My Bookish Reader’s Choice Award Nominations!

(Last Updated On: November 25, 2019)

Hi friends, long time no see! (Is a week a long time?) I’ve had a rough week or so and fell behind on my posting schedule, but I am here today to share the books I nominated for the 2019 Bookish Reader’s Choice Awards with you all!

Designed to actually give readers their voice to determine the “best” reads of the year, the goal of these awards is to recognize all of the amazing stories we got to read this year! You can learn more about the awards and rules for participation by visiting the announcement post here.

My Nominations

My goodness, this was SO HARD for me to do — which is why I put off working on my nominations until the final five days of the nomination period. I wound up opening my Goodreads Reading Challenge page so all of my reads were there in front of me to see what sung to my soul when I saw the cover… but I quickly realized it would be easiest to sort my copy of the Book Blogger Spreadsheet (2020 edition coming soon, y’all!) for 2019 releases and then for YA/Adult accordingly.

I didn’t read books in all of the nomination categories, let alone love everything that I read, but all are books I absolutely adored and see myself screaming about them for years to come.

โœจ YA Mystery

Keep this to Yourself cover

Keep This to Yourself by Tom Ryan kept me guessing until the very end, which is refreshing for me since I almost always guess the killer within a few pages of their introduction. But this is more than just a murder mystery: Itโ€™s about the bonds of friendship and how fragile those connections can seem to be, a wonderful m/m relationship, and the setting of a small town trying to pick up the pieces after a horrific tragedy. ๐Ÿ“ Read my spoiler-free ARC review for Keep This to Yourself!

โœจ YA Fantasy

The Storm Crow cover






Fair warning: these books make a few appearances on my nominations. I read mostly YA SFF books this year, and we’ve honestly been blessed with so many amazing releases (many of them debuts!).This was the most difficult category for me – three nominations is not enough! These three YA Fantasy releases particularly left an impression on me. I find myself not only thinking about them often, but also shoving them on everyone I know.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin. A Craig is nothing short of magical. It’s genre-bending and lyrically written, a book that totally enthralled me and kept me reading until I finished at four in the morning. ๐Ÿ“ Read my spoiler-free review of House of Salt and Sorrows here.

The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1) by Renee Adieh captivated me from start to finish. I was so enthralled with the setting and characters, New Orleans came alive on page!

The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow #1) by Kalyn Josephson meant so much to me as a reader with its depiction of grief and depression representation. But it also touches on cycles of violence and vengeance being carried on through generations, delving into whether we are doomed to continue the cycle? ๐Ÿ“ Read my spoiler-free review of The Storm Crow here.

โœจ YA Horror

Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall surprised me in the best of ways with its atmospheric and descriptive narrative. Told in mixed media format in the found footage vein of The Blair Witch Project, this one is a tense and spooky thriller with a cast of fully developed characters with robust backstories. ๐Ÿ“ Read my spoiler-free review of Rules for Vanishing here.

โœจ YA Science Fiction

Immunity by Erin Bowman coverThe Fever King by Victoria Lee cover






This was another really difficult category for me to narrow my nominations down on, but these three books meet the “I think about them a lot and shove at people often” criteria.

A House of Rage and Sorrow (Celestial Trilogy #1) by Sangu Mandanna actually destroyed me. I’ve been loudly shouting about this trilogy for over a year now, and this sequel actually managed to be even better than the first book. Tightly plotted, beautiful writing, characters I am completely addicted to. ๐Ÿ“ Read my spoiler-free ARC review for A House of Rage and Sorrow here.

Immunity (Contagion #2) by Erin Bowman was such an amazing conclusion to the Contagion duology, and delved more heavily into the science fiction and political elements introduced inย Contagionย rather than the horror. ๐Ÿ“ Read my spoiler-free ARC review for Immunity here.

The Fever King (Feverwake #1) by Victoria Lee is one of those rare books that not only grips you from the first page but also stays with you long after youโ€™ve finished reading. I literally think about this book at least once a week, and I read it in February.ย  ๐Ÿ“ Read my spoiler-free review for The Fever King here.

โœจ Adult Science Fiction

Storm of Locusts (The Sixth World #2) by Rebecca Roanhorse blew me away. I loved the first book, and this one was even better! Action packed, fast paced, and full of heart. If youโ€™re a fan of witty banter and found families, this sequel is definitely for you! ๐Ÿ“ Read my spoiler-free ARC review for Storm of Locusts here.

โœจ Nonfiction

American Predator by Maureen Callahan covercover

American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century by Maureen Callahan is the only true crime book I read, but it is so good. I knew I was reading nonfiction, but it almost feels like a thriller when reading it. Callahanโ€™s writing is beautiful, descriptive, and past-paced, sucking you in until the last page is turned. ๐Ÿ“ Read my spoiler-free ARC review for American Predator here.

