Hey-o! I is back with my very book tag and it’s one I’ve been dying to do. It’s the mid-year freak out tag. I can’t believe it’s mid-year already! Where did time go? New Year feels like yesterday and an eternity ago. I’ve just couldn’t wait for it to be June/July so I could gush about the books I read so far this year which is I thank God for this tag. It was the perfect excuse to gush non-stop. I’ve read 38 books so far and my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal was 29. I really liked and loved everything I read except for a book or two. So, it has been a good mid-year and I’m hoping for an even better rest of the year.
This tag was created by the lovely women whose videos are down below. Now I must say this post might seem really long but it’s only because I’m adding the synopsis, but I promise I tried to make the answers as short as possible. Okay, time for the fun part.
1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2018
I’ve read a lot
of good books this year, but I think Vicious by V. E. Schwab
is my favorite one yet which is funny because when I first read the synopsis I thought it wasn’t going to be my type of book. I had a library copy and I loved it so much that I went and bought a signed hardcover edition. Yes, yes, I am trash. I have a review, so here
read my feelings away.
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.
Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end.
2. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2018
I didn’t really focus on sequels so there are not many. I mean I only read The Crown’s Fate which is the sequel to The Crowns Game by Evelyn Skye and the Vampire Academy graphic novels. My very biased self has to choose Shadow Kiss by Richelle which is the third book in the Vampire Academy series and my favorite book ever. I won’t give the synopsis because it’s filled with spoilers, but just believe that’s really good. Vampire Academy is my favorite series ever, part of it because it’s one of the first series I read, partly because my mom and I read the books and would talk about it, and also because it’s so good. But from the whole series, my favorite book is Shadow Kiss.
3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To?
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. I actually preordered this book but Amazon ended up sending it like 2 weeks later *cough* like always *cought*. I was so excited to read it and I have no idea why I haven’t read it yet, but I plan on reading before this summer break is over. This book has so much hype around it, there’s a movie coming out and it’s even Jimmy Fallon’s Book Club pick of the summer, so I’m really hoping I love it. Honestly, I’m not really hard to please.
They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.Now we rise.Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.
The other new release I haven’t read but want to is Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli. This is the second book in the Creekwood series. I don’t know if there’s going to be more books though. YOU SHOULD NOT READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T READ SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA because of
SPOILERS, SPOILERS, SPOILERS. In this one, we follow Leah who’s Simon’s best friend who’s a closeted bisexual, and it’s struggling to come out. It deals with not being privilage, accepting oneself and a bunch more stuff that I don’t know because I haven’t read it. It’s also Book Blogs PR Book Club book of the month. You should totally join us, it will be fun.
Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.
When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.
So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.
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4. Most Anticipated Release For Second Half of 2018
For this one, I got three which I just can’t wait to have in my hands and those are The Dark Between Stars by Atticus which comes out on September 4, the sequel to Vicious, Vengeful by V. E. Schwab which comes out on September 25 and What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera which comes out on October 9. September is my favorite month ’cause it’s my birthday month and this time I have even more reasons to love it. There are a couple of more interesting books coming out on October so it’s also looking good.
The Dark Between Stars is a collection of poetry by the famous Instagram poet Atticus. This is his second book and I loved Love Her Wild so I can’t wait for this one to come out like I NEED IT IN MY HANDS LIKE NOW. This is a poetry book so there’s no synopsis which freaking suck and I don’t know any of the poems that are in this collection which also sucks. Let me just tell you that I’ve read like 5 or 6 poetry book this year and Love Her Wild is the only one I’ve given 5 stars to. I must say that if there’s one thing I hated about Love Her Wild is the fact that it’s only 240 pages long and a lot of these pages are pictures, just pictures with nothing written in them. The pictures are gorgeous so there’s that but they should at least give me more poems to make it up. Anyway, all I can say about Love Her Wild and Atticus is Rupi Kaur, move over because Atticus stole my heart. As soon as you finish reading this go get Love Her Wild and preorder The Dark Between Stars.
Vengeful, Vengeful, Vengeful… As you just read Vicious is my favorite so far this year and I don’t see any book stealing that place anytime soon. My copy of Vicious has a sneak peek and I will not read it because I know I will suffer it, so I’m crying internally while trying to ignore it. I’m so hyped for it that I’m marking that date on my calendar. Again, no synopsis because of spoilers, but just go back to question #1 to read the synopsis for Vicious. Now go and get it. I’m honestly so glad that I discovered this book this year because it took the author 5 years to publish the sequel. This was the sequel no one was expecting, and it’s also sequel nobody knew they needed until they heard of the possibilities.
