my year in review // 2019 IN BOOKS! (ft. pie charts) (yes this is months late)



so it’s now months later and i would like to apologize for this post being so late. I started writing this and never finished so?

Here we are.

Also I will be making an official come-back post soon? Till then, I will say… stay as safe as you can! Wash your hands! Cool, on with the post.


Runners up:

  • The Boy Who Steals Houses by CG Drews // This was such a wholesome book – it makes me think of summer and good times, and the atmosphere, characters and family themes in this book are so strong and good AHHHH!
  • If We Were Villains by R.L Jo // If I had to choose a book to show my taste in books…this would be it. (this and The Accident Season) Like it was just…my vibe. Theatre, murder, friends-to-lovers, and morally g(r)ay characters.  What more could I ask for tbh…

Aristotle and Dante Discover Secrets of The Universe // I have now re-read this book four times. I still haven’t written a proper review for this. But I love it. It is my favourite book of all time. That’s all I will say on this topic before I break into tears and sob because I am overwhelmed with how much I feel for Ari and Dante! Anyways.


I did an entire post of worst books of 2019 here and most of these were disappointing books. 

Finale by Stephanie Garber // Genuinely, this book was a lot of fun! The Caraval series offers the opportunity to escape to another world, one that’s full of magic. But this book was repetitive, too predictable, and didn’t give me a satisfying ending.


Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi // Let’s be real the only surprising thing about this book was how SHORT it was (and how terrible it was). I remember getting to the end and being like “WHAT?” THAT’S THE END?!?!” because barely anything happened or was developed. This book was filled with flashbacks and cringey character moments. I love this series to bits but after book 3, it goes downhill. I’m hoping that Imagine Me is better and brings back the characters I once knew and loved (I really doubt it though)



The Diviners by Libba Bray // I genuinely, genuinely recommend this series to anyone who loves creepy books with amazing character relationships. I love how delightfully terrifying this book is. Listening to this the audio book past 1 am…was not a good idea. Guaranteed nightmares from Naughty John’s song (gave me the chills mate). Anyways, read this series!! Fangirl with me!! It’s amazing!! I’m so glad I started reading it and I totally suggest listening to the audio books because YES they’re long but so worth it. 


Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor // fucking amazing sequel to Strange The Dreamer (fave of 2017) and I couldn’t have asked for more. Beautiful writing, and wonderfully developed character arcs. I desperately want to re-read this masterpiece of a series. 


Queen of Nothing by Holly Black // The only other series ender I read in 2019 was Finale…and that was not great. So this was my only other option. But I think it deserves it. I have come to love Jude and Cardan so much as characters, and as a couple, and it felt like coming home reading the third book. It was also fucking heartbreaking when it was over. I truly love this series so much, like it’s my entire life. And JudexCardan were so SOFT I could not deal. I AM SAD THIS IS OVER I WANT MORE. 


Vicious by V.E Schwab // Up until the end, it was so GOOD and I could not put it down. This book was actually so hooking? The alternating chapters between past and present made it for such a thrilling read. I’m still debating whether to read the sequel since I’ve seen so many mixed reviews :/


Oh my god, I’m TEARING UP.  If I could copy the entire book of Aristotle And Dante here… I would. But here’s some.

“Why do we smile? Why do we laugh? Why do we feel alone? Why are we sad and confused? Why do we read poetry? Why do we cry when we see a painting? Why is there a riot in the heart when we love? Why do we feel shame? What is that thing in the pit of your stomach called desire?”

“The summer sun was not meant for boys like me. Boys like me belonged to the rain.”



King of Fools by Amanda Foody // this book was a mess. But that ending? JAW DROPPED. What the FUCK. I’m not over it. And I’m not ready for Queen of Volts, but also I need it right now because that ending was exhilarating (also I heard it has a fake dating and…)


Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson – I adored the world of this book. It was way better than An Enchantment of Ravens! I thought it wildly unique and just, in general, very good. It did drag a little towards the end but this book had such a good, warm vibe that I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. Like just the cosy, warm, safe, library aesthetic? Yes.


