Stacy’s Favorite Books of 2019

It’s that time of year again where I give you my absolute favorite books of 2019. Hopefully, there are some new books on here that you’ll love just as much as I did.

What were your favorites of 2019?

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*Click on the book cover to read the synopsis on Goodreads*

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Books that almost made the list:

*The Fever King- Victoria Lee

*Enchant- Micalea Smeltzer

*Birthday- Meredith Russo

*Unpregnant- Jenni Hendriks

*The Chain- Adrian McKinty

 

 

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Harry Potter Christmas Book Tag

The Holidays are right around the corner and I can’t wait to have a few days off from work to relax and get some much-needed reading done.

How are you spending your holidays?

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We were tagged by the amazing Chelsie over at My Reading Escape to join in on the book tag fun. Thanks for including us 🙂

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It’s your first Christmas at Hogwarts. What’s one book you’ve asked for this year?

I’ve asked for a few books that have been on my TBR for a while but the main one I really want and hope to receive is Normal People by Sally Rooney. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about her books and I want to start with this one.

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You spot Hagrid hauling the Christmas tree through the grounds. What is the longest (or heaviest!) book you own?

I get asked this question a lot and we joke around at work about which books we would use as weapons if the occasion arose (yeah, we are kind of morbid). I always go for Stephen King. IT is over a thousand pages long and so worth the damage it does to your hands after holding it while reading.

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It’s time for the famous Great Hall feast. What’s one book you can’t read without snacks?

I usually don’t like to have food/snacks around books because of crumbs or stickiness. But sometimes I make an exception for a cute contemporary book. It puts you in the right mindset for a cup of coffee or hot chocolate with a decent cookie or two.

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Well done, you’ve brewed your first Polyjuice potion. What’s one book you’d change the cover of?

Yes, I know that they changed the cover for this one but it still drives me crazy that they first decided to go with that cover. It made me feel as if they were trying to sabotage her.

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You receive a brand new Firebolt for Christmas. What’s one book you read super quickly?

Anything by V(E)ictoria Schwab is a super quick read for me. Her books draw you in and you sit and read her entire book in one sitting.

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You join Harry for his first proper Christmas. What’s one book you’d love to receive this year?

I know that I’m so late to the party with this book but I’ve been wanting to read this for a while now and I need to own it for my book collection.

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You get hit by one of Fred and George’s flying snowballs. What’s a book you wanted to throw across the room?

I wanted to throw this book across the room because it was one of my highly anticipated reads but it was just awful.

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You’ve just visited Hogsmeade for the first time. What’s one popular book you haven’t read yet?

I own this book but just haven’t read it yet.

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Congratulations, you’ve been invited to the Yule Ball. What book about Christmas do you love?

This book is just the cutest and puts me in a better mood.

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You find Ron’s deluminator. What’s one book that’s helped you through some dark times?

This is not your typical pick me up book but it took my mind off of things that were going on around me.

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We Tag:

ABellaFairyTale

ABronxLatinaReads

 

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 12/16/19

Happy Snowy Monday!

We’ve got about four+ inches of snow on the ground and we’re expecting more by the end of the day. This is the perfect book reading weather.

This week I’m going to read a Fox & Wit edition of a book and an arc that I’ve had since 2017.

What are you reading?

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Alex and Eliza- Melissa de la Cruz

32860355Their romance shaped a nation. The rest was history.

1777. Albany, New York.

As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.

Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.

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Blood Heir- Amélie Wen Zhao

42359583This hot debut is the first book in an epic new series about a princess hiding a dark secret and the con man she must trust to clear her name for her father’s murder. 

In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled. Their varied gifts to control the world around them are unnatural—dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, has a terrifying secret. Her deadly Affinity to blood is her curse and the reason she has lived her life hidden behind palace walls.

When Ana’s father, the emperor, is murdered, her world is shattered. Framed as his killer, Ana must flee the palace to save her life. And to clear her name, she must find her father’s murderer on her own. But the Cyrilia beyond the palace walls is far different from the one she thought she knew. Corruption rules the land, and a greater conspiracy is at work—one that threatens the very balance of her world. And there is only one person corrupt enough to help Ana get to its core: Ramson Quicktongue.

A cunning crime lord of the Cyrilian underworld, Ramson has sinister plans—though he might have met his match in Ana. Because in this story, the princess might be the most dangerous player of all.