What If It’s Us is written by two gods when it comes to queer books and I just can’t wait. I mean they had my money the money I saw it, read the synopsis and I saw that there were Broadway references. S O L D! My queer heart just can’t handle these emotions that are bubbling in me.
Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.
Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.
But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?
Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.
Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.
But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?
What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?
What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?
But what if it is?
5. Biggest Disappointment
I don’t have disappointments even though I have books that did disappointment. They’re two different things like those books disappointed me but I still enjoyed them. One that did truly disappoint me was The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
. Everyone seems to love
this book. I’ve heard a lot of people calling it their favorite read of the year or one of their favorite book ever. This even has a fantastic rating on Goodreads, which is pretty much impossible, but I just truly did not love it. I was so disappointed because it has a lot of typical tropes that I detest with all my soul which made me so mad, annoyed and heartbroken but at the same time, I couldn’t stop reading it because of how addicting it was. I must say that it was pretty predictable even for someone who can never predict what’s going to happen. I actually wrote a review
for it. Check it out!
Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.
And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.
6. Biggest Surprise
I don’t want to sound like a broken record and mention Vicious again—oops, I guess I just did—but apart from that book I was really surprised by how much I liked Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. I’ve read how good this book was ever since it came out six years ago, but I wasn’t into the synopsis or the book cover. When I started getting interested I saw that there was a deal on Amazon and that they had a gorgeous new cover so I got it. I really wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did, but like with most YA books lately,
I did have some problems with it, but at the end of the day, it was amazing.
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.
7. Favorite New Author (Debut or new to you)
I got two authors for this one and those gotta be hands down Victoria Schwab (V. E. Schwab) and Adam Silvera.
Victoria Schwab: I had read This Savage Song before and I wasn’t impressed, but this year I read Vicious and A Darker Shade of Magic and I fell in love. Now there’s a bunch of her books on my TBR. Also, I must say that if you’re following on Twitter, what you even using Twitter for? I usually ignore most of the content writers tweet but I just adore this woman’s tweets. Honestly, she just seems like an awesome and fun person to be around. I dream of the day she’ll come to Puerto Rico on a book tour.
Here are some:
– A Gathering of Shadows & A Conjuring of Light (book #2 & #3 in the A Darker Shade of Magic triology)
– Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince Vol 1 (prequel to A Darker Shade of Magic)
– The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue (she’s currently writing it)
– The Archived
– City of Ghost
and I’m stopping there or I’ll never finish.
Adam Silvera: This man is bringing the queer literature I didn’t know I needed—okay, I kind of did but never actually searched for it—and I am so happy I discovered him. The fact that he’s Puerto Rican/Newyorican and his characters are usually Puerto Rican just makes my life 10x better. I’ve never felt more represented than the moment I read my first Adam Silvera book, They Both Die at the End. I got so excited, I started fangirl and I just felt this happiness that I’ve never felt before while reading a book. I also love the fact that his books are queer af because we need more great queer books like these. Honestly, he needs to bring his queer Puerto Rican ass to Puerto Rico as part of a book tour before I die. This year I read the three books that are officially out, History is All You Left Me, More Happy Than Not and They Both Die at the End, all the kind of book that makes you bawl your eyes out. He truly knows how to break your heart. I know I am going to read What If It’s Us before this year ends—I’m hoping it’s more on the cute, happy and fluffy side, but I’m not getting my hopes up. I’m getting all the books in hardcover because I need the physical copies in my life and I need to make sure they don’t get destroyed when I reread them. He’s actually writing a couple more books including a fantasy and I just can’t wait to read them. PLEASE FINISH IT ALREADY!
8. Newest Fictional Crush
I’m no longer the type of reader who gets fictional crushes, but if I had to choose the amazing, the badass, the gorgeous Diana Prince from Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo. Let’s be honest the real reason of why I have a crush on her is because I was imagining Gal Gadot even thought Gal Gadot and Diana from Warbringer are the complete opposite when it comes to how they look. I mean there’s also the fact that I just adore Wonder Woman. I adore her since I was little and I would watch the tv show with Lynda Carter. So, she’s my not-so-new fictional crush.
9. Newest Favourite Character
WHY IS IT SO HARD NOT TO REPEAT? I really want to say Victor from Vicious, but let’s talk about someone else. I think my second favorites were Jazz Bashara from Artemis by Andy Weir and Rocío Lopez from Ruthless by Megan Crewe. They both were badass female characters. Jazz was hilarious, sarcastic and freaking smart and Rocío was also hella smart, badass and kind. Act,ually both of these characters are of color, Jazz father is from Saudi Arabia and Rocío’s family are from Mexico. I actually have a review for Ruthless Magic. Check it out here.