The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson // I swear I went through a phase where all I did was re-read certain passages of this book over and over again. Objectively, this isn’t the most amazing book ever. But I got obsessed with it. I read it and then would pour over specific chapters for like an hour. I don’t know what it is about Jandy Nelson but her books always feel so heavy with emotion and love, that they just fill a a hole in my heart when I read them. Like, I just felt so alive reading this book. So I don’t know if it was the most fun because some parts of it were so sad. But a damn good book.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Virtue was also a lot of fun to read as well! I mean it got a bit meh towards the end but there;s THAT scene that is hilarious and I smiled like an idiot reading it. 


Bone Gap by Laura Ruby // This was a re-read but I didn’t cry the first 2 times I read this. Maybe I was just feeling emotionally fragile but I bawled my eyes out at the end of this book. This isn’t a sad book? It has a happy ending? But there was something so real depicted in this book that just had me weeping. 

Highly Illogical Behaviour by John Waley // I can’t even remember why I cried but I wrote down that I did…so yeah. I think this book was so safe and warm that I just shed some tears at how beautiful the friendships were?

Before The Devil Breaks You // This one is justified. Some really unexpected shit happens at the ending of this that I was NOT prepared for and I didn’t cry that much but yeah tears were shed…I am one emotional human.


The Truth About Keeping Secrets by Savannah Brown // No one talks about this book? But it’s a f/f contemporary/mystery? The writing style kinda feels radio-silence vibes (so if you didn’t like that, maybe you won’t like this?) but I think it was a solid read and has a great romance! But dude, no matter who you are, I am BEGGING you to check out Savannah Brown’s Youtube channel. You will not regret it.


  • a few things about this:
  • the rating pie chart does not include re-reads (as that just inflates the higher ratings and makes it less accurate?)
  • for the format of books and where i got them from, they are about the books I READ this year. not the books i GOT this year (which is what most other people do)
  • audiobook is spelt wrong but i wasn’t bothered to change it
  • i read a LOT of books by females. not that i’m complaining haha.

I don’t know what else to really say! I really gave up on formatting this post (adding links to goodreads, making text bigger, adding dividers, making it look somewhat coherent) and i have no excuses. i’m lazy. *shrug*

but tell me how you are in the comments! i missed blogging and i missed all of you!!

love, ilsa.

28 thoughts on “my year in review // 2019 IN BOOKS! (ft. pie charts) (yes this is months late)”

  1. really missed you ilsa but it’s so good to hear from you again!! the graphs are truly awesome and now i can’t wait to do next year’s wrap-up. QoN and Boy who steals houses were so good it’s overwhelming?! I’m really curious about THAT scene now and if it’s anything like that tweet i am freaking out. i need to read pretty much all of these books asap so thanks for adding to my tbr 😂💛


  2. I loved Sorcery of Thorns! It brought me out of a bad reading slump.

    I wanted to read Gentleman’s Guide at first, but I heard somewhere it was a heist novel instead of just being a historical romance? Is that true? I kind of was in the mood for a fun queer historical romance. I don’t want my books muddied with plot!! XD

    I feel like…most of the books I read in general are by women. Unless the books are old, and then it’s a 50/50 tossup. It is kind of funny how that happens.


    1. Gentleman’s guide is deffo a historical romance in my head but there IS a plot. it’s nothing too crazy of a heist (i mean it’s crazy but not an intense plot) and there’s still quite a bit of romance – but if you’re just looking for a romance then maybe it’s not for you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Queen of Nothing was so good. That series is just straight fire lets be honest. Also loved Sorcery of thorns (although the ending was a little meh for me) I thought the world and characters were fab. I have not read aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the world but now have a desperate need to do so (how I wish the libraries were open *sigh*) I read some of King of Fools but did not finish it! (though now I am extremely curious as to what the jazzy ending is??!) Great summary post even though it was late I still am obsessed w bookish stats and enjoyed reading this so THANK U 🙂


