I’m a little late to the party on this one, but better late than never! I was not tagged by anyone in particular but saw this tag on Aimee, Always and decided that I would like to do it as well!
1. The Best Book You’ve Read this Year
There are very few books that I would re-read but the prose was so beautiful in Heart Berries that I actually plan on picking up a copy to re-read it again in the future. Mailhot’s story is heartbreaking but also incredibly relatable on many levels. I blazed through this book in two days and couldn’t put it down, I had pages upon pages of highlights despite this book actually being pretty small. Easily one of my favorite memoirs I’ve ever read and I’ve recommended it to just about everyone.
2. Best Sequel You’ve Read in 2018
I don’t know whether or not I should feel ashamed of this but… I haven’t read any sequels yet this year! I did start the first couple of chapters of Grey Sister and have been enjoying it so far, but I might need to refresh myself on the events of the first novel since it’s been a year. Considering that this book is my most anticipated read of the year and I really don’t read many series in general, this book will probably end up being this year’s favorite sequel.
3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To
The Outsider is King’s newest book released just last month and it sounds SO GOOD. When I first heard about the book and saw the cover I freaked out! Stephen King is one of those insta-buy authors for me, even the stories I don’t like too much I can at least appreciate the writing. I’m hyped to read this one but I’m taking my time to finish some other library books and ARCs.
4. Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year
For those that have been following my blog for the past year you know how much I love The Conquerer’s Saga by Kiersten White. It is one of my all-time favorite series and I actually started writing a history series comparing real history to fiction because of these books. Bright We Burn is the third and final book in the trilogy and I am SO excited to read it.
5. Biggest Disappointment
When I saw the cover and read the description for The Salt Line I HAD to read it. I hadn’t read a good post apocalyptic novel in a while and it’s one of my absolute favorite genres. What I got though was less of a post apocalyptic thriller and more of a slow, rambling mess that tries to tie itself together by making commentary about motherhood.
I try not to go into books with too many expectations but The Salt Line felt really misleading to me. The book blurb advertises deadly killer ticks and they’re barely even in the story. The parts where they are man oh man, it’s genuinely nerve wrecking and made my skin crawl. The other stuff, all the backstory and flashbacks and character drama? I cared at first, but the story dragged so long and kept bringing on more and more characters that I eventually just lost interest and actually DNF’d my ARC copy for a few months before picking the book back up from the library to finish it.
6. Biggest Surprise
This was a random pick up at the library so I was not entirely sure what I was getting into. The blurb caught my attention but boy was I not prepared for how absolutely amazing this book was! It’s a great book that covers multiple issues, primarily the intersection between race and sexuality. I learned a lot about Sri Lankan culture and the struggles of not just the LGBTQIA+ community, but women in general with the crushing weight of the community’s social expectations. I don’t see many people talking about this book but it is a phenomenal debut!
7. Favorite New to You or Debut Author
Not a new author at all but she is certainly new to me, Sylvia Plath is an amazing writer that can take brutal imagery and make it beautiful. She was an absolutely brilliant poet and I hate myself for not reading any of her work before this year, I flew through Ariel and couldn’t get enough of her work.
8. Newest Fictional Crush
Does manga count? Because I really haven’t read that many fiction books yet this year, but I did read and fall in love with Nifuji Hirotaka from Wotakoi! A megane character that smokes, plays video games, and is secretly really cute!? That has my name written all over it! But no really Hirotaka is 100% my type.
9. Newest Favorite Character
Again, I haven’t read much fiction and most that I have read none of the characters have really stuck to me? I have, however, discovered the works of Nagabe and fallen in love with The Girl from the Other Side. It is a beautiful series that is haunting and heartwrenching and I absolutely love the two main characters, Shiva and her teacher. The demon like character known only as teacher is easily a favorite character, everything about his design and personality are wonderful.
10. Book that Made You Cry
Emi Mahmoud is a wonderful poet and her debut collection had me crying a lot. The author is a survivor of the war and genocide in Darfur and there are many passages about her experiences. Her insight and her writing is invaluable for studying this tragic event but also for understanding the plight of refugees. The book is hopeful too, with a few poems about life after the fact, the love of family, and finding the strength to carry on. I’m still having trouble putting my thoughts into writing about this book for a review, all I can say simply is that everyone should read it.
11. Book that Made You Happy
Those that have read some of the darker poems in this collection might be asking why I would possibly choose this book as the book that made me happy. I loved how absolutely relatable Kaur’s poetry was, it was encouraging that I wasn’t the only person that experienced or felt the ways that Kaur felt. The poems were also not all bad, there were many that were extremely empowering and they had me smiling and feeling better about the things I had been struggling within my personal life. This book came into my life just when I needed it, I think.
12. Favorite Book to Film Adaptation
13. Favorite Post You’ve Done this Year
Maybe I like this one because it’s been one of my most recently original posts, but I actually had a lot of fun writing this one. It started after I read Audition and I thought “man, all of these covers are so ugly” and I had been brainstorming other amazing books with covers I loathed. It actually was a little difficult for me to choose! But I want to do more posts like this in the future.
14. Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought this Year
I’m actually somewhat proud of myself that I haven’t bought all that many books this year. If I had to choose one though, it would have to be the Tomie compilation by Junji Ito. The cover is gorgeous, there are color illustrations the covers, and Ito’s art is to die for – I absolutely love it! I’m so happy to have this collection as Ito is my all-time favorite manga artist and Tomie is just so bone chillingly scary!
14. What Books Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year
Umm, all of the books I did for my Top 5 Series I want to read in 2018 post! I have yet to get started, mostly because I’ve been catching up on library check outs and ARCs, but I hope to make the second half of this year the time to catch up on some series now that I’ve burned out on non-fiction books.
…And of course any of you that is reading this and you would like to do this tag for yourself then consider yourself tagged!