Hi everyone! It’s New Year’s Eve! I’m wishing all of you a wonderful 2020 full of happiness, love and so many great books! In my last post of 2019, I want to share with you my favorite books that I read in 2019 that are not romance books since I already posted my favorite romance books of 2019.
I had a lot of trouble deciding what books to include in this list and I finally narrowed down to ten. This list is in no particular other except for the first book, which is my favorite of the year. Without futher ado, here are my favorite books of 2019:
Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno
This is my favorite book of the year because it’s the book that has struck with me the most, I think about it constantly and everytime I do, I get so emotional. It’s not often that a book breaks my heart and makes me sob while also being hopeful, but this book managed to do just that. The writing is beautiful, the characters are flawed but lovable, the small town and the community that’s like a huge family are wonderful elements of the story, but my favorite aspects of this book are the complicated and bittersweet family dynamics and the brilliant way it explores the feelings of a granddaughter of immgrants: the feelings of confusion and guilt for belonging to two places at once, speaking biligual words, not knowing exactly where she comes from and not knowing what happened to the family that stayed behind.
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
This book is magic, it reminded me why I love fantasy and it reminded me how awestruck I can be by a new magical, whimsical world. The writing is stunning and it sets a tone of wonder and curiosity and posibility, that goes perfectly with the mystery within the story. The main character Lazlo is precious and there are so many other fascinating and complicated characters, that it’s imposible not to root for them. I was so captivated by the discovery of what happened in weep and I was amazed by how the consequences of it are shown: the quiet and subtle sorrow and anger. The combination of all these things sucked me into this story of gods and monsters and made me feel invested until it hit me with the shocking and heartbreaking ending.
The Wicked King & The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
The Wicked King and The Queen of Nothing are highly entertaining, full of twist and turns, and brimming with complex and compelling characters and relationships. These two books are filled with angst, betrayal, deceive, lust, murder, mind games, viciousness and wit, all of it is so enthralling and intoxicating that you can help but be completly captivated by the story. My favorite character by far is Jude, a human in a fairy court, who manages to surprise the fairies by being smart and coniving. And my absolutely favorite thing about this series is Cardan and Jude’s relationship, which is angsty and complicated, but so intense and passionate. (review)
We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
We Set the Dark on Fire captured my heart with two beautifully complex main characters, a forbidden love story, fascinating mythology, an infuriating world and a flawed and complicated rebelious group. This book holds a really special place in my heart because it’s the respectful and wonderful Latinx representation that we have been waiting for in fantasy. Beyond all those amazing things, the strengh of this book lays in the way it addresses immigration, privilege, poverty and opression, because it manages to evoke so many emotions and be incredibly thought-provoking, it’s brilliantly done.
Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria
This book has five diverse main characters – queer, poc, struggling with mental health and trauma- that have distintive voices and personalies and one of my favorite things about this book is the way it seamlessly integrates the different aspects of the characters identities to the story. Moreover, I loved the way the relationships between the main characters is explored; there’s so many things that make the relationships between them complicated and STILL they love and trust each other and it’s so beautiful. Other great elements of the story are the twists and turns that are very well done and the pace that keeps the book entertaining and engaging the whole time. (review)
Before the Devil Break You by Libba Bray
This book has the same eery, creepy vibe that the other two books in this series and it’s one of my favorite things about it, there are some scenes in this book that made me so uneasy – specially the ones that take place at the asylum. I think one of the things this series does so well is that the plot keeps getting more and more complex and because of that, it manages to keep me interested in the whole mystery behind what’s happening and it makes me want to get to the bottom of all the secrets and lies. Also, I’m so invested in what’s gonna happened to the characters, specially Evie and Sam, I’m rooting so hard for them.
A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna
This book takes place in a universe full of gods and goddesses from Indian lore, which gives a unique and intereting setting to the story. I loved that this book is full of political intrigue, sentient spaceships, floating cities, broken and complicated relationships. One of my favorite things about this book was one of the friendships that falls into the trope of the lazy prince that doesn’t care about anything except for the main character, which is a trope I love and that made me very emotional while reading this book. But the main reason this book is on this list is because of the ending, which shocked me and broke my heart and I hated it but at the same time it made sense and it was a good ending for the book.
Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri
This book has a fascinating magic system that revolves around dacing; incredible mythological creatures; a villain that’s cruel, mannipulative and conniving; two strong and resilient main characters; a slow-burn love story that’s so touching and beautiful that I get emotional everytime I think about it; and amazing writing that keep me gripped the entire time. This book does a great job at showing the fate of a conquered nation, how law and faith work together to maintain certain groups oppresed and the things people are capable of doing to others when those others are seen as less than human because of their differences.
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
This book is full of twists and turns and the unexpected. While it’s a very action pacted book- there’s a missil attack, a contagious disease that creates zombie like creatures, a defective AI that kills people – one of the strengths of the book lays in how much it makes you care about characters that you only see for a few pages, so that it’s very distressing and worrisome when bad things start happening to them. Another great thing about this book, is that it maneged to make me root for Kady and Ezra the entire time, I just wanted them to be together. Nonetheless, my favorite thing about this book were Kady and Aidan (the defective AI) and how complex and fascinating they were as characters and how devastating and engrossing their relationship was.
What were your favorite books of the year? Have you read any of the books on this list? Did you enjoy them?
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