It’s July, and we are somehow more than halfway through the year!
This is one of my favourite posts to write every year, and I was just about to write this post when I saw that the lovely Caitlin @ Caitlin Althea tagged me to do this. So thank you so much, Caitlin!
I really emphasize on not including rereads in here, but sometimes you just have to.
So, let’s talk about the books I have read in the first half of this year!
A Brief Reading Overview Of The Year Thus Far:
Here are some at-a-glance reading stat graphics for my 2019 reading for the first half of the year!
My Goodreads Year in Books
Thank you to Kal @ Reader Voracious for her spreadsheet template, which I have used religiously this year! Truly, a lifesaver.
Best Book Of The Year (Thus Far)
Without a doubt, the best book I have read so far this year is Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram. I know regular readers of this blog will be able to call this answer, but there are so many reasons to love this book. It is poignant, gorgeous, heartbreaking and a literary masterpiece. It is a story that I will forever recommend, and it is just phenomenal.
Honorable mentions: Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman, Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim, Love from A to Z by S.K Ali.
Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far This Year
If I had to pick, I’d say In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire. So far this year, I have been surprisingly good at reading sequels (probably because of all the Grisha reading I did), but they haven’t been hits. I have enjoyed the Wayward Children series in the past (even though the first book hasn’t held up that well for me), and this was a very magical yet heartbreaking read. It’s really great, and that cover is 😍
New Release You Haven’t Read But Want To?
Right now, I’m dying to read Hungry Hearts edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond. It came out in June, and it’s been on my must read TBR for much longer than that. I have a feeling that I’m going to love it, and the only reason I haven’t read is because I want a physical copy to read (it’s pretty, okay? Let me live with my shallow self).
Most Anticipated Release of the Second Half of the Year?
Frankly, I don’t have that many books I’m really anticipating, but the ones I am really anticipating are some of my most anticipated reads ever. My holy trinity of anticipated releases for the second half of the year are Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan, Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo and Maybe This Time by Kasie West.
I need to stop procrastinating and being a coward so I can request an ARC of Girls.
Why am I like this. Ninth House sounds exactly like my kind of book and is set in one of my dream universities (yes, I’m that person), and Maybe This Time comes out so soon. I’m so excited I’m going to scream!!
I would say me, but we’re talking about books, so.
But for real though, it was Fake It Til You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen. This had EVERYTHING I ever wanted in a book: an Asian fake-dating rom-com with persistent mothers? Yes. But this ended up having some cheating that I was not on-board with, extremely juvenile writing/character voice, and I thought Mia was a bit of a try-hard character. Truly a pity. I am SO sad, you all have no idea.
Most definitely Royals (or also known as Prince Charming) by Rachel Hawkins. This was a book that I had taken off my TBR, and I only read it in order to prepare for the release of its sequel Her Royal Highness, which everyone and their mother loved. But Royals was so good! It was the perfect fluffy read, with a very cute romance, a fun setting and a fairly likeable heroine. I went into it expecting not to like it at all, and came out really liking it.
Favourite New Author?
This is probably a tie between Adib Khorram and Elizabeth Lim. I am incapable of shutting up about how much I loved Darius (evidence in point, my very first answer to this tag), and I also loved the first Elizabeth Lim novel, Spin the Dawn. I fell so deeply in love with the magicalness of Lim’s prose and the story as a whole. I can’t wait to check out their new works.
Newest Favourite Character?
While I haven’t found some all-time favourite characters, I found so many characters that I really enjoyed. These include Ariel from You Asked For Perfect (due to how relatable he was and how deeply I could empathize with him), Maia from Spin the Dawn (because she was an awesome likeable Asian female character with a spine, was fully fleshed out and something else I can’t place my finger on), Nikolai from the Grishaverse (Sturmhond and his sassiness saved the train wreck of Siege and Storm) and Adam and Zayneb from Love from A to Z (we love soft, sweet boys and spunky, headstrong, angry girls).
Book That Made You Cry?
The only book that has fully made me cry and sob this year was Darius the Great Is Not Okay. I was an absolute mess at the end, and this made me feel so deeply. I will love this book forever and always. I have had books that nearly made me cry, made me deeply sad or pushed me to the verge of tears.
Honourable Mentions: You Asked For Perfect by Laura Silverman, Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman, and Anger Is A Gift by Mark Oshiro.
A Book That Made You Happy?
I know that I’m trying not to include rereads here, but I really had to answer Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka. This made me the most happy, with me chuckling and grinning like an idiot COUNTLESS times.
I also can’t not talk about Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, which is likely the most hyped 2019 release. This had me laughing, chuckling and grinning so many times, especially in the first quarter. I could literally not stop grinning for the first 10%. Truly a hilarious, heartwarming and just plain funny book.
Honourable Mentions: Famous In A Small Town by Emma Mills, The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu.
Favourite Book to Movie Adaptation You’ve Seen This Year?
The only one I have watched (that I can remember) this year was Five Feet Apart, which I suppose is my default answer. I wasn’t completely swayed by it and I didn’t love it as much as other people have.
I’m woefully behind on book-to-movie adaptations. I haven’t watched The Hate U Give, (please don’t come for me), and I also need to watch The Sun Is Also A Star.
I will watch them.
Favourite Review You’ve Written This Year?
10000% my Queen of Air and Darkness Review. I feel like I really broke down my thoughts well and fairly eloquently, but imo my full reviews were pretty solid this year. But I am definitely the most proud of that review. That is probably the peak of my reviewing abilities, welp.
(Yes, I read this in 2018, and no, I’m using this as an answer because I love that review so much).
Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year?
The Waterstones Rune edition of The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu.
Yes, I only bought 3 books this year. But LOOK AT IT. It’s gorgeous. And I love it.
What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of the Year?
So so many, honestly! These include Finale by Stephanie Garber, Hungry Hearts edited by Elsie Chapman, Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake, Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean, My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows, as well as classics as a whole, if we’re being real here.
Also, everything from my anticipated releases list, my Goodreads TBR and from my shelves.
‘Twas the eternal struggle of a reader.
How has your reading been so far this year – what were your favourite and least favourite books? Have you done this tag yet? (If you haven’t done it but want to, consider yourself tagged by me!)
I’d love to know!