Time for another book tag! The original tag is called “Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag,” but I’m not a fan of the word freak out. And frantically, I’ve been doing pretty fantastic with my reading this year. I saw this tag on Writing Follies, so shout out to them.
Best book you’ve read so far this year.
This is a pretty difficult decision. The best book that I’ve read this year has probably been Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. This book was just really meaningful to me for a lot of different reasons, many of which I’ve talked about on this blog. A close second would be The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner, because it was absolutely fantastic.
Best sequel you’ve read so far this year.
I wasn’t a huge fan of A Darker Shade of Magic, but I really liked A Gathering of Shadows. Both of these books are written by V.E. Schwab and are the first two installments of a trilogy. I originally thought this was a YA collection, but I think it might fall under adult fantasy. Either way, I think it’s worth picking up.
New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.
I haven’t gotten around to reading Shade Me by Jennifer Brown, even though I pre-ordered it in January. I definitely need to finish this book before the end of the year, because the protagonist in the novel has synesthesia. I find that fascinating and want to see how Brown approaches it.
Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.
I’m really excited for The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon to come out later this year. I really liked Everything, Everything by her and was so bummed that I couldn’t attend BEA to pick up an ARC like so many others. It’s okay though, because it comes out soon enough!
Biggest book disappointment.
This is 100% an unpopular opinion, and I’m going to write about this and others soon enough but Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz was by far my biggest book disappointment of the year. I bought this book simply based on the hype surrounding it, particularly its beautiful writing. In general, this year I’ve only tried to purchase books that I’ve read before so I know I want them on my shelf. But everyone loves this book, so I thought it’d be fine. I was wrong. I just didn’t get it. The writing was sort of mediocre at best. The characters weren’t as complex as I thought they’d be and the exploration of Mexican-American heritage was questionable. I could go on and on. I was bummed I didn’t like it. However, queer literature ESPECIALLY with people of color as main characters is so important. So I will always keep and recommend this book to read for that alone.
Biggest book surprise (good surprises).
I love good surprises, and books that are pretty unexpectedly good. Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee was that for me. I’ve blogged about it before, and the book sort of blew me away. I wasn’t the biggest fan of To Kill a Mockingbird, probably because it was required reading so many consecutive times in middle and high school, but I will forever recommend Go Set A Watchman. It’s a book about ideology and generational gaps that we all need to read.
Favorite new author.
Jeff Zenter is bae. If only I didn’t need to look up how to spell his last name all the time. Seriously thought – check out The Serpent King!
Newest Fictional Crush.
Throwback to the first book I read this year, but Ezra from First & Then by Emma Mills has been my favorite male crush. He seemed like a very mature and motivated 17 year old. Although if I read less YA I could probably find someone more suitable.
Newest Favorite Character.
Miles from Made You Up by Francesca Zappia was such a well developed character. I definitely wanted him to be my friend. I also just can’t get over how well written and developed that book was. I know you’re not supposed to judge based on age, but HELLO what was I doing in high school? Surely not creating ingenious stories.
Book that made you cry.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. I feel that’s all the explanation anyone needs. If you need more, just know it’s written by a doctor who was diagnosed with terminal cancer a year before he finished his like 12 year residency. Then he literally died.
Book that made you happy.
I have to go back to my girl Sophie Kinsella and her latest book Finding Audrey. Even though this book had a more serious undertone than many of her other books, she still packed it full of fun and humor. It definitely takes a certain skill to write such funny scenarios and characters. And she is so good at it!
Favorite book to film adaptable you saw this year.
I actually don’t know that I’ve really watched any movies that were books. I watched some of those comic book movies? I’ve READ books that have been turned into movies…this is a book blog not a movie blog, leave me alone.
Favorite review you’ve written this year.
My favorite review would be a toss up between my blog on diversity of gender based on The Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin. Or one that I recently wrote about the importance of living a little life. Check them out if you haven’t. Or if you think one I wrote was better, let me know!
Most beautiful book you’ve purchased this year.
I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson was the most beautiful books that I’ve bought this year. Even though I read it last year, from the library!, I had to purchase it becasue it’s just such a fantastic book. I can’t believe I haven’t read her other book yet.
What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
This is a loaded question. I need to read at least 25-30 books on my physical to-read shelf. It’s gotten out of hand at this point. Plus I should probably give my friends back their loaned books. But I reallllllly need to finish A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I’ve been “reading” it for months. Which is stupid, because it’s literally a great book. I’m also trying to read a biography on Hillary Clinton before the election, because…I live in the US.
Until Next Time World…