I’m a smidge late on this one but I had a bunch of readathons happening in July and I wanted to wait until I got through those so I would have a bigger pool of books to choose from. I also had this all typed out and ready to go for last week but then my power went out and I LOST EVERYTHING..which is unfortunate because by the time the power came back on, I forgot what I said and I don’t like this version of what I wrote as much lol. Let’s start with a little chat about my reading goals for this year and where I’m at.
I set my Goodreads goal this year for 52 books, I had set it the year before at 60 but I didn’t even hit 50 so I wanted to start with something more manageable because I figured I can always up it part way through the year if I needed to. So I settled on 52 books a year which is a book a week, however I am secretly—well, not so secretly anymore now that I’m telling you—hoping to surpass that and hit my goal of 60 from last year. I’m currently sitting at 34 books read, which puts me at 65% complete and 3 books ahead of schedule, according to Goodreads. I think that’s a pretty good spot to be at the beginning of August and as long as I stay a couple books ahead for the next couple months, I should have no problem surpassing the 52 books! Oh and also, shameless plug here, if you’re not already following me on Goodreads, then you totally should! I would love to get more friends on there and even though I am behind on my reviews, I always keep my currently reading updating with my progress! CLICK HERE to get to my Goodreads, I’d love to have you as a friend on there! Okay, that was a lot of rambling before a long tag so I’m going to stop talking about this and start actually answering the questions.
Best book of the year so far
The Diviners(The Diviners 01) by Libba Bray
…did that surprise anyone?! LOL. I know I’ve talked about this book approximately a million times in the past two months since I read it but I literally can’t help it, I just love it so much. Let’s keep this short because I’ve smashed this book into your brains so many times that I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about it. This book has everything..you’ve got powers/abilities, paranormal aspect, creepy vibe and downright evil villain, characters that feel so real and you can’t help but love them, a plot that keeps you guessing and wanting to know more, writing that keeps you engaged and entertained. And last but certainly not least, you have a roaring 20s setting that makes you feel as if you literally stepped through time and are now in 1920s New York. It’s fantastic, it’s underrated and more people need to read it. And yes, my full review is still coming.. I’m just lazy and reviews are hard for me.
A new release that you haven’t read yet but want to
I actually have two answers for this one so I’m going to talk about both
Children of Blood and Bone(Legacy of Orisha 01) by Tomi Adeyemi
This book sounds so good, plus the cover is absolutely stunning. There was a time when the soil of Orisha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves and Reapers summoned souls. But everything changed the night that magic disappeared. Magi were killed and people were left with no hope, all under the order of a ruthless King. Zelie now has a chance to strike back and bring back magic. With the help of a rogue princess, Zelie must out wit and out pace the prince, who’s determined to eradicate magic for good. Seriously, doesn’t that sound super interesting? It’s getting crazy good reviews and I’m excited to read it.
Sky In the Deep by Adrienne Young
This book has vikings and I’m so down for that—the fact that it’s been pitched as Wonder Woman meets vikings, has me feeling all kinds of things..mostly excitement. Eelyn was raised to be a warrior and now spends her time fighting alongside her clan. Until one day she sees her brother fighting for the enemy, the brother she watched die five years ago. Faced with her brothers betrayal she must live in her enemies village and survive the winter. But then they’re attacked by a clan thought to be legend, and Eelyn must fight alongside her life long enemies, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Yasssssss, that sounds amazing. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one!
Most anticipated release for autumn/winter
Fire and Blood by George R.R. Martin
Another shocking answer, am I right?! Let me start off by saying that I reeeeealllllyyyy—is that enough extra letters to convey how much i mean it?—wish that I was saying the sixth book in TSoIaF series, Winds of Winter, but alas, I am not so I’m going with the next best thing. Fire and Blood is the first of two books that is going to go into detail of the Targaryen history and I’d be lying if I said this isn’t everything I wanted and more. Like if I can’t get Winds of Winter, I’m sure as shit happy to get this book. I’ve been wanting to know/understand more about the Targaryen’s history since we first heard it mentioned in Game of Thrones. I know we’ve gotten bits and pieces of it throughout the books and from the mouths of various characters, but it’s going to be nice to hear it talked about in the forefront in some sort of order. This one is clocking in at over 700 pages for the hardcover and is going to have over 80 illustrations and I am stoked. I’m sad I have to wait until November for it but considering that’s my birthday month, I say “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME”
Biggest disappointment of the year so far
The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
There are definitely other books that I’ve read this year that I enjoyed less than this book. However, I went into those books with lower expectations so I can’t really say that they disappointed me. So for that reason, I have to go with The Wicked Deep. The premise for this one sounded so intriguing and it sounded like it was going to be a fun, creepy, witchy read..and it just wasn’t. This book takes place in the town of Sparrow, where 200 years ago, three sisters were drowned for being witches. Now for a brief time every summer, they come back and inhabit the bodies of three girls and spend their time taking revenge on the town. Their revenge is in the form of luring boys into the harbour to drown them. Everyone in the town has accepted it, including Penny, but when a new boy shows up on the eve of the sisters return, with no idea what’s happening, she feels the need to protect him. Doesn’t that sound like its going to be all kinds of witchy and creepy—they are literally taking over people’s bodies for the sole purpose of drowning boys, after all. It did to me and it really wasn’t all that creepy, or all that witchy for that matter. My biggest issue lies within the twist of the story. I’m not going to go into detail, so don’t worry about spoilers. I will say that about 1/3 of the way through this book a little thought crept into my mind about where this story was going. I didn’t like it and i dismissed it pretty quickly by convincing myself that there was no way that was what the author was going to do because it would be sort of dumb. But then, the author did it, she did the thing I was dreading and it ruined the whole story for me. There is definitely people that probably love this book and the direction the author took, it just wasn’t for me. I will say that I loved the writing and was absolutely hooked for the first half, I will also definitely be checking out more works by this author.
