Hello fellow bookworms ⭐ It’s time for my favorite Tag of the year again! While I’m always surprised that half the year has passed already (how did this happen?? 2020 was even wilder when it come to time perception) I love reflecting on how my reading has been going so far 💛 I love looking back on favorites, least favorites and other remarkable books of the first six months of the year which is why I’ll, of course, be doing the Mid Year Book Freakout Tag again! The Tag was originally created by Earl Grey Books and ReadLikeWildFire (who has since taken down the video though).
- Marie @ drizzleandhurricanebooks
- Caitlin @ caitlinalthea
- Margaret @ weirdzeal
- Sophie @ meandink
- Sophie @ sophiexli
- Sabrina & Veronika @ wordyandwhimsical
- Taasia @ libraepaintspages
Jackaby (William Ritter) & It Sounded Better in my Head (Nina Kenwood) ⭐ My absolute favorite book of the year has got to be Jackaby!! I picked up the first book from the library for my Out of Comfort Zone Challenge and the next thing I knew I was obsessed with it 😂 I didn’t anticipate that I would come to love this book so much (it has already ascended to one of my all-time favorite books), but it was just right up my alley with the perfect amount of mystery, historical fiction, fantasy, and weird characters. The main character Jackaby is one of my new favorite characters (more on that later) and I loved how character-driven the story was! I came to love it so so much!! This is your reminder to read Jackaby 💛 Apart from that my second favorite book this year is probably It Sounded Better in my Head because it was so incredibly relatable to me. I saw Marie loving it and luckily I shared her love for it! I didn’t expect to fall in love with the story, but the main character Natalie and her anxiety were so incredibly relatable to me. Sometimes it was scary how much the book seemed to be able to see inside my thoughts and make me feel understood ❤ I loved the sweet romance, the complex friendships, and the subtle nerdiness of the book!
Vengeful (V.E. Schwab) ⭐ Vicious is one of my all-time favorite books, so I was beyond excited (and also nervous due to some mixed reviews) to finally read the sequel! I buddy read this with Caitlin and had so much fun reading Vengeful and discussing our thoughts on it 💕 It turned out to be such a fantastic sequel and I appreciated the way it was written so much. Vengeful does a great job weaving together the different characters and their experiences in achronic order, making us try to figure out what is going on and how everything fits together in the end. Of course, I was beyond excited to be reunited with my problematic favorite Victor Vale but I also liked getting an insight into some of the other characters! Plot-wise this might have been ever better than Vicious because it was even more complex and perfectly wove together a gripping and suspenseful narrative!
The Conference of the Birds (Ransom Riggs) ⭐ I have too many new releases that I want to read right now, but at the top of that list is The Conference of the Birds, the fifth book in the Miss Peregrine’s extended series! I loved the original Trilogy when I read it and was also a big fan of the extension – starting with A Map of Days. I love the way that these creepy photographs are included in every single book and really work together with the story. The worldbuilding gets extended with every book and the last book left us with a lot of questions so I cannot wait to read the next book as I’m sure that it’s going to be very intense! 😱
- The Will and the Wilds (Charlie N. Holmberg)
- House of Earth and Blood (Sarah J. Maas)
- Felix Ever After (Kacen Callender)
The Tower of Nero (Rick Riordan) ⭐ I’m going to be doing a more in-depth post about the releases that I’m most excited about for the rest of the year next month, but my number #1 most anticipated release right now is The Tower of Nero. It’s the finale of the Trials of Apollo books which I adore, so I’m very invested in finding out how everything ends for Apollo and his friends. After Magnus Chase, this is my favorite Riordan Series so I’m eagerly anticipating this last book! I hope we’ll get to see some new books after the series has ended though 🙏 This is probably a book that I’ll be preordering, but I have to wait a while longer as it only comes out in September 😞
- Queen of Volts (Amanda Foody)
- Instant Karma (Marissa Meyer)
- The Enigma Game (Elizabeth Wein)
The Last Magician (Lisa Maxwell) ⭐ I’ve had two 1-star books this year so far (a lot more than in the previous years) and The Last Magician was by far the one that disappointed me the most. I heard so many people raving about this book and saying how it’s such an underrated favorite, plus it has time travel!! I was genuinely excited to read it and was certain that I would enjoy it so much … only that didn’t happen. The Last Magician quickly went downhill for me and trudging through 500 pages was a bit exhausting. The plot was very slow-paced, predictable, and not at all what I had expected. I also deeply missed positive relationships of any kind in the book, it was devoid of any genuine friendships. The worst by far was the romance though, as it read as very uncomfortable and unhealthy, with the love interest doing a lot of questionable things. All in all, this was a huge letdown and not at all the time travel adventure I was hoping for 😞
Technically, You Started It (Lana Wood Johnson) ⭐ I haven’t had that many positive surprises this year that I haven’t already mentioned (almost all of my favorite 2020 books except Vengeful were surprises) but one book that I randomly picked up during my Scribd Free Trial was Technically, You Started It! It’s a book that I kept seeing around because it’s told exclusively in text messages, a format that I found really cool and intriguing. I actually listened to the audiobook which had great narrators that made it really easy to discern who was texting and gave an indication to the person’s character. I definitely recommend the audiobook as it made this such a pleasant book to listen to! I especially appreciate the demisexual and general anxiety representation that was woven into the story, as well as all the nerdiness. Originally I gave this 3.5 stars but because I had so much fun I even raised the rating to 4 star 🥰
