Hey bookworms! Mid-year is upon us and with it comes the posting of the annual Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tags over BookTube and Book Blogs. This is a time for us to reflect on what we have read so far this year and what we hope to read before the year ends. Without further ado, let’s get right into the questions:
- Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2019 — I have read 86 books so far this year. It is really hard to choose just one as the ‘best’. I have given out a lot of 5-star ratings. For the purposes of this list however, I will choose just one and say that Julie Kagawa’s, 2018 release, Shadow of the Fox, swept me off my feet. I love this story so much. Japanese-inspired YA fantasy that incorporates dragon lore and a quest. Y’all know I am down for a quest. I am currently reading the sequel, Soul of the Sword, which releases on Tuesday, June 18th.
- Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2019 — I have actually read quite a few sequels this year as one of my monthly TBR challenges is to ‘read a sequel’. My favorite has been King of Fools by Amanda Foody. This second book in the Shadow Game trilogy takes the story to a whole new level. Foody’s writing has matured in leaps in bounds. The characters, the world, it was so good! I cannot wait for the final book of the series releasing in 2020.
- New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To — This answer could honestly be 50-books long. I should just pick one…but I can’t. Here’s a few: To learn more about any of these titles, just click the cover photo above!
- Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year — Hands down, The Institute, by my idol, Stephen King. This all-new, 576-novel, by arguably the most important writer of our times, features a sinister institute housing children with paranormal gifts. A good versus evil tale where the good guy doesn’t always win. Set to release on September 10th, I have already preordered my copy and will be reading it immediately upon arrival. I feel like I have been waiting my whole life for this book.
- Biggest Disappointment — I won’t dwell on this but for me, my most disappointing read so far this year has been Internment by Samira Ahmed. I say disappointing because I was anticipating it so highly. It’s not a terrible book. I didn’t hate it. I just wanted it to be so much more. This is a YA-dystopian novel dealing heavily with Islamophobia. In this story, Muslims are rounded up and detained indefinitely in internment camps. While the premise and the topics discussed were so good, the writing, for me, was not. My final rating was just 2.5-stars.
- Biggest Surprise — For me, this easily goes to Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk. This gender-flipped retelling of the legend of Spartacus blew me out of the water. I had heard one person discuss this previously on BookTube, where she discussed how sadly under-hyped it was. When I saw it on Book Outlet for super cheap, I couldn’t resist picking it up and, oh man, am I glad I did! This action-packed story was so well written. I absolutely adored this! Read it.
- Favorite New Author (Debut or New to You) — Alex Michaelides blew me away with his debut novel, The Silent Patient, a gripping Adult Psychological Thriller. This book was so fun to read. He definitely rocketed up my auto-buy author list. If you read one Adult Thriller this year, it should be this one! My final rating for this one was 5-jaw dropping stars. I still break out in a smile when I reflect on the big reveal. So good.
- Newest Fictional Crush — The newest would probably be Carlos Ibarra from Jasmine Guillory’s, The Proposal. I first met Carlos in, The Wedding Date, and although I didn’t know him well, I was excited when I heard he was getting a companion novel to tell his story. I have an ARC of the next companion book in the series, The Wedding Party, which I hope to read very soon! Carlos is set to be Drew’s best man, so that should be a really fun time.
- Newest Favorite Character — Alex Claremont-Diaz, of course, from Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. This book basically broke the book world when it was released in May and I was all aboard that hype train. I had an ARC of this and finished it just before release. I raved about it and will continue to for sometime to come! Alex is just the best. I love him with my whole heart!
- Book That Made You Cry — I cried, actual tears falling down my face, while reading different parts of Too Much Is Not Enough, a memoir by Broadway Golden Boy, Andrew Rannells. His writing was so raw and heartfelt. When he lost his Father…ugh, man, it got me. A lot of his reflections were so relatable, I just found myself breaking down. Really well done with equal parts humor and weight. I loved this book!
- Book That Made You Happy — One of the most humorous books I have read this year is Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez. This great Middle Grade science fiction novel is part of the Rick Riordan Presents imprint. I have been blessed to received the last few books by this imprint in ARC form and they have all been so good. I was super impressed with Hernandez’s use of humor to tell this story. He is a funny man and a great writer! I cannot wait for the sequel. But seriously, just looking at this gorgeous cover makes me happy!
- Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year — This is a tough one. I have loved a lot of beautiful books this year but I think a standout for me has been The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad. Honestly, I could just stare at this cover for hours and in person, it just has the most glorious muted metallic shimmer. I cannot even express its beauty!
- What Books Do You Need To Read By the End of the Year — Too many to count!!!!!!!!!
That completes my Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag! Play along. Answer in the comments below or on your own blog or channel. Make sure to tag me so I can see your answers. Do we have any of the same answers? Do you agree or disagree with any of mine?
As always, thank you for visiting my blog. I appreciate you all.
Cheers & Happy Reading~