7 Books From Your Backlist You Should Read this Year

All right, I’ve been shouting about all of the 2019 books that are coming out or have already come out this year. Now I’m going to tell you what books to read this year. There is no choice in this.

Look, we all get behind and our TBRs are all much bigger than we can actually manage. I myself have been working through my backlist this year. Now, these are just suggestions of course, but I have read each book on this list. They are all vetted and approved by yours truly.

These shall not let you down.

At least, I really hope not because I loved them all.

1. The Madman’s Daughter

For fans of Libba Bray, this first book in a gothic suspense trilogy is inspired by H. G. Wells’s The Island of Dr. Moreau and has been hailed by New York Times bestseller Carrie Ryan as having “beautiful writing, breakneck pacing, a pulse-pounding mystery, and an irresistible romance.”

Following accusations that her scientist father gruesomely experimented on animals, sixteen-year-old Juliet watched as her family and her genteel life in London crumbled around her—and only recently has she managed to piece her world back together. But when Juliet learns her father is still alive and working on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the old accusations are true. Accompanied by her father’s handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward, Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father’s insanity. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it’s too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius—and madness—in her own blood.

I’m just going to leave an excerpt from my review here for this book because I really can’t put my recommendation into better words:

Brace yourself and turn on the lights. The Madman’s Daughter couldn’t have been any better. Every aspect of this novel worked together, magnificently complimenting anything and everything it touched. The characters and story were perfect for the setting, and the setting was perfect for the characters and the story.

3. Dark Disciple

The only way to bring down the dark side’s most dangerous warrior may be for Jedi and Sith to join forces.

In the war for control of the galaxy between the armies of the dark side and the Republic, former Jedi Master turned ruthless Sith Lord Count Dooku has grown ever more brutal in his tactics. Despite the powers of the Jedi and the military prowess of their clone army, the sheer number of fatalities is taking a terrible toll. And when Dooku orders the massacre of a flotilla of helpless refugees, the Jedi Council feels it has no choice but to take drastic action: targeting the man responsible for so many war atrocities, Count Dooku himself.

But the ever-elusive Dooku is dangerous prey for even the most skilled hunter. Read the rest

Once again, I’m just going to let an excerpt from my review for Dark Disciple speak for me:

Dark Disciple absolutely blew me away. It gave insight into Vos and Ventress’s characters as well as the Jedi Council itself. Marc Thompson’s narration had me hooked from the very beginning and served the novel extremely well. Golden could not have asked for a better narrator.

In short: I loved it.

3. Blackhearts

Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.

Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of one of Bristol’s richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There’s just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Read the rest

Oh my gosh. I LOVED this book SO MUCH. There are hardly words to describe it. If you liked the show Poldark and you liked Pride & Prejudice, this book is definitely for you. This is Blackbeard, pre-pirate. I could not stop reading this from the moment I started it. This book was DELICIOUS.

4. A Thousand Perfect Notes

An emotionally charged story of music, abuse and, ultimately, hope.

Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music – because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence.

When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it?

Oh gosh. THIS BOOK. I’m not a huge contemporary fan but this book was simply amazing. It was incredibly sad. Beautiful and devastating. If you haven’t read this book yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? My full review for this book will be going up later this month.

5. Contagion

It got in us

After receiving an urgent SOS from a work detail on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is dispatched to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission.

Most are dead.

But when the crew arrives, they find an abandoned site, littered with rotten food, discarded weapons…and dead bodies.

Don’t set foot here again.

As they try to piece together who—or what—could have decimated an entire operation, they discover that some things are best left buried—and some monsters are only too ready to awaken.

Look, I like scifi books but I am kind of picking about them. The setting and atmosphere in this novel is quite possibly my favorite part. At one point, I literally shoved Contagion into my husband’s hands and had him read it to me. It is SO INTENSE. The sequel is coming out later this year so get on this!

6. And I Darken

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion. Read the rest

I am ashamed of myself for waiting so freaking long to actually finish reading this book. Dracula is my jam and this is a historical retelling of Vlad the Impaler. I need to finish reading this series still but And I Darken blew me away. This book in two words? Brutal and gripping.

7. Sky in the Deep

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. Read the rest

I was HOOKED from the very first sentence of this book. Vikings? Not another daughter of the king story? I am in! The world seemed to just effortlessly breathe off the pages of this book. The world and characters felt so rich and as if they had been around for quite some time. Sky in the Deep was completely wonderful.

*Well that’s it! What books do you think I should read from my backlist this year?

*Have you read any of these books already?

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  1. This is such a good post, I love it! I really enjoyed A Thousand Perfect Notes, I can’t wait to read more from the author. Blackhearts sounds really good and I’ve heard amazing things about Sky In The Deep, so happy you liked both! 🙂

    1. I’m glad you like A Thousand Perfect Notes! It’s still the best book I’ve read so far this year. Blackhearts and Sky in the Deep are two kind of unexpected gems to me. Like, I expected to like them but not as much as I do.