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*Saturday Spotlight* A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy

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Title: A River of Royal Blood

Author: Amanda Joy

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Release Date: October 29, 2019

Page Count: 368 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

An enthralling debut perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone set in a North African-inspired fantasy world where two sisters must fight to the death to win the crown.

Sixteen-year-old Eva is a princess, born with the magick of marrow and blood–a dark and terrible magick that hasn’t been seen for generations in the vibrant but fractured country of Myre. Its last known practitioner was Queen Raina, who toppled the native khimaer royalty and massacred thousands, including her own sister, eight generations ago, thus beginning the Rival Heir tradition. Living in Raina’s long and dark shadow, Eva must now face her older sister, Isa, in a battle to the death if she hopes to ascend to the Ivory Throne–because in the Queendom of Myre only the strongest, most ruthless rulers survive.

When Eva is attacked by an assassin just weeks before the battle with her sister, she discovers there is more to the attempt on her life than meets the eye–and it isn’t just her sister who wants to see her dead. As tensions escalate, Eva is forced to turn to a fey instructor of mythic proportions and a mysterious and handsome khimaer prince for help in growing her magick into something to fear. Because despite the love she still has for her sister, Eva will have to choose: Isa’s death or her own.

A River of Royal Blood is an enthralling debut set in a lush North African inspired fantasy world that subtly but powerfully challenges our notions of power, history, and identity.

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Purchase Links

AMAZON  |  BARNES & NOBLE

INDIE BOUND

Please note: A Court of Coffee and Books receives a small commission for any purchases made through the links above. All commission earned goes toward supporting and maintaining this blog.

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 About the Author

Amanda Joy

Hi! I’m a writer and bookstagrammer. I currently live in Chicago with my dog Luna.

I grew up in a family of readers. My Dad first gifted me a set of the Chronicles of Narnia and sparked my unending love of fantasy and children’s literature. Years later, my older brother gave me the Wheel of Time series, which went on to inspire me to create my own worlds. I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a writer and spent most of high school staying up all night reading and writing. I studied English and Psychology at the University of Missouri, and went on to earn my MFA in Writing for Children at the New School. While at the New School, I began writing about a Princess who felt out of place in her family and was quite literally under siege in her home. That became my first novel, A River of Royal Blood.

You can find me touring the city’s coffeeshops, taking pictures of my ever expanding library, and trekking around Chicago with my dog. Follow my instagram and twitter @amandajoywrites.

(Bio provided from author’s website and Photo provided from Goodreads)

*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

Fireborne

Title: Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle #1)

Author: Rosaria Munda

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Release Date: October 15th 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dragons

Synopsis:

Seraphina meets Red Rising in a debut young adult fantasy that’s full of rivalry, romance… and dragons.

Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.

Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.

But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.

With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.

From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you’ve chosen.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

iTunes | Kobo | Google Books 

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Author Information

Rosaria

Rosaria grew up in rural North Carolina, where she climbed trees, read Harry Potter fanfiction, and taught herself Latin. She studied political theory at Princeton and lives in Chicago with her husband and cat.

For book recs and updates, follow her on instagram: @rosariamunda

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram 

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Tour Schedule

Check out the other amazing bloggers on the Fireborne blog tour!

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My Review

“And as she turned, it was revealed by her tread that she was fireborne.”

Y’all, this book has everything; Fireborne is a fierce and masterful debut that is sure to spark fire everywhere. There’s dragons, political intrigue, slow-burn romance (like real slow burn, the kind that makes you want to pull your hair out, but in a good way), outstanding character development, hidden identities, and so much more. Fireborne is honestly one of the best books I have read this year (and probably one of the best debuts), and is easily one of my top favorites of 2019.

Annie and Lee were such relatable and strong protagonists. Fireborne bounces between their point of views, which is one of the reasons I loved this story so much. I felt that their combined point of views really developed the story nicely, and that without both of their perspectives, it would feel like something is missing. Both characters were flawed yet delicate, and I really enjoyed seeing that in multiple ways in each character.

“I felt how those words tasted, yes sir, to a dragonlord’s son, sour and familiar, like old milk turned. And I realized that if I don’t like how those words taste, it’s up to me to do something about it. I’m done thinking from my knees. It’s time to think from my feet.”

