Monday, July 1, 2019

MID-YEAR BOOK FREAK-OUT TAG // captain wentworth + the wrath of my harpoon + i bought a book?!

I'M FINALLY BACK. I confess I've been in the worst blogging slump lately, but this tag was so fun and refreshing to do that I think I've finally crawled out! Hopefully you'll see much more consistent posting from me this summer. :P

This has been a fantastic reading year so far, and I'm so excited to share with you some of the epic ups and crazy downs of my 2019 bookish progress.

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2019

Probably To Darkness Fled by Jill Williamson, the second book in the Blood of Kings trilogy. I haven't been so engaged - so emotionally invested - in a book in a long time. If any of my family had seen or heard me freaking out over these characters during PARTICULAR SCENES (anymore than they already did lol), they would have been concerned. XD


Same goes for the third book, From Darkness Won. *clutches heart* This trilogy is GENIUS, and I can't recommend it enough!

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019

The Deceiver's Heart by Jennifer A. Nielsen, sequel to The Traitor's Game. This book is INSANE, guys. I enjoyed it thoroughly, to say the very least. XD

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Don't mind me, I'll just be over here screaming softly in the corner until The Warrior's Curse comes out. O_O

If you're a fan of the amnesia trope, magic daggers, and lots of romantic tension, you have to read The Traitor's Game series!

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to


I'm not sure whether to be excited or terrified for Finale by Stephanie Garber, which released May 2019. Caraval was wonderful, but Legendary was NOT as good, which means I really shouldn't have super high hopes for this last installment. And yet I couldn't stand not finishing the story! I have to see where it ends up.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

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This gorgeous fantasy by Hosanna Emily, who is the beautiful, inspiring soul behind the blog Having a Heart Like His, releases September 1 and I'm SO EXCITED!! I just know it'll be exquisite. <3

"The King's blue flame quivers as a new fire arises, and Kadira must hold fast to the torch. It's destiny; she's a torch keeper." ~ Goodreads page

5. Biggest disappointment

I started reading Moby-Dick by Herman Melville in November of last year, so I'm not certain it counts, but it DID take me until April of this year to finish the beast. *grumbles* I gave this 1 out of 5 stars, my friends. Verrrrry rarely do I come across a 1-star book, because I'm an optimistic reader and tend to focus much more on what I like in a book than what I don't like. More importantly, I seek out books I'm actually interested in rather than succumbing to the mainstream buzz.

But, with Moby-Dick, there wasn't much good to focus on. I'm sorry, but it was DRY and SLOW and DISTRACTED, and I could barely tolerate it. The audiobook narrator was really good, but I still had to make an enormous effort to stay focused while listening. :P

If I have to suffer through one more biology lesson about sperm whales...

...beware the wrath of my harpoon.

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via Giphy

6. Biggest surprise

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The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton. I was expecting it to be good, but not nearly as amazing as it turned out to be. O_o It exceeded my expectations in every way (except for the ending, which confused me enough to knock my rating down from 5 to 4.5 stars), and in general it is THE definition of witty and brilliant. :D If you like police spy stories and things never being what they seem to be, you'll love The Man Who Was Thursday as much as I did!

7. Favorite new author (debut or new to you)



My first read from him was Unwind, which got published waaaay back in 2007 but was devoured by yours truly just a couple months ago. Now I'm in the middle of UnDivided, the last book in the Unwind dystology, and all I can say is that it's SO GOOD. I've loved every single book in this series, and I already can't wait to branch out and read more from this author!


8. Newest fictional crush

Please tell me I'm not the only one who can't get enough of the charming, the swoon-worthy, the perfectly imperfect, the beautifully flawed and flawlessly beautiful CAPTAIN FREDERICK WENTWORTH.

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via Giphy

 I read Jane Austen's Persuasion during vacation in May and fell head over heels in love with the story. It's been years since I read Pride and Prejudice, so I can't make a confident comparison, but I'd almost venture to say I love Persuasion even more??


9. Newest favorite character

This is extremely difficult, but I think I'm going to go with Achan from the Blood of Kings trilogy. All the characters in that series are FANTASTIC, but Achan epitomizes everything I adore in the personality and arc of a male male character. *heart eyes*

10. Book that made you cry

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Books VERY rarely make me cry, but A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness made. Me. Cry. I read it back in January (actually my first read of 2019!), but I distinctly remember the painful feelings it subjected me to. <3

11. Book that made you happy

I've read so few light, happy-feely books so far this year that it's... well, it's sad in the most literal sense. I've barely touched contemporary. Which makes sense, considering I don't love contemporary anywhere NEAR as much as fantasy, but I still find this to be a problem.