10. A Book That Made You Cry
I never, ever, ever cry while reading books so I did not cry while reading a book this year BUT More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera destroyed me, triggered me, and made me a whole different person. I read it during a read-a-thon and I remember while I was warming up my lunch I started sobbing and it took all my strength not to curl myself in a ball right there and cry all night. My poor queer heart couldn’t take it. BLESS ADAM SILVERA! I actually wrote a post talking about why this book is so important. You can check it out here.
Sixteen-year-old Aaron Soto is struggling to find happiness after a family tragedy leaves him reeling. He’s slowly remembering what happiness might feel like this summer with the support of his girlfriend Genevieve, but it’s his new best friend, Thomas, who really gets Aaron to open up about his past and confront his future.
As Thomas and Aaron get closer, Aaron discovers things about himself that threaten to shatter his newfound contentment. A revolutionary memory-alteration procedure, courtesy of the Leteo Institute, might be the way to straighten himself out. But what if it means forgetting who he truly is?
11. Book That Made You Happy
I’m stuck between two books so I’m mentioning both. First I got Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz. This book made my Hamilton fangirl heart very, very happy. I love them so much and ship them way too much. The other book that even though the book isn’t a happy one it still made me happy was, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. I finished this book with all the feels and this happiness that just made me want to start it again. The fact that I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by my husband Lin-Manuel Miranda just made it even more perfect.
Synopsis Alex and Eliza:
Their romance shaped a nation. The rest was history.
1777. Albany, New York.
As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.
Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.
Synopsis for Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.
12. Favourite Book To Movie Adaptation You Saw This Year
I mean if you don’t say Love, Simon are you even okay? I ADORED Love, Simon. I was blessed to see a prescreening and then again because I just loved it so much. We need more mainstream queer movies. I hope that the success of Love, Simon will bring us that. This movie needs to be on Netflix like NOW. I just laughed, cry and felt so identified and touched that I couldn’t handle life. I must say it isn’t perfect and it definitely wasn’t that accurate compared to the book but it’s still amazing.
Synopsis for Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (the book this movie was based on)
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.
13. Favorite Review You’ve Written This Year
I think I’ve only written three which were for Vicious
, The Cruel Prince
, and Ruthless Magic
, but by far the one I’m the proudest of is the one for Ruthless Magic
. I just know I won’t be able to top it. If you’re interested in reading it, here
it is. Actually, I already link them all when talking about them but let me link them again. Vicious
and The Cruel Prince
14. Most Beautiful Book You Bought So Far This Year
OKAY. THIS IS HARD! The number of books I’ve bought this year is enough to be embarrassed about so choosing will be impossible. Let me look at them and see if I can make a decision. I think that to make it easier I should choose from the one I got this year and actually read and that is Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh. That cover killed me and was the main reason for me getting the book. I just want to use it as part of my decor. She just revealed the cover for the sequel and I am dead.
Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised–the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.
A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa’s necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer’s magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?
15. What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of The Year?
If we’re talking about books that I already own those has to be either La Isla bajo el mar (island beneath the sea) by Isabel Allende, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. These are all pretty big books and I just need to sink my teeth into them as soon as possible. For books that I don’t own read the Most Anticipated Release For Second Half of 2018 part.
Synopsis for Island Beneath the Sea:
Born a slave on the island of Saint-Domingue, Zarité — known as Tété — is the daughter of an African mother she never knew and one of the white sailors who brought her into bondage. Though her childhood is one of brutality and fear, Tété finds solace in the traditional rhythms of African drums and in the voodoo loas she discovers through her fellow slaves.
When twenty-year-old Toulouse Valmorain arrives on the island in 1770, it’s with powdered wigs in his baggage and dreams of financial success in his mind. But running his father’s plantation, Saint-Lazare, is neither glamorous nor easy. It will be eight years before he brings home a bride — but marriage, too, proves more difficult than he imagined. And Valmorain remains dependent on the services of his teenaged slave.
Spanning four decades, Island Beneath the Sea is the moving story of the intertwined lives of Tété and Valmorain, and of one woman’s determination to find love amid loss, to offer humanity though her own has been battered, and to forge her own identity in the cruellest of circumstances.
Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.
Well, that was my mid-year freak out tag. I really hope you enjoyed it because I had so much fun writing it. My reading this year has been really good and I’m hoping for an even better rest of the year. I tag John from John’s Tainted Fantasy, Kevs from Drowning in Book Land, Coral from Palomitas literarias, and Adriana from Boricua Reads. I hope y’all will do it and enjoy it.
What has been your favorite read of this mid-year? What has been your least favorite?