We all know what happens at the end of the year- the “Best of” lists start coming in. Well, I may be a little late to the party, but of course I had to make one! There were a lot of amazing books that came out this year, and I really want to talk about all of them. And by all of them, I mean 19 of them because I only have so much time on my hands.
Before we get started, I just want to let you know that this list won’t be including debut novels that were released this year. I actually have a whole separate list featuring my favorite debuts, so make sure you check that out!
(I’m actually still reading this, but based on how much I’ve read so far, I know this book deserves a spot on the list) Into The Crooked Place is Alexandra Christo’s sophomore novel, following her 2018 release To Kill A Kingdom, which was one of my favorite releases of that year. However, this book is very different from its predecessor, but definitely not in a bad way. It’s got major Six of Crows vibes, with four different protagonists who are entrenched in fantasy criminal underground, but it has plenty of factors that make it stand out.
I have to admit, I didn’t know much about “East of the Sun, West of the Moon”, the story that Echo North is a retelling of, but this book got me obsessed with it. If you, like me, don’t know much about it, the best way I can describe it is that it’s like “Beauty and the Beast” mixed with the story of Cupid/Eros and Psyche, but with an epic quest. Echo North is a unique take on this fairy tale with gorgeous writing and a fascinating setting.
Looking for some new books to read? Keep reading for all of my recommendations!
I thought by reading slump was getting better, but boy was I wrong. I barely pulled through in March. I read 10 books, but most of them were novellas. However, there were still some amazing reads in there! Here’s a quick list of a few of my favorites:
Overall: 4/5 Stars Characters: 4/5 Setting: 4/5 Writing: 4.5/5 Plot and Themes: 4/5 Awesomeness Factor: 5/5 Review in a Nutshell: Sherwood is a fantastic Robin Hood retelling as long as you’re willing to push past the slow parts.
“It’s easy to be a hero when you never look beyond your next battle. Only fools believe they know all there is to know.”
Release Date: March 19th, 2019 Genre: YA Contemporary Series: N/A Synopsis: A reckless kiss causes Babe Vogel and her two best friends to break up, the summer before they go away to college. If that wasn’t bad enough, her ex-girlfriend has come to town bringing a mix of memories with her. But things begin looking up when she meets Levi Keller, an artist from out of town there for the summer. “Can Babe keep her distance, or will she break the one rule she’s always had – to never fall for a summer boy?” (Goodreads)
Release Date: June 4th, 2019 Genre: YA Fantasy Series: N/A Synopsis: A monster is released from the magical library Elisabeth has grown up in. “Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.” (Goodreads)
Release Date: May 7th, 2019 Genre: Contemporary Romance Series: The Kiss Quotient #2 (can be read as a stand-alone) Synopsis: Khai Dep avoids relationships, but his mother decides to handle things herself and returns to Vietnam to get him a bride. When given the opportunity to go to America and get a husband, Esme Tran thinks this could be just what her family needs. But seducing Khai isn’t as easy as she expected, and with her time in the U.S. dwindling, she realizes she’s fallen for someone who doesn’t think he can ever feel the same.
Release Date: April 2nd, 2019 Genre: YA Contemporary Series: N/A Synopsis: Annie Mathers is heir to a country music legacy and owner of a skyrocketing youtube channel. Clay Coolidge is a superstar who’s label will drop him because of his bad reputation. But they’ll keep him if he can convince Annie to join his summer tour. When she agrees, fans make it clear they want them to be more than tour mates, but Annie wants nothing to do with a relationship in the spotlight. However, convincing her heart of that is another matter.
Release Date: January 29th, 2019 Genre: Contemporary Romance Series: N/A Synopsis: For Darcy Berret, no man could compare to Tom Valeska. The issue? He’s her twin brother, Jamie’s best friend. When Tom comes to help Darcy flip the cottage she and Jamie inherited, sparks fly, but will Darcy be able to stand up to her twin?
