My Favorite Books of 2019

Hi friends, and happy December 31st!

I hope that you’ve had a wonderfully festive Holiday season and a fantastic month overall.

Even though the new year is quite literally tomorrow, I’m having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that it’s a new decade. BUT, what I can understand and fully appreciate is the fact that I read some incredible books this past year. And, because I haven’t gushed about them enough, I certainly need to scream about them in my last post of 2019.

I read 70 books this year. My goal was 35.

In 2018, I read around 30 books. So, for 2019, I didn’t want to set any unattainable reading goals that would just ultimately make me feel like a “bad reader” (but the fact that GoodReads goals sometimes makes us feel like “bad readers” is an entirely different conversation).

I think I was able to read 70 books solely because of the fact that fantastic books just kept falling into my lap.

From recommendations from other book bloggers to my reader friends to a random Barnes & Noble employee, I read books I’ve been wanting to read for ages; I read books outside of my comfort zone; I read books that let me wander new genres; I read books and explored new worlds. As far as I’m concerned, 2019 was a fantastic reading year. And, out of those 70 books I did read this year, I found some new favorites that have built their homes in my heart.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

“Even in the Future, the story begins with Once Upon a Time.”

I may have finished Cinder only a few short days ago, but I know that the Lunar Chronicles already owns a place in my heart.

Despite the fact that I marked this book as to-read a solid four years ago, I don’t think I could’ve read it at a better time in my life. I’m not sure how to put it into words, but I’m sure every reader agrees: sometimes, a book just feels different because of the time of your life you read it. You can either love a book more or less than you expected to solely because of what’s going on in your real life. Cinder is one of those books for me.

Cinder is, arguably, probably one of the most lovable characters I’ve ever met. When you first meet her, you’re already rooting for her as she attempts to secretively readjust her bionic foot as she’s running her mechanic booth in the downtown market. Cinder is a strong female character that doesn’t subject to typical gender stereotypes, and she’s always willing to challenge anyone for something (or someone) she loves and believes in. And it’s not as if Cinder only is the greatest character because she’s the titular character, because at this point, I’d probably die for Iko.

Yes, Cinder is a fairytale retelling. Yes, you already know the ending to the story. But, what happens in the middle is the true gold.

The Raven Cycle + Call Down the Hawk
by Maggie Stiefvater

“She had never needed to be truly afraid before. There had always been another hand to catch her, or at least to hold hers as they fell together.”

I’m having the most amount of difficulty believing the fact that I didn’t even pick up The Raven Boys until early this year. Like, you’re meaning to tell me that I didn’t meet Adam Parrish until 2019?!

All jokes aside, The Raven Cycle series has easily become one of my all-time favorites. The series introduced me to Maggie’s incredible writing style and voice, of which I never experienced before. The whole series includes a rag-tag team of a found family that has wit that is completely unmatched. But I think one of the best things of these books are all the personal struggles and growths each character goes through.

Blue feels left out because she’s not like her family. Gansey is struggling to find the balance between living for yourself and living for others. Adam doesn’t fit in anywhere, even when he tries to force himself. Ronan is harboring a secret that isolates him more than he’ll ever know. Noah is a shadow of the life he wanted to live, a ghost. And I could keep going. The focus on mental health representation and ultimately fighting for your own well-being is nothing short of incredible, and I will forever love Maggie Steifvater for giving that gift to us.

You can read my full reviews of The Raven Boys; The Dream Thieves; Blue Lily, Lily Blue; The Raven King; and Call Down the Hawk by clicking their titles!

Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs

“We cling to our fairytales until the price for believing in them becomes too high.”

Shoutout to Books of Wonder in Manhattan for finally making me pick up this series.

I never really expected Miss. Peregrine’s to become one my favorites of the year. Honestly, I was just looking forward to reading it because I had heard so many wonderful things. The story itself is weirdly unique, and the characters uncannily themselves. My mind was almost always jumbled when I was trying to figure out the timeline, who should be where, and what was actually happening, but I loved that confusion. That confusion made me want to keep reading to unwrap the storylines and timelines and who’s in charge of what, just like the characters I was following.

Truthfully, I’m having trouble finding the words to convey exactly why I found this series to be so fantastic, but I just remember feeling so much while I was reading it. I inhaled the stories within a few days, and I was sad to have finished. But, I guess I’m pretty lucky because the fifth installation comes out in January (!!!).

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“Music can dig, you know? It can take a shovel to your chest and start digging until it hits something.”

Maybe it’s because this year, more than any, music has stood by my side at the exact moment I needed it, but I was sucked into Daisy Jones & The Six by the first page. While it is a story about successes, triumphs, and failures, it’s also a story that focuses heavily on some strong-willed female characters (and I can get behind that any day).

Each band member and character that was “interviewed” for the book felt like they were real. I remember this all-encompassing feeling right as I finished that I needed to start looking up this band and downloading every song that they’ve ever produced. For a short few seconds, I was so into the world that TJR created that it never once seemed strange or odd that I was looking up songs from a band that never existed and was only fictional. It didn’t compute in my head. These people weren’t just characters; it was simply impossible.

You can read my full review of Daisy Jones & The Six here!

The Institute by Stephen King

“Great events turn on small hinges.”

For some reason, it still surprises me that Stephen King has become one of my favorite authors of all time.

