t’s that time of year again… time for the mid-year book freak out tag! I’m actually not freaking out that much this year since I have already completed my book goal for 2020. However, I love completing this tag every year, so here are my answers (any book with a review will have the review linked to the book’s title):
- Best Book I’ve Read so far in 2020
One of my first five star reads of the year was Always Never Yours Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Brocka. I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did because I usually don’t enjoy books centered on acting or school plays. However, I was hooked on this book from start to finish. I liked how the main character was very outgoing, which I don’t see much of in YA contemporary and was surprised how emotional some moments in the book were.
- Best Sequel that I Have Read So Far
I haven’t read too many sequels in 2020, and the ones that I have read were only average for me.
- New Release I Haven’t Read Yet, but Want to
I bought Time of Our Lives by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Brocka when it was released, but haven’t read it yet. I love this author duo so I am excited to finally read this one. Time of Our Lives follows two students who meet on a college tour, one who wants to escape her large family and the other who wants to stay close to home to help his mother with early on-set Alzheimer’s.
- Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of 2020
Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer is one of my most anticipated reads of the year. I loved the Lunar Chronicles and I am excited to see this author branch out into a new genre. In this book, the overachieving main character gets the ability to cast instant karma on those around her. However, when she tries to use her newfound powers on a slacker in her class, it backfires.
- Biggest Disappointment
My biggest disappointment hands down was Moment of Truth by Kasie West. I typically love the contemporary books by this author, but this book missed the mark quite a few times. Nothing in this book was fully developed and the pacing was completely off. As a result, nothing about this book was particularly satisfying to read. In fact, this book inspired me to tier rank books by Kasie West (see my post here) after two disappointing reads by this author in a row.
- Biggest Surprise
I was surprised how much I enjoyed The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen. I put this off for awhile because I haven’t been extremely impressed with some of Dessen’s recent works. However, I became quickly invested in Emma Saylor’s story and didn’t want this book to end. This book really reminded me of her all-time classic books, like The Truth About Forever, which I really enjoyed.
- Favorite New Author
This author isn’t new to me, but is a new favorite author. Over the years, I have occasionally picked up a book by Jenn Bennett. Initially, I didn’t get the hype over this author because my reading experience with Alex, Approximately was only average. Since then, and especially this year after reading Chasing Lucky, she is a new favorite contemporary author that I can’t wait to read more of in the future. I really enjoy her writing style, particularly her descriptions of different places.
- Newest Fictional Crush
I don’t really have a fictional crush, but one character that I appreciated more after seeing them in a relationship was Kal from Aurora Burning. A lot of people really shipped Kal and Aurora after the first book, but I didn’t really get the hype. After learning more about him in Aurora Burning, I have a greater appreciation for his character. Although I am still not crazy about “the pull,” in this book and others with similar concepts, I really appreciate how much he cared about Aurora and the person in general that he chose to be despite his upbringing,
- Newest Favorite Character
One character that I really enjoyed was Bethany’s character in Tools of Engagement (to be released in September). Bethany’s character—pretty, put together, and “perfect”—is often villainized in other romance type books. However, I liked that the author explored this character a little bit deeper to find out why she acted that way. I really related to how Bethany felt like people expected her to be put together and perfect all the time and how hard it is to change your way of thinking from that, which made me enjoy this book for a separate reason from the romance (which was okay, but not my favorite).
- Book that Made You Cry
I don’t like to do repeats, but I definitely cried when I read The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen. I related a lot to the main character, Emma Saylor, in many different ways so it made her story that more emotional for me.
- Book that Made You Happy
Four Days of You and Me by Miranda Kenneally made me happy. This was her first book outside of the Hundred Oaks series (see my ranking of the books in the Hundred Oaks series here), but like the books in that series, it was a fun, quick, and easy read.
- Favorite Book to Movie Adaptation You Saw this Year
The only new book to movie adaptation that I watched was P.S. I Still Like You. I actually wasn’t a huge fan of this adaptation, especially compared to the first move. I didn’t like many of the changes from the book, thought the pacing was weird, and there wasn’t enough John Ambrose!
- Favorite Review You’ve Written This Year
I liked my review of Moment of Truth because I felt like I was able to accurately articulate my frustrations towards this book. Plus, this review did spark a few conversations in the comments and I really enjoyed interacting with other people in the book community.
- Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year
I am going to use Aurora Burning again for this one. I absolutely love the artwork featured on the covers of this series and this book is no exception. I think the artwork always well reflects the characters, and as I mentioned earlier, Kal has really grown on me so I don’t mind seeing him on the cover.
- Books I Need to Read by the End of This Year
I started A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, but I haven’t finished it yet. I definitely need to finish this book by the end of the year because I know if I drag out reading a book, then I typically won’t finish it.
What are your favorite books of the year so far? What are your most anticipated reads for the end of the year?