Release Date: January 15th, 2019 Genre: YA Historical Fantasy (Paris, 1889) Series: The Gilded Wolves #1 Synopsis: Severin Montagnet-Alarie wants nothing more than to receive his inheritance from the powerful Order of Babble. When they offer him just that, in exchange for finding an ancient artifact, Severin must enlist his band of experts to get the job done. “What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.” (Goodreads)
Release Date: May 7th, 2019 Genre: YA Sci-Fi Series: The Aurora Cycle #1 Synopsis: Tyler Jones is prepared for his first mission after graduating Aurora Academy, but the team he’s stuck with is less than ideal. However, his biggest problem is “Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.” (Goodreads)
Release Date: February 26th, 2019 Genre: YA Fantasy Series: N/A Synopsis: “As her father’s chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: to win back her honor, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year or die trying.” (Goodreads)
Release Date: February 12th, 2019 Genre: YA Fantasy / Retelling (Cinderella) Series: Ravenspire #4 (can be read as a stand-alone) Synopsis: “When mysterious forces lead to disappearances throughout Balavata, Blue and [Prince Kellan] must work together to find the truth. What they discover will lead them to the darkest reaches of the kingdom, and to the most painful moments of their pasts. When romance is forbidden and evil is rising, can Blue save those she loves, even if it costs her everything?” (Goodreads)
Release Date: June 4th, 2019 Genre: YA Fantasy / Retelling (Anastasia) Series: Blood Heir #1 Synopsis: “A fugitive princess with the power to control blood. A black-hearted conman with no past and no future. An Empire spiraling into darkness. A world worth saving.” (Goodreads)
Update (1/18/2019): After seeing reviews that have come in for the ARC, I’m removing this from my list of anticipated releases for the year. Many reviewers have stated that it contains problematic content, and is racially insensitive.
Update (1/30/2019): The author has now announced that, in response to the reviews, she will not be publishing Blood Heir.
Release Date: April 2nd, 2019 Genre: YA Fantasy Series: N/A Synopsis: After her father’s murder, Princess Hesina of Yan finds herself the queen of an unstable kingdom. Desperate to find who killed her father, she seeks the help of a soothsayer. Magic had been outlawed centuries before, making her actions punishable by death. She turns to Akira, an investigator with his own criminal past, to work through the information she received. But will the cost of justice be too high?
Release Date: May 14th, 2019 Genre: YA Fantasy Series: We Hunt the Flame #1 Synopsis: Zafira is the Hunter. In order to restore magic to her world, she journeys to find a lost artifact that may help her. Nasir, the Prince of Death, an assassin for his father, the king, is sent on a mission to kill the Hunter and retrieve the artifact as well. “But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.” (Goodreads).
Release Date: July 23rd, 2019 Genre: YA Sci-Fi / Retelling (Anastasia) Series: Heart of Iron #2 Synopsis: “Once, Ana was an orphaned space outlaw. Then she was the Empress of the Iron Kingdom. Now, thought dead by most of the galaxy after she escaped from the dark AI program called the HIVE, Ana is desperate for a way to save Di from the HIVE’s evil clutches and take back her kingdom.” (Goodreads)
Release Date: April 2nd, 2019 Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy / Paranormal Series: The Devouring Gray #1 Synopsis: “On the edge of town a beast haunts the woods, trapped in the Gray, its bonds loosening…” (Goodreads). Violet Saunders has just moved to a new school in Four Paths, a small rural town. She meets Justin, May, Isaac, and Harper, who, like her, are descendants of the town’s founders, she sees the destruction they can create. When bodies start to appear in the woods, they must solve the mystery of the town, and their part in it.
(no cover released yet) Release Date: April 2nd, 2019 Genre: YA Dystopian Series: Shatter Me #5 Synopsis: “Juliette Ferrars isn’t who she thinks she is. Still reeling from the explosive events of the Continental Symposium and the secrets Warner has been keeping, Juliette has nowhere to turn and doesn’t know who she can trust. She’s desperate for answers, but to get them, she’ll have to face the nightmares that have been chasing her for a lifetime.” (HarperCollins)
Release Date: January 8th, 2019 Genre: YA Fantasy Series: The Folk of the Air #2 Synopsis: After binding herself to Cardan in order to protect Oak and the throne, Jude has more power than she could have imagined. Managing the politics of Faerie is a challenge on its own, but Cardan makes a point to undermine and humiliate her whenever he can. With a traitor endangering everything Jude has fought for, she must find a way to maintain control.
Release Date: January 29th, 2019 Genre: YA Fantasy Series: Nikolai Duology #1 (Part of the Grishaverse) Synopsis: “Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.” (Goodreads)
Release Date: March 5th, 2019 Genre: YA Fantasy Series: Legacy of Orïsha #2 Synopsis: “… With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.” (Goodreads)
Release Date: April 2nd, 2019 Genre: YA Fantasy Series: Something Dark and Holy #1 Synopsis: “A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself. A prince in danger must decide who to trust. A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings. Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.” (Goodreads)
Even More Books!
Since I have no self-control, I have who-knows-how-many more books to mention! As I was writing this list I realized I wouldn’t be able to fit many of the books I’m dying to read, so here they are, in order of release date: