This is my first time trying Steph’s SixForSunday challenges but the prompts are so interesting I couldn’t resist. You can find her list of prompts on her blog, here, if you want to join in! Today’s prompt is ‘six 2019 favourites’, which I initially decided to take as six 2019 releases that I read and loved last year, because my favourite reads last year was at at least ten books. I ended up with 5 2019 releases and a cheeky 2020 release that I loved so much I just had to include it. In no particular order, my six 2019 favourites are:
Red, White and Royal Blue, by Casey McQuiston
For someone who insists that romance makes me wince, this book gave me life. I read it in one sitting in the middle of the night, like some kind of feral love-starved vampire, and I adored it. From start to finish, it was the right balance of sweet and funny, and gave enough challenge to their relationship without putting bullshit in their way. I read this pretty late in the year, but it bounced itself to the top of my favourites list hard.
Gideon the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir
I was sold on Gideon the Ninth from the first mention of ‘lesbian necromancers in space’, and I’m so glad I bought into the hype. The prose was addictive as hell, and funny in such a weird and engaging way. This book kind of broke me but in a good way and I can’t wait for Harrow the Ninth, even though I’m certain I’ll end up crying my eyes out at that one too.
The Priory of the Orange Tree, by Samantha Shannon
I picked up Priory on the basis of a tweet from Samantha Shannon saying she loved dragons so much that she wrote an 858 page book about them. And if there’s two things I love, it’s dragons and chonky, chonky books. I’m surprised I didn’t get a straight up hangover from how fast I read Priory. I read it in a day in almost one sitting while on holiday, stopping only to stuff my face with camembert. This is the kind of high fantasy that I’ve been looking for my whole life, honestly.
The Mercies, by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
I’m obsessed with this book, and every time someone mentions it, I feel obligated to tell them how much I love it. The Mercies isn’t out until February, but it’s… so good. It’s historical fiction that’s out of this world, with characters that are beautifully crafted (and beautifully awful, Absalom goddamn Cornet) and if this isn’t on your radar already it SHOULD BE.
The Grace Year, by Kim Liggett
The Grace Year was my BOTY for 2019. I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy, and I absolutely devoured it. I called it as my book of the year back in May or June, and I was right. This is the kind of book that I wish I’d had when I was a teenage girl surrounded by lots and lots of teenage girls, and it’s one of those rare kind of books where I walked away from it feeling like it had taught me something emotional. Definitely need to reread this one this year and revisit it, because it’s beautiful.
Sorcery of Thorns, by Margaret Rogerson
Sorcery of Thorns wasn’t really on my radar until I spotted the ARC on Netgalley. I was suckered in by the cover, and the promise of books and magic. I was totally suckered into it and I loved Margaret Rogerson’s writing so much that I immediately bought and devoured An Enchantment of Ravens too. If you’re half as much of a sucker for well-written characters as I am, you’ll love Sorcery of Thorns.
See you guys next Sunday for the next prompt in this series. Thanks again to Steph for writing the prompts up!