Mid Year Freak Out Tag–darling characters and series conclusions

*gracefully waltzes in precisely one month after my last post*

(Clearly I planned this)

Hello, friends! I’m currently in the middle of three different existential crises, BUT I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about BOOKS. 2021 is already more than half way over, and it’s high time I start spouting answers to bookish questions.

1.Best book of 2021 so far?

WHY DO I KEEP DOING THIS TAG? IT MAKES ME PICK FAVORITES AND I CAN’T

*also actively trying to avoid doing the same books for every question*

The Neverending Story eBook by Michael Ende - 9780525556046 | Rakuten Kobo United States

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

My Sponge sister has been telling me to read this for years. Finally, she aggressively gave it to me for Christmas last year. (Thank you, m’dear.)

First of all, it’s my childhood. I grew up watching the movie, so there was intense nostalgia for the first half. But the book goes so far beyond the movie. Michael Ende’s ideas are incredibly captivating, fascinating, and thought-provoking. The PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTIONS. *jumps up and down excitedly*

A few others:

The Chosen by Chaim Potok: I loved the characters and the friendship and it made me THINK so much. (And have feelings. So many feelings.) Also, I have a soft spot for books written between the 1920s and the 1960s (I think?), and I don’t even know why. Something about the writing style just gets me.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: I had some issues with this book. But the WRITING was downright GORGEOUS and the CIRCUS?? I want to go there, please.

2. Best sequel of 2021 so far?

SO MANY.

'Return of the Thief' release date delay offers chance to reflect on series

Return of the Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

The interactions between Eugenides, Eddis, Sophos, and Irene bring me such joy. And the scope of this one. A threat has been looming since the beginning of the series and it’s finally HERE and– *runs around in circles shouting unintelligibly*

And did I mention Eugenides? I love how he’s so smart but also sometimes smartly does stupid things and all his friends are lowkey freaking out because we really need him to not get himself killed here.

Also PHERIS. I adore Pheris. He is a dear.

Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 27 | Book by Hiromu Arakawa | Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster

Fullmetal Alchemist vol. 27 by Hiromu Arakawa

I have so many feelings.

Endings are hard to do well, but…what an excellent conclusion to this series. By which I mean LOOK AT MY BOYS, FINALLY COMING TO THE END OF THEIR JOURNEY. LOOK AT HAWKEYE AND MUSTANG. LOOK AT THAT ONE CHARACTER I HATED AT FIRST AND NOW DEARLY LOVE.

And the romance at the end? I am 1000% here for it–which is unusual for me.

3. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

The Promised Neverland, Vol. 20 by Kaiu Shirai

The Promised Neverland vol. 20 by Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu

It was supposed to come out this week. Then it was delayed another month.

(I’m not bitter or anything.)

It’s the final volume and I’ve heard a lot of people don’t like it, but at this point I almost don’t care? I just want to SEE MY KIDS.

Also, Ray is smiling. It kind of makes my brain hurt and my heart happy at the same time.

4. Biggest surprise

All The Crooked Saints - Livro - WOOK

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

I was not expecting to like this book. I certainly wasn’t expecting to adore this book.

But…I kind of do.

I adore Beatriz and Daniel and Joaquin and Marisita and Pete and everyone else and the writing style and the bit about the baby chicks (because how could you not?).

5. New favorite author (debut or new to you)

Ummm… Maybe Maggie Stiefvater? Except just the Maggie Stiefvater jam. I love All the Crooked Saints and The Scorpio Races, but I don’t really have much of a desire to read her other books.

6. New favorite character

Murderbot from the Murderbot Series by Martha Wells: Hating humans but also risking its life to protect said humans every three seconds, constant state of anxiety, terrifying lack of control of facial expressions, just wants to watch TV shows. I ask you, can you find a more relatable protagonist?

Beatriz from All the Crooked Saints: She doesn’t have feelings. Definitely not. *whispers* But does she? […I think I just unintentionally quoted the Quibbler…]

Finn from The Scorpio Races: He just wants to make food (and make a terrible mess in the process) and be with his family, and he loves his cat and I love him dearly.

7. Book that made you happy

*glances nervously at the part where I said I wasn’t going to answer with the same books for every question*

*whispers* All the Crooked Saints. Because the baby chicks.

8. Book that made you cry

The Promised Neverland, Vol. 13 - Kaiu Shirai

The Promised Neverland vol. 13 by Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu

I don’t mean it made me want to cry. I don’t mean I got misty-eyed or had a single tear roll down my cheek.

I mean I shut the book, put my head down on the table, and sobbed.

It’s so SAD but so PERFECT and WONDERFUL and I love these characters so intensely.

9. Favorite book-to-screen adaption

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

An excellent adaption of an excellent manga series. What more could you ask?

10. Book you want to read by the end of the year

There are tons of books I want to read before the end of the year.

Can I bring any of them to mind at this exact moment?

…No.

Oh! I’ve recently been filled with the desire to reread Ender’s Game (because it’s SO GOOD), so hopefully I can get to that by the end of the year.

***

That’s it for today, friends! Thanks for reading!

What is the best book you’ve read so far in 2021? What wonderful new characters have you met? What books do you want to read before the end of the year? What’s a series you love that has an excellent conclusion? Do tell!

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