Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

I realize I am very late with this post as we are well into the second half of the year, but I still found the questions of this tag relevant and wanted to talk a little bit about some of the books I've read so far in 2020, so I decided to go for it regardless. I've altered and added some of the questions to make them fit better my style of reading, but I hope you won't mind and will be able to find some recommendations in between them...

1. The best book you've read so far this year.
This is really hard to answer with just one book. You will have to forgive me for mentioning more than one. The first I would like to talk about is How to Walk Away by Catherine Center, which was incidentally the first book I've read this year. And even though I've read sixty more books since then, it still remains one of the very best. It made me cry, but it also made me extremely happy. Such a beautiful book. I absolutely cannot recommend it enough to you... The next book/series is none other than Lockwood & Co. by Jonathan Stroud. This series is everything I ever look for in a book and so much more. I can already tell that this will be my favourite for the rest of my life. I cannot wait to read it at least one more time this year...

2. The best sequel you've read so far this year.
It's funny but second books in series usually happen to be my favourites, which I know is widely unpopular opinion but whatever. The fisrt place obviously goes to The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud. I also loved my re-read of Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier. And The Wicked King by Holly Black was absolutely amazing as well...

3. New release you haven't read yet, but want to.
To tell you the truth, I'm not that much into new releases these day, as there're so many older books I haven't read yet. But one of the recent releases I would totally love to read soon is the Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare. Before I do that, though, I would like to re-read all of her previous books...

4. The most anticipated release for the second half of the year.
Well, to contradict myslef here, there's kind of a lot of new releases I'm impatiently waiting for. I am obviously excited for the Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer. I mean, I've been only waiting tvelwe years for it. Then there's a new book by Christopher Paolini called To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, which sounds amazing. As well as The Friend Scheme by Cale Dietrich that I've been waiting for since I read his previous book The Love Interest back in 2017. And last but certainly not least, Illegal - the sequel to Disappeared - by one of my all time favourite authors Francisco X. Stork... Ah, there's just so many books to look forward to...


5. The biggest disappointment.
The books I'm about to mention weren't the worst books I've read this year, but they still disappointed me the most because I was expecting so much more from them. The first one was Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy. This series is being recommended on Goodreads to people who are looking for something simmilar to Lockwood & Co., so of course I couln't possibly pass it up. But unfortunately, in my eyes it didn't compare at all. The idea was interesting enough, but there was too many fights and too little of the character development. It was kind of funny, but over all it felt like it was trying too hard. I also read the second book in the series becuase I didn't want to give up on it stright away, but by the end of it I knew that I wouldn't continue with the series after all. The other book was The Giver by Lois Lowry. It's obviously a classic and everybody recommends it, so I was really happy to finally get to it. But I have to admit I wasn't very impressed by it. Again, it was an interesting concept, but I felt like it was not properly flashed out. The whole society in the story was just so weird it kind of made me uncomfortable, which would be fine if the author made me understand it at least. You don't always have to agree but you should be able o understand why somebody do what they do. And in this case, it just didn't make any sense to me. I definitely wanted more backstory, more world building, more character development, more everything really. It also ended very abruptly, which just made me unsatisfied even more. I know that there are more books in the series, so everything might be explained later on, but I still feel like the book should be sufficient on its own...

6. The biggest surprise.
I'm not a big thriller enthusiast, so I was really pleasantly surprised that I so thoroughly enjoyed Sweet Demage by Rebecca James. It's a YA psychological thriller with a haunted house element, which made it super fun. I really loved the atmosphere of the story which was deliciously thick and scary from the very beginning, the characters were extremely interesting, and the voice of the main character incredibly luring. As I was learning everything about the house and its occupants through his eyes, it gave me a sense of well grounded reality, which was probably the reason that made me love this book so much. In my experience, there's usually nothing to hold on to when reading a thriller book - everybody tends to be super weird and unreliable, which makes me uneasy. I realize that the uneasy feeling is kind of the point of a thriller, but personally, I like when the uneasiness is caused by a different element. Which Rebecca James accomplished perfectly in this book. If you're anything like me, I can guarantee you will love this book too...

