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2020 Mid Year Freak Out Tag

My favorite underhyped series

Ok I’m very much not freaking out lol! I really don’t care about reading challenges except it’s a cool way to keep track. I set it to an easy goal and then keep upping it as I close in to the number. But I do like this tag from Jamie Writes Words and Waffles so here we go!

Best book(s) you read so far in 2020?

Oooh so many! I have to say my number one favorite is Dark of the West by Joanna Hathaway, it’s a fantasy that blends both world wars a bit together in a unique way and gave me alllll the feels!!!

But also A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos with a unique world and characters. Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto, I love phoenixes and complex relationships. Sisters of Sword and Song by Rebecca Ross, an amazing standalone about two sisters that each have their own strength. And Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis was also amazing, she creates such unique characters and situations!

In Christian Fiction my favorite was Ik zal verborgen zijn by Eline Rosenhart, a heartbreaking novel about both Biblical Esther and a girl named Esther in World War 2. At Love’s Command by Karen Witemeyer, a lovely romantic story starring a female doctor and rugged ex-cavalerie man, A Mosaic of Wings by Kimberly Duffy where a female scientist tries to prove herself to be just as good as any man by going on an expedition to Inda, and Like Flames in the Night by Connilyn Cossette where we follow a fierce female spy in ancient Israel. The Brightest of Dreams by Susan Anne Mason was also really good, about a man returned from World War 1 to find his siblings were sent to Canada and goes on a search.

Best sequel of 2020 so far?

Definitely Storm from the East, the second book in the Glass Alliance series by Joanna Hathaway. These two books are absolutely my favorite this year! I have a feeling the second book in the Crown of Feathers series is gonna break my heart, too, but I’m TOO AFRAID TO READ IT. Sigh. Special mention for Cry of the Raven, the stunning conclusion to the Ravenwood series by Morgan L. Busse.

New releases you haven’t read yet but wanted to

I kinda gave that one away in the previous question lol! Heart of Flames definitely, The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski, Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu and Serving Up Love by Karen Witemeyer.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir! Even though it’s been years I feel like I’m not ready for this yet!

And also The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab and a Dutch fantasy called Voorbij het Wederwoud by Valentijn Ringelberg. Oooh and of course The Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks by Mackenzi Lee! The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi, The Notorious Virtues by Alwyn Hamilton, and A Portrait of Loyalty by Roseanna M. White. Let’s just say I have a lot of preorders!

Biggest disappointment

I usually really don’t like to say this as all authors are doing theur best, so I’d rather just rave about my favorites! But in this case I have to point out Five Feet Apart by Rachel Lippincott. It has such harmful themes and ableism, and I can’t understand why this book has all the hype.

Biggest suprise

Besides Dark of the West which I have been raving about above, mostly because of the beautiful prose and feels, I’d have to mention two books because in both the unique worldbuilding blew me away. Both are so original! First is A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos (it’s a hit in Europe, but somehow not outside of it which is such a shame!), with flying arcs and intrigue and magic, beautiful writing, sentient scarfs and it’s just amazing! The second is The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, about a world that has seen multiple apocalypses and the worldbuilding is sublime! Didn’t like the adult scenes, but apart from that it was raw, poignant and beautiful.

Favorite new author (debut or new author to you)

Ok, this is getting old.. but Joanna Hathaway definitely! Nicki Pau Preto too! And Kimberly Duffy is definitely going to be among the great names in Christian fiction. Also some Dutch authors: Laura Diane, Pamela Sharon and Astrid Boonstoppel made me read Dutch YA which suprised me in a good way!

Newest fictional crush

Athan!!!!!!! Hands down Athan, my sweet cinnamon roll who only wants to do good and love everyone but is sandwiched in a horrible family and everything always goes wrong even when it goes right and FEEELS. Am I talking about Dark of the West again? Why yes, I am.

Book that made you cry

Dark…. you know where I’m going. Did I mention feels? Also Crown of Feathers (STOP KILLING BIRDS). My reread of Romanov also wasn’t tearless. And that was the second time. The Hate U Give had me bawling. Even the rom com Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert because of the wonderful chronic illness rep and that there was this healthy guy who just GETS it and helps and is kind to the MC – that was both the most wonderful and most unrealistic aspect and I kinda wish it was realistic.

Books that made you happy

Actually most books make me happy.. even the ones that make me sad. But I’m nominating Karen Witemeyer with At Love’s Command because her books are so much fun!

Most beautiful book you bought so far this year (or received)

I don’t buy many physical copies, and if I do it’s mostly the trade paperback, and I don’t have those fancy copies with painted edges or anything… I really like the Daevebad trilogy, but the last book is an inch bigger than the other ones… same goes for Crown of Feathers, the second book is an inch bigger too (ugh, hate internet buying). I think I’m gonna go with A Winter’s Promise, it’s such a lovely blue and the green foil makes it spark.

What book(s) do you need to read by the end of the year?

I have an e-arc for the newest book by Tamera Alexander, Colors of Truth. I currently have not applied for new arcs, because right now I’d rather have no books I need to read. However, I do really want to get on with Heart of Flames, and the next books in the Fifth Season trilogy. I also am planning to read more diverse books. I already gravitate towards disability rep, but more Black authors are definitely on my digital shelves.

Favorite book community member

Nadine Brandes, TurnThePages and PaperFury. They’re all wonderful people and I’m proud to know them a little bit.

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