Mid-year reading reflection and tag

I can’t believe that 2020 is halfway over- its been a wild year to say the least. At the beginning of the year I expected to barely get any reading done because of work, and then work stopped and all of the sudden I was ahead of my reading goal. So far this year I’ve read 21 books, 10,115 pages, and my average rating is a 3.9. I’ve spent the majority of this year rereading books, and I’ve only read seven authors. There are definitely some reading changes I’d like to make.

Goals for the second half of the year

  1. Focus on reading books from authors who are new to me and books I haven’t read- less rereading
  2. Read more nonfiction/scholarly works
  3. Diversify my shelves and reading habits- take stock of the books I own and read
  4. Only support authors whose views I support- i.e. no transphobic, sexist, racist authors

Mid-year book freakout tag

The questions below are taken from Scorpio Book Dreams.

What is the best book that you’ve read so far in 2020?

I have to give this to Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas. This book got me out of a major reading slump and far exceeded my expectations.

What’s your favorite sequel of the first half of the year?

I enjoyed War by Laura Thalassa just as much as I enjoyed the first book in the series.

Is there a new release that you haven’t read yet but you’re really excited for?

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown sounds amazing, and as soon as it’s back in stock at my local bookstore or on Bookshop.org I will be buying it.

What is your most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

Famine by Laura Thalassa is the third book in the Four Horsemen series. The release date is up in the air, but it will be coming out sometime during the second half of this year. As soon as this comes out I’m buying it. This is self-published by the author, so preorder it on Amazon to support her and this amazing series.

What is your biggest disappointment so far?

Harry Potter. Even before the whole JKR b******t, I just really wasn’t enjoying my reread of this series. I’ve stopped rereading this series and I won’t be reading them or supporting JKR in the future. I urge everyone to do research on the problems and faults in the “facts” that JKR pointed to in her statement. There is a plethora of scholarly work out there that disproves everything she said and shows how incredibly harmful and reductive that point of view is. On top of all that, the house-elf plot in the fourth book was so infuriating, and the characters’ attitudes toward it is very off-putting. I also didn’t enjoy Harry as a character.

What is your biggest surprise so far?

I’m usually hesitant to read very hyped books, so I was surprised that I enjoyed Serpent & Dove as much as I did. I ended up giving it four stars, and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel later this year.

Who is your favourite new to you, or debut, author?

I’ve actually only read one author this year who is new to me- Shelby Mahurin, the author of Serpent & Dove. But I have to give an honorable mention to Laura Thalassa, who quickly became one of my favorite authors. Prior to 2020 I had only read one of Thalassa’s books. This year I’ve read six more of her books and I plan on reading everything else she’s published.

Who is your favourite fictional crush from this year?

Basically every character that Laura Thalassa writes.

Who is your new favourite character?

Bryce Quinlan and Danika Fendyr have one of the greatest literary friendships that I’ve read.

A book that made you cry?

Crescent City made me ball my eyes out- and books never make me cry.

A book that made you happy?

I reread City of Heavenly Fire– and the last book makes me happy because finally everything is resolved and I can relax after a stressful reading experience.

Your favourite book to movie/ TV show that you’ve seen so far?

I finally watched The Witcher and I LOVED IT. I’ve rewatched it already, and I’m so excited for season two. I’m currently reading The Last Wish, but I don’t know if I’ll be finishing the series yet.

What is your favourite post that you’ve written so far this year?

I really like the recommendation posts I’ve done this year, and I hope to make them a regular occurrence on this website. So far I’ve recommended autobiographies by women and standalone novels.

What is the most beautiful book that you have bought?

This year I finally splurged and purchased the Lord of Shadows rune edition. It’s sold out at Waterstones, but I found it for a reasonable price on eBay.

What are 6 books that you want to read by the end of the year?

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Crave by Tracy Wolff, From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Eloquent Rage by Brittney Copper, Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare, & The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black.

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The bibliophile’s night out book tag

Beth over at Booksnest just created this original book tag, and I was immediately inspired by the questions and decided to answer. Check out Beth’s post here.

Pre-drinks | A prequel/novella you’ve read

This is much harder than I thought- I don’t read many novellas or many prequels! The first one that comes to my mind is A Court of Frost and Starlight. ACOFAS is a fun short story that takes place between the original trilogy and the future books.

