Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag 2020

I keep seeing this tag flying around and I couldn’t resist it! I don’t do tags like this a lot but I want to start doing more of them!

Best book you’ve read so far in 2020:

This was a really hard one, because I’ve read a lot of books I loved this year, but I’m going to go with HARROW LAKE by Kat Ellis. Click here for my review! When I went to link this book I found out I’ve actually been quoted on the Goodreads page, which shows how much I love this book! Kat Ellis is also one of the loveliest authors out there, so double the reason to order this book!

Close runner ups for ‘best book so far’ have to be The Majesties by Tiffany Tsao, Bearmouth by Liz Hyder and The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020:

I’m going to surprise exactly nobody when I say that my favourite sequel of 2020 (and favourite book ever) is HARROW THE NINTH by Tamsyn Muir. This book is everything to me, I love it. Click here for my ridiculous raving review!

Harrow isn’t actually out until August 4th but I sold my soul for a review copy so I’ve read it three times already.

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to:

I can’t wait to read THE MERMAID, THE WITCH AND THE SEA by Maggie Tokuda-Hall. My copy showed up this week and I’m so obsessed with the synopsis, pasted below from Goodreads. Click here to add it on Goodreads!

Aboard the pirate ship Dove, Flora the girl takes on the identity of Florian the man to earn the respect and protection of the crew. For Flora, former starving urchin, the brutal life of a pirate is about survival: don’t trust, don’t stick out, and don’t feel. But on this voyage, as the pirates prepare to sell their unsuspecting passengers into slavery, Flora is drawn to the Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, who is en route to a dreaded arranged marriage with her own casket in tow. Flora doesn’t expect to be taken under Evelyn’s wing, and Evelyn doesn’t expect to find such a deep bond with the pirate Florian.

Soon the unlikely pair set in motion a wild escape that will free a captured mermaid (coveted for her blood, which causes men to have visions and lose memories) and involve the mysterious Pirate Supreme, an opportunistic witch, and the all-encompassing Sea itself. “

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year:

This was a hard choice, but I cannot wait for CEMETERY BOYS by Aiden Thomas. The cover, the synopsis. Everything about it sounds perfect. Click here to add it on Goodreads and take a look at the summary, pasted below from Goodreads.

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free. However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

Biggest disappointment:

I hate this question because I feel bad calling any book a disappointment! But I think for me it would be QUEEN OF COIN AND WHISPERS by Helen Corcoran. Which is not to say it’s a bad book at all! I just was expecting something a bit different. It’s very well written but it’s more politics and court intrigue than I expected, which means it doesn’t work for me but has been perfect for lots of friends I’ve recommended it to who love courtly intrigue! Click here to add it on Goodreads.

Biggest surprise:

My biggest surprise was probably BEARMOUTH by Liz Hyder. I got a review copy from Pushkin Press and I’d heard a bunch about it, but I didn’t actually know… anything about the plot. I ended up devouring it in two sittings (only broken up because I needed to sleep) and I loved it to pieces. My review is available here! This book was a complete shock to me and the last thing I expected, but I loved it to pieces.

Favourite new author:

This is a hard one but I’m going with Jennifer Giesbrecht, who wrote The Monster of Elendhaven, a close competitor for best book I’ve read this year. I loved The Monster of Elendhaven and I can’t wait to find out what other spooky things are on the horizon. Follow Jennifer on twitter here, and read my The Monster of Elendhaven review if you like gay monsters.

Newest fictional crush:

I don’t really get fictional crushes? I’m aromantic as hell, I don’t get any crushes! There’s my love for Gideon Nav and Harrowhark Nonagesimus, but that started in 2019, not 2020. It’s not book-related but I guess my only new fictional crush for 2020 is Scorpia from She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. She fits my archetype for gorgeous, buff, looks tough and will baby me as much as possible.

Newest favourite character:

This was a hard one because a bunch of my favourite characters are super spoilery. But I absolutely loved Tal from THE UNSPOKEN NAME by A.K. Larkwood. Tal fits all my favourite kinds of characters, mostly that he and Csorwe are both messed up idiots that are unrelentingly rude to each other. He made me laugh the entire way through the book and I loved him to pieces.

Book that made you cry:

I cry ALL the time at books, honestly. But the most recent book I cried at was THE LIGHTEST OBJECT IN THE UNIVERSE by Kimi Eisele. It was a good kind of crying though, I wept at the end of this book because it was beautifully hopeful and had such a positive impact on me. Click here to read my review of this book.

Book that made you happy:

I run the Queer Reads Crew book club and our May book club pick was HER ROYAL HIGHNESS by Rachel Hawkins, and that was definitely a book that made me happy. I read it in one sitting, because it was just beautifully sapphic and easy to read. Add in a royal/’commoner’ romance and I was sold. Read my review here!

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year:

My most beautiful book isn’t actually one I’ve bought, but this copy of BELLE RÉVOLTE by Linsey Miller which was hand-painted a shimmery gold by the author and personalised with my name. It’s a book I’ll absolutely never get rid of and means so much to me, and not just because it’s completely unique. My review is here if you want to read me rambling about how much I adore this book and its a-spec rep!

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

Uh…. all of them. I have over two hundred books on my TBR list and I really want to clear a huge chunk. I’m going to focus on my review copies first, then my library books and then my physical TBR so my next few reads are:

  • School for Nobodies by Susie Bower
  • May Day by Josie Jaffrey
  • Between Starfalls by S. Kaeth
  • The Rules by Tracy Darnton
  • The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune

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