June 28, 2020

The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

* It's the middle of 2020! Holy goodness has this year been a train wreck....I'm just praying the second half will be a little calmer than the first half. And maybe just a little bit less stressful. Since there is so much going on right now that we cannot control I thought it would be fun to do this mid-year book tag. So grab your favorite beverage and let's get cozy.

The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

So, I have to be honest and say that my reading this year has been so sporadic. With COVID and Animal Crossing and various other things I just have not been reading a whole lot. It's the strangest thing for me to not be reading as much as I normally do. But, I just have not been in the mood to read much at all. I know I'm not the only reader who has been experiencing this but man does it stink sometimes. 


1. What is the best book that you've read so far in 2020?

Ok, be nice. I have the hardest time picking a "best" anything of the year so you are getting some options from me. Heehee. 

My top books this year so far are:

Dark Age by Pierce Brown
Oh my goodness do not get me started on this book. I'm slowly dying waiting for the final book to be released. This book is so intense. It deals with such immense topics that I don't think my puny brain has even begun to understand them. I need to reread this series, again and again, to even grasp what is being talked about.

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw
So this book. It was such a good book. I think I read it at just the perfect time. I don't plan to ever reread it because I'm afraid future me won't be so enamored with it. But seriously. I absolutely loved the witchy vibes and the romance is just too good. This is probably the last YA book I read that I really enjoyed. 
 
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Another book that I read just at the right time. This book is just perfection. It's the first Bardugo book that I've truly loved and I can't wait for the sequel to come out. I loved the main character, although she did take a bit to warm up to. I loved the friendships she had and the mystery was so good. The main character's development was amazing. I just can't say enough great things about this book.

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas
In typical Maas fashion, I fell absolutely in love with this story. I know it's gotten a lot of hate because people say it's info-dumpy and boring. But I think it's perfect. It's an adult fantasy novel and people are expecting it to read like a YA instalove romance. It's just not going to work out that way. There are a lot of layers to this story and I think Maas nailed this one. There are so many ways this book could have been horrible. But it wasn't and it was so good and I can't wait for the next book to come out!


2. What has been your favorite sequel of the first half of the year?

- My favorite sequel without a doubt is Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. I really didn't care too much for Six of Crows. I thought it was dreadfully dull. But Crooked Kingdom was an excellent step up from the first book. It outshone all of Leigh's other YA books for me.


3. Is there a new release that you haven't read yet but you're really excited for?

- Well, I've kinda already read it. It was House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas. I read it back in March. I haven't bought many new releases this year.


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

 -My most anticipated release for the second half of 2020 is To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini! I'm so excited to get a brand new story from him. I am not looking too much into it because I want to be completely surprised by everything, but I SO can't wait to read this book!


5. What is your biggest disappointment so far?

- So far 2020 has been the year of disappointing reading. I've read 42 books so far this year and only five of them are 5-star reads. Five! That is such a low number. Most of the books I've read I haven't really cared for. This is really not a good thing when you can't decide on your worst book because you've read so many so-so books. I think my biggest disappointment is A Heart So Fierce and Broken. I absolutely ADORED A Curse So Dark and Lonely. AHSFAB was pretty good until the end. I am not a fan of this trope AT ALL. So the ending really ruined it for me. If you've read it you know what I'm talking about. 


6. What is your biggest surprise so far?

- I think my biggest surprise was Ninth House. I was not expecting to love that book so much. I'm not really a fan of Leigh's Grishaverse series. But Ninth House is everything. 


7. Who is your favorite new to you, or debut, author?

- While she isn't a debut author, I did read her debut book and it was the first thing I've read by her. SA Chakraborty, the author of the Daevabad trilogy. The City of Brass was masterfully done and I was so shocked that it was her first novel. My only complaint against the book was the epilogue. I think I'm done reading those for the foreseeable future.


8. What is your favorite love story so far?

Tatiana and Alexander hands down. That book was SO good. They are definitely one of my OTPs.


9. Who is your favorite character?

- Either Alex Stern from Ninth House or Kady Grant from Illuminae. I love how sarcastic they both are. Even though they have wildly different background stories they are fierce in their own ways and I love them for it.


10. A book that made you cry?

House of Earth and Blood definitely made me cry. Real tears not just watering eyes. It was so good. 


11. A book that made you happy?

Crooked Kingdom had a really good ending and I ended up really liking it. 


12. Your favorite book to movie/tv show that you've seen so far?

- Um.....I don't really watch adaptions. I just don't have the time. So I'm going to go with my age-old answers of Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings.


13. What is your favorite post that you've written so far this year?

- Hm...I really need to start writing more in-depth posts rather than lists, but lists are so fun you know? I think my favorite posts I've written are the ones of my thoughts on the "minimalist bookshelf". The first post is The Minimalist Bookshelf 101 and the second one is The Minimalist Bookshelf 201.


14. What is the most beautiful book that you have bought?

- The most beautiful book I've bought this year is Heart of Flames by Nicki Pau Preto. It is the Owlcrate exclusive edition and it's seriously stunning! It has turquoise sprayed edges and the most beautiful cover. I just love it so much. 


15. What are six books that you want read by the end of the year?

- My unread shelf count is down to 15 books! That's amazing! I'm so proud of myself for getting it this low. But, I must continue to read/unhaul/dnf books to get that number down to zero. Six books that I'm going to read before the end of the year are:


I actually plan to read all of these in July so that just means I'll get to pick out another six books to read. 😁

Well, this was a really fun tag! I think last year I was tagged on Bookstagram for it and that was really hard to keep my answers short. It was such a good idea to do this on the blog this time instead. And it was also fun to look back on my reading from the first half of the year. Let's just say I hope the second have is 100 times better. I want to read better books and I really want to stay away from the YA genre. 

How has your reading been this first half of 2020? I'd love to know!

Happy reading,

Alicen