Best of 2019 Reviews, Part One!

December 28, 2019

Smart Bitches Best of 2019 against a sparkly blue background above a stack of open books at the bottom it says Thanks for reading with us!NB: This week, we’re taking a look back at 2019. We’ve got a week of best-of posts to share, with reviews, cover snark, sales, and more. We hope you enjoy revisiting our archives, and most of all, we wish you and yours a wonderful holiday and a happy new year – with all the very best of reading.

We’re counting down the best of our 2019 reviews and boy, there were a lot. Counting down from ten, these are the first five reviews in terms of page views. There are some definite surprises in six through ten, and I honestly think this five is a motley crew compared to the top five.

Let’s get counting!

Wicked Saints
A | BN | K | AB

10. Wicked Saints by Emily. A. Duncan (April 4)

Review by Amanda

Grade: B+

Wicked Saints is a young adult fantasy debut and it’s a goth kid’s dream. Seriously, if you have a thing for anti-heroes, dark magic, and things that are simply metal as fuck, this book is for you. There are some issues that are common in first books of a fantasy series. It took some time to familiarize myself with the world and the mythology, but Wicked Saints was an atmospheric, creepy ride that met my expectations.

If you ever had a goth phase in your life or if you’re still in that phase, crank up the Evanescence, find your old spiked jewelry, and slather on that eyeliner to raccoon-level proportions, because you’re in for a real treat.


The Au Pair
A | BN | K | AB

9. The Au Pair by Emma Rous (January 9)

Review by Elyse

Grade: C+

I love Gothic mysteries and I love psychological thrillers, so I’m not disappointed I picked up The Au Pair. It certainly had me thinking about the gothic genre in new ways. The premise was excellent, but the end was a let down, and unless you’re a die-hard for the genre, this is probably a better library hold than a buy.


Teach Me
A | BN | K | AB

8.Teach Me by Olivia Dade (May 31)

Review by Aarya

Grade: A

I could go on and on about this book, but I want you to stop reading the review and one-click it! It’s a warm, affectionate book about two thoroughly decent, compassionate, and imperfect people who deserve love and happiness. Isn’t that what the Romance genre is all about? I really loved Teach Me, and I hope you’ll pick it up and feel the same way.


Devil’s Daughter
A | BN | K | AB

7. Devil’s Daughter by Lisa Kleypas(April 7)

Review by Elyse

Grade: B+

Devil’s Daughter by Lisa Kleypas is the romance novel equivalent of visiting an old friend and immediately feeling cozy and welcomed and nostalgic. It’s got witty dialogue, a self-aware and charming hero, a heroine is who slightly too pure for this world (but not so much as to be irritating), and cameos from Kleypas’s original Wallflowers. It’s not a perfect book; the conflict is weak and inconsistent, but I felt so happy and warm reading it that I didn’t care.


Last Night with the Earl
A | BN | K | AB

6. Last Night with the Earl by Kelly Bowen (July 24)

Review by Amanda

Grade: A-

Last Night with the Earl is one of those books that, when upon finishing, made me wonder why the hell I waited so long to read it in the first place. It’s rich in emotional development and has one of the wittiest heroines I’ve ever read. My gripes are minor, and they could very well be due to my own decisions to read the series out of order.

For readers who love slow burn historicals that have a focus on emotional healing, I can’t push this into your hands or onto your e-readers fast enough.

What are your predictions for the top five? Let us know in the comments!

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