The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag 2020

The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag 2020

Well, what a reading year so far! At the time of writing this post I have read a total of 72 books…I’m pretty sure that’s the most books I’ve ever consumed in 6 months.

While I set my goal at 100 books, I’m pretty sure that I will hit at least 120, if not more. So while I’m not freaking out I am excited to look back at the books I’ve been reading in the first very weird half of the year. If you want to see how it compares to 2019 you can click here.

Best Book Of The Year So Far

This is too hard, there are so many excellent books I’ve read this year so, top 3? Even that was super hard but they are all new to be books and the authors you’ll find out more about below!

Clap When You Land is an excellent YA novel about two girls who are sisters…but neither knew the other existed.

Hold Still is about a young woman who’s coping with the death of her best friend. It’s beautifully written and while it hurt my heart it also made it full.

Come Tumbling Down is the 5th book in the Wayward Children series and definitely my favourite but that is because I have a soft spot for Jack – I highly recommend the audiobook!

Best Sequel Of The Year So Far

The Eve Illusion - Giovanna and Tom Fletcher

The Eve Illusion – Tom and Giovanna Fletcher

I thought this was going to be good but I was blown away by the second in the series and the ending was incredible. Spoiler free review coming soon, keep your eyes peeled. 👀

A New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To

I am all about the Sapphic books this year, can’t get enough of them. This looks absolutely adorable and came out in June. It follows Saoirse who no longer believes in happy endings after her mother ends up with early onset dementia – something she may inherit.

That is until she meets a girl at a party who’s determined to give her a summer of fun, including movie cliches, rom-com moments and the promise it will end in the autumn.

This just screams cute to me and I need to get to it soon.

Most Anticipated Release Of Autumn/Winter

So Victoria Schwab has become an autobuy author, I’ve already preordered a signed special edition of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. A bargain is made by a young woman so that she can live forever – but to do so will mean that cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. That is until she meets a man who remembers her name. Dun, dun, duuuuuuuun. Sounds so good, I’m so excited.

Also, Nina LaCour is now an autobuy author. This one looks a little different and has a paranormal element to it which is totally different to her other books but I find her writing beautiful and lyrical so obviously I need it.

Biggest Disappointment Of The Year So Far

Similar to last year I think I’ve outgrown Amanda Lovelace as an author. I’ve now read all of her poetry collections and while I loved her first, I just can’t get on with the others, they just seem to repeat.

Biggest Surprise So Far

I was one of the few people who couldn’t get into The Poet X, so I didn’t really keep an eye on Elizabeth Acevedo as an author but then I kept hearing about With The Fire On High and it peaked my interest.

After I read this I immediately wanted more of her writing and requested Clap When You Land, one of my favourite books of the year so far.

New Favourite Author (Debut/New To You)

I couldn’t pick just one…because this year I’ve found three authors I absolutely adore (all of which I found in lockdown). I tried Elizabeth Acevedo again this year and fell in love with two of her novels and absolutely devoured them.

Similarly, I started We Are Okay by Nina LaCour after getting it for Christmas and as soon as I could I ordered her first novel Hold Still. I’m looking forward to getting through the rest of her books.

Last but not least Seanan McGuire. I got through all of the Wayward Children series in record time while listening to the audiobooks (thank goodness for Scribd!).

Newest Fictional Crush

I don’t get crushes on fictional characters, sorry!

Your Newest Favourite Character

Eileen Cotton is adorable, fierce and lovely and I completely fell in love with her while reading Beth O’Leary’s second novel, The Switch. She’s the best.

A Book That Made You Cry

So I teared up at the end of this book, which means I can tell you absolutely nothing about the reasons why but I didn’t expect to because the rest of this book is absolutely hilarious.

A Book That Made You Happy

The Most Beautiful Book So Far

I bought this over Christmas while I was working in a book shop but only got around to it once I’d finished in January. Oh this is stunning, absolutely beautiful in both its illustration and its message. A good read for adults or kids too (I swear I’ll be trying to sell this book for the rest of time, it’s like muscle memory now).

