I was only tagged in the Mid Year Freak Out Book Tag recently, by Lauren at Wonderless Reviews and Jill at Rant and Rave About Books, but despite all the other tags I have in my queue I had to bump this one to the front. It makes sense to do a mid year tag in July, it wouldn’t make sense to do it in September/October after I’ve gotten through all the tags before it in my queue. It was hard to pick only one book for some of these, so I picked two runners up as well.
Thanks Lauren and Jill for tagging me in this one. I’ve seen loads of people taking part in this tag and I am so excited to get my change to showcase my favourites for the first half of this year.
Best Book You’ve Read So Far In 2016
This became one of my most anticipated releases of 2016 after I read the blurb and saw it described as a mixture of Greek and Indian mythology. I was lucky enough to get an eARC from NetGalley and immediately after I finished it I pre-ordered the hardcover edition. The story was amazing and the world-building itself was full of magic and reminded me of some of the things I loved about The Night Circus.
After reading every other V.E. Schwab book and loving them all I finally got around to Vicious and it fast became one of my favourites. I don’t know why I didn’t start it sooner. Passenger is one of the best time travel books I’ve read lately. I wouldn’t say I had any expectations before picking it up but now I’ve read and loved it I can’t wait for Wayfarer, the second book, to be released.
Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far In 2016
I couldn’t resist adding another V.E. Schwab book. Her Shades of Magic series is my favourite of all her books and I thought A Gathering of Shadows was a brilliant edition. It exceeded all my expectations; the story was fast paced, the development of both Lila and Kell was brilliant, and after that cliffhanger I am desperate for the next book in the series.
I only got around to jumping on the Sarah J. Maas bandwagon but the A Court of Thorns and Roses books are by far my favourites. I will admit to being a little nervous about started A Court of Mist and Fury because of the love triangle aspect but I shouldn’t have been. The Raven Cycle series was another I only just started this year but I couldn’t put it down. Each book seemed to get better and better and I thought the last book was the best of the lot.
New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows
This was the book I received in my June Owl Crate box, and until then I hadn’t really noticed My Lady Jane. The blurb sounds hilarious and the rave reviews it’s been getting have only made me more and more excited to finally get started. It’s close to the top of my to-read list now and I hope I love it as much as everyone else seems to.
Edward (long live the king) is the King of England. He’s also dying, which is inconvenient, as he’s only sixteen and he’d much rather be planning for his first kiss than considering who will inherit his crown…
Jane (reads too many books) is Edward’s cousin, and far more interested in books than romance. Unfortunately for Jane, Edward has arranged to marry her off to secure the line of succession. And there’s something a little odd about her intended…
Gifford (call him G) is a horse. That is, he’s an Eðian (eth-y-un, for the uninitiated). Every day at dawn he becomes a noble chestnut steed—but then he wakes at dusk with a mouthful of hay. It’s all very undignified.
The plot thickens as Edward, Jane, and G are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy. With the fate of the kingdom at stake, our heroes will have to engage in some conspiring of their own. But can they pull off their plan before it’s off with their heads?
Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
It’s no secret that I love fairytale retellings, and it’s no secret that I love Marissa Meyer as well. So when I heard she was writing a new book it went to the top of my to-read list, and when I heard that it was inspired by Alice in Wonderland it went even higher. If Heartless is even a little as brilliant as The Lunar Chronicles books were it’s bound to be amazing.
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland – the infamous Queen of Hearts – she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.
Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favourite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.
At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king’s marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.
Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Laini Taylor is another of my favourite authors. I loved her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series and re-read it a lot, and it seems like I’ve waited ages for her to write something new. She’s got a new book coming out soon and Strange the Dreamer sounds brilliant, plus the cover is beyond gorgeous.
A breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor
Strange the Dreamer is the story of:
the aftermath of a war between gods and men.
a mysterious city stripped of its name.
a mythic hero with blood on his hands.
a young librarian with a singular dream.
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperilled.
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.
Welcome to Weep.
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
The first book in this series, Illuminae, is such a unique series; the format was beyond beautiful and I feel like I’ve been waiting ages for Gemina to be released. It’s another book with a gorgeous cover and if it’s anything like Illuminae I know the story inside is going to be just as beautiful.
The highly anticipated sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller that critics are calling “out-of-this-world awesome.”
Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.
The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.
Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.
When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia – and possibly the known universe – is in their hands.
But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.
Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.
I had high hopes for this book, as soon as I saw it was a fairytale retelling it went high on my to-read list and most anticipated releases list well. However when I read this book after it was released I was really disappointed. The plot didn’t seem to go anywhere, the characters felt flat and lifeless, and there were so many holes in the world-building. I didn’t enjoy this book and I won’t be picking up the next book in the series when it’s released.
I saw this book around a lot through WordPress in the run up to its release but it never really made it onto my radar, still when it was released I picked it up and thought ‘why not?’ The Love That Split the World ended up becoming one of my favourite books, I couldn’t put it down. The story was beautiful writing and the relationship between Natalie and Beau was heartbreaking but wonderful at the same time.
