This is a classic by now. I’ve done this tag before, last year. It’s a lot of fun and a neat way to reflect on the year so far (and catch you guys up to what I’ve been reading). Here is one of the original creators where you can find the original questions (I couldn’t find a working link for the other one). Feel free to let me know if you do it too, though I know, I know, it’s getting late.
1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018
Radiance is a really, really good book, guys. It’s so weird and so sad and so beautiful and so funny. It’s also incredibly smart. I kind of want to re-read this already even though I read it for the first time less than two months ago.
2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018
I’ve barely been reading sequels this year?? Who am I, Hedwig?
Out of those few, An Artificial Night from the Toby Daye series is definitely the best as a sequel. The jump in quality between this and the previous books in the series is stark. All the potential gets realized while continuing with the tone and content of those books. That’s why I think it’s a great sequel, aside from a really good book. Props to Seanan.
3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to
This just came out!!! The tone and style of Uprooted have stuck with me so I can’t wait to read another book from Novik written in the same vein, even if they’re unconnected. Also almost all the new books on my yearly tbr disappointed me, so please let this be the exception.
4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
I’ve been waiting for Vengeful since I found out it was going to be a thing! I trust V. E. Schwab to make this book not a rehash of Vicious and a good continuation of the story. September can’t come soon enough.
5. Biggest disappointment
Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda turned into another victim of the insane hype. I don’t want to discount anyone who has found a lot of meaning in this book and the movie or anything. I just wasn’t for me and barely left an impression.
6. Biggest surprise
To me, The Poppy War came out of nowhere. I certainly didn’t expect to be swept into such a rich historical-ish fantasy just like that. It’s vicious, dark and very true at the same time, reshaping a piece of history, the Second Sino-Japanese War, that rarely gets talked about in “the west”. I truly think R.F. Kuang has the potential to become a really influential voice in SFF, and she’s barely older than me!
7. Favourite new author (Debut or new to you)
I knew N. K. Jemisin was going to become a favorite author since I read The Fifth Season. The narrative voice is tight and brutally effective. That alone makes me want to read everything she’s ever written. Yet her books are incredibly smart and she brings different perspectives to fantasy, namely in the form of female voice, queer one, and a lot characters of color.
8. Newest fictional crush
My love for Sam from The Diviners series has only grown and grown with each book. Please don’t hurt him, Libba Bray.
9. Newest favourite character
Lately I’ve been gravitating more to books based on their writing? So I’m stuck on this one. Maybe Antoinette Conway from The Trespassar even though she technically appears first in The Secret Place. I really loved how abrasive and brash her character was, but without becoming a caricature. Also Moran and Conway are probably my favorite platonic dynamic from this year so far.
10. Book that made you cry
The ending of Radiance had me bawling my eyes out at 4am at its sheer beauty. It made the entire book worth it.
11. Book that made you happy
Saving Francesca was the odd contemporary that made me actually feel things. The tone and mood of the book took me right back to high school in the best of ways. It’s ultimately about finding your place and what true friendship entails. I just thought it was lovely.
12. Favourite book to film adaptation you saw this year
It didn’t say it had have been released this year, so I’m going to go with John Huston’s 1987 adaptation of The Dead by James Joyce. It’s such a quiet movie with deep implications, and though it’s not my favorite movie, I have to admire the work that it took to adapt the text so faithfully. Sorry for going so obscure…
13. Favourite review you’ve written this year
Out of the like 3 I’ve written, I really liked how I was able to pin down what didn’t work for me in The Thief.
14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)
Did I buy the new hardcover of Vicious just so it would match Vengeful? You bet! Seriously it is gorgeous and so very red and glossy.
15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
It is a crime that I haven’t read Strange the Dreamer even though I’ve owned it for over a year now. I’m just afraid at this point because, whoa, the hype is strong in this one.