    1. The entire series so enjoyable and exhilerating I am in love with it. Sorcery of Throns was wildly enjoyable but I agree near the end I didn’t like it as much. I did not like the majority of King of Fools apart from a few scenes but when I got to that ending? i was not expecting it. I’m so happy you enjoyed the post!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah you read so many amazing books! Finale was definitely disappointing for me, too- it was my least favorite of the series for sure! I just recently read The Diviners and I’m so worried about reading Before the Devil Breaks You now, but excited nonetheless! Also, The Truth About Keeping Secrets has been on my TBR for so long and I never hear anyone talk about it, so I’m really glad you enjoyed it! It looks like 2019 was a great reading year for you 🙂


    1. I’m still so disappointed by Finale like ?? It could’ve been so much better with just some more effort I think? But I remember thinking the last chapter/epilogue thing was cute. ahh!! i hope you enjoy Keeping Secrets – I don’t have anyone to gush about it with since it’s so under the radar but its fab!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. okay first of all… the happiness i felt when i saw this post in my feed!!! i’m SO EXCITED for you to make your “official comeback” to blogging because i miss you in my wordpress reader so much and i love love your posts always :o) second of all BIG lmao @ how a fifth of your books were rereads and how you 1-starred so many books

    i had no idea you read iwwv!! (actually thinking back on it now, i feel like i remember you talking about it to me at one point but my memory is just terrible and untrustworthy at this point). and omg… ari and dante your favorite book…? no way……

    and aahh !! f/f mystery i haven’t heard of? adding to my tbr immediately THANK you for service. (and i swear i’m reading twk this year… i swear it…. (no promises that i’ll like it though)) love you and this post so much and you BETTER be posting more soon — to whatever extent you’re comfortable with of course — because i cannot wait!!!!


    1. SKSKS this comment made me smile so much I Hate you!! and I am excited to be back to making my trash posts again!! and writing and just having time in general to do shit/ AND SHUT UP YOU RE-READ A LOT TOO!! and it’s not my fault I read ari and dante then proceeded to read it twice over in the same year :))

      honestly I need to read iwwv because reading it feels like such a blur to me all I remember is that it was sad and good.

      (okay THANK YOU. I’m glad you are reading twk. i think you’ll enjoy it but hate some parts?) AND YES I WILL BE POSTING MORE SOON I hope? But I doubt it’ll be anything really regular (I’m sorry) but I have ideas? and feel creative and motivated so !! excitement all round.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey, Isla! I love this post, it’s so creative how you used pie chart and statistics! 🙂 Also, I need to read “The Boy Who Steals Houses” …ASAP! 😂


  7. Hahaha this post was absolutely fantastic! I’m glad these are your favorite to write because they’re certainly my favorite to read… no matter the time of year. XDDD Most of the books you mentioned I’ve already read (and adored), ironically except for the ones you hated haha. HowEVER, I had not heard of The Truth About Keeping Secrets and it sounds FANTASTIC, so I will definitely be checking that one out! Thanks for the rec and the laughs! 🙂


  8. ah, I can’t wait to read The Boy Who Steals Houses and The Truth About Keeping Secrets!! and I loved Muse of Nightmares so much! It made my faves of 2019 as well 🥺 I was so happy when I saw this post in my Reader btw I MISSED YOUR BLOGGING VOICE ❤ ❤



    ‘if we were villains’ was one of the best written stories omg i can’t believe how badly that ending got me (and i still like to believe it ended in a tragedy bc i like pain for some reason). also you HAVE to read the sequel to Vicious IT WAS SO GOOD WHO’S SAYING BAD THINGS ABOUT IT I JUST WANT TO TALK???

    i hope you’re doing good and you’re getting back to blogging bc i’ve missed you (but also no pressure) 🥰🥰🥰


    1. hi hello ive missed you too!! this pandemic is really the only thing that’s made me motivated to return to blogging…otherwise i still would’ve been a ghost oop. And thanks for appreciating my pie charts it was oh so very long to track my reading for 2019 properly!!

      oh no i like to believe in the happy ending (i love the author really got us all so Fucked Over that I debate the ending to myself all the time because idk which one’s more realistic!) oh i kinda just decided not to read the sequel because idk if I’m even invested in BUT IF U SAY ITS GOOD ITS BACK ON THE TBR!!

      omg i love you tysm ❤ ❤ sending you all my love!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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