I don’t think we’ve ever completed a tag for which we weren’t nominated. We’ve been fortunate in that many beautiful souls have nominated us for various tags and awards throughout the years (btw, we just passed our 6 year blogiversary!), and we complete as many as we can – what with our busy schedules, aka inconsistent postings – but I don’t think we’ve ever completed one without first be notified of the tag through our nomination. Well, that trend ends today.
This is the Mid-Year “Freak Out” (why are people freaking out about it?) Book Tag that I stumbled across in my readings of peers’ blog posts. No need to give my nominator a shout out, but I’m happy to name Lauren at Gossamer Pages, since hers was the post that inspired mine. She’s doing great things over there, so go check her out.
So anyway, the goal is to answer the questions only using books I’ve read so far this year. I’m mid-slump so I’m way behind on my Goodreads goal, so we’ll see if I can do it!
1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018? Looking back at my conquests this year, it’s been a very bland reading year, with a few exceptions. That makes this one easy but it would be my answer, regardless. Hands down, Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman. I was already in pretty deep with Scythe, but this sequel was exceptional, and I do not use that word lightly. Recommended for: anyone who enjoys YA thrillers, Dystopian futures, artificial intelligence, multiple POVs, strong female protagonists, series works.
2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018? I hate doing this, but the answer for this one has to be Thunderhead, also. I’ve only read two sequels so far this year and the other one is decidedly dedicated to another one of these questions.
3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to? Again, easy: Circe by Madeline Miller. I adore re-tellings of classics, especially from a feminist perspective and this one promises to please. Looking forward to reading it and, if possible (based on potential relevance) including it in our Odyssey unit this year (if I do, I’ll be sure to post about it).
4. Most anticipated release for the second half of 2018? Easy, easy, easy: Tiamat’s Wrath by James S. A. Corey. It’s the 8th in a nine-part series, Expanse, which I’ve been devouring since 2015. I was recommended to read the first installment, Leviathan Wakes, after I enjoyed Andy Weir’s The Martian so much. I guess more people are aware of it now, since it’s a TV show. For those who keep up with the show, how jazzed are we that Amazon picked up what Syfy so stupidly dropped?!?! Recommended for: anyone who enjoys SciFi/Space Operas, multiple POVs, series works, very looong books, and character-driven stories.
5. Biggest disappointment? No difficulty there either. While I was in absolute bliss over Red Rising, Golden Son, and Morning Star by Pierce Brown, he extended the series and the forth installment was a huge let down, in my unprofessional opinion. I never wrote a review because I’m just too devastated and I’m hoping that time will dull my disillusionment. I suppose it has; now, instead of remembering what all I hated, I just remember that I hated it. Nonetheless, I will never stop recommending this series/author. NEVER! Recommended for: anyone who enjoys SciFi/Space Operas, series works, Dystopian futures, political strategizing, series works, multiple POVs.
6. Biggest surprise? Hmmm, well I guess I was surprised by Cantero’s Meddling Kids. I honestly expected to consider it somewhat sacrilegious to my beloved Scooby-Doo, but I tried really hard to go into it seeing it as an “interpretation” and was pleased. It was sometimes silly, sometimes genuine, sometimes spooky, sometimes ridiculous. I genuinely enjoyed it. Recommended for: anyone who enjoys mystery/thrillers, SciFi/Fantasy, re-imaginings, mental illness/addiction, LGBTQIA, stand alone novels.
7. Favorite new author? Ryan Graudin is new to me. I genuinely enjoyed Wolf by Wolf but never got around to writing a review. I expect that one day I’ll come across the sequel, and I imagine I’ll enjoy that one, too. Recommended for: anyone who enjoys WWII/Nazi history, strong female protagonists, historical re-imaginings, adventure/thriller, series works.
8. Newest fictional crush? I’m thirty years old. Pass.
9. Newest favorite character? Yael from Wolf by Wolf was a delightfully positive female protagonist, and I just love those.
10. Book that made you cry? It takes a great deal to make me cry and no book has succeeded in doing so so far this year.
11. Book that made you happy? I read Tom Hanks’ book of short stories, Uncommon Type and it was delightful. It also made me realize I read too many “cruel” books that contain plot twists and I always expect that a good thing will go bad at any moment. It was a wonderful change of pace for a good thing to just be good. Recommended for: anyone who enjoys short stories, multiple POVs, happy endings!
12. Favorite book to movie adaptation you’ve seen this year? I have not been to the movies in at least a year, so any movies I’ve seen will be well out of date. I did watch Jurassic Park: The Lost World the other day and I have to say that I give 10 out of 10 to anything with Jeff Goldblum.
14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year? I’m obsessed with the copy of The Heroes of Tolkien by David Day that Hannah gave me for my birthday. It’s cerulean leather with gold embossing of the title, as well as a beautiful line drawing of Boromir embossed on the front. It’s one in a series of Tolkien-related texts, all of the same quality; I also have the “Dictionary” and intend to get the “Atlas” and “Book of Battles,” too. Recommended for: anyone who enjoys Tolkien works, fictional histories, mythology, character development.
15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year? So many! Just to highlight a few:
Normally, I nominate others at this point. I actually get really peeved when people are nominated and then are like “oh, I don’t feel like it.” Rude! Someone thought enough of you to take the time to nominate you, so take a beat and nominate others. It’s the best way to show people that you appreciate what they’re doing. The only reason I’m not doing it this time is because it’s already halfway through July and the people I’d nominate have already done some sort of mid-year review. However, if you haven’t done it and you have books worth reviewing, please link your review in the comments so I can read. I’m recovering from a slump, you see, and I need all the help I can get.