Top 5 Tuesday: Surprising Reads of 2019

Top 5 Tuesday is created and run by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm. You can join the fun by checking out the topics for the month here.

Hi everyone,

I can’t believe it’s only Tuesday. But it’s officially only two weeks until I go on leave over Christmas and I’m off to Vietnam so I’m beginning to both panic about planning as well as get super excited!

This week is a really fun topic – surprising reads of 2019. BUT, Shanah hasn’t specified whether it needs to be a good surprise or a bad surprise. So I thought I’d talk about some of each!

They Both Die at the End – Adam Silvera

Let’s start with a bad surprise which may get me attacked by half the book community. I went into They Both Die at the End extremely hyped. I don’t think I’d seen a single negative review, everyone on Twitter I follow loves it…..and I…..really…..really….did not. I was so shocked. The premise of this book sounds exactly my cup of tea, but I just didn’t care about it at all. The characters were bland and boring; it was repetitive; it was just so so meh and I had expected something incredible. This was a very bad surprise of 2019 for me.

Into the Drowning Deep – Mira Grant

Now for an EXCELLENT surprise! Horror has never really been my “thing”. At least in visual media. I get scared very easily, and combined with my exceedingly overactive imagination, interacting with horror media has never been a good combination for me. However, this year I did start reading a few books in the more psychological horror genre. Into the Drowning Deep was one of these, and I ADORED it. It’s one of my favourite reads of the entire year; it’s deliciously creepy and terrifying. I couldn’t tear my eyes away and I am already looking forward to rereading it! You can read more about my love for this book in my review here!

YA Contemporary

My third surprise isn’t a specific book, but instead is a genre! I don’t think I’d ever read a YA contemporary novel before this year. Not even when I was a teen. I have always been very heavily into fantasy, but this year I picked up Darius and fell in love with the genre. Softer, quieter and yet just as impactful as my favourite fantasies, some of my favourite books this year have been YA contemporaries, and I can’t wait to read some of the amazing books releasing in this genre next year!

An Ember in the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes was one of my biggest surprises this year because it was a book I randomly picked up at the library thinking the blurb sounded vaguely interesting, and then it was INCREDIBLE. I usually go to the library to pick up reservations I’ve specifically chosen, I rarely pick up random books I’ve never heard of before because I’ve found them very hit and miss in the past. I like doing research on my books! But this one I randomly picked up, and I became enthralled with this world. I can’t wait to continue this series!

Eve of Man – Giovanna + Tom Fletcher

And I’m ending on another bad surprise! In contrast to An Ember in the Ashes, Eve of Man was another of my randomly picking up because of a vaguely interesting blurb. In addition, this one had a very shiny cover and I as very attracted to shiny things. Only problem was, it was terrible. In hindsight, I wish I’d just DNF-ed it, but I kept going to the end even though I had no interest at all. It had such a good premise, and then completely failed in all execution. I rarely read books I dislike this much, because I do so much research into what I’m going to read. This one really just reinforced my opinion that randomly picking up a book is rarely ever a sucessful endeavour.


That’s my top 5 surprising reads of 2019! I’m looking forward to more (good) surprises in 2020. Bring on my new journey into horror and contemporary fiction!

Looking forward to reading everyone’s posts this week!

Paws out,
Rach + Draco

8 thoughts on “Top 5 Tuesday: Surprising Reads of 2019

  1. I didn’t like They Both Die at the End either. I mean… it was alright, just nothing too mind-blowing. It was my first and probably last Adam Silvera book.

    «An Ember in the Ashes» has been on my GoodReads TBR of books to buy for the longest time. I really need to get to it at some point 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I’m so glad someone else was as underwhelmed as I was! That’s exactly how I felt – it was in now way terrible, just couldn’t really say anything other than ‘it’s fine’ to describe it.

      I cannot recommend it enough! Maybe 2020 is the year for it?!

      Liked by 1 person

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