I’ve always wanted to do one of these but I was never tagged and then when I was about to do it anyway my friend Laura tagged me! Thank you Laura!
1. Best book you read so far in 2020
I don’t know if this is a weird choice, but it definitely feels weird to me, someone who rarely reads this genre, to mention a nonfiction/memoir book as a favorite so far, especially since this is not a pleasant book to think about, and yet I can’t help but feel that the best book I’ve read so far this year has to be In The Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado.
2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020
I haven’t read a lot of sequels this year actually, and the ones I’ve read have all been around 4 star-ish except for In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire.
3. New releases you haven’t read yet, but want to
Nottingham: The True Story of Robyn Hood by Anna Burke released in January and I still haven’t been able to read it because I try to prioritize ARCs (and am incredibly behind on both…) but I really want to get to it this summer hopefully!
4. Most anticipated releases for the second half of the year
I always make separate posts for these but I chose three that I’m anticipating for very different reasons:
• Phoenix Extravagant by Yoon Ha Lee because I really want to read something by him but everything else scares me and I was promised this feels different from his other novels and I hope that means easier. Also, nonbinary lead and dragon automaton thing? Sounds too good.
• Queen of Volts by Amanda Foody because I’ve loved the first two books so far and book #2 has killed me. I still should either reread it or find a very detailed recap before reading the last book though.
• The Roommate by Rosie Danan for purely guilty pleasure reasons (oh my god they were roommates and he’s an porn star and they’re going to dismantle the porn industry. or something. actually I don’t think it will go That Deep but we’ll see)
5. Biggest disappointment
Ahh, I don’t think I’ve read a really bad book this year yet, if anything I’ve DNF’d a couple of ARCs because I found them average at best and I couldn’t get into them. But the one that left me the most disappointed was Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran, which I really wanted to love since it’s f/f fantasy. Unfortunately I found it a bit too intricate for my mood at the time I tried reading it, with not a lot of character depth.
6. Biggest surprise
It has to be Beauty Queens by Libba Bray! I definitely hoped I’d like it but I didn’t expect to find such a deep book under its hilarious surface. And for having been published in 2011 it’s incredibly diverse and woke. (my review)
7. Favorite new author
Ah, this answer would have been so easy two weeks ago, but unfortunately the recent accusations that have brought to the surface a long series of shitty authors has also affected how I have to reply to this. So I’m going to say, even if I’m not sure she could be called a favorite author per se, I plan to check out and at least try to get into all of Qǐng Jūn Mò Xiào’s books. She’s the writer of FGEP (I talk about it below) and I think one of the definitions you can give to “favorite author” is I want to read anything by them, which is the case for me here.
8. Newest fictional crush
I have a lot of fictional crushes in shows I’ve watched but since this tag is about books I guess I should stick to them? So I’m going to go with Gu Yiliang, the love interest from I Ship My Adversary x Me by PEPA (a book I talk about in a later answer), both because he’s a totally adorable himbo and because I imagine him in my head as Chris Wu, a Taiwanese actor who acted in one of my new favorite shows, History 3: Trapped — I talked about this show and others in this post so make sure to check it out if you’ve missed it. Since I have a huge crush on Chris Wu it makes sense that Gu Yiliang is also a new crush of mine!
9. Newest favorite character
I can’t choose between Tal (fucking Tal) from The Unspoken Name and Canthem from The Unconquered City. Actually Canthem could have fit in my fictional crush reply too! So Tal it is. We just love gay disasters in this house.
10. A book that made you cry
For this answer I definitely couldn’t choose a different book than Female General and Eldest Princess by Qǐng Jūn Mò Xiào. This is the book that gave me the most emotions this year, I laughed, cried for days, and keep tearing up whenever I think about it and the beautiful sapphic relationship in it.
11. A book that made you happy
I don’t know about happy (happy?? in this pandemic????) but definitely the one I’ve had the most fun with is I Ship My Adversary x Me by PEPA! It’s a Chinese webnovel about an actor finding the part of the fandom that ships him with his rival, while the two end up working on the same serial and get to know each other better. It’s just as fun and as full of hilarious misunderstandings as you can imagine it and I can’t get enough of it.
12. The most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year
I haven’t bought a lot of physical books, actually the only one is The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood and it’s the Goldsboro edition (the first one I’ve ever bought and probably the last gshghslfhsd) so it really is beautiful!
13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
I think everyone has done this at this point so I’m not tagging anyone directly but if you want to do it feel yourself tagged by me!