The 10 Best Books I Read in 2019 // Me Being a Basic Book Blogger, But For A Good Reason

2019 was a lot of things, and one of those things was a good reading year.

I discovered many new favorites, went out of my comfort zone with books (a little), experienced book hype, and found new authors I love. Yes, there were slumps and disappointing books, but at the end of the day, I look back on what I read over the last twelves months and feel satisfied and happy with it.

So even though this is a very typical book blogger move, today I’m going to be talking about the ten best books I read. My hope is that this post can give you a few recommendations (because don’t we all need our TBRs to grow larger) and allow me to scream one more time about the books I loved in 2019.

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There are a lot of books I wish I could include on this list, but I only reread them in 2019, so I don’t feel as if I can count them here. I also wish I could pick an exact order and rank the books accordingly, but I genuinely can’t pick an order, so this post is not necessarily in an order of how good I felt the book was.

Enough of me rambling, on to the books!

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Girls of Paper and Fire, by Natasha Ngan

Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire #1)Is this the perfect example of me conforming to the hype surrounding a book? Yes. Do I mind? Not really, because I truly believe this book deserves all the hype it gets. I don’t know what hasn’t been said yet about Girls of Paper and Fire, but I do know that I found it captivating, empowering, and incredibly beautiful. It’s only fitting that it makes my list, and I’m sure it will be appearing in many other posts like this (as well as posts like this last year, since it was published at the end of 2018).

{My full review}

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Famous in a Small Town, by Emma Mills

Famous in a Small TownEmma Mills is one of my favorite authors, so I knew Famous in a Small Town was destined for greatness right away. Did anyone catch my small Raven Cycle reference here. It didn’t disappoint me. I’ve already talked about this book way too many times, but it ultimately made this list because it’s the perfect Hufflepuff Book™, has wholesome friendships, a wholesome romance, wholesome family vibes, and felt like a warm hug the entire time. I’m obsessed, and you can be too if you read it! I promise you don’t want to miss out on this masterpiece.

{My full review}

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn HugoOh, look, another book with immeasurable hype surrounding it! I did not expect to love this book as much as I did (especially after I realized it was adult fiction), but I was absolutely entranced by it. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was beautiful and meaningful and shockingly real and explored things I’d never thought about before. It was glitz and glamour, but also raw and emotional. I hope the fact that this has made my list of favorites and the infinite glowing reviews this book has received will convince you to read it.

 

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Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)I had so many expectations for this book, and they were so blown out of the park that I wrote an entire post dedicated solely to my love for Six of Crows. I’m immensely grateful for the constant nagging from the bookish community to read this, because the characters (and their dynamics!! also my favorite is Jesper in case you were curious), the world-building, the moral greyness, and messages of belonging, acceptance, and loss have my entire heart. I am now complete trash for this book, and I hope that never changes.

{My full review}

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The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Riddle of Ages, by Trenton Lee Stewart

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Riddle of Ages (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #4)This book gave me the rare and lovely pleasure of returning to my childhood in the sweetest way possible- through the new addition to a series that I’ve loved for years. The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Riddle of Ages has made this list because it truly made me heart so, so happy. Getting to reunite with my beloved Kate, Sticky, Constance, and Reynie (Reynie still has my heart after all these years), seeing them a little more grown-up but still with all the quirks that I fell in love with, was a reading highlight of the year.

 

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My Life Next Door, by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next DoorI love when a book absolutely blows your expectations out of the water, and that’s exactly what happened with My Life Next Door. The reason why this was one of my favorite books was because it managed to be an adorable, sweet, enjoyable YA contemporary without being a YA contemporary full of nothing but fluff. Did that only make sense in my head. I fell in love with the main character, the love interest (he was a really good big brother and it was so sweet), the family dynamics, and the plot that definitely twisted in a way I wasn’t expecting. I want to read this again for sure, and I remember completely devouring it.

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Goodbye Perfect, by Sara Barnard

Goodbye, PerfectThis was another book that had no hype surrounding it but ended up being amazing. Goodbye, Perfect completely enthralled me with its interesting premise, characters that felt like they could come alive because they were that real, a healthy relationship (in a YA novel?? what is this sorcery??), and powerful messages. Wow. I never would have thought this book would end up on this list, but when I was looking through Goodreads to write this post, it was an obvious choice. I will not be forgetting about this read anytime soon!

