Posted in Book Tags

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

“There is a pirate in the basement.”

First line in The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Hi, guys. It’s time to freak out because it’s the middle of the year, although I do seem to have been in a permanent state of “freak out” for the entire year. Can 2020 please end?

Nevertheless, the Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag is a great way to sum up the first six months of the year. I have read a lot of books if I compare to my normal standards. So far I’m on 35 and might even be able to read more books than I ever have before in a year. My current best is 65 so I think it can be done. But let’s move on to the questions!

What is the best book that you’ve read so far in 2020?

Or rather the best book I’ve read that doens’t fit any other question in this tag. That means that I’m choosing The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. This one opened my eyes to how much I actually love books about books. Mix that with a fairy tale-like story and Morgensterns immersive writing and it simply has to become one of my favorite books of the year.

What has been your favourite sequel of the first half of the year?

I hate this question because I’ve actually read a total of four 5-star sequels so far this year. I’m picking Chainbreaker by Tara Sim because this series needs more attention. It’s a diverse historical fantasy/steampunk series that manages to stay highly relevant and educational. It has the most wholesome characters, too. I really loved the second one for how it just took everything to the next level and expanded on both the world and the story.

Is there a new release that you haven’t read yet but you’re really excited to?

Well, there are a few. Echo Cycle by Patrick Edwards. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune. The Fascinators by Andrew Eliopulos.

What is your most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V. E. Schwab, of course.

What is your biggest disappointment so far?

Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth. This follows a group of ‘chosen ones’ 10 years after they defeated the bad guy and really seemed like it was going to dive deep into their PTSD. It didn’t exactly and I’m so disappointed. The story had so much potential. Instead of following all of the chosen ones, we only follow one and the plot itself could have been more relevant to their PTSD.

What is your biggest surprise so far?

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson. A hyped YA fantasy book is something everyone needs to be wary of, but I hadn’t needed to with this one. Rogerson’s writing really makes this story come off the pages so I couldn’t help but be invested. Then you have the characters and their banter and their friendships and their romance. Oh, and the plot is centered around books that come alive!

What is your favourite new to you or debut author?

A. J. Hackwith, the author of The Library of the Unwritten.

What is your favourite fictional crush from this year?

I’ve already mentioned this book, but I really love Nathaniel from Sorcery of Thorns so I guess that’s my answer.

Who is your new favourite character?

Rune Saint John from The Tarot Sequence series by K. D. Edwards. He is such a layered character. He has a big heart and cares deeply about the people around him. He’ll protect them at all costs and is very self-sacrificing in that regard. No character deserves as much love as he does.

A book that made you cry?

Only one book has made me cry this year and that is The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne. This one follows the life of Cyril Avery as he grows up and tries to live his life to the fullest as a gay man in Ireland. As any other life-story, his has its ups and downs, and there was one moment in particular that touched my heart and made me tear up. Amazing book!

A book that made you happy?

I don’t really read ‘happy books’ so this was kind of hard. I’m going with the first and only graphic novel I’ve ever read which is Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell. A very sweet Halloween story about friendship that was really uplifting to read.

Your favourite book to movie/tv show that you’ve seen so far?

I can never remember what I’ve watched. I guess I’m going with 13 Reasons Why because the fourth season came out in June and I watched all 10 episodes in a day. It’s based on the book Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, which I have not read. Most people seem to hate the show but I really love it for tackling difficult topics and not being afraid of being controversial. I’m so sad it’s over.

What is your favourite post that you’ve written so far this year?

The two posts I’ve written about the Danish translations of Harry Potter (book 1 and book 2) where I really allowed myself to be a language nerd. Those were so much fun to make and looking forward to writing the rest of the series.
I’m also pretty proud of my discussion post about embracing the nuances of the fantasy genre.

What is the most beautiful book that you have bought?

I bought the US paperback editions of the entire Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden. I love looking at them on my shelf.

What are some books you need to read by the end of the year?

I did a post recently about my reading goals for 2020 and what books I still needed to read. Just to mention some other books I need to read:

  • Harry Potter (book 3-7, reread)
  • King of Crows by Libba Bray
  • Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez
  • Burn by Patrick Ness

That was it for my mid year check in. Was it the best book you’ve read so far in 2020?

Posted in Book Tags

Mid Year Freak Out Tag

“Dima heard the barn doors slam before anyone else did.”

