Welcome back to the blog, bookish friends! I’m about a month late to the game on this tag, but since I’m slowly but surely working my way towards making my reading goal for this year, I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate all that I’ve read so far and share some books I’m excited to get to by year’s end. I’m not exactly sure who created the Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag, but I saw it over on KimberlyFaye Reads’ blog, so be sure to check her version out when you’re done over here!
1) Best book you’ve read so far in 2020
Not only is this my favorite book of the year so far, it may go down in history as one of my favorite reads ever! House of Earth and Blood had everything I look for in a high fantasy: a fast-paced plot, characters that you feel completely invested in and root for from beginning to end, ALL the romance, and stunning world-building. It was seriously just SO GOOD, y’all! Don’t just take my word for it — give it a read for yourselves and then we can all anxiously await Book #2 together!
2) Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020
After reading A Curse So Dark and Lonely at the beginning of this year and loving every moment of it, I booked it (pun intended!) to Barnes and Noble to grab this beauty! While it took me a little while to get used to the different perspectives in it, I found myself enjoying the change of pace. There was a good mix of fast-paced action, some great characters that I couldn’t help but love even when I was mad at them, and a little dash of romance thrown in for good measure. I’m really looking forward to reading the final book in this trilogy when it releases at the beginning of 2021!
3) New release you haven’t read yet but want to
I’ve heard so many great things about Girl, Serpent, Thorn that I can’t help but want to read it myself! The overall concept kind of reminds me a little bit of the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi, which I read years ago and still love to pieces, so I’m looking forward to picking this book up in the near future and seeing if it lives up to all the hype!
4) Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you already know that the Montague Siblings series by Mackenzi Lee holds a special place in my heart. It’s quirky, adventurous, and completely unique from anything I’ve ever read before. When I found out there would be one final book in this series AND that it was all about the long-lost brother of Felicity and Monty, I was absolutely FLOORED. While there are so many great books releasing in the second half of this year, The Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks takes the cake for me!
5) Biggest disappointment
I know what you’re all thinking: The biggest JLA fan on earth is saying that one of her favorite author’s books is the biggest disappointment of the year so far? Alas, it’s true, and it pains me to even have admit that this is the case. I’ll keep it short and to the point so this can remain as painless as possible for all of us: I expected action, drama, romance, and witty banter between some of my favorite characters from the Wicked trilogy, and I got almost NONE of that from The Queen. The plot felt like it didn’t even move, and the characters remained stagnant and/or annoyed me with their back-and-forth indecisiveness that led to unnecessary conflict. Overall, a HUGE disappointment, as sad as it makes me to say.
6) Biggest surprise
As weird as it sounds, I was actually surprised that I liked this book as much as I did. For the majority of my life thus far, I have been obsessed with the Shadowhunters series, but given that this book takes place before a lot of the stuff in the Mortal Instruments does (I know I’m being super vague but I don’t want to hit you guys with spoilers), I went into it thinking that I’d be kind of bored since I knew what was going to come next, at times. However, I had actually forgotten some of the smaller details that happened to be at the forefront of Red Scrolls of Magic, which was a pleasant surprise! It also goes without saying that it was so good to see Alec and Magnus again (MALEC, THE ULTIMATE SHIP!!!).
7) Favorite new author (debut or new to you)
In my review, I absolutely raved about Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills. In addition to the overall concept and characters being so much fun to read about, Mills’ writing style was really appealing and beautiful to read. Going forward, I am definitely going to be checking out more of her books and encourage all of you to do the same if you’re unfamiliar with her writing!
8) Newest fictional crush
It’s cheesy, cliche, and totally obvious, but my newest fictional crush goes to Ryker Lee, the bad boy footballer from Lawton High. While he has quite the reputation in his little ol’ town, I fell in love with the hidden, more vulnerable side to his character that would come out when he would spend time with Aurora, the new girl at school who also happens to be deaf. I’m not going to spoil anything, but he really is an awesome dude. You’ll just have to read it to learn more about why I think so!
9) Newest favorite character
Hands down this award goes to Cayman from Storm and Fury! While this character was originally introduced to us in the Dark Elements series (the original that Storm and Fury is a spin-off of), I didn’t feel as connected to him until this book, and now he goes down in history as one of my favorite supporting characters of all time! He’s a hilariously loyal demon that’s impossible to forget (I think my retinas are scorched from some of his outfits… yes, they were that flamboyant).
10) A book that made you cry
I’m don’t typically cry when I read, but this one had me UGLY CRYING more than once. I can’t really go into the deets as to why because spoilers, but Rage and Ruin was FAB, so if you haven’t started the Harbinger series yet, definitely give it a read and we can all cry together! And, if you have read it, I’m sorry if this pick made brought all those emotional times for you — I know writing this did for me!
11) A book that made you happy
As you could probably tell from my review, I absolutely loved every second of reading The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen. I couldn’t help but smile as Saylor found out more about her mother with the help of her cousins and friends that grew up on North Lake, and my smile grew even bigger every time Roo would enter the picture. Even though this book also has some underlying themes that aren’t all that happy, the majority of the book was like a bright ray of sunshine!
12) The most beautiful book you’ve bought or received so far this year
I’m cheating a little bit on this one (sorry, friends!). I actually received this particular edition of The Beholder in the May 2019 Fairyloot box, but since I didn’t read it until this year, I decided it should count, anyway. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy reading the book itself, but this exclusive model is a beautiful addition to my bookshelf. It’s metallic font on the cover and pink-sprayed edges draw my eye every time!
13) A book/books you need to read by the end of the year
While this list could go on forever (just like my TBR… ughh.), these four books are just a snippet of the books I hope to have read by the end of this year. They all also just so happen to be books by some of my favorite authors!