Check out my 2019 expectations post here!
Slayer by Kiersten White
I was so excited to read this book when it came out, but I had to quickly finish the last series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer before I could dive into it! I know. I KNOW. I hadn’t watched Buffy before last year, and it took me about ten months to finish watching all the series! BUT I DID IT. And then I dived into this book… except it wasn’t as amazing as I’d hyped it up to be. I guess nothing could have compared to the brilliance that is Buffy the Vampire Slayer and my expectations for this novel were a little unreasonable, but meh. This was pretty average for me, unfortunately!
Highway Bodies by Alison Evans
Holy heck, I absolutely LOVED this book! I was lucky enough to read an ARC of it a few months before release and it was such a fun read, but then when Alison actually read a snippet from it at the launch, I loved it even more. This book was the perfect blend of scary and funny, and their humour came across really well in the narrative. And it was so beautifully QUEER! Love me some queer books. Whether you’re a fan of zombie books or not, you have to read this one.
What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume
It feels like forever ago that this book was released, but ahh, I just recall having the best time reading this novel. I devoured it in a single day while on vacation at the beach, and it was just so much fun. It was witty and body positive, and I couldn’t help but want to reach through the pages and give all of our characters a big ol’ hug. But can you believe I still haven’t seen Dirty Dancing after reading this book?! I think that’s the next thing I have to watch – there were so many references to it in What I Like About Me! It was seriously the perfect summer romcom.
Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner
Well… I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I had hoped. And I’m sad about that! I took this one on vacation to Spain with me because I was just sure that I would utterly love it. But nope. It wasn’t for me. I really enjoyed Goodbye Days when I read it, which was why I was so excited to read Jeff’s latest release, but Rayne & Delilah just didn’t have the same magic for me. It wasn’t a bad book or anything, but there just wasn’t anything overly compelling making me want to stay up late reading it. Take it or leave it with this one. I’ve basically forgotten about it by now.
Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte
YAAAAS! I’m so proud of our #LoveOzYA queen, Astrid Scholte! Astrid is really taking over the world with this book, and I know her next release will do amazing things as well. We love a little Aussie gal taking on the world! Four Dead Queens was just as phenomenal as I had anticipated – because I had hecking high expectations for this book as well. I utterly adore murder mysteries, and the world building in this book was flawless. I need my hands on her next book already! Ahh!
You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman
I predicted that this book would be perfection, and I was completely, 100% right. It’s easily one of my favourite books of 2019, and probably even of all time. I knew it sounded like something I was going to see myself in even before I opened up the first page, and I was right. I just connected to the protagonist so deeply and saw so much of myself in him. If I could have read this book when I was in my final year of high school, it would have made all the difference. I’m just so glad it’s out in the world for so many teens to find and fall in love with now!
The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews
This is another one that I freaking DEVOURED! I had such high expectations for The Boy Who Steals Houses (seeing as I loved A Thousand Perfect Notes so much) and they were EXCEEDED. I ended up reading this book in a single day just because I couldn’t get enough of it! Ahh! Cait is just so great at creating characters that we fall in love with, and then bad things happen to them and our hearts just get RIPPED FROM OUR CHESTS. And honestly, I’ll read everything C.G. Drews ever writes.
How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow
I’m seriously disappointed in myself, but… I didn’t finish this book! Don’t get me wrong–it’s not that I didn’t like it! I really enjoyed the start and I just got distracted by other things and forgot to pick it up again. But I need to! And I will! I know this book is going to be so beautiful and so heart wrenching. I’m really looking forward to finishing it.
Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens by Tanya Boteju
Oh gosh, I’m sorry to say that I didn’t finish this book either! I was listening to the audiobook and it just wasn’t super captivating, so I DNF’d it. Perhaps if I had the physical copy I would have preferred it… but I didn’t. I also didn’t see a lot of hype surrounding this one and while I was initially excited to read it, that excitement kind of died down when this book was released. Perhaps I’ll come back to it at a later date!rag culture – how great does that sound?! I can’t wait to get my hands on this book.
Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Amie and Jay have done it again! Seriously, this Aussie duo is just taking the world BY. STORM. First, they crushed our souls with Illuminae, and now they’re doing it all over again with the Aurora Cycle. And I’m HERE FOR IT. I absolutely loved Aurora Rising, and while I still prefer Illuminae over this series, perhaps the second book will change my mind! IT WAS STILL FREAKING INCREDIBLE THOUGH, don’t get me wrong!
