Hey all, Dani here.
This post is one I have been so totally anticipating and dreading at the same time! Writing up these posts twice a year has been so interesting, but I never struggled as much with figuring out my list as I did this year…and that’s because I have read so many great books so far in 2019. Normally by the time I reach the end of June I have 8 or 9 solid choices on my list and then I look through everything I’ve read to fill in the last 1 or 2 spots. Not this year. No, this year I had 15 books make my contender list. This means that I’ll be giving you all 5 honorable mention books, because yay, let’s talk about more books.
So the rules for my top ten lists are pretty simple. It has to be a book that I read during the six months I’m covering–so for today’s post that is January-June 2019. I cannot include re-reads on this list, because obviously if I’m reading it again then I really liked it. Also, I tend to read quite a few ARCs, so I can only include an ARC in the top ten if it has been released by the time the list goes up.
Oh, and as always, if I’ve written up a review for the book, I will also include a link back to that post.
Haha, so I just paused in writing this post to look at all of my previous top ten posts and wow, I have really stepped up my reading game this year. In the 2017 and 2018 first half lists I complained about narrowing 50-60 books down to a top ten favorites list. I’ve read something like 111 books in the first six months of 2019. Clearly past Dani has no idea what kind of reading life she is destined to have.
Okay, I have a lot of books to talk about, so let’s get started with the honorable mentions.
- King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
This is a book featuring Nikolai, who is one of my favorite characters in the Grishaverse. And there’s more with Nina. I won’t say more because of potential spoilers for the previous two series, but I really enjoyed this book. While I wanted it to be in my top ten, I wanted to showcase other titles more.
- Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller
I enjoyed this book, which followed an awesome female warrior who gets exiled because of underhanded maneuvers by jealous boys. She grows, learns, and adapts, and I just found her warrior’s journey and her growth into a true leader to be very compelling.
- Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
This book is full of so much fun and whimsy and, while I loved the first book in the series, this one was better. Magic school setting–do I need to say more?
- Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy
Futuristic sci-fi King Arthur retelling, wherein Arthur is now Ari (yay, lady King). This book was so interesting to me, and I loved all the queerness in it. Plus I love Arthurian Legends as well. I am definitely counting down to the release of the concluding novel.
- The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala
Another great read. I was absorbed into this world and these characters pretty quickly, and I have to say that I loved the cat and mouse chase between the two characters, especially since who was cat and who was mouse depended on the situation and the perspective we were following at the time.
All right, and now for my top ten reads of 2019 so far. As with previous posts, these books are listed in chronological order of when I read them, not a least favorite to favorite ranking system or anything.
- Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett
This was one of my first reads of the year, but it has stuck with me since then. I had purchased a couple other books by the author but hadn’t gotten around to them. But this book I kept hearing about, and it was blurbed by Brandon Sanderson. So I picked it up…and that was it. I didn’t want to put it down. The magic system was so intriguing to me, and I loved all the character dynamics and the politics of the city and world, and I found myself obsessed with this book. I’m excited about reading the sequel…and about reading my other Robert Jackson Bennett books soon-ish.
- A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
I love adaptations of Beauty and the Beast, and I love Brigid Kemmerer as an author. So I had high hopes and high expectations for this book, and I am so glad that it delivered. Yes, there were one or two twists and/or revelations that were fairly predictable, but that did not take away from the enjoyable reading experience. And there are people who are finishing reading ARCs of the sequel already, and I am so incredibly jealous. I want to read the sequel…but I guess I’m going to have to wait.
- Again, But Better by Christine Riccio
Unlike the previous book, this one I did not have high expectations for. I hoped it would be good, but I’ve read some books by internet celebrities and have been less than impressed with them. So I was pleased that instead of just reading a chapter or two and setting it aside, I was sucked into this book so quickly and so thoroughly that I finished it in like a day, or maybe two. I now own two copies of it (B&N Signed Special Edition and Target Exclusive Edition) so I can have all of the extras, and am feeling a need to re-read this book. It was wonderful, and I am looking forward to reading more by Riccio in the future.
- The Philosopher’s Flight by Tom Miller
This book surprised me with how much I enjoyed it. I had requested it on NetGalley because the cover was cool and the concept sounded interesting. And then I waited until over a year later to actually pick the book up. I read it so quickly. The alt-history of the story. The gender flipping. I was so completely invested in the life of Robert Canderelli Weekes, and I’ll be reading the sequel in the next couple of days, so that’s exciting.
- Sky Without Stars by Joanne Rendell and Jessica Brody
Of course, with every one of these posts, I seem to have at least one book that I haven’t yet reviewed, and this futuristic sci-fi adaptation of Les Miserables is the one I haven’t gotten around to. There were so many great little references to the original source material, and I found the characters and the world to be both different and similar at the same time. I should write up a proper review for this book, because it is great.
- The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
There was so much hype around this book that I didn’t want to pick it up at first. And then B&N had a sale and I was able to get the hardcover for half-price. Best decision ever. I ended up thinking that this book is utterly amazing, and totally worth the hype, and I’ll be reading the sequel very very soon (thank you NetGalley), so I kind of can’t shut up about this book.
- Seven Blades in Black by Sam Sykes
Speaking of books I can’t shut up about, I feel like I’ve been talking about this one a lot over the last month. What can I say? This was definitely an amazing tome to pick up, and I will most certainly be picking up more books by Sam Sykes soon. This book had action, adventure, magic, romance, story-telling, and there was just so much awesomeness going on that I already want to read it again.
- Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto
This was supposed to be the first in a duology, but now it is the first in a trilogy, which is absolutely exciting…so long as we don’t end up with second book slump syndrome. I’m hoping that won’t be the case, because I really enjoyed the story of the animages and the Phoenix Riders, and I want to be glad that I’m getting more story set in this world.
- Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
Magical libraries, wonderful descriptions, and some really interesting character dynamics and relationships made this book an utter delight. Okay, I was sold by the concept of a girl who literally grew up in a library. I know I’ve wished for that most of my life. But we were given an entertaining adventure with just the right amount of intrigue, action, magic, and just a few hints of romance. I definitely enjoyed this more than her first book, and I’m not going to lie, I wish this wasn’t a standalone. I think a duology would work for me, or at least a companion novel. Basically I want more, especially considering how this one ended.
- Going Off Script by Jen Wilde
Wow, only two contemporary novels on my list. Not bad, but I think Jen Wilde has hit my top ten posts with each of the three books she’s released so far. It’s safe to say that she has become one of my favorite authors. I love how main characters from her previous books make small appearances in her newest ones. And I especially love that most of the characters are geeks. I just adore a good geek story, and Jen Wilde’s releases definitely fit the bill.
That is all from me for today. I hope you enjoyed this look at my favorite reads so far this year. What have been some of your favorite reads so far this year? Let me know in the comments. I’m off to read now but I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.