Mid-Year Book Freak Out
We are well into June at the moment which means that 2020 is halfway over!
Thank God! With that in mind, it’s time to take a look back at my reading from the past six months and what better way to do that than with the Mid-Year Book Freak Out tag? I was tagged by the lovely Liza @ The Inharmonious Heroine. If you’re into bookish blogs that are stunningly pretty, you should definitely give her a follow! I’m unsure who originally created this tag. If you know, give a shout in the comments!
Let’s get started, shall we?
#1. What is the best book you have read so far in 2020?
This is a no-brainer! The best book I’ve read so far is Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko! I adored absolutely everything about this story. The world-building is masterfully done. The plot is fast-paced and engaging. The characters have a bad habit of making you fall in love with them. And the writing is so rich and evocative that I could imagine myself in the Children’s Palace with Tarisai, fighting to gain the family she has never had. I love this book and I need everyone to read it when it comes out in August! And, once you read it, come back here so we can gush together 😁
#2. What is the best sequel you have read so far in 2020?
This one I had to think about for a moment. I’ve read a couple really stellar sequels so far in 2020. In the end, though, the top spot is going to A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer. I enjoy this world and the plot has had me in its grip since the first book! The main thing that makes this win out, though, is the fact that we’re following Grey and his eternal moodiness in this book. I’m not gonna lie, I was always more interested in Grey than Rhen 😬 And we get the added bonus of getting to know a new kickass female character, Lia Mara! I’m so excited for the third book that comes out in 2021!
#3. What is a new release that you haven’t read yet but want to?
Hahahahaha, there are SO MANY! Alright… um. Of the ones that I currently own, I’m gonna go with The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar! I’ve talked about this debut YA contemporary on my blog before. It’s a story of two girls who clash over rival henna businesses but end up falling in love. It’s sapphic and talks about cultural appropriation and I can’t wait to finally read it! Also, we all know I’m a cover hoe and just look at this beauty 😍 The fact that it will forever be on my shelves makes my heart happy.
#4. What is your most anticipated release for the second half of the year?
Again, SO MANY! I’ll go with one that I haven’t talked about nearly enough on my blog: Smash It by Francina Simone. Most people have found Francina through booktube, but I was introduced to her wonderful channel when I saw this cover on Twitter and just had to know more! This is a story about a young black woman who is learning to fight back against her insecurities. She makes a “F*ck It” list to help her smash her junior year! It sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun and I am definitely here for some Black Girl Joy 💕
#5. What was your biggest disappointing book so far?
I was so excited for this damn book after reading an excerpt in 2019. This is on me, though, because I didn’t bother to look up anything about the book or the author. Then, as the release date got closer, more own voices reviewers and authors started speaking out about the terrible representation in this book. If you want to see all my thoughts on this book, you can check out my review, cause I’ve given this one enough of my energy!
#6. What was your biggest surprising book so far?
Definitely Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia! I randomly found this book on Goodreads and it ticked off so many of my “I must read this!” boxes:
- Set in Boston (where I live!)
- A citywide treasure hunt
- Clues inspired by Edgar Allan Poe
- Compared to The Westing Game, my favorite childhood book!
I picked it up with high hopes and I was not disappointed. I absolutely loved this book! It’s weird and creepy and just a ton of fun.
#7. Who is your favorite new author (debut or new to you)?
After listening to The Poet X and Clap When You Land, I quickly added Elizabeth Acevedo to my favorite authors list! Both of those books were just so beautifully written and the audiobook performances gave me chills. I love the way Acevedo writes! She made me love not one book written in verse, but two! Which is a big deal as I don’t tend to like poetry! Now I’m extra excited that I already have her other book, With the Fire on High, on my bookshelf. Uuuuugh, I can’t wait to read it! And, of course, I’ll be reading whatever else she writes next.
#8. Who is your new fictional crush?
I honestly don’t get fictional crushes anymore. I think the closest in recent memory would be Jupiter North from Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend. I’m currently reading this book and absolutely loving it! Morrigan is adorable and I want to give her all the hugs. Jupiter North, her patron, is so mysterious and interesting and I definitely perk up when he’s on the page. He makes me laugh, what can I say? Of course, as I’m not done with the book, he could turn out to be a complete ass, but I’m enjoying his character so far!
#9. Who is your newest favorite character?
I just recently finished The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant and the main character, Nina, stole my heart! Which is v. appropriate as she is part of the Guild of Thieves. She is a stabby, take-no-shit, queen and I love her! She made me like Eponine, the character from Les Misérables that Nina is based upon, and that is quite a feat. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series because I need to know what happens with The Black Cat next! *grabby hands* Neeeeeed it!
#10. What books made you cry?
I know I already mentioned this book, but Clap When You Land is the only book in 2020 (so far) that has actually gotten liquid tears out of me. There were others that brought me close, but this one the only book that made me grab a tissue. I suppose it makes sense as one of the core themes is dealing with grief after the loss of a parents. My heart broke reading about the anger, the devastation, and the sadness that both Yahaira and Camino find themselves in after their father dies. And I definitely got misty-eyed at the end. Just… it’s so emotional, please read this book!
#11. What is one book that made you happy?
THIS BOOK IS SO DAMN CUTE!!
Seriously, I recently finished this one and I’m fairly certain I had a smile on my face the entire time I was reading it 💕 Tilly reminds me of myself a young, bookish kid. She’s so inquisitive and smart and adventurous! And I wand to live in Pages & Co. It sounds like a bookshop I would spent way too much time (and money) in. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series!
#12. What is the most beautiful book you have bought or received so far this year?
How dare you make me choose?!
Okay… there were a lot that I really loved. I decided to go with one with both a cover and content that I fell for hard: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. Though I tend to gravitate towards colorful covers, this one is so beautifully designed, I can’t help but love it!
This book is now one of my favorite books of all time, as well, so there’s that. Just a beautiful book inside and out!
#13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
I have way too many to list, so I’m gonna just pick one of my backlogs that I would love to get to before the end of 2020. I absolutely love the first two books in the Mistborn trilogy but, to my eternal shame, I still haven’t read The Hero of Ages! Perhaps I just don’t want it to be over? I mean, I don’t, but what is actually happening is that I keep pushing back for newer, shinier books. But no more! I’m going to read this book before 2021, I’m speaking it into existence! And then there’s a whole new Mistborn trilogy that I can
not read for years read 😅
If you’d like to answer these questions, consider yourself tagged! If you do make your own Mid-Year Book Freak Out tag, I would love to read it. Drop a link in the comments!
And, as always, happy reading!