The Best Books of 2019

Don’t miss out on the best books of 2019 ♥

For readers around the world, 2019 was a tremendous year for books and storytelling. With debut authors making their mark and seasoned masters returning with flair, there were some truly remarkable novels to enjoy.

But with so much to read, most of us like a little guidance to make sure that our next book is worth our time. So, to help you plan your reading list, we’ve collected the best books of 2019 that deserve your attention! Don’t miss out on these readers’ favorites from the past year.

The Testaments

by Margaret Atwood

From the publisher: In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades.

When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her—freedom, prison or death.

With The Testaments, the wait is over.

Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story more than fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.

What Critics Say

“Margaret Atwood’s powers are on full display … Everyone should read The Testaments.” – Los Angeles Times

“A chilling invitation no Atwood fan can resist … The Testaments reminds us of the power of truth in the face of evil.” – People

The Testaments is worthy of the literary classic it continues. That’s thanks in part to Atwood’s capacity to surprise, even writing in a universe we think we know so well.” – USA Today

“There may be no novelist better suited to tapping the current era’s anxieties than Margaret Atwood.” – Entertainment Weekly

Length: 422 pages
Genre: Feminism, Dystopia
Publisher: Nan A. Talese
Average customer review: 4.5 out of 5 stars (77,845 ratings)
Buy it: Amazon

Red, White & Royal Blue

by Casey McQuiston

From the publisher: A big-hearted romantic comedy in which the First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends …

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his long-time nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.

As President Claremont kicks off her re-election bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

What Critics Say

A New York Times and USA Today bestseller
A Goodreads Choice Award Winner for Best Debut and Best Romance of 2019
A Vogue Best Novel of 2019
One of NPR’s Favorite Books of 2019
A BookPage Best of the Year
A Kirkus Best Book of 2019
A Library Journal Best Romance of 2019
A Shelf Awareness Best of the Year
A She Reads Best Romance of 2019

“[An] exquisite debut … It’s hard to watch [Alex] fall in love with Henry without falling in love a bit yourself―with them, and with this brilliant, wonderful book.” – The New York Times Book Review

“Effervescent and empowering on all levels, Red, White & Royal Blue is both a well-written love story and a celebration of identity.” – NPR

“With a diverse cast of characters, quick-witted dialog, and a complicated relationship between to young people with the eyes of the world watching their every move, McQuiston’s debut is an irresistible, hopeful, and sexy romantic comedy that considers real questions about personal and public responsibility.” – Library Journal, Starred Review

Length: 423 pages
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, LGBT
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Average customer review: 4.5 out of 5 stars (50,160 ratings)
Buy it: Amazon

The Silent Patient

by Alex Michaelides

From the publisher: Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him …

What Critics Say

“Superb … This edgy, intricately plotted psychological thriller establishes Michaelides as a major player in the field.” – Publisher’s Weekly

“That rarest of beasts: the perfect thriller. This extraordinary novel set my blood fizzing―I quite literally couldn’t put it down. I told myself I’d just dip in; eleven hours later―it’s now 5:47 a.m.―I’ve finished it, absolutely dazzled.” – A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

“One of the most spellbinding psychological thrillers we’ve read in years. Beautifully written, exquisitely plotted, the story relentlessly pulls you in and doesn’t let you go …

This is an absolutely fantastic and extraordinary read.” – Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, #1 New York Times bestselling authors of the Pendergast series

“Unputdownable, emotionally chilling, and intense, with a twist that will make even the most seasoned suspense reader break out in a cold sweat.” – Booklist

Length: 323 pages
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Publisher: Celadon Books
Average customer review: 4 out of 5 stars (175,573 ratings)
Buy it: Amazon

Ninth House

by Leigh Bardugo

From the publisher: Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

What Critics Say

Ninth House is the best fantasy novel I’ve read in years, because it’s about real people. Bardugo’s imaginative reach is brilliant, and this story―full of shocks and twists―is impossible to put down.” – Stephen King

Ninth House is one of the best fantasy novels I’ve read in years. This book is brilliant, funny, raw and utterly magnificent ― it’s a portal to a world you’ll never want to leave.” – Lev Grossman, New York Times bestselling author of The Magicians

“Excellent … Bardugo gives [her protagonist] a thoroughly engaging mix of rough edge, courage and cynicism.” – Publishers Weekly

“Simultaneously elegant and grotesque, eerie and earthbound … Wry, uncanny, original and, above all, an engrossing, unnerving thriller.” – The Washington Post

Length: 458 pages
Genre: Fantasy, Adult, Mystery
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Average customer review: 4 out of 5 stars (21,975 ratings)
Buy it: Amazon

The Institute

by Stephen King

From the publisher: In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.