Books You Need To Read By The End Of The Year

There are so many but out of the books I already own and are currently staring at me The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas (I know, I know!), The Missing of Claire de lune by Christelle Dabos and Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour.

What have you loved so far this year? I’d love to hear your recommendations below!

My Top 10 Books of 2019!

My Top 10 Books of 2019!

It’s that time of year where I have to look at all the books I read this year and whittle it down to my favourites – something I both love and hate.

Ok so, there might be some stretches here like two books counting as one if they’re in the same series…totally works! Anyway in no particular order here are my 10 favourites of the year.

Daisy Jones & The Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid

So, I found a new favourite author this year Taylor Jenkins Reid! Daisy Jones was absolutely fantastic and felt so real I just wanted to fall into the world and listen to the music mentioned.

She’s an incredible writer and I look forward to reading more of her earlier work this year and anything new that she releases! Review here.

Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston

This book. THIS BOOK. I loved it, most of the world loved it and for a real good reason. This is what the world needed it’s funny, it’s sexy and it’s got real heart to it. I want to read it again and again and again. Review here.

Also Casey McQuiston has another book coming out in 2020 and I am SO here for it, although currently I haven’t been able to preorder it yet.

Over The Top – Jonathan Van Ness

My favourite non-fiction book of the year and I highly recommend the audiobook because hearing Jonathan talk about his life is complete and utter perfection.

I was really surprised by how in depth Jonathan went and I can’t wait to watch even more Queer Eye in the new year because it makes me so happy.

City of Ghosts and Tunnel of Bones – Victoria Schwab

This is one where I *might* have snuck in two and I’m not even sorry. My new favourite series by the one and only Victoria Schwab who is not only absolutely lovely but an incredible author and new favourite.

This series may be called middle grade but it’s creepy as hell and I absolutely loved it. Number three comes out in 2020 so yep I’m getting it. Also I got number two from my secret santa!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid

Another Taylor Jenkins Reid book and it was amazing, plus I’m kicking myself for not reading it sooner. This one was another that I listened to and I could not stop, when I was working, when I was chilling in the evening I had to hear the end.

An incredible read, such an amazing book. Review here.

Break The Fall – Jennifer Iacopelli

So this hasn’t come out yet but I was lucky enough to get a proof copy and this book is going to blow up in 2020. It’s absolutely an incredible novel rooted in the team USA gymnastics scandal and abuse that occured.

More so, this was absolutely incredible in terms of how it described living with chronic pain after and accident, I reached out to Jennifer to congratulate her on such an accurate representation and she’s also a lovely person!

Review to come soon!

Postscript – Cecelia Ahern

So I love, love, loved P.S I Love You both the book and the film for different reasons so of course I was going to read the second novel and wow, just wow. It took my straight back and made me cry like a baby.

Full review here.

A Winter’s Promise – Christelle Dabos

This book and the start of a new series to me is entirely my friend Maddie’s fault and I love her for it although the wait is going to drive me mad. This novel is translated from french and it’s a fantasy novel I absolutely love.

Travelling through mirrors, an arranged marriage, mystery, death, magic and courts. Love, love, LOVE.

Heartstopper Volumes 1 & 2

Another two books that are being stuck in together but, of course, Heartstopper was going to be in here! Alice Oseman is not only a brilliant writer but also a great artist. Both of these books make me so, so happy and I’m sure they will make you happy too.

Review here and here.

a-girl-called-shameless-laura-steven

A Girl Called Shameless – Laura Steven

The follow up to one of my favourite YA novels, The Exact Opposite of Okay and Laura Steven killed it again with a hilarious and excellent continuation, I really hope that we get more about Izzy and her life!

What were your favourites in 2019? Let me know below!