The taxi to town | A book about travel

A book that involves physical travel as well as time travel is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I read this a couple years ago, and it’s definitely no easy undertaking. At almost 900 pages, it’s one of the longest books I’ve ever read, which is why I’ve yet to undertake reading Dragonfly in Amber.

Trying to find a table | A book you didn’t like to start with, but then ended up loving

This might be surprising because Sarah J. Maas is an auto-buy author for me, but Crescent City didn’t grab my attention until about 200 pages in. The beginning is very slow and the world-building is confusing, but by the end I was so invested and had completely forgiven the beginning for being so slow.

First round of drinks | A first book in a series

Mirage by Somaiya Daud definitely needs more hype! It’s beautifully written and has such complex characters. The sequel, A Court of Lions, is coming out very soon.

The dance floor | A book that makes you want to jump up and down with excitment

I was SO excited when War by Laura Thalassa came out. War is an adult fantasy/romance novel, which isn’t a genre I usually read but I’ve fallen in love with Thalassa’s writing, female characters, and stories. The third book in the series comes out later this year and I will be jumping for joy when that comes out as well!

The toilets | A book you wouldn’t touch with a barge pole

Due to the current state of book-twitter and everyone’s true colors coming out, I now have a ton of answers to this question. J.K. Rowling is done for me. I won’t be rereading Harry Potter again, or purchasing any of her new works. I urge everyone to do research on the “facts” she posted in her statement, as there is a plethora of scholarly work disproving everything she said and explaining how harmful that perspective is. It has also come to light that many white male science-fiction/fantasy (SFF) authors are terrible people, like Mark Lawrence and Sam Sykes. These situations are still unfolding, but I have no desire to read their words or support them. Support better authors!

The first to bail | The last book you DNF’d

Dark Harmony by Laura Thalassa is the last book I DNF’d. Earlier this year I went through a hardcore Laura Thalassa reading binge, and read a ton of her books. I didn’t dislike Dark Harmony by any means- I just felt like the third book wasn’t really necessary, and I was happy to say goodbye to the characters after the second book. The first two books are fun and I definitely recommend them if you’re looking for some light reading.

The journey home | A book you can’t really remember the plot of anymore

I read The Raven Cycle series four years ago, and I’ve completely forgotten basically everything about it. I also don’t see myself rereading this in the future.

The morning after | A comfort read

I have so many comfort reads, but one of the newest is Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I know that this book with always pull me in and immerse me in the world. Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout is another book that I love. The main character is one of my favorite leading ladies ever and her perspective is so fun.

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, so if you purchase a book using one of my links you are helping to support this website (at no extra cost to you)

The Lover Book Tag | 2019

I’ve been trying to write a blog post for ages now, but nothings been grabbing my attention, until now! What Vicky Read created the Lover Book Tag, which is inspired by Taylor Swift’s new album, which I have been listening to non stop since it came out.

I Forgot That You Existed – A book on your TBR that you’d completely forgotten about

I had to go to my Goodreads TBR shelf to answer this one. One book that I completely forgot I had on my TBR shelf is Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier. I added this book to my TBR shelf in 2015. I don’t think this is a book I would go out of my way to read now, and I actually will probably take it off my TBR shelf now.

Cruel Summer – A Perfect Summer Read

I love reading fantasy books in the summer. I’m not a huge contemporary fan, so I like to use summer as a time to catch up on my favorite fantasy series.

Lover – Your Favourite Book/Series

I finally read Finale by Stephanie Garber, and I absolutely loved it. Now that I’ve finished the trilogy, I can definitively say that it is one of my favorite series. I loved each book, and there was no second-book-slump.

The Man – An Amazing Female Character

I’m going to have to go with Mia from Unearthed and Undying by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. Mia is such a badass and is definitely one of my favorite female characters ever.

The Archer – A book from your childhood because you never grew up

The Percy Jackson books will always stick with me. I love the world Rick Riordan created, and I love how we got to grow up with the characters throughout the books and spinoff series. I even went to see The Musical in New York and it was incredible.

I Think He Knows – A book everyone knows you love!

Everyone in my life knows how much I love Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter novels, they’ve been a longtime favorite.

Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince – A book that makes you so sad you could paint the town blue

Undying by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner actually made me cry, and books never make me cry.

Paper Rings – Your favourite OTP

One of my new OTPs is Kaz and Inej from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I love the way Bardugo wrote their relationship.

