Mid-year Freak Out Tag| 2018

Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2018

The Astonishing Color Of After | Emily X.R. Pan


Oh, wow did this book blow me away. I really had no idea what I was getting myself (and my heart) into when I started reading this book. The writing is crazy beautiful. The kind that sweeps you away until you’re lost in the words, but somehow come out understanding so much more

It’s a book you feel more than read or interpret. All the metaphors fall together seamlessly. It’s the kind of book that holds such impact that you assume you’d need to think a lot to understand it. But Pan writes so potently that there’s no need to think. You just know what she’s trying to say.

If you have the chance, I urge you to read this very special book. I guarantee it will be worth your time. It’s perfect for fans of lyrical writing and stories about family and grief.


Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2018

A Torch Against The Night | Sabaa Tahir


I almost never enjoy sequels more than the original. To be honest, I’m not sure I would say I enjoyed this book, but it was very very very entertaining.

There were many times I was angry and frustrated while reading this book and many times I was ecstatic celebratory. The full spectrum.

Just thinking about it now, I am furiously shaking my head. (How could you do that to your characters, Sabaa Tahir!!)

I’m sure (hoping) the next book will hold even more ups and downs for me to silently scream about.

If you’re into fantasy novels where there’s a whole lot of deception and you have no idea who to trust, give this series a go!


New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To

Undead Girl Gang | Lily Anderson


So, I’ve only heard good things about this book from the reviews I trust oh, so much. So, obviously, I will be giving this book a go in 2018.


Truthfully, I don’t know much about this book other than it has to do with best friends, witches, and bringing people back from the dead.

Sounds like a party to me!

I’m always looking for books that are centered more around friendship and #girlpower rather than the cliched insta-love YA romance, so I’m sure I’m going to go crazy for this book.

If you’re in the mood for some witchy, girl gang action, pick this book up ASAP. And if you’ve read it already please let me know what you thought about it (sans spoilers pls)!

Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of The Year

Muse Of Nightmares | Laini Taylor


Along with most of the YA book community, I, too, am trash for Strange The Dreamer. Wow, did I love that book.

I mean, the main character was all about stories and learning. Love. There were these crazy blue demi-gods. Love. A mysterious city that no one believes exists. LOVE.

There are so many things about this series that are pros for me it’s hard to count at this point.

After the end of Strange The Dreamer, I can’t wait to get my hands on the second book in this series to find out how the whole story wraps up.

That cliffhanger at the end was not okay. I need to know what’s going to happen to my bb Lazlo.

If you haven’t read Strange the Dreamer yet, DO IT! NOW!


Biggest Disappointment

The Killing Lessons | Saul Black


So, I’m a pretty big fan of Thrillers. I’m not that squeamish. Don’t really get scared of serial killers, crazy nannies, etc. And oh, boy, do I love a good plot twist.

I think I heard about this book because it was on a list for books with good plot twists.

I read it probably because I liked the title and the cover was beautiful.

I read it. The entire time I was reading it, I was wondering. When oh when will this stupid plot twist happen?

I got to the last page of the book and there was no freaking plot twist! In a thriller! On a list for good plot twists!!! What??

I don’t know. Maybe I’ve seen too many horror movies, listened to too many true crime podcasts, read too many thrillers.

Biggest Surprise

The Love That Split The World | Emily Henry


I bought this book because I saw Books and Lala talk about it on her channel. I’m pretty sure she gave it a good review. If she talked about the plot at all, I probably skipped through that part in the video, because I had absolutely no idea what this book was about before going in.

Because I think that was the correct way to dive into this book, I will tell you nothing of the plot other than it is full of magic, love, and really cool mythology.

I cried so freaking hard while reading this book. It was that kind of cry that is ugly and full of gasps for air and weird noises in the back of your throat.

If you’re looking for a book that will make you cry real hard while also using sprinkles of magic and all tied together with an impossible love story, grab this book right now.


Favorite Debut Author

American Panda | Gloria Chao


This book is the epitome of adorable. It has the sweetest love story that you could ever want and it’s set in college which I greatly appreciate in any YA novel.

In addition to the sticky sweet romance, this book tackles hard family relationships and the struggles of finding yourself outside of your parents’ expectations.

Our main character is Mei, a Taiwanese American teen, who’s started her first year in college.

Mei’s parents have her whole life planned out for her (including her career as a doctor and her marriage to the perfect Taiwanese boy ).

This book follows Mei as she navigates college for the first time as well as how to follow her dreams while still keeping her parents happy. It was so so good. And it hit me harder than I could have ever imagined.


Newest Fictional Crush

Clockwork Angel | Cassandra Clare


To be honest, I don’t usually have crushes on book characters. I see them living in their best relationship inside the books I read and that’s that. Even if I love everything about them, I usually see them as perfect material for whichever character the author puts them with.

