So, you may or may not know that I also have a Youtube channel… one that I have not touched in over a year, but one none the less. And one of the most popular Tag videos that every Booktuber loves filming at this time of year is their Mid-Year Freak Out video. Now, although I am not filming at this time (but hope to get back to it eventually) I did not want to miss out on the chance to take part in this tradition.
This tag was originally created by Ely and Chami about 4 years ago and it quickly became a Booktube staple. Check out their channels if you are so inclined and welcome to the wonderful world of Booktube if you have yet to be initiated.
Now, on to my answers!
1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2020.
I’ve read quite a few great books so far this year but I think the one that stuck with me most would have to be a non-fiction audiobook that I listened to a couple months ago. As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes. No other book made me as insanely giddy as this one did and I think it also has a lot to do with the format. Being able to actually hear Cary Elwes talk about his experiences along with guest appearances from fellow cast and crew that worked along side him on the cult classic film was an absolute joy. I was smiling from ear to ear while listening to it.
2. Best sequel you've read so far in 2020.
I have not read many sequels yet this year but this one has to be Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa (read my thoughts here). I will be very sad when I finish this trilogy so I’m putting off reading the final one until I can bolster the courage. The journey that Kagawa takes the reader on is great and she is just so imaginative and expertly ties Japanese lore into a story that makes me envision an anime playing out in my mind.
3. New release you haven't read yet, but want to.
The Archer at Dawn by Swati Teerdhala has been on my mind a lot lately. Her first book in the series, The Tiger at Midnight, caught me by surprise in the fact that I didn’t even realize it was exactly the type of story I wanted to read at the time until I started it and I found little fault in it because of that. I am putting off reading the sequel though for that same reason - I don’t want to be disappointed by how happy I was with the first one.
4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.
A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore is set to release in September and I cannot wait to read it. This is the second book in a historical romance with a dash of modernity that was such a treat and I really want to see what happens with Lucie’s story. I am very interested in the world that Dunmore is building up and love how she ties in the suffragette movement, and women’s rights in general, while also focusing on some great romance.
5. Biggest disappointment.
Spellslinger by Sebastian De Castell (read my thoughts here). It was not at all what I was hoping for or expected and the general story was very much lacking.
6. Biggest surprise.
I think this has to be an overall genre. Romance, and Contemporary Romance in particular, has never really been my go-to but boy oh boy have I read a ton of it this year! Out of the ones I have read so far, there’s really only been 1 or 2 that I was not keen on but the rest I could just eat right up and have definitely already re-read a couple.
7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)
There have actually been quite a few but the one I seem to talk about most would have to be Noelle Salazar. Her debut novel The Flight Girls (read my thoughts here) was so well done and I couldn’t help but gush about it to everyone I spoke to. I cannot wait to see what she comes out with next!
8. Newest fictional crush.
This is such a hard one because I was able to read about so many new characters so far this year! It’s a toss up between 4 (that’s a narrowed down as I can get ok!). Ben from Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters, Lieutenant James Hart from The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar, Graham from The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler and Gus from Beach Read by Emily Henry. Honorable mention goes to Drew from Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey.
9. Newest favorite character.
Just like the previous question, this is such a hard one because I have been introduced to so many amazing characters! From leads to side-characters, I don’t know that I can give a definitive answer but one that has really stuck with me is Annabelle Archer from Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore. She is smart, witty, strong, pragmatic and so many more qualities that I admire. She’s basically who I wish I was haha.
10. Book that made you cry.
I have yet to read a book this year that has made me out and out cry but I did tear up while reading Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan (read my thoughts here) and The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar. Both were beautiful stories that dealt with real loss and mental hurdles that definitely got to me.
11. Book that made you happy.
Pretty much all of the romances that I have read. There were times reading them that I got absolutely ‘kick my feet and squee’ giddy. It’s hard to not feel happy while reading something that is pre-destined to have a happy ending and you’re just along for the very cheesy but heartfelt ride.
12. Most beautiful book you've bought so far this year (or received)
While I wasn’t a fan of the story itself (read my thoughts here), The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow is undeniably stunning.
13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
Oh I don’t think there’s enough time to list them here let alone read them! There’s quite a few on my physical TBR that I want to get through though since that has been a goal for me in 2020… but I do keep buying new ones so it’s been one of those ‘one step forward, two steps back’ kind of situations. I guess if I have to give you a few examples, they would be:
Husband Material by Emily Belden
The Shadow Wand by Laurie Forest
Ross Poldark by Winston Graham
Dragonfly by Leila Meacham
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Archer at Dawn by Swati Teerdhala
Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa
A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore
Not Like the Movies by Kerry Winfrey
Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Sarah Morgenthaler
My Calamity Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows
And many, many more…