best of 2019: fiction

Best of 2019: To Share the Favorite Fiction of the Year

December 30, 2019 Rissi JC 28 Comments

It’s that time of year again; time to put together a list of favorite (aka ‘best of 2019: fiction’) reads from the past year. As I sit here typing this, I’m kind of lost as to what to say and share because while I know I’ve read some keepers in this last year, it’s also been an odd reading year for me. Summertime hit, and I sort of read little to nothing, which felt really weird, but it also didn’t feel like one of those dreaded “reading slumps.” Then, finally in August or September I finally hit a groove, and now, as is an annual thing for me and reading, as the Christmas season rolled in, my reading time and progress comes to a near stop.

LIST | Best of 2019: On the Small Screen and Big Screen Favorites

This doesn’t stop me from enjoying books, admiring them, talking about them, and of course, still reading what I can. As this year comes down to a matter of hours until its end, I’m trying to remember all that I did read, and what I want on this little “best of” publication. One thing I do know is that I’ve had some big disappointments when it comes to my reading this year; so many I anticipated just didn’t feel like a new favorite. I feel as though because I read so much less, I’m thinking a bit more exclusively, but maybe that’s just a pre-planning mentality as usually, any list I create, I find it ends up longer than anticipated.

Below we have pulse-pounding suspense (because who doesn’t love a light thriller now and again); fiction that travels through elegant eras; swoony heroes; sassy heroines; and of course, some solid, memorable romance-y books, because we all know, they’re my most favorite.

It’s now time to present Finding Wonderland’s…

Best of 2019: Fiction

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

1: Among the Poppies

A debut author I read in 2019 (published in 2018) who really impresses with her WWI novel with some Downton Abbey flair! Amazon | Goodreads

2: We Met in December by Rosie Curtis

best of 2019: fiction

Not sure if it’s fair to include this one or not as it’s a “current read” for me. But it’s lots of fun so far, and while I’m not sure it’ll end up being a favorite (in the sense of re-read nostalgia feels), it’s a fun time, and I can appreciate that it’s so much better than One Day in December. Amazon | Goodreads

3: All Made Up by Kara Isaac

best of 2019: fiction

Enjoyed this one quite a lot. Amazon | Goodreads

4: It Happened at Christmas by Christen Krumm

it happened at christmas / Best of 2019: fiction

This one may be tiny (in pages), but it’s BIG on story, and FUN! An Indie debut author, this darling novella (??) is as cute as a button, which I mean in the best possible way. It’s a recognizable YA re-telling of the nostalgic favorite While You Were Sleeping, and I kinda’ love it to pieces. Oh! And the hero isn’t so bad either. Amazon | Goodreads

5: A Castle in the Clouds by Kerstin Gier 

I haven’t seen great ratings or reviews for this one (releases January 2020), but golly, I thought it was fun. Amazon | Goodreads

6: Brunch at Bittersweet Café by Carla Laureano

Brunch At Bittersweet Cafe

Not only do I thoroughly enjoy this series (about a group of friends who form a supper club), I also fell pretty hard for the hero in this novel. Amazon | Goodreads

7: The Killing Tide by Dani Pettrey

the killing tide

Dani seems to excel at writing team “ensemble” novels, and The Killing Tide is no different. It introduces us to a Coast Guard team who not only have principles and can get tough jobs done, they’re also pretty cool people to get to know. Amazon | Goodreads

8: Sweet on You by Becky Wade

Sweet on You

I mean how could I not include this final novel in Becky’s sweet series? Plus, we all enjoy a good friends-to-lover trope. Amazon | Goodreads

9: Fame, Fate and the First Kiss by Kasie West

best autumn stories

I mean, is any of my lists complete without a novel by this author? They’re always delightful. While I also read Maybe this Time by West, I think of the two, I enjoyed this one more. Excuse me while I shed a fangirl tear; I now only have one more available novel (Listen to Your Heart) to read by Kasie until her next publication. Amazon | Goodreads

10: By Your Side and P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

Cute and frothy, as all of Kasie’s are! Can you tell I’m kind of a fan? By Your Side on Amazon | Goodreads >> P.S. I Like You on Amazon | Goodreads

As I said, my list is slim this year! Makes me sad because I feel like I read more than this that I did enjoy; though looking back at my wrap ups, etc., I am reminded I read some that really disappointed this year. But perhaps I missed some, which is, of course, completely the fault of my own, and not the quality of Story.

That’s a wrap on another year’s ‘Best of 2019: fiction’ top shelf picks. Your turn; tell me, what books made your best of lists? Did you read any of these? Did you list come hard this year? Are there any books you wanted to read and anticipate they’d be top shelf favorites? Tell me in the comment all the thoughts, and where I can see your ‘best of’ lists. I’d love to visit.