Book Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid

Is this one of my favourite books of the year? Yes. Is it in some of my top books of all time? Also yes. While I read Daisy Jones & The Six first I fell in love with Evelyn and her story to a point of obsession. I needed to know the answers to my questions. Why Monique? Who was Evelyn’s true love? Why does she want to writer her biography now?! I needed to know.

This is set in the golden age of Hollywood and once again Jenkins Reid has created a cast of characters that feel so real you forget that it’s fiction. I wanted to watch Evelyn’s movies, read the book they’re working on. In my mind she’s a mix of Marilyn Monroe, Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor – and isn’t that incredible?

Personally, I listened to the audiobook and it was an incredible experience. Of course, I’m going to be picking up a physical copy because I need it represented on my shelves but the audiobook really made it come alive. Listening to ‘Evelyn’ and ‘Monique’ was a real treat and I was plugged in at every opportunity – so much so I made my fiance listen to it while I put it on through my speaker on the evening so I could relax.

While you might not expect it this novel has great LGBTQ rep and what it meant to hide who you truly were in this era when all of your success depends on your outward persona. There is also violence, lies and deceit but it really works within the world it is set in.

Evelyn isn’t always a likeable character but that definitely adds to the novel because despite the fact she does some questionable things I still loved and cared deeply for her as a character. This is also added to when you see Evelyn through Moniques eyes.

There’s no doubt that Taylor Jenkins Reid is incredible at researching and writing about past time periods in a way that transports you into that setting so much so you feel like you are there.

Obviously I gave this 5 stars. I adore this book and after finishing it I went and got other TJR books to get through. I’m a big fan of her style and completely understand the hype behind Evelyn Hugo.

Book Review: Daisy Jones & The Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Told through interviews with the band and those closest to them, the history of Daisy Jones & The Six is laid bare, although some accounts vary. Each band member takes us through the late 60s and early 70s telling a story of what those years meant to them and ultimately what destroyed them.

I’d heard people say they fell in love with this book but I didn’t know how much I would fall in love with this book. Within a single novel I knew that Taylor Jenkins Reid was going to be one of my favourite authors – I immediately downloaded a few of her books in audiobook format after finishing Daisy Jones.

The fact that Jenkins Reid has been able to write an entire book in interviews and not leave out anything or feel like the reader is missing out was incredible. I also felt like we could really get to know each individual character, understand them and their motives and it really rounded out the plot.

It may come as a surprise to some, but my favourite character was Camilla. She was absolutely incredible, a strong woman who knew her own heart and did what was best for her and her relationships. She was a voice of reason and I just loved her so, so much. To be fair this is a novel full of incredible women, so there’s a lot of love all around.

This novel lived in my head for weeks after reading it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, I made my own 70s playlist and wondered about what would have happened after. It is the sign of a truly great novel and great writer for that to happen. The band felt so real, personally, I’d love for the songs written in the book to be performed by recording artists for us to enjoy.

Is it any surprise that I gave this novel 5 stars? This was probably my favourite book of the year so far (in close competition with The Seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo, another novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid). I truly felt like this was real, I wanted to go and listen to music by The Six, hear Daisy’s soul in her voice. Absolutely incredible and I’ve been trying to make everyone read it.

The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag 2019

As of the morning of 1st June I had read a total of 47 books this year, according to Goodreads I’m 6 books ahead of schedule for my 100 book goal (although, really I’d like to get 120). I feel like that’s a good variety to post the Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag! I also did this tag last year and it was really fun. So let’s see what I’m loving this year.

Best Book Of The Year So Far

So far I think it’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo! I know I’m so late to the party and I actually read Daisy Jones & The Six first but Evelyn is my favourite.

I listened to this on Audible and the narration was absolutely perfect, I was listening to it every waking moment and got through it super quickly and now I recommend it to everyone.

A New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To

Red,White and Royal Blue is probably my most anticipated read of the summer. I’ve been watching everyone in the US raving over this book and I am so desperate for my copy! An LGBTQ romance with a royal element? Gimme, gimmie, gimmie!

