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Midyear Favorites Roundup

Since we’re nearly halfway through the year, I thought I’d do a quick roundup of my favorite reads of the year so far. And since I’m terribly indecisive, I ended up with top 6 new-to-me and top 6 rereads.

New to Me:

  1. The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo
  2. The Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison
  3. A Master of Djinn by P. Djeli Clark
  4. The Queer Principles of Kit Webb by Cat Sebastian
  5. One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
  6. Broken (in the Best Possible Way) by Jenny Lawson

Hmmm. Now that I’m thinking about it, these are all very queer.

  • Chosen and the Beautiful – bisexual lead, queer and straight relationships, cast of queer characters (who are also terrible people)
  • Witness for the Dead – gay lead, some brief allusions to past relationship and hints of potential future relationship
  • Master of Djinn – lesbian lead and relationship
  • Queer Principles of Kit Webb – gay lead and relationship
  • One Last Stop – bisexual lead and lesbian relationship, cast of queer characters
  • Broken – OK, this one isn’t queer so much as about mental illness (depression and anxiety mostly)


  1. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
  2. The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
  3. The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley
  4. Ashlords by Scott Reintgen
  5. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynn-Jones
  6. Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

ARC Review: Blood Sworn by Scott Reintgen

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I LOVED this book. It was so unexpected! Told once again from alternating POVs of Pippa, Adrian, and Imelda – an Ashlord, a Longhand, and a Dividian – the story is no longer about winning the races, but rather of winning the war. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but there was a major twist around 25% in that left me on the edge of my seat for the entire remainder of the book. The ending also brings everything back around to echo the beginning of Ashlords as it wraps up which is very satisfying.

The start of the story has Pippa leading the Ashlord army, Adrian leading the Longhands, and Imelda accompanying Bastian and his crew on missions around the edges of the war. At first, everything they learned (especially Pippa) during the Races seems to have been shoved to the backs of their minds, but with the reappearance of Quinn, everything changes and you really get to see all three of them shine as it becomes very clear that they’ve grown since entering the Races.

I also loved each of their POVs and thought the moments chosen to switch were perfect. And there were some great moments of sleight-of-hand and distraction in this book, where they mislead both the characters around them and sometimes even the reader. It was very well done.

I’ve read 21 books so far this year and this one is absolutely my favorite so far.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children’s for providing an e-arc for review.

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