Tuesday, July 3

The Mid-Year Book Freak Out


We love books. We freak out about them all. the. damn. time, thus Clare and I decided that the The Mid-Year Book Freak Out was created for us. #dontargue

For those who don't know what this is - it was designed for readers who want to showcase the best and worst of their reads, as well as their TBRs for the following half year. Warning - we went so overboard, mentioning multiple books in each category, so hopefully, you'll find some recs here. 

BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2018.

Vera:

        

I already finished this post by the time I picked up The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, so I ended up having to delete another book for it... but there was no doubt that it deserved a place here, as well as between my all time favorites. Stunning, morally gray characters, fantastic story-telling and a diverse cast... this novel was truly spectacular.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang is one of my more recent reads, and woah, it was so darn good!! The fact that this is the author's debut baffles me, because everything was so on point: the characters, the romance, the plot... I just loved it all to pieces. Also, I'm hoping that having a diverse (Stella has Asperger's (#ownvoices), Michael is Vietnamese-American) will effect the genre in a positive way. 

Nothing proves my love for The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro more than the fact that I've already bought two other books by him. He is a terrific writer and storyteller, and I genuinely want to write everything he's written. 

As for The Cruel Prince, my list wouldn't be complete with a dark novel on it, would it? But seriously, the hype is 1000% deserved in this case. Jude is one of my favorite heroine's of all time, with her drive to be THE BEST and her willingness to stab people. #nice BUT she is also so soft when it comes to her family! Ah, such a wholesome, complex character. 

Clare:


The Exact Opposite of Okay deserves to be highlighted all on its own. It was incredible and feminist and funny and I just love this book so very much. Also I get to meet Laura Steven at YALC this month and I AM SO EXCITED!

BEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2018.

Clare:

  

Vera:

       

As I've written in my summary/review of The Naturals series - see it here - the stakes got higher in each novel, and as the series' finale, Bad Blood really killed it. I wasn't a fan of The Hathaways series by Kleypas at first, but wow, Love in the Afternoon, aka the final novel, is one of my all time favorite historical romances. Beatrix is such a precious, animal-loving young woman that you cannot help but want to befriend her. 

Ocean Light was one of my most-awaited 2018 releases, and it did NOT disappoint, thankfully. So magical and beautiful - it is about water-changelings after all. As for The Ship of the Dead - I can always count on Riordan to make me laugh-out-loud and to feel so connected to the characters and so involved in their adventures. 

NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET, BUT WANT TO. 

Vera: 

        
        

Clare: 


MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR. 

Clare:

  

Vera:

      

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT. 

Vera:

      

Last year, I liked Wintersong, albeit I expected more from it - whatever, I thought, the sequel will save the series! Ahaha, no, that decidedly didn't happen - in fact, Shawdowsong was one of the most boring books I've ever read.

Leah on the Offbeat was fine, but again, my expectations were much, MUCH higher. Same about A Wrinkle in Time - it is an okay middle-grade novel, but the HYPE made me expect it to be this groundbreaking (which, I assume, it was when it was first published) novel. Flat Out Love was just plain horrid - no other way to say it. It is one of the few 1-star-reads of 2018, and the only one that I thought I'd adore, and then that happened. 

Clare:

  

My Plain Jane was super disappointing because My Lady Jane was one of my favourite books last year. Maybe the problem here was that it wasn't a reimagining of history it was a rewriting of a classic novel and they didn't quite get the tone right - for me at least. 

Shadowsong was just as beautifully written as Wintersong but lacked the same emotional connection I felt for it. I just lost interest. That said, I've seen S. Jae-Jones writing about her next book on Twitter and it sounds completely my kind of book so I will definitely keep reading her.

BIGGEST SURPRISE. 

Clare:


The first big surprise is that Will.I.Am wrote a book? The second is that it's really good. It was a futuristic and fun read that shouldn't have worked but crucially - it did. Also I've hardly seen anyone talking about this and it deserves more attention because as light YA Sci-Fi's go this is a good one.

Vera:

      

Around 80-90% of the reviews I read for An Enchantment of Ravens were negative, or semi-negative, so I kept putting it aside for months until I picked it up on a whim, and wowow, it was so good? Genuinely entertaining, well written and funny as fuck - idk why it's not more popular smh. 

Now A Major Motion Picture was such an under-the-radar titles that it was pure luck I discovered it. AND I AM SO LUCKY I DID, because it is actually one of my favorites of 2018 so far!? The cast is fantastic, the plot is super-fun and the writing is great - THIS DESERVES A LOT MORE HYPE, and I'll be forever screaming about it. 

The Girl in 6E and Poison Study are hella different (duh), but I'm grouping them together, because both of them are backlist titles I've been interested in BUT unsure about for years. I'm very pleased to say that I enjoyed both of them, especially Poison Study (although the later books... not as much). 

FAVORITE NEW AUTHOR
(DEBUT OR NEW TO YOU) 

Vera:

/ Tomi Adeyemi / Talia Hibbert / Anna Lee Huber / Daphne du Maurier/ 

Clare:

/ C.G. Drews / Melissa Brayden / Tomi Adyemi / Laura Steven / 

Sasha Alsberg / Lindsay Cummings / Sarah Maria Griffin / Melissa Albert / Martin Stewart 

NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH. 

