It’s day 2 of my yearly wrap up and it’s time to liven things up with my most surprising reads of 2019!
These are 10 books I picked up on a whim, knew nothing about, or blew away my expectations! These books aren’t necessarily perfect or 5 stars, but I was shocked by how much I enjoyed them.
These are ranked for least to most surprising!
10. House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5
I’m putting this in the “least” surprising spot because I had an inkling this could be a favorite. But I’ve had such a precarious relationship with fantasy this year so I kept my expectations low. I ended up adoring this book. I loved where this book went and this is one of my favorite endings of all time.
9. Angels’ Blood (Guild Hunter #1) by Nalini Singh ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I did not think that urban fantasy/paranormal was a genre I’d enjoy. But I really loved this book! The romantic tension was perfection and I really enjoyed the fantastical story arc/hunt for the evil angel. This book was just good time and I’ve actually already continued on with the series!
8. The Girl From the Well (The Girl from the Well #1) by Rin Chupeco ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Horror and I do not mix. I’m a huge baby and tend to lean more toward mystery/thrillers than straight up horror. But I read this with the Dragon’s and Tea book club and ended up really enjoying this! It was definitely spooky as all get up, but I loved the themes and unique perspective of this story.
7. Inspection by Josh Malerman ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This was definitely a polarizing book when it released earlier this year. It’s hands down one of the weirdest books I’ve ever read but I was so gripped and engaged throughout this book. If you haven’t checked this out yet, skip the synopsis! I personally think it gives way too much away. This is an adult suspense novel following a group of boys who attend a prestigious boarding school. When a boy goes missing, another student, J, tries to unravel the mystery of the missing students and dark secrets are revealed.
6. The Test by Sylvain Neuvel ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I read Sleeping Giants by this author and really enjoyed it so I was excited to see another book by him. I’m not always the biggest fan of novellas but this one was absolutely amazing. It’s so dark and twisted and packs a huge punch in very few pages.
5. On the Island (On the Island #1) by Tracey Garvis Graves ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I would have never picked this book up on my own. But this was the group book for the romance readathon back in summer and I wanted to participate in the live show. But holy cow was this addicting! This is a women’s fiction/romance novel about a woman and a teenage boy who are in a plane crash and wash up on a deserted island. They’re trapped their for years and a romance blooms. It’s super cheesy and overly convenient but I absolutely devoured this book.
This was my first ever ARC on Netgalley so it will always have a special place in my heart. I thought this was going to be a YA mystery with a boarding school setting (my favorite) but this turned out to be so much more! This book was pretty predictable and trope-y but I still enjoyed it a whole heckin-ton. And book 2 releases in early 2020!
I had no interest in picking up this up until I kept hearing rave reviews about book 2 and the gorgeous new cover was released. This is a YA royalty romance series and it was so dang cute. I was blown away by how witty and funny this book/series was.
2. Lost in Me (Here & Now #1) by Lexi Ryan ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I requested a copy of this via Netgalley on a total whim because I had read and loved other books by this author. Upon further digging, I realized this was an amnesia story that sounds dramatic and over the top. Which it was. And I loved every. damn. word. I completely this entire trilogy in a single weekend because I couldn’t put the thing down. It was like reading a soap opera and I couldn’t get enough. If you’re into tropey but addicting romance with lots of angst and tension – check this series out!!
This was hands down my most surprising book of the year. I picked this up on audio early in 2019 because BooksandLala recommended it in one of her overly specific book recommendation videos. I was feeling a bit slumpy and needed something different. And this was everything I wanted. It’s a YA sci-fi following a group of teens who are selected for a secret space mission because Earth in no longer inhabitable. There are secrets, and romance, and lots of intrigue. I’m actually really excited that book 2 is releasing this coming year and 100% plan to pick it up.
What was your most surprising read of 2019??