Most Anticipated Release Of Autumn/Winter

I loved P.S I Love you and the fact that there is going to be a follow up made me so happy. So, of course I’ve ordered Postscript by Cecelia Ahern which comes out the day after my birthday. Seems like a good start to turning 25.

Biggest Disappointment Of The Year So Far

I hate this questions but it has to be The Mermaids Voice Returns In This One by Amanda Lovelace. I loved her previous 2 poetry collections in the series The Princess Saves Herself In This One and The Witch Doesn’t Burn In This One and I love mermaids but this just seemed rushed to me unfortunately.

Biggest Surprise So Far

Your Heart Is The Sea was sent to me by the publisher and I’ve read Gill’s poetry before and it was okay but then this came in the post. This is the first collection I’ve felt a deep connection with, I felt like this was written for me. I related to every page and really hope to read more of this from Gill in the years to come.

New Favourite Author

Taylor Jenkins Reid

I’m obsessed with Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books. I got through 2 full novels and a shorter story within a matter of weeks. The characters are so alive and lived within my head for a long time after I finished reading.

So, I’m slowly making my way through all of her books and I’ll be watching her social media for her next amazing book, although as Daisy Jones came out not so long ago I know it’ll be worth the wait!

Your Newest Favourite Character

There is no character that jumps out as my new favourite so far!

A Book That Made You Cry

The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton is about a man who spends decades in prison not only for a crime he didn’t commit, but could not have been involved in at all. His only crime was being poor and black and this was a tough read. A beautifully written book that broke my heart.

A Book That Made You Happy

Are you ready for one of the CUTEST books you’ve ever read? Heartstopper by Alice Oseman made my heart so happy it’s a really sweet graphic novel about friendship and love. So, so, sweet.

The Most Beautiful Book So Far

Out of books I’ve read it’s Five Feet Apart not only is this a beautifully written (and emotional) book, this cover is absolutely beautiful it’s such a delicate design too. Love, love, love it.

What have you loved so far this year? I’d love to hear your recommendations below!

What I Read in April 2019

At one point I thought April was going to be a terrible month reading wise, I seemed to be in a total funk. So, it was pretty surprising when I found a new favourite author this month! Also, audiobooks are a wonderful way to help out when you’re struggling with concentration!

First up, poetry. I was sent a copy of Your Heart Is The Sea by Nikita Gill. This was an incredible collection and one I completely related with. It’s also a lot longer than most poetry collections, I gave this a full 5 starts and I think you’ll love it.

I also bought a copy of The Mermaid’s Voice Returns In This One the third part of Lovelace’s magic series. This one was ok, but seeing as it was one of my most anticipated reads of the year I felt a little disappointed. I seemed to lack the depth that the others held for me, but not a bad collection I gave it 3 stars.

So I might have found a new favourite author to add to the list. Why didn’t I get to the wonderful Taylor Jenkins Reid before? I’d heard about The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo but hadn’t gotten around to it so first up was Daisy Jones and The Six (5 stars). I was hooked, I devoured it and felt like the characters were living in my head.

I immediately went and downloaded the majority of the rest of her other books. Next up was Evidence of The Affair (4 stars), told through letters and a short available on Audible, it was excellent. I also downloaded Evelyn Hugo on audiobook – I’d heard this was a great way to listen – every minute I could I had my headphones in or my speaker on (5 stars).

I also listened to I Found My Tribe, a story about a family grappling with Motor Neuron Disease and the relief of the sea (4.5 stars). I was also given access to an early release of Blossoms in Autumn, I thought this was incredibly sweet with great art, but the plot changed at the end and kind of ruined it for me (3 stars). And last, but definitely not least, Izzy O’Neil is back in A Girl Called Shameless and once again Laura Steven has knocked it out of the park cementing her as one of my favourite authors.

So there we have it 2 more favourite authors in a single month, let’s hope that May carries on the same way. What did you read last month? Let me know in the comments below.