Today, I’m doing another recap of my reading habits for the first half of 2020 with this fun tag! Thanks to Sophie for tagging me and I can’t recommend her blog enough. She writes smart, thoughtful reviews and is a total sweetheart!
best book you’ve read so far
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff is definitely my favorite so far! I mentioned it in my best books of 2020 post and I could honestly continue to gush on and on about how incredible this book is. Books like Illuminae always remind me how much I love epistolary novels (books that are made up entirely of documents, text messages, emails, letters, etc.). Also, the VILLAIN in this novel is so unfeeling and interesting. Illuminae raises a lot of questions about technology’s role in surveillance and how humanity and artificial intelligence can productively (or destructively) interact.
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best sequel you’ve read so far
Legendary by Stephanie Garber is such an incredible book! Sometimes, I think about the decadent, immersive world of Caraval and can’t believe that I haven’t gotten my grubby little paws on a copy of Finale, the final book in the series. If you’re looking for an atmospheric book or something that’s got morally gray characters (à la Six of Crows) you’ve got to read this series.
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new release you haven’t read yet, but want to
A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow is a terribly relevant book and something I’ve had my eye on for a while! This book tells the story of two Black girls in Portland, one of whom is a siren, and how their identities intersect to weave together a beautiful story of friendship and identity. I’ve received an ARC through NetGalley and can’t wait to pick it up so so so soon.
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most anticipated release for the second half of the year
The Heir Affair by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan HANDS DOWN. I absolutely gushed about this book and the first book in its series, The Royal We, in my princess reading list so I’ll keep this short and sweet. If anyone happens to be a prince and/or taking applications to be the princess of a small country, I’m looking to apply. References provided upon request.
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This Wicked Game by Michelle Zink has been on my TBR for actual YEARS and I just now picked up a copy. I thought it was going to be super atmospheric and steeped in the culture of New Orleans, but this story was less about a secret voodoo society and more about… I honestly don’t even remember. It wasn’t memorable (obviously) and I put it in my pile to donate right after I finished it.
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Anna K by Jenny Lee had me SHOOK. This was honestly my own fault because I’ve never read Anna Karenina and if I had, I definitely wouldn’t be so surprised about that ending. But still, it shook me to my core and I was really surprised how much I loved it.
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favorite new author (debut or new to you)
Ah I don’t know! I’ve read so many great new authors this year but my gut instinct is Elizabeth Acevedo. I read The Poet X this spring and fell in love with her poetic voice and distinct writing style. I’ve yet to read more of her work, but I’ve heard so many good things about Clap When You Land and With the Fire on High.
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newest favorite character
Frankie Landau-Banks from The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart is such an interesting character. She’s mischievious and sneaky, but is also very individualistic and carves her own path, which I really respect. She was kind of the enemy of her own story, but I was still rooting for her to tear down the institutions that stand against her.
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book that made you cry
None. I don’t often cry while I’m reading, which is ironic since I’m a literal marshmallow.
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book that made you happy
Hungry Hearts by various authors is a short story collection that centers around the restaurants of Hungry Heart Row, a street known for its incredible food, and the people whose paths cross there. So many of these stories simultaneously warmed my heart and made my mouth water. I listened to the audiobook and enjoyed the pace of it as well! Each story was the perfect amount of time for a drive or workout.
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favorite book to movie adaptation
I haven’t watched many movies but I recently got hooked on The Vampire Diaries, so I guess that counts?
favorite review you’ve written
My review of Anna K! I adopted a new format for my reviews so they’re more concise and a little easier to read with more relevant information, and I love the way this review turned out. You can read it here.
book you need to read by the end of the year
Admission by Julie Buxbaum. I received an ARC of Admission from the publisher through NetGalley and I’m looking forward to reading how this book tackles the extensive power of the wealthy elite in light of recent college admission scandals.
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