Laura Silverman (You Asked for Perfect) ⭐ I always have a hard time picking out new favorite authors, especially if I have only read one book by them, but I honestly loved You Asked for Perfect so much when I recently read it!! It was such a fantastic exploration of academic pressure and anxiety, that really spoke to me and definitely makes for an impactful, important book. I read this book in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down and I’m definitely interested in reading more books by Laura Silverman, as I have heard good things about Girl Out of Water back when it came out! I also have my eyes on her upcoming release Recommended for You, as it sounds like a super sweet, nerdy read 🥰
- William Ritter (Jackaby)
- C. B. Lee (Sidekick Squad)
Jackaby + his Team (Jackaby) ⭐ Obviously I love Jackaby, the titular character of my favorite book this year! He’s a mix between Newt Scamander, Dirk Gently, and Sherlock Holmes, which works really well for me as I love all three characters. R.F. Jackaby is a supernatural detective gifted with The Sight into the paranormal world and gives him the chance to solve extraordinary murders. However, he’s scored by the police who don’t believe in his strange methods and beliefs, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to do his job. Jackaby is eccentric, pretty clueless about how to handle most emotions and also a private person, as you don’t get to know much about his background story (you don’t even know his full name) in the first book, which makes me intrigued about what we’ll uncover about him in the following books! Of course, I also love his determined assistant Abigail – who actually narrates the story and is very observant about mundane details that Jackaby might miss. Part of Team Jackaby are also Douglas the Duck, Jenny a ghost and mysterious police officer Charlie 💗
- Bells Broussard (Not Your Villain) + the Squad
- Natalie (It Sounded Better in my Head)
How to Make Friends with the Dark (Kathleen Glasgow) & We Used to be Friends (Amy Spalding) ⭐ Two of my best of 2020 books made me cry so much, it seems like I love reading emotionally devastating books in this year. How to Make Friends with the Dark is about dealing with grief and therefore guaranteed to make you cry, as we follow along with Tiger, who just lost her mother and is now forced to go through the foster system as she lacks any immediate family. The rawness of losing a loved one and how to go on when there’s a giant missing hole in your chest was very well written and the book also discusses the different ways people cope with grief. It was such a spectacular, emotional book that really gripped me! The other book that also made me cry was We Used to be Friends as it’s about how devastating a friend breakup can be. Told in dual POV it highlights how so many things can accumulate and build into resentment, bitterness, and betrayal. I loved how the story shows both viewpoints and that both people made their fair share of mistakes. This book really gripped me as it reminded me of painful memories of friendships ending 💔
Not Your Sidekick (C.B. Lee) ⭐ This was honestly such a great comfort read for me! I loved that Not Your Sidekick was so character-driven and included a super sweet romance as well as strong friendships. Out of all the books in the series, this is the most foundational and therefore the least stressful as it’s mainly about the main character slowly uncovering a conspiracy while growing closer to her crush. Jess was such a lovely main character. She’s really caring but can also be very shy, especially when it comes to popular and nice Abby, who she’s been crushing on for a long time. I loved them slowly spending more time together and falling for each other, it was so wholesome 💛 I also love all the friendship dynamics and we see more of Bells and Emma in the sequels, as each book is focused on a new character!
Howl’s Moving Castle (Netflix) ⭐ I never end up watching many book to movie adaptions, but this year I actually managed to watch more movies in general! despite liking a lot of the adaptions that I watched (P.S. I Still Love You, A Monster Calls, The Stranger, Unorthodox) my favorite has to be Howl’s Moving Castle! I watched this so much when I was a kid and only later learned that the famous Ghibli movie was actually based on a book. I rewatched it recently with a friend and we both loved it so much, it’s one of my favorite Ghibli Movies and has such great characters that I dearly loved 💗 I never actually read the book – it’s very, very backlist and said to be a bit different from the movie – but I might consider reading it in the future, though it’s not currently on my priority list!
The Lies of Locke Lamora (Scott Lynch) & Supernova (Marissa Meyer) ⭐ I don’t have many concrete plans for the rest of the year, but I would like to tackle some of the books on my 2020 annual TBR that I already kind of started. I wanted to read The Lies of Locke Lamora for the Tome Topple Readathon in May and read about 80 pages, but then put it down because it was such a slow-moving process. At the time I was reading so many other books that I wanted to focus on, but I want to pick up Locke Lamora again and read the book throughout June. It’s definitely very dense and detail-heavy so it might take me a while. Earlier this year I also reread Renegades and Archenemies to finally get to Supernova, the series finale. However, I only got about 100 pages into Supernova. Not because I didn’t like the book, but somehow I was in a weird mood and didn’t want to ruin my enjoyment by forcing myself to continue. I’ll be picking up the book again though!
What is the best book you’ve read so far? What is a new release you haven’t gotten to yet? ⭐