Month: December 2019

Kim’s Top 10 of 2019

Today we get to find out what Kim’s Top 10 Reads of 2019 are!  As mentioned yesterday, we do have one book in common(stay tuned to see what it is) , and Sian B Claven made Kim’s list TWICE this year! 

Here is Kim’s Top 10 list, these are in no particular order, since it becomes impossible to rank at this point for her!:


I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon

I love the story of the last Romanovs and it made me super emotional. My review is here.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Any book by Bardugo is gonna be awesome. She understood Diana as a character and the book paired perfectly with the WW movie soundtrack! My review is here.

Teeth in the Mist by Dawn Kurtagich

Scary, dark, perfect setting, and I need the sequel, yesterday! My review is here.

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

So well written and I got very emotionally involved. Ivan told me to quit asking so many medical questions cuz he was sick of talking about B. Cepacia. My review is here.  THIS is the one Jessica and I had in common!!!

The Huntress by Kate Quinn

I want to be a Nazi Hunter when I grow up! My review is here.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

So uncomfortable and creepy; it was awesome! My review and TV series comparison is here.

Buried by Sian B. Claven

Grave Encounters in book form! So dark and a perfect ghost story!! My review has not been written yet, but here is the book description:

Home is where the heart is … or the hatred.

You can feel the love and care someone puts into their home just by walking into it. Equally, you can feel the hatred and malice when you step into a home where dark deeds have been done.

Alex and his team of so-called paranormal investigators are given the opportunity of a lifetime when they are able to film inside one of the most haunted, and cursed, locations in their area:  The Jackson Mansion.

The thing that makes this mansion truly unique is that it is built completely underground. Determined to uncover the dark secrets of the mansion’s past, and prove himself a notable investigator, Alex doesn’t care what it takes. The mansion, however, has other ideas, as well as some rather restless occupants.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

This book will stay with me a very long time! This is one I just read so there is no review yet.  Here is the book description, if you don’t know the story of this classic!:

At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys. At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate; this far from civilization the boys can do anything they want. Anything. They attempt to forge their own society, failing, however, in the face of terror, sin and evil. And as order collapses, as strange howls echo in the night, as terror begins its reign, the hope of adventure seems as far from reality as the hope of being rescued. Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies is perhaps our most memorable novel about “the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart.”

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

I have never identified with a character so much! My review is here.

Asylum 1 by Sian B. Claven

An insane asylum with medical experiments- enough said! My video review of both books one and two are here.  These books are not for everyone! 

Have you read any of these books? If so what did you think?????

Jessica’s Top 10 of 2019

Goodbye 2019 and hello to a new decade!  This year has gone by quickly, especially the last few months. Today I will share my Top 10 of 2019, and apparently YA dominated my list this year. Also, Katherine Center and Neal Shusterman have made my Top 10 two years in a row now!

Kim and I had one book that made both of our lists. You will have to see what her Top 10 is tomorrow to see what made both lists!

Here are my picks for Top 10 in order:

10. Birthday by Meredith Russo

Written by a transgender author, Birthday shows us what someone who is transgender experiences. Russo’s novels are important stories that those who are transgender may need and will help those of us who are not transgender understand what it is like. My review for Birthday is here.

9. One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

I did not expect to love this one as much as I did! The audiobook had different narrators for each character, which helped. I also did not figure the ending out!  The sequel One of Us is Next comes out January 7, 2020 and there is also a tv show in the works, which will be Must See TV for me! My review for One of Us is Lying is here.

8. Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Center’s husband is a volunteer firefighter and she got many stories from him, and Things You Save in a Fire is so realistic! Center’s protagonist is a female fire fighter which I really loved!  Center is fast becoming a new favorite author and I can’t wait to see what she has coming next!  My review for Things You Save in a Fire is here.

7.  Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry, and Tobias Iaconis

If Everything, Everything and The Fault in Our Stars got together and had a baby then it would result in Five Feet Apart. I loved so much about this novel! I still have yet to see the movie, but WILL soon! And again… This cover is just gorgeous!  My review for Five Feet Apart is here.

6.  Hope and Other Punchlines by Julie Buxbaum

A powerful YA novel that dealt with the aftermath of 9/11 and how it still affects us 15 years later. This is yet another one that everyone should read! My review for Hope and Other Punch Lines is here.

5.  They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

I absolutely loved this book for its unique concept. *Spoiler Alert* we know what is going to happen in this novel from the title, but it is not about the end of Mateo and Rufus’ lives, it is the journey they go on for their final day. This one makes you think, would you want to know that this day is your last? My review for They Both Die at the End is here.

4.  Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

Neal Shusterman is an author we both love at Jessica’s Reading Room and Dry was no exception!  This is yet another novel that leaves you thinking about it long after you have finished reading it. My review for Dry is here.

3.  The Ghostly Father by Sue Barnard

I have always been a fan of Romeo and Juliet, so this retelling  that is part prequel and also part sequel was just up my alley!  I loved everything about it and loved Barnard’s unique take on the story!  My review for The Ghostly Father is here.