Best of 2019: To Share the Favorite #Fiction of the Year. Talking about the "best of 2019: fiction." What made YOUR list? #Bestof2019 #Bookworm #Bookish #BookNerd #TopTenTuesday Click To Tweet
Best of 2019: To Share the Favorite Fiction of the Year. Talking about the "best of 2019: fiction." What made YOUR list? © Rissi JC

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About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Greg December 31, 2019 at 12:02 AM

    I was going through my books and it seemed like I was really into the suspenseful reads this year. Funny how every year my focus seems to be a little different- sometimes it’s more YA, or thrillers, or whatever. I like the variety on your list, and The Killing Tide sure sounds interesting. Hope you have a wonderful New Year!

    • Rissi JC January 4, 2020 at 2:49 PM

      That’s cool! I like a good suspense read now and again. I don’t know that I notice those kinds of trends about my reading, but it’d be interesting to note. “The Killing Tide” is GREAT! Espeically if you like contemporary suspense (at least suspense that’s on the “lighter” side). Appreciate you visiting, Greg; HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  • Dedra @ A Book Wanderer December 31, 2019 at 12:48 AM

    I just recently added It Happened at Christmas to my tbr on Goodreads. I LOVED While You Were Sleeping back in the day. I need to pick this one up soon!

    Happy New Year! Thanks for stopping by my TTT

    • Rissi JC January 4, 2020 at 2:50 PM

      It’s SO GOOD, Dedra. Hope you enjoy if you have the chance to read it – and thanks for the visit! Happy New Year to you as well. :)

  • Davida Chazan December 31, 2019 at 3:54 AM

    Nice list! Happy 2020 reading!

    • Rissi JC January 4, 2020 at 2:52 PM

      Thanks! You too; Happy New Year!

  • Nikki @The Night is Dark and Full of Bookd December 31, 2019 at 4:07 AM

    I can definitely relate to you since I had quite a weird reading year too. 2019 started off really strong and then in the middle I barely read anything and was totally fine with it. Focussing on other stuff. Somewhere in at the end of August all of the sudden I got back into it and started reading two books a week, which is a very large amount for me (the slow reader I am). Funny how its always kind of changing like that.

    I’m glad you ended up finding so many favorites and I wish you a wonderful 2020 full of amazing books!

    Nikki @The Night is Dark and Full of Bookd recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday #24 || 2019 Bookish Awards (Favorites, Most Disappointing & more)
    • Rissi JC January 4, 2020 at 2:53 PM

      I’m a VERY slow reader, so I didn’t read all that much in terms of the number of books, but ideally I’d like to read more than I did last year. *shrugs* Time will tell if I can. :) I experienced something similar in July/August in terms of not really reading much, and then something clicked and I had a really good (for me) month after that. The rest of the year went better too, so here’s hoping we BOTH have an amazing year of 2020 reads. :) Thanks for the visit, Nikki.

  • Nicole @ Nicole's Novel Reads December 31, 2019 at 7:36 AM

    Kasie West is great for quick fluffy reads. I only read a couple of her books but I am looking to read more. Great list you have here.

    • Rissi JC January 4, 2020 at 2:56 PM

      Yes, yes she is! :) Thanks so much for the visit, Nicole.

  • Lydia December 31, 2019 at 8:26 AM

    Among the Poppies does sound good.

    My TTT.

    Lydia recently posted: Search Engine Questions from 2019
    • Rissi JC January 4, 2020 at 2:57 PM

      It’s a lovely read, Lydia. :) Hope you enjoy if you have a chance to read it – and thanks so much for the visit!

  • Amber Holcomb December 31, 2019 at 8:52 AM

    Yay for Kasie West books! I haven’t read Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss yet, but I too LOVED P.S. I Like You!

    Also wanted to add that I did quite enjoy My New Crush Gave to Me (as we’ve been chatting about here and on my blog)! Overall it was fun and entertaining! Your review was on point, friend. :)

    Happy New Year! And hugs!


    • Rissi JC January 4, 2020 at 2:58 PM

      All of Kasie’s books are just sweet contemporary magic. There’s just something about them that I can never resist. :D

      Fun! I’m so glad. It’s simple, sweet and fun, which when looking for Christmas fiction is precisely what I’m all about. :)

      Hugs, and Happy New Year to you as well, Amber. Hope it was a great start. Appreciate you stopping by.

  • Becky December 31, 2019 at 10:44 AM

    I also had several reads this year that I expected to become favorites and … weren’t. To me, that’s the worst kind of reading disappointment, even though most of the books were good–I just had too high of expectations going in! Glad to see Becky’s book on your list (loved it!). I still haven’t read Dani’s–it’s been sitting on my Kindle unread for what seems like forever, but I fully expect to love it. And I LOVE P.S. I Like You–it’s my favorite of Kasie’s books!

