My Favorite YA Books in 2019

I’m an eclectic reader. Throughout 2019, I read several nonfiction books, some adult fiction, a few children books, and a lot of YA (young adult books). That was the category I enjoyed the most, so that’s what I’ll focus on for my best of 2019 list.

(All book blurbs are from Goodreads: All book links are from the authors’ sites.)

Funniest book: Unpregnant by Jenni Hendricks and Ted Caplan

Seventeen-year-old Veronica Clarke never thought she would wish she’d failed a test until she finds herself holding a thick piece of plastic in her hands and staring at two solid pink lines. Even the most consistent use of condoms won’t prevent pregnancy when your boyfriend secretly pokes holes in them to keep you from going out-of-state for college. 

Veronica needs an abortion, but the closest place she can legally get one is over nine hundred miles away—and Veronica doesn’t have a car. Too ashamed to ask her friends or family for help, Veronica turns to the one person she believes won’t judge her: Bailey Butler, Jefferson High’s own little black cloud of anger and snark—and Veronica’s ex-best friend. Once on the road, Veronica quickly remembers nothing with Bailey is ever simple and that means two days of stolen cars, shotguns, crazed ex-boyfriends, truck stop strippers with pro-life agendas, and a limo driver named Bob. But the pain and betrayal of their broken friendship can’t be outrun. When their fighting leads to a brutal moment of truth, Bailey abandons Veronica. Now Veronica must risk everything in order to repair the hurt she’s caused.

I know that doesn’t sound as funny as it read. But Veronica and Bailey’s road trip is full of goofy adventures that made me laugh out loud. And it’s going to be a movie, so grab a copy to read the book first! 🙂


P. S. Just finished reading Holding Court by K. C. Held (published in 2016)—awesome, and my runner-up for funniest book!

Most romantic book:

Emmie and the Tudor King by Natalie Murray

One moment, Emmie is writing her high school history paper; the next, she’s sitting with a gorgeous 16th century king who vacillates from kissing her to ordering her execution.

Able to travel back to her own time, but intensely drawn to King Nick and the mysterious death of his sister, Emmie finds herself solving the murder of a young princess and unraveling court secrets while trying to keep her head on her shoulders, literally.

With everything to lose, Emmie finds herself facing her biggest battle of all: How to cheat the path of history and keep her irresistible king, or lose him—and her heart—forever.

King Nick was the most swoon-worthy hero I read this year. Plus, I loved Emmie’s relationship with him. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel!

Emmie and the Tudor King:

Most heartwarming book: The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender. 

While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta’s most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light. 

I fell in love with Jo and the other characters immediately. By the end of the book, they felt like people I’d known all my life. And the ending was perfect, full of love, family, and hope.  

The Downstairs Girl:

Here are all the YA books I read and reviewed this year. I recommend every one!

Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend by Alan Cumyn

A Tyranny of Petticoats ed. Jessica Spotswood

A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Waller Biggs

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

Spin by Lamar Giles

The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas

Unpregnant by Jenni Hendricks and Ted Caplan

Emmie and the Tudor King by Natalie Murray

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

Holding Court by K. C. Held

If you’d like to see more book reviews, please follow me on Goodreads!

I love to share my passion for Alaska and its history in my writing for young adults and their grown ups.

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