Clare:

  • Androma from Zenith 
  • Izzy from The Exact Opposite of Okay 
  • Adelina from The Young Elites
Vera:

  • Michael from The Kiss Quotient 
  • Evan from A Girl Like Her 
  • Valek from Poison Study 
  • Adrian from After the Wedding 

NEWEST FAVORITE CHARACTER. 

Vera:

      
  • Jude from The Cruel Prince, because she was vicious and cunning, but still so soft when it came to her siblings. 
  • Lira and Elian from To Kill a Kingdom, because of that killer sass. 
  • Abby from The Summer of Jordi Perez, because she is a body-positive fashion icon I'd love to have as a friend. 
  • Kaia from Ocean Light, because she seems prickly at first, but is actually very soft and caring, and she is a cook and bakes everyone their favorite pastries to cheer them up. 
Clare:

   
  • Magiano from The Young Elites, because he is precious and funny and rogueish 
  • Joey from A Thousand Perfect Notes because she was such an interesting child and I needed more of her please! 
  • Ching Lan and Elodie from The Forbidden Orchid because both separately and together they were amazing strong characters. 

BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY. 

Clare:

   

I usually cry like a baby so I'm actually surprised there aren't more here.

Vera:

   

I don't cry on books, but boi, these three made me FEEL THINGS.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY. 

Vera:

        

Girls Made of Snow and Glass and Now a Major Motion Picture made me SO HAPPY, because they were all about girls supporting girls, feminism and working together, in the latter's case to save a movie. Meanwhile, The Ship of the Dead and the Wicked trilogy made me laugh out loud, because the characters were hella entertaining.

Clare:

     

Dragon Age: Knight Errant was the first graphic novel in the Dragon Age series I've read (and only the second graphic novel I've ever read) and it made me so happy with all the character cameos and badassery. My Lady's Choosing made me happy because it was a romance novel in which I got to choose. Finally the MC wound up with the right guy or gal. Or OK so I may have read it a few times and she has now wound up with everyone. And Kiss the Girl was just the LGBT romance novel I've always wanted and happy endings make me happy, duh

FAVORITE BOOK TO FILM ADAPTATION YOU SAW THIS YEAR. 

Clare:


FAVORITE REVIEW YOU’VE WRITTEN THIS YEAR. 
*covers will lead you to the reviews!* 

Clare:

    

Vera:

     

Apparently I've mostly been into writing fantasy reviews!?

WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR. 

Clare:

    

Vera:

      

LET'S CHAT!
Have you read any of these novels?? Let us know what you thought of them! What book(s) has been your favorite/least favorite of 2018 so far? What books do you definitely want to get to in the second half of the year?

10 comments:

  1. I actually haven't read many of the books on this list except for Labyrinth Lost, Children of Blood and Bone, The Hazelwood, and The Cruel Prince. Also, I didn't know what Will.i.am wrote a book. So, thanks for mentioning it. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Its been weirdly under-publicised. I usually feel like celebrities writing books get too much publicity but I've seen next to nothing for WaR which is a shame because it deserves more attention!

      Delete
  2. I did this tag last week. So many of these books are on my TBR list. I’m glad you liked The Seven Husbands and The Cruel Prince. I’m on a waitlist for both of those.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really hope you'll love those two - they've become two of my all time favorites!

      Delete
  3. The Kiss Quotient!!! I need to keep shouting, because it was so good. I enjoyed Tiffany Sly. There was this one character, who was really unique and interesting. I loved him. My disappointment with Leah was simply the way Albertalli messed with the group dynamic to make the romance happen, but the book was still enjoyable. I thought Motion Picture was pretty fabulous as well. It needs more love. Michael. I wish I had a Michael. I bawled at the end of The Midnight Star. I am crying again about it right now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know!! I'm so happy TKQ is getting the recognition and love it deserves! Ooh, that sounds intriguing about Tiffany Sly, I'm super-excited for it. Yep, that was one of my biggest problems with Leah as well - and it would have been a-okay IF at the end we would have gotten some kind of closure about how the friend group is faring. Alas, the email wasn't enough. Yes, Motion Picture is fantastic, and I'm SO CONFUSED why it's so unpopular smh. WHO DOESN'T WANT A MICHAEL, that's the real question.

      Delete
  4. I really want to read The Astonishing Colour of After as well! I actually ended up DNFing A Wrinkle in Time earlier this year because I just couldn't get into it. The Midnight Star and The Light Between Oceans are definitely two cry worthy books and I loved both The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and The Exact Opposite of Okay so much! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I nearly DNF-ed A Wrinkle in Time - it was just soo boring & really different from what the hype - and the movie trailer - made me expect. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo deserves ALL the love, and I'm super-excited for The Exact Opposite of Okay - Clare's been raving about it.

      Delete
  5. I am so excited for Spinning Silver and Escaping from Houdini. Tomi Adeyemi is one my new favorite authors as well. Jude is an amazing character. I loved how complex she was. I hope you get a chance to pick up Labyrinth Lost before the year is out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have HUGE expectations for both of those. Yess, I need more characters like Jude - she is fantastic.

      Delete

Your comments are what keep us going so we take the time to reply to each and every one you leave for us. We'll always try our best to visit your blogs and leave a comment for you in return. :)