It’s the middle of the year, and it’s time to check in. Technically, the exact middle of the Year was on the 2nd. I’ve never done this tag before, but it looks like fun. I don’t know who created this tag, but it’s become a regular tag that I see everywhere in the online book community.
Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2017
I loved The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I haven’t read much Canadian literature, and I’ve been avoiding dystopian novels because the trend of them that happened since The Hunger Games left a bad taste in my mouth. It’s so compelling and eerie for today. Look at all of the women who protest horrible bills by dressing as the handmaids. I loved that for once a dystopian book focused on the reality of how society and government became this way, and it wasn’t an apocalypse. This book makes me want to read more classic dystopian novels.
Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2017
Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia C. Wrede, which was not the first book published in The Fairy Tale Series. I might be cheating on this one since the book series doesn’t have a single author or sequential order, like The Royal Diaries.
I loved the characters in this book and that it was set in Tudor England. It was a nice change to see fairly obedient teen girls who were also cunning and kind. Unlike the original fairy tale, I was glad to see Rose Red and Snow White differentiated from each other by their behaviors. I also liked that the dialogue sounded like it would fit the era and that the narration was written in a modern style.
New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To
I have wanted to read Wintersong, by S. Jae-Jones, since I learned that it quotes Christina Rosetti’s “Goblin Market,” a poem I love. I hadn’t seen any YA books that were inspired by the poem, so I want to read it. Even though there’s a Goblin King in it, I only see goblins in Harry Potter and in Harry Potter fanfiction.
Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year
I’m anticipating the release of the first installment of Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust Trilogy, La Belle Sauvage. It’s in the same world of His Dark Materials, and it focuses on Lyra. I’ve only read The Golden Compass (yes, I know the original title is Northern Lights), but I love the world. I would like to reread the first book and maybe the rest of the trilogy before starting La Belle Sauvage.
I was disappointed by Malinda Lo’s Ash. The book wasn’t terrible, but I expected so much more from it since I heard that it was good. Some of the excitement for was that Cinderella is a lesbian, and I liked her relationship with the Huntress. I was mostly annoyed that it was a love triangle between the Huntress and a stalking fairy guy. I also like seeing the characters develop in book-length retellings, and this book had none.
We read Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in high school. I don’t have much of an opinion on that book, so I expected to feel the same about Pudd’nhead Wilson. I liked it. The lawyer, whose nickname is the title, the Italian Twins and Roxy’s switcheroo of the babies were all tied together with interesting relationships and interactions. One of things that is generally interesting about reading Twain or Dickens is that the books were published in serials, which is something that I like about fanfiction. It was extremely interesting to me to read a trial that had to prove fingerprints are unique to every person, including twins.
Favorite New Author (Debut or New to You)
Rainbow Rowell is this author right now, but I haven’t read anything of hers since Carry On and Fangirl. For a couple of months, I’ve looked for her other books. Then I stopped as school got in swing. I want to read more of her books.
Newest Fictional Crush
I’m not really into fictional crushes or boyfriends, but I love shipping characters. I tried finding fanfiction for Carry On to read more Simon and Baz love. I didn’t find any—in a quick search—that made me want to dive into the fandom. If anyone has recommendations, I would gladly check them out.
Newest Favorite Character
That’s a little difficult. I think my newest favorite character is Satan from Paradise Lost. Think what you will.
Book That Made You Cry
Rites of Passage, by Joy N. Hensley, made me cry in the last half. This book isn’t designed to be sad or to destroy all happiness in the world. I felt the hopeless pressure of the military school as McKenna reached the second half of the year. All of the hate directed at her is tangible. Hensley kept the tension up, and I reached a point in the final chapters where I had to cry.
Book That Made You Happy
The Color of Earth, by Kim Dong Hwa, is mostly sweet where it concerns Ehwa, the little girl MC of the book. I liked watching Ehwa grow up. I love it when she teases her playmates, who are kind of mean, when she learned something from her mother. It was sweet when she teased them about a special beauty regimen from her mother. The traveling man who sleeps with her mother provides an interesting source of conflict socially for both mother and daughter. All of the characters are well-developed, and I love seeing how any conflict between mother and daughter gets resolved.
Favorite Book-to-Film Adaptation You Saw This Year
While I haven’t seen any new adaptations, I fell for Outlander. It’s so addicting after the first episode. I need to take the time to binge all of Season 1 and then Season 2.
Favorite Review You’ve Written This Year
I think loved writing the review for Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell, the most this year. It can be very fun to write a review about a book you love.
Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought So Far This Year (or Received)
What Books Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year?
I will be finishing Paradise Lost by the end of the month. Others that I want to finish by the end of the year are Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, The Last Ever After by Soman Chainani, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
That’s it for the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag. How is your reading year going so far?