{My full review}

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Radio Silence, by Alice Oseman

Radio SilenceI didn’t know what I was getting into with Radio Silence, and it hit me way harder than I expected it to. What a genuinely real, beautiful book that captivated me and held on tight. The important thoughts on education (finally, someone talks about the true stress put on students), the platonic love (I’m never going to stop crying at, “I platonically love you”), and an incredibly diverse cast of characters really made this read excellent. I remember crying my eyes out during this book, and yet I still want to reread it, so that should highlight its greatness.

{My full review}

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Emmy & Oliver, by Robin Benway

Emmy & OliverEmmy & Oliver was so sweet that my teeth hurt just thinking about it. Well, that’s an exaggeration, but seriously, this book was utterly adorable and everything my Hufflepuff heart ever desired in a contemporary novel. Its quiet nature spoke to me, and I cannot properly express how much this beautiful story of friendship and love meant to me. Sometimes you feel like a book is written for you, and that’s how this book was for me. I’m so happy I read it, and I know it will always be a favorite in years to come.

{My full review}

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The How and the Why, by Cynthia Hand

The How and the Why

I’m convinced it’s fate that I read this book. I never, ever read books that I pick out randomly in the library. But this one time, I got this off the shelf, thought it looked good and proceeded to read the entire (450 page) book in one sitting because I could not put it down. I’m planning to do a review on The How and the Why soon, but ultimately, this book is making this list (though I finished it only a few days ago) because it had the unique ability to completely draw me in and make me care about characters instantly. The plot was interesting, kept moving, and I fell in love with the story. Utterly beautiful, that’s all I have to say for now.

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There we have it, my top ten books of the year! Some of these are books I’ve known for ages would make it on my list, but there were others that I didn’t realize had such an impact on me until I was looking through everything I read in 2019.

Also, I apologize for the fact that I disappeared for two weeks right after returning from my hiatus. School just got crazy, but thankfully I’m on break now. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas if you celebrate, and a magical holiday season.✨ This post is a little off schedule, but I decided it was better to just post it since the year will be ending before we know it.

I’m planning to do a more comprehensive 2019 wrap-up in a few days, and then I’m also hoping to get content planned out for the next month or so while I’m still on break from school and dance! I hope you all enjoyed this post, and thank you very much for reading. Here’s to wishing you all the best 2020 reading-wise and life-wise!

Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? What are the best books you read this year? How was your Christmas? I’d love to talk with you in the comments.

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Photo by Robert Anasch on Unsplash

 

48 thoughts on “The 10 Best Books I Read in 2019 // Me Being a Basic Book Blogger, But For A Good Reason

  1. So many faves on this list but also so many books that I’m excited to try out!! I just got my own copy of Radio Silence, and I’m super excited to read it 🥰 I’ve also seen My Life Next Door available often at my library, and it sounds like just my type of contemporary!!

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  2. I see so many books I adore on this list. Emma Mills can do no wrong as far as I am concerned. I am sad to say, I have now read all her books, and must impatiently wait until her next release (2021, I hope). SoC is outside my normal reading zone, but I was pushed into by my co-blogger and loved it. I thought the Garretts were such an amazing family. I could totally understand why Samantha wanted to be one of them. I discovered Barnard last year, and she is an auto-read for me at this point. Love her! Same for Benway. Her books are all so amazing.

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  3. These books all sound great! Thanks for sharing–I’ll have to read them in the coming year. 😉

    I think the best book I read this year was either The Scorpio Races or The Raven Boys, both by Maggie Stiefvater. She really is an amazing author!

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    • Thank you so much for reading this post! I’m so, so happy it could give you some recommendations, that’s what I hoped it would do.🤗

      I absolutely love The Raven Cycle series! I would have put it on this list, except I read it in December of 2018, so it barely missed the cut. I need to read Maggie Stiefvater’s other books soon though!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a great Top 10! I’ve only read 2 on here, but agree they were both phenomenal. The ones on my TBR I’m pushing higher up, and the ones I’ve not heard of I’m definitely looking into! Thanks for such a great post, Olivia!!

