Lexi is truly a joy to watch. She makes incredibly cosy vlogs and really well edited and super helpful recommendation and wrap up videos that cover everything from middle grade to adult books. I re-watched her ‘Top 10 Favorite Books of 2019!’ video and read all ten of her faves. Let’s see if our tastes match up!
10 – The Wicked King by Holly Black
Lexi mentioned the whole Folk of the Air trilogy but specifically mentioned The Wicked King so that’s what we’ll talk about today. To be honest, I didn’t really like The Cruel Prince (click here to read my review) but I actually really liked The Wicked King!
In my opinion, the writing was much improved and felt more magical and whimsical. The plot was nicely paced – although I would have appreciated some more recap because I didn’t remember many details and felt a little lost at the beginning. The plot also felt much darker and smarter and I really liked Jude and Carden’s ‘relationship’ but the ending left me SHOOK. Overall, a good rec if you love YA fantasy!
9 – Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall
Next up we have Rules for Vanishing, a YA horror novel that I actually finished this past weekend.
I didn’t know what to expect so I just jumped in! This ended up being PERFECT for this time of year and the spooky season so definitely add it to your reading plans for October. In this book we follow a group of friends as they enter ‘the road’ – a horror-filled fantasy world that leads them to the unknown. I was genuinely scared reading parts of this so it definitely lives up to the reviews. It’s also chock-full of plot-twists which is always fun. A fantastic recommendation!
8 – Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl
This is another solid recommendation from Lexi. Neverworld Wake is a YA mystery/thriller that follows ‘cool kids’ Beatrice Harley and her five best friends who end up going back to a seaside estate where they had previously spent a lot of time together. However, this time, a strange man knocks on the door and announces the impossible and things start to get weird.
Just like with Rules for Vanishing I went into this without any expectations and ended up really enjoying the story and the plot twists! This is also perfect for the spooky season so make sure you add it to your autumnal tbr.
7 – The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
This is an unpopular opinion for sure but I was disappointed by this one…
When people talk about Neil Gaiman they often pick The Graveyard Book as the place to start, but compared to his other works that I’ve read, this just isn’t as good. I understand why people love it but it just didn’t work out for me. On to the next one!
6 – The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Over the past few years I’ve become a huge fan of adult romance but The Unhoneymooners was just OK for me. We follow Olive as she attends her twin sister’s wedding that unfortunately ends with everyone getting horrific food poisoning; the only two guests who didn’t eat the food just so happens to be Olive and her arch-nemesis Ethan… who then get asked to go on the honeymoon in place of the bride and groom. Full of tropes and obvious plot points I found this to be average. *shrug*
5 – In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
In an Absent Dream is book four in the Wayward Children series and another fantastic instalment. We follow Lundy, the child psychologist and therapy session guide from book one. She looks eternally eight-years-old despite her wisdom and in this book, we learn her backstory. I found this to be total perfection. I loved the mixture of the real world and the Goblin Market and loved Lundy’s story. A wonderful recommendation and if you haven’t got to this series yet I would urge you to start!
4 – Red White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
I actually reviewed this in my last booktubes fav post! Goes to show just how brilliant this book is.
3 – Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff
I can’t tell you much about this one because it’s the conclusion to Jay Kristoff’s ever popular Nevernight Chronicles. What I can say is that this adult fantasy series is one of my all-time favourites and I urge you to go and check it out. My review for this just looks like this:
2 – Summer of Salt by Katrino Leno
I read this earlier in the summer at the perfect time. It was a warm afternoon; I had no other plans (thanks to lockdown!) and had all the time in the world to just sit and enjoy this story and I absolutely adored it. This YA fantasy/contemporary is full of f/f queer love, magic, sisters, moody summer storms and an island where strange things happen. I would 100% recommend that you add this to your summer reading list.
1 – I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
This backlist title was a bit of a surprise to me especially sitting at the number one spot. I read this back in 2018 and had this to say.
I really enjoyed this one! I loved the two perspectives from two different timelines and I liked the microscopic look into the lives of twins. The artistic elements were fun if not a little overwrought at times. I appreciated that fact that there are adults present in this story and they are fallible which is a refreshing look at a family in YA. Also, the sexuality rep was cool and felt very natural to the story. I devoured this book in one afternoon, and I’m sure I’ll re-read it again soon.
Alas, I didn’t re-read it but maybe I should!
So there we go, all of my thoughts on Lexi’s top 10 books of last year. As you can see a couple of them are now some of my all time favourite books, some were really strong and a few were just a bit average for me – so a real mixed bag! I think when she posts her 2020 favourites I would feel confident to add all of them to my tbr list as I think I’d be in with a good chance of loving 70% of them!
I have a few other booktubers that I’m currently working on but do you have any favourites that I should check out that read different genres/less popular fiction?