In 2019 wrap-up

2019 WRAP-UP: My Favorite YA Books I Read This Year!

Earlier this week I uploaded my favorite Romance books of 2019, which means this post couldn't be far behind. I present to you, my 2019 YA favorites! All of these are quality books that I think you should definitely add to your 2020 TBR's! Anyway, enough talking, let's get into the list!

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell
Narrowing down this list was hard, and I honestly think this shares the spotlight with The Gilded Wolves, but, as I technically read that one last year in ARC form, the top spot is for The Last Magician. This contains everything I need for a good YA fantasy to work, and adds that little extra. The Last Magician follows modern-day thief Esta, who has the affinity to travel through time. In order to save magicians in her own time, she is tasked to travel to early 1900's New York to retrieve a magical artefact and defeat the last magician. However, none of it is ever that easy, right? This is a multi-POV heist-story with beautiful, well-rounded characters, delightful interactions, and the intrigue and atmosphere of 1900's New York City. What an absolute BEAUTY this book is!

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Okay, so as I mentioned, I didn't actually read this book in 2019, but it came out this year so it technically counts! The Gilded Wolves follows a group of misfits in belle epoque Paris. Leader of the gang, Séverin, has lost his inheritance and is desperate to get it back. When a powerful order makes him an offer he can't refuse, him and his group of unlikely allies will have to team up to get it. I'm not exaggerating when I say that The Gilded Wolves is the height of heist stories. It sets itself apart with its beautifully diverse characters, poignant social commentary, and its beautiful writing. This book is a hidden gem!

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
Just reading the premise for this book already sold me on it. Serpent and Dove follows the delightful hate-to-love romance between a witch and a witch-hunter as they get stuck in an unexpected marriage. Lou and Reid hate each other, as in actually hate each other. He thinks she's vile, she wants to literally murder him. Put them together in holy matrimony and you'll receive some delicious banter, steamy scenes, and peak comedy! I absolutely adored Serpent and Dove, and if you're a lover of romance, I think you will too!

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
This is definitely a book I was very excited about at the beginning of 2019, and it didn't disappoint! We Hunt the Flame follows huntress Zafira, who, in order to provide for her people, braves a forbidden forest to hunt. The forest is ever-growing and the only way to stop it is to find a magical artefact. Setting out on her journey, Zafira encounters Nasir, the crown-prince and set out to kill the mysterious hunter defying his father's rule. This book has some amazing characters, intricate writing, and a very atmospheric setting. I might be in love.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
I feel like I jumped on the hype-train 1000 years too late, but better late than never. The Bear and the Nightingale is the first instalment in the Winternight series, and provides a spin on an enchanting Russian fairytale. This follows Vasya, who, determined to not confine to the norms of being an ideal Russian wife, comes into contact with beings only fables have told her about. When she meets the frost-demon Morozko, the two embark on a magical and wintery journey. Arden's incredible writing, mixed with the atmospheric setting of Russia in winter makes this book so insanely compelling. I can't wait to sink my teeth into the sequel but this is definitely a 2019 favorite!

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
I am a simple soul: I see a book pitched as a Mulan retelling, I read. Spin the Dawn promised Project Runway meets Mulan and did more than deliver! This follows Maia, who, as a tailor, wants nothing more than to work at the royal palace. Dressed as a boy, she enters a competition to win a spot as the royal tailor, but in order to win, she is tasked with gathering the moon, stars, and sun and sew them into dresses. This beautiful story just screams magic, which is why it's one of my favorites of the year!

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
And last on the list, the biggest surprise of the year. I'm not a horror person, I'm just not. Reading the divisive opinions on the book beforehand, I was not convinced I'd enjoy Ninth House. A girl is allowed to be wrong. Ninth House has the vaguest premise ever, but let me try to rehash the brunt of it. Girl (Alex) meets scholar (Darlington) who invites her to join his weird-ish Yale cult that cuts up dead people and talks to ghosts. When Darlington goes missing, Alex has to piece together what happened to their leader. Honestly, if this doesn't sound like your thing because I butchered the premise, that's fine, but please read it because this was fantastic. 

What were your favorite YA books of 2019?

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