Friday, July 15, 2016

Mid-year Book Freak-out Tag

So it's (sort of) the middle of the year right now, and I thought it would be fun to do the Mid-year Book Freak-out Tag I saw Ninoshka from Enchanted Readers doing. 

2016 (so far), has been full with very frustrating reading slumps.
Which means, I wasn't able to read as many books as I wanted this year.
Nevertheless, most of the books I have read, were fantastic.
And there is always the second half of the year to make up for lost reading time. 

Let's jump straight into it, then. Shall we? 

#1: Best book you've read so far in 2016

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 4 stars
My review

Lady Midnight was, without a doubt, the most beautiful (and I don't mean just the cover) book I've read so far this year.
True, I didn't find it as amazing as I found TMI and TID.
True, I was rather disappointed with it (probably because of my way too high expectations, which can be a dangerous thing).
True, I didn't feel as emotionally connected to the characters as I want to be. Not like I feel with TMI and TID characters.
Still, Cassandra Clare can do no wrong by my book. She weaves fantasy, humor, romance, mystery and action so effortlessly, so beautifully, so smoothly. Honestly, her skills as an author are seriously terrifying when you think about it. 

I could already felt my heart shifting towards the end of the book. To those characters.
I can't wait for Lord of Shadows.

#2: Best sequel you've read so far in 2016

The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
My rating: 4 stars

I didn't expect this book to be as good as it was.
And that's because while the first book was enjoyable, I can't say I loved it.
I marked this sequel as 'to read' only because I was curious to see how things will go from here. And also because I love The Naturals series by the same author. 

Things went above and beyond my expectations.
This book was just so good.
I'm so glad I didn't abandon this series after the first book, because things went from enjoyable to a roller coaster of "what the hell is going on?!"
Yep, definitely the best sequel - and one of the best books - I've read this year. 

#3: New release you haven't read yet, but want to

Ruined by Amy Tintera
Publication date: May 3, 2016

I talked a little bit about Ruined in my Most anticipated books of May 2016 post.
And ever since it came out, I've seen some very positive reviews by bloggers and non-bloggers I follow. 
Not to mention, it's one of my most anticipated books of May, and I really do want to read it.

#4: Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
Publication date: October 18, 2016

There are so many anticipated books coming out in the second half of 2016!
From August and forward it's literally going to rain books. 
you can see my Most anticipated releases for the second half of 2016 post for my... well, most anticipated releases for the second half of 2016.

My excitement over anticipated books tends to intensify as we get closer to the publication date, or just according to my mood.
But the books that is constantly on my mind, the book that I've been constantly anticipating non-stop those past few months, is Gemina.
If I'm not mistaken, there are about 2280 hours to go.
Obsessed? Me? Not at all. Whatever gave you that idea? 

#5: Biggest disappointment

      Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard   The Sword of Summer                 Burned
                 My rating: 3 stars                by Rick Riordan           by Karen Marie Moning
                                                           My rating: 4 stars               My rating: 3 stars 
                                                                                                           My review     

The most disppointing books of the year is the saddwst part.
Because, it means you really cared about the book. It means you wanted - needed - to love it. And when it didn't happen... it can really bring you down.
I'll go one by one:

*Just remember, this is my opinion. I don't mean any disrespect for those of you who loved the books\don't agree with me. It's just me, sharing my thoughts and feelings about the books I read. We can't all agree about everything, now can we?*    

Red Queen 

I heard about Red Queen from everyone and everything. After hearing the world about this book, I expected - no, I wanted - to love it.

I haven't read a single bad review about this book. And basically everyone - and I do mean everyone - I met, raved all about how amazing this book is.
Maybe I just wasn't looking hard enough. 

My problem wasn't with the unoriginality of it.
Unless the book is a copy of the characters and\or exact situations, I don't mind reading books with similar world building\plot. Not at all.
There are plenty of books with very similar world building\plot and each of them is utterly unique. What makes them different from one another is the characters, the writing style and the author's take on the world and plot. Just like how dough is made from the same basic ingredients but can be made into so many different shapes, so many different pastries. 

Because while this book was easy to read, I can't say I connected with anything in it. Not the world, not the characters, not the writing style. It was readable, but that's it. I found nothing interesting about it. 