Biggest surprise of the year so far
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
This might be a weird answer for some of you considering the popularity of the books/movies. However, while I knew that I was going to like this book, I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. I completely devoured this book. I thought the writing was engaging, the pacing kept me hooked. The action was fantastic and kept me entertained and the characters were well rounded. Since so many people have read this book, I’m going to keep the plot pretty quick. We follow Katniss Everdeen who volunteers as tribute in place of her sister, to participate in the annual Hunger Games. The Games are a vicious punishment designed by The Capitol in an attempt to keep their power and remind the districts below them, just how disastrous a rebellion can be. As punishment for their past, each district must provide one boy and one girl to participate in the games, which are a fight to the death. I read book two, Catching Fire, and enjoyed it. I’m currently in the middle of the final book and while I am enjoying it, I think it’s going to end up being my least favourite from the trilogy.
New favourite author
This might be cheating because I’ve only read one of Smith’s books so far, her debut novel The Way I Used to Be. However, if that’s her debut, I can’t wait to see what she can do when she has a few published books under her belt. The Way I Used to Be is definitely not going to be for everyone, it deals with the tough topic of sexual assault. In my opinion, I think this topic is handled very well and I liked the take that Smith put on it. Eden was always good at being good, but that all changed the night that her brothers best friend sexually assaulted her. Everything Eden thought she knew changed after that night. What she once liked, she now hates. What she once thought was true, is now a lie. She knows she should tell someone but she can’t so she buries it inside. The novel is told in four parts and follows Eden’s journey as she tries to navigate life and find herself again. This book is another powerful and important novel and if you are capable of reading a book with this subject matter, I would highly recommend it. I also can’t wait to get my hands on her second novel The Last to Let Go.
Your newest favourite character
Sam Lloyd from Lair of Dreams(The Diviners 02) by Libba Bray
I’M SORRY YOU GUYS, I JUST CAN’T STAY AWAY FROM THIS SERIES, I LOVE IT TOO MUCH! I mean, I am mixing it up by using the second book in the series instead of the first and that must count for something. While Lloyd does show up pretty quickly in book one, he’s more of a con man/bad boy in it..and while i was totally there for that, where he really shines is in book two. Book two confirms what we all knew deep down, that Sam Lloyd has a heart of gold and an amazingly interesting backstory. I love him and Evie’s banter and tension, I basically live for it at this point. So yeah, if you need another reason to read this book and me talking about it constantly isn’t working, read it for Sam Lloyd.
A book that made you cry
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
While this book didn’t technically make me cry, I had that “I’m about to cry” feeling happening and my eyes teared up a smidge. This graphic novel starts out relatively fun and carefree for the first half but then amps up the feels for the second half. Nimona is a shapeshifter who teams up with Lord Ballister Blackheart—a villain with a vendetta. Together they set out to create some havoc and prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Then mischief turns into all out battle and Lord Blackheart has to admit that Nimona may be more dangerous than he realized. If you haven’t read this graphic novel yet, I would highly recommend it, it’s both light hearted and fun while also dealing with some questions regarding ethics that will get you thinking. It clocks in at under 300 pages for the hardcover and you could easily get through it in one sitting, so there’s hardly a reason not to read it!
A book that made you happy
The Mark of Athena(The Heroes of Olympus 03) by Rick Riordan
Rick Riordan’s books never fail to make me smile, laugh and just feel all around good about everything. He has such a talent to balance perilous and emotional situations with fun jokes and all around good morale. His characters are some of the most lovable characters I’ve came across in my reader life and I wouldn’t give my experiences with his books back for anything. If you haven’t read his books, I would highly recommend it. While you don’t have to start with Percy Jackson and the Olympians, I would personally recommend it because it will allow you to appreciate and love this series even more. Since this is the third book in the series and the spin off series of another series I’m not going to give you any description of what it’s about but CLICK HERE to go to the Goodreads page for the very first PJO book, The Lightning Thief.
The most beautiful book so far
Caraval(Caraval 01) by Stephanie Garber
I’m assuming this prompt is talking about the most beautiful book I’ve read so far this year and not bought/received—although if that’s what it means, it’s by far the U.K. edition of Circe by Madeline Miller. The cover of Caraval is just so pretty, I own the U.S. version but I also love the U.K. version with the hidden images behind..so pretty. In Caraval, we follow Scarlet, who has never left the island where she and her sister live with her cruel father. It’s been their dream in life to go see Caraval, a once a year performance where the audience participates in the show. She’s long since given up on that dream until one day, her invitation finally arrives. Her sister Tella—with the help of a mysterious sailor—helps whisk Scarlet away to the show. The moment they step foot on the island, Tella disappears and Scarlet realizes, this year the game is based around Tella and whoever finds her first is the winner. Except Scarlet can’t tell what’s real and what isn’t and she has to be wary of getting swept away to far into the magic of Caraval. I personally, loved this book. I thought there was a perfect amount of magic and it had a great blend of good and evil. I haven’t gotten my hands on book two, Legendary, yet although I’m hoping to soon.
That’s it for me! I’m done this tag after only like two weeks of trying to write it LOL. What was your biggest disappointment of the year so far (no spoilers please). Tell me all about it in the comments below!