The “mid-year book freakout” tag has been going around the interwebs for a few years now, and we decided to join in the fun.
1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far
Tanya: Behold the Dreamers, Imbolo Mbue. I loved everything about this book on the immigrant experience (especially as I’m one also). The characters are unforgettable, the plot complex and emotionally charged, and the story will break your heart and make you laugh at the same time.
Kim: Orphan, Monster, Spy, Matt Killeen. I was hesitant to pick this one up because I’ve read so many WWII books and I’m just kind of done with them for awhile. However, the story line on this one seemed really promising and I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I expected to. I’ve been recommending it a lot.
2. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far
Tanya: I haven’t read any sequels, so I’m making this the best “first book in a series” that I’ve read so far … Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi – It gave me a reading hangover.
Kim: Crooked Kingdom, Leigh Bardugo I loved this so much! I really want more of these characters and their world.
3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To
Tanya: Unbury Carol, Josh Malerman. I don’t read a lot of new releases, but having read 2 of Malerman’ other books, I’m looking forward to getting my hands on this one.
Kim: LifeL1K3, Jay Kristoff. After loving The Illuminae Files, I was really excited to read something that Jay wrote on his own. I pre-ordered this one and it came out May 29 but I haven’t gotten to it yet.
4. Biggest Disappointment
Tanya: Sing Unburied Sing, Jesmyn Ward. I’m in the 1% who really didn’t care for this book. It’s definitely a beautifully written book, depressing and moving – but I just couldn’t get into it. I was bored and anxious for it to finish and seemed like there was no real plot.
Kim: Me Before You, JoJo Moyes. I’m not surprised by this. I don’t typically read contemporary books but this one has been buzzed about so much that I decided to pick it up when I needed a quick read. A good story but mostly underwhelming for me.
5. Biggest Surprise
Tanya: I am most surprised that most of my reading has been contemporary novels – not fantasy and mysteries as usual – and that I’ve read so many books published this year … normally I’m a backlist reader.
Kim: The Serpent King, Jeff Zentner. I can’t even remember what drew me to this book but it wasn’t at all what I expected. It’s mostly just the story of three teens who are facing the decision of what to do with their lives after they graduate. They’ve all had it rough and I found myself really intrigued by their perspective on things.
6. Most Beautiful Book Cover So Far This Year
Tanya: Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi. This is by far the best cover of the books I’ve read so far – as usual, most of the covers of the books are unremarkable – I definitely don’t pick books based on the cover design.
Kim: Orphan Island, Laurel Snyder. I think I just liked this one because it’s the most colorful of all the covers I’ve encountered this year.
7. Best Audiobook Narration
Tanya: The Outsider, Stephen King. Narrated by Will Patton. There are a lot of characters in this book and Paton did a phenomenal job of giving each character a unique voice and distinct characteristics. It comes as no surprise really as books made by Will Patton made our list of 7 Awesome Audiobook Narrations of 2016 and 5 (More) Audiobooks That Are Better Than The Book.
Kim: Salt to the Sea, Ruta Sepetys. I’m always a sucker for narration with an accent.
8. Shortest Book
Tanya: Binti, Nnedi Okorafor (96 pages). This is an award winning novella, and I can’t even describe how good it is. There are 3 books in the series, and I plan on reading them all.
Kim: Among the Hidden, Margaret Peterson Haddix (153 pages). I read this for book club. It was just okay for me.
9. Biggest Book
Tanya: The Outsider, Stephen King (561 pages). Many, many pages of awesomeness.
Kim: Obsidio, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (615 pages). Pages like you’ve never seen or read before. This series is killer.
So tell us – have you read any of the books we mentioned? Did you like or dislike? What’s your favorite book read this year so far?