As you can probably guess by the title of this post, it’s finally the middle of the year, and it’s time for us to F R E A K O U T(!!) 😱 2019 has been a year filled with good books, great friends, and thousands of words written and read. I’ve been procrastinating for this tag for a while, but I knew this was one I wanted to get done because I love reflecting back on the year and seeing all the books read and loved.
Best Book You’ve Read This Year
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. This was a book I never expected to pick up and probably never would have if it weren’t for the constant praises from the blogging community. 💚 I didn’t think historical fiction would be my cup of tea, but after hearing everyone talk about how this book left their souls shattered, I knew I had to pick it up. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo left me in tears. I didn’t expect to become so invested into the famous Evelyn Hugo’s life but seeing her journey and how deeply she loved was riveting.
Best Sequel You’ve Read in 2019
The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston. I loved Elle and Darien in Geekerella and being reunited with these two wonderful characters plus meeting even more amazing ones in this book was so much fun. ✨ In this story, Imogen and Stone were recreated in the Prince and the Pauper tale, and Ashley Poston’s humor and charm perfectly captures the spirit of the fairy tale we all know and love, presenting it in a creative and unique way. The Starfield franchise is the best thing ever because it just perfectly captures all the passion and love fans have for the series.
New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To?
The Fever King by Victoria Lee. OKAY OKAY I KNOW. I’m the worst because I have been saying that I need to read this book even before it was released, but I honestly think that I’ve just been procrastinating on reading this book because I’m terrified of not liking it. EVERYONE I know who has read it has fallen in love with the characters and story. There are fandom shirts. ⚡️ There’s a webcomic now. I honestly just need to bite the bullet and pick it up because I have high hopes that I’ll enjoy it, but the fear of potentially not liking it has been keeping me away.
Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of The Year?
The Dragon Warrior by Katie Zhao. Katie is one of the sweetest people on the internet, and I absolutely cannot wait to support her upcoming debut novel. She’s such a kind and funny person, and her writing snippets of The Dragon Warrior makes me laugh every time. I can’t wait to meet Faryn, and since the book is branded as similar to Percy Jackson, I already know that I’m going to love and enjoy it. I’m super lucky to have received an ARC from the publisher so I’m planning on diving into this book very soon. This is a book that I already know I’m going to be gifting to younger cousins and sharing with all my friends!
Again, But Better by Christine Riccio. Christine was one of the first BookTube videos that I ever watched so I was initially really excited to read her debut novel. However, although it had lots of potential, the entire story just fell flat for me. I couldn’t bring myself to support the problematic relationship between the main love interests which was based on cheating, and since the story felt like a self-insert fantasy, it made me view Christine in an iffy way. 😕 The main character’s parents were also extremely emotionally abusive, but this factor was never addressed in the book. Overall, this book just wasn’t my cup of tea.
Wildcard by Marie Lu. I loved the first book in this series so imagine my disappointment when I was introduced to Book 2. The character development of Emika and Hideo just got thrown out the window, and the plotline flew off the rails in terms of a logical direction. 😭 The world-building fell flat in comparison to the first book so instead of being fully immersed in the Warcross world, we’re faced with more unnecessary drama and over-the-top dialogue. I’m still a fan of Marie Lu’s books, but this one just wasn’t for me. I think the best part of this book was that I got to bond with Shealea over our disappointed feelings~
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo. This book wasn’t high on my radar or TBR, but after reading Shealea’s review and hearing her and Fadwa’s praises, I knew this was one I had to pick up. When it became available in my online library, I decided to give the audiobook a listen, and I loved Emoni and her family so much. 🥭 Her abuela was the sweetest, and her little daughter was so adorable. With the Fire on High was such a powerful story about motherhood. The food descriptions had my mouth watering, and I loved reading about Emoni’s passion for cooking.
Newest Fictional Crush?
Lennon from Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett. Jenn Bennett has easily become one of my favorite contemporary writers, and this book might just be my favorite out of all the ones she’s written. Zorrie and Lennon are the definition of best-friends-to-enemies-to-lovers, and Jenn Bennet writes this trope so freaking well(!!) I loved their interactions and their friendship, and the slow-burn throughout the story was so real. 🌟 He showed so much care and understanding towards Zorrie, and he was super swoon-worthy~
Book That Made You Cry?
Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han. Maybe it’s because I just recently wrote my review for this book last week, but the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy will forever hold a special place in my heart. 💖 The characters have grown to be familiar friends, and I genuinely feel like part of the family. Seeing the entire story conclude in this last book made me feel so incredibly emotional and had me all up in my ~feels~. Watching Lara Jean conclude her senior year and go off to college felt like seeing my younger sister grow older.
Book That Made You Happy?
If I’m Being Honest by Emily Wibberely and Austin Siegemund-Broka. Okay, so according to Ju…I’m basically an Emily and Austin stan account, and honestly, I’m totally fine with that. Emily and Austin are easily my top auto-buy authors, and I was over-the-moon excited when Penguin Teen invited me to participate in their blog tour. 🌴 Cameron and Brendan were so cute together, and I 110% supported their budding friendship and eventual romance. Everything about this book just had me smiling from ear to ear!
Favorite Book-To-Film Adaptation?
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to watch this movie in theaters, but my friends and I decided to watch it for movie night a few weeks ago…and I was crying my eyes out by the end of this movie. WOW. Like the book, this movie was POWERFUL. ✊🏼 It’s honestly something that everyone should read, and the film did a great job of capturing so many of the intense scenes and feelings. While some parts were cut out from the original book, I think it made sense given the timeframe.
Favorite Post You Have Done This Year?
I guess you could say that my favorite post is New Blog, New Me because I got to introduce my self-hosted site to the world after spending weeks working behind-the-scenes to find a new look. I’m so happy with the final product, and I just get super happy seeing my new site out there in the world!
I also really enjoyed writing my How To Make Pretty & Aesthetic Mood Boards post because I’d like to think that I’m well known for making pretty aesthetics. It’s one of my favorite sub-activities in blogging, and I’m so proud of the mood boards that I’ve created. If you ever make a mood board following my tips, please let me know!
Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year?
Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim. I don’t own many physical copies of books, but I was super ecstatic to receive a copy from the publisher as part of the book tour hosted by Shealea from Caffeine Book Tours. 🧵 It’s one of my favorite covers because I think it’s just so beautifully illustrated. The details in the drawing make it all the more beautiful, but everything comes together so cohesively to represent the story that Elizabeth Lim created!
Tagging my amazing friends 💖:
- Kay from Hammock of Books
- Marie from Drizzle and Hurricane Books
- Kelly from Another Book in the Wall
- Olivia from Purely Olivia
- Malka & Chana from Paper Procrasinators