Okay I know I’m late to this but HELLO EVERYONE. I wasn’t tagged but I decided to participate after seeing this tag around the blogosphere. (Also, Jasmine @ Jasmine’s Reading tagged everyone who hasn’t done this tag yet so thank you Jasmine!) I think the tag was originally created by Chami and Ely. And I just wanted to spread some love to bloggers I follow who did this tag so here are some blogs you should check out (I linked to their book tag post!): A Frolic Through Fiction, This Dark Material, Librae Paints Pages, Forever and Everly, A Whisper of Ink, Free Perspectives, and Paper Fury.
My Goodreads Reading Challenge Progress
As you can tell, I’m falling behind!!! *whispers* How did this happen?!
1. best book(s) you’ve read so far this year
I’ve had a pretty good reading year so far because I started ditching books I’m not enjoying. So the books I do finish are usually solid four or five star reads. (Sadly, there are exceptions to this rule.) I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction books this year and they turned into unexpected faves!
I don’t even know where to start when it comes to my love for The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. This book has such a beautiful, diverse, cast of characters that take care of each other and it’s completely unlike anything I’ve read before. I am definitely going to be finishing this series. As for Leah on the Offbeat, it was just really cute and perfectly imperfect and the ending made me very happy. There’s a full review coming soon! I also plan to review Let’s Talk About Love which gave me ALL THE FEELS. Sleeping Giants is a sci-fi book that I loved for its unique formatting and cool premise. The plot twists are unpredictable and I couldn’t stop reading. Lastly, The City of Brass is the fantasy that EVERYONE needs to read. It’s complex, full of political intrigue and fascinating creatures (the djinn!!). It’s the kind of book that stayed with me and I often found myself wondering what the characters are up to when I couldn’t fall asleep late at night.
2. best sequel you’ve read so far this year
Turns out I’ve read five or six sequels this year. It was a struggle to narrow it down but I managed (mostly because my memory is giving out on me and I can’t describe all these books without the help of Goodreads).
The Evolution of Mara Dyer is the first book I read this year and it was amazing. This series is just so freaking weird, it’s hard to describe or explain (and also I don’t want to spoil it for you guys). Mara is THE unreliable narrator of the century and it’s so trippy reading this book because it’s hard to figure out whether the things that are happening are real or not. Also Noah is another character I have a huge crush on.
I love Waking Gods but it’s hard (for me at least) to talk about this book without dropping fifty spoilers so just going to say that I highly recommend this series!
The Subtle Knife is the second book in the His Dark Materials series and honestly, I feel like this series gets stranger with every book. There are angels and witches and a knife that can cut through anything (literally ANYTHING). I liked seeing Will and Lyra’s friendship develop over the course of this novel and I just love fierce, brave, Lyra so much. She fights tooth and nail for her friends and her loyalty is impressive.
3. new release you haven’t read yet, but want to
Erm…there are A LOT of new releases I haven’t gotten around to reading yet but DESPERATELy want to so I tried to prioritise. The key word is TRIED. I’m going to read all of these books as soon as I can. VERY SOON.
4. most anticipated release for the second half of the year
Once again, I was like HOW DO I EVEN PICK?!? So I went down my mental list of favorite authors and happily remembered that they have books coming out this year!! I’m so excited to read these and fall in love with them and hug them (books need love and affection too okay!!).
5. biggest disappointment
Um I feel awkward saying this when Marie Lu is one of my favorite authors (I loved the Legend series!!) but Batman: Nightwalker was a bit of a let down. I wrote a review talking about why I felt that way. MY DNF shelf on Goodreads has been steadily growing over the last few years and that’s because I added the rest of the books above to it. I feel like this may as well be a book tag where I express unpopular opinions because I know Caraval is an very popular book. I might give it another shot later but for some reason, I couldn’t get into it and I found myself bored. I had the same problem with Heartless. I was pretty disappointed by Wild Beauty because I love Anna-Marie McLemore’s other books and I expected to fall in love with this one too. Instead, I found myself confused and the book was too slow-paced to hold my interest.
