It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Yes, yes, Christmas and all that, but even better…end of the year book lists! It’s always a delight to compare and contrast my favorite books of 2019 with other book bloggers and readers. This year I’m focusing on the best fiction books of 2019 since the number of nonfiction books I read is shameful.
I’ve finally started paying more attention to new releases, so my best fiction of 2019 can actually focus on books released this year! I’m attributing this mostly to joining bookstagram. It’s hard to resist reading the latest and greatest when you’re bombarded with gorgeous pictures. Since I do still read a lot of older books too, I added a section at the end for those favorites that I read this year.
Before I get to my list of the Best Fiction Books of 2019, I want to announce an upcoming blog linkup! We’re in a unique position to examine our reading life this year since it’s the end of a decade. So, Allison of Mind Joggle and I are hosting a Best Books of the Decade linkup! We’re sharing our favorite books from the past ten years and asking you to join us.
The linkup goes live on Tuesday, December 17th. If you’re a book blogger, start writing those Best of the Decades posts now. If you’re a regular reader, be prepared to join the discussion in the comments! We’d also love to hear how your reading has changed since 2010. Do you read more of a certain genre? Who were your favorite authors back then? How has blogging or bookstagramming affected your reading life?
Also, don’t forget to use #bestbooksofthedecade if you’re chatting on social media 🙂
Announcement over, so let’s get back to my best fiction books of 2019
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My Favorite 2019 New Releases
A Curse So Dark and Lonely
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: YA Fantasy
Summary: Cursed to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Harper’s got her own issues: a dying mother and her brother constantly underestimating her due to her cerebral palsy. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into the magical world of Emberfell.
My Thoughts: I’ll read any Beauty and the Beast retelling that’s available, but I’m a particular sucker for those in the YA fantasy genre! I read this in two days because I couldn’t stop flipping through the pages. I can’t wait for the sequel to come out 2020 since I’m dying to continue the story.
Evvie Drake Starts Over
Author: Linda Holmes
Summary: Recently widowed Evvie Drake is struggling to get her life back on track. Dean Tenney, former major-league pitcher, can’t throw straight anymore, and doesn’t know why. When Dean moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie’s house, the two make a deal: Dean won’t ask about Evvie’s late husband, and Evvie won’t ask about Dean’s baseball career. But rules are made to be broken.
My Thoughts: It’s always a pleasant change of pace to read about singles in different stages of life. A widow and aging baseball player certainly aren’t the usual candidates for romance. Ultimately, this story was about overcoming their struggles, with an unexpected bonus from finding each other.
Author: Beth O’Leary
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Summary: Tiffy and Leon are strangers who agree to share a one bedroom flat. Leon works night shift so he has it each weekday. Tiffy lives there the rest of the time. They communicate through basic post-it notes and texts. However, as they get to know each other, they each start to wonder if their just roommates or something more.
My Thoughts: Despite the frankly crazy living situation, I adored this slow build romance. Reading Tiffy and Leon’s witty banter through notes and texts was a ton of fun.
Author: Jennifer Robson
Genre: Historical Fiction
Summary: Ann and Miriam are two of the women selected to work on the detailed embroidery featured on Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown. Centuries later, Heather is trying to uncover the mystery of the embroidery flowers left to her by her late grandmother.
My Thoughts: This topic didn’t immediately catch my attention, but enough rave reviews convinced me to read it. Ann and Miriam’s friendship is a delight to read and I was enthralled by the details involved in the intricate embroidery process.
Author: Philippa Gregory
Genre: Historical Fiction
Summary: England 1648. Alinor, a descendant of wise women, lives in poverty since her husband abandoned her and their children. When she accidentally gets involved in the political civil war, she finds herself with unexpected opportunities to improve their lives. But with those changes come deep suspicion and accusations of witchcraft.
My Thoughts: This is my hands down favorite of book of 2019. The story is undeniably compelling and Alinor is a fantastic character. There’s political unrest, witch hunting, romance, and sacrifice. Everything you hope for in historical fiction!
