Friday, July 12, 2019

9 of my Favourite Books From the First Half of 2019

2019 has been a strange reading year for me so far. I've had more DNFs in the last six months than I think I've had in the last few years put together. I don't know what's happening - whether I'm becoming a pickier reader or just not choosing the right books. When I sat down and went over the books I read in the first half of 2019, I was pleased to see there were a lot of excellent books among the DNFs and meh books. So here are 9 of my favourite books from the first half of 2019.


Happy New You by Brenda St John Brown, Cassie-Ann L Miller, Ceri Grenelle, Elizabeth Lynx, Jami Albright, Julia Wolf, Laura Lee, Marika Ray, Mya Martin, Nikky Kaye, Sylvie Stewart Published: January 8th, 2019 by the authors Contemporary romance/romantic comedy This was one of my first reads of 2019, and it was a great way to start a new year! Allison is a bit of a hot mess, but she’s determined to start the year off right, so she creates a list of resolutions with the help of her friend Mateo. This friends-to-lovers romance is hilarious, sexy, and heartwarming. The characters are complex, and the story is about overcoming obstacles, stepping outside your comfort zone, and smashing other people's expectations. The fact it was written by eleven romcom authors (including one of my top favourite romcom authors, Brenda St John Brown) still blows my mind. Hold Me Today by Maria Luis Published: January 17th, 2019 by Alkmini Books Contemporary romance After having the investment money for her salon stolen, Mina turns to her best friend’s older brother, a super hot Greek god of a man named Nick, who Mina has known since childhood. In exchange for helping with the repairs on her salon, Nick needs Mina to pretend to be his girlfriend in order to get the paparazzi off his back after a disastrous stint on a reality dating show. This book has a combination of popular tropes like best friend’s brother, friends to lovers, and fake dating. It’s a slow burn romance and Nick and Mina’s chemistry is HOT. It was fun watching them fall for each other, and I loved Mina's growth throughout the story. The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane Published: January 30th, 2018 Contemporary young adult Seeing the word ‘Ireland’ in a book’s synopsis is my personal catnip. When Clementine wakes up in a hospital in Ireland with no memory of who she is or why she's there, all she knows is what she’s told: she is the lone survivor of a plane crash. Unable to deal with her complete lack of memories, plus the pressure of knowing the Irish press is out to get her story and that her dad is on his way from America, she makes up a story about who she is and why she’s there, and gets a cute Irish guy to help her leave the hospital. This story has such fantastic main and side characters, and I became completely invested in their stories. Clementine absolutely broke my heart at times, but I enjoyed watching her figure out who she wanted to be since she couldn’t remember who she was before.

At the Mountain’s Edge by Genevieve Graham Published: April 2nd, 2019 by Simon & Schuster Canadian historical fiction At the Mountain’s Edge is set in the late 1800s during the Klondike Gold Rush. It alternates points of view between Liza, a girl whose father uproots his family to take them on the search for gold, and Ben, a member of the North-West Mounted Police, tasked with keeping order in the frozen landscapes of the Yukon. I knew next to nothing about the Gold Rush before reading this book, and it was fascinating (and heartbreaking) to learn what people went through for the promise of riches. Graham’s ability to weave real history with fictional characters is incredible. I felt like I was right there with Liza and Ben, slogging through the frozen landscapes of the Yukon, fighting for survival. Liza and Ben truly came alive for me, and I rooted for them, ached for them, cried for them, and cheered for them throughout the story. The Little Vintage Carousel by the Sea by Jaimie Admans Published: April 3rd, 2019 by HQ Digital Contemporary women’s fiction/romantic comedy When the gorgeous man Ness sees from time to time on the morning train drops his phone, Ness experiences a real-life Cinderella moment. She makes it her mission to return the man's phone to him, and in the process write a story that could get her the promotion she’s been wanting. Tracking him down leads her to the picturesque seaside village of Pearlholme, where the mystery man is restoring a vintage carousel. Jaimie Admans’ books never fail to entertain. They’re always funny, but this one had me laughing til I cried. It was also adorable and swoony, and I loved the characters and how different the story felt from the norm. My Life in Shambles by Karina Halle Published: April 10th, 2019 by Karina Halle Contemporary romance Remember how I said any mention of Ireland was my personal catnip? Well that, plus the stunning cover, is what drew me to My Life in Shambles. Valerie makes a New Year’s resolution to say yes to new adventures, which leads her to Ireland with her sisters, and also leads her to talking to the hot, broody guy who catches her eye one night at a bar. What’s supposed to be a one-night stand turns into more when Padraig asks Valerie to accompany him home to Shambles and pretend to be his fiancee to give his dying father some peace of mind. This book dealt with so many real issues, from family troubles to weight-related issues to disabilities. It was beautiful and heartbreaking and inspiring and it made me laugh, cry, and swoon.


Irresistible by Melanie Harlow Published: February 25th, 2019 by Melanie Harlow Contemporary romance
Frannie has had a crush on Mack for ages, but she doesn't think he sees her as anything more than a co-worker and occasional babysitter for his three daughters. Mack definitely sees Frannie as more, but after his wife abandoned him and their girls, he's barely keeping it together, and being with Frannie would create a whole new set of problems...except he just can't seem to stay away from her. Irresistible has several fun tropes all in one: sexy single dad, older man, and an aspect of the forbidden because Mack works for Frannie’s parents. I loved Mack and Frannie separately and together; I thought the portrayal of Mack’s single parenthood was honest in its messiness and struggles, and Frannie’s desire for independence and to be seen as an adult by her parents and also by Mack really resonated with me. This book had the perfect balance of humour, sexiness, and feels.
Roomies by Christina Lauren Published: December 5th, 2017 by Gallery Books Contemporary romance/romantic comedy This was my first Christina Lauren book! I see their books all the time on bookstagram (and everywhere else), and I decided it was finally time to give them a shot. Roomies was a good place to start because I loved it. Set in New York City, this is a marriage of convenience story about Holland, who becomes obsessed with a street musician, who ends of being an Irishman living in the States illegally. He also happens to be perfect for Holland’s uncle’s Broadway musical, but he needs to be a legal resident of the US first...hence the marriage of convenience. This book was funny and sexy, and I loved the musical aspect as well as the fantastic side characters.
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert Published: June 4th, 2019 by Riverhead Historical fiction/women’s fiction Set mostly in 1940s New York City, City of Girls follows the (mis)adventures of Vivian, a restless young woman who’s sent to the city to live with her eccentric theatre-owning aunt. Vivian went from a sheltered life to one of independence, unabashed promiscuity, alcohol, excess, and glamour. In many ways, this book was an unapologetic look at sex and sexuality, and despite being set 70+ years ago, there were so many parallels to today and how women - especially women who own their sensuality and sexuality - are often seen. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and I know Vivian will stay with me for a long time.

There you have it - 9 of my favourite books from the first half of 2019! See any favourites? Have any of these on your TBR? What were some of your favourites from the first half of the year?

*Disclaimer: Links in this blog post lead to and are affiliate links. I make a small amount of money from each sale made through one of my links, which goes into maintaining this blog. Thank you for your support!


  1. I've been really bad at reading lately. Haven't read all month. I'm getting behind on my reading goals. ><

    1. Oh no! But you've been doing a lot of writing, yes? So that's just as important!


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