Missing, Presumed Dead by Emma Berquist
Hi hi HI! This urban fantasy novel with a bi lead and a ghost side character was THE. BEST. THING. EVER. Why aren’t more people talking about this book?! It was such an incredible novel that had me staying up reading into the early hours of the morning, hoping things would turn out okay for the characters I’d come to love. It was just brilliant! Super queer and creepy and a great book for the spooky season.
These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling
THE QUEER WITCHES LIVED UP TO THE HYPE! Normally I’m a little bit worried going into books that I just have a feeling I’ll adore because I’m like… what if it’s not as good as the picture I’ve built up in my head? I shouldn’t have worried about These Witches Don’t Burn though because it 100% exceeded my expectations. IT WAS QUEER. IT WAS CUTE. IT WAS CREEPY. Honestly just the perfect Halloween read!
Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories, edited by Michael Earp
HELL YAS! This book was absolutely incredible! I still can’t stop thinking about the book launch (which included teen readings of a couple of stories and TEEN DRAG PERFORMERS!). It was freaking incredible! The book itself was just as amazing as the big celebration beforehand. Some of my favourite stories included those by Alison Evans, Nevo Zisin, Jen Wilde, and of course, Michael Earp. IT WAS FABULOUS. If you haven’t read this one yet, please add it to your TBR!
Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi
I’m so sad that I didn’t get the chance to read this book in 2019! I’ve seriously had it sitting in my cart ever since I wrote this post last year, and I just… didn’t buy it. I KNOW. I NEED TO. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about Tell Me How You Really Feel and I’m sure I’ll absolutely adore it! I just need to get my hands on a copy and sit down and devour it. I’ll be sure to let you know what I think of it once I do!
Graveyard Shift in Ghost Town (Gap Year in Ghost Town #2) by Michael Pryor
Gap Year in Ghost Town is still one of my favourite #LoveOzYA books that I’ve ever read, and I’m pleased to announce that the sequel most certainly didn’t disappoint! It was full of everything I loved most about the first one (coffee references, humour, and witty banter), and it was also a little bit darker, which I really enjoyed. GIVE ME A GHOST STORY ANYDAY. And Michael is just the coolest human ever. I want to be like him when I grow up.
Oasis by Katya de Becerra
Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to read Oasis this year–mainly because the publication date was pushed back to the start of 2020! (Shh… no one’s realised that I actually received an ARC of this book and totally could have read it in December.) Nevertheless, I’m really looking forward to diving into this new release over the festive season and sharing my thoughts with all of you!
Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare
WELP, THIS BOOK’S RELEASE DATE WAS PUSHED BACK. I know I was really looking forward to reading it this year–we all were–but it’s going to be brilliant when we finally get our hands on a copy next year! We don’t have toooo much longer to wait anyway. SERIOUSLY SO EXCITED!
Tunnel of Bones (City of Ghosts #2) by Victoria Schwab
Yep, I called it–Tunnel of Bones was one of my favourite books of 2019! Which totally wasn’t a surprise for me, because I adored the first book and knew it was going to be just as cute and spooky as City of Ghosts. As this one was set in Paris, it’s made me even more desperate to visit that glorious city and see all the haunted places for myself. Eep!
Loveless by Alice Oseman
Unfortunately, the release date of Loveless was also pushed back to 2020! While I’m sad I didn’t get my hands on a copy of this gorgeous novel this year, I’m so so SO excited to read it next year! The anticipation is building! Oh man, I can’t wait!
Did you read any of these books this year? What did you think of them? What were some of your favourite books of 2019? I’d love to know!
4 thoughts on “Expectations vs Reality: My 19 Favourite Books of 2019”
I never got the chance to read Aurora Rising but I was pretty excited about it! I’m glad it was up to par
I’m looking forward to Chain of Gold and Loveless for sure next year. STILL haven’t had a chance to read These Witches Don’t Burn but will hopefully get around to it soon! Great post xx
I think I enjoyed Slayer at least in part because I recognized there was no way it was going to be as good as Buffy. If you’re interested I’m reading a fun Buffy re-boot comic told from Xander’s perspective. I’ve only got vol. 1, so I’m not exactly sure what the *point* of re-booting Buffy is, but… I’m enjoying it!
Great post Sarah, and I’m so happy that most of the books in this list live up to your expectations. I’m really behind in 2019 releases, but I’m especially excited for Tell Me How You Really Feel and You Asked for Perfect!