I’ve seen this tag creep up around booktube lately and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing everyone’s answers to the questions. It was lovely to see that I wasn’t the only one freaking out about my reading goals for the year. So, I thought, what the hell! I’m way behind on my reading goal, why not channel my worries into the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag. I’ve been very lucky to have read some fantastic books throughout the first 6 months of 2018, but I’m going to try not be repetitive with my answers, and I’ve read quite a few arcs that won’t be published till later this year, so I’m going to stick to books that are already published (or are about to be very soon). Let’s do this! *cracks knuckles*
B E S T B O O K O F T H E Y E A R S O F A R?
I definitely have two favourite reads of 2018 so far. They are…
‘Legendary‘ by Stephanie Garber. The is the sequel to the best selling novel ‘Caraval‘ that was released last year. ‘Legendary‘ was one of my most highly anticipated books for 2018, and it did not disappoint. In fact, it surpassed my expectations. As well as delivering a captivating sequel filled with magic and mayhem, Garber delivered some fantastic new characters and developed on returning characters, which truly made the book what it was. I was truly wowed by this book and I plan on posting a full review very soon to tell you guys more about it.
‘Song of Achilles‘ by Madeline Miller. This is a retelling of the story of Achilles and Patroclus in the battle of Troy. It’s a fantastic tale that tells us about Achilles and Patroclus friendship as the grow up, and eventually how their friendship develops into something more. Greek Mythology is a huge interest of mine, and this had been sitting on my TBR for quite a while, so I decided that 2018 was the year I’d read it. I did. I loved it. And, if you guys are familiar with the tale of Achilles and the battle of Troy, then you know I was in tears by the end of this book. It had one of the most beautiful conclusions I have ever read, and it immediately solidified it’s place in my top ten books for 2018.
A N E W R E L E A S E Y O U H A V E N ‘ T R E A D Y E T , B U T W A N T T O?
Again, I have multiple answers for this, but I’ve only just realised that each one fits into a different genre. I’m proud of myself for that, because one of my 2018 goals was to read more of different genre. So, these books are…
‘Circe‘ by Madeline Miller. This book is not only beautiful, but I’ve heard incredible things about it, and it’s more Greek mythology. So, I need to read this as soon as possible. And after reading ‘Song of Achilles‘ I’ve realised that I definitely need to read more of Miller’s writing. It’s beautiful!
‘Sky in the Deep‘ by Adrienne Young is the second new release I would really like to read this year, I read the premise and immediately purchased the book. Vikings, survival, battles and betrayal. Need I say more?
‘The Kiss Quotient‘ by Helen Hoang. I don’t know much about this book, except that it’s adult contemporary romance, and it’s perfect for fans of ‘The Hating Game‘ by Sally Thorne. I am indeed a fan of that book, I downright loved that book, so I believe ‘The Kiss Quotient‘ is right up my alley. I’ve also heard that the protagonist has Asperger’s, and that makes me more interested in reading it as it’s definitely not something that I’ve ever personally read in a contemporary novel.
M O S T A N T I C I P A T E D R E L E A S E F O R A U T U M N / W I N T E R?
‘Escaping from Houdini‘ by Kerri Maniscalco, I have already read this and will be reviewing it very soon. Thanks to Little Brown publishing, I managed to get hold of an arc. If you know me at all, you will know that in 2017 I completely fell in love with Maniscalco’s ‘Stalking Jack the Ripper‘ series (and Thomas Cresswell). However, even though I’ve read this, it’s still making my highly anticipated list, because during the final copy edits of this book, the ending was changed as both Maniscalco and her publisher believed it would make the book stronger as a whole. I personally really loved how the arc ended, but I have no doubts that Maniscalco made the right decision. I am equally incredibly excited for this new ending, and nervous! This is the third book in Maniscalco’s series, and it’s due to be published September 18th (which happens to be the day after my birthday).
