June is already here, meaning the middle of the year also is. So much has happened in the span of those six months in my life but with reading as well: I started my blog and the number of books I’ve read so far has been much higher than what I was expecting 🎉 I’ve already read more books than I did in 2018 which was such a surprise, in the best way possible. So when the lovely Caro at Bookcheshirecat tagged me in the Mid Year Book Freakout Tag, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to reflect on my reading in the first half of the year. This tag was created by ReadLikeWildfire & Earl Grey Books 📚 I’ve decided to choose only one book for each prompt and never the same book twice (even though I really wanted to sometimes). I hope you enjoy reading my answers!
Best Book you’ve read so far in 2019
“I do not sleep because I am not only afraid of the monsters at my door, but also of the monsters my own mind can conjure. The ones that live within.”
I think this was, by far, the hardest prompt to answer. There are quite a few books I’d consider to be favourites of the year, and choosing between all of them was not easy. By now, you all know I’m not good at choosing just one favourite, and it’s one thing that hasn’t changed since the beginning of the year. I decided to go with The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, because this novel was such an incredible journey. Reading it was a magical dream, thanks to the beautiful world-building, prose and story with a unique cast of characters. I’m still thinking about this novel today, I loved it so much.
Blog Post: My review of The Priory of the Orange Tree
Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019
“I trust you as if my soul were yours.”
Of course I have to choose Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard. I started The Witchlands series at the very end of last year, and it’s quickly become one of my favourite series of all time. I know I talk about it a lot on the blog, but I just have so much love for it. Bloodwitch was an incredible sequel, better than what I could have ever imagined. The plot came together wonderfully after the first three books, with questions being answered but new ones arising. The characters were fantastic as always and the last 100 pages were so intense, I loved it. I can’t wait to see where the story goes next. (Also the next book is Iseult’s book, and I’m so excited because Iseult is one of my favourite characters in the series 💕)
Blog Post: My review of Bloodwitch, with spoilers
New release you haven’t read yet, but want to
Girl Gone Viral by Arvin Ahmadi came out about a month ago, and I’m really intrigued by the premise! It sounds like a novel I would absolutely enjoy, I just haven’t read it yet. But I’m hoping to read it in the next few months, when I’m in the mood for this type of story.
Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
“What’s the worst that could happen?”
“You’re so young,” he said softly. “You have no idea.”
I don’t know what to expect with The Dragon Republic, sequel to The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang aside from the fact that it will break my heart, and I’ll end up in tears at some point while reading the novel. The Poppy War was one of my favourite novels of last year, so I can’t wait to discover where the story goes next, and how Rin’s character will develop after the ending of The Poppy War. Because that ending was … I don’t even have the words. The Dragon Republic comes out on August 6th, and I’m pretty sure I’ll start reading it on that day.
We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal was my biggest disappointment so far, perhaps because I was expecting to love this novel. In the end, I rated it ⭐⭐⭐ which isn’t a bad rating by any means, simply it’s not the one I was expecting to give this book. I saw so many incredible reviews for this novel, but it just didn’t work for me. The story started well, but then everything seemed to lack development, from the characters themselves to their relationships and the story. Everything felt rushed. I’m not sure I’ll read the sequel and conclusion sadly.
“This is, after all, what we’re fighting for, isn’t it? A second chance at joy.”
Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi was a complete surprise. I read this novel in one sitting during one afternoon, because I was so surprised by every twists and turns the story took. Defy Me went in a totally different direction from what I thought might happen, and it made reading this book really intriguing, and I just wanted to know what happened next. This whole book was one huge surprise.
Favorite new author (Debut or new to you)
Susan Dennard is my favourite new author, she started publishing novels a few years ago but I finished reading my first book written by her this year. This can’t be a big surprise to anyone, really, since I’ve been talking about The Witchlands a lot. I love her writing and world-building so much, they’re beautifully-crafted. And the characters are all so different, unique, reading about each of their journeys is fascinating 💚
Blog post: Why I love The Witchlands universe
Newest favorite character
“You have to take things as they are, not how you hear they’re supposed to be.”
The last book I read is Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson, which I really enjoyed. And I loved the main character from this story, Stevie Bell. I loved her determination, how hard-working she is but also how her determination can be one of her flaws. Her desire for knowledge is brilliant, but also what causes some tension in the novel. She was a great character to follow in this story because of those qualities and flaws, and I loved her.
Book that made you cry
“Do you know what happens when a pawn gets all the way across the board? She becomes a queen.”
The ending of A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna made me cry so much. 😭 I was just like the main character, Esmae: hopeful. Then the whole ending happened, and I was heartbroken for Esmae; it was a really intense and tragic ending. So of course, I ended being really emotional and I cried.
Book that made you happy
“He called Henry the North Star once. That wasn’t bright enough.”
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey Mcquiston was the book I didn’t know I needed, but needed nonetheless. It was a ray of sunshine in my day, a novel full of hope and braving obstacles that seem impossible. Thinking about this novel is making me smile even now, and I have a feeling it will be one of these books I reread when I’m not feeling at my best. 💙
Blog Post: My review of Red, Royal & Blue
Favorite Book to Movie Adaptation
I unfortunately don’t have one to talk about.
“What is truth? Scholars seek it. Poets write it. Good Kings pay gold to hear it. But in trying times, truth is the first thing we betray.”
What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
I wouldn’t say I have particular books I absolutely need to read by the end of the year. I would love to be able to read The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty however! I’ve been hearing a lot about this novel, and I’m definitely intrigued. I’m determined to read it by the end of the year, so we’ll see!
If you want to do this tag, consider yourself tagged!
What are your favourite books of the year so far? Do you have any new favourite characters or authors? What’s your most anticipated novel for the second half of the year? I’d love to chat in the comments!