Ok, so here’s part two! I’m so happy I waited a little longer to do this because one of the last couple books I read this month definitely makes the top list.
Thanks to all the publishers and authors for the free copies in exchange for my honest reviews and features this year.
If you missed part one then you can see that list here (top books from the first half of the year!) I know I said in that post that it would be 20 books, but I got too excited and did 12 in part one lol so this will also contain 12 books from the second half of the year.
Top Reads 2019 – Part Two (July – December)
THIS IS HOME – Lisa Duffy
5 stars – Another moving and beautifully written book from Lisa Duffy. I loved her debut, THE SALT HOUSE, and her follow up did not disappoint. Well-developed characters, life lessons, complicated relationships, and learning to cope with your past. This is one I highly recommend! You can see my full review here
WHISPERS IN THE DARK – Laurel Hightower
5 stars – A horror thriller novel that was a complete binge read for me. I was sick at the time, so I had an uninterrupted day of reading. Paranormal elements, some gore, and evil around every corner throughout the book. We also get an incredible female lead. Definitely recommend this to the horror and thriller fans out there. See my review here!
LOCK EVERY DOOR – Riley Sager
5 stars – The third book from Riley Sager and it did not disappoint! I loved FINAL GIRLS and THE LAST TIME I LIED. So when picking this one up I went in with optimism that it would be good (never want to set expectations too high). When a deal sounds too good to be true, then it usually is. Being paid to apartment-sit in one of the most exclusive buildings in New York – sounds ideal! Well, things obviously take a dark turn and I loved every page of it. You can see my full review here
THE ARRANGEMENT – Robyn Harding
5 stars – Once again, an author that continues to impress me! THE PARTY and HER PRETTY FACE were two of my favorites when they released and THE ARRANGEMENT has made my top books for 2019. We’re brought into the world of sugar babies and sugar daddies and things take a crazy turn when murder is added to the mix. Robyn Harding knows how to make one hell of an addictive read. Full review here
BECAUSE YOU’RE MINE – Rea Frey
5 stars – This was my introduction to Rea Frey and I couldn’t put it down. We get the short chapters and such an addictive pacing. We get multiple POV’s between Lee, Grace, and Noah and all of their secrets they’re desperate to keep. I can’t really give away too much at risk of spoiling the reading experience, so I will say that you’ll want to clear out some space in your schedule for when you start this! Check out my full review here
KEEPING LUCY – T. Greenwood
5 stars – I loved RUST & STARDUST from Greenwood and I couldn’t wait to see what was in store for us this time with KEEPING LUCY. A harrowing novel about a mother’s love and how far she is willing to go to save her daughter. Set in the 1960’s and 1970’s, Ginny is faced with a dilemma after her daughter Lucy is born. Lucy has Down Syndrome and she is pressured by her powerful in-laws to send her to a special place and hide her away. Ginny goes along with it with minimal visits, then when she sees the conditions, she takes Lucy and is on the run. I highly recommend this one and you can see my review here.
THE WOLF WANTS IN – Laura McHugh
5 stars – Definitely not what I was expecting when I picked this one up! THE WOLF WANTS IN does have some suspense but it’s also a character study and we get to see the internal struggles a family faces as they try to figure out who murdered their son and brother. A fairly quick read and with a build up to the ending for a memorable climax. You can see my review here
THE WHISPER MAN – Alex North
5 stars – A small town plagued by a serial killer dubbed The Whisper Man is finally caught and is in jail. Years later, a little boy goes missing and details sound eerily familiar to what The Whisper Man would do to his victims. Tom and Jake are new to the small town and Jake begins to hear something whispering his name outside his window at night. The suspense built throughout the entire book and gave you that feeling where you just need to look over your shoulder. A solid debut and I can’t wait to see what North comes out with next. You can see my full review here
THE PASSENGERS – John Marrs
5 stars – John Marrs is an auto-buy author for me so it was a no-brainer for me to pick this one up. Fully automated cars that you can order, like Uber but without the drivers, turn on different passengers. A voice comes over the speakers in the cars telling them that they’re going to die and that it is all being streamed. Plenty of suspense and you feel the claustrophobia the characters do as they’re trapped in these cars. What do they have in common and will they be able to survive? You can see my full review here!
COSMOLOGY OF MONSTERS – Shaun Hamill
5 stars – This was a haunting and beautifully written horror novel. A boy’s relationship with a monster that tapped on his window one night that he let in. Into his teenage years the monster becomes one of his closest friends and someone he can rely on. Between the story there are chapters that are journal entries from different members of the family and these bring us more insight into what is happening and events that led to the present. I loved this one and you can see my full review here
THE INSTITUTE – Stephen King
5 stars – I know a lot of people tend to give big authors high reviews because they’re big names and they like their other work, but this one was a gem for me this year. Of course there were a couple things in the end that I wasn’t 100% a fan of but the rest of the book was so engrossing. Kids that have powers are taken from their homes and brought to a secret facility to help unleash their full potential. A coming of age story and the tight bonds created between these kids. Something I think King writes about incredibly well! Here’s my full review
IMAGINARY FRIEND – Stephen Chbosky
5 stars – This mammoth was surprisingly quick to read and a great thriller/horror read. What do you do when your son goes missing for 6 days and just shows up back home with no real memory of what happened? So many twists and turns – this 700+ page book uses every page expertly to add to the intricately woven story. This book was TWENTY years in the making and the results are incredible. Check out my full review here
THE WIVES – Tarryn Fisher
5 stars – This was the last book from this year that I’m adding into the list. I’m so happy that I waited as long as I did to get this list finished. THE WIVES was my introduction to Tarryn Fisher and she has become an auto-buy author for me now. Short chapters, addictive pacing, and so much suspense. Thursday is wife two of three with her husband Seth and the rules are that the wives can never know each other. All hell breaks loose when Thursday decides she needs to meet Monday and Tuesday (the only way she knows them is by the days of the week Seth spends with them) That ending – incredible. Here’s my full review
Honorable Mentions – Because there are so many other books this year I loved
THE ROAD THAT TAKES YOU THERE – Jason Sechrest – Review Here
DAISY JONES AND THE SIX – Taylor Jenkins Reid – Review Here
WHERE MONSTERS HIDE – M. William Phelps – Review Here
THE NIGHT BEFORE – Wendy Walker – Review Here
THE CHESTNUT MAN – Soren Sveistrup – Review Here
THE DEAD GIRL IN 2A – Carter Wilson – Review Here
PRETTY REVENGE – Emily Liebert – Review Here
TEMPER – Layne Fargo – Review Here
THEME MUSIC – T. Marie Vandelly – Review Here
TWICE IN A BLUE MOON – Christina Lauren – Review Here
THE FAMILY UPSTAIRS – Lisa Jewell – Review Here
THE CHILD THIEF – Brom – Review Here
BUNNY – Mona Awad – Review Here