Recommending Books I Gave 3 Stars // the Queen of 3-star Reads has spoken

In case you didn’t know, I am the self-proclaimed Queen of 3-star Reads.

And I have a lot of feelings toward 3-star reads. In the long ongoing “Is 3 stars a good or bad rating” debate, I am a firm member of the “good” side. If I rated a book 3 stars, I still liked it and recommend it! Maybe I just didn’t enjoy it enough to rate it higher or there were some flaws that served as a detriment to my enjoyment. But bottom line, it’s a good rating for me. And today I’m going to recommend 10 books that I gave 3 stars.

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Top 5 Best Books I Read in 2019 // Last Year’s Saving Graces

2019 was not a good year in terms of finding new favorites.

I only had three 5-star reads out of 78 books. And most were not at the all-time fave level, even though I still love them a lot. That being said, I’ve chosen (and ranked!) five of the best books I read in 2019, and I’m gonna gush about them today.

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Like this Book Blog? Watch this Booktuber!

I mention this all the time, but my introduction to the book community was through booktube. (If you’re unaware, booktube is where people make videos about books on Youtube!) I started watching it years ago, but I just recently discovered that there was such a thing as book blogging. As soon as I found out about it though, I immediately knew that I had to join, and so, here I am.

But then I started thinking about which book bloggers are similar to which booktubers. I’ve been both watching booktube and reading book blogs for a considerable amount of time, so today I want to recommend a few booktubers that you should watch based on what book blogs you like. There are people out there who only read book blogs and don’t watch booktube, and there are people who are the opposite. I hope this post encourages you to consume both forms of media, because they both of different things to offer!

Disclaimer: I think I’m only subscribed to about twenty booktubers, and a number are inactive. I also only follow about 40 WordPress blogs and less than 110 people on Twitter. I’ve always been picky about the people I choose to follow since I only want people who “bring me joy” to show up on my feed. That means that I wasn’t able to come up with as many booktubers to pair with book bloggers as I would’ve liked. I wasn’t able to give many of my faves a counterpart, and I’m really sad about that. But I may do a part two of this post if I find more booktubers to subscribe to!

If you like to read The Quiet Pond, watch Books and Lala!

Starting off with two fan favorites! Both CW and Lala bring such unique content to the table.

  • CW’s blog is a work of genius and art (literally because she draws art for each of her posts). I suck at explaining things so I’ll just direct quote from her blog’s About page: “The Quiet Pond (‘The Pond’) is a fantasy-themed book blog with a simple narrative, in which you are the main character. The Quiet Pond is an ongoing story about your frequent visits to the Pond and the magical pond creatures who live there.”
  • Like CW, Lala constantly provides original content, and most of her videos take so much time to put together. Her videos are so creative, like when she let Instagram control her weekend or read the same amount of pages each day for a month.
  • Both CW and Lala are also amazing resources if you’re looking for book recommendations!

If you like to read Sprinkles of Dreams, watch Books with Chloe!

  • Both Lily and Chloe have such admirable personalities. I associate Lily with the ☁ emoji, and Chloe with the ✨ emoji.
  • Both of their aesthetics are on point, and they both sprinkle (pun intended) in mangas into the books they read!

If you like to read Paper Blots, watch Paperback Dreams!

You should watch Kat if you like Ju’s blog because they both have paper in their channel names.

  • Wait, I’m just kidding–don’t leave yet! These two are similar because they are both absolutely hilarious! Their brand of comedy runs in the same vein, and if you want to laugh, just read Ju’s blog and watch Kat’s channel!

If you like to read The Bookish Actress, watch Jordan Harvey!

Elise and Jordan are so smart. What the heck.

  • Both create essay-like content and provide in-depth analyses of the things they consume.
  • Elise and Jordan also incorporate TV shows and other media besides books into their content!

If you like to read Novels & Waffles, watch Common Spence!

I LOVE BOTH OF THESE PEOPLE SO MUCH. They are both really underrated, so please go follow them immediately!

  • Their enthusiasm and energy are un-matched.
  • They both have incredible design skills. One look at Kat’s blog and one click on one of Spencer’s videos will show you this. Spencer is a graphic designer for a living, and Kat runs a graphic design shop!

If you like to read Sun and Chai, watch My Name is Marines!

Two people who are incredibly eloquent!

  • Their discussions are amazing, and when they choose to talk about a book or topic, they dissect it in such a deep and wonderfully executed way.
  • Both are advocates for diversity, especially people of color, in fiction!

If you like to read Sapphic Library, watch Chandler Ainsley!

I’m recommending these two, not based on the correlation of their personalities, but because they read similar things.

  • Both are queens of romance, and almost exclusively read romance books.
  • Mahana’s blog is perfect for f/f romance recommendations, and Chandler’s is perfect for m/m!

If you like to read Bookdragonism, watch Aphrodite Reads!

  • Both Rain and Heathur have an immense love for Rick Riordan and the Percy Jackson series.
  • I find that their reading tastes are different, but when they love a book, they’ll endlessly scream about it until you add the book to your TBR. I guess it just runs in Percy Jackson fans.

As we get to the end of this post, I would like to shout out three amazing book bloggers who somehow do booktube as well? How?? These people are Melanie, Fadwa and Kate! Click on their names to subscribe to their channels!

