many important subjects. You can actually read my full gushing review here.

6. In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

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Omg, this book was such a beautiful, fictional character study of the Mirabal sisters. The novel follows them from their childhood until the murder of three of the sisters (Las Mariposas). All of the girls felt so real, and Alvarez’s writing was beautiful. Even though you go in knowing the ending, this book still brought tears to my eyes.

5. The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

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I discovered Riley Sager’s books this year and now I will read everything he writes–and he’s inspired to seek out other thrillers! But seriously, from the first page to the last, I was completed addicted to this book; I could not put it down! I still think about the ending even months later.

4. The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

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I binge-read this entire book all in one night and HOLY CRAP I CANNOT BELIEVE THE TRILOGY IS OVER!! Even though the ending got a little soft and cheesy, I adored this final volume in this magical world with Jude and Cardan. Please Holly Black, never stop writing faerie books.

3. Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

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I never said I wasn’t a #basic book blogger. Usually I don’t completely fall head over heels in love with romance books, but as y’all already know: THIS WAS SO GOOD! Upon returning to school, I threw the book at my housemates and they both also adored it. I will now consume everything Casey McQuiston writes and will forever pray for a sequel or a companion book.

2. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

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I am SJM trash till the very end, so I couldn’t not put one of her book’s in my top three reads. But holy crap, this book tried to kill me with all the feels. The Throne of Glass series is one of my all-time-favorite series and I can’t believe it’s over! Needless to say, I have extremely high hopes for SJM’s next series: Crescent City.

1. The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

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MY TOP READ OF THE YEAR. Can you believe I read this back in February? If you saw my top reads from the first half of 2019, you’ll notice that this book was also my top read there.

But yeah, I’m also complete trash for anything that’s whimsical and fairytale-esque, and this collection completely ASTOUNDED ME. (And its Leigh Bardugo, so it really shouldn’t have been a surprise). And the artwork was equally incredible! Ahhhhh, why couldn’t this collection have been longer??


Honorable Mentions / Runner-Ups:

Because this was such a hard list to compose, I wanted to highlight some other great reads from this year!


What are some of your favorite reads from 2019? Do we have any that overlap?

If you participated in TTT this week, feel free to link up your post in the comments below–I would love to check them out!

August Wrap-Up: I’m Back at College & ARC August was a Fail! (And This Post is Super Late, eek!)

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This wrap-up is really late, whoops, like I don’t even remember August anymore. Like summer, what’s summer again? Sounds like a dream…

Lol, but it all seriousness, August was a crazy but decent end to my summer. I went on another mini family vacation, finally saw some old high school friends before returning to college, and was FINALLY REUNITED WITH MY ROOMMATE WHO I HADN’T SEEN IN 8 MONTHS!!!

Reading-wise though…I definitely fell short on all of my reading plans. I only managed 5 of the 10-11 books I wanted to read. I got the internship reading I needed to do done, but I totally failed on my fun reading plans and ARC August, whoops.


BOOKS READ:

1. You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know by Heather Sellers

Rating: 4.25 stars

Despite the heavy topics of familial abuse and a toxic childhood, Sellers maintains a captivating and friendly tone as she reflects on these times, her desire for a family, and her discovery that she suffers from face-blindness.

2. Final Girls by Riley Sager

Rating: 3.75 stars

Another enjoyable thriller from Riley Sager, though I have to say that I definitely preferred The Last Time I Lied to this one. The middle was a little slow for me and I’m still kinda concerned for Quincy’s mental state. I totally didn’t see the ending coming tho (I’m a baby reader when it comes to thrillers, so I’m still working on my guessing game!).

I loaned my friend my copy of this book, and I can’t wait till she reads it so we can discuss it! (Baker, if you’re reading this, I expect to get a text from you soon saying you’ve started this book!)

 3. Calling a Wolf a Wolf by Kaveh Akbar

Rating: 4 stars (?)

Again, poetry is something that I continue to struggle to read and understand, so I’m not sure I can rate this book properly. Akbar wrote so many beautiful and powerful lines, but I often wasn’t sure how to interpret the poems as a whole??

