Top Five Surprising Reads of 2019

Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm.

I am in the midst of quite a brutal cold at the minute, and I am shocked that I am even managing to right this post at this point. Please forgive any typos or ramblings!

I have decided to share five books that surprised me in a good way! I never pick up a book expecting to hate it, but there are times when I think I am just going to like a book and it ends up blowing me away.

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell


I am not the biggest mystery/thriller reader, but I do find myself in the mood for them from time to time. I always go in to them with lower expectations because I know there is a good chance I will be disappointed. That was not the case with The Family Upstairs, which is my favourite mystery of the year. There is something to compelling about Jewell’s writing and she knows how to create a sense of place. This is a quieter mystery, but it totally gripped me.

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Muharin


If it were not for a buddy read on Instagram, I never would have even considered reading Serpent & Dove, and that would have been a shame. I have never been a huge fantasy reader and I will usually pick any other genre over fantasy, but this book has taught me that I need to give them more of a chance. My favourite thing about it was the characters and their dynamic! Sure, the magic system is a little bit confusing, but I hope that gets cleared up in the next book.

The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh


The Water Cure has been receiving some pretty poor reviews- it currently has an average rating of 3.27 on Goodreads. Even though I knew that, there was something about it that was drawing me in so I gave it a chance. I am so happy that I did. I think that the problem with this book is the marketing and the fact that readers go in to it thinking it is going to be like The Handmaid’s Tale. Yes, they are both feminist dystopians, but that is where the similarities end. I would even question whether you could call The Water Cure a dystopian! The entire novel takes place on a secluded island and we follow three sisters who know nothing about the world beyond their island, therefore neither does the reader. We are left with so many questions and I just thought it was brilliant!

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert


I am so happy that I need not let my dislike of Eat, Pray, Love stop me from trying City of Girls because I ended up absolutely adoring it. I was blown away by Elizabeth Gilbert and can not wait to see what she writes next. The Kristin of a year ago could not have said the same! Vivian is one of the most dynamics characters I have ever read and I have to say that I miss her.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

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When The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek was sent to me for review I was not expecting too much. There was no buzz about it at the time and the first chapter did not immediately grab my attention. I am so pleased that I pushed through because this book is incredible! I knew nothing about the Blue People of Kentucky, so that was fascinating. I also just loved Cussy, our main character, who has such a passion for getting the right book into the right hands. She had been ignored and rejected her entire life but a shared love of books and reading helped her form connections. Just so so good!


35 thoughts on “Top Five Surprising Reads of 2019

  1. Serpent and Dove has been popping up all over my timeline recently. It’s a book that I’ve glimpsed but didn’t give it much thought until now. I’m hoping to read it in the new year and am really excited to do so. I rarely read mystery/thrillers as well, but I’ve heard some fantastic things about Lisa Jewell’s books.

  2. Kristin the Book Woman is now on my list since I read the controversy arounf Jojo Moyes’s book and wants to make up my mind!

  3. I’ve seen so many positive reviews of Serpent and Dove. I wasn’t planning on reading it myself, but I think I just might have to. It’s always a nice little surprise when a book turns out to be much more enjoyable than anticipated.

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