Wilder Girls by Rory Power
This book had quite a bit of hype before it’s release and was said to be a female lord of the flies type book with queer rep and body horror, sold! As Rory’s debut novel, it certainly did not disappoint for me. It’s definitely not for everyone and is quite graphic and gross at times and some people hate how it ended. I loved pretty much everything about this and can’t wait to read her next book. A school of girls stranded on their island with the Tox gradually killing and changing them in strange and creepy ways, told from multiple perspectives.
Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin
A gloriously witchy book with queer rep and an evil owl lurking within the house walls. This book is set in Ireland and I loved everything about it, and I mean everything. It follows twins who are sent to spend the summer at their aunts house with her young witchy apprentice Bevan, who happens to be my personal favourite character. We get to read from different perspectives and the second half is set a few years later where they return to the same house for another summer. Magical realism at it’s best, it gave me a lot of Japanese literature vibes.
Lost Boy by Christina Henry
This Peter Pan dark retelling was everything and more for me. After reading Christina’s dark retelling of Alice in Wonderland I couldn’t wait to pick this one up to try and it has turned out to be my favourite book by her. The story tells right from the start, when there were originally only two lost boys in Neverland. Peter is actually the villian of this tale and we see how Hook went from being the first lost boy to becoming the fabled pirate captain. This book is very graphic and very tense, I loved it so much. A must read if you like the story of Peter Pan or enjoy dark retellings.
Bunny by Mona Awad
One of the strangest books I read in 2019, Bunny follows a woman called Samantha who gets caught up in some cult like activities with 4 other girls that call each other Bunny. This book definitely isn’t for everyone, it is quite gorey and graphic and certainly on the weird side. But on the other hand if like me, you love to read dark weird books that arn’t straight forward reads, definitely pick this one up.
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
As one of Murakami’s contemporary books with little to no magical realism elements, I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did. It follows a man over several years and deals with grief and love, it’s not a light read and does cover some heavy topics. I’d describe it as pretty depressing but in a hauntingly beautiful way, I’m really glad I read it and can see myself re-reading in the future.
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
One of the last books I read in 2019 and one of my new favourites of all time. This one definitely isn’t for everyone as it can be extremely confusing and contains other books within the book but I found it fascinating and was completely captivated. It was also the first book by Erin Morgenstern I had read but I’m now eager to try The Night Circus too.