Hello Hello! How are you?

I’m probably a bit late to the bandwagon, but I’ve seen this tag going around on blogs and on BookTube lately, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, so today I’m finally going to do it!

I actually can’t believe it’s already the first week of July, where the heck did this year go? I mean, it’s not a bad thing when you think of everything that has happened so far this year, but still, it’s like someone has grabbed 2020 and ran off with it.

I honestly didn’t know how the start of my year would go, I was doing my last semester abroad in Stirling, Scotland and I hadn’t yet started my blog, so I didn’t want to give myself that much pressure to read, but then really quickly, I decided that I wanted to make a blog, and then the lockdown happened and I apparently got my reading hat on because I’ve read so many books this year so far.

I also can’t believe I started my blog just over 5 months ago and I’m so surprised at how much my blog and Twitter has grown in that time, thank you so much to everyone who follows me! I need to give Instagram a better go again, but for today, we are going to talk about the first half of the year and the books I’ve read!

I’m going to go over my stats and ratings at the end of this post, but I’m so surprised at how many books I’ve read so far this year and a few months I read a scary amount of books, I have no idea how that happened, but I think I deserve a pat on the back.

Now it’s time for the questions!!

  • What is the best book you’ve read so far in 2020?

This is already starting off so hard argh! I’m going to go delve in the Goodreads Read shelf because I don’t really know.

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, #1)

I’ve got a few favourites actually, but it’s really hard for me to pick, and I’ll probably end up with 5, so I’m going to say A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. I was umming and aahing over a few but I saw that cover and thought “yep, I really liked you” aha. I read this a few weeks ago actually and I loved it from start to finish, it was everything I’ve ever wanted in a mystery and it has started a love of YA mystery. It was just so great and I highly recommend it.

  • What is the best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020?

I’ve started a few series this year, and I’ve continued only a couple, but the two sequels that stand out for me are Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness and Promises Forged by Devri Walls.

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, #2)

I read A Discovery of Witches, the first book in the All Souls Trilogy last year and it was actually my favourite book of the year, so I was so happy to get to this one during the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon in April and I absolutely adored it, I need to reread the last chapters before I pick up the third book, but I’m so excited to finish this series. If you love vampires and witches I definitely recommend.

Promises Forged (Venators #2)

And I started the Venators series a few months ago thanks to Dave from @The_WriteReads who was hosting the blog tour and I loved it, so I was so happy to be back for the second book too, which was just as good, if not better and I can only imagine these books will get better and better as they go.

  • Is there a new release that you haven’t read yet, but you want to?
Dark and Deepest Red

Euh.. yes, loads, but I think for this one I’m going to go with Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore, I’ve had this on my anticipated releases list and still haven’t gotten around to getting myself a copy, but as soon as I heard about it I knew it was a book I wanted to try.

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1)

I also think I have to add House of Earth and Bloody by Sarah J. Maas, I wouldn’t be a Maas fan if I didn’t. I got this book on the day it was released back in March, the Waterstones special edition is amazing. I started it, but then put it down because I knew I was going to need to invest a whole day in this one, so I’m just waiting for that day to come, but I bet it’s going to be soon!

  • What is you most anticipated release for the second half of the year?
Cemetery Boys

I think I have to go with Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas for this question. This one was pushed back during the lockdown, and I actually won this in a giveaway, so I’m just waiting for it to be released and to receive my preorder, but I am so excited for this book. I just can’t wait to finally get it, I’m sure it’s going to be amazing.

Midnight Sun (Twilight, #5)

And this is going to be VERY controversial and please don’t hate me, but I have to say Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer. I loved the Twilight series when I read it when I was a teenager and that love has stayed with me, I can’t help it aha! I’m currently rereading the books with Noly for the August release of Edward’s book and I’m excited to finally be able to read it!

  • What is your biggest disappointment so far?
Harrow Lake

This is going to be a really unpopular opinion, but I think that I’m not the only one to have this book for this question, it has to be Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis. I read this for one of Dave’s (@The_WriteReads) tours and I was expecting to be so scared and creeped out, but it didn’t do anything for me, I liked the writing style, but other than that, nothing really. I worked out the whole plot twist from about 30% in and had so many eye-roll moments, it wasn’t a book for me, unfortunately.

  • What is your biggest surprise so far?

I can think of a few, so I’ll tell you about all of them.

Obsidian (Lux #1)

The first book I read this year was Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Now, I knew I was going to enjoy this book, but seriously, this book grabbed me and didn’t let me go until the last page, I read it in one sitting and I desperately need to continue this series because it was so GOOD. It gave me the same happy vibes as when I binge-read Twilight and ACOTAR, and I just loved it!

Hold Your Tongue (DI Eve Hunter, #1)

Secondly, Hold your Tongue by Deborah Masson. Danni from For Books Sake recommended this book to me for one of the prompts in the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon and I was so surprised. I haven’t read that many mystery books lately because I only really enjoy a select few, and this one was definitely one of them, as was A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson and that one really surprised me too.

The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #1)

And finally, I’m going to say The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend. It was such a great book and I was not expecting any of the things that happened, it surprised me so much! I’m so glad I read it. Typically, now I can think of about 5 more, but I think I’ll leave it at that!

