Favorites & Not-So Favorites: Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Welcome to In the Lost & Found! My all new blog about books and travel and whatever I feel like, really. I decided that I just wanted to jump into this thing and start off with a book tag that would give a big overview of the kind of reader that I am. So here I go!

After I graduated from college, I quickly realized that I needed something else to take up space in my mind and keep it absorbing knowledge. 2020 has been a bit of a slower year in terms of my reading due to the pandemic causing so much disruption in my mind and throwing me off course (as well as a little thing called Animal Crossing sucking up most of my time from March to June). Nonetheless, I’m still super proud of the 52 books I have read so far. From those 52 books, here are my answers to these tag questions!

Best book you’ve read so far in 2020

I always make a “2020 Five Stars” list on Goodreads. So far, I have 9 five star books from various genres. Some standouts are Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (made me emotional and was just plain beautiful), Little Fires Everywhere by Celestia Ng (examined the intricacies of race and class so wonderfully- the show was a great adaptation too), and The One by John Marrs (a TRULY page-turning thriller/mystery with a cliff hanger at the end of every single chapter.)

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020

This one definitely has to go to Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare. It was another five star book that had me absolutely beaming. I am just a complete sucker for Clare’s brooding, angsty Shadowhunters. As a sequel to the prequel that was Infernal Devices/my favorite Shadowhunters series, it definitely lived up to my expectations. Writing this is making me want to read Chain of Gold all over again.

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

 

I am currently impatiently waiting for The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar to be available for me from the library. All I know is that it is a sapphic YA novel and that people love it. The cover is so cute, too! I AM READY.

 

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi is the sequel I have been impatiently awaiting ever since I finished The Gilded Wolves shortly after its release. Definitely a bit of a polarizing book, but one that I absolutely loved. It has been compared to Six of Crows quite a bit and the magic system is kind of confusing at the start, but I connected to the characters in this series so much and loved Roshani’s lush writing style, bumping it up to five stars. If fantastical, heisty books are your thing, I would recommend this to you. I’m a bit curious to see if I still think it is worthy of five stars and will be rereading it to prepare for the sequel’s release on September 22nd.

Biggest dissappointment

The two books that immediately come to mind are these two. I won’t go over my qualms in detail, because I could go on about it all for ages, but here are a few quick thoughts.

Find Me by André Aciman [Call Me by Your Name #2]

I don’t understand the need for age gaps in the two relationships he focuses on in this book. We got it with Call Me By Your Name, we don’t need these continued forced tropes (including the insta-love). There were a few great quotes, but this one did NOT affect me in the way CMBYN did. Going to pretend this is not in the same universe, especially since Aciman forgot that a character from the previous book should not exactly be alive during the timeline of Find Me. (Also…wtf Miranda…if you know you know.)

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Did we need a President Snow story? No. Did it provide entertainment? Yes. Did it make sense? Absolutely not…and the “relationships” irked me. I get the point, but it was just not executed amazingly well.

Biggest Surprise

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover is one of the very small handful of romance books that I have read. I made the mistake of reading a dark romance book a couple of months ago after I decided to throw myself into the world of romance and I was very confused and somewhat disturbed. That was probably not the way to get started with romance…less of a dipping of toes into the genre and more of a getting pushed into the deep end of it. My friend was also confused as to why I was reading said book and recommended me Colleen Hoover. I was not disappointed. It Ends With Us is such a great take on a romance novel. It examined so many issues that I wouldn’t think a typical romance novel would tackle. I don’t want to say anything else to avoid spoilers, but if you are interested in a romance with a message I would highly recommend this one. Just try not looking up detailed information about it so you can be surprised by the story and its depth like I was.

Favorite new author (debut or new to you)

Celeste Ng is an author new to me this year. I read both of her books, Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere this year and was truly blown away by both. The mysteries in her books are so intriguing and impactful. I love the way she writes about her characters with compassion while at the same time exposing their flaws. I’m excited for whatever she has coming next!

Newest fictional crush

This is a tie between James Herondale and Cordelia Carstairs from Chain of Gold. Like I said, I’m a sucker for a Shadowhunter and these two characters are my ultimate brooding, beautiful, angsty dream.

Book that made you cry

I don’t typically cry while reading, but there is a book every now and again that will cause me to do just that. Although Find Me by André Aciman was a massive disappointment, I won’t deny that I cried during certain scenes involving a certain reunion of characters. I recalled all the feelings I had about the previous novel and became a ball of yearning and tears.

Book that made you happy

Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills is a book that remains close to my heart since it is the first book my best friend recommended to me when I restarted my reading journey a couple of years ago. I reread it at the beginning of the year and it was still just as perfect the second time around. Emma Mills’ books never fail to make my heart glow with happiness and warmth. The characters are cute, the relationships are adorable, and the humor is right up my alley. Cheers to every single book Emma Mills has ever written. She will continue to be an auto-buy author for me!

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year

 

My book buying typically runs under two categories: Loved it and Need it On My Shelf or Just Came Out and Need to Read it ASAP. Plus, I rarely ever buy new, unused books. This year, I’ve only purchased 8 books and the prettiest would have to go to The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi. Plus, I purchased it from Thriftbooks and it came wrapped in clear library plastic with a unicorn “Fantasy” label on it…just really loving that library vibe on my bookshelves.


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

I have a little list of books I want to read by the end of the year…mostly classics. Here are a few from that list: Middlemarch by George Eliot, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen , One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez , and Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (has been on my TBR for the longest amount of time). I don’t know much about these books, but I know that they will be getting finished by the end of 2020 (hopefully). 

What about you?

Let me know your thoughts on any of the books I mentioned and what you are looking forward to reading for the rest of 2020. I love getting other people’s opinions on books, whether they are like mine or not!

Divider graphics by Freetempo

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