June is almost over. Which means that 2018 is almost half way over. And when something is half way over, it’s basically almost over.
In other words, to sum up my current mental state in 7 seconds:
I have learned by observing my fellow bloggers that the best way to deal with this frightening realization is to talk about books. This seems like a logical conclusion, so I have decided to participate in The Mid-Year Freakout Book Tag.
Of course, this tag is all about picking favorites which, you may have noticed, tends to cause me even more panic.
DISCLAIMER: I’m trying not to agonize so much over choosing favorites. Just because I picked one book as a favorite doesn’t mean I necessarily like it better than another book (though, by definition, that really is what it means???). Upon further reflection, my opinions might change. WHY IS THIS SUCH A BIG DEAL TO ME?? It’s not like someone is going to come after me with a club if I don’t get this right. (Are they??)
LET’S DO THIS THING.
1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2018?
Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt
Orbiting Jupiter is short and poignant and overall just a lovely little bundle of pages to CRY OVER. It deals with a lot of serious, complicated issues like abuse and teenage parents. The writing is simple and sparing which gives it an almost poetic feel.
The end is a perfect blend of bittersweet and I love it forever.
I also really enjoyed Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas, the Shades of Magic Series by V.E. Schwab, and A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews.
2. Best Sequel of 2018 so far?
Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean: This book is the first ever authorized sequel to J.M. Barrie’s original Peter Pan. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but Geraldine McCaughrean does an excellent job of emulating J.M. Barrie’s voice and style without simply mimicking and repeating old plots. She is bold in her choices and makes the story her own. And Slightly is a sweet, sensitive child who plays the clarinet. I will never not love Slightly.
A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab: One thing I enjoyed about this book was the amount of time spent on Rhy and Kell interacting. In the first book Kell is off hopping between Londons and running for his life most of the time. There are very few scenes with him and Rhy together. In A Gathering of Shadows we get to see more of their relationship. There’s so much brotherly banter and insults and smart remarks. We also get to see the consequences of Kell saving Rhy’s life in the last book and how it effects their lives now. So much FAMILY TENSION. Such fun.
Nowhere Near You by Leah Thomas: Because You’ll Never Meet Me had this weird genre twist towards the end that I didn’t really know what to think of. It was contemporary… and then it was sci-fi? With this book I knew from the beginning that it was sci-fi so I was ready to accept extra mouths and removable hearts and all that. What I really enjoyed about this book was that it was a book about kids with “superpowers” who weren’t fighting bad guys and saving the world. They were just normal kids, trying to cope with these abilities and obstacles.
3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want to?
Ummm…. I don’t really keep up with a lot of new releases. I’m vaguely aware of books coming out, but since I very rarely buy books, I mostly notice books when they appear on the shelf at the library.
Also, I tend to be pretty skeptical about books. I don’t usually get super excited about books I haven’t read yet. Because what if they betray me???
4. Most Anticipated Release of the Second Half of 2018?
Translation: Anticipated at all. As I established in the last question, I’m not really aware of a lot of new releases and I can’t do the whole “I KNOW I’m going to love this book” thing. That being said…
Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak: I was just reading Ilsa@AWhisperofInk‘s Mid-Year Freakout post and she said Markus Zusak has a new book coming out??!! Markus Zusak, my hero, author of The Book Theif, THAT Markus Zusak. And it’s about brothers!! I hope it’s wonderful.
Jack Frost: The End Becomes the Beginning by William Joyce:
Look at me all grown up and reading books about Santa and the Easter Bunny. These books are admittedly juvenile, but William Joyce has a way of making his books magical and charming, even to an older audience. I have become strangely fond of Katherine and North and Nightlight.
5. Biggest Disappointment?
I Crawl Through It by A.S. King: I picked this book up because it’s magical realism, which I haven’t read much of but really enjoy and would like to read more of. But this book was…so confusing and disorienting. The whole time I was reading it I felt vaguely dizzy and foggy. I like the idea of breaking the rules of reality, but in this book there didn’t seem to be any rules.
So confused. So dizzy.
6. Favourite New Author?
Michelle Cuevas. Confessions of an Imaginary Friend is clever and funny and sweet. Beyond the Laughing Sky is poetic and Kate DiCamillo-ish. The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole has an adorable black hole named Larry who just wants to hug fluffy things, bless his heart.
7. Newest Favorite Character?
Ollie from Because You’ll Never Meet me and Nowhere Near You: Ollie is hyper and endlessly optimistic and encouraging, but he also struggles with guilt and loneliness and depression and he seriously needs so many hugs. (Especially towards the end of Nowhere Near You. *cries*)
Julian from A List of Cages: JULIAN, my child. This kid is so sweet and sad and abused and he needs so much love. I want to hug him forever.
Cosmo from The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole: The five year-old little brother who reads the ingredients on the shampoo bottle.
Also Moritz (Because You’ll Never Meet Me and Nowhere Near You), Beck and Joey (A Thousand Perfect Notes), Kell and Rhy (Shades of Magic Series), and Jacques Papier (Confessions of an Imaginary Friend).
8. Book That Made You Cry?
I literally had to angle the book so that my tears wouldn’t fall on the pages.
9. Book That Made You Happy?
Confessions of an Imaginary Friend. It was so quirky and funny and random. And Bernard made up songs about pasta.
10. Favorite Book to Movie Adaptation You’ve Seen This Year?
Can we just take a moment to appreciate book to movie adaptions that are actually good? They are a rare phenomenon, but when they do come along, they bring me great joy.
11. What Books Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year?
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Re-read): I’ve been wanting to re-read this for a while, but I recently picked it up and read a few sentences and now I REALLY want to re-read it. I honestly spent the next half hour geeking out over the sentence “Max stood up, like a struck match.”
I’M SO IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK.
There you have it! What have been your favorite books this year so far? Who are some of your new favorite characters? Have you read any of these books? Do you anticipate new releases? Have you done this tag? If so, I’d love to read them!