Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Hi everyone! It’s me, back again with another tag! I was originally going to take the time today to post a kind of June wrap up, but seeing as there’s still a couple of days of the month left for me to finish my final book, I thought I’d do this tag that I’m seeing absolutely everywhere at the moment! Plus, it gives me a chance to rave about some of my favourite books all over again! I wasn’t tagged by anybody to do this, but if you would like to do this tag feel free to say that I tagged you (and tag me in it!) because I’m always in the mood for new book recommendations! Without any further ado, here’s the tag!

Best book you’ve read so far in 2020

I have a couple of books for this that I absolutely cannot choose between – four to be exact! The first was the first book I read this year – The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang! I’ve owned this book for a couple of years now, and I originally bought it on my Kindle to read while I was studying abroad in France, but I picked it out of my TBR jar at the start of the year and I’m so glad I did! It’s an Asian-inspired fantasy which draws a lot on Chinese history and follows Rin, a girl from the South, as she tries to get into the most prestigious military school in order to escape her rural life. There are a ton of trigger warnings for this book, so make sure you check them out, but I absolutely adored this book and all the characters and I’m dying to read The Dragon Republic!

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Next is The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis. This is a Western-inspired fantasy following a group of girls from a brothel who are on the run after one of them accidentally kills a man. The main character (alongside her sister and another side character) are Black and there is an adorable f/f romance between two characters that I adored! The world building and magic system are so unique and the ending left me wanting more – I really hope there’s a sequel in the works! Then, one which surprised me (because I’m really not a poetry girl) was The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta! It’s a novel told in verse following a young, mixed race boy growing up in London and discusses sexuality, race, class and drag! It absolutely blew me away and the drag performance at the end was a real highlight! The illustrations are also absolutely gorgeous so I recommend reading a physical copy if you can!

Finally, there’s All the Paths to You by Morgan Lee Miller, which I just wrote a review on (and which Morgan Lee Miller read and said made her smile, aaaaah!!!). This is the sequel to All the Worlds Between Us, which I read last year, and is the ya sports lesbian friends to lovers f/f romance I’ve been dying to read my whole life! This book felt like it was written specially for me and I am dying to re-read the series already!

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020

I haven’t actually read a lot of sequels so far in 2020 (oops!) and aside from All the Paths to You which I will never shut up about until you all read it (!), I’d probably have to say Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan – the sequel to Girls of Paper and Fire. I finally got round to reading this book and I’m so glad I did. I’d heard some mixed things about the sequel, that it wasn’t as good as the first, but I thought it was so much fun! We got to see more of the world and there was such a sweet (and ultimately heartbreaking) found family which I loved!

New release you haven’t read yet but want to

There are so many!! Aside from all the books I’ve previously mentioned in tags, I can’t wait to get my hands on The Mermaid, The Witch and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall. The Goodreads synopsis honestly sounds like exactly the kind of book I want to read: Aboard the pirate ship Dove, Flora the girl takes on the identity of Florian the man to earn the respect and protection of the crew. For Flora, former starving urchin, the brutal life of a pirate is about survival: don’t trust, don’t stick out, and don’t feel. But on this voyage, as the pirates prepare to sell their unsuspecting passengers into slavery, Flora is drawn to the Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, who is en route to a dreaded arranged marriage with her own casket in tow. Flora doesn’t expect to be taken under Evelyn’s wing, and Evelyn doesn’t expect to find such a deep bond with the pirate Florian. Soon the unlikely pair set in motion a wild escape that will free a captured mermaid (coveted for her blood, which causes men to have visions and lose memories) and involve the mysterious Pirate Supreme, an opportunistic witch, and the all-encompassing Sea itself.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

There are soooo many once again but to mention just one, I’d have to say Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas! I’m once again going to leave the Goodreads synopsis because I really don’t know how to describe it any better – plus, we always need more, diverse witchcraft books!

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him. When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free. However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

Biggest disappointment

It has to be Circe by Madeline Miller. I read Song of Achilles last year and really enjoyed it but something about Circe just didn’t click with me, which was really sad. I think it might have been the disjointedness of the story or the large cast of characters which didn’t feel all that developed which let the book down for me, but regardless I will still pick up Madeline Miller’s books in the future.

Biggest surprise

This one definitely has to go to Things We Say in the Dark by Kirsty Logan. It’s a queer, feminist horror short story collection written by a Scottish author! It has some elements I love (Scottish folklore, queer/feminist stories) but the reason why it surprised me was the fact that I’m really not into horror and I hate short stories! And yet I loved almost every story in this collection! Definitely check out the trigger warnings before going into this one, though, as I didn’t see any before I went in and I definitely would rather they were listed somewhere at the start of the book.

Favourite new author

Ooh I haven’t really thought about this. Does Morgan Lee Miller count? I read one of her books last year but as of this week I will be reading everything she writes!

Newest fictional crush

I don’t really crush on book characters anymore to be honest but if I were to choose one I’d probably go for Jordan from Once & Future by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta. Shes a hot, blonde, muscly, mysterious female knight who’s the best at what she does and, although (in my opinion) she doesn’t get enough love in the series, I love her lol! Also Sid from The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski, she’s so guarded but also just so flirty she’s 100% my type!

Newest favourite character

This is also difficult! I did love Mark and Christina from Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare but it’s been a while since I read that and I couldn’t coherently tell you why right now!

Book that made you cry

I am a big crier when it comes to books, but not many have made me cry so far this year. The Poppy War definitely made me cry a couple of times and the end of Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy broke my little heart! Girls of Storm and Shadow was another one alongside Sword in the Stars (the ending KILLED me!!!!).

Book that made you happy

Aside from my favourite books I’ve read so far, there was one that kind of stands out for this one – Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour. It follows Emi, an aspiring set designer, who finds a letter inside a record at a furniture sale in a dead celebrity’s house and she and her best friend try to find the person its addressed to whilst also trying to get over her ex that she keeps going back to. The friendship in this book was so, so great (they didn’t fall out throughout the course of the books which was surprisingly refreshing) and the romance was slow-burn and adorable!! Plus, I seem to just love books centred around the film industry and this one was super unique in that it focused on set design! This book made me smile the whole time I was reading it and it absolutely flew by!

Favourite book to film adaptation

I really haven’t watched many films this year, and even fewer that were adaptations. I did binge watch Killing Eve if that counts? I’m pretty sure it’s based off a book?

Favourite post you’ve done this year

I’m really proud of my review of Music From Another World by Robin Talley! I had so much fun reading the book and it was the first review I’d written that I felt really good about!

Most beautiful book you’ve bought this year

That’s difficult!!! I think the cover of The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray is absolutely gorgeous! But I’m also just absolutely in love with the Felix Ever After cover!

What book do you need to read by the end of the year?

There are sooo many I’d love to get to but I know I just don’t have time, unfortunately! I’d love to get up to date with Cassandra Clare’s books and I’d also like to finish reading all of my David Mitchell books, since I own them all but have only read about half! As for one book specifically? Maybe The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern – I was so excited about this book as The Night Circus is one of my absolute favourites, but I still haven’t got round to picking it up yet!

I hope you enjoyed this tag, again, if you’d like to do it feel free to say I tagged you and tag me in it so I can see your answers! As always, stay safe!!

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