  • Who is your favourite new to you or debut author?

This is such a hard question, and a few come to mind, so I’m going to list them all because I’m so indecisive!

  • Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Hazel Prior
  • Devri Walls
  • Anca Antoci
  • Seanan McGuire
  • Beth Duke
  • Alice Oseman
  • Anna James
  • Jessica Townsend
  • And Holly Jackson – and what do you know, they’re all women! 🎉

  • Who is your new fictional crush?

He isn’t new, because I already “met” him last year, but I have to say Matthew from the All Souls Trilogy because he is like a weird different version of Edward from Twilight and my 13-year-old heart was so happy reading this series.

  • Who is your new favourite character?

Another tricky question, and again, I’m going to have to make a list because I might have a few!

  • Alex Stern from Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
  • Rune from Venators series by Devri Walls
  • The Grace Twins from Demons of the Ocean by Justin Somper
  • Tilly and Oskar (they’re a team, you can’t split them up okay!) from the Pages and Co series by Anna James
  • Simon from City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (I don’t know why, but I really liked him)
  • Pippa Fitz-Amobi from A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
  • And Jupiter North from The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

  • What is a book that made you cry?
Away with the Penguins

The last time I properly cried while reading a book was last year, but the only book I can remember tearing up while reading was Away With the Penguins by Hazel Prior. I really don’t cry easily in books, but this one had me on the verge at one point and its such a beautiful story, I love it with my whole heart.

  • What is a book that made you happy?
Tapestry: A Book Club Recommendation!

Tapestry by Beth Duke is one that comes to mind, I loved it, it was so special to me because of the topics of ancestry and I was so interested in the Native American heritage that was the focus in this book. The whole story was just lovely and I was smiling throughout.

And I think that Tilly and the Bookwanderers and Tilly and the Lost Fairy Tales by Anne James – the first two books in the Pages and Co series – also have to go on this list because they were both so delightful and you can’t help but smile while reading them.

  • What is the most beautiful book you’ve bought or received this year?

I can think of two, and I heard of both thanks to my lovely blogger friends in @The_WriteReads gang, you know who you are you weirdos!

The Ten Thousand Doors of January

I bought The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow because multiple members of this beloved group kept telling me about it (sorry I haven’t gotten around to it yet!) and it’s just such a beautiful book. I love flowers, so this was definitely a cover-buy for me.

The Animals at Lockwood Manor

And my lovely friend @AndOnSheReads sent me a copy of The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey after agaiN the same lovely people spoke about it multiple times. I actually nearly cried when I got it in the post because I wanted it so much and it made my heart so happy. I promise to get to this one this year, and that cover is absolutely gorgeous!

  • What books do you want to read by the end of the year?

Lol, talk about making your girl accountable. I have hundreds of books I want to read this year, but to save you all a post that will be as long as France is big, I’ll just put up covers of a few I really want to read!

2020 STATS SO FAR

N° of books read so far: 86 books

N° of pages read so far: 25,482 pages

January: 4 books – 1,045 pages

February: 6 books – 1,794 pages

March: 10 books – 2,653 pages

April: 31 books – 8,358 pages

May: 19 books – 6,045 pages

June: 16 books – 5,587 pages

2020 RATINGS SO FAR

3 stars: 6 books

3.5 stars: 7 books

4 stars: 43 books

4.5 stars: 9 books

5 stars: 21 books

Average rating: 4.18⭐

That’s all for now, I loved doing this post and thinking about all the books I read this year so far. I still have loads I want to read, but I’m optimistic that with some luck and motivation, I can get around to them! I hope you enjoyed this post, see you soon, stay safe,

Ellie xx

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25 Comments

  1. Yess to both promises forged and shadow of night!!! ❤️I’m doing this tag myself, I wanted to do it last year but it was to late in the year🤣

  2. I just finished Crescent City it was good. Once I finish Sarah J Maas’s other books I think I’m going to check out Venators as that sounds interesting.
    ♥ Mae

  3. Great answers, Ellie! I’m doing this tag for the first time this year too and it’s a lot of fun. You have read such an impressive amount of books this year and 4.18 is an amazing average rating! I’m hoping to read A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder this month, so it’s great to hear that you like it so much. I’m sure you’ll love The Ten Thousand Doors of January; it’s brilliant!

    1. Thank you so much, I’ve got your tag starred in my browser so I can catch up with it soon! I’m so proud of myself, thank you, I’m glad it’s so high, I’m really looking forward to reading The Ten Thousand Doors of January and I look forward to hearing your thoughts for A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, I loved it so much!! 🙂

  4. Wow! You had a great April! Also 21 5 stars reads is awesome! Great first half of the year!

    1. You definitely need to read it, it’s beautiful, and whimsical, meaningful and just lovely. Thank you! 🙂

  5. I loved reading your answers Ellie! And I really loved seeing your reading stats at the end of the post too

  6. Wundersmith is on my tbr too after reading the first book last month! I hope you enjoy House of Earth and Blood when you get to it, it was my first Sarah J Maas book and I loved it!!

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