Mid-Year Book Freakout | 2016

Hello everyone,
Summer break is over and I'm back at work. It's my first week in my new position as a school librarian and so far it's been uneventful. Then again it's just meetings and prep this week so we'll see how it goes when the students are back.

Anywho, I got a chance to catch up on my Goodreads challenge of reading 96 books this year and as of this moment I'm two books ahead! Yay! I've read 56 books and novellas so far so I thought I'd do the Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag (originally created by Chami and Ely) so I can highlight my favorites and my not-so-favorites.

Best book you’ve read so far in 2016.
This is hard since I read a number of 5-star books but I have to give it to Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum. It's definitely the best contemporary book I read this year--it was just so wonderful and heartfelt and I loved all of the characters and it made me cry and I love everything about it.

Best sequel you've read so far in 2016.
This one is a no-brainer: The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh. Admittedly, it wasn't as good as The Wrath and the Dawn, but it was an excellent conclusion to the duology. It's everything I'd want in a sequel.

New release you haven't read yet, but want to.
Ruined by Amy Tintera. I have really high hopes that I'm going to love this one. It's about a princess who lost her home, her parents were murdered, and her sister was kidnapped. So, she kills the fiance of the prince from the enemy kingdom, impersonates her, marries the prince, and plans her revenge. It sounds so good!

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.
I love, love, LOVE An Ember in the Ashes and I am dying to see what's next for Elias and Laia in A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir. I was lucky enough to get an early copy at ALA so I can't wait to dive in.

Biggest disappointment.
A lot of the people whose opinion I trust really loved Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven and I was expecting to love it too. Instead, it frustrated me and annoyed me. While it was a fast read plot- and pacing-wise I couldn't stand Cassie and Ethan and they really brought my rating and overall enjoyment down.

Biggest surprise.
Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt. I went in thinking it's going to be a typical, run-of-the-mill historical romance, but it ended up being a five-star read for me. The characters, especially the hero Val, the Duke of Montgomery who was really more of an anti-hero, and it was dark and I didn't quite know what to expect and what's going to happen next. My favorite historical romance so far (though, I don't know if I'm going to pick up anything that will top it) this year.

Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)
Sarina Bowen. She's a new to me author--I read her for the first time this year. I've only read one book by her so far, Bittersweet, but I love her voice and style. Also, romance/NA readers (even the most discriminating ones) whose opinion I trust really enjoy her books, so I am looking forward to reading Steadfast (the book after Bittersweet) and I've heard amazing things about her Ivy Years series so I'm looking forward to reading more by her.

Newest fictional crush. 
Dean Di-Laurentis. Garrett Graham was hard to top--he was my favorite and I loved him to pieces. He was everything I wanted in a new adult hero and I bemoan the fact that he's not real. And then I read The Score and got to know Dean Di-Laurentis who was so funny and sweet and I just fell in love with him, maybe even more than Garrett.

Newest favorite character.
Dom from The Skylighter by Becky Wallace. I love watching him grow from a carefree flirt to a responsible man and took on the role of a leader while his older brother was away. I'm hoping he'll get his own book in a spin-off series or duology.

Book that made you cry.
I already mentioned the two books that made me cry this year: Tell Me Three Things and The Rose and the Dagger.

Book that made you happy.
Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally. Any light contemporary YA with a strong romance make me happy (that's why I love reading them and read a lot of them) and Defending Taylor was no exception. Plus, I got to be back in Hundred Oaks again and revisit some characters I enjoyed previously.

Most beautiful book you've bought so far this year (or received).
I love the Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton cover. I love the teal and the gold with the desert kingdom silhouette in the background. It looks even better in real life with the shiny gold foil.

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
I cannot pick just one so here's a list. These are the five books I want to read by the end of the year:
-The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
-The Way Back to You by Michelle Andreani and Mindi Scott
-The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (I want to at least start the series.)
-The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
-Ruined by Amy Tintera

Let me know if we share similar answers or if you already read any of the books I mentioned.

Happy reading,
Michelle

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