The Sword of Summer

"But wait," you must be wondering. "You rated it 4 stars. So... why is it here?"
Well, it was the second half of the book that saved it for me. It's painful for me to say, but I actually abandoned this book after 40% the first time I picked it up.
Abandoned. A Rick Riordan book.
I know, this is just so surreal.
I'm sorry, Rick, you're one of my most favorite author ever, but The Sword of Summer - one of my most anticipated books of last year - Just didn't work out for me.
I only picked it up again this year, and... well, I did quite enjoy it from the second half.

So what went wrong?
Well, it might just well be another one of my high expectations (like with Lady Midnight), but I don't think so.
What went wrong with The Sword of Summer was that the book just felt like a shadow of Percy Jackson.
And not in a good way.
The Sword of Summer felt like someone took the Percy Jackson series, made a very pale copy of it, and that's what The Sword of Summer was.
But, like I said, the second half of the book saved it for me. It was better, funnier and felt less... dragged. Which is the reason for the 4 stars and the reason I'm still very much anticipating The Hummer of Thor. 


I talked all about it in my review for Burned.
Basically, I felt like something fundamental has changed in the author's writing style. Something that affected the characters, story and plot in a way I didn't like.
And because I loved the previous books in the series so much... I ended up being to disappointed with it. 

#6: biggest surprise

Riders by Veronica Rossi
My rating: 4 stars

Riders really took me by surprise with how much I ended up loving it.
I picked it up because I enjoyed Veronica Rossi's Under The Never Sky trilogy, but honestly didn't expect much out of it.
How wrong was I.
Because I was hooked from the very first page. Really, from the very first page I was just sucked into this story. 

#7: Favorite new author (debut or new to you)

Marissa Meyer, author of The Lunar Chronicles

By the time I finished Winter, Marissa Meyer became one of my favorite authors.
I immediately marked Heartless and The Gatlon trilogy as 'to read'.

The Lunar Chronicles is a little hard to get into at first, but once you do... you truly see how beautifully this author weaves a story of fairy tales into a sci-fi world, filled with humor and action and romance at every turn. 

#8: Newest fictional crush

                            Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare   Cress by Marissa Meyer
                                   My rating: 4 stars                    My rating: 4 stars
                                        My review 

Can you guess who my newest fictional crushes are?

The first one shouldn't come as a surprise because it's no other the Captain Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles.
He's just so funny, and sweet, and awesome and just... *swoon*. 

The second one will probably come as a shocker - even I'm shocked by it - because it's Kieran from Lady Midnight.
Don't even ask, because I have no idea.

#9: Newest favorite character

The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
My rating: 4 stars

Tess. In the Fixer, I liked her, but in The Long Game, she exploded in my face.
That girl is so tough. She's been though hell and back and I just can't help but admire, love and root for all together. 

#10: Book that made you cry

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?), I didn't read enough books so far this year to come across a book that made me cry.
"Curse you, reading slump!"
Sorry, where was I?
Oh yes, a book that made me cry.
Well, the most emotional book I've read so far this year is Lady Midnight. Cassandra Clare, as always, sure does know how to bring up all the feels, doesn't she?

The Long Game was also a very emotional ride. I literally felt like I was right there with Tess. My heart was pounding like crazy, my mouth was dry and my head was spinning with incoherent thoughts and feelings. 

#11: Book that made you happy

 Demigods & Magicians by Rick Riordan
My rating: 5 stars

Remember how I told you I read The Sword of Summer, and even though I ended up liking it by the end, I was rather disappointed with it overall?
So just when I finished The Sword of Summer, Demigods & Magicians - the full story - waited for me at the back.
I'm so glad I jumped right into it because it brought me back to that feeling of a Rick Riordan book. I LOL(ed), I smiled, I laughed and I had such a great time.
This short book (a collection of three short stories), made me so giddy and happy for the rest of the day. 

#12: Most beautiful book you've bought so far this year

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
                                                       My rating: 4 stars

I mean, just look at this cover.
And it's even more beautiful physically.
The orange and the blue and... well, I know Lady Midnight is beautiful (it really is), but I find this one even more beautiful.
Oh, and: I enjoyed this book much (much) more than The Sword of Summer. It wasn't a disappointment at all. Apollo is just... *shaking my head and smiling*.  

#13: What books do you need to read before the end of the year

*A picture of random books*

For more accurate information about the books on my TBR  right now that I need to get to, you should check out my Books I know I need to read But for some reason are still gathering dust on my shelf post and my TBR Tag post.
Not to mention, there are all the anticipated books ;) 
So basically, lots and lots of books to read. I couldn't be happier. 