I know none of you probably noticed, and now I’m just making you notice, but I can’t get over it. PLEASE IGNORE THE FACT THAT I PUT COMMAS AFTER “IF YOU LIKED.” I can’t edit the graphics anymore, and I don’t want to remake eight graphics, so my grammar mistake will be immortalized forever rip.

Before you leave, just know that I won’t be replying to comments on this post or on any post this week because I have important exams coming up! I’ll get to them after this hell week is over though!

Book Recommendations: Books Published in 2019

Before I get into the post, I have something to announce: I got nominated for the Best New Book Blogger award in the 2019 Book Blogger Awards hosted by May @ Forever and Everly. It would mean the absolute world to me if you voted for me to win the award by clicking HERE. (Voting closes on July 31st!)

Self-promo aside, I am here today with another book recommendations post. I think I’ve only posted one other book recommendations post on my blog so far, and that really has to change.

While I was racking my mind for a topic to recommend books on, recommending my favorite books published in 2019 so far popped into my mind. I have had only three 5-star reads this year, and all three of them were published in 2019. I don’t know what that says about me: Maybe I should be reading more from my endless pile of backlist books, but how can I resist?? 2019-published books are the ones being talked about the most lately, and I have a bad case of fomo that has me wanting to read every 2019 release so as not to feel left out when people talk about them.

Rambling aside, I have seven books published in 2019 that I loved to share with you today (in publication order). Let’s get to it!

I am a book depository affiliate and clicking on a book title will direct you to the page where you can order the book. If you buy through my link, I will get a small commission with no additional cost to you!

🌿 On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

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Rating: 4/5

With this sophomore novel, Angie Thomas proves that the popularity of The Hate U Give did not come about out of pure luck. Thomas is truly a stunning writer, with top-notch characterization, description and plot. She perfectly captures the teenage voice. And her works always tackle racism in the most nuanced of ways. Plus, the rapping aspect in this book is so well done!

🌿 The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf

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Rating: 5/5

Hello, my first 5-star of the year that came right at the beginning of June and saved me from my 5-star slump! My blog is simply a vessel for HOW UNDERRATED THIS BOOK IS. If you’re reading this and still haven’t added it to your TBR, shame on you. I’m kidding, but still, read this book. Not only is the mental illness and Malaysian-Chinese rep amazing and so important, but this book is just, really enjoyable. The writing is so easy to fly through, and you will instantly be immersed into 20th century Malaysia. The characters jump right off the page, and you’re gonna care about them in such a short amount of time. [Read my review.]

🌿 We Set the Dark on Fire (We Set the Dark on Fire #1) by Tehlor Kay Mejia

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Rating: 4/5

Another underrated read! Dear universe, why do you always curse me to fall in love with the underrated books so that I’m forced to yell at people to read them for the rest of my life? This book has Latinx and f/f rep. It takes place in a fantastical setting, but is set in modern times. Its social commentary about misogyny, prejudice against immigrants, corruption and so much more is unparalleled. Also, Dani and Carmen are both incredible women who are admirable in different ways. Their romance is wonderful. [Read my review.]

🌿 I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

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Rating: 3.5/5

This is the perfect happy read for the summer, minus the homophobic parents and misgendering, but ultimately, this book is extremely hopeful. I loved getting to see Ben finally find people who accept them for who they are. I’m also positive that I Wish You All the Best is gonna be the first book a lot of people read—I know for sure that it was mine—that features a nonbinary protagonist.

🌿 Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

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Rating: 5/5

I guess I have to retract my earlier claim that I only fall in love with the underrated ones, because this book is certainly not underrated. It has taken the book community by storm, and it’s for a good reason. It portrays millennial culture in a realistic, relatable and non-cringey way. The romance and characters are to die for, and it sends such a message of hope for the future. I don’t even know anything about American politics, but this book spoke to me in ways I never thought it would.

🌿 Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1) by Elizabeth Lim

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Rating: 4.5/5

Do you like fairy tales? If so, then this book is for you, period. The writing is so beautiful, and the plot follows both a fictional tournament and a quest story! Maia is also a compelling protagonist, and her relationship with her family is written so well. This is a stand-out Asian-inspired fantasy of 2019, and you’re definitely not gonna want to miss it. [Read my review.]

🌿 The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2) by R.F. Kuang

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Rating: 5/5

When you read this book, you’ll know just how evil I am for recommending it to you! It’s a perfect sequel to an already incredible first book! This series is as dark as it gets, so please go into it with caution. But those who think they can handle it will be met with glorious worldbuilding that is perfectly expanded on in the sequel. Literally nobody has a moral compass, except maybe Kitay, who you’ll love. This series is chock-full of political intrigue, war themes and shamans. Themes of colonialism are also incorporated in the sequel. I’m just so amazed that Kuang has already grown into a seasoned writer with only two books under her belt!

Honestly, I haven’t even read close to half of the 2019 releases I’m most excited to get to so far. Looking at my Goodreads want-to-read shelf makes me sad because there are so many books that I really want to read but still haven’t gotten to. I’m praying that I can get to most of them soon!

What are your favorite 2019 releases so far?