May-October 2019 (in Books)

November 27, 2019

In case you missed it, I recently did a massive personal life recap where I detailed everything I’ve been up to from May 2019 through to October 2019. Because it was already lengthy, I decided to do this separate post to recap my favorite reads from the past six months. 

My reading has been all over the place since May, partly because I fell sick and partly because I’ve been on the go so much. This next bit is mostly for me, but if you’re interested, I have a breakdown of how much I read per month below: 
  • MAY: 15 (10 books, 4 manga volumes, 1 graphic novel) 
  • JUNE: 41 (19 books, 2 graphic novels, 20 manga volumes) 
  • JULY: 16 (15 books, 1 short story) 
  • AUGUST: 14 (13 books, 1 visual novel) 
  • SEPTEMBER: 21 (18 books, 3 graphic novels) 
  • OCTOBER: 20 (19 books, 1 novella)

I reread a few books over the last couple of months (including Kushiel’s Dart, The Cruel Prince, the first three books in The Raven Cycle, The Start of Me and You), and I still deeply loved and enjoyed them all. But for the sake of further brevity, I’m not including them on this list. My ‘new’ favorites, condensed to encompass the entire six-month period and in alphabetical order, are below.

  • DAISY JONES AND THE SIX (my full review) – I was cautiously optimistic when I picked this book up and it blew me away. I listened to the audiobook (which has a full cast and includes a bit of music), and it was part of why the reading experience was so brilliant. It was fascinating to feel like I was diving into a tell-all about Daisy Jones and the band the Six, and the unique interview format worked especially well in audio. 
  • THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST – Tied with The Cruel Prince in my heart, this Holly Black standalone (which we read for #FaerieAThon, an event I cohosted with Jane, Kristin and Melanie) is such a winner. It is a story about a Faerie boy in a glass coffin in the woods and the siblings who find their story intertwined with his, and Black does an incredible job of mixing the mundane and the magical. I especially enjoyed the cast of the characters and the themes explored in this tale, and I definitely plan to reread this in the future. 
  • THE DEVOURING GRAY – Of all the books on this list, I am most surprised by the fact that this one makes the cut. It has vibes similar to The Secret Circle, Beautiful Creatures and The Raven Cycle, but Herman definitely manages to make this story all her own! Set in a town where there are Founder families that offer protection against the Beast in the Gray that threatens everyone’s safety, this story explores what changes when a new girl comes to town. I listened to the audiobook (which was pretty good), and I flew through it, eager to find out what would happen next to these characters and to see how the lore would fall into place. Can’t wait for book two! 

  • THE DIVINERS, LAIR OF DREAMS, BEFORE THE DEVIL BREAKS YOU – I am kicking myself in the butt for waiting until the year 2019 to binge read this series (I’m thanking the lovely ladies behind the #DivinersReadalong – ChelseaJane, MadalynMelanie – for the push!) because I love it so gosh darn much. I’m obsessed with the setting, fascinated with the lore, invested in the actual plot and so in love with the main cast of characters that it’s almost ridiculous. These are more reads that I ended up experiencing (at least partially with each book) via audio, and I have to say that it truly enhanced the character personalities and the spooky, creepy vibe. 

  • KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES – On a whim inspired by Macky and Kristin, I picked up this series starter… and I devoured it in one sitting. It’s been a while since I’ve truly loved a middle grade story so much that I couldn’t put it down! While there are certainly minor things that weren’t my cup of tea, this is one of the most fun reading experiences I’ve had this year and I cannot wait to binge read the rest of the series.
  • KINGS OF THE WYLD – Speaking of fun and entertaining reads, I am so happy that I finally read this book! It does start off a bit heavy-handed on the set-up, but it develops into something that I have been describing as “a Dungeons and Dragons game where the players are rolling either natural 1s or natural 20s”. You can probably imagine how delightful and funny this book was for me as someone who enjoys DND! 
  • KUSHIEL’S CHOSEN, KUSHIEL’S AVATAR – It was also only this year that I finally finished the first trilogy of the Kushiel series, and I’m so mad I waited so long to read it because it was absolutely brilliant! Carey has a masterful hand when it comes to her plotting and her characters, and I enjoyed every single second I spent immersed in the trilogy. 

  • LOVELY WAR (my full review) – I will never shut up about how much I loved this one! I listened to the audiobook (which has a full cast and includes musical pieces) and fell head over heels in love with this story of two couples set against the backdrop of the World War and narrated by the Greek goddess Aphrodite. 
  • THE MAP FROM HERE TO THEREThe Start of Me and You has always been my favorite Emery Lord novel, so I went into the sequel very cautiously. I needn’t have worried though, as Lord does a great job with this additional chapter of Paige’s story. Paige and her friends are now high school seniors, and with that comes the complicated navigation between nostalgia for all they’ve shared, determination to make enough memories to last past the year and the questions about the future that lie ahead. It’s such a relatable story, in a whole lot of ways, and I really loved it (though it still doesn’t beat out Start as my favorite). 

  • WELL MET – A dislike-to-love story with the backdrop of a Renaissance faire? I had a very good feeling about this contemporary romance from the moment I first heard about it, and it ended up living up to my expectations. I was delighted by every aspect of this story – the small town, the characters, the romance – and I definitely think it’s one of my personal favorite romance reads ever (just because it really appeals to me on so many levels). 
  • WHERE DREAMS DESCEND – I feel a little guilty putting this title on my list as this novel isn’t going to be published until June 2020, so there’s quite a wait ahead! But I promise the wait will be worth it. I dove right into this one as soon as an ARC landed in my hands, and I don’t regret it! It’s about a young woman determined to venture beyond the bounds of her home, and who winds up competing in a magical competition… which women normally can’t be a part of. I found the story compelling, the characters interesting and the twists and turns had me emotional and on my toes at every turn. 
  • 10 BLIND DATES – I’m a sucker for a cute rom-com set-up and if that ends up paired with a big family ensemble cast, well, that’s a cherry on top of an already excellent sundae. I flew through this fun, festive read about a gal who has just broken up with her boyfriend during the holidays and how her rather large extended family get involved in setting her up on ten blind dates with the person and location of their choosing. It’s seriously such a great book and it’s been picked up for adaptation by Netflix!
What have you read and loved lately?

2 comments

  1. So many of your favorites from May- October are favorites of mine too! I'm so glad to see The Devouring Gray, The Diviners series, Daisy Jones, 10 Blind Dates and Keeper on your list! I'm really excited to finish reading Well Met (I'm only about 10 pages in at the moment) and I'm so glad we buddy read Kings of the Wyld together!

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