Author: Stephen King
Summary: Luke Ellis’ parents are murdered in a quiet suburb and he wakes up in a room just like his own at home. Outside his door though, he realizes he’s being held prisoner in an institution where kids with special physic abilities are brutally tested. He soon learns he must find a way to escape if he wants to keep his life.
My Thoughts: Stephen King knocked it out the park once again. This is a great first read for anyone who’s new to King. It’s not full of horror or terrifying scenes. This is all about the abuse of power and it’s devastating consequences. Luke is a hero you’ll be up all night rooting for as you race to find out what happens to him.
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Genre: Christmas Chick Lit
Summary: Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) adores Christmas. But, Becky’s parents are moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch and have asked Becky if she’ll host Christmas this year. What could possibly go wrong?
My Thoughts: I’m a longtime fan of the Shopaholic series, but I always have a bit of trepidation when a new addition is released. Thankfully, I had nothing to fear. This may be my favorite of the bunch! It’s part laugh out loud funny and part heartwarmingly sweet.
25 Days Til Christmas
Author: Poppy Alexander
Genre: Christmas Fiction
Summary: Kate used to love Christmas but since her husband died she dreads the holiday season. This year though, she wants to give her son the Christmas he deserves.
My Thoughts: This will be a holiday story I return to again and again. It’s not always a light, breezy read since Kate is struggling with money issues, finding the best education for her son, and much more. Yet it still ends on a delightfully hopeful note. Plus, I adore the slow development of a potential relationship with another lonely soul.
Favorite Older Reads in 2019
The Simple Wild
Author: K A Tucker
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Summary: City girl Calla Fletcher attempts to reconnect with her estranged father, and unwittingly finds herself torn between her desire to return to the bustle of Toronto and a budding relationship with a rugged Alaskan pilot.
My Thoughts: There’s so much about this story to love and laugh at. A city girl who Instagrams her entire life trying to live without wifi. Terrible first impressions that lead to mutual respect. A chance at redemption with a father who supposedly abandoned his kid. It’s a romance but also simply a well-written and enjoyable story.
Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Genre: Young Adult
Summary: Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier’s secret is at risk being revealed. He’s actually being blackmailed and the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised. With drama in his once tight-knit group of friends, and emails with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated.
My Thoughts: This is the best kind of young adult love story. It has all of the drama, cute flirtation, and empowerment I hope for in teen romances. Plus, uncovering the mysterious identity of Blue is an added bonus. The movie is incredible as well!
The Great Alone
Author: Kristin Hannah
Summary: Ernt, a war vet and unpredictable man, moves his wife and daughter to Alaska in the 1970’s to begin a new life away from civilization. Cora will follow her husband anywhere, so she and Leni learn to live off the land and kindness of locals. As Ernt becomes more and more volatile, Cora and Leni have to make tough decisions to survive.
My Thoughts: This was one of the most popular book of 2018 for good reason. The plot is completely captivating – two women struggling against the brutal Alaskan wilderness as well as battling their love for a dangerous man.
My Favorite Half-Night Stand
Author: Christina Lauren
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Summary: Millie Morris has always been one of the guys, but just like her four best guy friends, she’s always single. The group makes a pact to try online dating, but she ends up in a “half-night stand” with one them just before their profiles go live.
My Thoughts: This was my first Christina Lauren and still my favorite. I loved the online dating aspect, various forms of communication, and friends to lovers trope!
Still Life (Inspector Gamache #1)
Author: Louise Penny
Summary: Chief Inspector Gamache is assigned to investigate a suspicious death in the small Canadian town of Three Pines. The locals assume it’s a hunting accident, but as the Chief gets to know the townspeople and begins his investigation, he suspects something more sinister occurred.
My Thoughts: I FINALLY started reading this series after hearing Modern Mrs Darcy rave about it for years. Murder mysteries are not my thing, but I adore these books for the charming small town and quirky characters. Inspector Gamache is a lovable, by-the-book detective who makes this series appealing for any type of reader.
What were your favorite fiction books of 2019? Share in the comments!