Friday Raves: My Top 5 Favorite Books I Read In 2019

friday raves

FRIDAY RAVES is a feature on my blog, in which I “RAVE” about authors, book events, books, novelties, and/or other bookish announcements.

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Wow, I cannot believe it is now 2020. 2019 was a messy reading year for me. I read 200 books, but my average rating was a 3.2. I went through about 5 reading slumps. And for the first year in a long time, I read more adult/romance books than young adult books. But out of 2019, I read and adored a few books, and what a great way to start off 2020 than by raving about them.

Please feel free to click on the book cover to be directed to the book’s Goodreads’ page.

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★★★★★
I read Paper Hearts five (YES, 5!) times in 2019. Just thinking about it and writing about it, makes me want to read it again. Mia and Jensen’s relationship was achingly beautiful and heartbreaking and heartwarming and just so damn frustrating and sweet all at the same time. While I was sulking with Mia and relating to all her stubborn decisions, I was also secretly cheering on Jensen to win back Mia’s favor. You guys, I fell so hard for this best friends to lovers to enemies to lovers story. The dramatic moments were not uncalled for and the story provides so much hope for second chances and forgiveness. 

The Lady Rogue
★★★★★

I am a huge fanatic of Jenn Bennett’s YA contemporary novels, and I just want to say that her writing a historical novel did not disappoint. The Lady Rogue eloquently melded adventure, history, romance, Gothic scenery, cursed objects, and magic into the perfect historical tome. The Lady Rogue gave me extreme The Mummy vibes (the best kind of vibes, in my opinion), and, of course, the angsty, swoon-worthy feels that are the epitome of Jenn Bennett’s novels. GIVE ME ALL THE BENNETT BOOKS NOW!

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★★★★

Every Ravenclaw (and any book lover) needs to read Sorcery of Thorns. Margaret Rogerson’s enchanted story is dedicated to loving books, protecting books, and enjoying books. As a novel filled with my favorite Bs, books, banter, and a brooding boy, Sorcery of Thorns had me quickly turning every page . . . tightly holding on to the magic of the words and fast-paced story. Filled with grimoires, demon-infused magic, and a dash of enchanting scenes of frost and snow (I love winter, so these wintry scenes stuck to me like binding glue), Rogerson created a beautiful novel about love, friendships, and sacrifice. She teams up the most unforgettable main characters: Elisabeth, a devoted book-lover; Nathaniel, a brooding sorcerer who definitely had my “Byronic” meter ticking; and Silas, Nathaniel’s demon, who provides great comic relief and witticisms throughout the pages. I fell deeply entranced by Sorcery of Thorns, and I think any book lover will too.

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★★★★

2019 was the year I became obsessed with Motorcycle Club (MC) books. I binge read Jeanne St. James’ series in a matter of days, and Diesel was my favorite character and book out of the entire series. He’s quiet, grumpy, stubborn, but so protective. You guys, I have a type, and I won’t stop loving all the brooding men characters out there. It was fun watching this complex biker’s world turn upside down by love. Please note that James’ books do highlight some realistic and triggering topics, but overall I really enjoyed the series because they’re funny, fast-paced, and the female characters are so feisty and strong. If you do read the series, I highly recommend Zak, Diesel, and Dex.

criers war
★★★★★

Crier’s War took me by surprise, and after reading it a few months ago, I am still thinking about this novel and the characters. This rich and lush story is filled with elements of rebellion, revenge, political power, humanity, and elaborate world-building. The characters are so vibrant and dynamic, and I really enjoyed watching them evolve throughout the book. My favorite component in the book is that it meshed fantasy and science together so well, which allowed the author to masterfully mold so many complex scenes and elements into the most beautiful and enthralling story. I cannot wait to read book 2.

What were some of your favorite books that you read in 2019?

Book Review: Crier’s War by Nina Varela

criers war
Title:
Crier’s War
Author:  Nina Varela
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, LGBT
Rating: ★★★★★

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Synopsis:

After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, designed to be the playthings of royals, usurped their owners’ estates and bent the human race to their will.

Now Ayla, a human servant rising in the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging her family’s death…by killing the sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier.

Crier was Made to be beautiful, flawless, and to carry on her father’s legacy. But that was before her betrothal to the enigmatic Scyre Kinok, before she discovered her father isn’t the benevolent king she once admired, and most importantly, before she met Ayla.

Now, with growing human unrest across the land, pressures from a foreign queen, and an evil new leader on the rise, Crier and Ayla find there may be only one path to love: war.


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Alright, I am saying this right now, but this might be my favorite book of 2019. I’ve only  had one book this year that I gave 5 stars, and Crier’s War is definitely my second 5-star worthy read of 2019. As a constant-page turner, I often found myself lost in the themes of rebellion, political power, humanity, and elaborate world-building.

Varela’s writing is so engaging, rich, and lush; the characters are so vibrant and dynamic; and the mix of alchemy and machination allows this novel to effortlessly mesh fantasy and science into a world of Automa (artificial intelligence) overruling humans. The author masterfully molds all these complex elements into the most beautiful and enthralling story.

As Varela’s debut novel, and the first book in a duology, do yourself a favor and add Crier’s War to your TBR asap. As an own voices novel with a slow-burn queer love story that had me swooning, Crier’s War flawlessly and emotionally drives her two main characters, Crier and Ayla, into conflict and determination to seek out their own motives–motives and narratives immersed in rage, revenge, vulnerability, epiphanies, an enemies to lovers romance, and surprising betrayals. 

 

Blogger Note: Thank you so much to Wunderkind PR for sending me a free copy of Crier’s War to read and review.