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  5. We have some favourites in common! I loved Goodbye Perfect and A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder. Something about dodgy teachers makes me intrigued XD Towards the end of this year my ratings got lower because I couldn’t find any other good books in my local library. I’m hoping that next year will be consistently okay on the reading front – I really hate slumps! x

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  6. oh, I’m so happy to see so many of my favorites on this list!! SoC, Evelyn Hugo, Radio Silence, GOPAF… all very high quality books if I have to say so myself! 😎

    I haven’t read the latest MBS book but I am so excited to! I just reread book 2 and hopefully I’ll get to book 3 (and 4) soon. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much!!

    aahh I’m so excited to get around to the rest of Emma Mills’ books! I’ve heard Famous in a Small Town is one of her best from multiple people, and I 100% trust you after loving Foolish Hearts so much 😭

    and have you read Robin Benway’s other book, Far From the Tree? I feel like you’d definitely love it if you haven’t already!

    great post!! I hope you have another wonderful reading year in 2020 💛✨

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    • Yay!! I feel like I ended up reading a lot of those books because of recommendations from your blog, so thank you for that. 😉

      It’s so cute!! I saw a lot of negative reviews, but don’t let that deter you because it’s honestly just so amazing to return to the world and get to see all the wonderful characters again. I may have almost cried with happiness, just because MBS is so nostaglic for me!

      Ahh! Famous in a Small Town is definitely my second favorite after Foolish Hearts. (The rest are really good too, and I would for sure recommend, but those two are just stellar.)

      I haven’t, but it’s on my TBR. I’ll be sure to get around to it soon, thank you for the rec!!

      Thank you, May!! Wishing you the best reading year as well.💖

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  7. Ahhh Olivia I LOVE your list of books SO much, so many books I adore here. My Life Next Door, Emmy & Oliver, Famous in a Small Town, Radio Silence, Evelyn Hugo, so many books ahhh, I love these SO damn much. ❤

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  8. even though i love contemporary, i have yet to read anything by emma mills! famous in a small town is the one that interests me the most, because i believe it deals with celebrity/fandom culture (i may be wrong, but i remember someone mentioning that) and having you pitch it as the Hufflepuff Book™ only makes me more excited!
    radio silence totally made it into my list as well. i got teary-eyed as well, because of everything these characters had to go through hit so close to home. the platonic love too!!!! i loved their friendship so much and found both characters really relatable. i genuinely want to pick up everything by alice oseman now, hahah.
    your list was so lovely and wholesome, olivia! thanks for sharing!

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    • Ahh, Lais, I really think you would love Emma Mills! If you do read her, I recommend starting with Foolish Hearts or Famous in a Small Town, as those two are my favorites. 🤗Oh, Famous in a Small Town kind of has to do with a celebrity (but not really a lot, it’s hard to explain) but Foolish Hearts is the one with fandom culture in it. IT’S SO GOOD.
      Yes, yes, yes! The platonic love + messages that I actually related to + all the emotions it gave me equalled one powerful story.
      Thank you so much, Lais! I’m glad you enjoyed it.💖

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  9. YESS!! I’m always so excited to see Radio Silence in a list like this — this was one of my favorite book too!

    Though I didn’t read THIS particular Sara Barnard, I definately wanna read more of hers in the future. The one I read was Fierce Fragile Heart, loved it !

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  10. These look like great reads! I added The How and the Why to my tbr because I enjoyed one of her earlier works and this looks like it’ll be excellent. I hope you had a lovely new year celebration and happy reading!

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  11. I love Six of Crows and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo with all my heart – they really, truly lived up to the hype. 🙂 Radio Silence and The How & the Why are two novels I’m extremely excited for and I plan to read in 2020, so it’s nice to see them on your best of list. 🙂

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    • They so did! Those two are just some of my all-time favorites and I will not stop talking about them (like ever). 😉 I’m so happy you’re going to read those too! They’re so good, I definitely wasn’t expecting to love them as much as I did and it was a pleasant surprise. Happy reading in the new year!

