(A little bit later than) Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

pile of books thrown down

This is what happens when you’re an indecisive human. You’re at first adamant you won’t be doing any mid year reading updates on your blog or booktube, but then suddenly, somehow, you end up doing two – one on each. I’ve been loving reading/watching everyone else’s updates, so I couldn’t resist really. I was tagged to do this one by Jess over at Read By Jess, and also the Mid Year Check In Tag by Jasmine over at Jasmine’s Reads, so I decided to spread them across the two platforms. Since the Freak Out tag is the longer one, it’s making its appearance on my blog! If you want to check out the other one too – some of the questions are similar but there are some different ones too! – you can click here. But, anyway, let’s have a lil mid year catch up!

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Fantasy & Myths | My favourite books of 2018 so far

High angle showing an assortment of my favourite books of 2018 so far - the covers hidden - and my travel journal for decoration

Apparently, I’ve become a harsher reviewer in 2018. I say this because now we’re in the 7th month of the year, and I haven’t rated any books 5 stars yet. None. Zero. Zilch. Why?? It’s true, I’m reluctant to give anything less than a newfound all-time fave 5 stars, but you’d figure that somewhere in the 35 books I’ve read so far this year, I’d have found one. It seems not.

Despite this, there are a few that have still stood out to me this year and have gotten close to those treasured 5 stars. I don’t think anyone will be surprised to see there’s a theme of fantasy and ancient history. But these four books are the ones currently in the running for my favourites of 2018…unless I miraculously discover a whole suitcase full of new favourites in the next 5 months between now and the end of the year. But here, (a little over) halfway through, we have my current highlights!

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Where am I at? | A look on my 2018 goals so far

Photo of me smiling, looking off to the left

So we’re halfway through the year, eh? It took me way too long to realise this, though while it seems to have surprised most people, it sounds about right to me. So much has happened and changed since the beginning of the year that I couldn’t even predict, so the months seem like a full year to me already.

That being said, 6 months ago I unintentionally made myself some goals for this year. By now they’re usually long forgotten, brushed into the attic of my mind only to be tentatively brought out again next year with a guilt shrug of “I tried” when we all know I really, really didn’t. And as I said before when so much has already changed this year…well, I’m intrigued to see how things have gone. So let’s have a little look.

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Penguin Moderns: Part 2 | The one where things are lost

Three Penguin Moderns - Till September Petronella by Jean Rhys, Africa's Tarnished Name by Chinua Achebe and The Missing Girl by Shirley Jackson

Back in March I introduced this new mini-review series for the Penguin Modern Classics, a collection of tiny pocket-sized modern classics sold for just £1. Having quite a few of these, I decided to review them in groups of three – and today we finally have the second post, the one where things are lost. Somehow – despite choosing them in a completely random order – I’ve managed to find a common theme for each post so far (the first one being “the death episode”) and today’s is very much about what is lost in their story. So we have The Missing Girl, the lost thing in this book being pretty obvious, Africa’s Tarnished Name, discussing the lost culture and accurate representation of Africa, and Till September Petronella, following women who feel lost in their worlds. What you will find, however, is my thoughts on these books below…

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All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth | Don’t let the rainbow cover deceive you

Inside cover of All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth, photo for the book review

Goodreads | Book Depository

Don’t let the rainbow cover deceive you; this book is far from the happy-go-lucky story you might expect. Following Charlie Calloway in her Junior year at high school, things gradually begin to turn serious as she’s offered the chance to join secret – though dangerous – exclusive society, dubbing her as one of the elite. When things turn darker and a family secret is unexpectedly involved, the mystery needs to unravel for Charlie to know where she stands.

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Scythe by Neal Shusterman | Utopia has its problems…

Scythe

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In a world where natural death has been eradicated and immortality is a standard expectation from life, Citra and Rowan are chosen as apprentice scythes – scythes being professional killers chosen to keep the population at bay. Thrown into a morbid world forever testing their morals, we learn about this new world order as we watch the two train for the hardest job of their lives.

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Stratford-Upon-Avon // Visiting Ol’ Shakespeare

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Though not being the most prolific reader of Shakespeare, I couldn’t resist a trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon when offered. As always, my love for literature and history found themselves closely tied, and walking around what used to be a medieval market town fascinated me to no end.

The town itself is stunning, full of beamed buildings for even the most standard shops, something I was glad to see because lord, how I hate modern buildings in comparison. Quaint, cobblestoned streets bustling with people going about their day to day lives, we probably couldn’t help looking like the tourist types the locals are no doubt used to by now.

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Favourite university reads | What a mix of eras

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“Canonical writing is born of an originality fused with tradition.”

– Harold Bloom

At long last – but seemingly all too soon – I’ve reached the end of my first year at university. A long summer awaits, and so it’s time to bid farewell to the reading list of first year and anticipate the list for next year. But before doing so, the favourites of the bunch await their highlight.

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State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury | Fantasy, politics, and a whole lot of grief

State of Sorrow

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A grief-stricken world void of colour and laughter. Stories that seem legendary, but were real eighteen years ago. A girl taking the chance she never realised she wanted. All of this – and more – you’ll find in State of Sorrow, and I guarantee you it’s worth the read.

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March // It’s the little things…

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So, I came to write a March summary and thought…what do I write about? Because I didn’t do much that would typically be considered worth writing about. I had no events to speak of, no new plans to get excited about. It was just a month of uni work really.

But to me, March ended up being a month that meant the world to me, because it was full of all the little things.

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