Technically, it’s a bit passed the middle of the year, but that doesn’t matter. We’re still in July, so I feel this tag is still applicable. And since everyone’s been doing it, and its a chance to scream about books, I’m going to give it a go.
The questions seem to vary a bit, but I’m taking the questions straight from Cait at Paperfury (and she has a list of the original questions on her post)
- How much have you read?
So far, I’ve read 30 books toward my goal of 50. Usually I go for a goal of 100, but this year, I thought I would try to go a little easier on myself.
- What have you been reading?
A lot of YA. Especially a lot of contemporary and fantasy new releases (or last years releases). I’ve also diversified my reading a lot and have been specifically searching for fantasy inspired by countries and cultures other than Western Europe/North America. I’ve managed to find a few, like The Shark Caller by Dianne Wolfer, Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, and The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera, but if you have any more suggestions, let me know!
- Best book you’ve read so far in 2019
I was thinking of doing a post on my 5 star rated books for this year so far, so I’ll just mention one book here.
A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness.
This book blew me away. It really did. It tore me inside out and left me a (literal) sobbing mess. I never cry in books, people. But this one made me sob.
- Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019
I’ve only read three sequels this year (shameful). So I’ll probably say The Silver Branch, by Rosemary Sutcliff. This is such an awesome book. I really, really enjoyed it.
- New release you haven’t read yet, but want to
Spin The Dawn by Elizabeth Lim. I am looking forward to reading this so much! It looks awesome and the cover is brilliance.
Also, Romanov by Nadine Brandes. I haven’t got around to reading it yet, but I am looking forward to getting my hands on it.
- Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
My word, there’s so many!
Maybe the one I’m most excited for is Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi. Children of Blood and Bone was one of my favourites this year and I’m really looking forward to reading the sequel.
I’m also looking forward to Cressida Cowell’s The Wizards of Once: Knock Three Times. I’m not much of a Middle-Grade reader, but I am so invested in everything Cressida writes and I’ve loved this series so far.
- Biggest disappointment
I’ve had a few disappointments this year, but the two that disappointed me most were How it Feels to Float and Shadow and Bone.
I was looking forward to reading How it Feels to Float by Helena Fox is an Aussie YA book dealing with the aftermath of grief and mental illness. I loved the fact that this book was set in Wollongong (where some of my family lives and where I used to live), but the writing style nearly drove me crazy. In the end, I didn’t finish it because I just couldn’t get behind the style of writing. It was disappointing, especially since I was looking forward to finally reading a book not set in America.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo I only read a few days ago. After hearing a lot of fantastic things about Bardugo I was eager to read one of her books, and Shadow and Bone was the shortest, so I tackled that one first.
Unfortunately, I really didn’t like it. Not at all.
- Biggest surprise
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I have literally spent ten years convincing myself that I wouldn’t like it…and then I read it (I don’t even know why), and I loved it. It was much deeper than I was expecting, and I’d kept comparing it to Divergent (which is one of my least favourite books ever), so finding out that it wasn’t much like Divergent was hugely comforting.
- Favourite new author (debut or new to you)
Probably Tomi Adeyemi 🙂
- Underrated Gems you’ve discovered recently
I’m really enjoying Stephen Lawhead’s Pendragon Cycle at the moment and they definitely don’t get the exposure they deserve. I read Taliesin at the beginning of the year and I loved it. It’s so rare for an older fantasy to have such a good female lead character and I really enjoyed that.
Also, The Wizards of Once series by Cressida Cowell! Why does no one seem to know about these? After finishing her How to Train Your Dragon series, Cowell moved onto these novels, and I admit I was a bit sceptical. But they turned out really well. They have Cressida’s signature quirkiness, humour and enchanting illustrations, but they’re unique and definitely not carbon copies of How to Train your Dragon. And David Tennant narrates the audiobooks, so there’s that.
- Rereads this year
I was having a very hard time reading at the beginning of this year, so I basically just engaged in rereading.
Including one of my favourite series of all time, The Eagle of the Ninth and The Silver Branch, by Rosemary Sutcliff. What an awesome series.
I also reread Captain Cook’s Apprentice and Young Digger by Anthony Hill, and The Key to Rondo by Emily Rodda with my siblings.
- Book that made you cry
Books never make me cry, as I’ve said. But this year, two have made me actively sob. One was A Monster Calls and the other one was Summer Bird Blue.
These books have become very close to my heart because of the topics they deal with–death, grief and anger. And I’m not joking, they tore my heart out and made me cry more than I have ever cried over any book.
- Book that made you happy
The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff. Technically, this was a reread but, gosh, it made me happy. I love this book to pieces.
- Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)
For bought, it would definitely be Fawkes by Nadine Brandes.
- Goals for the rest of the year
-Read 20 more books
-Read those new releases
-Finish the books I’ve been slogging through for ages (Gould’s Book of Fish, The Name of the Wind and The Count of Monte Cristo)
What about you guys? What new releases have you read this year? Are there any you’re looking forward to later this year? Have any books made you cry in 2019? Do you have those comfort reads that you keep coming back to time and again?