It’s Mid-Year Book Freak-out tag season!!
I’m kinda late to the Midyear Book Freak-out wave, but shhhh. July 1 is the actual middle of the year, so I’m technically on time. I’m sure you already know what this tag is about, so let’s just get into it!! Thank you so much to the wonderful Caro @ Book Cheshire Cat for tagging me!
Best book you’ve read so far in 2020?
Vengeful by V.E. Schwab is the only book I’ve rated 5 stars so far this year, even though it’s more like a solid 4. Still the best book I’ve read this year though, which should tell you how dry it has been so far… Though I still prefer Vicious, this sequel had most of what made me love it. Alternating timelines that eventually converge in an epic manner, morally grey characters, straight-up villains, and a great take on classic superhero tropes! Note that V.E. Schwab once used her platform to send fans after a blogger who raised valid questions about a relationship between a minor and adult in her books, and she has yet to give a proper apology.
Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020?
Gonna have to leave this one blank! I’m bad at reading sequels and the few I’ve read so far this year (besides Vengeful) weren’t that good. 😭
New release you haven’t read yet, but want to?
The Fever King is one of the few books I rated 5 stars last year, and I can’t believe I haven’t read The Electric Heir yet!! Even though I know it’s gonna be a hard-hitting read (please check out the content warnings, friends), I need to know how Noam and Dara’s story concludes!
Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?
The answer to this question used to be These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong, but guess who emailed the publisher and got a digital ARC!! 😭 I would also say The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab, but because of what I mentioned above, I’d rather not give her too much clout.
The Burning God by R.F Kuang is the final book in The Poppy War trilogy, which I’ve been faithfully following since last year. I’m so freakin’ excited to see how it ends!! An early reviewer called it R.F. Kuang’s best work to date, and… if it really is, I won’t be ready (but I will be because I desperately need to rate more books 5 stars).
I feel like this trilogy has been getting so much hype lately, as it deserves!! It’s an Asian-inspired fantasy (the Chinese aspects of the worldbuilding make my Chinese heart so happy) that’s heavily influenced by real-world events, specifically the Sino-Japanese war. It stars a morally grey female protagonist, gods who can be communed with by getting high, and a whole lot of pain. Highly recommend!! 😃
Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim could’ve been phenomenal, but instead it was the textbook definition of meh. The characters could’ve been layered, yet they were forgettable; the plot could’ve gone in an interesting direction, yet the author chose to follow *spoiler*a counterfeit money scandal??*end of spoiler* The romance could’ve been angsty, but instead I got “we bathed in a pool together once, let’s kiss.” There is nothing wrong with this book per se, but it could’ve been so much more epic than it actually was. 😥
The Henna Wars is my second favorite book of the year so far, and I’m so surprised because YA contemporary debuts usually disappoint me. 1) Contemporary isn’t my preferred genre, and 2) debuts are, based on my experience, more likely to have flaws.
While this book’s plot isn’t mind-blowing, and I totally get why other people wouldn’t like it, the queer person of color representation resonated with me so much! It reminded me why ownvoices books are so important, because I don’t think a white queer author would ever be able to write QPOC rep as well as an actual queer person of color. (Also, I loved reading about Nishat’s friendship with her sister Priti!)
Favorite new author (either debut or new to you)?
I really enjoyed The Silence of Bones, June Hur’s 2020 debut novel! From the synopses of her future books, I gather that mysteries set in historical Korea are gonna be her brand. 👁 Historical fiction and mystery are not my preferred genres, but I’m willing to read all of her future works because her writing is so polished already. Plus, we rarely get Western-published books set in Korea, let alone historical Korea!
Newest Fictional Crush?
I don’t really get fictional crushes? But a character who I wouldn’t mind being in a relationship with is Adam from Love From A to Z! He’s so unproblematic and the definition of a soft boy. 🥺
Newest Favorite Character?
I’m a very character-driven reader, so the fact that I still haven’t found a new all-time favorite character in 2020 is yet another example of how this reading year has been dry AF. But for this question, I’ll go with Spensa from Skyward! Her recklessness and brashness made her an interesting character to follow, and I’m excited to see how her character develops in the sequels!
Book that made you cry?
I’ve been very vocal about the fact that no book has ever made me cry. But I think that A Heart in a Body in a World did? I didn’t cry because of anything that happened in it, but because the way the main character is involuntarily reminded of bad memories is similar to how I am. Whenever she got flashbacks, I got flashbacks too, so I ended up crying over some events that happened to me in the past year while reading this book at 3AM. Fun.
Book that made you happy?
Heartstopper is the ultimate serotonin-inducing book, and no one can convince me otherwise! The relationship between Charlie and Nick is so cute and soft, and I’m positive that anyone can breeze through a volume in less than an hour. 😌
Favorite Book to Movie Adaptation?
The Untamed is a Chinese drama, and it’s adapted from a Chinese web novel that everyone seems to love, yet I was disappointed by 🙃. Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo portrayed the main characters perfectly. Their relationship is explicitly queer in the novel, but due to Chinese censorship laws, it couldn’t be portrayed as such on-screen. Yet they did such a good job of telegraphing the protagonists’ more-than-platonic feelings for each other in a subtle way!!
The plot is also extremely faithful to the novel, with only some minor deviations from it. Most of the characters’ lines are even direct quotes from the book! I just… love the story so much, and the relationship between the protagonists is so beautiful, whether you choose to interpret it as romantic or platonic. If I haven’t convinced you to give it a try yet, watch it for the handsome men, hehe.
Side note: I’m surprised that I actually have an answer to this question, since I don’t care for book-to-screen adaptations lmao.
Favorite Post You Wrote This Year?
This is a hard question to answer because I both love and dislike all my posts! (And sometimes I’m too embarrassed to read them after they’re published, oops.) So I’ll just go with the one that has done the most well stats-wise so far this year!
I’m really glad that my return to writing blogging discussions was well-received. 🥺 And I had so much fun discussing the topic of blog hopping with ya’ll in the comments!!
What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
Listen, I’m absolute trash. I have been putting all three of these books on my TBRs since last year, and I still haven’t read them!! I’ve already talked about why I want/need to read these books in countless posts, so I’ll just link to them instead of being a broken record:
- My (Late) April TBR + Mini Life Update!! // Books You’ll Probably Yell at Me to Read & Taking my O.W.L.s
- 5-Star Predictions Wrap-up + New Predictions
- The Stuck at Home Book Tag // Basically my Pride Month TBR + Some LGBT Book Recs!
My reading year has been disappointing so far. It hasn’t been horrible, since I am enjoying most of the books I read. I just haven’t loved a book or found a new fave yet. :((
Also my brain is too fried to come up with bloggers to tag. Everybody does this tag in the middle of the year anyway, and nobody cares if you’re actually tagged. 🤷🏻♀️ Feel free to say I tagged you if you want!