7. New favourite author.
You can probably guess, as I haven't been able to stop talking about both Katherine Center and Jonathan Stroud yet...

8. New fictional crush.
Prince Cardan from The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. I'm totally past the saving at this point...

9. New favourite character.
Bartimeus from Bartimeus Sequence by Jonathan Stroud. I just love him so much. He is clever and witty and such a lovely nuisance. I can't get enough of him...


10. Book that made you cry.
How to Walk Away, Everyone Is Beautiful, Happiness for Beginners. Basically all of Katherine Center's books. She's just incredibly good at tagging on all my emotional strings. But don't worry, you'll feel elevated at the end of all her books, I promise...

11. Book that made you happy.
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier. Having re-read this book (and the other two books in the series) made me so happy. And I was ecstatic that I found it just as lovely as when I read it for the first time more than seven years ago. It's amazing when your favourites stood up the test of time. I am positive that this series will remain my favourite for the rest of my life...

12. The best audiobook you've listened to so far.
That would be The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury. I absolutely adored it. The story was fascinating and thrilling, the writing sensual and beautiful, and the narration was to die for. It was simply one of the best audiobooks I ever experienced. The narrator Cassandra Campbell made the story come to live in my head and her rendition of the male character was just superb. I have no idea how she made him sound so masculine, but I was positively smitten whenever he uttered a single word...

13. Favourite book to movie adaptation you watched this year.
The only one I watched this year was the new adaptation of Emma by Jane Austen, which I really enjoyed. There's something about this story that makes it absolutely perfect for the screen. Yeah, it's no coincidence it's the most adapted story of all Jane Austen novels...

14. The most beautiful book you bought this year.
The new Barnes and Noble Leatherbound edition of War & Peace by Leo Tostoy, which now complements my beautiful copy of Anna Karenina that I bought last year...

15. What other books did you enjoy but didn't have a chance to talk about in previous answers?
  • Terraformer by Colleen Houck - You guys know how much I adore Colleen Houck's storytelling. Her books are super fun and incredibly addicting. Terraformer is her newly published sci-fy/fantasy book with lots of twists and turns. I enjoyed it immensely!
  • Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie - This was one lovely book with the irresistible fake dating trope. It was very simmilar to the super popular Unhoneymooners by Christina Luren in its tone, but I loved it so much more. It was funny and sweet and incredibly romantic. It celebrated body positivity and the importance of honest communication in relatonships. It was just amazing. Definitely one of the best romances I've ever read!
  • Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn - This was another great love story I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved the characters, their vulnerability, and the slow-burnt romance between them. This book was full of anaticipation and the pay off was excellent!
  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion - This was another re-read of mine that renewed and re-inforced my love for this book completely. I still stand by the opinion that this is one of the best love stories ever written!
  • Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi - I feel like this is one of the most underrated books out there, which makes me sad because I find it amazing. It's honest, raw and relatable. I definitely found myself in between the lines. Reading of this book was super therapeutic, I felt wonderfully relaxed at the end of it...

Comments

  1. Some of the books you've mention, like Chain or God, Midnight Sun, are books I really don't want to read. I definitely have a vastly different taste in books than you. The screaming staircase is the only book I read from all the books you've mentioned but I didn't really like it all that much. Perhaps I should try reading the second book, maybe I'll like that better.

    Have a lovely day.

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  2. Skvělý tag, kam na ně chodíš? :) Možná si ho propůjčím. O:)
    Jinak na Midnight Sun jsem taky čekala dlooouho. A popravdě, stálo to za to. :)

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    Replies
    1. Určitě se do tagu zapoj. Moc ráda bych si přečetla Tvé odpovědi. :-) A jsem moc ráda, že Midnight Sun stálo za to. Já jsem teprve v půlce, protože ho čtu strídavě s Twilight, a taky si ho tak trochu šetřím, abych s hrdiny románu mohla být co nejdéle a pořádně vstřebat jejich emoce a myšlenkové pochody...

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