Top 5 Surprising Reads of 2019!

Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by Shanah of Bionic Book Worm.

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After the Flood by: Kassandra Montag (William Morrow) – Pub Date: September 3, 2019

In a futuristic world, global warming has put the majority of Earth underwater. Mia and her daughter, Pearl, live in a rowboat, searching for Mia’s other daughter, Row, who disappeared right before Mia’s family abandoned their home in Nebraska.

What surprised me the most about this book was how compelling it was; I could not put it down! At first, I wasn’t sure how much story you could put into a book about a world full of water. I figured I could only read so much about boats and sharks and the search for food, but I was totally wrong.

Montag’s writing style captured me and I felt like I was living in the boat alongside Mia and Pearl. I felt their confidence as they fished for food, I felt their sadness as they searched for Pearl, and I felt their fear as they encountered pirates.

With themes of motherhood, grief, and survival, I was pleasantly surprised with this one. It will definitely make my Top 10 list (coming soon!) for the year!

Other similar books: The Dutch House, The Most Fun We Ever Had, The Institute, Cantoras, The Gifted School

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Golden Child by: Claire Adam (SJP for Hogarth) – Pub Date: January 29, 2019

Admittedly, this wasn’t a five-star book for me when I initially read it. Quite honestly I wanted to throw it across the room as soon as I finished. It made me mad, f’ed up my thinking, made me evaluate myself and what I think I’d do in a given situation, and WOULD NOT leave my brain.

It’s been almost a year since I read this book and I find myself STILL thinking about it.

Set in Trinidad, life is difficult for Clyde, Joy, and their twin sons, Peter and Paul. Even though Peter and Paul are twins, they are nothing alike. Peter is a genius while Paul has a physical disability that makes school very difficult for him. One day, Peter goes missing. As Clyde searches for him, he is eventually forced to make a difficult decision.

This book is perfect book club material as the ending will leave you with more questions than answers. It will force you to evaluate a lot of thoughts and feelings and you may not be able to come to a satisfying conclusion. You will think about this book for a LONG time after finishing the last page!

Other similar books: A Woman is No Man; Miracle Creek; Patsy; Ask Again, Yes; The Dreamers

Screen Shot 2019-11-29 at 4.42.20 PMDaisy Jones and The Six by: Taylor Jenkins Reid (Ballantine) – Pub Date: March 5, 2019

This type of book is right up my alley, but I was definitely nervous about the format. Thumb through the pages and it looks like a script for a movie. I wasn’t sure I would be able to keep the characters straight and I wasn’t sure that Taylor Jenkins Reid would be able to convey depth without having paragraphs full of narration.

But I was wrong! Taylor Jenkins Reid masterfully weaved together a story of a 1970s rock band and all the complexities of their relationships. Because she included each band members viewpoint, the reader gets to hear all sides of the story…not just the main character(s). I loved how one side of a story was presented, but as soon as the story shifted perspectives, so did the version of the truth.

This book reads so easily, and at times I had to remind myself that this is a work of fiction. Truly unique in its format, it’s the only book that I have ever reread back to back!

Other similar books: City of Girls, Mrs. Everything, Normal People, Summer of ’69, Three Woman

Screen Shot 2019-11-29 at 4.56.01 PMThe Silent Patient by: Alex Michaelides (Celedaon) – Pub Date: February 5, 2019

For years I’ve avoided thrillers because I just don’t seem to love them. Once the big twist is revealed, I rarely understand what happened. Honestly, the entire plot rides on this twist and it usually goes right over my head. That’s frustrating to commit that much time and effort to a story, just to end the book not totally sure what happened or how it concluded.

However, this book intrigued me – a woman shoots her husband and then goes silent – and by silent, I mean not a word, not a peep – for the next several years. The full story is slowly revealed when a new psychiatrist gets a job at the patient facility where this woman now lives.

The Silent Patient made me realize that I actually do like thrillers, especially if they have a good psychological twist!

Other similar books: The Turn of the Key, The Chain, A Nearly Normal Family, The Whisper Man, Lock Every Door

Screen Shot 2019-11-29 at 5.11.36 PMThe Flatshare by: Beth O’Leary (Flatiron) – May 28, 2019

I’m going to sound like a broken record here for a second, but I don’t generally prefer romances (see above regarding thrillers 😂). I generally find them eye-roll worthy (ugh, Eleanor Oliphant); however,  some of the absolute best books of 2019 were in this genre!

When I read the synopsis for this book, I felt like it was going to be way too cheesy for me. Basically, Tiffy goes through a bad break up with her boyfriend and needs a place to live immediately. She answers an ad in the paper that calls for a roommate to “share” the apartment – Leon will have the apartment during the day while Tiffy will have it every night. Tiffy and Leon begin writing each other notes, eventually becoming friends…and more!

I loved the characters in this book so much, and they made me fall in love with the story – cheesiness and all! But, having said that, there was depth to the story, and I was totally taken by surprise by that! If you’re looking for something light and easy, but absolutely entertaining, this book is for you!

Other similar books: Red, White, & Royal Blue; Waiting for Tom Hanks; Evvie Drake Starts Over; The Girl He Used to Know; American Royals

What book took you by surprise this year?



10 thoughts on “Top 5 Surprising Reads of 2019!

  1. After the Flood was a big surprise for me, too. I love it when you get so much more than you expect from a book. I’m doing a list of 6 underrated gems tomorrow and most of those would fall into this surprises category.


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