‘Queen of Air and Darkness‘ by Cassandra Clare is highly anticipated by most Shadowhunter chronicles fans around the world. If you guys read ‘Lord of Shadows‘ then you are familiar with the cliffhanger we got left with at the end. It was the epitome of cliffhangers. It may as well have stopped mid-sentence, that’s how abrupt and shocking it was. But, it was damn good. So good. It’s rare that a book will make my jaw literally drop. The entire last chapter of ‘Lord of Shadows‘ did this to me and that is why ‘Queen of Air and Darkness‘ is my most highly anticipated book this Winter. This book was actually supposed to be published in 2019 whilst Clare published the first book in her next Shadowhunter’s series ‘The Last Hours‘ trilogy this year instead. The publishers changed this so that the last book in ‘The Dark Artifices‘ trilogy was published first and the trilogy was concluded before starting to publish the next. As you can imagine, many Shadowhunter fans were thrilled about this decision. I’m very excited to see how Emma and Julian’s journey concludes, and it’s rumoured that this book, or tome would be the more appropriate term, will be around 720 pages. It is due to be published on December 4th.
B I G G E S T D I S A P P O I N T M E N T O F T H E Y E A R S O F A R?
‘Restore Me‘ by Taherah Mafi was one of my most highly anticipated of this year. I absolutely adored the ‘Shatter Me‘ trilogy, so when I found out the trilogy (which had a very underwhelming ending) was getting another three books? I was over the freaking moon. I was excited to get engrossed back in the story, to get more of Kenji and Warner’s banter, but instead, I was really disappointed. Which, was a real bummer, to say the least. I will be doing a review on this to tell you more of my thoughts, but to summarise, I felt like a lot of this book was just filler. And all the drama seemed to come out of absolutely no where. It was getting incredibly boring to read (I hate calling books boring, but it’s true that it got to that point), and then, suddenly, Mafi decides to throw this plot twist in to make things more interesting, but it comes out of thin air and had me thinking “Where the hell did that come from?” It has been a few years since I read the original trilogy so, perhaps I missed something. But, when I went back to look for any signs of foreshadowing, I couldn’t find anything. Saying all this though, I was thrilled to be reunited with the characters, Warner, Kenji and Juliette. Their banter was great, but it wasn’t enough to entertain me throughout most of the book. I also felt like the ending was incredibly rushed and straight up sounded like something from ‘Stranger Things‘. This is just my opinion, and if you ended up enjoying this book, I’m so happy for you (and a tad envious) because I really wanted to love it.
B I G G E S T S U R P R I S E O F T H E Y E A R S O F A R?
‘Grace and Fury‘ by Tracy Banghart was an arc I received from the publisher this past month (I know I said I’d tried avoid arcs, but this one really took me by surprise) and I had previously read the synopsis on Goodreads. It definitely intrigued me, but when I started reading, it wasn’t really living up to my expectations. However, I kept reading. I told myself there was something that intrigued me about this book, and sure enough, by the time I was 5 chapters in, I was hooked. Despite predicting the twist by halfway, I began wanting it to happen. I needed it to happen, because I knew it would be epic. The more and more twists and turns that the book took, I became even more invested in the characters, in their plans, everything. However, this book is only 320 pages, after chapter 5 it became very fast paced and I only wish that Banghart had spent more time developing the characters and the world, because if she did, this book would be absolutely amazing. Regardless, I enjoyed this book so much. I really didn’t expect to like it this much, but the next book has definitely made my highly anticipated list.
N E W F A V O U R I T E A U T H O R?
Stephanie Garber was already a favourite author of mine, but I think after ‘Legendary‘ she definitely landed herself in my top 5 favourite authors ever. Not only is she such a kind, genuine, lovely and magical human being. I’ve noticed that she really takes time to thank her supporters and readers through her social media platforms and at signings as well. Of course, many, many other authors do this, most authors do, but even before ‘Caraval‘ was published I’ve seen her reply to a tonne of comments, tweets, support people’s fanarts, whilst being the happiest she can be. Her enthusiasm and kindness is definitely contagious, even through social media. As a reader and reviewer, I definitely appreciate it when authors take the time to reply, and Garber goes above and beyond on that front. Another reason she has become one of my top favourite authors is that her writing in ‘Legendary‘ is phenomenal, and you can definitely tell that her writing skill has progressed since ‘Caraval‘, which was also written very well.
