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The Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag

My first tag on the blog! This is an incredibly popular tag on Youtube among people who make bookish related content. I'll link the creators of the tag at the bottom of this blog in case you're interested in checking them out!

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2020.

The Wicked King by Holly Black. This YA fantasy is the second book in the Folk of Air trilogy, which is about a human girl whose grown up in the land of faeries. The trilogy follows her trying to find her place and vying for power. This book deals a lot with courtly intrigue and it's so well done. The characters are complex and morally grey, and the world is very well developed. Every aspect of this novel was so solid.

2. Best sequel you've read so far in 2020.

See the answer to question one!

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

This novel has been out for a couple of months, but I still consider that to be pretty new. The book is House of Dragons by Jessica Cluess. It's a YA fantasy about five people competing for a throne. I got it for my birthday last month (shout out to my dad and step-mom) and I'm super excited to read it soon!

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

Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim which is the sequel to Spin the Dawn, a YA Chinese inspired fantasy. Spin the Dawn is one of my favorite fantasies I've read this year and I can't wait to see how the story progresses.

5. Biggest disappointment.

Son by Lois Lowry which is the conclusion to The Giver quartet. I rated it 3 stars so I didn't abhor it. Even still, given that The Giver is my all time favorite book and I enjoyed the second book in the quartet and adored the third, I was expecting to love Son a lot more than I did.

6. Biggest surprise.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, which is a YA sci-fi featuring lots of space and artificial intelligence. I am not a sci-fi fan. Indeed, I generally tend to avoid sci-fi books. That being said, because I'd only heard rave reviews for this book I wanted to give it a try. While I don't know that I'm going to continue with the series, I was impressed with the book. It was a wild ride for sure and I ended up giving it 4.25 stars.

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

Mackenzi Lee who is the author of the YA historical fiction books The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue and The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy. She has degrees in both history and writing and you can tell. Her books are full of adventure and characters with lots of development and chemistry.

8. Newest fictional crush.

I have two. The first is Ben from the adult romance Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters. He's sweet, thoughtful, supportive, and he is a wonderful dad to his young daughter. The second is Gus from the adult romance Beach Read. He's brooding but considerate with a heart of gold, and he's a writer like me.

Would Like to Meet Book Review:

9. Newest favorite character.

It's impossible to choose just one. I love reading stories that feature bold women who aren't afraid to take what they want but who are also hard workers. To name four: Felicity Montague from The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (YA historical fiction), Evelyn Hugo from The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (adult historical fiction), Maia Tamarin from Spin the Dawn (YA fantasy) and Jude Duarte from the Folk of Air trilogy (YA fantasy).

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo Book Review:

10. Book that made you cry.

The Hate U Give (a YA contemporary about the Black Lives Matter movement) by Angie Thomas made me cry tears of frustration and sadness because, while it is a work of fiction, racial injustice and police brutality are very, very real. The Bride Test (an adult romance) by Helen Hoang made me cry happy tears for the main couple Khai and Esme, both of whom I adored.

11. Book that made you happy.

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson which is a YA murder mystery. This book made me genuinely happy as it was the first time I read a book featuring a main character with my specific mental illness (anxiety/panic disorder) without it being their entire character. The novel also had wonderful atmosphere which is important for a mystery in my opinion.

12. Most beautiful book you've bought so far this year (or received).

It's a tie between Bone Crier's Moon by Kathryn Purdie and Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee (both YA fantasy). The cover artist for both is Charlie Bowater. She's also responsible for another of my favorite covers, that of Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson. As an aspiring author it is my dream to have her do the cover for my novel. For anyone interested, the books are pretty good too.

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

I need to read Helen Hoang's debut novel The Kiss Quotient (an adult romance). I have high hopes given how much I enjoyed her other book. I'd also really like to read A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown (a YA African inspired fantasy).

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