Today I’m bringing you a list of my top books of 2019!
While I read a total of 67 books in 2019, narrowing down this list wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. I was quite picky about the books I read last year. While I did rate most of the books I read between four and five stars, I’m only including books on this list that blew me away.
THE POPPY WAR
Reading The Poppy War might make you believe this is the author’s second, third, or even fourth foray into writing, but it is in fact R.F. Kuang’s DEBUT. An explosive, immersive adult fantasy, The Poppy War is dark and brutal. It includes some very tough topics, including but not limited to rape, torture, and genocide, that I urge anyone not to read it unless you’re wholly comfortable with the content, but is also full of humour and heart. From the writing, the characters, and the wordbuilding, it’s a no-brainer that this is included on my top reads of 2019.
THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE
An adult fantasy with dragons, court politics, a queendom, and a sapphic relationship. What’s not to love? The Priory of the Orange Tree was one of, if not my most, anticipated read of 2019 and it honestly did not disappoint. At over 800 pages long, The Priory of the Orange Tree is a mammoth of a book and can appear intimidating at first glance, but it is worth every second of reading. It is my first Samantha Shannon book but it will not be my last.
Ever since The Illuminae Files hit my radar, I knew I had to read it. 2019 saw me read all three of the books: Illuminae, Gemina, and Obsidio, with Gemina my favourite of the three. I adore this series so, so much. It is probably my favourite sci-fi series of all time (so far). I found the plot thrilling and suspenseful. I absolutely fell in love with the characters. And I simply loved the mixed media format this series has become known for. Once I picked it up, I found it incredibly difficult to put it down. Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are sci-fi geniuses!
The Nevernight Chronicles were another book series where I read all three books in one year. I’d heard nothing but great things about Nevernight that I simply had to pick it up. It includes a strong, complex MC, a snarky and witty cat made of shadows, and an assassin revenge plot that kept me on the edge of my seat. The first 100 pages contained a lot of info-dumping that I almost called it quits. But I’m so glad I carried on with it. Much like The Poppy War, this is an adult grimdark fantasy that does not shy away from tough topics – and occasionally breaks the fourth wall. This book – and series – has fast become a firm favourite of mine.
THIS CRUEL DESIGN
The sequel to This Mortal Coil, this second book is just as thrilling, suspenseful, and addictive as its predecessor. This Cruel Design is, for me, what a sequel should be. It continues where the first book left off and raises the stakes. There are twists and turns at every corner. The second book in a trilogy can really make or break a series. This book 100% makes it. It is, by far, one of my favourite sequels to a book. And now I am anxiously awaiting the release of the final book in the trilogy – This Vicious Cure.
So this is my list of my top five books I read last year. Can you tell that my two favourite genres are fantasy and sci-fi? I fell into a fantasy and sci-fi slump for a few months in 2019 so I’m actually surprised this list was made up entirely of fantasy and sci-fi books. My one honourable mention – and the book that I agonised over including on this list – was The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Not the usual genre I read but a book that immersed me from start to finish.