2.  Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Kindred was a novel I came across looking for First Line Friday novels. I was concerned if it aged well as some novels don’t ‘age well’, but wow, this one is superb! Kindred is a must read for everyone!  In fact, it came very close to my number one read of 2019.  My review for Kindred is here.


What is my number one read of 2019??????













1.  The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain!!!

The Dream Daughter has earned its spot as my favorite book…EVER. Its is absolute perfection for me!  It went in a direction I was not expecting, and was a little leery about at first, but OMG, I loved everything about it! This was my first read by Chamberlain and it will not be my last!  My review for The Dream Daughter is here.

Have you read any of these books, and if so what did you think of them? Kim’s Top 10 of 2019 will post tomorrow.  She decided on her Top 10 a little differently from they way I chose mine. Stay tuned to see what books she loved and what one book we had in common for our Top 10!


A Different Kind of List…

This year we will be sharing a small list of books that did not work for us here at Jessica’s Reading Room: This is a Top 5 of a different sort.  Yes, all books will not be for everyone. Whether it is a genre you don’t normally read and th ebook ended up not working for you, or it was the wrong book at the wrong time, here is our Top 5 books that were not for us in 2019:

Jessica’s List:

I actually have two DNF’s (Did Not Finish) which I will be including in this list. As I did not completely read these books, I did not review them as I can’t judge them properly.  But they were just not for me and I had to include them on this list! I will include the book description for the two DNF’s. Links to the ones I reviewed will be included.

5.   Someone Knows by Lisa Scottoline

You guys know by now that Lisa Scottoline is one of my favorites, but Someone Knows was just a case of ‘when bad books happen to good authors’. This one just did not work for me, but I will still keep reading Scottoline.  My full thoughts and review is here.

4.  The Perfect Son by Lauren North

This one had an intriguing premise that I unfortunately figured out in the first few chapters. I kept reading it hoping I was wrong…But I was not.  This one was a victim of “I read too many thrillers”. I do not like to figure out my thrillers and have my mind blown with that final twist.   My review is here.

3. The Whisper Man by Alex North

So many people loved this one and yet, it was not for me at all. It still does not seem like I read the same book as everyone else.  My review is here.

The last two are the DNFs:

2.  Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Book Description:

Aging, self-absorbed rock star Judas Coyne has a thing for the macabre — his collection includes sketches from infamous serial killer John Wayne Gacy, a trepanned skull from the 16th century, a used hangman’s noose, Aleister Crowley’s childhood chessboard, etc. — so when his assistant tells him about a ghost for sale on an online auction site, he immediately puts in a bid and purchases it.

The black, heart-shaped box that Coyne receives in the mail not only contains the suit of a dead man but also his vengeance-obsessed spirit. The ghost, it turns out, is the stepfather of a young groupie who committed suicide after the 54-year-old Coyne callously used her up and threw her away. Now, determined to kill Coyne and anyone who aids him, the merciless ghost of Craddock McDermott begins his assault on the rocker’s sanity.


This is one that sounded like it would be good, and I made it about 3 hours into the audio book. I gave it a decent try, but it seemed like it was was going to become a ‘let’s seek revenge on Coyne’ and I lost interest. Yes, that is in the description, but I must have missed that part or was not expecting it to go in the direction that it did.  I liked the whole first part of the novel with Coyne being a collector of the macabre and buying a ghost, the rest just did not work for me, so I chose to DNF it.

1. One Day in December by Josie Silver

Book Description:

Two people. Ten chances. One unforgettable love story.

Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic… and then her bus drives away.

Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.


Everything about this one sounded like I would love it, but it was the complete opposite.  After you find out your best friend’s new boyfriend was ‘bus boy’ why did you not tell her? They had not been together that long… And then this is going to drag over a 10 year time span!?!? I just could not listen to this audiobook after the first ‘full year’ of anguish and drama. This is yet another one that so many people have loved that was definitely not for me.  If you like the Bookies Facebook page then you may have seen me rant about this one.  It was my first DNF in a long time.  I do my best to not have DNFs, but this one was just not possible to finish.

Kim’s List:

I hate disliking a book … but these were bad! These are in no particular order:

Monsters by Sharon Dogar

The worst drama and hypocrisy I have ever seen in any plot or character! I could barely finish it! My review is here.

Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter

The cover is one of my favorites of the year, but the plot in no way lived up to my expectations. My review is here.

The Virtue of Sin by Shannon Schuren

Making up a story is one thing, but not understanding the nuances of a culture you’re writing about doesn’t work at all.  My review is here.

The Orphan of Salt Winds by Elizabeth Brooks

It wound me up and got me so excited to learn more, but then nothing. My review is here.

The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring

Literally everything went wrong … everything. My video review is here.

What did you think of our lists? Should we do this again next year??? Have you read any and did you like or not like it like us?