6. biggest surprise
A Discovery of Witches is a dense book. When I flipped through it and skimmed a few pages, I found it hard to believe that I would enjoy it. I also don’t usually read adult fantasy novels but I was intrigued by the Goodreads blurb. And well, it turned out to be complicated and slow (so basically a book I would DNF under normal circumstances) but I..actually enjoyed reading it a lot. This is one of my favorite books of the year (I know I didn’t mention it above but I’m trying to avoid being repetitive and talking about the same books all the time).
7. favorite new author (debut or new to you)
The Golden Compass was published four years before I was born but Philip Pullman is an author whose work I just discovered this year. I love the His Dark Materials series so much, it’s so fascinating and complex. It’s everything I expect in good fantasy. The same can be said for The City of Brass!
8. newest fictional crushes
I genuinely thought this list would be longer but ah well.. I think it’s just proof that I need to read more!! (And also, I did mention two fictional crushes I had last year because they were renewed in intensity this year when I read other books in the series.)
- Takumi from Let’s Talk About Love // I’m reading this book right now and every time his character shows up, I’m just making HEART EYES and swooning. He sounds incredible and I just wish I could meet him in real life!!
- Noah from The Evolution of Mara Dyer // He’s awesome. Enough said.
- Warner from Restore Me // Like I would hate to separate him from Juliette because they’ve always been the best power couple BUT I have a crush. * sigh *
- Dara from The City of Brass // He’s all mysterious and brooding. Basically he sounds perfect.
9. newest favorite character
I thought I would have more favorite characters but…here we are.
- Nahri from City of Brass // She’s brave and I really admire how she takes things in stride. She’s thrown into this new world with different rules when she arrives at Daevabad but doesn’t let it deter her. Her character realistically develops over the course of the book and I related to her because she never has all the answers or knows what to do (which is how I feel sometimes!) so she just tries her hardest…and hopes things will work out!
- Laylee from Whichwood // Whichwood is one of the few middle grade books I read this year and I enjoyed reading it so much. I related to Laylee’s loneliness because I had few friends when I was her age (thanks to changing schools!). But this book reminded me again of just how powerful and healing friendships can be.
10. book that made you cry
I don’t usually cry over books so…this was hard to answer. Anil’s Ghost was a book I read for English class and it was definitely an unexpected fave. This book hit me so hard. Whichwood also made me cry. Not as much as Anil’s Ghost but there were a few moments where I really felt for Laylee.
11. book that made you happy
I finished reading Let’s Talk About Love and I was smiling so much my face hurt. Alice and Takumi GIVE ME LIFE. Alice is working through some things and there are some heavy moments but despite all that, Let’s Talk About Love is a book that made me squeal and giggle. (Sidenote: PLEASE recommend more books like it to me if you read it too!)
12. favorite book-to-movie adaptation you saw this year
I know Love, Simon is the most popular answer to this question but I haven’t seen that many adaptations this year. (Also, Shadowhunters (the TV show) was pretty good and it’s based on the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Magnus and Alec are my favorite fictional couple so I just had to mention it.)
13. favorite review you’ve written
I’ve only published five or six blog posts this year so far (including this one) and two of those posts were reviews. So I chose my review of Lady Midnight from last year because this is a series I absolutely love and I’m still surprised I managed to organize my thoughts into some kind of coherent review.
14. most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)
I usually buy ebooks to read on my Kindle but I love the cover of my physical copy of The Book of Dust, which I’m definitely going to read as soon as I finish the His Dark Materials series. I’m almost done with it!! ALMOST THERE.
15. what books do you need to read by the end of the year?
UM THIS IS A LONG LIST. Like a really long list. Please refer to my answer to the question about new releases I want to read because those are all books I intend to read. But here are some more!! (Please feel free to comment below and suggest which of these I should read!)