Hi everyone! I originally saw this idea on YouTube, where a lot of book/reading channels were doing a video reviewing some of the favorite books of the year and answering questions about different categories of books. If you know me, you know I’m a big reader, and this year I’ve been trying to expand my reading genres and branch out with my reading. I haven’t read quite as many as last year (so far at least), but I’ve definitely still read some great books, and I’m excited to go through and recap some of my favorites. The mid-year book recap answers a few questions about different books and ends with some books I’m excited to read before the year is over. I’ve read 58 so far, and my goal is 75, which I feel like I’ll probably surpass by December!
Best book I’ve read so far:
This is tough! Back in June I re-read Six of Crows, which is definitely one of my favorite books of all time (and the sequel, Crooked Kingdom!). But I’ve already read it before, so it’s not really new to me. I also really enjoyed Educated by Tara Westover, Happy Place by Emily Henry, and Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah. As far as Christian books go, my favorite of the year is Prayer by Tim Keller. I read this back in the spring and it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read, I need to re-read it again soon.
New favorite book character:
Not to talk about Six of Crows again, but I love every character in the Crows gang, especially Kaz and Inej. I also read the spinoff series, King of Scars, and love Nikolai, the main character and prince of Ravka. Back in May, I read Carrie Soto is Back, and I just love the strong, determined character of Carrie Soto. She is such a force to be reckoned with and isn’t afraid to put hard work into anything she sets her mind to.
New release I haven’t read yet but want to:
I have a never-ending list of books to read, but I’ve been hearing a lot about Divine Rivals, which came out earlier this year. Everyone who’s read it has given it great reviews, and it’s a mix of fantasy, romance, and adventure, which sounds like something I’d enjoy!
Most anticipated release for the rest of the year:
I started two unfinished series, which of course I got sucked into and then was left on major cliffhangers. The first is Iron Flame, the sequel to Fourth Wing. It’s coming out in November and I will definitely be reading as soon as I can get my hands on it. I also read the Once Upon a Broken Heart series (the first two books), and the third, A Curse for True Love, comes out in October. The first book wasn’t my favorite, but the second book got really good and ended on such a cliffhanger, so I can’t wait to see what happens next.
I used to read a lot of romance, but recently I haven’t been picking up romance books as regularly. One romance book I had heard a lot about was Part of your World, by Abby Jimenez. It has over 140k reviews on GoodReads and a 4.35 star rating, which is super high. I read it last week and was just very unimpressed. I was cringing the entire time, the romance felt so cheesy and fake and I couldn’t wait to be done. I also read the first three books in the ACOTAR series back in the spring. I really loved the second book of the series, but the third, a Court of Wings and Ruin, was a bit of a letdown. It felt really long and drawn out with a lot of political drama, so I’m not sure if I’ll continue with the other two books.
Fourth Wing was another book I had heard so much hype about, and this one did not disappoint! I was unsure if I would enjoy it, because the whole dragon/fantasy world sounded a little cringey and weird to me. I ended up loving it. I read it when my family was at Universal Studios for the week and I was so invested, I downloaded it onto my phone to read while waiting in line for the rides, haha. I loved the world building and the characters in the book, and the setting reminded me of Hogwarts!
Favorite new author:
I’ve read both of Annabel Monaghan’s books this year: Nora Goes off Script and Same Time Next Summer. I especially loved Same Time Next Summer, it’s set in a beach town on Long Island and gives such summer vibes! Her books are so well written with amazing descriptions of the background surroundings, and they are a little deeper than your usual cheesy beach read.
Best sequel so far:
Of course, Crooked Kingdom, the sequel to Six of Crows, is number one. I know I talk about these books too much, but if you haven’t read them yet, please do! This series is what got me interested in trying to read more fantasy books, but nothing else I’ve read compares to these two books! Set in the same world, I also loved Rule of Wolves. It’s the sequel to King of Scars, and I enjoyed it even more than the first. Lastly, I read the Ballad of Never After, the second book in the Once Upon a Broken Heart series. It’s a cozy fantasy series that almost feels like you’re reading a storybook of fairytales. The story really picked up in this book and I got so invested in the characters!
A book that made me happy:
I feel so repetitive because a lot of the books above would also fall under this category. Happy Place, Six of Crows, Same Time Next Summer, and Fourth Wing were all just such good books that I definitely was happy reading them and loved getting sucked into the story. Another book I really enjoyed was Court of Mist and Fury. I was reading it during a really busy week of college but couldn’t wait to take little homework breaks throughout the day to sneak a few chapters in. I also really enjoyed If We Were Villains, which I read back in February. It was a dark academia book about a group of friends at a liberal arts college in New England. I loved the cozy vibes and storyline!
Book I need to read by end of the year:
Ugh so many to choose from. Right now what is up next on by TBR list are: The Invisible life of Addie LaRue, Little Women, An Ember in the Ashes, Red Rising, and finishing the Throne of Glass series. I really want to read more classics, and after starting Little Women, I’ve also been looking up more Jane Austen books to add to my list!
What’s been your favorite book of the year so far?