End of Year Book Survey + Reading Wrap-Up | 2019 Edition

Hey guys and welcome back! Today is the 7th day of 2020 and life is finally getting back to normal. Yesterday was the first day of school again, and to be honest, I kind of missed having classes and assignments. I know. I can barely believe that I even thought that myself. But of course, when assignments properly start, I’m going to be wishing for another break once again.

Anyways, today I’m going to be wrapping up my 2019 reading year.

To help wrap up my past reading year, I’ve decided to do Jamie’s End of Year Survey with a twist. Instead of answering all her questions (46!!), I’m going to pick a handful to answer, and also do a wrap-up my way. Initially, I was going to do 2 different posts, one with the survey and the other with my wrap-up, but that’s going to be repetitive, so I’ll be combining both.

(This is the 10th year that Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner has hosted this tag, so if you’d like to do it, head right over to her lovely blog to see all the prompts and questions!)

This is probably going to be rather long, so without further ado, let’s get started!!!

2019 Reading Stats

Number of Books Read: 98

Number of Re-Reads: 3

Genre You Read the Most From: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense


I didn’t make it to 100 books. But that’s okay. Because I got to 98, which is still a pretty good number and I’m really proud of myself for making it that far.

The re-reads were The Fixer and The Long Game, both by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter. The first two were great, and I loved re-reading them. The third one was a little cringey, and I can see why it appealed to a Younger Rukky, but it was not for Current Me.

Lol, no surprise. Mystery/Thriller/Suspense was by far the genre that I read the most from, with Fantasy coming in second, and Contemporary in third.

I made a little pie chart to break down my reading even further, and I’m so relieved that it turned out looking okay.

if it’s a little fuzzy, I apologize!

I also did another chart showing my year in books by rating, so here you go:

I like how most of my books were 4 or 3 stars. The books were either mediocre or pretty good, just not super great, and I’m happy with that. I think it also shows that I’ve figured out what books work for me, and what don’t, and so hopefully next year, this will have much less 2 or 1 star books.

I did have a couple of DNFs (Did-Not-Finish), and most of them, I plan on trying to re-read another time, while some I absolutely did not like.

For Blanca and Roja, Ninth House, and Blindsighted, I don’t think i was in the right mood when I picked them up, so I was really bored and impatient with them. These are the ones I plan on picking up some other time.

Marshall Law just wasn’t for me. I got it for review from Reedsy, but I didn’t like it and never finished it.

Captive Witness was disappointing, because I loved Nancy Drew once upon a time, and when I picked this up, I couldn’t get over how old fashioned it was. I was cringing so much, and decided to stop so that I wouldn’t ruin all my great memories of reading all the various series.

The Perfect Husband was a nightmare. I am so done with that book. Usually, when there is extra stuff going in books, especially in thrillers and mysteries, I just skim past and move on. But this book had stuff in pretty much. Every. Single. Chapter. I can’t believe I got to 74%. SEVENTY-FOUR, guys. And you’d think that they don’t have time for any of this extra drama, and so called “romance” when the MC is being hunted by a pure 100% psychopath. But no, they can’t stop their “love” for five seconds.


So yeah. 3 of them, I might try later, 2 of them were just not for me, and 1 of them was a true nightmare. But I’m still pretty glad that I only had 6 DNFs the entire year.

Best in Books

Best Books Read in 2019:

Mystery:

  • Hell’s Corner by David Baldacci
    • This was more of a political thriller, but I still loved the mystery of who was behind the attack. I’m also a huge fan of any book with “secret agents” and Mary and Stone were amazing and made me love the story even more.

Suspense:

  • I Found You by Lisa Gardner
    • It was interesting being told what happened to Frank in bits and pieces, and what brought him to that beach. There was so much suspense, as things were slowly revealed and I liked that. The book wasn’t perfect in other aspects, but the suspense was really great.

