I know I do a lot of tags, but honestly I simply can’t resist doing them, plus, Caro tagged me (!!) so obviously this tag must be done. Also, what am I good for if not flailing about books?
1. Best book you’ve read so far
I didn’t know whether I wanted to count this question as best book PUBLISHED in 2018 or best book I’ve read in 2018, so I’m doing both. I read THE HAZEL WOOD last year, but I just love it so so much I couldn’t not put it on this list. It’s dark and twisty and magical and amazing and oh so good.
The best book I’ve read so far actually in 2018 is probably TO KILL A KINGDOM or SEA WITCH. I loved both of these books so much, I can’t even tell you. TO KILL A KINGDOM was stabby and slow burning and great, and SEA WITCH was a fantastic Ursula origin story that blew me away.
2. Best sequel you’ve read so far
I don’t read a lot of series in general, so there’s really only one possible answer for this question, and that’s ACOWAR. I reread ACOMAF before finally getting around to ACOWAR in preparation for ACOFAS, and ACOWAR definitely did not disappoint. Even though I didn’t finish ACOFAS because I thought it was really boring and nothing was happening, I still can’t wait to read the rest of the books in this series.
3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to
Um…try, all of them? I guess if I have to pick just one…A REAPER AT THE GATES would be my pick. I started it a bit the day I started writing this post, but I feel really disoriented in it at the moment and feel like I might have to reread A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT, not because I don’t remember enough, but because it feels like such a huge break between the story that I keep worrying I missed something. Plus, it’s nice to read books in a series one after the other.
4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
Again, can I just pick all of them? It changes day to day, but at the time of this post writing, it is JACK OF HEARTS. It’s about a proudly sexually active gay teen who writes a sex advice column and has to figure out who is stalking him and trying to blackmail him into the closet. It sounds like amazing queer fluff thriller and I am so here for it.
5. Biggest disappointment
Oh god, FROM TWINKLE, WITH LOVE definitely has to be the answer for this one. I was so ridiculously excited to read it and then even more excited to get an ARC, but…it was so bad?? I’m honestly still confused as to how Sandhya Menon could write something as amazing as DIMPLE and then write something so terrible. I hated everything about this book, from the writing style to the characters (OMG Twinkle is so annoying) and didn’t even ship the romance. Major thumbs down on this one.
6. Biggest surprise
I’d have to go with Robyn Schneider’s new book, INVISIBLE GHOSTS. I liked her second book, EXTRAORDINARY MEANS, well enough, but was honestly not expecting greatness from this book. I kind of read it on a whim, and damn, I was blown away. INVISIBLE GHOSTS is about Rose, who sees her brother’s ghost and also other ghosts. She’s thrown for a loop when Jamie, a childhood friend, comes back to town, with an interesting secret of his own. I thought this book was so beautifully written with complex characters and relationships, well-executed paranormal stuff, and a really powerful exploration of grief. I just loved this one.
7. Favourite new author
I know I’m repeating answers with this question, but I didn’t love another new author as much as I loved Alexandra Christo (TO KILL A KINGDOM) and Sarah Henning (SEA WITCH). They are my new (sea) queens.
8/9. Newest favorite character
Probably either Abby from THE SUMMER OF JORDI PEREZ or Alvie from WHEN MY HEART JOINS THE THOUSAND. Abby is a fat lesbian who’s into fashion and I so related to her and wanted to hug her. Alvie from WHEN MY HEART JOINS THE THOUSAND is an autistic teen trying to get emancipated from the state. She’s complex and messy and definitely traumatized, and tries so hard not to be loved. Alvie is for sure the most unique character I’ve read this year and one of the most unique voices I’ve read in a long time.
10. Book that made you cry
For the most part, I’ve been avoiding serious contemporaries and sad books this year, even though that used to be what I liked to read the most. I think I just have so much going on in my personal life that I don’t want to be overwhelmed while reading also. But anyway. The book that made me the most sad would have to be WHEN MY HEART JOINS THE THOUSAND, which I already talked a little about in the last question. This book is sad for a lot of reasons, but what I found the most heartbreaking other than the intense twist/reveal at the end, was how it was slowly revealed how Alvie’s mother couldn’t accept her daughter because of her autism. She kept talking about how she knew the “real” Alvie was in her, which confused small Alvie and teen Alvie. It was so hard to read about this mother because while it was clear she had her own personal problems, she also didn’t try to understand Alvie as she was as an autistic person.
11. Book that made you happy
I just read my first Morgan Matson book, SAVE THE DATE, and goodness, this book made my little heart so very happy. I think it’s really rare that a book just brings pure joy and delight and this was one of those books for me. I adored all the characters and couldn’t wait to get back to reading it every time I had to put it down. This book was just perfection.
12. Favorite book to film adaptation you saw this year
I’m ashamed to say I haven’t seen any, which is shocking considering how much I was dying to see Love, Simon. I just hardly ever go to the movies and couldn’t get myself to actually go see it. I also really wanted to see A Wrinkle In Time, but I wanted to reread the book first because it’s been so long since I read it.
13. Favorite review you’ve written this year
I don’t have a favorite review, mostly because I haven’t written many because I’ve decided for the most part that I’m not going to review on this blog. So my favorite review is that I haven’t written reviews and I don’t pressure myself to write them 🙂
14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year
It’s a toss-up between Cait’s book, A THOUSAND PERFECT NOTES and Louise O’Neil’s Little Mermaid retelling, THE SURFACE BREAKS. I don’t actually love the cover of Cait’s book, but I love it because it’s her book and it’s just so special to me. THE SURFACE BREAKS has an extremely gorgeous cover, and also has a blue cover underneath with etchings that look like silver scales. I hope the inside is as pretty as the outside!
15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
For sure THE CRUEL PRINCE, EMERGENCY CONTACT, and I HAVE LOST MY WAY. TCP and IHLMY are two of my most anticipated books of the year, which of course means that I put them off until I don’t read them altogether. I just get so nervous that they’re not going to be as good as I hoped. I wasn’t too excited to get an unsolicited ARC of EMERGENCY CONTACT, but then a bunch of bloggers started raving about it and made me think it’s one I have to read.