Following up to my last post, this second part of 2019 Wrap Up post is all about best books I read in 2019 that I’ll divide into few categories. Honestly, this is like my own Goodreads Choice Awards, since I’m not quite happy with the result of said award, so I’m making my own Best of 2019!
⋆ Best books I read in 2019 ⋆
(I’m dividing these books into few categories based on tropes, genres and other similarities I found on each books I read this year!)
🍂 Best Enemies-to-lovers
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
Will I ever shut up about this one? To Kill a Kingdom, in my opinion, still holds the best enemies-to-lovers trope. Lira is a siren who’s supposed to kill a siren hunter, Elian. So is Elian, he’s supposed to kill Lira and her kins. There is an on-going cold war between land and sea, which puts them in two different situations. They’re only doing things they think it’s the best, but the moment they put their guard down, the angsty attacked me. Re-read soon? Re-read soon!
🍂 Best Rivals-to-lovers
Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
I was debating whether I should put this book here or not, because it’s actually a 2020 release, but I couldn’t find better rivals to lovers book I read in 2019—so here we go! This book follows two teenagers tweeting back to back for the sake of their respective family’s business. It’s childish and petty, yes, but also cute at the same time. I haven’t read a YA book where the characters really act like they’re still in high school, so here you go. Make sure you read this book once it’s out!
🍂 Best Coming-of-age
Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian
Nothing is better than ending your year by reading Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian. This is a love letter from Nazemian to everyone that needs to hear this message, “You’re brave, don’t let the world takes your bravery away from you. We’re on this fight together. Don’t ever give up.”
If you ever have a thought that why we should fight for marginalized groups’ rights, this book will give you the reasons.
🍂 Best Female Lead
Zafira bint Iskandar from We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
In this house, any hate comments toward We Hunt the Flame will be dismissed. Not only We Hunt the Flame sits as second-best YA fantasy, Zafira bint Iskandar is the best female lead I met this year. She’s a fierce woman who breaks the gender role by hunting on the Arz (kind of forbidden forest) in attempt to help her people to live. I admire her dedication to prevent her village from dying and her will to protect her family no matter what.
If fantasy books share one mega-universe, I think Zafira would be BFF with Feyre from A Court of Thorn and Roses series.
🍂 Best Cover
Enchantée by Gita Trelease
This one is the hardest because there are so many books with beautiful covers I read this year. After few consideration, I decide Enchantée deserves to be the winner. Although I don’t put this as my favorite book, it doesn’t change a fact that this cover is beautiful and pretty. If I had a chance to rewrite this book, believe me, I would.
🍂 Best YA Contemporary
I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman
Although I wish this book is written by author of colors, I Was Born for This is still the best YA contemporary I read this year. This is a fan/idol book that is different from others, yet feel more relatable to me. Why? Because the main character is a Muslim who wears hijab and prays 5 times a day, has a stan account and cries over band. Yeah, sounds familiar, right?
🍂 Best YA Fantasy
Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan
I wanna thank Natasha Ngan for introducing me to Lei and Wren and the world they live in. F/F romance? Check. Good Asian rep? Check. Good world building? Check. Great writing? Check. This book is that book everyone need because they keeps saying “we need more F/F book!” and “we need more diverse book!” well… guys, Girls of Paper and Fire series is right there. So, please, give this book (and series) the recognition it deserves.
Also, if you’re wondering why I said good Asian rep, here’s my two cents. There are many books that adapt Asian culture, but mainly they only adapt the “big three” such as Korean, Japanese and Chinese culture. But not Girls of Storm and Shadow. The characters eat Indonesian food and wear kebaya. So, go grab this book!
🍂 Best Historical Fiction
The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
A heist themed book sets in 18th century Paris? A book that talks about colonialism and colorism? A historical fiction with a lot of mythological reference? An actual diverse book without ambiguous rep? Yes, The Gilded Wolves is there. A lot of people comparing this to Six of Crows, but really, rip to SOC but The Gilded Wolves is different.
Although the world building may be confusing, this book makes you feel like you need to sit with the characters to solve the mystery in front of them.
🍂 Best NA Romance
Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne
I haven’t read a lot of NA so my best shot is Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne. It’s actually a second-chance rom-com that leaves me feeling so soft. I forgot who recommended it to me, but whoever you are, thank you so much!
🍂 Best Middle Grade
Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
An impulsive buy that turns out to be the best book I read in 2019. Other Words for Home is more like a poetry book about a girl who’s forced to move to America because she’s not safe in Syria. Don’t let the middle grade genre fools you, because this is a book everyone regardless age should read.
🍂 Honorable mentions
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, Aru Shah and the Song of Death by Roshani Chokshi and The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. These three books aren’t actually my best read, but they’re my favorites and I’ll re-read them in near future. You probably should check these three out!
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I’d like to hear from you!
What are the best books you read this year?
Do you find a new author you love?
Any new favorite characters?
Least but not last, I want to say Happy New Year and thank you for your support! I can’t wait to share my reading adventure in 2020 with you!