Thriller:

  • No Exit by Taylor Adams
    • This is a master thriller. It was honestly the first time that I’d been truly petrified and nervous, and anxious about how things would end in a book. It was a little over the top, and would probably be better as a movie than a book, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

Fantasy:

  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
    • I loved this. I loved the characters. I loved Kaz’s cunning ruthless and brutal, I loved Inej, Jes, Wylan, Nina and Matthias, I loved everything about it. Well, it was slow until the heist at the end, but I liked the build-up and relationships between the characters, and how we got to know them so well. This is honestly my top fantasy book of 2019.
  • The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
    • This is a fantasy that I loved because of it’s worldbuilding. The way Allomancy was described, the way the Empires and cities felt so real that I could literally picture everything happening clearly, that was amazing. I loved the heist, and was shocked at how things turned out, but what I loved the most about this was how real, and possible, and well-thought out the world and Allomancy was.
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stievfater
    • I got a recipe for November Cakes. That’s honestly enough to bribe me into loving this book. But really though, I sincerely enjoyed the story. The happiness, calm, and peace that came after I finished reading it. The deadly but utterly beautiful horses. Puck and Sean fighting for what they want, what they love. It was really beautiful, and I’m so glad that Meegs pushed me to read this.

Contemporary:

  • A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
    • He’s grumpy. He’s strict. He’s mean. But underneath that tough exterior, Ove is hurting. And this book is about what caused it, and what happens when a new bustling family, with a fiery and delightful mother, moves in next door. I loved this because of the characters, and because the found family relationship that all the neighbors built with one another. Ove is also really endearing, and it was heartbreaking reading about everything that went wrong in his life. Even if it was fictional. This book made me so happy, because Ove learned to live and love again.

Historical Fiction:

  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
    • I may have loved this solely because the ending shattered my heart. But I’m also a big fan of coming-of-age novels, and this is one of them. At first, I didn’t like many of the characters, and I was a little annoyed, and maybe bored. But as the story continued, and the years passed, and the war dragged on, I began to feel for all these characters. I began to understand them, love them. And when that ending came, even though I knew, even though I’d been warned, it still shattered me when that happened. It’s a book that made me laugh, made me smile, made me cry. And I don’t think a book has ever done all three to me.
  • The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee
    • This was a great book about a woman fighting society’s sexist and racist views through a newspaper column in 19th century Georgia (aka the 1800s). Jo was a great main character, and I loved Old Gin, Noemi, and Nathan so much. She’s brave, she’s fierce, and she was risking so much to write her Miss. Sweetie column and using it to inspire change in her community. This was one my most anticipated books this year, and it did not disappoint.

Best series you started in 2019?

Honestly, it was Mistborn: The Final Empire, but to pick a different book, I’m going to go with the Shades of Magic trilogy.

I’ve already read the first book, A Darker Shade of Magic, and even though it was slow in the beginning, I loved the magic and the world, and I can’t wait to read the second book.

Best Sequel of 2019?

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab. This was such an awesome sequel, and I loved the new villains, as well as Victor’s search for a cure. The ending was really great, but I hope that there is still a 3rd book! Mitch, Syd, and Victor were so sweet together, and honestly, this book was just perfect.

Best Series Ender of 2019?

Nope, none. The only Series Ender I read in 2019 was The Queen of Nothing, and that was most definitely one of the worst I’ve ever read. I’m just really disappointed and salty about it.

Favorite new author you discovered in 2019?

My new top three authors that I discovered in 2019 are:

Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races), V.E. Schwab (Vicious), and Brandon Sanderson (The Final Empire).

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2019?

It’s a tie. I can’t pick one over the other! Both covers are just so beautifully gorgeous.

 Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2019 to finally read? 

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus. I’d seen it in my library a lot, and I can’t believe that I never picked it up until earlier this last year. It was one of the first YA mysteries that I read, and I really loved it.

Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2019?

This post is already over 1,500 words long, so I’m going to stop here. I think I’ve covered all the major questions, and if you’d like to see all the books I read last year, check out my 2019 Year in Books on GoodReads. I’ll probably be doing a Blog/Life Wrap-Up next, and I may do a Most Disappointing Books of 2019. Not sure yet, but keep an eye out for another wrap-up!

