Thank you to the lovely Katie @ Read with Katie for tagging me! The mid-year book freak out tag was created by two fabulous YouTubers, Read Like Wildfire and Earl Grey Books, they’re pretty awesome book vloggers so go take a look at their channels.
Some of these books didn’t come out in 2017, but I read them this year, so it counts…
The best book you’ve read so far in 2017
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
This was kind of an unexpected treat, I’d seen it mentioned online and as a fan of dark fantasy novels I hoped I’d enjoy it, but I didn’t expect to love it quite as much as I did. I’ll post a review soon, but suffice it to say this is definitely the best book I’ve read this year, and probably since A Court of Mist and Fury this time last year. It’s bloody, and sexy, and really, really dark (literally, for a book called Nevernight there’s a surprising amount of darkness). If you like your YA fantasy on the more mature side, check this little beauty out. The sequel, Godsgrave, comes out this year and I cannot wait to read it.
Best sequel of 2017 so far
The Sleeping Prince (The Sin Eater’s Daughter #2) by Melinda Salisbury
I’ve read a few sequels this year, but the only one I’ve given 5 stars to is The Sleeping Prince. The Sin Eater’s Daughter was one of my favourite books of last year, and book two is a bit of a departure from book one, mainly due to the fact it has a completely different protagonist who we didn’t meet in the first book. As you read further it becomes clear how the new story ties in, and I actually think it was a stroke of genius to show a different side to the events of the story – it takes place after book one, but is set in another town and reveals more of the fictional world and its inhabitants, which I love. If you like quite traditional fantasy inspired by fairy tales then you’ll love this series. The third and final book came out this year and is sitting on my bookshelf just waiting to be read!
A new release you haven’t read yet but want to
Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
I’m stealing Katie’s answer to this one because I received my copy of Lord of Shadows a week or two ago and it’s just sitting on my shelf waiting for me to finish my library books so I can dive right in. Cassie’s books are the kind I need to read as soon as they come out in case I get spoiled on Twitter or Instagram. I’m definitely planning to read this one as soon as possible, I really enjoyed Lady Midnight, although if we’re being honest it was probably my least favourite Shadowhunter novel so far (sorry everyone, I know it’s a lot of people’s favourite). But I love all the characters and I’m so intrigued about the laws for parabatai who fall in love and the consequences, so I’m really excited to read this sequel, even if it breaks my heart (Julian & Emma, Mark & Kieran, all the ships!).
Most anticipated release of the second half of 2017
Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff
Surprise! Not. I cannot wait to see where Mia goes next, the end of Nevernight broke my heart (please don’t be true!) and I need to find out what happens to all my favourite stabby babies – and Mr. Kindly (smol cat of shadows).
Honourable mention: Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas
I’m not quite as excited for this book as the usual Throne of Glass novels, I’m expecting to not see anything of Aelin, Rowan and the gang, so that’s slightly disappointing. I am excited to find out what happened when Chaol and Nesryn travelled to the Torre Cesme to find a healer for Chaol’s spinal injuries. Everyone was pretty disappointed when Chaol wasn’t even mentioned in Empire of Storms, despite the short story included at the end of the book, so I’m glad he’s getting his own full length novel (it was intended to be a novella but Maas has trouble trimming her word counts, clearly!). After A Court of Wings and Ruin, it’s clear Maas is trying really hard to write more diverse characters and she has done well in depicting realistic portayals of depression and PTSD in the past, so I’ve got high hopes for her depiction of Chaol’s disability.
The Shadow Queen by C. J. Redwine
I feel like I’m harping on about this now, but I’ve decided to put The Shadow Queen down and maybe come back to it later and try again. I struggled through the first hundred pages and had a stack of library books and new releases building up on my shelf that were calling to me, so I reluctantly DNFed this one. As a fairy tale retelling, there’s no reason why I don’t love this book, so I’m hoping I’ll enjoy it more second time around. There’s nothing I can put my finger on as to why I wasn’t loving it, so I suspect it’s just me.
Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
I’d heard of Mark Lawrence before I picked this one up from the library, but being adult fantasy it wasn’t at the top of my list. Until I received the February Illumicrate with Lawrence’s newest novel, Red Sister. I decided to start at the beginning with Lawrence’s first book, which isn’t set in the same universe as Red Sister, but I figured would be a good place to start and an introduction to his style. Well, I absolutely loved it, I practically inhaled it on holiday in Turkey this April. I’ve just started King of Thorns, book two in the Broken Empires series, and I’ve got Emperor of Thorns ready to go straight after. It’s a similar sort of vibe to Nevernight, so if you’re into dark and bloody adult fantasy, check it out.
Favourite new author
Definitely Jay Kristoff. I’ve heard such good things about the Illuminae series too, so I plan to read those at some point this year.
Newest fictional crush
Ronan Lynch from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. I might not be his type, but this is fiction after all!
Newest favourite character
Mr. Kindly from Nevernight. A sassy talking cat, made from shadows who drinks fear? Where can I get one?
A book that made you cry
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
The series finale made me tear up once or twice – I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, but there was a particular death that really got to me. I’ll let you guess which one in the comments!
A book that made you happy
The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling
This was an absolute treat to read! Growing up with Harry Potter, it was devastating when I finished the final book and thought I’d never get to live in that world again. I read the other two companion books at the time, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (now a movie, in case you didn’t know!) and Quidditch Through the Ages. This was the last book (before the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child screenplay came out) that I hadn’t yet read. I saw it in my local library and had to get it, and I’m glad I did, I enjoyed every second of it and laughed and cried whilst reading.
Favourite book to movie adaptation you’ve seen this year
Not strictly a book, as I haven’t seen any book-to-movie adaptations yet this year, but it’s a graphic novel I think, so that counts right? And it was amazing, a totally gripping and heartbreaking movie, let alone superhero movie (which I’m obsessed with anyway). If you haven’t seen it and you’re in any way slightly interested in X-Men definitely watch it immediately (you don’t have to like X-Men, but it’s better if you know a bit of back story).
Favourite review you’ve written this year
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
I fell in love with The Scorpio Races after years of it sitting on my TBR untouched and unloved. It reminded me of my all-consuming love for Maggie Stiefvater, which had been hidden, but never lessened, in the years since I read The Wolves of Mercy Falls and the Books of Faerie. Since reading The Scorpio Races, I’ve ploughed through almost all of The Raven Cycle, and I’m dying to get my hands on All the Crooked Saints. I loved writing this review because I was so happy to have rediscovered a favourite author and discovered a new favourite book.
Most beautiful book you bought or received so far this year
Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
Just look at that cover! Am I right? This was another book that came in the February Illumicrate, and I haven’t cracked it yet, but it’s an absolute stunner. It’s a sort of Labyrinth reimagining as far as I understand, with a young girl seduced by the Goblin King. I think it’ll be a lovely wintery read, so I might save this one until later in the year.
Books you need to read by the end of the year
There are so many! I’ll try to keep this brief:
- The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
- Illuminae & Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
- Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab
- The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
- Gentleman Bastard series by Scott Lynch
- The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
- The Young Elites by Marie Lu
- The Gold Seer Trilogy by Rae Carson
- To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
- When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Louise @ Dragonspire UK
Julianna @ Blots of Ink and Words
Sarah @ Between the Pages
And as always, if you want to do this tag but I haven’t tagged you, feel free to give it a go!