This is a tag I always see making its rounds on YouTube and in the blogsphere, and while I don’t do many tags anymore (that aren’t related to music, you can pry the Playlist Book Tag from my cold, dead hands) I saw a few really great takes on the tag and looked at the questions and figured this is one for me!
A little about my reading history:
Since April of 2018, I’ve found myself enjoying reading more than I have since around 2013 when I first joined the book community. It’s become a lot more personal and just reading on a whim, not hesitating to DNF and leave things half-read until I’m interested in the book again. My memories of what I read is a lot stronger, even though I’m reading more.
At this point in the year I’ve read 170 things, mostly manga and comics, which I’m honestly really happy about as they make me happiest as I read them. That also means I have a lot to choose from in my answers.
Without further ado: the questions!
1) BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2019?
Okay, so a lot of my top books happen to be horror, and I promise you that’s purely accidental.
The Elementals by Michael McDowell: 80’s horror where two families journey to their Summer houses after the death of one of the matriarchs and find themselves at the hands of not just the elements, but forces that reside in the land.
The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell: A gothic told across three different points of view centred around a widow who travels to her late husbands estate and is tormented by strange wood carvings who seemingly move by themselves.
Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl: A year after the death of her boyfriend, a teenager journeys out to visit her estranged friends, only for them to end up stuck in a time loop repeating the same day until they can come to a unanimous decision on which one of them deserves to live.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson: Horror classic where four people travel to Hill House and experience strange hauntings that begin to send them mad. Also highly recommend the Netflix show!
Teen Dog by Jake Lawrence: The coming-of-age graphic novel with anthropomorphic animals you never knew you needed. Full of innocent existentialism and themes of growing up!
2) BEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2019?
They aren’t sequels, but these are my favourite volumes in longer series! It counts! They are all follow ups to previous volumes!
Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 9 by Hiromu Arakawa: If there was a Connie has to go more than 5 posts without mentioning FMA challenge, I would lose. Literally the best possible conclusion to this series, it broke my heart.
Haikyuu!! Volume 2 by Haruichi Furudate: My review for this on Goodreads was literally just ‘Oikawa AND Nishinoya?! In one volume?! I’m having a crisis!’
which sums up me reading this whole series.
My Hero Academia: Vigilantes Volume 3 by Hideyuku Furuhashi: Volume 2 of this series was an absolute goddamn mess but this volume? Wow. My review if you want to read me lose my mind. Some spoilers for extra content and some characters, but it’s not really overly spoiling plot points.
No.6 Volume 5 by Atsuko Asano: I have gone on so many spiels to my best friend about how amazing this series is. It honestly deserves recognition for being a very thought provoking and character driven dystopian, the character development is truly a work of art and I wish I could write a world and dynamics as well as Atsuko Asano does.
3) NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET, BUT WANT TO?
I can’t really give much information on these seeing as I haven’t read them, so sorry everyone!
Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia: I confess, I am getting this because of Gabriel’s artwork. I’ve been a huge fan for a while now, so it just felt right to have this in my collection, especially considering I want to learn more about the Titans.
Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner: Very mixed reviews on this one, but oh well!
The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman: Everyone and their mother is talking about this book, honestly.
The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling: It’s like a space survival story but with these weird zombie creatures? I’ll be going for the audiobook with this one.
4) MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR?
I made a whole post about this that I worked very hard on so please check it out, but I guess I’ll include the only three I’ve been able to pre-order.
Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab: This is the sequel to City of Ghosts, a middle-grade horror story I really love, and I’m looking forward to this one even more as it’s set in the catacombs of Paris!
Who Put This Song On? by Morgan Parker: Several people have described this as having some of the best mental health rep in young adult fiction, so I’ll be reading this for my dissertation that I’m starting in January.
The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen: I reallllly love the podcast this is based on (The Bright Sessions, also created by Lauren) and Adam and Caleb are my absolute favourites, so this book is my JAM.
5) BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT?
BOY DO I HAVE A LOT OF THESE. one of the cons of reading so much is that I end up being disappointed by significantly more books than others do, which sucks, but I honestly don’t find myself hating the reading experience. Even if i hate the book, for me, tearing it apart can become fun!
Slam Volume 1 by Pamela Ribon: I love roller derby, but the characters and the lack of narrative in this volume really didn’t do it for me. Maybe if more time was spent making sense of plot at the start I’d have enjoyed it, but there were so many time jumps I stopped caring.
It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne: One day UKYA readers are gonna have to sit down and properly talk about how the first maybe 5 years of the decade were spent crowning titles and writers as the leads of UKYA despite the fact that their books aren’t really good. They contain thinly-veiled misogyny, really bad writing that uses chat speak in-text as if it’s normal, stereotyping of characters (they really love the bitchy mean girl trope) and what the kids would call racism that doesn’t explicitly state it’s racism, like, say, dropping slurs or having outwardly racist beliefs, but when a character says someone ‘might be Asian or Jewish’ and then laughs about it and never addresses it again, you kind of guess it’s some kind of internalised racism nobody feels comfortable addressing.