Cornelia Street – A book that lived up to the hype

I was really scared to read The Wicked King by Holly Black because I loved The Cruel Prince so much. Luckily, TWK lived up to the hype and was a worthy follow-up.

Death by a Thousand Cuts – A book that saying goodbye to is death by a thousand cuts so you just have to re-read it again

Finale was so hard for me to finish. I never want this series to end, and it was so hard for me to say goodbye to those characters.

London Boy – A book based in London

I don’t think I’ve read many books set in London, but The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare is always a favorite.

Soon You’ll Get Better – A book that brightens up your sky

Any of Rick Riordan’s books always make me laugh. He’s such a fantastic writer, and I love his characters.

False God – A book that you could reread over again because it still does it for you, babe 

The Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout will always be a favorite. I love the characters.

You Need to Calm Down – An LGBTQ+ book you’d GLAADly recommend

Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat is definitely not for everyone, but it’s a favorite of mine.

Afterglow – It’s Not the Book, It’s Me (A book that wasn’t for you)

An Enchantment of Ravens is loved by so many people, but I was just so bored by it. It moved too quickly and the romance was so forced and fake to me.

ME! – A Character You Relate To

Scarlett from Caraval by Stephanie Garber is literally me. We have the same personality and I am fiercely protective of my younger sister too, who reminds me of Tella.

It’s Nice to Have a Friend – A Character You’d Love to be Friends With

Katy from the Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout jumps to my mind immediately. She’s so funny and relatable, and also such a badass. She’s definitely one of the most powerful female characters I’ve read about.

Daylight – A book that you weren’t sure of at first but turned out to be amazing!

I was skeptical when I first read Roseblood by A.G. Howard, but I ended up really enjoying it. I definitely plan on rereading it sometime in the future.

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Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Now that we are a little over halfway through 2018, I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and participate in the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag for the first time ever! This is the first bookish tag I have participate in on this blog, and I hope to do more in the future. This tag is all over the bookish community, but I took my questions from Korrina’s youtube video. Without further ado, lets get onto the questions!

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018.

I think I have to give this to Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. This book was so much better than I ever expected it to be. I wrote a review where I basically just talk about how amazing this book is.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018.

Without a doubt the best sequel I’ve read this year is Legendary by Stephanie Garber. I’ve already read this book twice this year, and honestly I might end up reading it a third time. Sequels to books usually end up falling slightly flat for me, but Legendary is the exact opposite. It’s just as magical as Caraval. I have a review up that you can check out for my full thoughts.

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh! This book just came out, but I cannot wait to continue Mariko’s story.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

This category is tie between Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare and Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas.

5. Biggest disappointment.

Ophelia by Lisa Klein was such a huge disappointment to me. This book had so much potential and it just fell flat. Read my full thoughts here.

6. Biggest surprise.

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore! I fully went into this book expecting to not like it, but I was pleasantly surprised. I ended up giving this book 3.5 stars.

7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)

Once again, I can’t just pick one! This is a three-way-tie between Meagan Spooner, Alexandra Christo, and Sarah Glenn Marsh. Before reading Unearthed, I read Hunted by Meagan Spooner and was just blown away by her writing. To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo was such a great retelling, and I also really loved Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh. Plus I was able to meet all three of these authors earlier this year, and they were both so lovely and it just made me love them even more!

8. Newest fictional crush.

Definitely Cardan from The Cruel Prince. I can’t wait to see what happens to him in The Wicked King.

9. Newest favourite character.

After reading Caraval, Scarlett was definitely my favorite sister. When I heard that Legendary was going to be from Tella’s POV, I was disappointed because I wasn’t a huge fan of her. But boy did Legendary change my mind! I love Tella just as much as Scarlett, so this category has to go to Tella.

10. Book that made you cry.

I rarely cry when reading books, but this year I reread The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas and I think you all know when the tears started welling up.

11. Book that made you happy.

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas. This was such a fun novella where all my favorite characters were just enjoying life and taking a much needed break from saving the world.

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

There are so many! Off the top of my head I can think of Legendary (the UK and US edition), The Cruel Prince, the UK paperback of Caraval, and the 10th anniversary edition of City of Bones.

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

One book I really want to read by the end of 2018 is Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. I would also like to finally read the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo and to catch up on my Rick Riordan books!

14. Favourite Book Community Member

There is no way I could pick just one person, so this goes to everyone I follow on bookstagram! This is such a fun, respectful community of book lovers and I’m so grateful to be a part of it.