I did this tag around this time last year, and thought it would be good to do again and see how 2019’s bookish life is going. I know it’s technically a couple of weeks until it’s officially mid-year, but better early than late, eh?
I have no idea how we are in the middle of 2019 already. Whoever is speeding up time, can you give it a rest please, I need some time to catch up?
1. The Best Book You’ve Read This Year. This remains a horrible question! In this answer, I’m only counting standalones since the next question tackles sequels. Some of the best I’ve read this year are: Circe by Madeline Miller, The Burning by Laura Bates, Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin, The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, and The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge.
2. The Best Sequel You’ve Read This Year. So many good sequels. Too many to choose just one. Honestly, these are all absolute favourites: Song of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury (of course), The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman (technically a prequel, but shh), The Fandom Rising by Anna Day, The Strawberry Thief by Joanne Harris, Scar by Alice Broadway, Fierce Fragile Hearts by Sara Barnard, Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare, The Wicked King by Holly Black, and A Girl Called Shameless by Laura Steven.
3. New Releases You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To. Again, there are many. Recent releases that I have bought and not yet read (but plan to before the end of this year) are: Meat Market by Juno Dawson, Rumblestar by Abi Elphinstone, Wildspark by Vashti Hardy and Viper by Bex Hogan.
4. Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of the Year. I feel like most of my anticipated books for this year are out already, but I am VERY, uncontrollably excited for Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff and The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman.
5. Biggest Disappointment. I almost hate to say this, but probably Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen McManus. I just didn’t love it (except that last line). I wasn’t gripped by the story and the whodunnit felt like it came out of nowhere (and not in a good way). Although I also DNF What if its Us? by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli, and I really wanted to love that one.
6. Biggest Surprise. Flawed by Cecelia Ahern. Cora put this on my TBR in February and I I devoured it. I loved the concept and it made me physically cringe at times. I am desperate to get my hands on the rest of the series.
7. Favourite New to You or Debut Author. I’m picking two of each, because I’m extra like that. New to me this year are Rainbow Rowell and Madeline Miller. I don’t know how I lived so long without reading their books. So far this year, I have read and loved Fangirl, Carry On, Circe and The Song of Achilles. I need to devour all of the books by these authors immediately. Debut authors who have gone straight to my favourites lists are Rachel Burge (technically a debut towards the end of last year, but shh) with The Twisted Tree, which blew me away. I settled down to read a bit before an afternoon nap so I could pass it on to a friend for our mini book club, and the next time I looked up I’d finished it. I loved every minute. My second debut pick, and actually published this year, is Lucy Powrie, whose book The Paper and Hearts Society kept me up until the early hours. I adored this book and am very excited for more in this series.
8. Newest Fictional Crush. This is an unfair question also. I choose Ead Duryan from The Priory of the Orange Tree (would not kick her out of bed for leaving toast crumbs), Felicity Montague from A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (she’s terrifying but wonderful), and Mae from Other Words for Smoke (I love that adorable, broken little cinnamon roll, ok?) In other news, where are all the bookish men for me to crush on please? Oh! Luvain Fen from the Sorrow books. Thanks to Martha for reminding me of his existence.
9. Newest Favourite Character. Circe from Circe by Madeline Miller. Also have big love for Beata Fen from Song of Sorrow who is very much the kind of mama I want to be when I grow up.
10. Book That Made You Cry. I don’t cry a lot at book, but Fierce Fragile Hearts by Sara Barnard broke my soul. Not only did it make me cry, but it made me cry on public transport.
11. Book That Made You Happy. So many books: The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman (the prequel I never knew I needed); And Then I Turned into a Mermaid by Laura Kirkpatrick (snarky mermaids that made me laugh so much); Circe by Madeline Miller (this book is perfection – read it); The Strawberry Thief by Joanne Harris (brilliant, dark addition to the Chocolat series); Song of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury (the perfect ending to a brilliant duology); The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu (my favourite couple finally got their own book); and Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin (so much magic and awesomeness).
12. Favourite Book to Film Adaptation. I don’t think I’ve watched any book to film adaptations this year, so can I say the Cormoran Strike books by Robert Galbraith? Because I loved the TV adaptation of those. I’m also loving Killing Eve, which I believe is based on a book, so I need to get on that too.
13. Favourite Post You Have Done This Year. This is a tough question. My favourite of the posts S has done on my blog is his round up of his trip to the Harry Potter Studios. My favourite review has been my review of Song of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury. And, my favourite non review post was this one on my relationship with my body image after having a baby for Mental Health Awareness Week.
14. Most Beautiful Book You Have Bought This Year. I don’t have it yet, but the limited edition slip case edition of The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman. Of the books I do own, my favourites are my slightly wonkily printed copy of Song of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury (the sprayed edges got double printed and she’s gorgeous), and the exceptionally beautiful Scar by Alice Broadway.
15. What Books Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year. That I own? The rest of the Maz Evans Who Let the Gods Out? series. Because if I don’t read them very soon I think Steph might disown me. I also want to read some more Christina Henry books (I have three on my shelf now that I haven’t read), and some of the books that have been on my shelf a ridiculously long time (The Bear and the Nightingale, Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index, and Spellbook of the Lost and Found).
Have you done the mid-year book tag? If you do, let me know – I love reading other peoples’ answers.