At risk of looking like a totally awful blogger, I decided to do a mid-year update post on my reading (even though we’re well past the mid-way point of this year *hides in shame*) because, well, I wanted to lol. Also, Twitter told me it was okay so there, blame them.
Anyways, I’m sure you all have seen this tag before, it’s just a list of questions about what books I’ve read so far this year and what I hope to accomplish in the next six (now more like 5) months! People do this all around the book community, but I’ll link my bestie Jordyn’s book freakout post since I definitely used it to
cheat reference for my own post.
BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ SO FAR
I’ll start right off with a warning that I’ve read a painfully low number of books so far this year, it’s definitely been my worst year of reading since I joined the book community. But I guess starting college is a valid excuse right? Luckily, even though I haven’t read a ton of books, I have managed to read some really, really good ones!
But hands down, Sadie is the best book I’ve picked up so far this year. It’s the only one I’ve granted a true five star rating, and it absolutely deserves it. The character development in this is flawless, the mystery gripping from start to finish, and the mixture of formats probably the most well-executed I’ve ever read (alongside the Illuminae trilogy). I listened to this one on audiobook, and I literally could not press the pause button, it was so good. It’s easily as well-produced as a professional podcast, and it just made this an all-encompassing experience. I would highly recommend Sadie for anyone who likes thrillers that aren’t too scary, and are just the right mixture of eerie and heartbreaking.
BEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ SO FAR
*scrolls through Goodreads with one eye beginning to twitch, realizing there’s only one sequel on the “Read” list and it got a 4 star rating* Sooo I’m definitely cheating a bit with this category, since I’ve read a couple companion novels this year, but only one sequel (Song of the Dead). I decided to give this category to Two Can Keep a Secret, though, because it was easily the best companion I’ve read in 2019 and is in the same universe/world as One of Us is Lying, if I’m not mistaken.
This is one of the only mystery books that totally managed to fool me, I kept coming up with theories but none of them were right in the end, and I absolutely loved that the twist was a surprise. TCKAS has a pretty large cast of characters, but the author does a great job developing them all individually while keeping the plot moving briskly at the same time. Although this might be an unpopular opinion, I definitely enjoyed this more than OOUIL (but I’m super excited for that book’s actual sequel, which releases in January).
2019 RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET
Can you all hear that laugh of absolute hysteria? The list of new releases I want to read but haven’t gotten to yet could probably circle the earth a few times. But, I’ll stick with the first three that come to mind!
Finale, as it’s so appropriately named, is the last book in the Caraval trilogy and I’m really eager to see how everything ties up! Those books are usually a breeze for me to read, so I’m hoping to get to it soon. Red, White, and Royal Blue has received such a wild amount of praise across the book community, it’s hard not to be excited for it. I’m planning to save it for once I get to school though, and I need something to keep me in the reading game. Then, I really want to get to King of Fools, the sequel to Ace of Shades, which I read and adored last year. I’ve heard crazy things happen in this sequel, but it’s a thick boy, so I’ve been hesitant to pick it up!
MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF 2019
I bet you all could hear me literally breathing this answer in my sleep for the past several months. I shall explain it in one sentence: A Trash Bardugo Stan Thirsts for the Queen’s Latest Spooky Book and Counts Down the Hours Until She Can Raid Barnes & Noble For It*
*Raiding will commence promptly on the 8th of October
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT SO FAR
Four Dead Queens wasn’t a huge disappointment, as I expected it to be mediocre from all the negative reviews it got, but it was even a bit worse than I anticipated. Especially considering I nearly got trampled on by enraged book fans at BookCon when Penguin gave out ARCs of this lol. I just didn’t particularly care about the characters in this one, the “surprise” ending wasn’t earned, and the world-building was half-hearted. In the end, I gave it 2.5 stars, which now seems pretty generous.
BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE YEAR SO FAR
Every once in a while, I’ll pick up a totally random book that I haven’t seen anyone talking about, that I just found in a bookstore and thought sounded interesting. I’d say these things don’t work out super well for me most of the time, usually the books aren’t talked about for a reason. But Lovely War was absolutely amazing, the perfect balance between war and romance, history and action. You could really tell the author did her research for this one, and it was so easy to fall in love with all the characters. I really wish more people would add this book to their TBRs!
NEW FAVORITE AUTHOR
I’m gonna go with Christina Lauren for this one! Earlier this summer I picked up The Unhoneymooners, my first time reading a book by this beloved romance duo, and really enjoyed it! I definitely want to go back and read some of their older books, but I’m even more excited for their upcoming release, Twice in a Blue Moon!
NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH
This might be cheating, but I’m actually gonna go with a character from the book that I’m currently reading, Aurora Rising! I have a little less than 100 pages left as of writing this post, and Kal is hands down my favorite of Squad 312. He’s tall, dark, and brooding, but he’s also an alien? Who makes fun of humans? (A mood) With lots of feels that make me want to hug him? And he’s surprisingly kind of hilarious? (*side-eyes that iconic scene with Tyler*) So yeah, wherever I can get myself a Syldrathi, send me there, please and thank you.
NEWEST FAVORITE CHARACTER
Did you really think I could go the entirety of this post without talking about King of Scars? Admittedly, this book wasn’t as good as I had hoped it would be, BUT it did give me one of my new favorite characters ever in the Grishaverse – ISAAK. THE BESTEST MAN, THE MOST LOVABLE MAN, I WOULD DIE FOR HIM. His story line in King of Scars was literally my favorite thing in the entire book, and he really just tries his best ya know?? *sniffles*
BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY
Honestly, just see above. If you’ve read it, you know my pain.
BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY
Warrior of the Wild was definitely another surprising read of the year for me. I picked this one up hoping to like it, and ended up breezing through it in just a couple days, it was so good!! The characters in this are hilarious, super lovable, and do some pretty crazy stuff. This book also has a lot of magical beasts/creatures, which is something I can never get enough of in fantasy books!
FAVORITE BOOK-TO-MOVIE ADAPTATION
Did any of those even… happen this year? We all know I try to stay away from adaptations as much as possible, the dreaded things they are. Ask me again when the Grishaverse series comes to Netflix, lol.
FAVORITE REVIEW YOU’VE WRITTEN THIS YEAR
Not to keep bringing up King of Scars yet again (although you must admit, I am nothing if not on-brand), but this was definitely my favorite review I wrote this year! I’ve honestly been slacking a bit when it comes to reviews in 2019 (hopefully that will change some in the second half), but I truly poured my heart and soul into my review for King of Scars. Warning, it’s a long read, but I think I did a good job articulating the utter mess of feels I had after finishing my most anticipated release of the year!
MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU ACQUIRED
Nocturna was easily the first book that came to my mind when I read this prompt, it’s just so gorgeous! Any pictures I could take of my hardback copy would never do it justice – if you hold it under the light, each “tile” of the mosaic-esque design shimmers, the map on the inside looks old-timey and matches the red color of the cover, it’s just *kisses fingertips* perfection. Let’s hope the stuff inside is just as beautiful!
BOOKS YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR
Honestly, that is WAY too many books for me to list here! So I’ll just rattle off a few that I know I would really love to get to:
- Muse of Nightmares
- Hunting Prince Dracula (and the rest of the series, hopefully!)
- Nevernight (no, I haven’t read this series yet; yes, it is absolutely a crime)
- A Curse so Dark and Lonely
- We Hunt the Flame
- King’s Cage (I know, I know, no one cares about this series anymore but LISTEN it’s a fun guilty pleasure)
- Nyxia Uprising
- The Bride Test
And approximately 18,000 more.