What an amazing year of books it’s been! I read a total of 18 books, 7 of which I rated 5/5 stars – that’s almost 50% the amount of books I read. I’d say that’s pretty incredible 🙂 I think the biggest factor that contributed to this huge success was the fact that I put zero pressure on myself this year. 18 is not the biggest number, but I enjoyed every single book i read this year, which is a huge win for me already. you can read all about my year in reading over on this blogpost here. for now, let’s take a look at my favorite books of 2019!
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
The Night Circus is the kind of book that will swoop you away to a night of magic and mysteries. You can almost taste the flavors of the circus’ delicious cinnamon rolls and feel the crackling magic that fills each tent. It’s an atmospheric book that will keep you company during those long, chilly nights. Make sure you savor each page and take your time with this one! You can also read my review here if you’re interested!
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues — a bee, a key, and a sword — that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.
What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians — it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction.
Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose–in both the mysterious book and in his own life.
Oh man, another Morgenstern novel? If you guys don’t already know, she’s the QUEEN of storytelling! The Starless Sea is different, yet similar to The Night Circus in so many ways. The author has this way of making her novel read and feel like a dream. It’s disorienting, whimsical, beautiful, sad, tragic, magical. This book is a story within a story, about a boy who loves books and becomes so enchanted by one, he becomes a part of it. So I’m calling out all you booklovers to pick this one up right away if you haven’t already!! You can also read my review here if you’re interested!
The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming promise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of an oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother’s birth through the lens of his camera. Photography–and fate–introduce him to Ana, whose family’s interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War–as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel’s photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of difficult decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.
Includes vintage media reports, oral history commentary, photos, and more.
My first Sepetys novel and definitely not my last. Her writing is SO addicting. The story reads so much like a memory that is tinged with sadness and tragedy. I love that the author writes books about less known historical events. They’re so interesting, and definitely just as important as other prominent historical events such as those that took place in WWI and WWII. I cannot wait to read more of her books. You can also read my review here if you’re interested!
The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over — and see everything anew.
Gripping, real, funny, and raw. We follow a bookseller and his life journey, filled with his love for books. It’s a story about real life and its ups and downs. It’s a story about people, the unexpected events that can occur at any point in your life. It’s a story about books! The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is so charming. You’ll be so attached to the characters by the end of the book, I can promise you that! You can also read my review here if you’re interested!
Falling Away (Fall Away series, #3) by Penelope Douglas
*POTENTIAL SPOILERS IN SYNOPSIS*
Jaxon is the guy she’s supposed to avoid.
K.C. is the girl he won’t let get away….
K.C. Carter has always followed the rules—until this year, when a mistake leaves her the talk of her college campus and her carefully arranged life comes crashing to a halt. Now she’s stuck in her small hometown for the summer to complete her court-ordered community service, and to make matters worse, trouble is living right next door.
Jaxon Trent is the worst kind of temptation and exactly what K.C. was supposed to stay away from in high school. But he never forgot her. She was the one girl who wouldn’t give him the time of day and the only one to ever say no. Fate has brought K.C. back into his life—except what he thought was a great twist of luck turns out to be too close for comfort. As the bond between them grows, he discovers that convincing K.C. to get out from her mother’s shadow is hard, but revealing the darkest parts of his soul is nearly impossible.…
Ahh a new adult book! It’s been a while since I feature an NA novel here on my blog. This year I’ve been purely OBSESSED with the ?Bully? series by Penelope Douglas. I have a BUNCH of highlights and comments on my ebook because of how much I love the story in this series. I love that the characters in this series have their own demons to fight, alone AND together. LOVE the family dynamic in this too. Everyone in this novel is amazing, and they’re prepared to help each other out no matter how ugly the situation!
Aflame (Fall Away series, #4) by Penelope Douglas
*POTENTIAL SPOILERS IN SYNOPSIS*
Everyone wants to be me.
Maybe it’s the sway of my skirt or the way I flip my hair, but I don’t care. Even though their attention is the last thing I crave, I just can’t stop. I dominate the track, the speed rattles my bones, and the wind and the crowd screams my name.
I’m her. The girl driver. The queen of the race. And I’m surviving—something he thought I’d never do.
They all talk about him. Did you see Jared Trent on T.V? What did you think of his last race, Tate? When is he coming back to town, Tate?
But I refuse to care too much. Because when Jared does come home, I won’t be here.
Tatum Brandt is gone. I’m someone new.
Okay so the forth instalment in this series is pretty freaking amazing as well?? It’s just so well written. You see SO much growth in these characters. I love that the main focus in this novel is how each character learn to love themselves before loving others. I can’t stress how much I FANGIRLED over every little thing. It’s sexy and funny, but amongst that it is also an important read for anyone who often feel like they have to face the world alone. ❤ Plus, you grow so attached to everyone :’) This series is an absolute gem.
The Shadow of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Barcelona, 1945. Just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his eleventh birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother’s face. To console his only child, Daniel’s widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona’s guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again. Daniel’s father coaxes him to choose a volume from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him. And Daniel so loves the novel he selects, ‘The Shadow of the Wind’, by one Julian Carax, that he sets out to find the rest of Carax’s work. To his shock, he discovers that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book this author has written. In fact, he may have the last one in existence. Before Daniel knows it his seemingly innocent quest has opened a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets, an epic story of murder, magic, madness and doomed love. And before long he realizes that if he doesn’t find out the truth about Julian Carax, he and those closest to him will suffer horribly.
Here’s another fantastic read that will hook you from the beginning till the end. It’s atmospheric and beautiful in every single way. The writing, setting, the story.. be prepared to feel all sorts of emotions, because this book is an absolute roller coaster ride. This book is also one of the main reasons why I want to visit Barcelona so badly! It’s breathtaking, enigmatic and seductive. Be sure to savor every page! You can also read my review here if you’re interested!
Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? And if you haven’t, would you consider picking up any of the books mentioned after reading this post? :’) Let me know in the comments below! I hope you all had an amazing year. Here’s to a new decade filled with amazing books!
If you’re interested in buying any of these books mentioned, you can click here to shop the book at Book Depository. I receive a small commission if you use the link! 🙂
Ruta Sepetys is amazing!! I would 100% recommend that you pick up Salt to the Sea next. It’s the first novel I read by her, and I fell in love with it. The Night Circus has been on my TBR for what feels like ages and ages, so I need to pick that up this year. Happy reading in 2020!!
I feel like everyone has read The Night Circus but me. I’m excited to get to it this year. It’s on my tbr list. Besides my love for fantasy, I’ve yet to read any books by Sepetys. The synopsis is intriguing enough. I’ll be putting her on my tbr list as well.
Darianne | http://www.placestoconstrue.com