Thursday, 3 September 2015

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag!

Okay, so it's past the mid-year point now, but I saw Cait @ Paper Fury do this tag and it looked like fun, so here goes!

Best Book You've Read So Far in 2015

I've read a lot of fantastic books this year, so this was difficult, but I decided to choose Signal to Noise for a few reasons. 1) It's genuinely not only one of the best books I've read this year, but one of the best books I've ever read. Period. 2) It's a 2015 debut novel, and yet I've barely seen anyone talking about it, which is just ridiculous. It's vital that you read this book. 3) I sometimes find it difficult to relate to teenagers in books, and it's not because I'm a super special snowflake or because they're unrealistic, it's just because, let's face it, a lot of YA is romance-centric and romance has never been a big part of my life. I didn't feel attracted to many people at all when I was at school; I never had a cute moment at a school dance or a kiss in the rain or anything, really. But this book reminded me so much of what it was like to be a teenager, it spoke to me even though I didn't grow up in the '80s and even though I didn't grow up in Mexico City. It takes a special book to bring out feelings like that.

There are, of course, a few very close runners up: The Goblin Emperor; To Kill a Mockingbird; Jane Eyre's Sisters: How Women Live and Write the Heroine's Story; How To Be a Heroine; Fingersmith; The Little Stranger.

Best Sequel You've Read So Far in 2015

So this is kind of cheating because I haven't actually finished Blackout yet, but it wasn't until I started thinking about this that I realised how few sequels I've read this year. I've been reading a lot of standalones - I love me a good standalone - and I have been reading a lot of graphic novels, but not a lot of non-graphic series at all. I'm fairly certain this is going to be my favourite sequel once I've finished it, though! I'm just savouring it because I don't know how much more heartbreak I can take with this series...

New Release You Haven't Read Yet But Want To

I own all six of these 2015 releases and I haven't read any of them yet, but I do really want to!

Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year

I mean, duh. I'm desperate to get my hands on Winter even though I'm going to be very sad when this series ends.

Biggest Disappointment

This series has a lot of potential, but I just didn't like it at all. I love the game, The Wolf Among Us, but I'm just not keen on Bill Willingham's writing style.

Biggest Surprise

Oh my God this book. I was warned just how twisty and turny this book is before I started it, but I think I'm usually quite good at guessing what's coming. I wasn't prepared for this. This book left me gaping at three in the morning and desperate to talk to someone about it, while also wanting to shove the book at people so they could read it and we could both be shocked together. It's fantastic.

Favourite New Author

such a cutie patootie
After reading Signal to Noise I'm definitely going to be keeping an eye out for anything else Silvia Moreno-Garcia writes. I already have her short story collections, This Strange Way of Dying and Love & Other Poisons, and I'm planning on reading them soon!

Newest Fictional Ship

Like Cait, I'm much more of a shipper than a crusher. I love Violet and Orc Dave from Rat Queens, and also Meche and Sebastian from Signal to Noise.

Newest Favourite Character

This was a tough one because I've met so many wonderful characters already this year that I've loved, but there was one in particular who immediately popped into my head when I read this, and that was Maia. The Goblin Emperor is a fantastic, thoughtful book by a very skilled writer, but there's no way I would have loved it as much as I did if Maia hadn't been in it. He's precious and good, but he's never sickly sweet or unbelievable. I love him.

Honourable mentions go to: Meche (Signal to Noise), Angel (White Trash Zombie series), Violet (Rat Queens), Kamala (Ms. Marvel), The Stalk (Saga) and Caroline (The Little Stranger).

Book That Made You Cry

This book is so heartbreaking. Sadness weeps from the pages in waves, but it's so, so good. 

Book That Made You Happy

I opened this book and I didn't stop grinning from start to finish. This series is everything I have ever wanted in a fantasy series all rolled into one, and I can't wait for the next volume!

Favourite Book to Film Adaptation You Saw This Year

I have to agree with Cait and say If I Stay. I've watched it several times now and I'm still not bored of it.

Favourite Post You Have Done So Far This Year

I've done a few discussion posts that I'm quite proud of:

Most Beautiful Book You Have Bought So Far This Year

That would have to be this stunning 150th anniversary edition of The Complete Alice: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. It's beautiful, and I bought it from a fantastic independent bookshop in Monmouth, Rossiter Books.

What Books Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year?

SO MANY. But especially these ones:

Mistress Firebrand by Donna Thorland: Donna Thorland was lovely enough to contact me and personally send me an ARC a couple of months before this novel was published - she even left me a little message on the cover of the ARC - and I still haven't read it because I'm a terrible human being. I really want to - it sounds amazing - but I'm only just getting back into historical fiction after many months of reading speculative fiction, and I think I'm a little intimidated by my complete lack of knowledge concerning American history. But no more excuses! I'm determined to read this soon, and leave the lovely Donna Thorland a review.

The Hourglass Factory by Lucy Ribchester: One of the 2015 debuts that I couldn't resist picking up. I don't think I've read any books about suffragettes - fiction or non-fiction - and that's something I need to change!

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: How haven't I read this yet? I've heard nothing but amazing things about this book, and my mum managed to find me a signed copy last Christmas, so it's about time I read it. I'm going to save it for the next time I'm in the mood for a cry.

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers: I got this for Christmas too, and I still haven't read it. Seriously, what's wrong with me? I really like this trilogy and I have a problem when it comes to finishing series - I never want them to end! It's about time I crossed this book off my TBR, though...

The Falconer by Elizabeth May: I've heard such mixed things about this book that I just want to see what it's like for myself. I'm hoping it's good, because I think it's a cool concept, and I love me some historical fiction with fantastical elements.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater: Again, how have I not read this yet? I think this book makes me nervous because it's so popular, but I'd like to try and read it during the build up to Halloween!

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan: Another debut novel that sounds right up my alley, and one that I've heard some amazing things about it. It also has a gorgeous cover, and it's even prettier under the dust jacket.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: This book has been getting a lot of hype so usually I probably wouldn't go anywhere near it, but my friend Elena (who I went to Rome with!) absolutely loves this book, in fact I'm fairly certain it was her favourite book of 2014, so I thought I should give it a try!

Resistance is Futile by Jenny T. Colgan: I have a soft spot for Colgan's contemporary fiction - particularly her Rosie Hopkins books - but she's also a big sci-fi nut. This book has been described as Bridget Jones's Diary meets Independence Day, so I simply have to read it. Plus it's another 2015 release so I'd like to read it in 2015!

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton: Yet another book that's done well for itself, and one that several of my friends have said is amazing. I was lucky enough to find a hardback edition for only £5 just before Christmas, and I'd like to read it soon! I'm pretty sure it's set in the autumn, so I think September/October time will be the perfect time to cross it off my TBR.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab: Yet another 2015 release and yet another book that everyone has been talking about. I snapped up a copy of this when it was released in February and I still haven't read it because I suck.

The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milรกn: YES DINOSAURS. This is also a 2015 release and the first book in a new trilogy, I believe. I'd like to read it this year so that, if I like it, I can snap up the second book when it comes out next year.

There's so much to read and so little time. Seriously, those of you who manage to read 200 books in a year, I salute you. I'm not going to tag anyone because I'm lazy, but if you want to do this tag then do it!


  1. So many of the books on your need to read list are ones I need to read too! I really want to get my hands on The Gracekeepers and The Miniaturist! I recently bought The Hourglass Factory and Station Eleven, both of which I am super eager to read! And of course, I have been meaning to read The Raven Boys for years!
    Read Code Name Verity ASAP! It's brilliant and is one of the best emotional books I have read in a very long time.