One of my reading goals for 2019 is to get a better handle on my growing TBR. Specifically, I want to pay more attention to backlist books. Since starting my book blogging journey, I’ve been sent books and bought books. But unfortunately, shiny new releases sometimes take over and backlist books get pushed to the side.

In 2019, I don’t want to do it anymore. I want to give some much needed love to these books. I also have a feeling I will love so many of these books I own – I just need to sit down and read them!

So, in honour of this goal, I thought I would set a goal for myself. To read at least ten backlist books this year. Hopefully I’ll read more, but start small, ya know?

Since some of these books are apart of a series, the synopsis may have spoilers! In no particular order, here are ten books that are high on my list to read this year.

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

This book has been on my radar since the minute it came out. Yet, I still haven’t read it. I have heard great things about it, so by the end of 2019, I hope to have checked this off of my TBR. Let me know in the comments if you’ve read this book and your thoughts!

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland - The Contented ReaderJane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

I have yet to fully read any of Marissa Meyer’s books. I’ve tried to read Cinder a few times and just never got into it. But Heartless is one that I have wanted to read for SO long. It just seems right up my ally. My mom got it for me for Christmas, so I have no more excuses!

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland—the infamous Queen of Hearts—she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.

Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard

I’ve really enjoyed the Red Queen series so far. And it’s time I finally read the final book. I’m not quite sure why I’ve held off for almost a year, but I think it just got pushed aside by ARCs and other books. I am really curious about the ending though, so hopefully I get to it soon.

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard - The Contented ReaderVictory comes at a price.

Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart—and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her—Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head.

But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolishing everything—and everyone—in his path.

War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?

In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard’s stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power… for all will be tested, but not all will survive.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

2019 is the year for V.E. Schwab. So many of her books interest me, but I’ve never been able to find the time to read them. I’ve heard wonderful things about Vicious, so I hope I love it!

Vicious by VE Schwab - The Contented ReaderVictor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Ok, so this one is kind of a cheat. I listened to this on audiobook in the summer during drives up to my cottage. The audiobook is super great. But, to be honest, I just tend to zone out of audiobooks. So I don’t really remember much. I want to sit down and physically read this amazingly unique book (and hopefully the rest of the series)!

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - The Contented ReaderThis morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.


Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about Jenn Bennett’s books. I want to read all of them to be honest. But, I think this is where I want to start. So many people love this book and I hope I do too!

The one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie fan Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online as Alex. Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new archnemesis. But life is a whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever it is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

Always, Never Yours by Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Wibberly and Siegemund-Broka’s next book is one of my most anticipated for the year. I really hope I can get to their first book before then. It’s another one I’ve heard great things about!

Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka - The Contented ReaderShouldn’t a girl get to star in her own love story?

Seventeen-year-old Megan Harper is about due for her next sweeping romance. It’s inevitable—each of her relationships starts with the perfect guy and ends with him falling in love . . . with someone else. But instead of feeling sorry for herself, Megan focuses on pursuing her next fling, directing theater, and fulfilling her dream college’s acting requirement in the smallest role possible.

So when she’s cast as Juliet (yes, that Juliet) in her high school’s production, it’s a complete nightmare. Megan’s not an actress, and she’s used to being upstaged—both in and out of the theater. In fact, with her mom off in Texas and her dad remarried and on to baby #2 with his new wife, Megan worries that, just like her exes, her family is moving on without her.

Then she meets Owen Okita, an aspiring playwright inspired by Rosaline from Shakespeare’s R+J. A character who, like Megan, knows a thing or two about short-lived relationships. Megan agrees to help Owen with his play in exchange for help catching the eye of a sexy stagehand/potential new boyfriend. Yet Megan finds herself growing closer to Owen, and wonders if he could be the Romeo she never expected.

In their fresh and funny debut, Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka break down the high school drama to find there’s always room for familial love, romantic love, and—most importantly—self-love.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

I told you this is the year for V.E. Schwab! Here’s hoping I get to this one (and series) this year as well!

A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab - The Contented ReaderKell is one of the last Antari – magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black. 

Kell was raised in Arnes – Red London – and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

Dating You, Hating You by Christina Lauren

Contemporary and Romance is my favourite genre to read. And I want to make it more of a priority to read what I love. I’ve been wanting to read Christina Lauren books for a long time. I hope I love this one!

Despite the odds against them from an embarrassing meet-awkward at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, Carter and Evie immediately hit it off. Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire.

But when their two agencies merge—causing the pair to vie for the same position—all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirtysomething professionals—so why can’t they act like it?

Can Carter stop trying to please everyone and see how their mutual boss is really playing the game? Can Evie put aside her competitive nature long enough to figure out what she really wants in life? Can their actor clients just be something close to human? Whether these two Hollywood love/hatebirds get the storybook Hollywood ending or just a dramedy of epic proportions, you will get to enjoy Christina Lauren’s heartfelt, raucous, and hilarious romance style at its finest.

At the end of 2019 I plan on doing a check in post. Mostly because I want to see if I got to all these books! Let’s hope I do, and that I love them all.

Happy reading, everyone!

Let’s Chat in the Comments!

Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts? What are some backlist books you MUST read this year?

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Victoria @ The Contented Reader

Victoria @ The Contented Reader

Avid reader and tea drinker. I read and review young adult books on my blog, The Contented Reader!


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