I'm taking part in the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag again this year, which I originally stole from Cait of Paper Fury - who has also taken part again this year.
THE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR SO FAR
It's a toss up between White Rabbit, Red Wolf by Tom Pollock (which I'll be reviewing next month as part of Mental Illness in YA Month) and The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty.
White Rabbit, Red Wolf is an incredible, unbelievably clever thriller with so many twists and turns my jaw was pretty much permanently open the whole time I read it. It's just so clever, and so unpredictable, I didn't see any of the twists coming. Absolutely incredible, and I am so excited to talk to you all about it next month.
The City of Brass was just an awesome high fantasy, a reimagining of one of the One Thousand and One Nights stories, and it was just completely captivating. There's been so much buzz surrounding it, I probably don't need to tell you about it. My review.
NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT WANT TO
So many! Due to having to read a lot of books for Mental Illness in YA Month, I'm quite a bit behind on books published this year. Here are just a selection of books I'm excited to read!
- Undead Girl Gang by Lily Andersen - Witches and magic and mystery! Plus dead girls fighting the patriarchy (I believe?)! So looking forward to this! It was published on 8th May.
- Puddin' by July Murphy - The anticipated follow up to Dumplin'! I loved Dumplin', so I am really excited for this one! I was published on 8th May.
- Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake - This sounds incredible! It's about a girl whose brother is accused of raping her best friend. It also features a bi protag. So looking forward to it! It was published on 15th May.
- The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton - A high fantasy retelling of King Lear that has been raved about! So excited for this! It was published on 17th May.
- All of This is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor - This sounds like such an intriguing kind of mystery-ish? Fans get to meet their fave author, and she uses their secrets in their next book. Sounds so good! It was published on 31st May.
- A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews - Out very own Cait of Paper Fury's debut novel! About a boy who is physically abused by him mum, and also music. It was published on 7th June.
- Final Draft by Riley Redgate - I want to read simply for the author. I have loved Redgate's previous two novels, so have to read this one. About a girl who's new writing mentor is a Noble Prize winner who doesn't believe in her writing, and challenges her to step out of her comfort zone in her life, for the sake of her writing. It was published on 12th June.
- Bookshop Girl by Chloe Coles - This one is by my friend and colleague! About a girl who fights to stop the indie bookshop she works at closing when it's future is under threat. Also very feminist! It was published on 14th June.
MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR AUTUMN / WINTER
I know this says Autumn / Winter, but I'm going to answer as if it says July - December, because this is a mid-year tag, so it should be talking about the other half of the year.
And again, so many! Here are just a few.
- Sea Witch by Sarah Henning - A retelling of The Little Mermaid I have been waiting for, for years! Released on 31st July 2018.
- The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton - I absolutely loved Walton's debut, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, so I'm so excited for her next novel! And it's witches again! Released on 6th September 2018.
- For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig - Heidi Heilig's next book! Heidi is one of my two joint top favourite authors, and I am more excited than I can even say to read this book! Released on 25th September 2018.
- Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor - The sequel to Strange the Dreamer! I need this book! I need it now! And it's Taylor, who is the other author in my two joint top favourite authors! Released on 2nd October 2018.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE YEAR SO FAR
The Beast's Heart by Leife Shallcross, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast from the Beast's perspective. Absolutely nothing happened for most of the novel. It was so repetitive, and for the most part, boring. I was much more interested in what Isabeau's family were up to than the romance between her and the Beast. I love a retelling, so this was a complete disappointment. My review.
BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE YEAR SO FAR
The Surface Breaks by Louise O'Neill, a feminist retelling of The Little Mermaid. I'm a huge fan of Louise O'Neill so it was a surprise that this is another retelling that I was let down by. Especially as I love The Little Mermaid. Before Gaia becomes a human and the very end were awesome, but while she's human? Nothing really happens. Chapters of nothing. I know the original fairy tales aren't novel length, but they can be developed so there's enough for a novel, rather than nothing happening. My review.
NEW FAVOURITE AUTHOR
Other than those I've already mentioned, I'm going for Katrina Leno and Ashley Woodfolk. I've read Leno's The Lost & Found and Woodfolk's The Beauty That Remains for Mental Illness in YA Month (so you'll get to read my reviews next month), and they're both brilliant.
The Lost & Found is a quiet novel, and although it covers some hard-hitting topics, it's not heavy or too upsetting. It's quite light and funny, with wonderful characters. It's a magical realism story that is just so completely wonderful.
The Beauty That Remains is a beautiful story about three different teens dealing with grief, after the deaths of three loved ones. They're all affected differently, and dealing with their grief in different ways, but find healing through music.
YOUR NEWEST FAVOURITE CHARACTER
That's going to have to be Kiri from Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith - yet another book I've read for Mental Illness in YA Month. Wild Awake is about Kiri developing bipolar, and how it affects her. But she is such a funny and spunky girl - not down to her bipolar, it's who she is. Wild Awake is quite an emotional story, but Kiri is such a fire cracker. I loved her!
BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY
I Stop Somewhere by T. E. Carter is an absolutely heartbreaking story, about a girl who was murdered after being gang raped. I didn't cry, because I was simply beyond tears. It was harrowing and terrible, but also just so, so incredible I really couldn't recommend it enough. My review.
A BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY
It's got to be The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw, not because it's a happy story, but because it's right up my street. It's so atmospheric and completely captivating! I did guess one of the twists, but not all of them, and it's just an incredible kind of magical realism come non-horror ghost story. It was such an enjoyable read, and that's why it made me happy. My review.
MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK SO FAR
The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X. R. Pan is an absolutely beautiful novel. It's about a girl who believes her mother has turned into a bird after she dies by suicide, and goes to Taiwan to learn about her family and her mother's past. It's a heartbreaking and gorgeous magical realism story. So, so beautiful. My review.
How about you? What would your answers to some of these questions be? If you've done the Mid-Year Freak Out Tag yourself, do link to your post!
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