Mid-Year Freakout Book Tag

I’m doing this popular tag via blog because no one and I mean no one wants to watch me on YouTube. So really, I’m saving you from having to gouge out your eyes. You’re welcome. 🙂

Thank you the original creators:
IsThatChami: https://www.youtube.com/user/ReadLikeWildfire
ElyJayne: https://www.youtube.com/user/MidnightBluex


Best book you’ve read so far in 2018:
Picture Us in the Light, Kelly Loy Gilbert

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018:
Wildcard, Marie Lu (review in the works!)

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to:
The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang

I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this book and I can’t wait to dive in.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year:
Queen of Air and Darkness, Cassandra Clare

The ending to LORD OF SHADOWS nearly killed me and I love this trilogy so much. Please don’t kill my Julian, Cassie.

Biggest disappointment:
Our Kind of Cruelty, Araminta Hall

Biggest surprise:
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, Trevor Noah

Favorite new author (Debut or new to you):
Helen Hoang (The Kiss Quotient)

Newest fictional crush:
Thomas Cresswell, Stalking Jack the Ripper Series by Kerri Maniscalco

  <— I mean…*heart eyes* (credit: Phantom Rin)

Newest favorite character:
Helene Aquilla, An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir

I admit that I highly disliked her in the first book because she was an obstacle to my Elias-Laia ship, but now I love her for being a bad-ass Bloodshrike, loving her family so much, and I’m really happy she’s taken on a larger role in these books. Also note to Sabaa, please don’t kill her.

Book that made you cry:
All Your Perfects, Colleen Hoover (REVIEW IN THE WORKS!)

Book that made you happy:
Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World, Ashley Herring Blake

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received):
The Way You Make Me Feel, Maurene Goo

Look at the beautiful pinkness AND the beautiful Asian girl on the cover?!

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
The Darkest Minds series, Alexandra Bracken

(or at least before the movie comes out)

Favorite Book Community Member:
Book Riot staff + contributors

I’m cheating a little (and I’m a little biased), but this group of people is fantastic. I love working with all you and thank you for keeping me sane on Slack all day.

MINI REVIEWS: February 6, 2018 Book Releases

This pub date snuck up on me and there are several book birthdays today that I want to talk about. I also have a few more ARCs yet to read. So, enjoy a round up of books that are available today!

THE QUEEN’S RISING by Rebecca Ross

Kingdoms Maevana and Valenia are bitter enemies. Maevana historically has had a Queen as their sovereign leader, but the kingdom is currently under the reign of the malicious King Lannon. After completing her education as a passion of knowledge at Magnalia House, our protagonist, Brienna, is taken on as a patron to the mysterious  Alderic Jourdain.

MY RATING:  ✰✰✰✰ This was fantastic! While I do agree with some other reviewers that the plot moved kind of slowly, I was so invested and eager to unravel more of the story that I didn’t really notice until it was brought to my attention. For a 400+ page book, I breezed through this. The main romance in this book would typically have me cringing a bit, but I didn’t mind it at all here. Also, it’s definitely not the focus of the plot. The politics between Maevana and Valenia and Brienna’s heritage take the forefront. I can’t wait for the sequels and to meet Rebecca Ross in person during the Epic Reads Tour in March!

Thank you HarperTEEN for my galley!

SHADOWSONG by S. Jae Jones

After leaving the Underground and her Goblin King, Liesl returns to life as we know it determined to further her musical career. Also along for the ride is her fellow musician and brother, Josef, who is sullen and withdrawn.

MY RATING:  ✰✰ This makes me incredibly sad because I loved WINTERSONG something fierce. But this sequel just fell completely flat for me until the last 30ish pages. The writing is beautiful and the story arc this time around is even darker and focuses on each of the character’s demons in more detail. The author’s note at the beginning talking about depression, bipolar disorder, and self-harm was also wonderful. I appreciated these things immensely. However, I was completely bored 95 percent of the book. I was looking forward to this conclusion so much and it pains me to rate it this low–but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Thank you St. Martin’s Press for my galley!


Elena Mendoza is the first human scientifically confirmed to have been born by parthenogenesis; in other words, she is the product of a virgin birth. After she miraculously saves her longtime crush from a fatal bullet wound, Elena discovers she has the power to heal and she must use her power, or else the world will end. But as Elena reluctantly begins healing those afflicted, people begin around the world begin getting raptured in a bright light.

MY RATING:  ✰✰✰✰✰ This book made my Favorite Books of 2017 list, so obvi…I loved this. It’s poignant, thought-provoking, the representation is out-of-this-world. And someone in a big White House goes into the light and let’s just say, it was appreciated.

Thank you SimonTeen for my galley!

FORCE OF NATURE by Jane Harper

A group of coworkers go out into the wilderness for a company retreat. We follow the five women colleagues and their experience. But one woman doesn’t make it out. And the other four have conflicting stories.

MY RATING:  ✰✰✰  I enjoyed THE DRY, the first novel about Detective Aaron Falk–but this one is definitely more my cup of tea when it comes to twisty thrillers. The search for Alice kept me on the edge of my seat.

Thank you Flatiron Books for my galley!


Picking up where GILDED C AGE left off, Luke and Abi Hadley continue their fight against the corrupt Jardine family for peace in a magical, feudal Britain.

MY RATING:  ✰✰✰1/2 I liked this! TARNISHED CITY is a solid sequel that builds on the events of the first book. I’m super interested to see how James finishes the series with the third and final book. Also, more Abi and Jenner por favor.

Thank you Del Rey for my galley!

Also available today, SHE REGRETS NOTHING by Andrea Dunlop (), LOOK FOR ME by Lisa Gardner (✰1/2), AMERICAN PANDA by Gloria Chao () and BROKEN BEAUTIFUL HEARTS by Kami Garcia ().