My Top Ten TBR Picks for 2019

It’s the time of the year for lists: bests, worsts, hopes, fears, aspirations. Before I do some tidying up here in KJG Incorporated and sort through everything I read in 2018 for trends and analysis, I thought I’d have some fun and make a top ten TBR list for 2019. My goal is to read more than ten books, of course–I’m thinking of setting my sights on forty-five–but here are the ones I really want to get to in 2019, in no particular order.

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I’ve been with this series a loooooong time–since years before it was published, in fact. Back when I was in middle school, Maas was posting chapters that would eventually spawn the massive Throne of Glass series on FictionPress. I loved Maas’s writing back then, and I love it now, even though I (surprise, surprise) do have some critiques of her work. I even still have reams of chapters that I printed out back in the day and saved, always with the fear that Maas’s sprawling story would disappear from the Internet, never to be seen again. It’s really cool to read those rough draft chapters and see the changes and edits that became the massive YA series so many people love.

So I’ve sort of been putting off reading this last book, with the knowledge that it is the period at the end of one of my very favorite fantasy series. But I will get to it in 2019, probably sooner rather than later.

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This book has gotten crazy praise from one of my favorite reviewers, Emily Fox, and I’m ready to bite, especially since I’ll be looking for some new fantasy after Throne of Glass winds up. Add in the Chinese-inspired setting and I’m hooked. Very much looking forward to this book.

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This is another Emily Fox recommendation, and it’s been staring down at me from my TBR shelf for months. Why does that happen, by the way? Everything on my TBR shelf always looks so appealing, and yet… so many of the books end up sitting there for far too long. (I’m looking at you, Invasion of the Tearling.)

Anyway, this book is definitely out of my comfort zone, since I’m strictly a genre fiction kind of girl, but I do think I’ll end up enjoying it.

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The South African duo S.L. Grey is my horror spirit animal. Yeah, Stephen King will always be a favorite of mine, and his son Joe Hill ain’t too bad either, but S.L. Grey really takes the cake. I devoured the first book of theirs I read, The Apartment, and then… then… I read The Mall.

Here was the horror book I had always hoped and dreamed for. A fantastical, creepy, no-holds-barred alternative reality set in a mall, à la Silent Hill 3, which I wanted so badly to play as a kid. It was funny and well-written, with excellent world-building, and the main characters were so thoroughly detestable that I was grinning all the way through as they did their best to navigate an entire horror society. The New Girl is the third in the series, and I am just. so. excited to finally read this book.

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Here’s another one by S.L Grey. As far as I’m aware it’s unrelated to their Downside trilogy, but come on… The cover is a picture of an elevator’s down button. So here’s hoping it’s a lot like the Downside trilogy, but honestly, whatever this book is about, I’m sure it will be excellent.

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I saw comparisons of this book to Kristen Britain’s Green Rider series, which pretty much placed it instantly at the top of my TBR. Britain’s Green Rider series was a recommendation from my sister that I ignored for too long. Then when I did read the first book, I loooooved it and devoured the books, and now I’m out. Familiar story, right? So maybe this book can plug that hole. Maybe. Hopefully.

Sob…

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If S.L. Grey is my horror spirit animal, then Maureen Johnson is the same for me in terms of YA. I discovered her this year as I tore through the stupendous Truly Devious, and I love her. That’s all there is to it. Her main characters are all sort of samey, but listen, more of excellent is still excellent. I’ll be buying this book the day it comes out, guaranteed.

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This is Herman’s debut, and I couldn’t be more excited. A YA book with a Stranger Things comp? Why I too have a YA book with a Stranger Things comp! And it has a rural setting, which my next book will also have… I just have this gut feeling that this book and I are going to get along splendidly.

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I read One of Us Is Lying because I was thinking it might be a fitting comp title for Specter. I have fond memories of having a snow day off from work and holing up in the little cafe two minutes from my house, tearing through One of Us Is Lying. The characters were great–especially Addy–and the suspense was killer.

So count me in on McManus’s next book. If it’s anything like her first, I’ll be done with it in twenty-four hours.

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I have such awesome memories of reading the first of this series. It was romantic, the world-building was unique, the emphasis on religious ritual was welcome (this so often gets overlooked in fantasy), and honestly, I just loved it. So I’ve been very excited to read the second in this series–the first one left off with quite the cliff-hanger, if I recall correctly.

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