I know I said in my last post that I would post something in celebration of my blog anniversary but alas, I found myself chasing after uni deadlines and the idea of posting was thrown out the window. I’m back now though and this is not exactly an anniversary celebration post but it is, however, my favorite tag of the year! I did this tag in 2018 and 2019 as well and you can check them out if you want to. Just PSA that my reading taste has evolved in the course of two (or three?) years and I’m not quite the same bookdragon as I was before.
Before I start the tag, here are some reading updates:
I actually surpassed my Goodreads reading challenge goal thanks to the 23 volumes of Kimetsu no Yaiba I devoured last month. I intend to increase my goal to 75 or more because I will be reading more manga and that will make it easier for me to fulfill this new higher goal. There are also a lot of books I intend to read in the following months and I just hope that reading slumps stay the hell away from me. I’m really hoping to make a dent on my TBR pile this time around (but then the world is full of clowns and one of them is me).
Now let’s get to the tag!
Best book you’ve read so far
There are quite a lot of books that tugged on my heartstrings but this book did more than just tug at my emotions. It snatched my heart away, stabbed it fifty times, and left it there to wither. The book in question is The Sword of Kaigen by M.L. Wang. IT’S A CRIMINALLY UNDERRATED MASTERPIECE Y’ALL NEED TO READ. It’s a long book but I didn’t really mind because I was so invested in the characters and the plot that I flew through the book in no time. I don’t have a detailed review of this book (maybe I should post one soon) but you can check my Goodreads review here. I wrote it with my emotions still raw so bear with all the implied sobbing.
Best sequel you’ve read so far
I have two answers to this one: Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor and Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi. I am a fan of these two authors and I will basically read everything they write even if it’s a simple grocery list. I loved Muse of Nightmares because it gave me the perfect escapism experience with its atmospheric and magical feels. I loved Silvered Serpents because I got to read about my chaotic children again (I believe in Enrique and Hypnos supremacy) and their new adventures. Silvered Serpents comes out on September 22 and you better read it with a strong heart because it will give you emotionsTM.
New release you haven’t read yet but want to
I have heard nothing but positive things about Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender and Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo. I’m planning to read more contemporary books this year and they’re at the top of my reading list. I CAN’T WAIT TO GET MY HEART BROKEN BY THESE BOOKS.
Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
I AM ONE PREDICTABLE DRAGON. Of course, my most anticipated release is The Burning God by R.F. Kuang. I have wanted to read it since I finished The Dragon Republic last year. It’s better to feel pain in one big swoop, you know but yeah I had no choice but to wait for another year which means HELLO PAIN MY OLD FRIEND. I’m just hardening my heart until its release on November 19 because I know all my faves are going to suffer. I need to be strong, okay??? (I will still end up crying I’m sure but a dragon can dream)
The honor goes to The Shadows between Us by Tricia Levenseller. I had to DNF this at 17% because my brain cells deserve better. This was really one of my most anticipated releases of the year but I ended up hating it so much. I found the characters too bland and annoying. The writing style was also bland and annoying. The execution of the plot was—yeah you guessed it right—BLAND AND ANNOYING. I’m sorry for the outburst. I rarely dislike a book this much but this book really tested my patience.
I already raved about this book in my last post but it deserves the attention so I’m going to mention it again: If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio. I guess to a certain degree I already expected to love this book because I’m a fan of thrillers and murder mysteries. What surprised me was that I loved it so hard that I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days. In fact, it still creeps up my mind until now. I should start charging brain rent tbh.
Favorite new author (debut or new to you)
AAHHHH IT’S ROSEANNE A. BROWN! I loved her debut A Song of Wraiths and Ruin so much. It’s the first book of a new fantasy series with great world-building, engaging writing style, and characters I will die for. Karina and Malik really gave the badass princess/soft boy dynamic I have been waiting for my whole life. The pining in this book? *chef’s kiss*
I won’t say any more about the book because this is a spoiler-free zone but PLEASE PICK IT UP IF YOU HAVEN’T YET. I’m excited to read more books by Roseanne A. Brown and you should too.
Newest fictional crush
I would be lying if I didn’t say Lazlo Strange from the Strange the Dreamer duology. He loves books. He’s sweet. He’s a dreamer. He loves passionately. This guy is basically my soul mate and it would be a real tragedy if I didn’t find somebody like him in this cruel world (okay I probably won’t find someone like him in this life but you get the point).
Newest favorite character
This year I started watching anime and reading manga again after a long long time. I don’t know how I survived a life without anime for years but now I’m finally correcting that mistake. One of my favorite characters is Nezuko from Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer). She’s adorable and is probably the best sister anyone could ever hope for. Her kicks can also behead demons and I love that for her.
Book that made you cry
Second mention! The Sword of Kaigen made me cry real hard. All the more reason for you to read this book. It’s nothing short of phenomenal.
Book that made you happy
I reread A Study in Charlotte to test if I would still love it several years after I first read it and I wasn’t disappointed. Sure, I noticed a lot of flaws but I loved it all the same. It made me happy to read about Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson again. This series is definitely not the best out there but I will sacrifice a limb for Charlotte and Jamie.
Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)
My most precious bookdragon sister Clo @cuppaclo (she is THE BEST) gifted me the Crooked Kingdom Collector’s Edition for my birthday and I can cry at how beautiful it is. I have yet to take proper pictures of the book (I’m too lazy for bookstagram) but I PROMISE I WILL DO IT SOON.
What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
*lets out a breath I didn’t know I was holding*
Here you go (excluding the books I already mentioned above):
Aside from these, I’m also planning to read all the books from Rick Riordan Presents. Told you I still have a lot of books I need to read.
Favorite book community member
I can’t choose because there are a lot of people in the book community who are very important to me. My indecisive brain could never.
Before I end this post I just want to address something. In my last post, I spoke very highly of Paul Krueger’s Steel Crow Saga. However, I recently learned about his harmful behavior towards other authors which led me to the decision to rescind my recommendation of Steel Crow Saga. I believe victims and will always stand with them. Moving forward, I will not be supporting Paul Krueger and his books. I also edited my previous post and removed Steel Crow Saga from it. My platform will always be a safe space for everyone and I don’t want to cause more hurt to the people he harassed by giving space to any of his books.
How’s your reading progress so far? What are your most anticipated releases for the rest of the year?