You’ve seen our favorite movies, so now it’s time to see which 2019 books the Hypable Staff call their favorites.
Whether you’re an avid reader or a casual one, whether your Goodreads challenge is closer to 12 books or 200, it only takes one to have a favorite. Our staff writers at Hypable have read quite a few good books this year. If you want to see more of our 2019 reads, head over to our book section and start tallying up the new books to add to your TBR. Anyways, read on for all our 2019 faves, representing romance, YA, historical fiction, fantasy, celebrity memoir, and more.
Our favorite books of 2019 are:
‘Storm and Fury’ by Jennifer L. Armentrout
I know everyone and their mom was a fan of Roth and Layla getting together in The Dark Elements series (and ultimately I do think that was the right call, in the end), but I fell completely in love with Zayne from the very beginning. So, imagine my absolute delight upon learning that Jen Armentrout was not done with Zayne’s story. And then to learn that it wasn’t just like, one book, but that she has a whole series worth of story for him! I swooned for author-lady right there and then.
I was head over heels in love when I got my hands on Storm and Fury, and dove back into the complicated world of wardens, demons, humans, and so much more. It’s a fantastic way to keep the world of the Dark Elements alive, but with a whole new hero, a whole new heroine, and a whole lot more trouble. Especially with the wonderful ways Trinity is more than just your standard heroine.
I know I’m kinda sorta cheating a little by mentioning a second book here, but I don’t even care, because Jennifer L. Armentrout rocked 2019 for me with not one, but two stellar novels. In addition to giving me Zayne in all his warden glory, she also delivered the second chapter of the Origin series with The Burning Shadow, cementing her books as a definite highlight of my pop culture year.
I am head over heels for both the Harbinger and Origin series, and Storm and Fury and The Burning Shadow work together to show just how adeptly Ms. Armentrout can craft an incredible story, whether it’s romance, fantasy, paranormal, science fiction or anything in between.
‘The Trials of Apollo: The Tyrant’s Tomb’ by Rick Riordan
The day I don’t choose a Rick Riordan book as my favorite of the year is the day you know I got body-snatched. I’ll admit that I was a little lackluster on the second book in the Trials of Apollo series, but the third one really stepped up to the plate. It killed off a major character (R.I.P.), but in a way that felt measured and important.
The Tyrant’s Tomb, the fourth installation, spent the majority of the book dealing with the impact of that death. For anyone who has experienced grief or loss, this book will certainly hit close to home. I don’t think I cried this much since The House of Hades (maybe I have a thing about the fourth book in a series). Apollo has come so far on his journey, and it’s been wonderful to see how much he’s grown as a human (and a god). I’m so proud of him, and I’m so excited to see what comes next in this series and for Rick’s future projects.
‘The Secret Commonwealth’ by Philip Pullman
While HBO has used His Dark Materials to give Lyra a new life on screen, Philip Pullman has returned to Oxford to check in with Lyra at age 20 in the second book in a new trilogy for the series. The Fall of 2019 is overwhelming with two new takes on a character who has remained preserved for so many years of my life.
Lyra, a child who always felt wise beyond her years, is far removed from her days with Will Parry and the answers that used to come so easily for her. In this next stage of her life, Pullman places Lyra at a crossroads and tells the story of a girl who is taking a few too many pages from her mother’s book and turning away from the part of her that needs the most attention — her daemon. Most readers do not get the chance to see characters from their childhood become adults and tackling the challenges that await them in the next stage of their lives.
Luckily, The Secret Commonwealth takes the time to dive into what losing a part of yourself does to your life. As Lyra goes on a journey to rediscover herself by finding Pan, we are treated to more layers of Pullman’s world and another great installment in the expanding series.
‘Red White and Royal Blue’ by Casey McQuiston
I’m a sucker for a good LGBT YA novel, and this year me and my fellow readers were given the gift that was Casey McQuiston’s Red, White and Royal Blue, following the gay son of the President of the United States and one within The Royal Family. Not only is the plot a refreshing take on the genre, but the writing in the book will make your heart burst. Case and point: The letters between the two lovers are bound to make you envious of the relationship and their intelligence (and the sex scenes are surprisingly lengthy… not that it matters…).
The book’s received great word of mouth over the past year, and it’s well deserved. Casey recently announced her second LGBT novel (unrelated to Red, White and Royal Blue) will be published in 2021. Let’s hope she’s thinking about a sequel to Royal Blue, too.
‘Sorcery of Thorns’ by Margaret Rogerson
Captivating from the start, Sorcery of Thorns has everything I’m looking for in a YA fantasy novel: unique world building, dynamic characters, a good villain, and a mesmerizing plot. I couldn’t help but fall for each of the main characters, and their arcs were astounding considering it’s a standalone novel.
In a world where books can turn into monsters and libraries are a dangerous place to work, it’s up to Elisabeth, along with a sorcerer named Nathaniel and his demon, to stop the destruction of the Great Libraries as grimoires are released.
I love to be swept away into the worlds created in fantasy books, and Margaret Rogerson accomplished it flawlessly in her sophomore novel.
‘Life Will Be the Death of Me… and You Too!’ by Chelsea Handler
I’ve read a few of Chelsea Handler’s previous books, including the salaciously titled Uganda be Kidding Me and Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, so I was excited for another fun read when I picked up Life Will Be the Death of Me. I’ve always enjoyed Handler’s intelligent and snarky take on the world and her dramatically enhanced honesty about herself and her life.
I didn’t get far into her latest memoir before I realized that it was going to be very different than the works she’d authored in the past. The first sign was that the sarcasm and melodrama appeared to have been dropped in favor of a rawness that was not characteristic of her public persona. The second was the fact that she admitted that the book would be about her experience in therapy, which is something that she’s actively avoided in the past.
Life Will Be the Death of Me brought new perspective and depth to the commentary that Handler has always been known for. The detailed break downs of her therapist’s theories and techniques were insightful and intriguing. While it wasn’t as comedic as some of her other work, it was an amazing read that I got much more from. I came away from the book feeling both entertained and educated!
‘The Flight Girls’ by Noelle Salazar
Though I’ve read many fantastic novels this year, Noelle Salazar’s debut novel The Flight Girls is one I keep coming back to and recommending to others again and again. Centering on a young woman working as a flight instructor in Hawaii on that fateful day in December 1941, this book broke my heart as much as it made it soar.
It’s a story of unbreakable female friendships, unsung heroes of World War II, and following your dreams even when they seem impossible to achieve. (It doesn’t hurt that there’s also a pretty swoon-worthy love interest here, although he’s rightfully sidelined in favor of female friendships.) The Flight Girls is a truly remarkable novel and one that I’ll continue to recommend for years to come (and not just to those who read World War II fiction as ravenously as I do).