Posted in Books

My 5-Star Reads of 2019

Hi there, everyone!

As 2019 (and this decade) draws to a close, I’ve decided to make a comprehensive lists of all of my 5-star reads for this year, and, by proxy, my favorite books that I’ve read this year. Most of these are what’d you’d expect, if you’ve scoured my book tags and reviews, but I know there’s a few that I haven’t talked much about. These are in chronological order of when I read them, though their actual rankings vary a fair bit.

Now, without further ado…this year’s 5-star lineup!

 

KING OF SCARS–LEIGH BARDUGO

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Bardugo’s veritable masterpiece, all at once a rollicking adventure and an exploration of internal conflict, was my first 5-star rating of this year. And…Nikolai. ‘Nuff said.

Read my review here!

 

THE ILLUMINAE FILES TRILOGY–AMIE KAUFMAN and JAY KRISTOFF

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I mean, I read all of these in the span of a few months, and I gave all three books five stars…

For good reason, I think. I doubt that we’ll ever come across a trilogy quite like this in a very long time.

Read my review (Illuminae) here!

 

NEVERWHERE–NEIL GAIMAN

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I’ve been a fan of Gaiman’s work for some time, but I chose this one for an English project, and I fell so in love with the fantastic world-building, as well as each and every character.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

ONCE & FUTURE–AMY ROSE CAPETTA and CORI MCCARTHY

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A feminist, LGBTQ+ retelling of the legends of King Arthur…need we say more? A wonderfully fast-paced space adventure, reminiscent of Captain Marvel.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

HONOR BOUND–ANN AGUIRRE and RACHEL CAINE

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Even more daring than its predecessor, Honor Bound is a complex space opera to die for.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

TENNYSON: POEMS–ALFRED TENNYSON

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Yes, I was/still am that kid who sits in the corner reading depressing, 19th century poetry. Do I regret it? Absolutely not.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

AURORA RISING–AMIE KAUFMAN and JAY KRISTOFF 

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You’ve already sing praise of this one innumerable times, so I’ll just leave it at this: I FOUND MY DREAM BOOK, PEOPLE. THIS IS EVERYTHING.

Read my review here!

 

THE PIONEER--BRIDGET TYLER

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An inventive, heart-pounding sci-fi adventure, The Pioneer was very nearly flawless, and I’m itching to get my hands on the sequel next spring! 😀

Read my review here!

 

AN ANATOMY OF BEASTS–OLIVIA A. COLE

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Delving deeper and growing even twistier than its predecessor, A Conspiracy of Stars, this novel is dazzlingly well-thought out, the prime example of what speculative sci-fi should be.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES–RAY BRADBURY

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Did I mention how much I love sci-fi? No?

Ray Bradbury is a talent to be reckoned with, able to deftly weave together a thought-provoking story in the span of under 100 pages with ease.

Also, I was today years old when I realized that the hand on the cover has six fingers.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

SOUL OF STARS–ASHLEY POSTON

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The epic conclusion to the Heart of Iron duology, Poston deftly wraps together a complicated universe of familial bonds and political intrigue. Love, love, love, LOVE…

Read my review here!

 

FAHRENHEIT 451–RAY BRADBURY

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Again, Ray Bradbury. I rest my case.

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Find it on Goodreads here!

 

SPARE AND FOUND PARTS–SARAH MARIA GRIFFIN

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A futuristic Frankenstein for the modern age, this is a grossly underrated writing, atmospheric and poetic.

Read my review here!

 

THE DEMON WORLD–SALLY GREEN

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The pulse-pounding sequel to The Smoke Thieves, Green delivers an even more potent punch of her signature world-building and fantasy action.

Read my review here!

 

HOUSE OF X/POWERS OF X–JONATHAN HICKMAN

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The newest installment in the legendary X-Men mythology, Hickman weaves a mythical and symbolic world, with a hopeful conclusion and the potential of many mutant tales to come.

Find it on Goodreads here!

 

LIKE A LOVE STORY–ABDI NAZEMIAN

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Would you look at that…I think this is the only historical fiction in this post…

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A hearstring-tearing and poignant coming-of-age LGBTQ+ novel. So many feels. INFINITE feels.

Read my review here!

 

THE TOLL–NEAL SHUSTERMAN

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The conclusion to the unforgettable Arc of a Scythe trilogy, this novel is solid proof that Shusterman is a sci-fi author to be reckoned with.

Read my review here!

 

Man. What a year this has been…

 

Have you read any of these novels, and what did you think of them? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!

 

Have a lovely rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (1/29/19)-Illuminae

Hey, everyone, and welcome to the last Book Review Tuesday of January 2019! Man, this month has already gone by so fast…it feels like yesterday I was sitting downstairs watching X2 with my cats over winter break…*sigh*

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*single tear slides down cheek*

Aaaaaaaaanyway, I actually didn’t get this book at the library this time (*GASP* PLOT TWIST); I bought it, along with Honor Among Thieves (for that review, see 6/12/18), which is now IN PAPERBACK! REJOICE!

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AT LAST

Illuminae was recommended to me by a friend, and for the most part, I trust her book judgement. That, other than some other rave reviews I’ve seen and the dazzling cover art ultimately buy this book. I could barely fit it in my backpack, but MAN, it was completely worth it. The cover’s a teeeeeensy bit dinged up at the edges now (oof), but it was worth it all the same. Trust me. 😉

 

Enjoy the review!

 

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Illuminae

Kady Grant and Ezra Mason thought that breaking up would be the worst of their problems. But after their colony is destroyed by a fleet of warships, fighting for dominance over their tiny planet, they are forced to flee on two seperate ships. Out in the midst of space, Kady and Ezra realize that the colony’s destruction was only the tip of the iceberg. A psychotic AI, a deadly virus, and the imminent arrival of one of the warships that destroyed the colony now face the crews of the two ships, and only those with adequate wits, strength, and bravery will live to see the next day.

 

I’m not exaggerating when I say that Illuminae is like nothing I’ve ever seen.

The format is insanely creative, as well as fascinating. Illuminae is told not in ordinary writing, but in a series of transcripts from security camera footage, text messages between crew members, letters from the captain(s), and even snippets of dialogue from AIDAN, the maniacal AI aboard the ship Alexander. It takes a little getting used to, but in the end, I’m sure that you’ll appreciate it, 100%. Both authors skillfully weave a bleak, edge-of-your-seat dystopian tale set in the farthest reaches of space. Illuminae is a true gem of YA science fiction, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the first of its kind. Perfect for all fans of sci-fi, or anyone who wants something frightening, a thrill ride, or just something fresh to wash away the taste of some of the existing YA cliches. Solid 9.5/10 on my scale. 🙂

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This series is a trilogy, but I haven’t gotten to the sequels just yet. The same friend who recommended this book said that book 2 (Gemina, I believe) was something of a let-down, but I was so pumped about this book that I’ve already tried to put it on hold at the library. (All copies are currently in use. Woe is me.)

 

Thanks so much for reading this review! I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day, and PLEASE, especially for those of you in the winter storm in the U.S., take care of yourselves, stay safe, and stay warm.