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  12. Aahhh I absolutely loveee Famous in a Small Town and Evelyn Hugo!! I’m so glad you loved them too 😍 I can’t believe I still haven’t read Six of Crows yet (I know, how is that possible?? hahaha) but after reading this post, I know that I definitely need to read it sometime this year. Amazing post as always! : )

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    • Yay! They’re just so good, right? *cries for ten years about Emma Mills and Evelyn Hugo* I held out on reading Six of Crows for a long time as well, but I ended up really liking it and I hope you do too. Thank you so much! Happy reading❤️

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  13. I loved reading this post and seeing all your favourites. I’m so glad you had a good reading year!!
    And I can see some many of my favourites too!! Like Evelyn Hugo, Radio Silence and Six of Crows (I think Wylan is my favourite). The hype led me well with these books!!
    I am going to be reading Girls of Paper and Fire this year so it makes me so happy to hear that you loved it!! I’m ready to get emotionally attached to all these characters!!
    I say this every time but I need to read Emma Mills books– I also love the new covers for the books!!
    (I loved TRC reference so much)!! 😂
    I would also love to read Sara Barnard books even though I haven’t heard too much, it has all been good!!
    I hope 2020 is another great reading year! Wonderful post Olivia!! ❤

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    • Aww, Sophie, thank you so much!💓
      Ahh that makes me so happy to see some of my favorites are also some of yours. Evelyn Hugo, Radio Silence, and Six of Crows are all such powerful stories- I LOVE. Also, I adore Wylan so much! He and Jesper are *chef’s kiss*
      Yay! I hope you get as emotionally attached as I did. 😉 Ahh, I’m really happy you caught my Raven Cycle reference, I was quite proud of it due to the fact that TRC and Emma Mills novels are two of my most absolute favorite things to exist. XD
      Thank you again, you are too sweet! I hope your reading year is very magical.✨

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  14. Hi Olivia!!!! *hugs* I hope you’ve been doing well! ❤ I still haven't read anything by Emma Mills before, but you have continuously made me want to read Famous in a Small Town! It sounds like a sweet book and I need it in my life! I want to experience all those Hufflepuff vibes in it! Haha. Also, I am SO happy (and relieved lol) that you adored Six of Crows so much!!!

    I hope your 2020 reading year is absolutely incredible! ☺️

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    • Hi, Kelly!! Thank you so much- school has been crazy, but thankfully it’s the weekend and so that’s always good. I hope you’ve been well, too and that everything is going great for you!💗Ahh, I would consider a major life goal accomplished if you read Emma Mills books…I mean, I’m only slightly joking, they’re just THAT GOOD. And of course, I could not NOT love the beauty that is Six of Crows!

      Thank you so much! I hope the same for you.✨

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  15. Um did you know that Emma Mills had a new book that just came out on January 14?? Why have I not heard about this? My library didn’t have it, but I just requested it. Unfortunately she ended her trend of pattern covers. But she has a new book out!!!
    My Life Next Door and Goodbye Perfect sound like the perfect contemporary reads. When I’m feeling that urge to read something kind of fluffy but not just fluffy, I will be very glad this list will be here :))

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    • I kind of knew?? I vaguely had heard about this, and had it added on Goodreads. But I didn’t realize it actually already came out! Wow, that is SO exciting, seeing as she has yet to disappoint me. I can’t wait to see if my library has it! (Also, the lack of patterned covers is a little sad, but it’s okay.) Have you read it yet?
      THEY ARE. Aww, that makes me happy to hear.❤️

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      • Yes, I read it this month! Foolish Hearts is still my favorite, but I’m not sure if I like Famous in a Small Town next or Lucky Caller. I always think of First & Then as my second, but I really need to reread it because I don’t remember. Lucky Caller felt kind of different from her other books in a few ways-tell me what you think afterward!
        I went to the book fair today and got a copy of Foolish Hearts signed by Emma!!!!! She was so nice. I actually asked her about the new covers-she said the publishers like the drawing covers, but she said she prefers the original covers :)) Also, I asked her to sign a Foolish Hearts postcards that was on her table to you—is there any way I can get that to you??

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        • Ooh, it takes second place?? That’s a good sign, especially since I think our rankings are very similar- mine is Foolish Hearts first too, with Famous in a Small Town second. (Then I don’t remember First & Then and This Adventure Ends enough to know which is next, haha.) I hope I can read it soon, what with libraries being closed at the moment and everything.
          I’m so happy you got to go!! THAT IS AMAZING. Wow, that’s awesome, and I love that you asked her about the covers. Oh my gosh, Annie, thank you, that’s so nice of you!! I’m not sure if I would be allowed to give my address or anything, but maybe at some point in the future we’ll be able to see each other at another book festival or maybe randomly at a bookstore…but seriously, thank you so much, I’m really honored you thought of me!

          Liked by 1 person

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