do you hear that? that is the sound of me freaking out. because, you know, it’s the middle of the year. and freaking out is what book bloggers usually do at this time of year.
i stole this tag from amber @ the literary phoenix, who is one of my favorite bloggers, ever, and i have no idea where it’s originally from – if anyone knows, please comment down below and tell me! recently, i’ve been seeing this tag everywhere and in my two years of book blogging, i’ve never once tried it. to quote the words of the amazing emma watson, “if not now, when?” – today, i’ve decided to (finally) do the mid-year freak out book tag.
WHAT IS THE BEST BOOK THAT YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2019?
somewhere only we know by maurene goo. i’d been looking forward to its release for one and a half years, and it did not fail to disappoint! the book was dubbed a modern retelling of roman holiday set in hong kong, and i went into it expecting a perfect blend of hong kong culture, fluffiness and slow burn romance, and that was exactly what i got. what i loved the most was that it’s set in my hometown, which has never been featured in any of the ya novels i’ve read. + maurene goo has clearly done her homework – the places are all described in great detail without any mistakes, and it was impressive. i still haven’t written a review for this though, but i promise you i’ll definitely get it done before the year ends!
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE SEQUEL FOR THE FIRST HALF OF THE YEAR?
wellll… i couldn’t pick just one, so i’ll mention two of my favorites here.
there’s something about sweetie was amazing. i liked it more than the first book in the series, when dimple met rishi, and i also loved the diversity. for protagonists, we’ve got sweetie, a fat indian american girl who loves athletics, and ashish, a rebellious indian american boy who is a “player” on the outside but actually has a heart of gold. this book was so sweet (pun intended), and addresses problems like fatphobia so well at the same time.
so, i didn’t even know there was going to be a sequel to geekerella, but as soon as i found out, i HAD to read it right away. the princess and the fangirl was just as adorable as the first book of the series, with elle and dare returning as side characters. at first, i really disliked one of the main characters, as she’s self-centered, ungrateful and just downright rude. but as the story progresses, she slowly learns from her mistakes and changes her ways, and i loved the character development. also, swapped roles is one of my favorite tropes, so my love for this book is pretty much self-explanatory.
IS THERE A NEW RELEASE THAT YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT YOU’RE REALLY EXCITED FOR?
red, white & royal blue by casey mcquiston. i’ve heard so much about it, and i really, really hope it’s worth the hype. politics is a rare topic in young adult fiction, and i’m looking forward to seeing how it’s incorporated into the story. also, a secret relationship between the first son of america and the prince of england? say no more, i’m sold.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR?
the magnolia sword: a ballad of mulan by sherry thomas. in chinese class three years ago, we learnt the original mulan ballad, and the disney version is one of my favorite movies – mulan’s so brave and badass! i’ve never read a mulan retelling before, and i can’t wait to read the author’s take on this incredible story.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT SO FAR?
speaking of disappointing books, there are quite a few, but the most unexpected disappointment of them all was lucky in love by kasie west. i loved the other kasie west books i read, and it really sucked that i didn’t enjoy this at all. when maddie, the main character, hits the jackpot, she keeps spending her money on useless things, and she’s just so stupid, i can’t imagine her being a future ivy league student. i actually considered dnf-ing at some point but by that time i’ve already reached the 50% mark so i thought i might as well finish the book quickly.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SURPRISE SO FAR?
a tale for the time being by ruth ozeki. it’s so unlike the type of book i usually read, and i wasn’t sure if i’d like it, but i ended up really liking it and i’m so glad i picked it up! it’s so dark and unlike anything i’ve ever read before, and i love how the book includes a bunch of stuff that don’t seem to fit with each other, but turn out complementing each other, like physics and philosophy and literature.
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE NEW TO YOU, OR DEBUT, AUTHOR?
in may, i read 白先勇‘s novel 紐約客, which is about chinese people living in new york. i really loved his unique writing style, and i couldn’t believe he’s actually an eighty-something year old man – unlike the majority of old people i know (sorry, grandparents), he’s really open-minded and writes about a variety of contemporary social issues. i hope to read more of his work soon!
