That’s right, folks, it’s time for the infamous Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag. Originally created by Ely and Chami, this tag always does the rounds of the online book community at this time of year and it’s something of a tradition to take part so this year is no exception for me. We’re a couple of days past the official middle of the year but what’s a couple of days between friends, eh?
1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2019
This question is always difficult and I never answer with a single book title so get ready to hear a list: Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo, The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend, Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, and The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty.
2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019
As seems tradition with this question, it makes me realise just how badly I’m doing at continuing series I haven’t yet finished. But without even thinking about it the best sequel I’ve read has to be The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty. All of these characters are absolute idiots and I love them.
3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.
I have a bunch of new releases to catch up on, including Kingsbane by Claire Legrand, Romanov by Nadine Brandes, and Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan. I still need to buy the latter two so pray that the book guilt gods are on my side long enough to let me buy them without feeling bad about how big my TBR is.
4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.
Easy: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. Next question…
5. Biggest disappointment.
Unpopular opinion but probably Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. I was so prepared to love it and I just… didn’t. As I said in my review, I wished the world building and its politics had been fleshed out more, along with the secondary characters, because I struggled to accept the logic of the world and more time spent on the development of the world and its characters would have helped me enjoy the story more.
6. Biggest surprise.
Hands down: Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. People said it was good, they said it was hilarious and was one of the Good Ones when it came to contemporaries but I didn’t really believe the hype. And then I read it.
7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)
I’d have to say Roshani Chokshi and/or Jessica Townsend. It’s difficult to dub someone a new favourite author when you’ve only read one or two of their books but both of these authors’ storytelling abilities and their way of turning a phrase really caught me.
8. Newest fictional crush.
On a fantastical note, we had Severin and Tristan from The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi and Loth from The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. On a more grounded, contemporary note we had Carter from Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren and Richard Troy from Act Like It by Lucy Parker. Why yes, I do struggle to narrow down my crushes.
9. Newest favourite character.
This is an interesting one: Zoya from the Grishaverse by Leigh Bardugo. I pretty much hated her in the original Grisha trilogy but reading King of Scars this year made me reevaluate her entire character and realise that I loved her after all. And after doing a re-read of the Grisha trilogy, I just don’t understand how I slept on her when I originally read the books – I presume because Alina didn’t particularly like her, I didn’t like her either but we were/are clearly wrong, Zoya is queen.
10. Book that made you cry.
Taylor Jenkins Reid keeps making me want to cry with her books and it’s getting out of hand, ok? This year’s perpetrator was Daisy Jones and the Six.
11. Book that made you happy.
Red, White and Royal Blue was so much fun to read, I had an idiot smile on my face for most of the time when I was reading it. Also, Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend which was the quirky middle-grade fantasy adventure I didn’t even know I needed.
12. Favourite book to film adaptation you saw this year.
I have seen very few book to film adaptations this year, which seems to be par for the course when it comes to this question. I guess How to Train Your Dragon counts? I think many moons ago I even read the original book by Cressida Cowell when I was in primary school but I can’t be too sure. Other than that, for TV shows I’ve been really enjoying finally watching Game of Thrones through and I’m also loving The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina which ought to count too since it’s adapted from comic books.
13. Favourite review you’ve written this year.
The review that I reckon is the most accurate in encapsulating how I’d felt about a book is undoubtedly my review of Red, White and Royal Blue and I’m also proud of my reviews of The City of Brass and The Priory of the Orange Tree because long and complicated fantasy books are often so hard to review.
14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)
I am a sucker for a sprayed edge, foiling, or intricate patterns, as demonstrated by the fact that my most beautiful books include: The Gilded Wolves, Enchantée, Daisy Jones and the Six, and The Kingdom of Copper.
15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
Aside from the books that I’m anticipating in the second half of the year (*cough* Ninth House *cough*) I also desperately need to finish one particular series that I am forever saying I need to finish: The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. It’s frankly ridiculous that I haven’t finished this series yet because I mention it every time I am asked this sort of question AND it’s one of my favourite series of all-time. In fact, I think it’s that latter point that is the reason I’m slacking on picking up the fourth and final book, The Raven King; I just don’t want it to be over. Thankfully, however, I hear the rumoured Ronan spinoff series’ first book is scheduled for the end of 2019 so maybe this is the final push I need to make 2019 the year I finish reading The Raven Cycle?
Well, that was the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag for 2019.
Have you done the tag? Link me below if so; I’d love to check it out.
Or comment and tell me: what’s the best & worst book you’ve read so far in 2019?