Hello bookish friends!
I loved doing this tag last year, so we’re doing it again this year too! Cause I’m original like that.
1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2017
This is so hard. I’ve read some right good books. But I think Lord of Shadows has to win here. This book was a rollercoaster of joy and pain. But mostly pain in those last few chapters. The two year wait will be agony. This is definitely my favourite Shadowhunter book so far. It’s the most sophisticated in terms of how the story is constructed and how all the threads get woven together. If also felt like the darkest Shadowhunter book so far with certain aspects of the plot reflecting our real world. It was very enjoyable seeing these issues from a Shadowhunter perspective.
2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2016
Okay, I’m going to cheat and pick two books for this one. Ghostly Echoes was my first read of the year and what a way to start! This is one of my favourite series. I love these characters and this world so much. I’m so sad there’s only one book left. This is is my favourite of the series so far. It felt more dangerous and intense and I was left constantly on the edge. But it still managed to keep its charm and made me laugh out loud on many occasions. I am so ready for the last book. But also terrified.
I’m picking The Whispering Skull for this one, too. Which was actually the second book I read this year! January was by far the best reading month I’ve had so far. Similar to Ghostly Echoes, the plot of this instalment kept me on edge. Particularly the last 50 pages – I couldn’t read them quick enough!
I think usually when I’m reading, I can predict the fates of characters. But with these two books, I was genuinely scared they wouldn’t all make it. And the plots in general felt new and kept me interested throughout. Definitely pick them up if you haven’t already. Well worth the read.
3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to
I’ve read all of my most anticipated new releases so far this year. There haven’t actually been that many. The rest of the books already out, I am excited for. But I’m not like: OMG OMG OMG. Which is sad. But I am interested in reading Truth or Dare. I’ve read all Non’s other works and, in particular, adored Unboxed. But I don’t need it ASAP and will probably end up reading it sometime next year instead.
4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE. I am so incredibly excited for this one!!! I hate that I have to wait until August for it to be released in the UK when everyone else is already reading it. As soon as I found out about this books’ existence, I knew I had to read it. It gives me My Lady Jane humour vibes, which I also loved. But also I feel like this book will be super gay and I am so so here for it.
5. Biggest disappointment
Sadly, this will have to be The Upside of Unrequited. I don’t really have much to say about this book as it was just a very meh kind of read for me. I struggled to connect to the characters, or care about the plot (because the plot was practically non-existent!). But, this book does have some great LGBTQIAP+ rep which I appreciated. And a cute-ish romance. But, I think the fact that I gave 5 stars to Becky’s debut is what set me up for the disappointment. Clearly, I had my hopes set too high.
6. Biggest surprise
My biggest surprise so far this year had to be Scarlet. I had read Cinder about a year and a half before I decided to pick up the sequel and liked it, but was disappointed that I didn’t love it like everybody else seemed to at the time. So for some reason I picked Scarlet up in February and fell completely in love with it. So much so that I’ve gone on to read Cress and Winter soon after and tore through all those pages (and there were a bloody lot of them) in record time! I liked how full the world felt – I could easily imagine myself living in that world. And it’s such an interesting world! Very clever, very well thought-out. And of course I adored the characters and the romances. Especially Scarlet and Wolf who are one of my new favourite couples. I’m so glad I picked this series back up this year.
7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)
It’s quite rare that I read a YA contemporary and enjoy it as much as I did with Sara Barnard’s A Quiet Kind of Thunder. I’ve only read the one book by her, but I really liked the way she constructed this story. It had the perfect balance of working through tough issues, romance, friendship and basically had everything I wanted from a cute YA contemporary. I also really liked the flow of the writing and the deep insights we got into the MC – her voice felt very distinctive.
8. Newest fictional crush
Lazlo Strange from Strange the Dreamer! I mean, he’s a dreamer, for one. He’s a LIBRARIAN so we’d spend all our days bonding over our love of words and stories and libraries. And he’s just very sweet and endearing and polite and charming. Fictional crushes are very rare for me because there aren’t very many leading men or love interests like this – that aren’t the typical brooding ‘bad boy’ that people seem to like. But Lazlo’s a sweetheart so I’ll add him to the very short list!
Also, shout out to my new fave OTP: Ty and Kit! I can’t put into words how much I love these guys. Their relationship feels so authentic and, as agonising as it is, I especially love how slow burn it is. Their interactions were my favourite aspect of Lord of Shadows and I really really really need more of them.
9. Newest favourite character
I know I’m sounding like a wee bit of a broken record at this point BUT this will have to be Kit from Lord of Shadows (it was a great book okay – I’m Shadowhunter trash). Kit was freaking hilarious. I couldn’t get over some of the things he came out with. Especially his commentary about stupid, hot Shadowhunters! Love him. He’s precious.
10. Book that made you cry
I haven’t actually cried this year yet! Progress! But, weirdly, I did feel quite a bit teary at the end of Half Blood Prince. Which is strange because it’s never really upset me before but hey, I don’t control my emotions!
11. Book that made you happy
My Lady Jane is pure sunshine. It made me so happy whilst reading it. It’s such a fun book and I was constantly laughing my head off. I really hope this writing trio get together again for something cause I just bloody loved this book.
12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)
Okay so obviously this has to be Strange the Dreamer. I mean, HAVE YOU SEEN IT!?!? It. Is. A. Revelation. And not only is it bloody beautiful on the outside but wow is the inside just as beautiful. I cannot wait to see what the sequel looks like. Imagining them both together on my shelf makes me feel complete.
13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
I would love to get to more of Rick Riordan’s books. I’m quite late to this fandom but I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve read so far. I’m close to finishing the Percy Jackson series and I’m very intrigued to continue reading on with the Heroes of Olympus series.
14. Favourite Book Community Member (Blogger, Booktuber and Bookstagrammer)
Oooh, so many to choose from that I love! I think someone I’ve been appreciating alot recently is Lala from Books and Lala. I’ve been watching her Closet Unhaul vidoes and they’re actually the greatest. She’s really articulate and a joy to watch. If you haven’t watched her yet, please do!