Saturday, July 8

The Mid-Year Book Freak Out 2017

We were tagged by the lovely Clare & Ann from Dual Reads to do this tag and since we definitely need to do some freaking out over the books we've read the past year, we're taking the plunge. 

Vera has had a marvelous reading year (as always) while mine has been kinda meh, to be honest. I've only read 30 books so far, so I've had a decidedly hard time with these, so do forgive me for the repetition of the same books- but they really did blow me away, so I don't really mind. 

Anyhoo, without further ado- let's have a look at the books that deserve the limelight the most so far this year, and more!

1. Best Book You've Read So Far in 2017


Veronika: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, hands down. There are many books I've read this year that are so outstanding they joined to my 'all time favorites' shelf, but none of them could live up to THUG. It's obvious that Angie Thomas put her heart and soul into creating Starr, her family, Khalid and the rest of the characters, and I'm so so SO happy THUG is doing good AND that it will be made into a movie. We need more books like this, books that talk about real life issues, such as police brutality, books that are about and written by marginalized voices.

Ruzaika: Oh, but I'll have to go with The Hate U Give too, for pretty much the same reasons as Vera! To sum it up, I'm so, so glad this book was written and I'm ever so thankful that it has managed to get the attention and appreciation it's been receiving so far!

2. Best Sequel You've Read So Far in 2017


R:  Broken Sky by L. A. Weatherly was the perfect end to a mind-blowingly awesome trilogy, and I honestly couldn't recommend you this series enough. Think The Hunger Games, but even better? Yep, you read right. This series was, for me at least, even better than The Hunger Games and I'm so glad these books came into my life!

V: Hmm, I'm definitely thinking a book from the Lady July Grey series by Deanna Raybourn, but it could be any them, to be honest. I think I'm going to go with Dark Road to Darjeeling, simply because the setting was probably the most gorgeous in that one, and the mystery was, indeed, the best in that one. A lot more twisted and dark than I expected.

3. New Release You Haven't Read Yet But Want To


V: I love Beauty and the Beast so damn much, plus I'm a huge fan of the Starbound trilogy, co-written by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman, so obviously, I'm super-pumped for Hunted. Hopefully, it'll live up to expectations.

R: Saints and Misfits by S. K. Ali sound so freaking good- an #ownvoices book about a Muslim girl in a tighknit Muslim community who is faced with the prospect of confronting a monster (a rapist) masquerading as a saint, what's not to be excited about?

4. Most Anticipated Release For Second Half of 2017


R: I'm not the hugest fan of fantasy, but even I can't resist the pull of this one. The Epic Crush of Genie Lo seems to have a little bit of everything amazing- a nerdy protagonist struggling with having to deal with both school work and fighting demons, Chinese folklore, and comical flair- I'm positively drooling over this one!

V: I loved Stalking Jack the Ripper so damn much, even though, I guessed who was behind the murders really early on. There's just something special in the way Kerri Maniscalco crafts her story and characters and the world itself, plus the main characters are one of my biggest #OTPs. CAN'T WAIT.

5. Biggest Disappointment


V: I went into Blood Rose Rebellion expecting a really kickass fantasy that takes place in Hungary, which is where I live, and well, I didn't get that, at all. Instead BRR was a hot mess, horrible description, misinformation about Hungarian traditions and such, boring, one-dimensional characters and a very confusing magic system. 

R: Perfect by Cecelia Ahern was a disappointment of sorts because while I just so love the author's writing style and have never failed to appreciate it, this time around there was something decidedly missing from her usual magic. I still can't put my finger on exactly why this one failed to floor me, but Perfect wasn't nearly so perfect as I would have liked it to be. It still was an engaging read though, and I did like it enough, so if you loved the first book, you should give this one a try!

6. Biggest Surprise


R:  While I did have quite high expectations for this one, I still didn't expect Once in a Blue Moon by Vicki Covington to be as heartwarming as it was. Filled with a lot of diverse characters and written beautifully, this book that takes place during Obama's first presidential campaign is a must read!

V: I picked The Diabolic up solely because of all the attention it's gotten in the community. I'm kind of over dystopian novels, to tell you the truth, but this one was fantastic. The world was so unique and interesting and in a way just so damn relevant to today's society. The characters were deliciously wicked and complex, super-super morally gray. Literally every aspect of this novel was perfection, and I couldn't be more excited for the sequel.

7. Favorite New Author


V: That's an easy one - Deanna Raybourn. I was worried about her books at first, because they seemed the type of books that say they are mystery novels, but they actually contain like, 30% mystery and 70% romance. I really love romance novels, but when I go into a novel for the mystery, I don't want the romance to dominate the plot. Anyhow, I had no reason to fear, because Raybourn's books are filled with some of the most twisted mysteries. There was one book of hers that really didn't work for me, but I think loving 6 out of the 7 I've read so far is pretty good.

Huge thanks to Clare from Dual Reads for recommending the author to me!

R: I've read books by quite a lot of new-to-me authors this year, but Jenny Han easily takes the cake. She has a flair for YA contemporary that I haven't seen in many authors, and the writing flows so smoothly it's as if you're sitting write their in the MC's head- I kid you not. I took a liking to the author as soon as I started reading To All the Boys I've Loved Before, and it's safe to say I'll pick up anything and everything she writes!