With that in mind, of all the books I’ve read this year, I think the dreamiest character was Will Herondale *swoony sigh*

I know he had his asshole moments, but his reasoning was so heartbreaking it made me love him even more. Although he was basically trying to sabotage all of his relationships, I loved every minute of him with Tessa, Jem, and his sister.

Just thinking about him now makes me want to reread this series right now!


Newest Favorite Character

Vicious | V.E. Schwab


Like the newest crush question, I don’t tend to have favorite characters. When I read a book, I mostly look for my writing style of choice and the best plot. Characters are usually there just to further the story rather than the main attraction for me. (don’t @ me)

When I was trying to figure out how to answer this question, my first thought was Victor from Vicious. I wouldn’t consider him a favorite character, but definitely an intriguing one.

Throughout the whole book, I was grappling with whether I thought he was a good person. He’s such a hard character to pin down that I can’t decide whether to love him or to hate him.

If you’re a big fan of morally questionable characters, you’ll definitely be a fan of Victor and this book.


Book That Made You Cry

All The Light We Cannot See | Anthony Doerr


It’s no surprise that this is the book that made me cry the most so far this year. It’s about a blind girl living in France and a boy living in Nazi Germany during the second world war.

There’s just no way this book will have a happy ending. It’s impossible. And you should know that going in.

The book switches between the two main characters perspectives throughout their life and the build-up to the war. All about what it was like to live in Nazi-occupied France as well as what it was like to be recruited by the Nazi’s as a young boy.

I love reading books about WW2 because I like knowing more about that time. I hate reading books about WW2 because I know they’re going to make me cry. (but sometimes crying feels good so maybe not hate.)


Book That Made You Happy

I Believe In A Thing Called Love | Maurene Goo


This is 100% the book that made me laugh the most so far this year. If you’re a fan of Korean Dramas and YA contemporary fiction, you have hit the jackpot in this book.

The main character has everything going for her in terms of school, friends, extracurriculars. The only thing she just can’t get right is her love life.

One day she watches those Korean Dramas her dad loves so much and concocts a plan. All of those Korean Dramas follow a formula to love, and she’s going to use that formula to snag herself the hot new kid at school.

It was seriously hilarious and completely cringe-worthy at times. I have a serious problem with secondhand embarrassment and it was FREQUENT in this book. The laughs were definitely worth it, though.


Favorite Book To Movie Adaptation That You Saw This Year

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda | Becky Albertalli


I read this book last year and saw the movie adaptation in the beginning of 2018. I really loved the book last year, so the movie had a lot of expectations to hold up to.

Luckily, it did not disappoint. I have such a personal attachment to Simon and his group of friends. They’re all just so fun and loving.

The movie had all of the good parts of the characters and the plot, and I was just happy they did the book justice.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, are you living under a rock??? Get to it! And read the book while you’re at it.

If you nothing about the story, it’s about a closeted high school student, Simon, and his coming-out story. It involves blackmail, secret emails, and a whole lot of fun.



Favorite Review You’ve Written This Year

Pachinko | Min Jin Lee


To be honest, I have not written a whole lot of reviews this year. I did really enjoy the review I wrote about this book. Probably because I just really enjoyed the book in general.

It’s all about this Korean family living in Korean and later Japan during the Japanese occupation and World War II.

You learn a lot about the climate at the time and how it was to live in Korea and Japan as a Korean when Koreans were seen as lesser.

If you want to learn more about the political atmosphere at the time and how people were living from all classes, give this book a go.

If you want to check out my full review, you can read it here.



Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought

The Price Guide To The Occult | Leslye Walton


Not only is this one of the most beautiful books I bought this year, it is also a book I bought solely because it was beautiful.

Truthfully, I have absolutely no idea what this book is about. Not an ounce. I bought it because I heard many people talk about Leslye Walton’s previous book The Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender and give it rave reviews, so I’m hoping this will also live up to the hype.

Probably not the best reason to buy a book, but it is crazy beautiful. In addition to the beautifully mysterious cover, the end pages are a red that perfectly matches the red on the cover *swoon*.

Luckily, I am also a big fan of books about spooky topics and almost anything covering the occult. Hopefully, this one does a good job with it.



What Book Do You Need To Read By The End Of The Year

Six Of Crows | Leigh Bardugo


Finally! The last question on the list. If I’m going to read just one more book this year (or duology) I’m going to make it Six of Crows—and hopefully Crooked Kingdom, too.

I read the Grisha trilogy earlier this year all in preparation for reading this duology.

I love the magic system in this universe as well as Leigh Bardugo’s beautiful writing style. I know a lot of people have talked about how much they love this series more than the trilogy, so, yet again, my expectations are very high.

I don’t know much about this series other than that is involves a heist and some lovable criminals.