“Tonight the moonlight makes the floor of the Great Hall into game board.”First line in The Betrayals by Bridget Collins
It’s Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag time! I love that this is a tag we all do this time of year, and I always look forward to reading everyone’s version of “shit, it’s July!”. It’s also a great way of catching up with people if I’ve missed some of their posts.
So far I’ve read 35 books this year and two of those were rereads. I’ve also been pretty good with finishing series shortly after starting them, which is great, but it meant that I had to use the same book or series for more than one question. I really wanted to avoid that but it wasn’t possible. So here are my answers!
What is the best book that you’ve read so far in 2021?
The Betrayals by Bridget Collins. I looked at my stats and surprisingly, it turns out that I’ve only had three 5-star reads this year, so it wasn’t actually that hard to choose. The Betrayals was one of those books that took over my life. I was thinking about it constantly, also after I finished it because of the intriguing moral questions it poses.
What has been your favorite sequel of the first half of the year?
Without a doubt, The Kingdom of Copper by S. A. Chakraborty, the second book in the Daevabad Trilogy. It’s the only sequel I gave 5 stars, but something tells me it would have been the best no matter what else I’d read. I loved it that much! It focused on politics and character relationships, and everything was so well-written. It didn’t have a boring moment.
Is there a new release that you haven’t read yet but you’re really excited to?
There are a few because I’m someone who needs to wait for my library to get them so I’m not stressed about it. It’s Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater, The Hidden Palace by Helene Wecker and Sistersong by Lucy Holland.
What is your most anticipated release for the second half of the year?
I have a few sequels that I’m excited for. The Bone Ship’s Wake by RJ Barker, the final book in The Tide Child trilogy, The God of Lost Words by A. J. Hackwith, a Hell’s Library novel, but also The Haunting Season, an anthology that includes stories from two of my favorite authors, Bridget Collins and Natasha Pulley. The release dates are all in the last quarter of the year so I can’t get excited about them yet.
What is your biggest disappointment so far?
Sadly, I had quite a few options here, but I went with The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell because it’s also the worst book I’ve read so far. The premise had so much potential, but apparently it was more important to focus on a horrible romance and a predictable plot.
What is your biggest surprise so far?
Midnight Never Come by Marie Brennan. I don’t read books about fae and I have previously gone out of my way to avoid them. I basically only read this because it was historical fantasy and had an element in the synopsis that I was interested in although I doubted it would be executed to my liking. All my worries were put to shame as this was just my kind of slow political fantasy story that even had a romance that snuck up on me.
What is your favorite new to you or debut author?
Robin Hobb. And I’m sorry to all the other new authors I’ve read this year because there was no competition here. I read the entire Farseer Trilogy this year and it convinced me that I’m going to read every Robin Hobb book I can get my hands on. Even when I wasn’t loving everything about the story in those books, I was still addicted to her writing. I need more. I have the entire Liveship Traders trilogy on my Kindle and I’m not sure how much longer I can hold off on reading it.
What is your favorite fictional crush from this year?
I don’t have one that stands out to me so I usually take this question as an opportunity to talk about my second favorite character (the favorite is the next question), and that is Fitz from the Farseer Trilogy. He has a tough life and it’s very hard for me not to love such a character. If you’ve read my spoilery reviews of the books, you also know that I’ve called him an idiot a lot. But he’s a lovable idiot.
Who is your new favorite character?
There might be a character in The Daevabad Trilogy that I haven’t been able to shut up about: Jamshid. He’s so precious. The sort of character that is incredibly kind but also has a feistyness to him that means you can’t just walk all over him. He will stand up for himself and the people around him. And he’s smart too so I love him dearly.
A book that made you cry?
I don’t cry over books very often so I didn’t have an answer for this until June came around and The Kingdom of Copper chose to stomp all over my heart. I can’t say why obviously but it involved some emotional characters and one in particular that I, apparently, loved more than I thought I did.
A book that made you happy?
In case you’re new here, I don’t do happy books, so this question is always a challenge for me. This year I’m going with The Martian by Andy Weir because at least it made me laugh. It was exactly my kind of humor, sarcastic and inappropriate.
Your favorite book to movie/tv show that you’ve seen so far?
I’m probably bending the rules here but I have to say WandaVision. The characters are from comics (that I haven’t read) so I say it counts. The show is brilliant in every way: acting, storytelling, aesthetic, and like most of the stuff Marvel makes, it has the perfect mix of humor and serious topics. I need more Wanda!
What is your favorite post that you’ve written so far this year?
I’m actually quite proud of my posts so far this year, but one that stands out is my post about how I handle my social anxiety when it comes to book blogging. It was very scary to post, but I got so many positive responses from people who also have social anxiety, so it was definitely worth it.
I also really like my Top Ten Tuesday post about funny book titles because I had the most random idea and just ran with it. And it worked out! I think it’s my most popular post this year.
I need to highlight a recent Lost in Translation post where I looked at Danish and German book titles alongside Naemi @A Book Owl’s Corner. I’ve never had so much fun making a post and I loved letting out my inner language nerd.
What is the most beautiful book that you have bought?
Well this is the easiest question to answer because I’ve only bought one book in the past six months, and that was The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley. It’s also fairly beautiful though.
What are some books you need to read by the end of the year?
Looking at the list of books I said I wanted to read this year, there are still quite a few left but overall, I’m doing good. Here I have some books I hope to get to this year:
- The Winnowing Flame trilogy by Jen Williams
- The Age of Darkness series by Katy Rose Pool
- Liveship Traders series by Robin Hobb
- Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
- The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
- Echo Cycle by Patrick Edwards
I’m prepared for all of my plans to go out the window when I can’t stop reading Robin Hobb books.
I hope you enjoyed reading my answers and do let me know if you agree or disagree with me on any of these. I’d also love to know what your favorite book of 2021 is so far. Happy reading for the rest of the year!