As I said on my Worst Reads of 2019 post, I’m a pretty easy to please reader. I tend to get swept away in the story and for the most part I enjoy almost everything I read. So when it comes to choosing the best books I read this year, I have to admit that I had a really hard time. There are so, so many good books that I read over this year that it was hard to choose the best, and even harder to narrow it down to the top 5. So in order to do this, I gave myself some criteria. In order to end up on my Top 5 Reads of 2019 list, the book couldn’t be a re-read. It also couldn’t be a sequel, and so I will admit that I cheated a little bit and made a list of the best sequels I read in 2019 just to make narrowing this down a little easier. With those criteria in mind, I was still left with a fair bit of a list, so I had to narrow it down some more. That was the hard part, but I was able to do it. Below the cut, in no particular order, you will find my five best reads of 2019.
- Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus
This was such a good thriller. I picked it up because I loved Karen M. McManus’s first novel, and I really liked the premise. I was very much not disappointed. I know that this book had some mixed reviews, but I really liked the way that the mystery developed. I also really liked the two main characters and the way they ended up involved in everything that was going on. I had a hard time putting it down because I needed to know what was going to happen, and I think it caught me by surprise as well. In the end, it was that last line of the novel that really got me. It was like a punch in the gut that left me thinking about the book for a long time after the fact.
- Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin
This book was like a perfect storm for me. It was a Henry VIII retelling set in a high school, and the instant I heard about it, I knew I needed to read it. I picked it up from a bookstore and read it really quickly. I loved the main character, and the way that the author changed the story from the history that I was familiar with to a more modern high school setting. I was obsessed with this book. Talking about it now, I really want to re-read it.
- Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
Rachel Hawkins is a wonderful author, and I really loved the worlds she creates. This book isn’t really my usual type of novel as it’s a YA romance, but I’m so glad I picked it up. It’s an absolute delight of a story. The main character was stupendous, and the love interest was fantastically snarky. I liked the way that they came together, and the way that they had to struggle through all the things pulling them apart. The story is really sweet, and if you haven’t read these books yet, you really, really should.
- Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
After all the hype about this book, I was definitely intrigued. I tried to keep myself from getting too swept away, because I didn’t want the hype to over-inflate my expectations. As it turned out, this book was, in my opinion, totally worth the hype. It had been a very, very long time since I have been so swept away in a book that I managed to convince myself that it was real. However, I somehow managed to do that with this one. I devoured the story wanting to know what Daisy Jones and Six got up to. I read their ‘testimonies’ and I convinced myself that they were real people and that when I finished the book I’d be able to go out and listen to the music. But then I finished the book and I remembered that it was a fiction story and I was really sad. I desperately can’t wait for the show.
- Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw
The last book on this list is also my most recent read on this list. I loved Shea Ernshaw’s first book, and so I was really, really looking forward to her second novel. I was not disappointed. I loved Winterwood so much. It was witchy, and wonderful. It’s also the perfect winter read. I really liked the story and the way the details unfolded slowly. I also liked the interludes from the main character’s family’s book. It’s a very unique kind of story, and I’m sure not everyone will love it, but I really, really did. It made me very happy.
What were the best books you read in 2019? Let me know in the comments down below.