4. What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah

Rating: 4.5 stars

A completely addicting collection of sci-fi, realistic fiction, and fantasy short stories grounded in Nigerian culture and folklore. I finished this book in less than 2 days. These stories were hard-hitting and thought-provoking and honestly, I’m already to read them again!

5. Enchantress Undercover by A.C. Spahn

Rating: 1.5 stars

This book was hella rough and not at all the cheesy but fun paranormal romance I was hoping it would be. I really shouldn’t have requested in from Netgalley back in February…but hey, at least I finally read it! You can read my full somewhat rant review here!


ARC AUGUST Reflection:

I read…1 of my 4 ARCs and…it was not good at all…

I knew there was no way I was gonna read all 4 of these books, but my goal was to read at 2, ideally 3. So yeah, that was a total fail in August.

I also failed at the 20 Books of Summer challenge, but technically that ended in September, so we can talk about that next month. (I can only admit so much failure at once, guys)


SEPTEMBER TBR:

  • The Goldfinch– I technically started this book the other day, but I’m only like 15 pages in so it’s really still on my TBR.
  • The Vine Witch– I’m a part of a blog tour for these book in October, so I need to get cracking on this soon!
  • King of Scars– There’s no way this is gonna happen, but I can dream, right?

Lol, these are so unrealistic, especially since we’re already over halfway through the month and I’m only a few pages into one of these books.


RANDOM LIFE UPDATES:

  • On August 19th, I celebrated my 2 Year Blogiversary! I don’t know how I’ve been blogging for 2 years?? (Though I’ve only seriously been blogging for ~1.7 years, but still!)
  • I started my SENIOR year of college! WHAT THE HECK GUYS I HAVE TO START ADULTING AND SEARCHING FOR A JOB SOON!!
  • My younger sister started her freshman year of college (which, luckily, is not far from me)! I’m so proud of her but also nervous because I know this new environment is going to be a real struggle for her.
  • I had my last Shut Up & Write! event as an organizer for my hometown. Hopefully, I can start a chapter in at my college town, though I still have yet to find a good location.
    • And thus now that this has ended, I’ve written literally nothing since 😬
  • I went on another small family vacation, this time with my mom’s side of the family! It was great seeing them, though I wish it had been longer and that there had been more of us there!
  • After 8 LONG months, I was finally reunited with my roommate! We both studied off-campus last semester, so we haven’t seen each other since December and wow, I missed her SO MUCH! I’m so excited to room with her for another year; she’s one of my best friends and aahhhhhhh, I don’t think only one more year is gonna be enough.
    • Also, after rooming together since sophomore year, we finally have pictures together! Seriously, I can’t believe it took this long!
  • Going out and being able to legally drink has been amazing. I turned 21 back in May, but wasn’t able to get together and go out with any friends until August, so I’m now just appreciating this fact. Drink responsibly my friends!
  • Did I do other things in August? Lol, probably, but I honestly can’t think of any more right now. 😬

How was your August? Are you also back at school now? Have you read any of the books I mentioned above? How are you guys doing right now? Hanging in there?

August TBR: Lots of ARCs for ARC August!

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A monthly TBR post? Who am I?

Usually I incorporate my monthly TBRs into my wrap-ups for the previously month, but in honor of ARC August (hosted by Read.Sleep.Repeat), I couldn’t resist writing a separate post!

There are 3 sections to my highly ambitious and totally unrealistic TBR: ARCs, Internship books, and simply other books I want to read before I return to school. (Wow, I didn’t realize it at first, but all these books resulted in a wide variety of genres on this list!)

Also, despite blogging for almost 2 years (my blogiversary is later this month!), I still SUCK at taking nice pictures of books, so don’t judge me too much on these pics! 😆


ARCs:

These 4 books are all the ARCs I currently possess. My plan for this month is to read at least 2, hopefully 3 of them. I definitely want to get the ones that have already been released read. So I probably won’t get around to Gravemaidens, but I wanted to include it on this list because the cover is sooo pretty. 😀


Internship Books:

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As my fall semester starts up at the end of this month (holy crap!), I kinda have to finish my summer internship books beforehand, don’t I? These are the 3 books I have left. I actually started reading You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know yesterday!