Y O U R N E W E S T F A V O U R I T E C H A R A C T E R?
Okay, I know I said I’d try not to be repetitive, but I cannot deny that Tella Dragna and Dante from ‘Legendary‘ instantly became some of my new favourite characters throughout this book. All I can say about Dante is, read the book, and you will see why. Tella Dragna is the sister we didn’t really get to know in ‘Caraval‘ because, she was missing for the majority of the book. So, I was thrilled to learn that ‘Legendary‘ was from her point of view. This was our chance to learn about the sister Scarlett Dragna did everything to protect in ‘Caraval‘. Tella is a brilliant, witty protagonist with a fiery determination, but she definitely has her weaknesses and flaws, she’s not a complete badass, she’s human and I love that about her character.
A B O O K T H A T M A D E Y O U C R Y?
I can tell you with confidence that I haven’t cried so hard since ‘Clockwork Princess‘ by Cassandra Clare (the Manga made me bawl like a baby too.) I cried pretty damn hard at the end of ‘Song of Achilles‘ by Madeline Miller. I knew the ending was coming, because I’m very familiar with Greek mythology and the story of Achilles. But, it still didn’t take away from that tragically beautiful ending. It didn’t really hit me till I closed the book. Suddenly, I was hit with a wave of emotions. I opened the book up and read that last paragraph again, which would only make you cry if you read the whole book. That was it. I was gone. Taken completely by my emotions, and the tears were flowing like Niagara falls. I read this months ago, and to this day, I still pick up the book and read the last paragraph / page and a half, and I feel myself getting teary eyed.
A B O O K T H A T M A D E Y O U H A P P Y?
‘To Kill a Kingdom‘ by Alexandra Christo was definitely a book that made me happy, amongst many others, but to avoid repetition I’m going to talk about this one. It’s a loose retelling of ‘The Little Mermaid‘ however there is one scene in particular that just screamed ‘The Little Mermaid‘ Disney movie to me and it made my heart sing. Because, who doesn’t love Disney? The book, by no means, blew my mind, but it was filled with characters that I easily fell in love with, rooted for and laughed at when they made witty remarks. Especially Elian. Oh Elian. Admittedly, I did expect a little more from the ending/epilogue, but this is a stand-alone as far as I’m aware and it made me very happy to know the fate of the characters and what they were up to after the conclusion of the book. It was also an incredibly quick, easy fantasy read that helped grow my ‘read books’ pile that little bit more.
T H E M O S T B E A U T I F U L B O O K S O F A R?
I’m choosing ‘A Court of Frost and Starlight‘ by Sarah J Maas for this one, because whether or not you are a fan of her books, it’s a well known fact that Maas is phenomenal at world building. And, within the pages of the ‘ACOTAR‘ series she has created Velaris for us. In ‘ACOFAS‘ the characters are preparing to celebrate the Winter Solstice (which is essentially like Christmas) and I absolutely adored reading about this beautiful city preparing for the holiday. Maas spared no details and helped us visualise how breathtaking this world would be at this time of year and I could not deny that it was some of the most beautiful descriptions I’d read thus far. In addition to that, Maas is also known for the dresses she creates for the female characters in her stories, especially the protagonists. These dresses are portrayed beautifully through Maas’ writing in ‘ACOFAS‘ as well as her other books, often providing inspiration to artists out there to create stunning fanart of the characters in their gowns.
Finito! That’s it, the tag is complete. Am I still freaking out? A little bit. I need to get my reading game on and read more this Summer.
What would your answers be to these questions?
Have you done this tag? If so, link it in the comments. I would love to read it!
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