Now, if YA contemporary books weren't so dirty, maybe it would be an easy fix. :/

Live Without You by Sarah Grace Grzy is one contemporary I read early this year. It made me happy, for sure, but it also BROKE ME. MY HEART. IN TWO.


But again, it provided lots of fuzzy warm scenes to balance out the pain!

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

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I bought The Help by Kathryn Stockett for 50 cents at a thrift store a month or so ago. I haven't read it yet, but I'm looking forward to it - and the cover is lovely!! I'm using it for this question because 90% of the books I read are from the library, and The Help is the ONLY book I've bought this year with my own money. Options are limited. XD

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

Ummm... A LOT.

Here are just a few:

1) The Tales of Goldstone Wood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
2) Dry by Neal Shusterman
3) basically all Katherine Applegate's Middle Grade books
4) How to Disappear by Sharon Huss Roat
5) Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
6) Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld
7) To Best the Boys by Mary Weber
8) And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness (I'm counting on this being better than its source lol)
9) another Peter Pan retelling or two
10) The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Do not count on me getting to all of these in 2019. Just because I NEED to read these this year doesn't mean it's going to happen 100%. Unfortunately. :(

14. Favorite book community member

I couldn't possibly choose. *cue existential crisis*

Okayyyy, so allow me to narrow it down. I don't know how many of you watch BookTube, but I'm pretty familiar with it and keep up with several channels. Jessethereader is the best one and I watch it RELIGIOUSLY, so I'll take this question as an opportunity to rave about it. If you haven't checked out jessethereader, you simply must. I promise you, his videos are unique and awesome and clean and lkajdroirjtylkjgblkg.


And that ends this tag! Now that the glorious freedom of summer is in full swing, I'm planning to get back into regular weekly posting (WOOT WOOT), so you should see a new post from me next Monday! ^_^

The Lord's Truly,

How has 2019 treated you so far, in terms of reading? What is your new favorite book, character, or author? Biggest disappointment? Talk books with me in the comments down below! :D


  1. JESSE IS THE BEST!! JESSE IS THE BEST!! I binge watch him so much and I loveeee everything he does goodness me 😂 *high five* also he may or may not have sucked me into the Kpop craze ....


      Ahhhh, the Kpop craze. I've never quite understood it and I don't think I ever will... ;D

  2. The Deceiver's Heart *screams, squeals*

    I loved this post! I really hope I don't have to read Moby Dick any time soon...I don't think I'll like it either *sighs*

    1. *all the screaming and squealing*

      Thanks, Faith! I really hope you don't have to either... If you do, though, I sincerely hope you don't find it as awful as I did. I wouldn't wish my suffering upon anyone. O_o

  3. My sister just read Moby Dick...she said she liked it, but...she also likes weird things, lol

    I just got the Blood of Kings ebook set, so can't wait to start reading!!

    1. Although I can't really imagine anyone liking Moby-Dick, I'm aware that lots of people do. It wouldn't be such a classic if so many people didn't love it! So I'm not surprised your sister liked it, and yet I still don't understand?? It's a weird mix, lol. XD

      YESSSSSSSS, IT'S AMAZING!!! I can't wait to hear what you think!

  4. WELCOME TO THE NEAL SHUSTERMAN FAMILY✨✨✨ it’s full of pain, confusion, and people who cry, but we’re a big ball of fluff and fren love💕

    Ooh yes, girl, go read Dry. It’s amazing!! Also, CHALLENGER DEEP. It’s Shusterman’s best book, by far, and it’s also one of my favorite books ever. It’s confusing as heck and you’ll be lost the entire time, but it’s a beautiful story, nonetheless. <3

    1. Also, I’m in the middle of Undivided too!! #twinsies

    2. WHY, THANK YOU. I'm excited to be part of the family, despite all the pain and confusion and tears you mentioned... XD

      So I've heard!! I can't wait to get to it! Eventually. ;P And OH MY WORD I NEED TO READ THAT TOOOOOOO. I've heard so many good things about Challenger Deep!

      Ooooh, twinsies indeed!! I'm really enjoying it. :D

      Thank you for commenting, Bree!