First line in King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

Hi, fellow readers. It’s June. It’s summer (although I live in Denmark so not really). It’s time for the popular tag: Mid Year Freak Out Tag. I’ve never done it myself before, so it should be exciting.

I’ve read 30 books so far this year and my Goodreads goal is 55 so it’s going great. 30 books for 15 questions means there are some books I mention twice but I really tried to pick different answers. Here is a list of a few stats to give you an impression of how I’ve been liking the books I’ve been reading:

  • Four 5-star books (although two of those were rereads)
  • One 1-star rating. The book was Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart.
  • My most popular rating was 4 stars (12 books).

That’s it for the stats. Hope you enjoy the tag.

Best book you’ve read so far in 2019

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I’m really trying to do a post without mentioning this book but what can I do. It’s the best book! It’s a character-driven story that takes place over a period of about 30 years. I loved seeing how the characters developed over such a long time and then it’s just a book that hits you right in the feels.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019

I’ve read quite a lot of sequels, so this question was almost impossible to answer but I’m going with Red Seas under Red Skies by Scott Lynch. This sequel is the reason I consider the series to be one of my all-time favorites.

New release you haven’t read yet but want to

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. So much hype is going around this book, but I believe it’s genuine and it sounds awesome. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping my library will get it soon. Otherwise I’ll have to buy because I must read it.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

I need to mention two here. Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell (September 24th) and Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater (November 5th). My expectations for these sequels are way too high but I need them right now. 

Biggest disappointment

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi. This was the book that was supposed to be similar to Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo but it was so far from being that. A critique I often see of this book is that it’s confusing which I 100% agree with. I had no idea what was going on. Also, so many inventions that didn’t make sense but seemed to exist purely because the characters needed an invention like that. The book had potential but didn’t live up to it.

Biggest surprise

I didn’t have an obvious choice here, so I went with Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare. I started reading her books back when The Mortal Instruments was published, and I just can’t stop. I don’t enjoy them as much anymore, but I need to know what happens to the characters. I ended up flying through Queen of Air and Darkness mainly because I really liked all the side-characters. Now I’m almost excited for her next series.

New favorite author (debut or new to you)

There was a contest here. Neal Schusterman won. I’ve read both Scythe and Thunderhead by him this year and I found that I really find his writing style captivating. I’ve decided that I need to read more of his books. If anyone knows where to start, please let me know in the comments.   

Newest fictional crush

Do I have one? Maybe Nikolai Lantsov from the Grisha Verse by Leigh Bardugo because who doesn’t have a crush on him.

Newest favorite character

Locke Lamora from Gentleman Bastard by Scott Lynch. I’ve read the first two books in the series this year, and Locke is just a cool character. He might sound like a stereotypical character that you’ve read about so many times before: thief, bold, smart, sort-of-bad-guy-but-we-love-him type. Lynch has just managed to make him so layered and charismatic that I can’t help but find him fascinating.

Book that made you cry

I’m sorry but the only book that made cry these past six months was A Little Life. It’s the saddest book I’ve ever read.

Book that made you happy

Not quite sure about this one. I haven’t really been reading any “happy books” this year. The closest to it would be Radio Silence by Alice Oseman because it had a sort of feel-good vibe to it that I enjoyed. It put a smile of my face at least.

Favorite book to film adaption you saw this year

How am I supposed to remember this? I saw a Danish adaption of a childhood favorite of mine, The Shamer’s Daughter, but that was truly horrible. I’m going to go favorite book to TV adaption instead and say The Magicians by Lev Grossman. A situation where I actually prefer the TV show because the two are very different and I didn’t care so much for the books.

Favorite review you’ve written this year

As this is a new blog, I’ve only managed to do two reviews at this point. My favorite of those is probably my review for The Binding by Bridget Collins because I felt I had a lot to say about that book.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought this year (or received)

I bought the collector’s edition of Six of Crows and that is just beautiful inside and out. It even has these cool illustrations of the characters at the back.

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

I’ve started The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski this month, and I would like to finish all seven books before the TV show starts. That’s highly unlikely so I’ll be happy if I just manage to read two more, but we’ll see how it goes.

A lot of answers about my reading these past six months. I hope you were inspired to read some of the books I liked. If you’ve already read them, tell what you thought of them.

Happy reading,