Happy Friday! I’ve seen this tag floating around lately, and with a title like that, there’s no way I could pass up doing this tag for myself. According to Goodreads, I’ve read a little over 100 books this year, most of them being utterly fantastic from start to finish. I tried not to get too repetitive with the outstanding novels I’ve gotten the chance to read this year, but some of them fit into almost every category simply because they were too good to pass up. Share your own lists with me below if you’ve done this tag, and if you haven’t been tagged yet, consider this me opening the door wide open for you. ♥
1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2017
I picked three for this one (and almost all of the others) because I couldn’t choose just one, and because I’ve already talked about this topic so many times. If you’d like to see my full list of the Best Books From The First Half of 2017, click here.
I personally tend to look for character growth and development as the major forces behind what sells a story for me, so it’s no surprise that these three character-heavy stories are among my favorite books of 2017 so far. Each one brings something new and unexpected to the table with their beloved protagonists and golden supporting characters. I cannot recommend them enough.
» Click here for my review of Juliet Takes a Breath, and check back soon for links to my upcoming reviews ACOWAR and Queens of Geek! «
2. Your Favorite Sequel of the Year
Sequels to really, really good books are always hard to pull off: many of them fall into second-book syndrome, and only a rare few in my experience have managed to be better than the original. In my opinion, A Crown of Wishes was unequivocally better than A Star-Touched Queen, making it one of my only books ever to rate more than a star higher than the one that came before it. Both White Hot and A Perilous Undertaking were 5-star books in their own right, and while I wouldn’t say either one was better than the original, they were both excellent continuations of series that I have fallen in love with and expect to see more incredible follow-ups from in the near future.
3. A New Release That You Haven’t Read Yet, But Really Want To
I know, I know — how haven’t I read these yet?! The good news is I just bought a signed copy of Flame in the Mist at a bookstore in RVA, so I will be reading that as soon as possible. I also have THUG checked out at my local library and can confirm I’ll be reading those two at the same time because why the heck not. It’s been a pain in the behind to find a copy of Not Your Sidekick, though! This may be one of the few books I actually order online. (Hands up if you prefer buying a book in person to buying a book online like me.)
4. Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year
Happy Belated Book Birthday to Because You Love To Hate Me, which has been one of my most anticipated releases since I first heard of it back in January! Almost all of my remaining most-anticipated books will have to wait to be held by these hands until October, including Dear Martin and Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, as well as Before the Devil Breaks You, Wild Beauty, Beasts Made of Night, Warcross, and Akata Warrior.
5. Your Biggest Disappointment
I’ve only had two books that I gave less than an average rating to this year, and both of them made me so mad. I really wasn’t expecting much from 99 Days, but decided to take the plunge after picking the book up for 99 cents at my local thrift store. I couldn’t find a single redeemable thing about it. But honestly, what was worse was to my favorite author of all time write the worst story I’ve read in a long time. Talk about major disappointment! I’m irritated just thinking about it. How could this happen?!
6. Biggest Surprise of the Year
I’ve already talked about how utterly incredible ACOW was despite my immense dislike for the first novel, but I can’t get over how fantastic Dark Needs at Night’s Edge was after reading 3 less-than-stellar additions to the series before that. My mom is the one who got me into Kresley Cole, and initially I couldn’t believe how she could love these ridiculous stories…until I got to Conrad & Néomi! They were not only delicious to read about, but had HILARIOUS interactions that made for a side-splitting live read at our summer solstice cookout last month. I had similarly low expectations for By Your Side, and had put off reading it for quite a while, but I could not put it down for a moment. If I could give it 6 stars, I would.
7. Favorite New-to-You / Debut Author
Nnedi Okorafor takes the cake as my new favorite author, and I can’t believe I hadn’t read a single thing of hers before Akata Witch. I’m also insanely jealous of my friend Anna Marie right now who just got her copy of Binti SIGNED BY OKORAFOR AT READERCON. *cries internally*
Sandhya Menon and S. K. Ali were two of my top debut authors this year, and I’m so excited for what they both come up with next. I was so impressed and can’t wait to see more stories like these out there.
8. Your New Fictional Crush
Do I have a crush on the newly confirmed as canonically queer Mor, or do I just connect with her on a spiritual level? Why not both? Because it’s both no matter what anyone thinks. I’m getting a quote from her tattooed on my body. What I wouldn’t give to be her best friend slash immortal girlfriend from now to eternity.
» Spoiler alert: I don’t know if this picture is actually of Mor, or if it’s a commission, because the artist has nothing that says exactly who this is supposed to be. But, I found it on Pinterest under “Mor”, and I heart it with my whole soul, so basically what I’m saying is you’re welcome. «
9. Your New Favorite Character
I’ve decided Feyre can count as my favorite for the third book in a row because she’s just too golden for this world. I especially loved Merwild‘s illustration of a war-ravaged Feyre, after the mind-blowing amount of unending turmoil that culminated in A Court of Wings and Ruin. Also, I know I could probably think of newer favorite crushes and characters besides the entire cast of ACOWAR, but you will have to grant me this just this once. I love them too much to pass it up.
10. A Book That Made You Cry
Are we still talking about ACOWAR? Well golly me, it looks like we are, because that book ripped my already broken heart to shreds AGAIN and it was amazing that I was still breathing at the end, let me tell you. Short answer: I cried about nine times total.
Contrasted against this are By Your Side, which made me cry because I found myself in this book after not knowing how much I needed that, and Piecing Me Together, which I cried at because I found my friends in this book in a situation I’m tired of seeing them in time and time again. I talked about the latter more in my review (which made me cry again as I wrote it.) People don’t seem to often recommend books that made them cry so much, but I can’t recommend these enough.
11. A Book That Made You Happy
I had to pick something else even though all of the previous books made me beyond happy, too. What stood out most from Supermutant Magic Academy and Since You’ve Been Gone were how much I yelled “LITERALLY SAME” or “JESUS CHRIST, THIS IS MY WHOLE LIFE” in between obnoxiously loud laughter while reading. They were both so funny. While Nice Girls Endure was definitely not a burst-out-loud-laughing kind of book, I was over the moon to see a satisfying and rich ending to a story laden with fatphobia and heartbreak. This is a book you’ll pump your fist in the air to and pray there’s more of to follow.
12. Favorite Book to Film Adaptation You Saw This Year
I haven’t seen any book to movie adaptations this year, despite there being so many. However, I know I’m going to see this as soon as it comes out in 2 weeks. My best friend’s mom is the biggest Stephen King fan I’ve ever met, and gave me a deep appreciation for his novels. Seeing this and IT make their way to the big screen is a dream come true.
13. Favorite Review You’ve Written this Year
Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson was definitely my best review of this year. It was such a fantastic book and a pleasure to write about.
14. Books You Need to Read by the End of the Year
These are my “how have you not read this already?!” books for this year so far. I own them all, and they’re all sitting there, staring at me…but I just haven’t been able to pick them up. I know they’ll be good. I know. I’m just holding myself back at this point. Hashtag perks of being a mood reader.
What do you think of my choices for this tag? Share your own Mid-Year Freakout in the comments below! Happy blogging!