As we’re in July, and officially more than halfway through the year, it’s time to do one of my favourite book tags… *drum rolls* the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag! I always find that it is such a fun tag to do every year, so here I am, doing it again. This tag was originally created by Chami and Ely.
I’m a little late to the Mid-Year Book Freak Out party, as we’re already eight days into July, but oh well… better late than never, right? 😂
So without further ado, let’s jump right into it, so I can gush about all my new favourite books!
♡ Best book you’ve read so far in 2020
My favourite book of the year (so far) is… *drum rolls* The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang! There are no words to express how much I love this book; I’ve already read it twice this year, and I can’t wait to continue with the trilogy. It’s a Chinese-inspired fantasy novel following Rin, a war orphan who aces a test that gives her the opportunity to study at the most elite military academy in her world, while the Empire is preparing for war, and it’s everything (to me, obviously).
♡ Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020
The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty by far! As I had rated the first two books in the Daevabad trilogy 5 stars, this finale was one of my most anticipated reads of the year, and I’m so happy to say that it was everything I could have asked for, and more. It’s one of the best finales I have read, I can’t stop thinking about it, and I’m already thinking about when I’ll do a reread of the trilogy next (I say that as if I hadn’t reread The City of Brass and The Kingdom of Copper in June to prepare for that finale… oh well). There are no words to express how much I love this trilogy. 💛
♡ New release you haven’t read yet, but want to
Everyone has been raving about Beach Read by Emily Henry since May, so I’m really looking forward to reading it this summer! This romance novel is about January, a romance writer, and Augustus, a literary fiction writer, who are spending the summer in neighbouring beach houses and used to be rivals in university. As they both suffer from writer’s block, they decide to switch genres, and help each other with research… of course no one is going to fall in love. 👀 I’ve only heard amazing things about this book, so I can’t wait to dive in!
♡ Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
There are so many books I’m anticipating for the second half of the year, so it’s quite hard to choose… That being said, out of everything I’m excited about, A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik and The Burning God by R.F. Kuang are definitely at the top of my list (I really can’t pick between these two)!
Naomi Novik is one of my favourite authors, so I’m over the moon that she’s starting a new fantasy series. All I know about A Deadly Education is that it’s set in a magical school where monsters are lurking in the hallway, you have to teach yourself if you want to survive, and the main character has dark magic?! I can’t express how excited I am for this!
I also cannot wait for The Burning God, because it is the last book in The Poppy War trilogy, and The Poppy War is my favourite book of the year. Have I read The Dragon Republic, the second book in the series, yet? No, but that’s because I’m waiting for the UK paperback release in August… Whatever. Still, I already can’t contain my excitement for this, because I’m following the author on Twitter, I hope that it’s gonna be amazing, and it will probably break my heart, so!
♡ Biggest disappointment
The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I was over the moon to get an e-ARC of it! Unfortunately, it really wasn’t for me… The book kept trying to convince me of how amazing the main character was and nothing was really challenging for her, there were too many time jumps for me to care about anything and she had… three potential love interests. It was so promising, but I really disliked it… I’m sad. 😭
♡ Biggest surprise
Witches of Ash and Ruin by E. Latimer came out in March and as I had barely seen anyone talk about it, I didn’t know what to expect, but wow, it was the witchy book of my dreams! This book was everything I didn’t know I wanted: it blends modern witchcraft and Celtic mythology, it’s quite dark, it has a bisexual main character with OCD, as well a f/f romance I loved. I highly recommend it!
♡ Favourite new author
I binge-read the Winternight trilogy by Katherine Arden in two weeks in February and adored it so much, so I’m happy to say that Katherine Arden is my newest favourite author! This trilogy is inspired by Russian folklore, and Katherine Arden’s writing was so vivid and magical that I felt like I was in in Rus’ with Vasya, and this story truly felt like a fairy tale, which I loved. I have yet to read Katherine Arden’s middle-grade series, Small Spaces, but I’m so excited to read anything she writes next!
Side note: I only consider an author a new favourite if I’ve read at least two of their books… otherwise, I’d add R.F. Kuang to this list, but I’ve only read The Poppy War by her so far.😉
♡ Newest fictional crush
Well… I don’t have any new fictional crush, so let’s move on to the next question. 🤷🏼♀️🙈
♡ Newest favourite character
Rin from The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang!! She’s everything to me, she’s persistent, tough, stubborn, powerful, ambitious, and to be honest makes quite terrible decisions, but I’m in awe of her. She’s definitely the reason I love The Poppy War so much, Rin is such an interesting (but quite flawed) protagonist, and as everyone else says, she could step on me.
♡ Book that made you cry
Definitely Empire of Sand and Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri! These two books are part of an amazing Indian-inspired fantasy duology, and I got so invested in the characters’ stories that I cried a lot during the endings. I wouldn’t say their endings are necessarily sad, but I thought they were perfect for me, and because of that, they made me cry… a lot. I remember crying for 15 minutes after finishing Empire of Sand… Then I read Realm of Ash and it was even worse, it took me an hour and a half to get through the last fifty pages, because I was crying so much. This duology was such a nice surprise as well, and I really recommend it if you’re looking for a new adult fantasy series to read! 😊
♡ Book that made you happy
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert made me so happy. This romance novel was such a delight to read, it has characters I love, and were amazing with each other. I loved that it had a dual perspective, that the characters really communicated with each other, and that any miscommunication was dealt with pretty quickly (usually in the next chapter or so), so there was no unnecessary drama. Moreover, there is an amazing cat in this book and I’ve been fancasting it as my own grey cat, Peter, so that was a great bonus! I’m currently reading Take a Hint, Dani Brown, which follows Dani, one of Chloe’s sisters, and this one makes me really happy as well. 💛
♡ Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)
I mean… Look at the beauty that is the UK hardback of The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty. The covers of this trilogy are the most beautiful. 😍
♡ What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
I really need to read The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang and The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin as soon as possible! I’ve talked a looooot about The Poppy War in this post, so of course, I’m so excited to read The Dragon Republic, as it’s the second book the trilogy. The UK paperback is coming out at the beginning of August, so I’m really hoping to read it then (am I considering pre-ordering it? Why, yes.). I’m also planning to read The Fifth Season very soon: N.K. Jemisin is such a high-praised author among fantasy readers, I’m interested by many of her works, but want to start with this series. The synopsis is quite vague, but it sounds intriguing, and every book in this trilogy won a Hugo, so that’s a nice bonus.
What are your favourite book(s) of the year so far?