Chat with me

That’s it for this post! What was your favorite book of 2019? Have you read any of the ones mentioned above? What did you think? How many books did you read in 2019? Chat with me in the comments below!

Anticipated Releases of 2019 | Expectations vs Reality

The end of 2019 is here and it’s about time that I started all these end of year/year wrap-up/top 10 books etc.. posts. As you can already tell by the title, today I’m going to be sharing with you my anticipated releases for this year, and whether they lived up to my expectations or not.

I did 2 posts earlier this year in which I shared my most anticipated books for 2019, and my most anticipated books for the second half of 2019. Out of those 20, I’ve only read 5, and I just got a sixth one, so maybe I’ll finish that by the end of this month. To be honest, the lowest rating I’ve given a book I was excited for this year is 3 stars. So none of them have truly, really disappointed me, but there were still some that I was expecting much more from.

Let’s get started!!

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

4 Stars | GoodReads | Review

This was really good. Initially, I was kind of bored, and I thought that the Husband was a bit annoying, but it was still pretty good and I loved the suspense and the mystery.

However, I was expecting more, and the plot was pretty similar to other books that I’d read. The POV was definitely unique, and it was interesting seeing how the murders happened and why. However, it was just not a amazing as I anticipated it to be. I was just expecting more.

In the end, this was a dark and twisted thriller with an unconventional narrator, and a surprising ending.


We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

4 Stars | GoodReads | Review

I seriously was super excited for this book. I was looking for a heist, with some diversity, and also a fantasy book, since it was out of my comfort zone at the time.

And this was good in some ways. I loved Nasir and Altair (seriously, there’s no way not to love Altair. He’s obnoxiously awesome!!!), I respected Zafira and the other characters, and I loved the descriptions and the culture.

However, it was seriously lacking in the plot department, and until the very end, not much happened. Honestly, the characters were the only thing that kept the story going, at least for me.

In the end, this was an amazing Arabia inspired fantasy with phenomenal characters.


Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

4 Stars | GoodReads | Review

I read this right before One of of Us is Lying, and I’ve gotta say, it was pretty good. Not spectacular like I’d been expecting, but it was still a decent mystery.

The pacing was a little slow, but the family drama, and the several mysteries were pretty interesting to follow. I liked some of the characters, but now that it’s been 10 months, I really don’t remember much, except that it was just good. Which is kind of disappointing.

In the end, this was a suspenseful mystery with great characters and an amazing twist/plot.


The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

3 Stars | GoodReads | No Review Yet

When I initially heard about this, I was super excited because I seriously loved The Naturals and The Fixer series by JLB. I was sure that this was going to be another awesome book, and I was pretty disappointed.

Book wise, it was ok. However, I came in with the wrong expectations, and didn’t get a mystery, but more of a search-and-rescue, which is the point of the book. I wasn’t expecting the search and rescue to be the main focus, so that added to my disappointment.

I didn’t connect much to Kira, the main character, either, but I thought she was cool and different from the usual YA heroines. Free and Jude were such a welcome relief and I loved them for that, but honestly, they were all just meh. This book was really just meh. Really disappointing.

In the end, this was a good book with okay characters, and a meh plot.


The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

5 Stars | GoodReads | Review

This was truly one of the best books I’ve read this year and I loved it. The idea of the story, the setting, the time period, the characters, it was all so splendid and I couldn’t have been happier.

This was one of the few Historical Fiction novels I’ve read this year and it was the most perfect. I loved Jo, I loved the atmosphere, and I loved how she was determined to make a change in a society that did not want that kind of change. I loved all the side and semi-MC characters who supported Jo through everything and made this book the beauty that it is.

In the end, this was an amazing historical fiction novel that tackles diverse topics, with an amazing cast of characters.