Other Books:

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The Storm Crow is one of my top 3 anticipated releases for this year, and since the other two disappointed me (Bloodleaf and Wicked Saints), I’m both nervous and excited to pick it up. The Power is a novel I got from a book exchange with my bookclub, so I definitely wanna read it before returning to school. After loving The Last Time I Lied, my grandpa’s wife sent me Sager’s first book, so I wanna read it before I see them on vacation (which I leave for…tomorrow, yikes). And I just love Charlie Bowater covers, so I had to buy Sorcery of Thorns, which actually arrived on my doorstep this morning. One of my Goodreads groups is also reading the book this month, so I can’t wait to read and discuss it with them!

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Can I read 9-10 books in August while also returning to school at the end of the month? Probs not, but I’m definitely gonna try! And looking back…two of these books are poetry collections, so maybe I actually have more of a chance of accomplishing this TBR? Who knows–only time will tell.


Are you participating in ARC August? What books are you planning to read in August? Any overlap between us?

If you did an August TBR post, feel free to share your link in the comments below, I would love to check it out!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Reads from the First Half of 2019

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This week’s TTT topic is a freebie, so I thought I’d once again reflect on my reading so far this year but compiling a “Favorite Reads from the First Half of 2019” list! This means that I’m not counting any books I read in July tho, which kinda sucks because I read two amazing books this month: In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvaraz and Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (which so would have made my list!) but oh well, I guess it made writing this list less difficult technically?

I’m written the list in descending order, so it starts with my 10th favorite read and ends with my all-time favorite read.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.


10. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

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I read this book in an entire day, and wow I loved Stella so much. I can’t wait to read the companion book!

9. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

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Found families is one of the best YA tropes in existence, and this book attests to this. Listening to Roshani Chokshi speak at a book event was a true joy and made me decide that I want to read every book by her, particularly the sequel to this book when it releases next year.
Completely random, but I even convinced a stranger at the Strand Book Store to buy this book. 😁

8. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

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I did not expect to like this book as much as I did, which is why I put off reading it for a year+ after my aunt loaned me her copy of the book. Though there’s like zero chance of this happening, I really really want there to be a sequel to this book.

7. Mothers of Sparta by Dawn Davies

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Who would have thought I would add a memoir to this list? This book was raw, real, intense, and I cannot praise Davies’s writing style enough.

6. Final Draft by Riley Redgate

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Wow, I adored this book, particularly Laila’s character, SO MUCH. Why couldn’t this book have been longer?? And why couldn’t I have read it sooner in my life?

5. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

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I FINALLY completed the Six of Crows duology this year, and wow, HOW does Leigh Bardugo write these books?

4. The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

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I’ve said this a bazillion times in the last 2 months, but I’m not a thriller reader, which is why I was so surprised when this book completely consumed me and I did nothing else until I finished it. I need to pick up thrillers more often!

3. The Wicked King by Holly Black

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At this point, we all know about THAT ENDING. I finished this book at like one or two in the morning, and it destroyed me. SO UM…is it November yet?

2. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

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This book, of course, was such a close contender for the first spot. SO MANY FEELS AND I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE THIS SERIES IS OVER. I cannot wait until I can get my hands on another SJM book.

1. The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

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Yeahhh, Leigh Bardugo has just been rocking my world this year. If you guys have seen my Mid-Year Freak Out tag post, you would have already known this was my fav read of the year so far, so there probably wasn’t much suspense in composing this list in descending order, but oh well. BUT THESE TALES WERE SO FANTASTICAL AND BEAUTIFUL AND I WOULD DIE TO HAVE MORE.


What are some of your favorite reads from this year so far? Do we have any that overlap?

If you participated in TTT this week, feel free to link up your post in the comments below–I would love to check them out!