Bookish Item | 2019 Favorite Reads – Backlist Books edition

The third of our 2019 favorites posts! Yesterday Candyce shared her favorite Romance Reads and the day before Isabelle shared her favorite Graphic Novels and Manga. Today it’s time for our favorite backlist books we read in 2019. So anything published prior to 2019 we read this year will be on this list (if they’re favorites that is haha). Let’s take a look at those favorites!

Candyce

I actually did better reading backlist books in 2019 and hope I keep it up and get even better this year. But before I start doing that, let’s take a look at my top 10 of 2019! I only had eight 5 star backlist books, so we’ll start off with a 4 star read!

10. Beneath the Citadel – Destiny Soria
4 stars

This was actually one of my first reads in 2019! I loved the world and the adventures these characters were on. Beneath the Citadel is told from multiple POVs, which keeps this really interesting. I wish it would’ve been more than just a standalone. I did miss a few things that I think would’ve been explained more if this was a series.

9. Truly Devious – Maureen Johson
4 stars

Part of me was sad that it took me so long to pick up Truly Devious, but a part of me is happy, because I can now pick up books two and three back to back. I love the murder mystery in Truly Devious and the jump between past and present. The setting is amazing and this mystery definitely kept me guessing.

8. Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
5 stars

People have been telling me for ages how much they loved this book, including my boyfriend and Isabelle, haha. They were both right, because I couldn’t put this book down. I loved the world, characters and all of the pop references. I definitely see myself rereading this one in the future.

7. The Wicker King – K. Ancrum
5 stars

I’m not actually sure how I stumbled upon The Wicker King, but I’m happy I did. This story is told in an unique way. If you look at the side of the book, the pages also keep getting darker. For awhile I wasn’t sure if this was actually a fantasy or more realistic. The author pieced together such an emotional story. I really need to read the sequel soon!

6. Lifel1k3 – Jay Kristoff
5 stars

Jay Kristoff is known to write books that leave you wanting more and proves it again with Lifel1k3. Again, this story is unlike any I’ve read. I loved the worldbuilding and it really makes you think what would happen if AI was used more in our world. The sequel is already out, but I’m waiting until near the release of the third book. I’ve contstantly heard people warn other readers that you will want more.

5.The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang
5 stars

This book made me a happy bookworm. Romance is really changing and we’re getting more diverse characters. Our main character in The Kiss Quotient is autistic and is trying to learn about sex. The way this takes shape goes different than she expects and turns out to be a bit more. I loved how the author wrote this book and I love the characters!

4. Small Spaces – Katherine Arden
5 stars

As I’ve said before, I really wanted to read more middle grade and Small Spaces had been on my radar for awhile. Small Spaces was made read now on Netgalley, right before the sequel was releasing. I picked it up and I was so happy I did. I read this book in about one sitting and for a middel grade, it was actually really spooky. I’ll never look at scarecrows the same again.

3. The Cruel Prince – Holly Black
5 stars

The Cruel Prince is a book I put off for a really long time. It’s been so hyped, I was afraid I would just be disappointed. A group read was organized and I went in without any expectations. I was surprised by how much I loved it. The Cruel Prince is a book I just couldn’t put down and I loved how everything played out. The politics are brilliant and for once most of the characters weren’t likable. That was really interesting.

2. Nevernight – Jay Kristoff
5 stars

I’m not really sure why this one took me so long to read. Other than that it’s really big and the letters in the book are really tiny, haha. Maybe I was afraid it would disappoint, because this was another really hyped book. It was so good!! I have to say it took me a bit to get sucked in, because this book is a lot to take in, but it’s genius! I’m halfway through Godsgrave and really need to finish it.

1. Wundersmith – Jessica Townsend
5 stars

Nevermoor was a favorite of mine, so I was really excited about Wundersmith. A lof ot people compare this one to Harry Potter and it kind of is, but in a totally different way. I love this world and how our main character Morrigan is discovering what she’s capable of. Also, I really need to live in this hotel that decorates your room by getting to know you. How cool is that?!?

Isabelle

This is my top 10 of backlist books! I’ve read quite some backlist books and most of those I enjoyed. Most of the 4,5 stars and all of the 5 stars reads made it to this list. But I did decide to exclude rereads (or Harry Potter would be number 1 every single year haha). I still can’t believe I waited this long to pick up some of these books and I plan on reading some of the sequels in 2020. Let’s get into it!

