How are we already halfway through 2017? Impossible I say! To reflect on my year in books thus far, I thought I would participate in the Mid Year Freakout Book Tag. I loved going through everything I’ve read, and having a reminder of my favorite- and not so favorite- reads. This tag has been floating around booktube for the last few weeks, so definitely give it a shot if you’re interested. Not like I need any more books to add to my TBR 😉 So without further ado…let’s cut to the books!
1.Best book you’ve read so far in 2017- Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
By far my favorite book of the year is Tiffany D. Jackson’s Allegedly. Amazing in every single aspect, I simply could not put this one down. The writing is phenomenal, the characters nuanced, and the ending jaw dropping. If I had to point someone towards what I imagine myself writing someday, it would be this one. There’s not nearly enough hype surrounding this one in my opinion, so please, please, PLEASE give this one a shot. I promise you won’t regret a single moment of it, and if you’re interested in more of my gush look no further than my complete review: Allegedly Review
2.Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017- The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye
I haven’t read any sequels at all this year (insert sigh), so I’ll be doing this question based on a new release sequel that I need to get to. It was a tough call between The Last of August and The Crown’s Fate, but ultimately I went with the latter. I didn’t love the first book in the series, The Crown’s Game, but the ending was excellent and really got me invested in the directions this second book can take. In my defense it did just release in May (giving me not so ample time to read it), but that also means reviews are sparse for me to base my opinion off of. If you’ve already read this one I’d love to know what you thought, and whether you thought the series was worth continuing with.
3.New release you haven’t read yet, but want to- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Since The Hate U Give released in February I’ve been dying to read it, especially as the rave reviews continue to roll in. It was definitely in my top ten ‘most anticipated’ list for the entire year, which just makes it even worse I haven’t gotten around to it! I’ve been reading quite a few contemporaries that deal with harder issues in the past few months, and would love to add this powerful story to the club. I probably don’t even need to ask whether you guys loved it, so now it’s just a question of when should I finally read it?
4.Most anticipated release for the second half of the year- Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
I actually hadn’t even heard of this one until I started watching BEA book hauls a few weeks back, but since then I haven’t been able to get Jane, Unlimited out of my mind. I never read Kristin Cashore’s Graceling trilogy, however I’ve heard enough amazing things about her writing to get me excited. This book, called a “game changer” by publishers is unlike anything written before it. There’s five alternate universes, with protagonist Jane seeing her life inside each separate reality. Obviously it’s very difficult to explain, but trust me when I say it sounds amazing. Make sure to check this one out when it hits shelves in September!
5.Biggest surprise- Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
My biggest surprise of the year is actually the book I just finished. Ramona Blue is exactly what I look for in a story, and completely sums up everything I wanted Dumplin’ to be. I’ll admit that I often read books by authors I’ve disliked in the past, knowing there’s a strong possibility I’m setting myself up to hate their latest work. Not the case here, where Julie Murphy re solidified herself as an author I’ll be reading more from in the future. I even just added her debut, Side Effects May Vary, back to my TBR. Definitely do yourself a favor and check this one out.
6.Biggest disappointment- The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Unlike Ramona Blue, where I loved a book by an author I previously disliked, The Upside of Unrequited just proved Becky Albertalli is not an author I mesh with. Which is so disappointing, because everyone in the YA community loves her books! Even worse is that I was very much looking forward to her sophomore effort. Since Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was very heavy on the nerd culture (a community I’m not a part of at all), I was hoping that could attribute to the disconnect I felt for the story. No such luck. Instead I’ll have to resign to always bring on the sideline when Albertalli continues to release her trademark contemporaries. My full review: The Upside of Unrequited Review
7.Favorite new author- Tiffany D. Jackson
I have to go with Tiffany D. Jackson again for this one. Out of the many authors I’ve read from this year, she’s the only one I can say with confidence that I’ll pick up their sophomore effort. Though the bar is set astronomically high for this next book, I’m confident she can deliver given the strength of her debut. It’s an exciting feeling to find a new favorite author, and I’m so glad mine is from a writer with so much talent to tap into. With her second book already given a release date and a title, I can practically feel the pages in my hand!
8.Newest fictional crush- No worthy candidates
Unfortunately, there isn’t any characters I’ve read this year that were very crush worthy. Sooo…I’m just going to have to defer this question to a later date.
9.Newest favorite character- Ramona of Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
This was a hard one for me, since my favorite books usually have the most unlikable characters. Ramona though of Ramona Blue is a real MVP. She’s so sweet and relatable, really being a model example of what resilience and tenacity look like in a character. Though I love a good anti hero, there’s definitely something to be said for a character like Ramona. She remains dynamic and multifaceted despite her all around “goodness”, a feat often hard for authors of true protagonists to pull off. She makes the book, and is a huge reason why Ramona Blue succeeded in ways Dumplin’ did not.
10.Book that made you cry- Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
Like I said before, this book is just so, so, SO sad. I don’t think there’s a single happy moment in the entire thing. It shows how terrible the justice system often is, the prejudices jurors and the media hold, and the realities of mental illness. There’s no one, big, emotional tear-jerking moment, but instead a constant deluge of sadness. I always respected Jackson for her honesty and unflinching portrayal of this necessary story, but that definitely doesn’t mean it was easy to read!
11.Book that made you happy- Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally
This book is so sweet and perfectly exemplifies what people think of when they hear Miranda Kenneally’s name. It was also the first book I’ve read by the ‘queen of contemporary’, and let me just say it won’t be my last. Everything about this story is a heartthrob, and I dare any lover of YA to go in without smiling once. Kenneally’s characters are hilarious as well; their natural dialogue plus inherent chemistry works wonders for the quality of the book. If you’re a fan of cutesy summer love stories in the vein of Kasie West, check this one out. My full review: Coming Up for Air Review
12.Most beautiful book you’ve bought this year- Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios
Since I don’t actually buy books (#libraryforthewin), I’ve opted to do this one as my favorite cover of a book I read. That honor has to go to Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios, despite me not actually enjoying the story inside. The cover is undeniably gorgeous though, and those flowers are probably the quickest way to my heart. Not to mention the soft cream background, which is pretty much what dreams are made of. Ten out of ten would recommend picking this one up for some beautiful bookstagram posts, and the important message contained. My full review: Bad Romance Review
13.What books do you need to read by the end of the year?- Way too many
To narrow it down to my top ten:
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken
Nemesis by Brendan Reichs
Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim
Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
Queer There and Everywhere by Sarah Prager
I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maureen Goo
14.Favorite book community member- Cait @ Paper Fury
I believe I’ve talked about Paper Fury before on here, but if I haven’t let me just take the chance to say she’s amazing. Her posts are so well written and hilarious and will most definitely bring a smile to your face. Though I didn’t discover her in the last six months, she’s such a strong blogger I would hate to waste this opportunity to bring more readers to her site.
What are your favorite reads of the year so far? Your least favorite? Let me know in the comments!