โœจ Poetry






the mermaid’s voice returns in this one and to drink coffee with a ghost by Amanda Lovelace both found me when I needed them the most. I’ll cherish these collections forever.

โœจ Favorite YA Villain

King of Fools by Amanda Foody coverThe Fever King by Victoria Lee coverCover for Kingsbane by Claire Legrand






Vianca Augustine (King of Fools by Amanda Foody)

Calix Leher (The Fever King by Victoria Lee)

Corien (Kingsbane by Claire Legrand)

โœจ Favorite YA Setting

US Cover of Finale by Stephanie Garber






The world of Caraval in Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber never fails to sweep me away. ๐Ÿ“ Read my spoiler-free review for Finale here.

New Orleans in the 1800s from The Beautiful (The Beautiful #1) by Renee Adieh perfectly captures the city and food.

The world 1,000 feet below the surface of the ocean in The Light at the Bottom of the World (The Light at the Bottom of the World #1) by London Shah is deeply atmospheric and a fantastic twist on the post-apocalyptic setting. ๐Ÿ“ Read my spoiler-free ARC review for The Light at the Bottom of the World here.

โœจ Favorite YA Sequel

Kingsbane by Claire Legrand coverKing of Fools by Amanda Foody cover






Kingsbane (Empirium #2) by Claire Legrand freaking destroyed me. This book is a mindf*ck in the best of ways. I need answers. ๐Ÿ“ Read my spoiler-free ARC review for Kingsbane here.

King of Fools (The Shadow Game #2) by Amanda Foody broke my heart and I still haven’t recovered. ๐Ÿ“ Read my spoiler-free ARC review for King of Fools here.

A House of Rage and Sorrow (Celestial Trilogy #2) by Sangu Mandanna took the remnants of my heart and broke them even further.

…there’s a theme with these nominees, isn’t there?

โœจ YA Cover Appreciation






House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Gravemaidens (Gravemaidens #1) by Kelly Coon

Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor

โœจ Favorite YA Squad

The Gilded Wolves coverKing of Fools by Amanda Foody coverThe Merciful Crow cover






The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi was such a delightful book for me because of the characters and their found family. I read this book almost a year ago and still think about the characters! ๐Ÿ“ Read my spoiler-free ARC review for The Gilded Wolves here.

King of Fools (The Shadow Game #2) by Amanda Foody was nicknamed the Girl Gang Book by the author, and Enne’s gang is freaking iconic. ๐Ÿ“ Read my spoiler-free ARC review for King of Fools here.

The Merciful Crow (The Merciful Crow #1) by Margaret Owen brings together an unlikely and kind of unhappy group together towards a common goal, and let me tell you: I love that band of fools. ๐Ÿ“ Read my spoiler-free ARC review for The Merciful Crow here.

โœจ Debut YA Novel

The Storm Crow cover






Descendant of the Crane by Joan He is such an amazing and action packed debut, definitely worthy of the “Chinese Game of Thrones” comparison. The stakes are so high and everyone is a suspect – it was a tense read! ๐Ÿ“ Read my spoiler-free ARC review for Descendant of the Crane here.

The Storm Crow (Storm Crow #1) by Kalyn Josephson

There Will Come a Darkness (The Age of Darkness #1) by Katy Rose Poolย isย epic fantasy at its best, building the world up around the reader through the characters and their experiences.The world is rich and vast, but the world-building is doled out slowly so it never feels like an info-dump. ๐Ÿ“ Read my spoiler-free ARC review for There Will Come a Darkness here.

โœจ Favorite YA Book

The Fever King by Victoria Lee coverThe Storm Crow cover






The Fever King (Feverwake #1) by Victoria Lee

House of Salt and Sorrow by Erin A. Craig

The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow #1) by Kalyn Josephson

Want to nominate YOUR favorites of 2019?

So far, 60 nomination forms have been submitted and there’s still time for you to participate! All of the books that will be part of the voting round come from the nominations directly, so if you want to be sure books you loved get the attention they deserve don’t wait too long, the form closes at 23:59 on November 30th (Pacific Time)!

Nominate your favorite reads NOW!

If you have any questions or feedback, please let me know in the comments or reach out to me on Twitter @kalventure!

Go forth and nominate, my dear friends! I can’t wait to see what books everyone loved this year, and give the authors a boost of recognition and appreciation in the process. If you do make a nominations post to explain your nominees, please be sure to use #BookishReadersChoice2019 on Twitter to make sure that I see it!

