Mid-Year Book Freak out Tag – 2018

It’s the time of year where everyone and their mom is posting this either on blogs or BookTube. And y’know what. I like writing pithy things about books I both like and dislike. I’ll probably also do…. multiple books for each part because I’m indesicive and I’ve read like a total of 87 (!!!!!!) books this year. I also have done like. More in depth wrap ups of all of these books – so check those out if you want to hear more.

I think the creator of the tag is IsThatChami but feel free to like. Let me know if I’m off the mark here. Enough stalling – let’s get on it!

Best Books you’ve read so far

Let’s do…. 3 books – Adult, YA & Comic.

The Best We Could DoComics – The Best we Could Do by Thi Bui

You NEED to pick this book up. A memoir of the author exploring her family’s history as they left Vietnam after  the Vietnam war and immigrated over to America, this book is up there with both Maus and Persepolis in heart wrenching and powerful graphic novels. Incredibly personal and thought-provoking, Bui has this way of telling her family’s story that I would argue is better than the former two. Pick this up! The paperback came out earlier this year.

Runners Up: Spell of Wheels, Volume 1 ,Written by Kate Leth and Illustrated by Megan Levens & March, Book two, Written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, Illustrated by Nate Powell

Young Adult – Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

IlluminaeThis is some really really solid, fun Sci-fi! I absolutely loved the mixed media approach to this story. And Kady and Ezra are just fucking top notch faves.  There are SO many great scifi tropes that are explored in this – to a degree I’m not really used to seeing in YA. Though I think what makes this the best of the best of this year so far is probably just the pacing. You just can NOT put this book down. I read all 600 pages of this book in ONE DAY – I’m a quick reader, but even for me that’s pretty wild. If you like action, adventure, and just general scifi fun, check this out!

Runners Up: First Test by Tamora Pierce & The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

Adult – Human Acts by Han Kang

Human Acts A stunning translation. I cannot, no, I will not forget this book as a long as I live. I don’t know if I would feel the same way about it if I picked up a physical copy of this, but the audiobook is a masterpiece. I want to own this book so I can tab my favorite quotes – and I am not usually one of those people. The message to this book is incredible,its characters and setting stick to your soul. Absolutely check this out if you have the chance.

Runners up: The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury & The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Best Sequel you’ve read so far

2 books – Prose & Comic.

Comic – March, Book two, Written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, Illustrated by Nate Powell 

March Book TwoI cannot believe I read this so long ago and STILL haven’t picked up the third volume! I am forever grateful that my SO got this for me for Christmas. Book one is a really good start to the trilogy, but Book Two is where the story REALLY gets to you. Now, more than ever, John Lewis’ story of his experience during the civil rights needs to be told. And this volume gets really really into it. More people need to read this, Hell, I would even loan out my copy if people wanted to read this! (Though maybe not, I have a really dope as hell boxset that I got.)

Prose – Page by Tamora Pierce

Page Bloody fucking EXCELLENT! I picked up the first book in this series earlier this year and I fell SO IN LOVE with the series that I picked the second book right after and BOY I was not disappointed. Kel is the absolute BEST tortall protagonist. The cast of characters are so much fun, and Kel’s story is just. UGH it hits you right in the gut. This series are the books I needed as a kid. I’m so mad I never got past Alanna’s book series as a kid. One of my only goals for this year is to finish up this entire series – (though the only problem with that is that there will be no more Kel to read)

New Release you haven’t read yet, but want to

I’m putting 6 books, two from each category. I own maybe…. half of these? The other couple I can get from the library. I think.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

Only four books this time. I’m much more of a… wait and see if this will be any good before I check it out.

Biggest Disappointment

Wind up girl The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

Few books have made me as frustrated and just absolutely disgusted as this book has. I hate this book. Anything positive that this book may have had at one point doesn’t make up for the amounts of racism, sexism and graphic sexual assault and rape you have to endure while reading this. I don’t want to talk about this anymore.

Runners Up: Plutonia by Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox & Conspiracy of Ravens by Lila Bowen

Biggest surprise

Updraft Updraft by Fran Wilde

What I thought was going to be some generic fun Fantasy YA really turned out to be something special! The characters and world in this are top notch fantasy fun. It plays a lot with the usual Fantasy YA tropes and is able to something pretty unique at the end of it all. Diverse cast, absolutely no pointless romance, and just a lot of fun! Definitely recommend if you’re as tired of Fantasy YA as I am.

Runner’s Up: Last Song Before Night by Ilana C. Myer and Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff.

Favorite New Author (Debut or New to You)

Nina LaCour We Are Okay

I have heard rumblings of Nina LaCour’s work for a couple years now, and I finally got around to picking up one of her novels (We are Okay) this year. She’s got absolutely phenomenal prose and character voice, and also SO good at just. Setting the mood of her novels so subtlety. Also she primarily writes wlw YA which is…. all I want in my life.

Runner’s Up: Emily X.R. Pan and Adam Silvera


Newest Fictional Crush

Lies of Locke LamoraJean Tannen from Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

I would die for Jean. He is the goddamn best character in this entire girth of a novel. He is loyal and lovable and smart and charming fucking man. His flashbacks bar-none are also some of the most interesting parts of the whole thing. If you do not come out of this novel feeling like you want to marry Jean Tannen, you…. probably aren’t into men which is fine.

Runner’s Up:  Keladry of Mindelan from Page & Penelope Bunce from Carry On 

Newest Favorite Character

Evelyn HugoEvelyn Hugo from the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

It feels a bit like I’m cheating to use a book that I literally finished a couple days ago but Evelyn Hugo is by far the most interesting character I have read about so far this year. I don’t think any other book I’ve read this year succeeds in making such a compelling, multifaceted character as Evelyn Hugo is. She is the main reason why this book is so high up on my list of favorites.

Runner’s Up: Sabriel from Sabriel and Keladry of Mindelan from Page

(Also shout out to ya boy Hercule Poirot)

Book that made you Cry

Astonishing Color of After.jpg

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

What does it say that I genuinely had to REALLY REALLY Think about this one? I cry legitimately over the smallest things, but I don’t think I have cried harder or longer than I have reading this book. I pretty much read two thirds of it in one day because I needed to know what happened, and then spent the last third just a complete mess. Incredibly moving and powerful piece of fiction.

Runner’s Up: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera and Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

Book that made you Happy

Gentlemans GuideThe Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Granted there is a lot of rough shit that happens in this book but this is still laugh out loud funny and just CUTE AS HELL I love Monty and Percy SO MUCH in this it is incredible. There is so much just hope and joy in this novel as well as humor that it’s really difficult not to find it all infectious. I still tear up thinking about the ending. Your faves could NEVER!

Runner’s Up: As you Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes and Zodiac Starforce Volume 1: By the Power of Astra Written by Kevin Panetta, Illustrated by Paulina Ganucheau

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year

Wolf WilderThe Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell

You look at this copy of the book and let me know if you can resist it as well. Unfortunately the book wasn’t SUPER great? But it’s still hands down the most beautiful book cover I got this year. Mostly because I don’t…. buy a ton of physical book copies.

Runner’s Up:  We Are Okay by Nina LaCour and Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

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

You know how I had 6 books before? Well I’m going to put nine now. I own all of these but one so I have absolutely no excuse.

If you’re wondering how long this took me? Around 2.5 hours. Whew.


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