2019 was a whirlwind year for the YA fiction and fantasy universe, so I figured I should capture it all!
Warning: this post contains some mild spoilers regarding the plot of The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White. You've been warned!
Time to dive right in!
8. Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
I was waiting for this for so long, and I took my time when I got it from Book of the Month because I didn’t want it to be over. Don't get me wrong: this series had more flaws than I would have liked, especially regarding the justification of Cardan's character, but it was a good enough read that I could look over any issues.
7. The Toll by Neal Shusterman
Goodness, I love this world. Scythe challenged everything I assumed about dystopian fiction, Thunderhead was a well-written and engaging journey, and The Toll was the perfect end to the series. Bravo, Neal Shusterman!
6. Finale by Stephanie Garber
Truly, I have no words. I JUST LOVE LEGEND, OKAY?!? Seeing him develop with Tella by his side was one of my favorite parts of the series. I loved how the perspectives switched between Tella and Scarlett in the final book after building the world from the first two. The Caraval series is without a doubt one of the most impressive, unique stories I’ve ever read, and this was a beautiful finish!
5. The Queen’s Resistance by Rebecca Ross
Of course, I had to put this on here! Maybe I’m a little biased (street team and all), but I really did love seeing how much Brienna changed over the course of a few months, and how beautiful the transition was to Maevana. Overall, TQR captured me from the first sentence. This raw, powerful world with a quietly-badass main character was very refreshing. (We
never see quietly-badass main characters, but now I want to see more!).
4. Again, But Better by Christine Riccio
Normally, I’m not one for contemporaries, or full-on romances. I’ve followed Christine Riccio’s YouTube page since forever, and she’s so fun and energetic and I knew I had to read this. (I definitely didn’t get an early copy at YALLFest, and I definitely didn’t read it in one sitting!) Again, But Better is sweet and raw and emotional, and it was one of my favorite feel-goods of the year simply because I fell in love with the characters. Especially Babe, and Pilot. Okay, all of them.
3. The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White
I didn’t realize how much I loved Camelot until I read this book. Everything I originally knew about Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table came from either The Magic Treehouse series or Once Upon a Time, so I really enjoyed seeing this book from the perspective of Guinevere, even if our main character was not truly Guinevere. This book was incredible. Guinevere’s mysteriousness was beautifully complemented by Arthur’s personality and overall it was very well written. The mystery surrounding Lancelot's character kept me turning the page. 10/10!
2. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
I’ve missed Erin Morgenstern’s writing for so long, and I’m thrilled she’s back. I’ll admit, it was hard to get into The Starless Sea because I was so used to the world of The Night Circus, but picking it up about a month after I had put it down was worth it, and I realized I just needed to give myself a hot second to get used to this new world. The Starless Sea is a beautifully written ode to love, books, and the occasional cat.
1. Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin
Ohmigosh, this was the book of my dreams. It reads like a Sarah J. Maas book (that is to say, the writing style is very similar), but the characters were unique and thoughtful and wild. Lou and Reid are total endgame and I was madly in love with Coco by the end and it was just perfect. I was apprehensive about this book at first, as I always am with books about the church, but HOLY CRAP. Next-level incredible! I loved every minute of this book, and I can’t wait for Blood and Honey next fall!
Thanks for reading! If you didn't see a book ya love, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or DM me (@maevesbookshelf) to let me know. I'm always down to read more and I'm always looking for out-there suggestions!!