Trouble by Non Pratt: SEE ABOVE, only this one has the most terribly written step-incest subplot that never properly gets resolved or treated with the disgust it deserves!
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne: Weird possessive vibes, references to stalking, and shitty love triangles. This received the best rating of the bunch (3), but the general disappointment I feel is at the continued inclusion of uncomfortably possessive male love interests dehumanizing and treating women like they are better seen not heard in romance fiction. Tessa Dare doesn’t treat me like this!
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham: This one is less hate, more just disappointment. I was so bored reading this, honestly, it feels unbearably long, and the romance is so unneeded and dull.
6) BIGGEST SURPRISE?
The Unsound by Cullen Bunn: I’ve learnt that my opinion on generally negatively rated comics and graphic novels is going to completely differ. This is very surreal, with a lot of graphic self harm and violence, and will definitely not be for everyone, but I very much enjoy it!
Sweet Blue Flowers Volume 1 by Takako Shimura: I literally heard about this, ordered the first volume day-of, and then read it as soon as it arrived and loved it. It’s predominantly a slice-of-life/romance following sapphic teenage girls!
In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan: Everytime I think of this I feel soft. For a fantasy this is very easy to read, with snappy dialogue and a lot of wit from our main character. What surprised me most, however, was how deep and introspective it got exposing the fears of our main character, something not enough portal fantasies spend time doing, and I’m really grateful to have read this book!
A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay: Can you really be surprised if you go into a book with no expectations? I knew vague details about plot, and a brief allusion to a dollhouse in a review I happened to scroll past, and I ended up loving this.
Lazaretto by Clay McLeod Chapman: This is an absolutely horrifying comic about a flesh eating virus that breaks out during the first few weeks of college and sends the campus into complete lockdown. It’s honestly tragic, and does not have a happy ending, but I love it? I usually hate endings that are bad for our main characters, but everything about this just really wrapped me in a blanket- horrified me, sure, yet it was weirdly comforting.
The Past and Other Things that Should Stay Buried by Shaun David Hutchinson: Again, I saw one person praise this book and listened to the audiobook immediately after and really enjoyed it. It’s very moving with some main characters that will test your patience but you’ll end up loving.
7) FAVOURITE NEW AUTHOR?
Paul Tremblay and Michael McDowell!
8) NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH?
Kirie in Uzumaki by Junji Ito! Makoto in My Hero Academia: Vigilantes! Charlotte Holmes in A Study in Charlotte! I’m noticing these are all women, which is kind of on brand for me.
9) NEWEST FAVOURITE CHARACTER?
Seeing as all my crushes are on women, I’ll try and pick some other favourites here! I’ve really fallen in love with Tensei Iida in My Hero Academia and eternally love Thirteen, Teen Dog in Teen Dog, Shion in No.6 (the character development!!!!), and basically the whole cast of The Avant-Guards by Carly Usdin! Tom in the Memoirs of Lady Trent series has really grown on me after book one, too.
10) BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY?
BOY. I cry a lot. I cried reading Winnie the Pooh, which I finally picked up all the stories of earlier this year; Neverworld Wake; the Save Me Webtoon, a great webcomic based off of the BTS music video continuity; I Want To Eat Your Pancreas by Yoru Sumino, which beat me over the head with a frying pan while I was distracted. Sheets by Brenna Thummler didn’t make me cry but it did make me incredibly sad.
11) BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY?
A lot of what I read makes me happy! There’s Super Fun Sexy Times by Meredith McClaren, a small collection of 5 stories based on the sex lives of different superheroes/villains/etc.; My Love Story by Kazune Kawahara which makes me eternally happy and soft every time I pick up a volume; In Other Lands, which, while sad at times, is also very funny and has my exact brand of humour; and there’s the Haikyuu!! manga series, which I love and adore and all the characters are hilarious, even while being serious.
12) FAVOURITE BOOK TO MOVIE ADAPTATION?
I haven’t really seen any? Does Boys Over Flowers count if I haven’t read the manga OR finished the show yet? Either way, Boys Over Flowers is great and so melodramatic. If you push through the drama and very strange and problematic behaviour, it’s honestly got a cute romance between two tsundere people and enough stupid hair to giggle at.
13) FAVOURITE REVIEW YOU’VE WRITTEN?
LOOOADS! I’m very proud of my reviews this year, and it seems like a lot of them are horror!
14) MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU BOUGHT THIS YEAR?
Other Words For Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin! It’s really pretty and has beautiful pink sprayed edges, and I absolutely love the owl in the background. I think the mix of pink and gold on the cover is so striking, too, it really is a book that stands out.
15) WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY 2020?
I actually have a Summer 2019 TBR if you want loads of information on everything I plan on reading.
However, other than all the books I kind of have to read for my first semester back at University, I really want to read Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz and When the Truth Unravels by RuthAnne Snow.
What would you pick for these questions? Please let me know in the comments if you made a post of this tag, I’d love to read them!
Thank you for reading!
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