Annie is an orphan who watched her family burn at the hands of a dragonlord. She’s one of the candidates who has a shot at making Firstrider, a position she could only dream of having. But in order to become Firstrider, she will have to fight against her best friend (and love), Lee. Overall, I thought Annie was a well-developed character. Her past horrors and present life mingle together nicely, and the readers gets a great idea of who she is as a person and a dragon rider.

“It is difficult, knowing that your choices are ones whose consequences others suffer.”

And then there’s Lee. Lee became an orphan after his family was slaughtered before his eyes. But he’s determined to prove that he can be just as great as his family, if not better. He can taste Firstrider on the tip of his tongue, a hope he has always wanted to come true, but he doesn’t want it at the cost of losing Annie. And what happens when someone from his past shockingly waltzes into his life? How do you balance a past that’s completely distant from your future? Lee learns all this the hard way, and that’s truly what builds his character. It was great to see him grow from his past mistakes and fight for a future he wants.

Bring what fury you have and I will answer it with ours.

The world building is absolutely phenomenal. The dragons are a fantastical aspect and the world is built around them, which I thoroughly enjoyed; the dragons are not there just to amuse the readers, but they fit so well into the world that it’s hard to imagine this story without them. There’s so many intricate parts that make this world function and Munda describes them all beautifully. Her writing is flawless and emotional and poetic; as the reader, I could sense the hurt and despair many civilians went through at the hands of the dragonlords and their dragons.

I cannot recommend Fireborne enough. This epic fantasy debut blew me away and set the record high for books to follow. If you love dragons and an intense, yet magnetic romance with hardships and mistakes and past trauma, then definitely read Fireborne. And read it soon, as I have a feeling you will thank yourself for reading this book earlier than later! 🙂

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Giveaway

Prize: Win (1) of (2) copies of Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle #1) by Rosaria Munda (US/CAN Only)

Starts: 9th October 2019

Ends: 9th October 2019

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Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, for having us on this wonderful blog tour!

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*Saturday Spotlight* Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

Fireborne

Title: Fireborne

Author: Rosaria Munda

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Release Date: October 15, 2019

Page Count: 448 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dragons

Summary:

Game of Thrones meets Red Rising in a debut young adult fantasy that’s full of rivalry, romance… and dragons.

Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.

Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.

But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.

With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.

From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you’ve chosen.

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Purchase Links

AMAZON  |  BARNES & NOBLE

INDIE BOUND

Please note: A Court of Coffee and Books receives a small commission for any purchases made through the links above. All commission earned goes toward supporting and maintaining this blog.

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 About the Author

Rosaria

Rosaria grew up in rural North Carolina, where she climbed trees, read Harry Potter fanfiction, and taught herself Latin. She studied political theory at Princeton and lives in Chicago with her husband and cat.

For book recs and updates, follow her on instagram: @rosariamunda

(Bio and photo provided from Goodreads)

The Beautiful- Renée Ahdieh

42265183New York Times bestselling author Renée Ahdieh returns with a sumptuous, sultry and romantic new series set in 19th century New Orleans where vampires hide in plain sight.

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.

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My Review:

“Never forget this as long as you live. Words are weapons. And nothing else matters when the Devil has you by the balls.”

I love Vampires. They are dead, heartless, and like to drink blood. Can anything be more dreamy? So I was excited to see that they are bringing back the Vampire genre again. But if this is the beginning of what’s to come, then I want no part of it.

This was the first book that I’ve read by this author. There’s a huge cult hype about her but I was very underwhelmed by this. The best thing about this book was the cover.

Not much happened in the Vampire department. I was waiting for gallons of blood to be spilled, Vampires lurking in every dark corner, and to be spooked out of my mind. None of that happened. A little here or there but nothing like I imagined.

All of the characters weren’t memorable. None of them stuck out and I felt nothing as some of them found themselves in dire predicaments. They were just so blah.

Sébastien Saint Germain showed up and was mysterious as all hell. I was waiting for him to be so swoony that I would add him to the list of fictional boyfriends. He would be right up there with King Cardan but his character was very poorly written. He was a side character at best.

The Beautiful started off promising but took a backslide into boring after a hundred pages. It never dug itself out of that hole. I was so glad when it was over. I dislike that this is the start of the Vampire genre making its way back, fingers crossed for better Vampire books in the future.