Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag

It’s halfway through 2018, apparently. I’m not sure if I actually believe it, but we’re going to roll with it and go ahead and do this lovely tag that I first saw this year on ChelseaDollingReads‘ BookTube channel (I’ve seen the tag around in past years, but this is my first time actually doing the tag, I think). Apparently this tag was originally created for a blog and then moved to BookTube. Links to the creators, Chami and Earl Grey Books, are here and here.  If this sounds fun to you, consider yourself tagged!

As of literally today, I’ve read 51 books so far in 2018. I have many opinions on all of them and on my reading in general. I’m probably going to do this weirdly and give around 4 answers for all of the questions, which isn’t the point, but here we go!

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018

In Other Lands by Sarah Rees BrennanIf We Were Villains by M.L. RioNasty Women by Samhita MukhopadhyayThe Unseen World by Liz Moore

I’ve read some fantastic books so far in 2018. My four favorite (probably) are these: In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan, If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio, Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America edited by Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Kate Harding, and The Unseen World by Liz Moore.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018

Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children #3)A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3.1)Impostor Syndrome (The Arcadia Project, #3)Obsidio (The Illuminae Files, #3)

After scrolling through my Goodreads tracker, I’ve apparently read 4 sequels in 2018. All of them were good; I wouldn’t say that any of them were amazing. I’m pretty sure I gave all of them 3.5 stars. That’s actually really weird. If I HAD to pick, my favorite of these is probably Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire.

2.5 (Bonus question I made up) Best new series you’ve started

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca RoanhorseFuryborn by Claire LegrandThe Cruel Prince by Holly BlackAce of Shades by Amanda Foody

So far in 2018, I’ve read the first books in 4 new fantasy series that I’m really excited to continue with. I like to have a certain number of ongoing series that I’m reading, so I’m relieved that 2018 has already come out with some great ones.

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

CirceRed ClocksNot That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture

There are actually a bunch of 2018 new releases that I haven’t gotten to yet, but these three are the ones I’m most interested in and want to get to the soonest. Two of these are Book of the Month picks from previous months.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers, #3)Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels, #10)Empire of Sand

This summer, there are 2 next-in-series books coming out that I’m ridiculously excited for; one is actually the tenth and final book in my all-time favorite urban fantasy series (Magic Triumphs), which is bittersweet, and the other is the third book in my favorite ongoing science fiction series (Record of a Spaceborn Few).  And later on in the fall, there’s a new fantasy book coming out that caught my eye at BookCon, Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri.

5. Biggest disappointment

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

By far, the biggest disappointment in my 2018 reading was tackling House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, a 700+ page, unconventionally formatted weird novel and finding it dull and poorly written. It’s a great concept; I wish it could have been better executed so that I didn’t feel like I wasted my time reading it.

6. Biggest surprise

Furyborn by Claire Legrand

I’m always really wary of the hype surrounding new YA releases, but in Furyborn‘s case, I found it completely earned. You’ll find my full review of Furyborn here.

7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty LoganThe Color Master by Aimee BenderMade for Love by Alissa Nutting

I decided not to overlap this category with my favorite books of the year so far, but instead to pick books that I really enjoyed but that also showed me that I want to read a lot more from those authors’ backlists. I’ve already added several other books from Kirsty Logan, Aimee Bender, and Alissa Nutting to my TBR.

Also, WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME THESE HARD QUESTIONS.

8. Newest fictional crush

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang also would have worked well for my biggest surprise so far this year, because I basically never read contemporary romance but found this book to just be completely delightful, sexy, and well-written.

9. Newest favorite character

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca RoanhorseIn Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan

I’m a sucker for a badass yet flawed heroine, so of course Maggie Hoskie from Rebecca Roanhorse’s Trail of Lightning had to make this list. But I’d be lying if I didn’t mention that Elliott and Luke from Sarah Rees Brennan’s In Other Lands made it to my list of favorite characters of all time.

10. Book that made you cry

I Crawl Through It by A.S. KingThe Unseen World by Liz MooreWhat Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton

I cry a lot when I read, so there were a lot of choices to pick from, but these three books absolutely had me in tears multiple times, for different reasons. I Crawl Through It is a must-read book for our time, since it addresses the horror and tragedy that teenagers are forced to accept as the norm and challenges that fact. The Unseen World is a book about love and loss and absolutely gutted me emotionally. And What Happened by Hillary Clinton was a stark reminder of the incredibly impressive woman who should be our president right now.

11. Book that made you happy

In Other Lands by Sarah Rees BrennanThe Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

I mean, obviously a lot of books made me happy this year, but these two really stand out. In Other Lands was just absolutely wonderful, and I laughed out loud more times than I can count while reading it; it also had this really touching and sweet romantic arc. The Kiss Quotient was such a fun read that I devoured so quickly and made me want to find other romance reads that are just as delightful.

12. Favourite book to film adaptation you saw this year

Call Me by Your Name. I haven’t read the book, so I’m not sure that this can officially count for this question, but it’s probably the best movie overall that I’ve seen this year as well. I actually don’t think I’ve seen any other book-to-film adaptations this year, but I do want to see Love, Simon (haven’t read that book either, though).

13. Favourite review you’ve written this year

Lately I’ve been posting more detailed book reviews, and it’s something that I want to continue to do going forward, but I don’t know that I really have a favorite. Maybe I will by the end of 2018.

14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat HowardMade for Love by Alissa NuttingMEM by Bethany C. Morrow

I love the shadowed white cover of An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard. I’m also a huge fan of the rainbow design of Made for Love by Alissa Nutting; a lot of people hate this cover, but it totally works for the weird and quirky book. Mem by Bethany C. Morrow is such a gorgeous physical book; it has a translucent white overlay but the naked hardback is a golden vault design, which fits well with an ominous vault featured in the novel.

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

The Female PersuasionSpinning SilverA Little LifeA Tale for the Time Being

SO MANY. I’m going to try and limit myself to 4, because every time I try to make a TBR I end up deviating from it, but also because I just can’t at all narrow down what I want to read soon. I’m also not going to mention any of the books I already talked about in earlier questions. So that being said, I’m currently almost halfway done with The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer, and I absolutely want to finish before the year’s end. I have an ARC of Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik that I received at BookCon, so that obviously makes the list as well. A Little Life and A Tale for the Time Being both fall into that “I can’t believe I haven’t read that yet!” category, so I’m going to prioritize those in the next few months.

In conclusion, this tag didn’t make me freak out at all, but it did make me think more intently about what I’ve read so far this year and realize how many awesome books and authors I’ve encountered. I’m excited to see what else I’ll read in the second half of 2018. This was a lot of fun to put together, and please consider yourselves all tagged!

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