The first half of 2019 was great for reading. I was committed to this blog and making sure I had reviews to post every week. I was reading every spare minute of every day. Life was good, and then the Fall semester tried to knock me down.
I still managed to make my goals and read 26/25 books (and a whole bunch of short stories) this year. These are my 5 Star reads of 2019, click on the titles for my full reviews.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
This year started out great. I devoured The Poet X in a matter of two days and even re-read it for The Reading Rush. It’s super rare for me to reread a book, especially after just a few months of reading it. There’s a high chance I’ll read The Poet X again this year, too.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
I kept that same momentum for my second read of 2019. Dear Martin was the exact kind of book I needed to read this year. It reminded me of The Hate U Give without imitating the story. Dear Martin is a story of its own.
Helium by Rudy Francisco
I fell in love with Rudy Francisco’s spoken word years ago, so when I learned about Helium, I knew it was a necessary addition to my bookshelves. The poem’s are truly beautiful.
Wolfpack by Abby Wambach
Abby Wambach was part of the Be the Change event my school was hosting and everyone received a copy of her book in our goodie bags. Wolfpack is uplifting and a great read for the year.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
This book stayed in the back of my car for the longest time and I’m so thankful I gave it a chance. It’s so, so good. A Man Called Ove gave me some serious The Hundred Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared vibes. If you’re a fan of that book, you’ll love A Man Called Ove.
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Are you surprised to see Jason Reynolds on this list? If you’ve been following this blog or read some of my previous posts, you already know I can’t get enough of Jason Reynolds. Everything this man writes is pure gold.
Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
Elizabeth Acevedo has quickly become one of my favorite authors this year. I remember watching her spoken word videos in high school and now she’s a full-on author. Elizabeth Acevedo is my inspiration, y’all.
Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
This story took me by surprise and made me hold my breath the whole way through. I laughed, I cried, I wanted to be there for Claudia and Monday. Tiffany D. Jackson knows how to captivate an audience.
Now I’m reading Let me Hear a Rhyme, but I’m thinking about switching over to the audio book for this one. It’s been hard for me to sit down and read, so I’ll probably factor in more audio books to my TBR for 2020.
Let’s Go Swimming on Doomsday by Natalie C. Anderson
Let’s Go Swimming on Doomsday was my last great pleasure read before the Fall semester started. I literally read it the week before school started. It was a pretty exciting way to end the summer, if I do say so myself.
5 Star Semester Reads
These last three books were my favorites of my required reading from my English classes. This isn’t to say that I didn’t read some amazing books this semester, but a lot of them were hard for me to give a definite rating to. I didn’t have to think too hard about how to rate these three.
Kindred was definitely my favorite book of this semester. I love the way the sci-fi elements are added in without explanation. We as readers are just supposed to go along with it and it helps that Dana doesn’t know what’s going on either.
Beloved was weird. It’s not the easiest to get into, but once you’re in, you’re in. You really start to understand the character’s motivations and how this could transfer on to modern times.
I must admit, I couldn’t stand Platitudes at the beginning. Then, it just kept getting better and better in the same way that we as writers get better the further we are in our drafts. It’s a really cool, post-modern novel.