As psychically terrifying as Firestarter, and with the spectacular kid power of It, The Institute is Stephen King’s gut-wrenchingly dramatic story of good vs. evil in a world where the good guys don’t always win.

What Critics Say

“Throughout his long career, King has been committed to the bedrock notion that stories matter, that they help us understand both ourselves and the world we inhabit. The Institute, filled as it is with anger, sorrow, empathy and, yes, hope, reiterates that commitment with undiminished power. It is a first-rate entertainment that has something important to say. We all need to listen.” – William Sheehan, The Washington Post

“How do you maintain your dignity and humanity in an environment designed to strip you of both? That theme, such an urgent one in literature from the 20th century onward, falls well within King’s usual purview … Of all the cosmic menaces that King’s heroes have battled, [the] slow creep into inhumanity may be the most terrifying yet, because it is all too real.” – Laura Miller, The New York Times Book Review

“You don’t need to be a horror fan to read The Institute—or to have The Institute take over your life, since this is generally what happens with King’s novels … His storytelling transcends genre.” – Marion Winnick, Newsday

Length: 561 pages
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Fantasy
Publisher: Scribner
Average customer review: 4.5 out of 5 stars (46,704 ratings)
Buy it: Amazon

Girl, Stop Apologizing

by Rachel Hollis

From the publisher: “I believe we can change the world. But first, we’ve got to stop living in fear of being judged for who we are.”

Rachel Hollis has seen it too often: women not living into their full potential. They feel a tugging on their hearts for something more, but they’re afraid of embarrassment, of falling short of perfection, of not being enough.

In Girl, Stop Apologizing, #1 New York Times bestselling author and founder of a multimillion-dollar media company, Rachel Hollis sounds a wake-up call. She knows that many women have been taught to define themselves in light of other people—whether as wife, mother, daughter, or employee—instead of learning how to own who they are and what they want. With a challenge to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and believing in yourself.

What Critics Say

“Hollis’s writing is beautifully blunt, and she humbly thanks her fans for her success. Her actionable ideas and captivating voice will encourage women to believe in themselves.” – Publishers Weekly

Length: 240 pages
Genre: Nonfiction, Self-Help
Publisher: HarperCollins Leadership
Average customer review: 4 out of 5 stars (27,700 ratings)
Buy it: Amazon

Five Feet Apart

by Rachael Lippincott

From the publisher: In this moving story two teens fall in love with just one minor complication—they can’t get within five feet of each other without risking their lives.

Can you love someone you can never touch?

Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.

Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.

What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

What Critics Say

“The characters’ backstories are complex and moving, and the unpredictability of the disease will break readers’ hearts. Teens will clamor to read this before the film version releases in March 2019.” – Booklist

The Fault in Our Stars meets Kasie West in this beautiful, heartrending tale … The three coauthors portray believable teen characters with the emotional maturity of adults without losing their target audience.” – School Library Journal

Length: 288 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Average customer review: 4 out of 5 stars (44,684 ratings)
Buy it: Amazon

The Wicked King

by Holly Black

From the publisher: You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself that strong.

Jude has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were biddable. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her, even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a faerie world.

What Critics Say

“A heady blend of courtly double-crossing, Faerie lore, and toxic attraction swirls together in the sequel to The Cruel Prince … Black’s writing is both contemporary and classic; her world is, at this point, intensely well-realized, so that some plot twists seem almost inevitable.” – Kirkus

“An epic saga of palace intrigue and deception.” – Entertainment Weekly

“Holly Black is a mistress of well-paced fantasy …” – Austin-American Statesman

The Wicked King is so fast-paced and intense, you won’t be able to put it down.” – The Missourian

Length: 326 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Average customer review: 4.5 out of 5 stars (71,904 ratings)
Buy it: Amazon

Stay in Touch

What did you think were the best books of 2019? Drop us a comment to let us know what authors and stories have earned a place in your heart lately!

11 thoughts on “The Best Books of 2019

    • Megan says:

      The TV series is great. Dark and disturbing, but it’s really relevant for the world today. If you like the books, you should definitely check it out.

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