When it all boils down, I’m essentially a scaredy cat, and I really cannot handle much horror. I jump at things that aren’t there, and I would always analyze the small creaks and moans my house would make at night when I was home alone. But, for some reason, I’ve been drawn to Stephen King books for almost two years now, and a majority of them have been wonderful. I’ve got to admit though, I was pretty hesitant about The Institute. After reading two of King’s newer releases, I was convinced that his up-to-date writing style and way of storytelling wasn’t my cup of tea. I much preferred the stories written around It‘s time. But, little did I know, The Institute is without a doubt something special and nothing like King’s usual.

The Institute focuses on a group of kids, and I genuinely think that when Stephen King focuses on that age group, that’s when he gets some of his best stories.

To say it simply, I think I loved this book so much because of all of the love in it. As stupid as that sounds, this story is centered on love and what you’ll do to help the ones you love. And it’s not typical romantic love, but genuine love for the people that have greatly affected your life.

Sure, it’s a Stephen King book, so it’s not at all short on all things disturbing, but it really showcases just how far humans will go when they don’t give up.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

“My soul has learned what it came to learn, and all the other things are just things. We can’t have everything we want. Sometimes, we simply have to believe.” 

I don’t think I could’ve read this book at a better time in my life. Even though I bought it years and years ago solely because Sam Claflin once said it was his favorite book, I just got around to reading it this past year, and I’m beyond thankful I did. And, just like Mr. Claflin, it’s definitely one of my favorites.

I’m not quite sure that this will make much sense, but there’s something so humbling about observing a character from a dog’s point of view? This isn’t at all news, but in my opinion, dogs are some of the most loyal and kindhearted animals on the planet. They love you endlessly and without boundaries. So, to watch a puppy watch his owner go through the ups and downs of life and starting a family was one of the most incredible reading experiences. And while you’re reading from this humble perspective, you start to realize that your normal everyday worries aren’t as big as they seemed; everything will be okay one way or another.

There’s really no other way to put it: The Art of Racing in the Rain feels like a warm hug.

Like I said, 2019 was absolutely an incredible year for discovering new books. Here’s to hoping 2020 is the same!

What favorites did you find this year? Did we read any of the same books? What are your reading goals for 2020? Let’s chat!

18 thoughts on “My Favorite Books of 2019

  1. Wow! You read so many books! 😀 Congrats on surpassing your goals!
    The way you talk about that Stephen King book makes me want to pick it up right now! Alas… I’m very committed to my SK challenge by reading his books in order!
    Happy New Year, Lauren! Here’s a wonderful 2020! 🌟💞

    Liked by 1 person

  2. SO MANY INCREDIBLE BOOKS! I’m so happy that you were able to read even more books than you’d anticipated – always such a wonderful surprise 😀 And that’s amazing that you’ve read and loved Cinder already! I know you’re going to love the rest of the series too.

    And, well, you know how I feel about The Raven Cycle. SO happy to see it on your list of faves! Honestly, I’m a little shocked that you only read it this year, because I feel like I’ve been talking about it with you for a lot longer.

    Here’s to lots more amazing books in 2020! Happy New Year! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RIGHT?! 2019 was definitely a fantastic year for reading. And I’m already on Scarlet, and I’m so pumped to see how the rest of the series goes.

      You like The Raven Cycle?!?! I actually can’t believe I didn’t read it until just recently. For as often as I think about those characters, it feels like I’ve known them for forever.

      Happy New Year, Margaret! 💜


  3. It made me so happy to read about how wonderful of a reading year it was for you!! That’s so awesome, and I’m so glad you found so many books that you love. I hope 2020 just keeps getting better and better, and happy new year!💖

    Ahh, the Raven Cycle. I’m rereading it right now and it’s amazing how many pages I’ve dog eared (I’m sorry if dog earing is one of your pet peeves XD) because the writing is SO amazing and I want to remember to go back and reread it. I adore it so, so much! My new goal is to reread it annually, since I got the series for Christmas and now have easier access to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Olivia! ❤️ And a happy New Year to you too!

      No worries, dog earing is not one of my pet peeves. And a reread of The Raven Cycle sounds so wonderfully fantastic. In all honesty, I’d probably be marking it up so much because it’s all gold. And that makes me so happy that it’s easily accessible to you now!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 70 books in one year is amazing. My reading has been terrible lately but I’m hoping to really get back into it sometime next week (I wanted to have started by now but I keep getting a returning headache atm -_-) anyway some of these are definitely on my TBR for 2020 – I also want to finally read The Raven Cycle and Miss Peregrine. Plus I’ve only read one Stephen King book so far but want to read at least a few more this year. I hope that you have a wonderful reading year in 2020 and also that you had a lovely new year in general. Also I hope you enjoy the rest of the Lunar Chronicles – I really enjoyed those books and am definitely curious as to which you like best (:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Charlotte! And I wish you all the luck in getting back into reading, and I hope your headache leaves you alone! AH! I really hope you enjoy those series; you’ll definitely have to tell me what you think—same with the Stephen King books as well! I just finished Scarlet, and I am SO pumped for the rest of this series.

      Happy new year, and thanks so much for commenting! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you ❤️ I’ll make sure I let you know what I think of them all (: I’m determined to get them read this year. I’m so excited about so many books!! Ooh I loved Scarlet 😍 and Cress, I hope you find it as amazing as I did.

        Thank you (: Happy New Year to you too 💕

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m just so, so, so happy that you had such a fantastic reading year, this is incredible, yay! ❤ I loved so many of your favorites as well, Daisy Jones blew me away and YES YES, I also felt like these characters and their songs and everything HAD to be real, ahah. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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