It’s already the middle of the year, so I wanted to do the “traditional” tag and share my reading highlights of the year so far!
This tag is usually called “Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag”, but a lot of people have spoken up about “freak” being an ableist word, so I decided to go with an alternative.
Best Book You’ve Read So Far
The first book I read this year was also immediately my favourite of the year so far, and I think it will also end up being my favourite of the entire year: Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers. At least I’ll be highly surprised if another book comes along and ends up being even better than this one.
Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far
In 2020, I shared that Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko had been one of my favourites of the year. I already got to read an eARC of the sequel, Redemptor, and it ended up living up to the first book so amazingly. This is now my favourite duology of all time!
New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To
Back when This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura came out, I loved it so incredibly much, so I’ve been very excited for her new book, Love and Other Natural Disasters, to be released. My copy hasn’t arrived yet but I’m hoping to read it this summer!
Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year
My most anticipated release for the second half of the year is 100% She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan. I’ve been excited for this book ever since I saw it was comped to The Song of Achilles, but I’ve gotten even more excited for it now that more people have read and reviewed it, because it’s a new favourite for so many people!
One of my very few 1 star reads of the year has been A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos. I didn’t even review this book, but I just absolutely couldn’t stand it. I really disliked it. There wasn’t any very deep reason; I just thought it was a terrible book. It’s a shame, because I’d been hearing great things about it, so I had high hopes for it! I guess that just happens sometimes!
My biggest surprise of the year is probably A Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson. This is the kind of book that is outside of my comfort zone/usual genres, but that I wanted to try anyway because my timeline has been obsessed with it. It’s safe to say I understand why, because it was GORGEOUS and has ended up being one of my favourite books of the year so far. It’s gothic and dark and achingly beautiful, and I absolutely adored the writing style, which was flowery without ever getting dense.
Favourite New Author (Debut or New to You)
I don’t tend to declare an author a favourite until I’ve read at least two books by them, but since I’ve read the entire Broken Earth trilogy this year and the entire trilogy was 5 stars for me, I think it’s safe to say N.K. Jemisin is a new favourite author for me!
Newest Fictional Crush
I’m very aroace so I don’t do crushes, even fictional, but the love interest from Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis Hall absolutely stole my heart! He was such an unexpectedly soft character, which I absolutely adore in books.
Newest Favourite Character
Noah from Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee has got to be my favourite character of the year so far. I’ve been seeing a lot of hate for him already since the book came out, because he’s very much a self-absorbed teenager, but I thought that made him realistically flawed and I absolutely loved him. I want to protect him and his love interest at all costs!
Book That Made You Cry
Dustin Thao’s debut, You’ve Reached Sam, made me cry BUCKETS. It comes out in November and if you like sad books, you’re going to need to preorder it!
Book That Made You Happy
After discussing such a sad book, it only makes sense to then discuss a fluffier, happier one. For me, that was Fifteen Hundred Miles From the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa. I do want to warn you, because this doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a happy book exclusively (it deals with parental abuse), but I found it so well-balanced and the good really outweighed the bad, plus it has an adorable and really supportive romance and amazing friendships.
Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year
The Owlcrate edition of The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He is probably the prettiest book I’ve bought this year. I absolutely love how the background is this gorgeous lilac, which is one of my favourite colours!
What Books Do You Need To Read By the End of the Year
I’ve been doing the Popsugar challenge this year, for the first time, and I’m actually already very close to completing it, but there’s nine books I have left to read to complete all of the challenges:
- Rivers Solomon – An Unkindness of Ghosts (afrofuturist book)
- Lex Croucher – Reputation (Pisces author)
- Michael Crichton – Jurassic Park (1990s bestseller)
- Rena Barron – Kingdom of Souls (seen on someone’s bookshelf)
- Susanna Clarke – Piranesi (locked-room mystery)
- Jane Austen – Emma (published anonymously)
- Robin Ha – Almost American Girl (about art/an artist)
- Christopher Paolini – To Sleep in a Sea of Stars (longest book on my TBR)
- Ashley Herring Blake – How to Make a Wish (reminds me of someone)
What’s your favourite book of the year so far?