The 'Mid-Year Book Freak Out' tag.

Ooh look, another excellent bookish tag that one of my most excellent bookish blogger pals Bex invited me to do! Right, let's crack on and do this. The year is slipping by way too quickly as it is...

Best book you've read so far in 2017?

*panics already and opens Goodreads, checks Reading Challenge*

It's a tie between 'The Loneliest Girl in the Universe' by the mega babe Lauren James, and 'The Princess Saves Herself in this One', a poetry collection by Amanda Lovelace. 

'Loneliest Girl' is perhaps the most surprising YA I've ever read – partly because it does not read like it is publicised...not because the (amazing) press team at Walker haven't done their job correctly, oh no, because they've been extra clever in their marketing. Trust me, read this and you'll be surprised.
As for 'The Princess Saves Herself in this One', that was a badass awakening-type read, the kind I need more of at regular intervals throughout each year. 

Best sequel you've read so far in 2017?

Gotta be 'Songs About Us' by Chris Russell, second in his 'Songs About a Girl' series. The first book established characters and the simplest (if slightly tangled up at times) relationships – this sequel peels back another layer and shows us the darkness bubbling beneath the surface of each character. I fell even more in love with each member of the boy band as I read this book. (But am still #TeamOlly forev)

New release you haven't read yet, but want to?

'Moxie', by Jennifer Mathieu.
'Unconventional', by Maggie Harcourt.

It kills me EVERY DAY that I have yet to read any of these.

Most anticipated release for the second half of 2017?

'They Both Die at the End', by Adam Silvera. The most intense excitement seems to surround this book within the YA community, and I am psyched to get my hands on it on 5th September.

Biggest disappointment?

'When Dimple Met Rishi'. I know, I know – y'all are so madly in love with this book right now, but it just didn't thrill or tickle me. Sure, it's cute. But I can only take so much cuteness. I can be a crabby old lady when it comes to teen romance, tbh.

Biggest surprise?

'The Lost and The Found', by Cat Clarke. I finally read it, and let me tell you, it's wickedly sickeningly good. As in, it horrified me at times and even made me queasy towards the end – but it also made me giggle and hooked me in so hard. The gripping story even made me forget temporarily about my stapled stomach when I read it in hospital – that is the sign of a good book well written.

Favourite new author (debut, or new to you)?

Bryony Gordon. I devoured 'Mad Girl' and then grabbed 'The Wrong Knickers' not long after (ha, sounds dirty). I cannot get enough of The Bryony. 

Fiction-wise, I loved Chloe Seager's debut 'Editing Emma: The Secret Blog of a Nearly Proper Person'. She nailed the blogging/texting/tweeting story element which so many other authors struggle with.

Newest fictional crush?

Reuben in 'How Not to Disappear', by Clare Furniss. He's totally, unfortunately, my exact type – lost, unsure of himself, arrogant, unreliable, majorly douchey at times and occasionally shows a glimmer of genuine him, before making it disappear again in a cloud of twattishness. Mmm, yes.

Newest favourite character?

Lo, gorgeous trapeze performer and free spirit who I met reading 'Flight of a Starling'. As usual, Lisa Heathfield created the most exquisite characters and let them each live wild, surprising – and at times, devastating, lives. Rest in peace, Lo. (No, that's not a spoiler). 

Book that made you cry?

I don't cry at books much these days. I am a stone. However, 'The Island at the End of Everything', by Kiran Millwood-Hargrave had me pretty close to sobbing. As did 'The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender', by Leslye Walton. Oh, and when I finally read 'A Monster Calls' in March while working at Walker Books, I definitely welled up more than once on the tube to and from the office.

Book that made you happy?

'Home', the picture book by Carson Ellis. Everyone must grab this book and hold it close; it's beyond lovely, and can teach kids and adults a lot about other humans' many ways of life. 

Favourite book to movie adaptation you saw this year?

After reading 'A Monster Calls', I watched the film with the parents. It was excellent, and some parts were exactly what I'd pictured when reading the book. A little too sad overall, though. My goodness. As the credits rolled, Dad turned to me and said 'well, that was bloody cheerful.' Sarky papa.

Favourite review you've written this year?

Ooh, I've been enjoying writing all of my monthly reading wrap-ups, to be honest. I also loved interviewing Laura Jane Williams when writing up a review of her second book, 'Ice Cream for Breakfast'. All my #authorcontent has been fun so far this year, to be honest. Especially all the Chris Russell business. The man has his own tag on here now! 

Most beautiful book you bought or received this year?

Damn, can I say 'Loneliest Girl' again? That cover art is unreal.
Also 'The Wolf Wilder' by Katherine Rundell was exceptionally gorgeous – if a little heavy to hold! My goodness, Bloomsbury like their pages thick.

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

'Another Place', by Matthew Crow. He's starring in his own Q&A post very soon, actually. Keep an eye out for that, it's a treat!
Also I'm hoping to finally read 'Spectacles', by Sue Perkins. I got it for Christmas 2015 and it's sat unread and beautiful on my non-fic hardback shelf ever since...oops. Plus I need to get on the hype for 'The Power', by Naomi Alderman. A friend was lovely enough to send me a copy, and I now have no excuse not to read it and see if it lives up to the good press it's been getting! 

(Some of the titles in this post link to the books on A Great Read, this totally awesome website that sells the newest books for a fraction of the high street price, omg)


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