What do you think of my nominations? Do we have any favorites in common? What books did I miss / do I need to read?

Letโ€™s go on another adventure together!


  1. Evelyn

    November 25, 2019 at 11:50 PM

    I loved House of Salt and Sorrows! Also I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed The fever king!
    King of fools is one of the better sequels I read this year!


    1. Kal

      November 26, 2019 at 12:19 AM

      Ahh, happy to hear that you also enjoyed three of my faves from this year!!!

  2. Annemieke

    November 26, 2019 at 3:44 AM

    The Fever King <3 I really need to read The Electric Heir soon. I also haven't gotten around to Storm of Locusts yet but I have the ebook. Glad to know that was good once again ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Kal

      December 3, 2019 at 11:24 AM

      I also need to read The Electric Heir SOON! I have an eARC and am surprised that I haven’t read it yet. I am actually working on my backlog a bit!

  3. Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books

    November 26, 2019 at 10:03 AM

    aah it makes me so happy to see The Fever King making an appearance in your nominations multiple times, it is such a great book and I can’t wait to read the sequel ๐Ÿ˜€ and I loved the characters in The Gilded Wolves so much, just as well ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Kal

      December 3, 2019 at 11:34 AM

      The Fever King is so good, I honestly can’t stop thinking about it. I felt kind of bad nominating it so often, but it really came to mind every time I thought about a category. And The Gilded Wolves squad is goals! Thanks for stopping by, my love.

  4. Lois @ My Midnight Musing

    November 26, 2019 at 11:11 AM

    I’m sad to admit that I’ve not read a single book on your nominated list. A lot of the books are on my tbr list and I’m thrilled to see that they lived up to expectations, especially Descendant of the Crane, a book I’m hoping to get to in the next month or so.

    1. Kal

      December 3, 2019 at 11:36 AM

      I’m glad my picks were already on your TBR though, and I really hope you enjoy them when you pick them up! I really want to re-read DOTC sometime soon.

  5. Sophie

    November 26, 2019 at 12:45 PM

    I am so happy to see The Beautiful and The Storm Crow on your list Kal!!!

    1. Kal

      December 3, 2019 at 11:37 AM

      Ahh, they were so good, weren’t they?!!?

  6. Laurie

    November 28, 2019 at 9:49 AM

    Oh oh oh so many nominations I either DNF’ed or are on my TBR still! I totally agree on the setting of Caraval, it’s fantastic.

  7. Siham

    November 29, 2019 at 3:22 AM

    I’ve literally only read Finale from that list! *hides face* but I’m really excited to check out some of the books you mentioned like the beautiful, house of salt and sorrow and te Storm crows!

    1. Kal

      December 3, 2019 at 11:51 AM

      No need to hide! If you liked Finale, I think you will love House of Salt and Sorrows as it has the same magical realism feel to it in parts. The Beautiful is also incredibly atmospheric and character driven!

  8. Meeghan

    November 29, 2019 at 3:35 AM

    I have 1 day and 20 hours left to do this!! Also, great nominations, Kal!!

    1. Kal

      December 3, 2019 at 11:51 AM

      Thank you, and I saw you got your nominations in — thanks for participating in the nominations round! <3

  9. Clo @ Cuppa Clo

    November 29, 2019 at 9:19 AM

    *scrambles to get together a list of nominations* Honestly I’ve been putting off this for the entire month because I feel like I’ve not read a whole lot of new releases BUT I’m gonna pool from books on my TBR that I see myself loving too. Storm of Locusts was amazing and I’m impatiently waiting with your for the 3rd book hehe

    1. Kal

      December 3, 2019 at 11:56 AM

      Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to nominate, Clo! I know how much work it was — and don’t worry about you not reading super widely. I did and still nominated the same like 5 books over and over lmao. Storm of Locusts is a damn treasure! ALSO, my local indie has signed paperbacks! I almost bought one but thought better of it because it’s on wishlists.

  10. Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts

    December 2, 2019 at 9:37 AM

    *pat pat* It might feel like a long time, but it’s not if you need to take care of yourself. You’re doing great, Kal. I’ve honestly slacked in 2019 releases (probably why I completely forgot about nominating oopsies) and reading them and unfortunately, there weren’t any favorites we had in common. There’s a few on my TBR, though!

    1. Kal

      December 3, 2019 at 12:05 PM

      You have enough going on right now, so don’t you stress about not being able to nominate!

  11. Lauren

    December 8, 2019 at 5:56 AM

    absolutely loved taking part in this and seeing your nominations! ๐Ÿ™‚ i cant wait for the day i read rules for vanishing!!!

    1. Kal

      December 8, 2019 at 12:38 PM


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