    • Rissi JC January 4, 2020 at 3:08 PM

      SAME! There were a handful at least that I was SO pumped about and they just fell a little “flat.” But this could be a reader fault too. Always love Becky Wade’s novels; and each time, they’re so solid, even though I do have favorites “overall” (like “True to You” and “Meant to Be Mine”), each time I walk away impressed. Cannot wait to see what her new series is like. Gotta’ love a good old-fashioned YA rom-com which is exactly what “P.S. I Like You” is like. :) Thanks so much for the visit, Becky.

  • Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense December 31, 2019 at 11:17 AM

    I really adore P.S. I Like You and I’m glad you did as well. Happy New Year!

    • Rissi JC January 4, 2020 at 3:08 PM

      I most certainly did enjoy this one, Alicia! Such a charmer. :) Thanks so much for the visit, and same to you: HAPPY NEW YEAR! :)

  • Ashley S. December 31, 2019 at 12:23 PM

    I loved Sweet on You. It was great finally seeing Britt and Zander together. I really need to read more Kara Isaac books. Hopefully next year! :D

    • Rissi JC January 4, 2020 at 3:11 PM

      SAME here! Always great to see a couple we root for FINALLY find their happy end. :) Enjoy more of Kara’s if/when you can read them. Appreciate your visit, Ashley. Thanks!

  • Dini @ dinipandareads December 31, 2019 at 12:38 PM

    My list was full of a mix of contemporary romances and YA fantasy this year. 2019 has been a truly incredible year of reading for me and I don’t know if I will ever read as much in one year again? I mean, I hope I do, but this year really was a record for me ? So it was definitely a struggle narrowing down the list! Hope that 2020 is a fantastic year for you, bookish and otherwise, Rissi :)

    My TTT post

  • Cindy December 31, 2019 at 1:41 PM

    All new authors to me. Happy New Year!

    Here’s my list:

  • Jorie December 31, 2019 at 1:44 PM

    Hallo, Hallo Rissi,

    Guess who finally made her 9th entry into Top Ten Tuesday!? I’m hoping 2020 is the year I can go from drafting TTT posts to actually participating on a more regularly basis!! :) As you can see, I turnt the topic round to be “best #newtomeauthors of 2019” rather than the best reads for 2019 overall as I’m also assembling my End of the Year Survey which will be more inclusive of those reads which truly struck me as a reader whether they were newly discovered and/or previously beloved authors.

    From your List, I spied a few authors I know and/or we share in common… one even is an audiobook I believe I still have time to listen to before the library desires to it back which would be wicked lovely as I’ve lost so many of those due to one circumstance or another this past year but more especially the past several months since October! Oyy.

    * We Met in December is the audiobook I’m hoping to begin soon,…

    * Sweet on You – uniquely enough I wasn’t sure where my final thoughts lie on this one though I still have time to sort it out! She wasn’t a new author I’ve read though in 2019…

    * Kasie West is a tricky author for me… I tried listening to a few of her audiobooks in the past but the narrators didn’t do her justice. I’m thinking of queuing some of her books in print from the library and seeing which ones resonate with me. Where do you think I should start?

    If you drop by my blog, you’ll find some INSPY on it as well as a good rounding on Historical & Contemporary reads and even a Jane Austen after canon anthology! Speaking of things – do you read Harlequin Heartwarming stories? I am finding them wicked brilliant and a lovely compliment to my INSPY Contemporary Romance readings… mostly as their the same kind of uplifting relationship-based romances I love in INSPY but set in a secular imprint. I couldn’t remember if we both read Heartwarming,..

    Before I forget, I am wishing you a wicked lovely New Year’s Eve and a very wonderfully blissful New Year’s full of joys and the delights of unexpected adventures – both bookish and non bookish alike!

  • Aj @ Read All The Things! December 31, 2019 at 6:43 PM

    My list was pretty easy this year. Probably because I didn’t read as much as usual. I was also in a reading slump all summer. That sucked, but hopefully 2020 is better.

  • Lauren @ Always Me December 31, 2019 at 10:29 PM

    One of these days I will try Kasie West. :)

    Check out my TTT

  • Brooke Lorren January 1, 2020 at 1:58 AM

    These lists this week are reminding me that I still need to read the Sweet on You series. Happy New Year!

  • Christina January 1, 2020 at 12:47 PM

    I ADORE “While You Were Sleeping,” so it looks like I need to add It Happened at Christmas to my TBR list immediately! Also, I’m intrigued by your comment that We Met in December is a lot better than One Day in December (which I thought was OK but definitely flawed)…might have to add that one to the list also!

  • Poinsettia January 2, 2020 at 8:52 AM

    I like the sound of A Castle in the Clouds! Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

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