And that concludes my Mid-year Book Freak-out Tag.
I hope you enjoyed it.
You know, I had so much fun with it, in fact, that I think I might be wanting to do this tag at the end of the year as well.
It can be called: "End-of-year Book Freak-out Tag."
we shall see.
Feel free to do this fun little tag.
And I'll see you in my next post, guys!
Until then...

"But sometimes, the best defense was letting yourself seem defenseless." 
-- The Fixer, Jennifer Lynn Barnes. 


  1. I also cry rarely when reading. One book that made me cry this year was Billy and Me, but I think it was because of hormones and not because it was sad, bc that's not a sad book tbh.
    Ohh, so many books to read... just don't put too much of a pressure on yourelf, okay?

    1. Thanks for the advice. You're right, I shouldn't pressure\push myself to read. Reading is fun and beautiful. It can get me right back into a reading slump if I'll force it (:
      It's just that... new blog and all. You feel really pressured to be right there with everyone else, reading those books.
      Still, your comment made me realize I should relax, have fun and take my time.
      Thank you ^___^

  2. You know, you've convinced me to try the Trials of Apollo someday. I wasn't sure about it, but seeing your fail/success story with Rick Riordan's books was eye opening!

    1. Really? Then I'm glad :D
      Convincing someone to read a book - one step closer to becoming a professional book blogger ;)

  3. I'm excited for Gemina. Can't wait until that book comes out. I have Lady Midnight but haven't read yet. Such a big book to get through. Glad you like Lunar Chronicles. Happy to see that series get some love.

    As for Red Queen I wouldn't bother reading Glass Sword because that book is worse than the first. I mean bad.

    Anyway great post. I see some books that I want to read.

    1. I hope you'll love Lady Midnight! (:
      Well, if you loved TMI and TID, I'm sure you'll love Lady Midnight.
      Yep, it's HUGE. Even though I do think It should have been a little bit shorter, I still loved every single second of it. It was never boring or intimidating.

      Really? Well, I really don't think I'll read Glass Sword, then. It's a shame, because I had so many expectations from this series.

      Thank you! I'm so glad you liked it :D
      And I'm also glad for managing to interest you (or re-interest you) in some books to read ^__^

  4. It's funny that this was the first post I saw when you sent me your link on Twitter. I actually co-created this tag (on YouTube) :) Kieran is kind of a weird new crush—I absolutely love Julian, personally, but I can see where you're coming from too. Thanks for joining in on this!

    Ely @ Tea & Titles

    1. Whoa, really? coincidence? ;)
      They do say there is no such thing as coincidence, though.
      I love this tag - thank you for creating it! (:

      I still don't feel as emotionally connected to Emma and Julian as I would like to. It's actually the other characters that I feel more connected to, which is very weird because usually it's always the other way around for me.
      I'm hoping to fully connect with them in the next book (:

      Thank you for the comment, Ely! I was so glad to see it ^^

  5. This is a great post! I'm sorry you were disappointed by some books but I hope the rest of your reading year is filled with only 5 star reads!

    Jamie @ Books and Ladders

    1. Thank you, Jamie :D
      Why, that's so nice of you to say! I hope so too (:
      I wish you a great reading year yourself!

  6. Sounds like you've read some great books :) Although sad to hear about the reading slumps. I find I always fall into a slump after reading an exceptionally amazing book - probably because I know the next book I pick up will just never compare. Do you find yourself in the same situation?

    1. I'll tell you a little secret: this year was actually my first serious reading slump ever. As in, ever-ever.
      Shocking, I know. I honestly never experienced a reading slump that lasted more than a week. Which is why I didn't even realize I was in one until I was already too deep into it.
      But anyway, I think you're right. It can very well be that my slumped was caoused by Lady Midnight, now that I think of it.
      Becasue, Yes, even though I didn't read much this year, most of the books I have read were fantastic (:
      Thanks! I was so glad to see your comment :D

  7. Ruined was really good for me, though it disappointed a lot of people it seems. Ooh, I was also not that much of a fan of Under the Never Sky, but if you say Riders is better (different?) I might give it a shot!

    1. Yes, Riders is *very* different from Under the Never Sky. For me, it was the better kind of different (:
      Please do! If you'll ever get to it... I'd love to hear your thoughts ^^

      I heard mixed things about Ruined but a few people already told me it's actually pretty good, and... well, I do want to give it a try. It's on my TBR. It's unknown when I'll get to it but... evntually, for sure ;)