  5. YES YES YES NEAL SHUSTERMAN!! ���� You must read Scythe and Thunderhead, they're SO GOOD. Also, I just started reading Dry and it's great!

    Your reading list sounds awesome, have fun reading!!

    -Ash ��

    1. *sighs* The emojis turned into question marks, lol!

    2. I LOVE HIS WRITING SO MUCH!!! I definitely need to read Scythe and Thunderhead (so many people raving their heads off about those books, HOLY COW), but I think I might hold off until the 3rd Arc of a Scythe book comes out?? Just so I don't have to wait in agony for the finale, if you know what I mean. XD

      Thank you, Ash!! Happy reading to you too - of Dry and whatever else you'll be reading this year! <3

      (stupid emojis XD)

  6. OH, CAPTAIN WENTWORTH! *swoons Austen-esquelly* I loved Persuasion! It’s definitely my favorite Austen book, and yes, it is better than Pride and Prejudice in my opinion just because the plot is so different from her other books. It is the most underrated though. But Captain Wentworth’s arc is like one of THE BEST arcs out of ALL of the character arcs she ever wrote. *swoons again*

    1. YAAAAAY, ANOTHER CAPTAIN WENTWORTH FANGIRL. *swoons with you* I love him soooo much. <333 And YES, Persuasion seems to be seriously underrated! I absolutely ADORE the story and Anne and all the characters and just EVERYTHING about it. *dies*

  7. What a fun tag!

    I buy way too many books so that one answer would have been really hard to answer XD But be glad for your book shelf's sake that most the books you read are from the library.

    Captain Wentorth is great. Not my favorite of Austen's heroes, but still amazing in his own right XD

    1. I had a lot of fun doing it!!

      Yeah... I'm honestly glad I'm not into buying books. My poor shelf definitely wouldn't appreciate it, lol! XD

      Isn't it?! I LOVE him!

  8. The Blood of King series is amazing! Great choices!

    1. YESSSS, I love Blood of Kings!!! Thanks, Skye! <3


    Love this. <3

  10. I read Jill's second book this year too! Achan is sooo hard to forget ;D Such a fun post!

  11. Yay! You're back!! :D

    I NEED to read Persuasion! I have not had a good reading year so far (I mean, I've found a few great ones, but all of the not great ones that I've read is shocking.), and I know that Persuasion is going to be perfectly wonderful. Maybe after my two current reads. :)

    1. Oh, and isn't it crazy that Moby Dick is my dad and sisters favorite book of all time? XD I haven't read it but the story doesn't interest me at all.

    2. I'm excited to be posting again!! :D

      YESSSS, YOU REALLY DO!!! I'm so sorry you've had a less-than-stellar reading year thus far. :'( Hopefully Persuasion will break through that, though, and launch you into an AMAZING rest of the year, book-wise. :))

      Yeah... it didn't interest me at all. XD

  12. Oh my gosh, I NEEED to read the Blood of Kings trilogy!! It's been on my TBR for so long and I've heard so many good things about it. o_o




      I'm so excited!!!

  13. YESSS OKAY I'M SO EXCITED FOR FINALE AND THE TORCH-KEEPERS. I've actually been wondering about whether or not I should read The Man Who Was Thursday. It looks like a really intriguing, slightly mind-bendy concept, which I always enjoy!

    - Eleanor

    1. ME TOO. I'm nervous for Finale but still excited to see where the story goes. O_O

      It is ABSOLUTELY an intriguing and mind-bendy concept, so GO READ IT ASAP! :D

  14. I couldn't STAND Moby-Dick either. So much so, that I forgot half the details soon after I read it, and almost forgot the rest of them recently.

    *SCREAMS* A FELLOW PERSUASION AND CAPTAIN WENTWORTH FANGIRL. Seriously, this book doesn't get enough love. I love Captain Wentworth TO DEATH. The movies are also pretty good, by the way.

    Reading wise, it's going pretty well. I did find a new favorite author: BRIAN JACQUES. I found Mossflower in a thrift store and I bought it, and I read it cover to cover while on a long car trip. And OH MY GOSH. WHY IN THE WORLD HAVE I NOT FOUND THIS SERIES BEFORE.

    1. I'm pretty sure I forgot all the details too. That book is just NOT for me. *runs and hides*


      I'm so glad reading is going well for you! I don't think I've read anything by Brian Jacques, but now I think I'm going to have to... :D


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