Our Top Ten Favorite YA Releases of 2019

We’ve read some great (and not so great!) books in 2019. Here’s a greatest hits list of some of our faves. We can’t wait to see which books make our list in 2020! Tell us if you’ve read any of these in the comments. Also, tell us your best books of 2019 books!

1. Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin 

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We’ve raved about this book since we read it for our monthly book club. For more info, check out our full review here. Serpent and Dove has it all: romance, action, magic, and witty banter. Lou is a witch who has fled her coven, forced to become a thief to survive. After a run in with a witch hunter named Reid, Lou’s life changes forever. As the two grow closer, she has to deal with the demons from her past before they ruin her relationship.

2. Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco 

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We’ve loved all of Maniscalco’s books in this series, and the latest (and last!) installment, Capturing the Devil, didn’t disappoint. If you love crime, forensics, history, and romance, this is the book for you. Follow our favorite duo, Audrey Rose and Thomas, on their latest adventures in New York and Chicago as they try to catch the White City Devil. We did a whole review on the book, which you can check out here. We are sad to be saying goodbye to Cresswell in 2019, but we can’t wait to see what Maniscalco writes next! 

3. American Royals by Katherine McGee

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American Royals can only be described as Gossip Girl meets the royal family. The story follows Queen Regent, Princess Beatrice; her sister and royal wild child, Princess Samantha; Samantha’s boy-next-door twin brother, Prince Jefferson; and Samantha’s commoner best friend, Nina. The drama, friendships, and romance are super entertaining. Not to mention that cliffhanger ending! We can’t wait for the next book in 2020. Check out all our thoughts on this book here

4. The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson 

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Holy guacamole— The Vanishing Stair left us dying for the last book. The second book in the Truly, Devious series follows Stevie in the aftermath of her classmate’s death. Determined to solve the Ellingham murders, Steve goes back to the academy to finish what she started. This book is incredibly juicy and will have you hooked from start to finish. If you haven’t read the series, we highly recommend you do so ASAP so that you can pick up the last book in January 2020. 

5. Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus 

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There’s something spooky about Autumn in New England, especially in the small town of Echo Ridge, Vermont. Ellery and Ezra are shipped off to live with their grandmother in this small town when their mother is sent to rehab. More than 20 years ago, their mom’s twin sister disappeared. Five years ago, another girl was found murdered. Soon after Ellery and Ezra arrive, another girl goes missing. Learn more about this exciting thriller in our post, 31 YA Books to Read Before Halloween.

6. The Burning Shadow by Jennifer L. Armentrout 

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The Burning Shadow is book two in Armentrout’s Origin series. In the aftermath of Evie’s attack, weird things start happening to her. With the help of hottie Origin, Luc, she starts to piece together aspects of her past. For a full review, check out this post. We love this series! It has a steamy and swoonworthy romance and nonstop action. JLA is one of our favorite authors. She kills it every time, and we highly recommend this series if you’re looking for a great sci-fi YA novel with a great romance. 

7. 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston 

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This swoonworthy holiday contemporary was enjoyable from start to finish. Mix large family antics with a series of blind dates and you get an unforgettable story. These dates range from Christmas parties, to having to play Mary in a middle school nativity scene (Sophie is 18!), to joining a Game of Thrones themed bowling team. Some of them go better than others and certain family members should never set people up EVER again. You’ll laugh out loud and cheer Sophie on as she tries to move on from her jerk of an ex-boyfriend. You can find our full review of 10 Blind Dates here.

8. The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare

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We read everything set in the Shadowhunter universe, so we were thrilled that Alec and Magnus got their own story. Set in between the events of City of Glass and City of Fallen Angels, Alec and Magnus have a secret adventure that takes them across Europe. Unfortunately, an evil warlock and demons threaten to ruin their first vacation as a couple. The two must work together to protect themselves and those who are threatened. The Red Scrolls of Magic is the first in the series and we can’t wait for The Lost Book of the White, which comes out September 1, 2020. 

9. The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett

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Travel through Turkey and Romania for this epic historical adventure. Regular readers know that we read Jenn Bennett’s YA contemporaries, so we were ecstatic to see her write YA historical fiction. The Lady Rogue is nonstop excitement with a plot that moves at a rapid pace. You’ll quickly be cheering Theodora on as she discovers history’s hidden secrets before anyone else. Bennett did an excellent job of weaving in historical context throughout the book and we were captivated by her engaging writing style. Find our full review here!

10. Fame, Fate and the First Kiss by Kasie West

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West introduced the character Lacey Barnes in Love, Life and the List and we knew she needed her own story. Lacey finally landed a role in a Hollywood movie—her dream job. She stalls her life and moves to Hollywood with her dad. Everything seems perfect, she has a leading role opposite megastar Grant James and the beginning of a promising career. However, Lacey is still in high school. The one thing she doesn’t want to deal with is school work. So when Lacey keeps blowing off her assignments, her dad hires her a relentless tutor…enter dreamboat, Donavan. Lacey thinks Donavan is the most stiff and boring guy she has ever met and accuses him of being a straight-laced choir boy. Our full review of Fame, Fate and the First Kiss can be found here!

24 thoughts on “Our Top Ten Favorite YA Releases of 2019”

  1. I’m always looking for good books to add to my #tbr stack…and I haven’t read any of these so am looking forward to reading a few of your recommendations in 2020.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t been reading much YA lately, mostly because I’ve read most of what I own. But, some of these looks interesting, at least based upon the cover, so I will have to check them out.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel so bad that I haven’t read any of the books on this list! Serpent and Dove is top on my backlist TBR. I’m just hearing of American Royals and it sounds super cute! I’m going to add it and The Lady Rogue on Goodreads asap! Thanks for the recs!

    Taiwo xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This list reminds me to put Maureen Johnson on my TBR list in 2020. I had a lot of fun reading 13 Little Blue Envelopes a few years ago, and I need to vary my reading genres with more YA selections.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve got American Royals sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read when I get back home from visiting family! I’m also desperate to read Serpent & Dove. Definitely trying to work more YA novels into my reading rotation next year, since that’s the age range of my work in progress, so this is a great help!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a great combination of books you’ve got here! I really enjoyed Red Scrolls of Magic, which was a relief because I’d had a few issues with some of the other recent books so glad to have got back to the characters I knew and love. Also very excited for the new book. The Serpent and the Dove has got such a gorgeous cover! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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