I feel like I’m finally back up to pre-pandemic reading levels, and we’re halfway through 2020, which means… time to do a reading round-up! These questions are taken from Paper Fury, feel free to do them yourself! Tag me! We can be friends!
1. Best book I’ve read so far in 2020
I have a lot of options for best book I’ve read so far this year, and I talk about a few of them later on. The book that I’m actually looking forward to re-reading already is The Grace Year by Kim Liggett. I read it back in January and I’ll probably read it again for a book club in October. It was thrilling and thought provoking and yeah. It was really good!
2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020
This was pretty hard. I did really love A Court of Mist and Fury but since I’ll be talking about that one later on, I’ll go with Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli for this question. This was the follow-up to Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda and I actually enjoyed it a little more. It didn’t have the mystery aspect of Simon, and focused more on Leah’s journey to coming out as bisexual which was a whole lot more about her accepting herself than anyone else accepting her. (Also, I just have to say that Love, Victor is absolutely adorable and you should watch it!)
3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to
I’m super excited to read Taylor Hale’s book, The Summer I Drowned. I started reading this one on Wattpad a while back and sort of fell off, then next thing I knew it was being published! Now I’m just waiting eagerly for it to be processed at the library.
I’m also really excited to read Loveless by Alice Oseman, which I’ve special ordered from the UK because it isn’t being published in the US until who knows when!
4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
Okay, this is a bit of a toss up between a book I know I’ll love (The Lost Book of the White by Cassandra Clare) and a book that just sounds really cool (Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas). I mean, The Lost Book of the White is Magnus and Alec. And I love them, and I did wish the first book in the series was a little longer and less action-heavy, but I love them. But Cemetery Boys is about summoning ghosts and falling in love with them, which sounds amazing…
5. Biggest disappointment
This will probably be an unpopular opinion, but I didn’t especially enjoy Sarah J. Maas’s new adult novel, House of Earth and Blood. I was so excited, because I loved the Throne of Glass series, and I had just started reading A Court of Thorns and Roses and was loving it. But the worldbuilding felt clunky to me, and I thought it could have been edited into a tighter package. 800 pages during the early stages of the pandemic was not exactly light reading…
6. Biggest surprise
The most surprising plot twist in 2020 thus far came from Unknown by J.W. Lynne. The whole book was a thrilling ride, and I developed multiple theories about why these eight kids had been kidnapped and were being held in this strange place. None of them came close to what it was!
It was a super fast read and I dare you to try to guess the ending…
7. Favorite new author (debut or new to you)
Alice Oseman is definitely my new favorite author! From her absolutely adorable graphic novels series Heartstopper to her contemporary novels that deal with coming of age and a variety of sexual orientations – often including those on the ace spectrum – I’ve been devouring everything I can get my hands on. Which is not that easy, because there’s a huge lag in the UK release and the US release.
8. Newest fictional crush
Okay, so in A Court of Thorns and Roses I was crushing hard on Tamlin and hated Rhysand. But A Court of Mist and Fury changed that, big time. Rhysand was suddenly the hot one, because he actually respected Feyre and wanted to help her learn to control her powers. I went into this series trying to figure out what all the fuss was about, and couldn’t believe anyone would want Rhys and Feyre to end up together–not until this book, that is.
9. Newest favorite character
Somehow Cassandra Clare does it every time. I was absolutely not expecting to get so attached to the characters in her newest book, Chain of Gold. It was a whole new set of characters, some of whom I’d met in various short stories, but mostly new. And of those characters I’d already met, I was expecting to be attached to James, Tessa and Will’s son. And yes, I was, but more so than James, Cordelia Carstairs really stood out as being so caring and personable and probably how I would be if I was forced to wear big fancy dresses all the time (e.g. annoyed LOL).
10. Book that made you cry
The Brave by James Bird definitely got me teary-eyed. This was an advanced reader copy and it dealt with so many issues, from being biracial, to terminal illness, to feeling like an outcast. Of course, most books that deal with terminal illness and death make me cry. This one was especially lovely and well-written.
11. Book that made you happy
Most books make me happy, especially if it’s a beautiful edition of a book I now own, or because it’s an advanced copy of a book I’m excited to read, or just because I love reading. The book that’s made me the MOST happy so far this year was probably The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky by Mackenzi Lee, a novella follow-up to The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. This is all about Monty and Percy “getting lucky” and it was a fun historical romp.
12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)
My most recent OwlCrate acquisition is quite lovely! Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles has an embossed cover and Night Circus vibes. I’m super excited to read it! OwlCrate editions are always great, I do love sprayed edges – this was a narrow toss-up with a couple of OwlCrate titles (The Kingdom of Back and Incendiary) but the circus theme is what did it for me.
13.What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
Um, there are a lot. Currently my TBR stands at over 500 books so it would probably be good to read a few of those. The good news is that I’ve read 90 books so far this year, so I might be able to get almost a fifth of that read by 2021?
14. Favorite book community member
It’s probably no surprise since I mentioned them at the beginning, but author C.G. Drews of Paper Fury runs a great blog with fun reviews and various book-related lists, as well as an awesome rainbow-y Instagram. It’s where I discovered my new favorite author, too. Go check them out!