That’s it! These were the five books that I had on my list that I managed to read, and hopefully I’ll be getting to a sixth one (The Queen of Nothing!!!!) before this month’s end.

Chat with me

Have you read any of these? What did you think? What were your most anticipated releases for 2019? Did they live up to your expectations? Which books surprised you and why? Did you read as many books as you hoped to this year? Chat with me in the comments below?

Top Five Tuesday ~ P-Q-R-S-T

Welcome to Top Five Tuesday!! Top Five Tuesday was created and is hosted by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm.

Today’s topic is: Books that start with the letters P, Q, R, S, and T.

This is actually part of a series that started the first Tuesday in July, starting from A and it will continue to the last week of July and end with Z. You can learn more about the topics and see the rest here!

Let’s get started!

P is for Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor

I actually don’t have a favorite book that start with the letter P, so I’ve decided to substitute with a book that I want to read: Prep School Confidential. A murder mystery with rich kids set in a boarding school sounds amazing and I really want to read it!


Q is for The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

I also don’t have anything for Q! A book that I am super excited to read is The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black! Hopefully it’ll be an awesome end to the series!


R is for The Restaurant Critic’s Wife by Elizabeth LaBan

This was a great book that centers around a young mother who is trying to juggle two kids with her husband’s secret job while trying to figure out what will happen to her career. It was fun, light, and entertaining so I hope you love it if you read it!!!


S is for SYLO by D. J. MacHale

I was going to put Six of Crows, but the point of this is to showcase our favorite books that we don’t usually talk about. SYLO was the first sci-fi book that I loved. The characters were spectacular, the plot was believable, and the cliffhanger ending made me continue and read the other two books in the series in two days!! I probably still won’t willingly pick up a sci-fi novel, but this one was amazing!


T is for Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M. McManus

I read the second book by Karen M. McManus before One of Us Is Lying and was super wowed by it. I really liked the plot, and the characters, and also the diversity. However, that ending left a few questions unanswered and that really disappointed me. But it was overall still an awesome book!

That’s it for this Tuesday! Have you read any of the books I mentioned above? Did you enjoy them? Who are some of your favorite authors? Let’s chat in the comments below!

(Be sure to link to your Top Ten Tuesday and Top Five Tuesday posts so I can check them out!!)

Tag Thursday – 2019 Mid Year Freak-Out Tag

Good morning (/afternoon/evening/night depending on where you are) my dear friends!! I hope your week was spectacular! Today, I’m going to do the 2019 Mid Year Book Freak Out tag. I know, it’s halfway through July, and the middle of the year was June, but late is better than never right? This is my first year doing it, and hopefully I’ll continue doing it for many years to come! I think there are different versions of this with different questions (I think??) so this version is one I saw on Paws and Paperbacks!

Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2019

There are so many amazing books that I’ve read so far this year, but Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo definitely tops them all!


Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2019

The Wicked King by Holly Black. I really didn’t like The Cruel Prince, but this sequel made me really like the characters and also managed to make me super excited for The Queen of Nothing!


New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman. This sounds so cute and also seems to be what my life will possibly be like in the future (minus the cat!!), so I definitely want to read this!! It’s also a book about a girl who loves books so…


Most Anticipated Releases For the Second Half of the Year

The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black and Mother Knows Best by Kira Peikoff


Biggest Disappointment

I love Jennifer Lynn Barnes and I was excited to read one of her older books, but Nobody was such a huge disappointment. It was so cliche, and so boring, and the MC annoyed me so much.


Biggest Surprise

I really didn’t expect much from My Lady Jane because it was a historical fantasy with a bit of romance. To my surprise, it turned out to be amazingly hilarious, super entertaining, and refreshing. And the cover is beautiful as well!


Favorite New Author

Lisa Gardner. I loved her D.D. and Flora Dane novel, Look For Me, and I’m definitely going to check out the rest of her mysteries!!


Favorite New Crush

KAZ BREKKER!!! 100% no doubt about it. Actually, the whole crew from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardguo is my new favorite crush!


