Things really worked out well for me with this post! I had seen it on my reader a few times and was thinking about doing it myself too and then I got tagged to do it by Caro, Amanda and Tiffany so this was meant to happen, right? And who doesn’t love to reflect on their reading?
I was actually planning on doing a Mid Year Reading Highlights post for the end of June anyways but since I talked about quite a few of books that would make the list here it would probably be quite redundant. But at least there’s now a record of how I felt about my reading 6 months into the year and I can compare it with my end of the year feelings! And now, because this post is a bit on the long side, let’s just jump right into it!
1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far
I keep going back and forth on this because I’ve read quite a few really good books this year and you making me pick just one is just downright rude!
Children Of Blood And Bone has to be on this list. Tomi Adeyemi blew me away with her debut novel. The writing. The world building. The characters. All of it. It was so, so good and the hype has been so real and more importantly: well deserved! But I also want to talk about Amanda Foody’s sophomore novel Ace Of Shades which I really loved and was made even more special because I read it with two great friends of mine: Sandra and Caro!
But I also want to make sure I talk about some of the fantastic contemporary novels I read this year: The Astonishing Colour Of After, I Was Born For This and From Twinkle, With Love. I adored all of them for different reasons but all very much books I would recommend others to read too! And for my fellow fangirls out there, I Was Born For This might just be the book you’ve been looking for! 😉
2. The best sequel you’ve read so far
Honestly, are people just trying to make us bookworm angry with these questions??? Okay, but actually my answer for this is quite easy: A Reaper At The Gates and Thunderhead! But since these are both sequels I can’t really talk much about them without spoiling it for you guys?
But! If you enjoyed Scythe but weren’t quite sure if you should continue reading – DO IT. Honestly! I wasn’t sure if I should continue either but holy shit, am I glad I did! There is so much in those novels and I really want to go back into a reread with a physical copy and mark it up!
And for my fellow Emberlings, we finally have the next so get on it and have your heart destroyed by what Sabaa did to us with Reaper! I read it within 24-30 hours and regret my life choices because now I have to wait god knows how long for the finale. *cries*
3. New release you haven’t read yet but want to
Actually, to the surprise to so many of us: I’m doing pretty good with my new releases? Obviously, there are a ton of new books being released all the time but I am up to date with the books I need to read immediately. And even better? I’ve read every book I’ve bought so far this year (which are just three, but still!). But let me check my digital TBR to see what new release I need to get to!
Okay, there’s Stephanie Garber’s Legendary and Furyborn by Claire Legrand. And yes, I keep saying I want to read Furyborn and hopefully I’ll actually get to it within the next few weeks. I already have the audiobook??? I don’t know what I’m waiting for at this point if I’m being honest.
4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
Phew, I feel like there are quite a few, actually? Starting with next month’s Bright We Burn by Kiersten White (I am terrified), Wildcard by Marie Lu, What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, Kingdom Of Ash by Sarah J. Maas (I just need to read Tower Of Dawn first) and of course, there is also Queen Of Air And Darkness by Cassandra Clare. Honestly, if you know me this is probably the most predictable list of books but it’s true!
5. Biggest disappointment
For this question, I’ll go with both To Kill A Kingdom and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. I had read both books hoping to really enjoy them especially since EL&IC is one of Lia’s favorite books and we buddy read it!
6. Biggest surprise
This is pretty easy, actually! I’ll go with the Wayfarer’s books by Becky Chambers (I’m currently halfway through the second and really, really enjoying it!) and The Arc Of The Scythe by Neal Shusterman! With the second one, I knew that people had been enjoying it but I just didn’t know if it would be something I would enjoy too, you know? And while I had a bit of a problem right after I finished reading with the romance that is in it, after giving it more thoughts over the past couple of months, I have to say the romance shouldn’t take away so much from my experience of reading the book and it’s not as present in the second book which was fantastic!
7. Favorite new author
Alice Oseman! Hands down. And can you believe it’s a contemporary author??? Honestly, I am loving this shift into more and more contemporary that’s been going on so much this year! And I love how Alice Oseman is able to deal with various different topics and include diversity and representation in the most natural way (as it should be, obviously)! I’m already looking forward to her next book and actually being along for the ride too as she is currently drafting it and talking about it on her social media! 😀
8. & 9. Newest favorite character
I don’t really have any new fictional crushes? I’m still loyal to my man Cassian and everyone I’ve been crushing on for years now. BUT. I do have some new favorite characters so let us talk about those!
We have Enna (Ace Of Shades), Leah (Leah On The Offbeat – god, I love her so, so, so fucking much) and Twinkle (From Twinkle, With Love). I feel like 2018 has been the year where I fall in love with what some might consider ‘unlikeable characters’ and I am loving every second of it. All of these women mean the world to me and I’ll protect them with my life if I have to!
10. A book that made you cry
The only book that made me cry this year was the novella Son Of The Dawn by Cassandra Clare. It’s part of a series of novellas all about one of my favorite characters in the Shadowhunter Chronicles and the first one was just so, so good. I can’t wait to read more and I feel like I’ll be crying some more in the future!
11. A book that made you happy
A Court Of Frost And Starlight! It’s no secret that I love these characters with all my heart so being back with them for this 200+ book/novella was so much fun! Plus, we actually get to read from some new POVs this time around which was quite interesting too! And. That sneak peek. I am ready.
12. Favorite book to film adaptation you saw this year
I don’t think I’ve seen any? I don’t really watch a lot of movies but Love, Simon is coming out later this month so hopefully, that’ll make my list? I have high hopes for sure!
13. Favorite review you’ve written this year
There isn’t really one! I feel like my reviews have all been pretty much the same this past year so there isn’t really anything that stands out to me but I plan on writing a review that is going to be a bit different once I’ve had a chance to reread a certain book.
14. The most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year
I actually only bought three books this year: Leah On The Offbeat, I Was Born For This and A Reaper At The Gates and they’re all beautiful in their own way!
15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
There are way too many if we’re being honest. I haven’t even caught up with my 2017 releases so yeah. But one I really, really want to get to is Renegades especially since the sequel releases later this year and I want to be able to talk about this series with everyone else!