Mid Year Freak Out Tag

It’s that time again for the half-way check in! I cannot believe that 2021 is almost done. I’m so thankful that I have this blog to keep me mindful and give me the space to take a moment to look back on the books I’ve read and what I’ve been up to this year in the world of books and reading. I’m excited, as always, to share this with you readers. I hope you enjoy!

Anyways, here’s the tag!:

Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2021

The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost Kiss | Amy Noelle Parks

I can’t believe this was the first book I read in 2021! It’s such a cute YA romance, and probably one of my favorite YA romances of all time, really. I love the smart dialogue, the nerdiness of the characters, and just the general positive relationships and people in the book. I can’t recommend it enough, and I know I continually bring this book up on this blog, but whatever, it’s a 5-star for me!

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2021

When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain | Nghi Vo

I am really enjoying this series, in general (The Singing Hills Cycle), but I really enjoyed this one in particular. I think it’s a great follow-up to the first one. It’s a novella, but Vo manages to put so much into this story. It’s full of really great visual imagery and has really strong folktale vibes. It’s fantasy, but on the quiet side. I also love how diverse it is. I recommend it if you’re looking for a quick bite of a story. It also doesn’t really matter if you read this first, it stands well on its own.

A New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To

The Wolf and the Woodsman | Ava Reid

This book I’ve seen all over the place, and it does seem right up my ally – a fantasy/folklorish novel about people with powers. The blurb was enough to capture my attention, particularly that it’s inspired by Hungarian history and Jewish mythology. It sounds fascinating and magical and I’m just really looking for books that can take me on an escapist adventure. I’ve also heard a lot of good things about it, so I am looking forward to checking this one out!

Most Anticipated Release For the Second Half of the Year

The Heart Principle | Helen Hoang

I only just talked about this book in my Top 10 Tuesday post, but I am so looking forward to it! I love Hoang’s writing and her other two books have really wowed me. I’m just ready to return to this universe she has created and these characters. I don’t really read a lot of adult romance, but this series is probably one of the reasons why I still venture into this genre. This book sounds like another great addition to the Kiss Quotient series. I’m super excited to read it.

Biggest Disappointment

The Starless Sea | Erin Morgenstern

I think what was so disappointing about this book was just that I didn’t feel the same magic from it that I did from Morgenstern’s first book (The Night Circus). I know there’s no comparing the two because they truly are very different stories. But I just felt like Morgenstern was trying too hard with this one. I didn’t really enjoy the story as much as I was hoping, especially since it seems like it was made for book-lovers and librarians in mind. This was just an okay story, I didn’t particularly like any of the characters. It was definitely a let-down.

Biggest Surprise

Free Food for Millionaires | Min Jin Lee

I honestly wasn’t expecting to love this book as much as I do. I had read Lee’s Pachinko and enjoyed that one, but it didn’t grab me, so I wasn’t particularly expecting anything from this one. Well, as soon as I started reading it, I knew that this book was going to be really enjoyable to read. I was sucked in right away. I honestly don’t usually enjoy family-centered sagas, or literary fiction, really, but this book just had a wow-factor that I vibed with. I think the writing is probably why. It’s just so well written! It’s also interesting in that it has an omniscient narrator to it. You spend a lot of time with a few people, but you get perspectives from even minor characters. I hadn’t read a book like that in a while. I really recommend it.

Favorite New-to-You or Debut Author

Alice Oseman

I’ve really been enjoying Oseman’s Heartstopper series. I have been hearing good things about her for a while, but this year was when I finally picked up one of her books. I am definitely going to read some of her prose, next. I am shocked that she’s as young as she is and already has so many books under her belt! I look forward to reading more from her.

New Fictional Crush

Caleb Covic

Like I said, I love The Quantum Weirdness of an Almost Kiss and Caleb is suuuper cute. And awesome. And funny. He’s actually one of my favorite things about this book, so honestly, if he were a real person, I’d definitely have a crush on him.

New Favorite Character

Hwani | Forest of Stolen Girls – June Hur

I really like this book and part of that reason is because of Hwani. She might be young, but she knows what she wants and she goes and does it. In this case, her father, a detective, has gone missing while attempting to solve a case of girls gone missing from their backwoods hometown. Hwani, despite her station and being a girl, sneaks off to find him and to solve the case of these missing girls. She’s a really strong character, though she does have her flaws, and I just really enjoyed the dynamic between her and her sister. She’s a badass and I love her!

A Book That Made You Cry

The Called Me Number One | Bev Sellars

I don’t really cry often when reading, for any reason, so I will say that this book made my heart hurt. It’s such a sad story, how hundreds of thousands of Native and Indigenous children were forced to go to these boarding schools where any number of horrific things happened to them. Sellars’ memoir tells not just her experience, but that of her mother and grandmother, her brothers and uncles, within these schools. Abuses of all kinds, an enforced assimilation, and emotional trauma are all at play and it just makes you sad and angry that any government would do this to people, let alone children. It’s a dark spot on Canada’s and the US’s history. I’m glad I read this book, though it was a painful read.

A Book That Made You Happy

Song of the Court | Katy Farina

This is such a cute book! It’s a middle-grade graphic novel about a music-loving cat who is in a tough financial situation and has to sell her treasured family violin. She ends up learning to play it and has to make a difficult decision on whether to keep up with playing music or dealing with the up-keep of her family’s garden, which helps her pay the bills. I love the illustrations and the story is really heartwarming. It’s a fast-read, and I highly recommend it because it will definitely make you smile!

Favorite Book-to-Film Adaptation

I actually didn’t see anything that was a book-to-film adaptation this year. I mean, it’s been a funky year and I just haven’t seen very many movies period. I am looking forward to the next installment in the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series, but that hasn’t come out yet and I’ve only technically read the first book in that series. I also can’t seem to bring myself to watch the Shadow & Bone adaptation on Netflix. I just hated that series and I’m sad that they’ve twisted Six of Crows into that mess so that I can’t separate them. I probably will never watch it and just content myself with the books.

Favorite Post You’ve Published This Year

I really enjoyed putting together my Colorful Book Covers post for Top 10 Tuesdays. It was really fun going through book covers and writing up the post. It was artistic and that was one of the things that made it so much fun. If you haven’t seen the post yet, I recommend checking it out, since I put a lot of work into it and I love it!

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought/Received This Year, So Far

Fire Keeper’s Daughter | Angeline Boulley

I’ve heard such great things about this book, so when I was browsing my local independent bookstore, I came across it and decided to buy it. Not only do I think it’s a beautiful cover, it sounds absolutely amazing! It’s definitely the most beautiful book I’ve bought (so far!) this year. I hope to read it before the year is over!

What Book(s) Do You Need to Finish by the End of the Year?

This is just a taste of what I still need to read this year! As always, I have books I’m planning to read for my reading challenge prompts, but also ARCs that I’ve got sitting on my electronic bookshelf, waiting to be read. I’m looking forward to hitting up all of these!

Thoughts & Thanks

Another tag done, and one of my favorites to do. I’m looking forward to seeing what others say for their version of this tag! Let me know in the comments if you’ve done the tag and leave a link for me, I’d love to check yours out!

Though I like participating in tags, I’m bad at tagging people. My favorite thing is just to say, if you’ve read this post and like it, please consider yourself tagged! And feel free to share your Tag post in the comments so I can see what you picked.

As always, thank you for visiting and happy reading!

6 thoughts on “Mid Year Freak Out Tag

    1. I know, right!? I also love doing this tag. I love looking back at what I’ve read so far and really analyzing it. It’s fun at the end of the year, too, because I can compare and see if anything changes as far as favorite book/least favorite, etc.


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