Kate's favorite books of 2019, in no particular order except for Daisy Jones & The Six which is the best audiobook of the year!
This was my original review, and it totally came true!This book is going on my favorites of 2019 list, and it will probably be my favorite audiobook. I loved the story, the characters, and all the performances were spot on. It's like Fleetwood Mac meets A Star is Born meets Almost Famous, and it's amazing.
Sometimes a book is so good that you tear your finger muscles trying to flip the pages fast enough, and sometimes a book is so phenomenal, that you read it slowly, stealing precious moments to read and savor your time spent with the characters. This book worthy of both those kinds of reading! Set in the 1950's in Spain under Franco's controlled rule, Fountains of Silence follows four young adults and all the ways the things they say and don't say, the things they do and don't, entwine, connect, and trap them. From the rooms of a grand hotel, to a graveyard filled with empty caskets, Sepetys shines the light on a history not known to many outside of Spain. Absolutely breath-taking and heart-breaking, and definitely above and beyond a 5 star rating!
Pure Morgenstern magic! The Night Circus is my all time favorite book, so much that I have a tattoo marking me a fan for life, and her second book did not disappoint! If The Night Circus is cinnamon, magic, and reveurs then The Starless Sea is honey, cocktails, and dusty libraries underground. This was my first trip of many to starless sea!
Serious Moonlight is my romantic jam, ya'll! It has sent me down a Bennett binge reading rabbit hole, but oh, what a place to be! Birdie and Daniel have a meet cute that turns into something a little more steamy, so Birdie runs away in fear. But our sleep-deprived heroine soon finds herself in the mysterious hotel of her crime loving heart, working beside Daniel to solve a case . But can their relationship go from playing a real life game of Clue to something more? Serious Moonlight is enchanting!
I have been a long time King fan, having pretty much teethed on a copy of Firestarter, which was my first King book. It's fitting that The Institute's main character would have been friends with Firestarter's Charlie McGee. Perfect no matter if you're only a fan of Stephen King's earlier books, or only his newer books, or just someone who's decided to finally pick up one of his books to see what all the darn fuss is about. King often gets slapped with a Horror writer sticker, but his books are so much more than just scary reads- his characters feel so real and so flesched out that you feel as if you're living beside them... and maybe that is a pretty scary thing!
An alien invasion set in the Virgin Islands? Yes, please! An exciting debut, full of complex characters and lots of depth and twists. Cadwell Turnball wrote my favorite sci-fi of the year, and I can't wait to see his career take off!
Thrillers are my thing, ya'll. They are my comfort reads, my distractions, and my favorite favorites. I love when an author manages to surprise me, but Never Have I Ever completely floored me with its twists and reveals! I loved the characters, the secrets, the games. It had me on the edge of my seat (and toes, because I listened to the audio book while pacing my house to ease my anxiety). So put down that classic that everyone else has probably already read or watched on BBC, and grab THIS BOOK for your local book club's next read.
I run the Fountain of Youth book club, the book club for adults who enjoy reading young adult fiction, and this was mine and pretty much everyone else in the book club's favorite of the year. Acevedo's verse novel, The Poet X was amazing, but the story she creates here about a young teen mom, Emoni, working hard towards her future as a chef was every bit as inspiring, and even more heartwarming and full of magic.
The Escape Room is set in the cutthroat world of finance and the dangerous allure of making money above all else. One of the best teams at Stanhope and Sons has had a rough year, and they all jump at the command to meet to do a team building Escape Room, hoping to save their jobs. Vincent, Jules, Sylvia and Sam are ready to throw each other to the wolves if it means they'll get ahead, so working together is sure to be a bloodbath. But this is no ordinary escape room, and two former team members appear to be haunting the group as they fight to survive. Definitely one of the best thrillers of 2019!
I read both the arc and listened to the audiobook through Libro.fm (which I recommend because I LOVED the interview between the narrator and the author- hearing Liggett's inspiration for writing the book was amazing).
This book rightly draws comparisons between Lord of the Flies and the Salem Witch Trials, and pretty much any dystopian book that deals with keeping women down. At times the book can be dark and brutal and awful, but Tierney is a ray of hope in the darkness. Raised to be self-sufficient and independent, she is an outsider in her community and the Grace Year forces her to interact with her fellow grace year girls.
When the girls are led into a camp in the woods to rid themselves of their magic, they find themselves in a battle for survival and power. Danger comes from everywhere, from the poachers who lie in wait for the girls to venture out the enclosure so they can be killed and rendered into parts and potions, and more importantly, to the threat the girls pose against one another.
Throughout all of this, Tierney endures- attacks and banishment, kidnapping and blackmail, finding her inner strength hasn't fled her. The ending in particular was worth the all the torture and the torment. The ending made me love this book. It highlights the strength of women and the good in humanity, even when all seems lost.