10. Beneath the Citadel – Destiny Soria
4,5 stars

This was my first 4,5 star read of the year and I was very grateful to read this after a one-star read. I don’t read that many standalone fantasy novels and thought this one was quite satisfying. As always I would love more in this world but I really enjoyed the story and the characters.

9. Senlin Ascends – Josiah Bancroft
4,5 stars

I love this cover and was super excited to pick this one up. However, once I started reading it, it turned out to be a pretty difficult read at first. I ended up listening to the audiobook and that’s when I fell in love. This is such an imaginative world and I can’t wait to pick up the sequel. Every layer of the tower is a completely different world and I was so cool to discover every single one of them.

8. Small Spaces – Katherine Arden
4,5 stars

This MG Horror story was amazing! I will never ever look the same at scarecrows though haha. Horror is not really my genre and I was definitely scared but I also flew through the story. The sequel is already on my wishlist and I can’t wait to read more about these characters.

7. This Is Our Story – Ashley Elston
4,5 stars

I finally picked this one up this year! It had been on my TBR for over 2 years and I can’t believe I waited this long. I love YA mystery/thrillers and this was a really good one. The mystery was intriguing enough and I really enjoyed the characters. I immediately preordered Ashley’s newest book and I can’t wait for whatever she writes next.

6. Queens of Geek – Jen Wilde
5 stars

Another one that had been on my TBR for quite a while. I was pretty sure I would quite like this one and I was right. It had some really nice diversity and I especially loved that it was set at a con. I would love to read some more books with that setting. This is exactly the kind of contemporary I love to read and I hope to read more books by Jen Wilde.

5. The Cruel Prince – Holly Black
5 stars

There was so much hype surrounding this book and it just made me not wanting to pick it up. I couldn’t imagine this living up to the expectations and started to hear more and more negative reviews. But this November some TBR and Beyond member hosted a readalong for the whole series and I decided to just go for it. Turned out it was totally worth the hyped and I loved it a lot!!

4. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid
5 stars

Another book with a ton of hype! I didn’t think this would be a book for me but I came across it on Storytel and figured I would just give it a go. And I’m so glad I did! Maybe my expectations weren’t that high but I really loved this one. I enjoyed the way it was told and loved our flawed main character.

3. The Poppy War – R.F. Kuang
5 stars

I had really high hopes for The Poppy War and while this book took a very different direction than I was expecting, I absolutely loved it. Candyce and I met R.F. Kuang this November and she was such a nice person. I really should read the second book soon and I’m already looking forward to the last book in the series. These books are very brutal but so good!

2. Nevernight – Jay Kristoff
5 stars

And another hyped book haha. There was also a readalong for Nevernight by some TBR and Beyond members this summer and while I couldn’t keep up for Godsgrave and Darkdawn I am super happy I picked up Nevernight. This was everything I hoped for and more. I’m honestly not sure why I haven’t read the next two books yet but I do plan on reading them this year. The school setting was awesome and I can’t believe the effort Jay Kristoff put in the worldbuilding. I personally loved the footnotes and think they really added to the experience.

1.Nevermoor / Wundersmith – Jessica Townsend
5 & 5 stars

My absolute favorite backlist books of the year! I finally picked up Nevermoor, a book I knew I would love and read it in no time. As soon as I finished it, I picked up Wundersmith and they both got a well deserved 5 star rating. This MG fantasy series is simply wonderful and truly give you that Harry Potter feel. While it’s compared to HP the story itself is definitely unique but the general feel is very HP-like. I cannot wait for the third book that will be released this year and I’m pretty sure it will make my favorite list in 2020.

So these were our favorite backlist books in 2019! Have you read any of these? What did you think? We love talking books, so let us know in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Bookish Item | 2019 Favorite Reads – Backlist Books edition

  1. So many great books on this list (and so many I need to read still! Yikes LOL!) I loved The Kiss Quotient and I really need to read Wicker King!

  2. I feel attacked – this is a good chunk of my highly anticipated backlist TBR and the fact that SO MANY of them you’ve rated so freaking high I need to get my reading butt into gear.

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