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Book Babble: 2019 Releases I Am Freaking Out Over

For the book lover, every season is a series of monthly celebrations. Christmas doesn’t stop on December 25th and ringing in the new year isn’t just about making resolutions to improve ourselves. Any moderately book-obsessed-word-owl will tell you that the world revolves around new releases and tbr piles. We live and breathe for the novels that have captured our hearts — and whatever book might come along next to woo us. Let me just say, with the covers I’ve seen so far, they are not playing games; these new releases are gorgeous and fierce and demand to be noticed.

Today, I made a list of all the Spring and Summer 2019 releases I was dying to read. By the time I finished jotting them down, I had only three thoughts on my mind:

1. Give all these gorgeous books to me NOW.

2. Wait, is it me or is my TBR pile starting to look like that giant pillar that held the Eye of Sauron!

3. How the hell am I going to read (or afford) all these books?

The truth is, I am never going to be able to buy or read all of these books at once. If history has taught me anything, it can take about 1-3 years for me to actually get around to reading books because so many come out every year and honestly….I forget about them. They become fossils in my TBR pile, buried beneath the next precious pretty. Thankfully, I’m getting better at reading what I CANNOT live without first and working my way back, but like with anything, it’s a process of trial and error. So, for the sake of this blog post, I am only focusing on books I absolutely, positively cannot wait to get my hands on.

These are the books that make my heart race whenever see them because 1) the covers are to die for and 2) the summaries are out of this world. Literally. Without futher ado, these are the 2019 releases I am freaking out over.

Top Twelve Books I Want Right Now

“Let’s be reasonable and add an eighth day to the week that is devoted exclusively to reading.” – Lena Dunham


The Wicked King by Holly Black: DON’T MIND ME AS I JUMP UP AND DOWN, squealing with absolute excitement. This morning I power-walked the 1.2 miles through Downtown, Seattle, just to get my hands on this book. I’ve been informed promised the ending will stab me in the heart. Multiple times. With a SPOON.

The Cerulean by Amy Ewing: I adore this cover the way a Gollum covets the One Ring. It’s totally MY PRECIOUS and not just because of the abso-freakin-lutely gorgeous cover. Okay, maybe the cover is a huge part of it, but the plot is icing on the cake. A girl, who feels much like an outsider among her all-female society, is chosen to sacrifice her life so that their planet’s magical tether to another planet is broken and they can relocate. Except the girl miraculously survives the sacrifice…..and she’s stuck wandering the other planet, where she learns all the nightmares of her people are true *GASP*  I MEAN, WHO DOESN’T WANT TO READ THIS?!

Descendants Of The Crane by Joan He: A queen of a crumbling kingdom must seek out forbidden magic to hunt down her father’s killer. With the help of an investigator with a criminal past (who is likely a hottie, fyi), the queen is willing to give anything to find out the truth, but….WILL THE COST BE TOO HIGH?

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the premise of this story. As many of you might be aware, I’ve been HANGRY for Asian-inspired young adult novels and this year is proving promising in that department. Descendants of The Crane is a Chinese-inspired fantasy and is really, really HIGH on my I-have-to-read-this-asap list.

Plus, I’ve never read anything by Joan He. So THIS IS SUPER EXCITING.

Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye: NINJAS, people. Think knighted ninjas living in a world without violence, who infiltrate a secret army camp to make a name for themselves. Lives are forever altered. This book promises all my favorite things: a rich world, lots of magic, lots of fighting, and probably a ton of betrayal. BRING IT ON, Skye.


“Reading one book is like eating one potato chip.” – Diane Duane

Sorcery Of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson: Magic. Monsters. Conspiracies. Libraries with dark secrets. HELLOOOO. Why wouldn’t I want to read a book like that? Especially one with a cover like this?! Though I liked Rogerson’s first novel, An Enchantment of Ravens,  I am hoping a smidge that A Sorcery of Thorns is a darker, more thrilling tale that brings ALL THE FEELS.

Spin The Dawn by Elizabeth Lim: I. LIVE. FOR. THIS. COVER. Okay….I live for *many* covers, but that doesn’t negate from the fact that this cover is gorgeous and likely the main reason for me wanting to read this book. Spin The Dawn is a YA fantasy sold as “Project Runway meets Mulan” in which a girl dresses as a boy and enters a contest to become a tailor in her dying father’s stead. The catch? She’s competing with twelve other tailors….all of whom are backstabbing, nosy, liars etc. Her situation, of course, is further complicated by a FORBIDDEN ROMANCE.

The Beholder by Anna Bright: Although I’m not a fan of princess stories, The Beholder sounds compelling enough to warrant a chance. It’s essentially about the only daughter of Potomac who, after suffering a public rejection, must sail abroad to find her happily ever after, but her journey is threatened by deadly secrets and the voyager might cost her more than a happy ending. Besides the cover being AMAZING, the story gives me serious vibes of Snow White and Pocahontas retelling.

Honor Bound by Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre: Okay. Truth time. I STILL have to read the first book, Honor Among Thieves, but that doesn’t mean I can’t TOTALLY FREAK OUT about how utterly stunning this cover is or how alluring the plot seems. This book definitely makes up part of the roof on my TBR pile!


“I guess there are never enough books.” – John Steinbeck


Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte: Theft. Conspiracies. Unexpected romance. FOUR DEAD QUEENS at the heart of it all. This thrilling mystery YA not only has the potential to keep me on the edge of my seat, but the cover’s not so bad to look at, either. Despite my consistently verbalized dislike of books with royalty anythings in them, I WANT THIS BOOK ASAP.

Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer: A Father mysteriously disappears. A magical house in the mountains. A strange wolf. Enchantments with a short ticker. AKA lots to lose and very little time. I didn’t even know this book EXISTED in the beginning. That tends to happen when so many amazing titles are being released at once, but now….I’m not letting it out of my sight!

The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen: Corruption. Fugitive royalty. An evil Queen. Crows and coins and questionable motives. The Merciful Crow almost sounds like a genderbent Snow White with a wild streak of Bardugo-styled darkness. Although the cover isn’t my favorite, the back blurb certainly dials up the intrigue, earning this puppy a place on the list.

The Girl King by Mimi Yu: THIS. BOOK. LOOKS. FRIGGIN’. AMAZING. Just saying….I love a chick with a sword on a cover. A stolen birthright. Deadly, forbidden magic. Sisters vying to be emperor. Wolfy shapeshifters. The Girl King sounds like one DELICIOUS read! AND it’s an Asian-inspired fantasy. SCORE!

Honorable Mentions

1. The Antidote by Shelly Sacier

2. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

3. White Stage by Kara Barbieri

4. We Told Six Lies by Victoria Scott

5. You Owe Me A Murder by Eileen Cook

6. The Fever Kind by Victoria Lee

7. Dragon Pearls by Yoon Ha Lee

8. The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wee


Final thoughts

For me, 2019 is the year for fantasies with modern, urban settings or rich with complex magic and eastern Asian folklore/myths/legends. I’m starving for thrilling tales, slow burn romances, and vivid worlds. Will these releases satify those cravings? Maybe. Maybe not. But I won’t know until I get my hands on them….and believe me, I WILL GET MY GRUBBY HANDS ON THEM.

I couldn’t list all the books coming out this year, because that would be a very long list and I don’t think I could realistically purchase or read them all, but this is a good place for me to sink my teeth into and kick off the year reading more and hulu-ing less.

Is there a 2019 release you think should be on this list? What books are you looking forward to most this year?

About Ari Augustine

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