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE FICTIONAL CRUSH FROM THIS YEAR?
akira from i love you so mochi by sarah kuhn! he’s so sweet and precious and thoughtful and smart. like me, he hopes to pursue medicine in university, and i could relate to him when he gushes about his curiousity about the human body. on top of that, he’s selfless – he almost gives up his dreams just to help his uncle with his mochi shop. also, he brings mochis for kimi, the main character of the book, when they go on their final date, and that’s honestly the most heartwarming and adorable thing i’ve ever seen a fictional boy do. pretty please, i need an akira in my life.
WHO IS YOUR NEW FAVORITE CHARACTER?
ahh this is an easy one – lingyi from want by cindy pon! she’s a genius hacker, and a strong leader – i loved how organized and determined she is when planning missions. i heard the second book in the series is centered around her, and i’m really looking forward to reading it :DD
A BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY?
i’m an emotional person, but funnily enough i seldom cry when reading books (my friends all said they cried when hedwig died in harry potter and the deathly hallows, but i didn’t ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) a thousand paper cranes: the story of sadako and the children’s peace statue was an exception – it tore me up. it’s about sadako, a girl who died as a result of the atomic bomb disease brought about by the bombing of hiroshima, and it’s heartbreaking but at the same time inspiring. many people from around the world gathered in remembrance of sadako to make sure such tragedies never happen again, and my heart was warmed by their solidarity.
A BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY?
as kismet would have it by sandhya menon. i read this a few days before there’s something about sweetie came out, and it was so adorable. it was great seeing dimple and rishi again, and we’re once again reminded of the differences in how they view love. there are some thought-provoking discussions about marriage which i really liked, and i’m glad dimple and rishi finally talk it out and find the best way to continue their relationship in the future. i couldn’t stop smiling for days after reading this, and it got me more excited for the release of there’s something about sweetie.
YOUR FAVORITE BOOK TO MOVIE / TV SHOW THAT YOU’VE SEEN SO FAR?
the hate you give, adapted from angie thomas’s novel of the same name, was so powerful and phenomenal. i watched it on the plane a few months back, and i loved how the story was presented. as someone who lives in a predominantly asian city on the other side of the world, i saw black lives matter protests on the new, but only had a brief idea of what they were about. to everyone out there, please read the book or watch the movie – it will completely change your life. educate yourself on this issue – racism exists. police brutality exists. it’s such a beautiful, heartbreaking and important movie, and i highly recommend it to everyone.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE POST THAT YOU’VE WRITTEN SO FAR THIS YEAR?
well, i just moved blogs, and there aren’t a lot of posts for me to choose from, but if i had to pick a favorite, it would be my tokyo travel diary (click on the image to visit the post):
i poured my heart and soul into this post, and it was fun writing about my trip to tokyo, where i’d wished to visit for so long, so, um, go read it maybe? 😀 (sorry for the shameless self promo hahaha)
WHAT IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK THAT YOU HAVE BOUGHT?
in paris with you by cleméntine beauvais. i’m halfway through the book and i don’t really like the writing that much – it’s written in verse, perhaps some of the magic was lost in translation. nonetheless, the cover’s so pretty and i love that french style balcony!
WHAT ARE SIX BOOKS THAT YOU WANT TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR?
by the end of the year, i wish to read red, white & royal blue, this time will be different, wonder women, our own private universe, below the moon and autoboyography.
they are either
- diverse books or
- books featuring badass women or
- arcs i requested 2343295 years ago and still haven’t read or
- all of the above
wheww and that’s pretty much it. i won’t be tagging anyone because
i have no friends almost every book blogger i know has done the tag already, but if you haven’t, consider yourself tagged!
have you done the mid year freak out book tag yet? what books do you want to finish by the end of this year? is there a post you’re particularly proud of? (leave the link down below and i’ll go check it out :D) let me know in the comments ♡