Well, Strangers, it’s mid-June. Half the year has gone by. And I’ve read a bunch of books. And so, I figured I’d use this tag to take the chance to talk about some of them. So… here we go.
- Best book you read so far in 2017.
Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. Although this could be a potential answer to the next question, I feel like I could genuinely just pick this book up and read it without rereading Lady Midnight first. So many iconic things happened and enough of a recap is given that I think I’d be all right. But anyway, this book was So. Good. Julian had me shook the entire time and that ending fucked me up so bad. This is easily going to wind up on my best list at the end of the year.
- Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017.
A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab. This one picks up literally right where A Gathering of Shadows left off, so I feel like it qualifies for this question better than Lord of Shadows. It was such a good conclusion to the trilogy. The ships were on point. It was really heavy and dark though and I had to keep taking breaks. I really did truly love it and I miss Kell Maresh.
- New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.
Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh. I actually just bought this book and am really excited to start it. It’s a story taking place in ancient Japan (I think there’s magic, but I’m not positive) and has a Mulan-esque storyline. And I have always loved Mulan.
- Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.
The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin. The Mara Dyer trilogy left me so shook and I’m excited for new adventures and to read from Noah’s point of view. I also love their dynamic and how the typical “good girl gets with bad boy” trope is reversed. I love how dark these books are. And, truthfully, I love Noah Shaw. Don’t get me wrong. Mara is my Slytherin daughter. But Noah is one of the hottest boys in YA. So… yeah, I’m eager for this one.
- Biggest disappointment.
The Valiant by Lesley Livingston. A story about a female gladiator forced to fight for the enemy should’ve been right up my alley, but it was so underdeveloped and mediocre. I finally had to DNF it and move on.
- Biggest surprise.
The Lightning-Struck Heart by T.J. Klune. I was introduced to this book by a friend. To this day, I don’t know how or where she found it, but I’m so glad she did. This was one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. Too many parody books get it wrong, but this one was clever because it was also a genuine and original story. I love Sam of Wilds, my trash son. It’s such a soft, hilarious story and I’m so glad it exists.
- Favorite new author (debut or new to you).
Roshani Chokshi. Although she had released a book before, her mainstream debut was 2016. I read both books so far from her Star-Touched series this year and I love her writing style. It’s so lyrical and pretty. And her characters and ships get better and more palpable with each book. She’s so underrated and I can’t wait to read her next book.
- Newest fictional crush.
Alosa Kalligan from Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller. She’s so clever and witty. She’s also a total badass. And she has red hair! I don’t know why, but that’s so hot to me. I would willingly let her murder me and take everything I own. She’s such a goddess.
- Newest favorite character.
Julian Blackthorn from The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare. Back before Lady Midnight came out, Julian was very much sold to us as a soft character, somewhat reminiscent of Jem from The Infernal Devices. So when I finally read the book and he was being shady as hell, I was thrown off. I still liked him, but it was a confusing picture. However, reading it the second time, I had a new perspective on his character. I also realized he’s a total Slytherin. Reading him like this showed everything in a new light and I realized how utterly awesome and ruthless he is. He’s a fucking devious badass who loves his family more than anything and I adore him.
- Book that made you cry.
I hate to repeat an answer but… Lord of Shadows. I deadass almost cried in Walmart because this book fucked me up so much.
- Book that made you happy.
This is a bit of a weird answer, but Hunted by Meagan Spooner. This is not a cheerful or light, fluffy read. But it is easily the best “Beauty & the Beast” retelling I have ever read. I loved the slow progression of the relationship and how the curse was handled. All the characters were great and I loved how Russian fairy tales were weaved into the story. I’ve been searching for years for a really good “Beauty & the Beast” retelling and, at long last, I’ve found it.
- Most beautiful book you’ve bought or received so far this year.
The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee. Such a gorgeous cover. Shitty book though. I had to DNF.
- Books you need to read by the end of the year.
I’ve got a pretty long backlog, but the most pressing ones I think are The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson, The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen, and The Awakening of Ren Crown by Anne Zoelle. Everyone talks about them, and I’ve technically started all three, but I need to finish them and perhaps each of their series.
- Favorite book community member.
Er, this one’s a little weird. But I guess I have to give a shout out to the two best group chats ever, Shook™ and Comandaddy. Love you guys!
And, voila! There you have it. How has your reading year been so far? Got any answers you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments!
See you the entire rest of the year, Strangers!