Favourite New Author (Debut or New To You)
I was possibly the last person to pick up the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series after a lot of recommendations. I fell in love with the series; with the characters, the stories, and with the Greek myths which Rick Riordan rewrote with a modern twist. I have already brought the Heroes of Olympus series and cannot wait to start it. My plan is to gradually work my way through every book Riordan has written so far and I have a feeling I’ll love them all as much as I did the original Percy Jackson books.
Newest Fictional Crush
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
When he was introduced in A Court of Thorns and Roses I wasn’t sure what to think of him. He wasn’t really an open character, but when I picked up the second book I fell in love with Rhysand the same way Feyre did. He is a brilliant character; strong, determined, dedicated. He wanted to protect Feyre but he doesn’t stand in the way of her development.
“To the people who look at the stars and wish, Rhys.”
Rhys clinked his glass against mine. “To the stars who listen—and the dreams that are answered.”
Newest Favourite Character
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Forget the love triangle between Juliette, Adam and Warner, for me, the best part of this series was any scene with Kenji Kishimoto. He always had a joke on the tip of his tongue, ready to lighten the situation for others when needed, but he also pulled the tough love act when needed. He yanked Juliette from her slumps and practically forced her to her full potential when training. Kenji is the kind of person everyone wants in this life, and I would give anything to have someone like Kenji in mine.
“Hey, um, I’m sorry to bother you, but I’m looking for a friend of mine,” he says. “Have you seen her? She’s a tiny little thing, cries a lot, spends too much time with her feelings—”
“Shut up, Kenji!”
“Oh wait!” he says. “It is you.”
Book That Made You Cry
Jandy Nelson is an amazing writer, she is one of the only contemporary authors on my auto-read/auto-buy list. The Sky is Everywhere deals with the grief Lennie feels after suddenly losing her sister. It was emotional at times, showing how Lennie and her family struggle to move on with the gaping hole left in their lives, and certain scenes moved me to tears.
Book That Made You Happy
I thought the Lunar Chronicles series ended with Winter, so I was beyond thrilled to see a new book was being released. Although Stars Above featured a lot of novellas from before and during the series but my favourite was Something Old, Something New, an epilogue for Winter. It was amazing seeing all the characters happy after everything they went though during the Luna rebellion.
Favourite Book to
Film TV Show Adaptation
I haven’t read all the books, and it’s been ages since I picked up City of Bones, but the Shadowhunters series is beyond brilliant. I have re-watched all the episodes at least twice now and I still can’t get enough. It’s a brilliant show and even though it doesn’t stick strictly to the events of the books I think the development of the characters is even better in the TV series than it was in the books.
Favourite Post You Have Done This Year
Asides from books travel is another of my great loves and while it took me a while to post my pictures from my trip to Edinburgh in March in the end I’m really happy with how this post, and the one for my Venice trip, turned out. Also based on the comments people left a lot of you enjoyed reading about my adventures in Scotland and Italy as well.
I’ve since posted about my hometown for the Souvenirs From Across the World feature, and I have plans to post more for any future holidays I go on so hopefully you will enjoy those just as much.
Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year
Originally I wasn’t going to buy a copy of the hardcover edition of A Thousand Nights, instead I was going to wait until the paperback was released at the end of June. However then I saw pictures of the hardcover and it was so gorgeous I just couldn’t resist. A Thousand Nights is one of the most beautiful books that I own and I am so glad I got the hardcover edition on my bookshelves.
What Book Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year
The short answer is so so many, but I have more than a few series that I need to get around to soon because they’ve been on my to-read list for ages.
Of course after reading the first half of the Camp Half-Blood series I need to start the Heroes of Olympus series as soon as I possibly can. Hopefully it will be the next big series I manage to get around to. I’ve seen a lot of hype for Truthwitch, and a few mixed reviews as well, but I need to read it and I feel I’ve let the hype die down a little so hopefully that will help me enjoy it a little more. The Chaos Walking series is a major one I need to read because everyone has recommended Patrick Ness to me recently, and I’ve heard some brilliant things about this series. Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children is being released soon as a movie and I feel I need to read the books before then. Finally An Ember in the Ashes has been on my bookshelves for a while now and on my to-read list for even longer.
Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan
A new Great Prophecy, a new generation of demigods—the adventures have just begun! In this new five-book series, expect to see your old friends from the Percy Jackson books along with a great new cast of main characters, as the heroes of Camp Half-Blood embark on their most dangerous challenge yet.
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.
Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.
Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden—lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.
In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.
Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness
Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee – whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not – stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden—a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.
But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?
Miss Peregrine’s Perculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow – impossible though it seems – they may still be alive.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death.
When Laia’s grandparents are brutally murdered and her brother arrested for treason by the empire, the only people she has left to turn to are the rebels.
But in exchange for their help in saving her brother, they demand that Laia spy on the ruthless Commandant of Blackcliff, the Empire’s greatest military academy. Should she fail it’s more than her brother’s freedom at risk…Laia’s very life is at stake.
There, she meets Elias, the academy’s finest soldier. But Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
- Anna at My Bookish Dream
- Astra at A Stranger’s Guide to Novels
- Cat at The Book Finch
- Grace at Quirky and Peculiar
- Lauren at Lauren’s Page Turners
- Sammie at Bookshelves & Biros
And if there’s anyone else out there who wants to take part, consider yourself tagged. Just send me a link to your post in the comments so I can see what your answers are.