Hello, readers! It has been a hot second since I posted last. I’m not going to apologize for disappearing because I do it a lot and don’t want to make excuses when I know I will do it again. I did this tag last year and really enjoyed doing it so I thought I would do it again. It was created by Ely at Earl Grey Books and Chami.
I will take a moment to update y’all on my life because this is about how the year’s going so I feel like it is fitting for me to talk about how my personal life has changed this year. This year, especially more recently, has brought quite a few changes in my life. I graduated from college back in December of last year with my BA in English with an emphasis in Professional Writing and Publishing so most of my year has been me handling the post-grad life.
After further thinking, I decided to go to grad school to become a librarian, and I’ll start there in the fall. I realized that I would be most happiest as a librarian since it fits what I was looking out of a career to a tee. I was able to quit my job at a gas station and started working at a Barnes and Noble down there, and I will have another job at a local library down. I’ve been commuting for the past two months, but I found an apartment and will be moving in at the beginning of the month.
1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2021.
I have read some really great books this year. I think when it comes to the actual content of the books I’ve read, it’s been the best year ever. Most of them have been four-star reads at least. My favorite book so far is probably Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers. I read this a couple months after I graduated and at that point didn’t really know what I wanted to do. There was a lot of this book that resonated with me.
2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2021.
I am not that great at reading series, nor do I really like to read series. I think the only series I’ve read where I’ve read the sequels is the Wayward Children series by Seanan Maguire. My favorite of those is Down Among the Sticks and Bones so that is my answer to the question. I think I liked this one better than Every Heart a Doorway. I loved the message of this book and the commentary within it.
3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.
There are so many that I could’ve gone with because I haven’t read that many new releases this year. I am going to go with Sweet and Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley since this one is sitting on my personal tbr. I have been looking forward to this book since 2020 so I was highly anticipating it, but it’s out and I still haven’t gotten to it.
4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.
For some reason, there aren’t that many book I have on my tbr that come out in the second half. It is definitely Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune since I read House in the Cerulean Sea and loved it. It sounds like it has similar vibes to that one, but it also reminds of The Good Place, which is one of my favorite tv shows so I think I will really like it.
5. Biggest disappointment.
I feel like I have a really good understanding of what I am and aren’t going to like so I am usually not disappointed. Any book I give a lower rating, I typically understand that I am going to rate the book low beforehand. I was hoping that I would like The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand. I was hoping that it would be a hidden gem, but I didn’t get that.
6. Biggest surprise.
I had a feeling that I was going to like this book since I liked the writing of the author’s debut but knew I would like the plot of this one, but I was still surprised by Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power. It went in directions I wasn’t expecting. Don’t go in thinking that it’s a horror because it’s not. I can’t explain other than it’s weird. The ending shocked me so much.
7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)
Usually there is an author that has dominated my reading year even by this point, and that’s not really the case this year. Any new-to-me author, I’ve only read one book by them and the ones that I’ve become more attached to this year I read a book from last year. However, I am very intrigued by Frederik Backman‘s books to the point where I bought two because I loved Anxious People so much.
8. Newest fictional crush.
I don’t get fictional crushes so I don’t have an answer to this.
9. Newest favourite character.
Anne Elliot from Persuasion by Jane Austen. This woman is so cool and her family truly doesn’t deserve her. She is such a strong and well-written character. Also, I am convinced that she is queer-coded, and you can’t convince me otherwise. That woman rejects so many men’s proposals that she just can’t be straight.
10. Book that made you cry.
Most books I read make me cry because I am an extremely emotional reader. For this pick, I am going to go with Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas since I called my friend right after I read this because I needed to talk about the ending because it was extremely well done. I really liked the way the author discussed Peter Pan, and explored the themes that are introduced in the original tale.
11. Book that made you happy.
The Tea Dragon Society by Kay O’Neill is probably the cutest book I’ve ever read. The tea dragons are absolutely adorable, and the representation in this is so great to see. It didn’t take me that long to read because it is a children’s graphic novel, but I was smiling the whole time.
12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)
I got the Owlcrate editions of Among the Beasts and Briars by Ashley Poston and Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar, and they are both incredibly beautiful. I think they’re both beautiful in their own way.
13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
Like I say during every survey like this that I fill out, I don’t believe in having specific books that I have to read by a certain point. I read for fun and not for a living so there are no books I am in dire need to get to. That being said, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte has been sitting on my shelves for a while, and I go into every fall thinking that I’ll read it, but I really will this year.
That is the end of the tag. I hope y’all enjoyed! Please let me know what your favorite books you’ve read this year are down in the comments! I’d love to have a conversation with y’all down below!