Favorite New Characters

Kaz, Inej, Jesper, and Wylan from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardguo, Nasir and Altair from We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal, Nate from Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson, Nate from One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus, Shirin from A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi, Aza from Turtles All The Way Down by John Green…and I think I’m going to stop here.


Books That Made you Cry

No book has made me cry yet…I don’t really get emotional like that when I’m reading.


A Book That Made You Happy

The Restaurant Critic’s Wife by Elizabeth LaBan was different from my usual read, and the struggles of Lila as a stay-at-home mom of two who is married to a food critic made me laugh a lot and definitely made me feel happy.


Most Beautiful Books You’ve Bought So Far This Year

Lol, I haven’t bought any books this year? But I think that the cover of Blanca and Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore is gorgeous!


What Books Do You Need to Read Before the End of the Year?

Including my most anticipated releases: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman, Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle, and The Honeymoon by Rona Halsall

Tagging/Nominating:

So it looks like no one gets tagged for this? People just do it, so I’m not going to tag anyone! If you’d like to do it, go right ahead!

P.S. No pressure. If you don’t want to do the tag. That’s absolutely fine. If you’ve already done it, please share the link so I can check it out!

And that’s it for today! Have you done the 2019 Mid Year Book Freak Out tag? Have you read any of the books above? What did you think? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Top Five Tuesday ~ K-L-M-N-O

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday. However, this time, I’ve decided to try Top Five Tuesday! Top Five Tuesday was created and is hosted by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm.

Today’s topic is: Books that start with the letters K, L, M, N, and O.

This is actually part of a series that started the first Tuesday in July, starting from A and it will continue to the last week of July and end with Z. However, I still wanted to join in.

Let’s get started!

K is for Keep You Close by Karen Cleveland

I read this last week, and it was an amazing, edge of your seat kind of thriller! I was a bit confused by the end and would have loved it to be wrapped up more neatly, but I still enjoyed it! I felt so much for Agent Maddox and for all the trouble and pain that she’s been through in life. Also because it’s an FBI book and I absolutely love FBI or CIA or MI5/MI6 or basically any intelligence/law enforcement organization centered book!


L is for Look For Me by Lisa Gardner

I read this over the weekend and loved D.D. and Flora!! The mystery was great and I loved D.D. and Flora’s relationship. It was also interesting to read about Flora’s vigilante work and her survival group, and to know what it’s like to be a survivor. I was also glas because the book was easy to read as a standalone, and this happened to be book nine… so I’m definitely going to go back, and start from book 1!


M is for My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

This was a great mystery, with a bit of an annoying narrator, but I still really enjoyed it at the end. The POV was new and unique and I loved watching the story unfold. It’s an amazing debut novel and I’m going to be on the lookout for whatever the author publishes next!!


N is for No Exit by Taylor Adams

I’ve been recommending this book to all my friends who I think would be able to stomach the gore and the pain that is in this book. Because besides that, it’s a great story, and it’s also kind of like a short movie in book format. The plot is quick, there’s a lot of action, pain, and it is the very definition of a thriller! So if you think you can handle a good amount of gruesomeness, please please do try this out!!!


O is for One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

When I first heard about this book, I said nah, I’ll pass. Fastforward a couple of years, to when I joined GR, and everyone was talking about the author’s second book. That seemed more interesting to me, so I read it first, really liked it, and then decided to just give this one a try.

I loved it. The plot was interesting, the characters were amazing (Nick and Maeve were my favorites! Nick and Bronwyn together were so cute!!!!), the ending shocked me even though I’m pretty sure I’d read a spoiler beforehand, but I was completely blown away! It was the second mystery book that I gave 5 stars too (the first one being The Fixer) and I definitely highly recommend it!

That’s it for this Tuesday! Have you read any of the books I mentioned above? Did you enjoy them? Who are some of your favorite authors? Let’s chat in the comments below!

(Be sure to link to your Top Ten Tuesday and Top Five Tuesday posts so I can check them out!!)