8. Newest Fictional Crush


R: This is easy- Peter Kavinsky from the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series by Jenny Han. He's just so perfectly swoonworthy and I'd so be lying if I said I didn't want to marry him! (I really, really would!)

V: Esben from 180 was so damn cute. Seriously, one of the most adorable and supporting characters ever. Love him. 

9. Newest Favorite Character

Percy from The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue. I don't suppose I have to explain why to anyone who has read it, because Percy is easily the loveliest, most adorable character of ever. SO PRECIOUS. To those who haven't read it - READ IT!! 

R: Asiya Haque from God Smites and Other Muslim Problems was a hugely relatable character and I just loved her spunk and snark!

10. Book That Made You Cry

R: I'm incredibly sad that I read no book that made me weep my heart out this year, but Being Miss Nobody by Tamsin Winter did make me tear up at one point and it was honestly quite heartbreaking! The book itself is brilliantly written and I'd recommend it if you feel like reading an MG book about a protagonist with Selective Mutism who struggles with being bullied and being the bully herself! Also has a fantastic sister-brother relationship, so yeah. Pretty perfect.

V: I'm apparently heartless, because I don't really cry on books, but A List of Cages nearly made me cry. One of the main characters is a victim of very severe domestic abuse, and it broke my heart into tiny pieces to read his point of view, to see how he believed he deserved to be abused, because that was he was used to. I wanted to castrate his abuser while he was still alive and conscious.

11. Book That Made You Happy


V: Queens of Geek was so damn cute that I was smiling through the whole book. The two romances were just plain swoon worthy, and the setting - a book con - was something out of a book worm's dream. But seriously, imagine how Charlie and Alyssa can tell their children in the future that they met at a comic con/book con. *sobs*

R: Ah, but how can I not mention the To All the Boys I've Loved Before trilogy here? I'm sorry I seem to be talking about this one so many times, but this series just made me so, so happy and I just adored it. 

12. Favourite Book to Movie Adaptation You've Seen So Far in 2017

V: I think I've seen two adaptations this year altogether, but even if I had seen more, I think A Monster Calls would stand out, because of how well they adapted all the important parts to the big screen and how great the actors were at conveying the same emotions as the book did.

R: What a moment of shame- I haven't watched a single adaptation so far this year, though Vera does keep saying I need to both read and watch A Monster Calls soon...and I will!

13. Favourite Review You've Written So Far in 2017

V: I feel like I've written quite a few really cool reviews this year, so it was hard to choose - hahaha, see how humble I am - but after much thinking I chose my review of A List of Cages, because that book? That book deserves all the love and appreciation in the world. Also, the review may or may not contain a gif of a cinnamon roll, you'll have to see for yourselves.

R: Easy- it will have to be Being Miss Nobody by Tamsin Winter. Like I said before, this book was just brilliant, and I had such fun listing the reasons why I adored it so!

14. Most Beautiful Book You've Bought So Far This Year

V: Not something I've bought, but my friend got me Bone Gap for Easter, and the cover is just absolutely stunning. It looks so magical and gorgeous, I can't wait to dive into the story. 

R: I got this one for reviewing purposes, but it still is one of my very favorite covers of this year- it even has pineapples printed on the inside cover! Also, the book is set at a conventions and that made me so, so happy!

15. What Books Do You NEED To Read By The End of The Year

R: Okay, so this one didn't exactly release this year, but I've had Everyone We've Been by Sarah Everett  sitting on my bookshelf for months now and while I really am excited about it, I just never seem to be in the mood for it. Really should pick it up soon though!

V: The Upside of Unrequited, because I've been waiting for this for SO LONG, so technically, I should have read it as soon as it arrived... but, for some reason, I was never in the mood for it!? Hope I can pick it up soon!

Well, so that's it for our mid-year freak out. Have you read any of these books- or have we made you want to try any of these? Do let us know in the comments below! 


  1. The Hate U Give is also one of my favourites this year but so far nothing can beat Peter & Alice. And I ordered The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue because I've been seeing it everywhere and it has great reviews :)

  2. There is so much I love about your list. I really liked Saints and Misfits. I read it when I was reading a whole string of #OwnVoices coming-of-age type books (which were are very good). I really want to read Genie Lo too, but it seems my co-blogger took it across state lines to grad school. Might have to do a mail exchange on that one. I am so excited to see 180 Seconds on your list in any form. I really love Park and I agree, Esben was all sorts of perfect. And YAY! #TeamPeter, and speaking of Lara Jean, her books did make me all sorts of happy.

  3. God there are so many things you guys mentioned here that I agree with! First THUG, I mean, I cried, I laughed, Angie Thomas is a freaking genius! I also really want to read Saints and Misfits!! I'm pretty sure that's the first book cover I've seen with a hijabi on the cover! I'm so happy that you discovered Jenny Han this year, Ruzaika! She has been one of my favourite contemporary authors since I was twelve :)

  4. You're the second person I've seen choose from The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue for favorite character (although the other person chose Monty). I just bought this one last week and I can't wait to read it! So agree about A List of Cages... broke my heart! I hope you will love The Upside of Unrequited! The main character, Molly, is who I chose as my favorite character. :)
    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books


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