The 2022 Mid-Year Check-In Tag

Friends, despite 2022 being the year I’ve broken monthly reading records, I have to admit that it’s been a pretty weird reading year. I’ve read a lot of great books—I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone for some, dove deeper into romance which brings me much joy and I’ve continued reading my fantasies. All that said, I still feel like I haven’t found the books that’ve wowed me so much that they’ll be in my Top 3 of the year. I mean, maybe I have but I don’t know. I guess this is me trying to say that I’ve been a little underwhelmed with the quality of books I’ve read this year but I know we still have half a year to go so I’m not giving up hope yet!

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Let’s Talk Bookish: 2022 Mid-Year Bookish/Blogging Goals Update

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme created by Rukky @Eternity Books and hosted by Aria @Book Nook Bits, and it’s where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! If you want to join in the bookish discussion fun, check out the July 2022 prompts!

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The 2021 Mid-Year Check-In Tag

I know we’ve already gone well over the mid-year mark by now but as I’ve been away for the last few months I decided that it’d be a good way to catch up on some of the things I’ve read this year!

I started the year off pretty strong in terms of marking what I’ve read and crossing off prompts for one of the challenges for the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge, but as the months rolled on, the more I read, the less I reviewed and the less I updated my books and challenges. When that started happening is when I decided to take my break and while I’ve been trying to catch up on updating things, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve forgotten a lot of what I’ve read! Oops… I know that a lot of the books I sped through were romances but I read through them so quickly I honestly can’t remember what I thought of them anymore. So I’ve just decided to leave off marking those off for now and I might come back to them later on.

Clearly, we’re off to a good start, right? 😂 All that being said, I don’t have fancy stats, charts and graphs and what’s marked on my Goodreads Reading Challenge isn’t the most accurate record of what I’ve read cos plenty of books are missing but… We’re rolling with it! (I feel like I’ve said that a lot these last few posts, haha!)

Best book you’ve read so far in 2021?

I thought it’d be a lot harder to choose but I am tied between Jade City and The Ones We’re Meant to Find. They’re both SFF though one is adult and the other is YA, and their stories couldn’t be more different either. But aside from fantastic writing, the characters were just *chefs kiss* — I love them so much!

Best sequel so far of 2020?

I haven’t read a lot of sequels this year but even so, I think Jade War would steal the show. THIS BOOK!!! 🥺😭

new release you haven’t read yet, but want to?

What haven’t I not read yet? 🤣 So much… So much… But one release I want to read very soon, as in this weekend soon, is She Who Became the Sun. I read these two amazing reviews by Lia and Jess and I’m sold!

Most anticipated release for the second half of 2020?

There are so many I don’t even know where to start! I don’t think I have one especially anticipated release but these are some I’m super excited for…

The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang
Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune
Beautiful World, Where Are You? by Sally Rooney
Battle Royal by Lucy Parker
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

biggest disappointment?

I know my choice for this is quite an unpopular opinion because everyone seems to have loved the book but… I was really disappointed with A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire (please don’t come for me)! I was bored for the majority of it and the haphazard world building + info dumps combined with Poppy’s incessant questioning monologue just really got under my skin in the worst way 🙈 It didn’t stop me from reading the third book though and I’m glad I did cos we finally get the strong Poppy we’ve been waiting for and I really enjoyed it!

biggest surprise?

I’m gonna go with the Murderbot Diaries. So many people love this series and I was (often) told that I’d love it too and they weren’t wrong, but I was surprised by just how much I love this whole series! Murderbot is such a well-written character and they have quickly become one of my all-time favourites! I’ve read all six books as a buddy read with Leslie @ Books are the New Black and it was so much fun!

Favourite new author (Debut or new to you)?

I think this cherry goes to Fonda Lee, author of The Green Bone Saga and two of my top favourite reads so far this year. I was so intimidated by the hype around these books but I’m so glad that I finally read them this year because they were mind blowing! I cannot put into words how much I loved them. I think this series is outside my comfort zone in many ways so I was not expecting to fall hard and fast. Fonda Lee’s world building, characters, and plot are just… The ultimate *chefs kiss*! 🤣

newest fictional crush?

This is easy but I’m kind of cheating a bit because it’s a book that I just read last week and obviously, it’s well past the mid-year point! But I honestly can’t think of anyone else right now because I loved Axel Bergman, our hero from With You Forever by Chloe Liese. If you love inclusive, heartwarming, steamy romances with great H/H, and meddling, boisterous and loveable families, you won’t want to miss this series!

Bonus crush: I also have to give a special shoutout to Rafe, our favourite very buff, very tall, and very tattooed male nanny.

newest favourite character?

I can’t choose one! I’ve read so many amazing characters this year but some favourites that come to mind:

Book that made you cry

As an emotional reader, books make me cry fairly often! 😂 Though perhaps out of all the books that did make me cry, the one that made me cry the longest/hardest was The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi. This one crushed me!

Book that made you happy?

Just as easily as I cry in books, it also doesn’t take much to make me laugh but I’ll go with Take A Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert. I adored Dani and Zafir—their banter was bang on and their chemistry was so fire! 😍 I had so much fun reading this book and it gave my heart all the happy feels 💜

favourite book to movie/tv adaptation that you saw this year?

So… I haven’t really watched many things this year? I still haven’t watched the popular adaptations like Shadow & Bone yet. I guess the only thing that comes to mind would be Fruits Basket—does that count? 😂 I think it was a manga first, right? I binged the first and second seasons on Netflix super fast!

favourite review you’ve written this year?

I’m really bad at talking up any of my posts on this blog so this was a bit of a struggle to pick… I’m sharing my review for The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He. This was a blog tour review but it was also the first review where I made a journal spread and I had so much fun with it 😍

I was also quite happy with my reviews for Silence is a Sense, The Death of Vivek Oji, and Shards of Earth!

most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)?

This has to be the Strange the Dreamer Box Set. Sadly though, the quality of the books aren’t half as good as I expected and considering what I paid to buy them, I was pretty disappointed. Still, the artwork is gorgeous and they’re a beautiful addition to my shelves!

Note: this picture is not mine—I found it on Google!

what books do you need to read by the end of the year?

I wouldn’t say I need to read any of these, except for the ARCs of course, but I do really want to read most of this smol sample of my TBR by the end of the year!

Well, that’s done! *phew* This post always takes me longer than I anticipate but I’m glad I did it! It’s made me realise that I haven’t read half as much as I thought I have, even with the “missing” books from my list! 🤣 Oh well… How are your reads going this year? What’ve been some of your favourites? Have you read any of the books I mentioned here?

The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag (2020)

Holy wow, I honestly can’t believe that it’s already mid-year. Time is a funny thing normally but in 2020 it’s just outrageous, as the year itself has been! The year got off to a pretty strong start despite quickly falling sick towards the end of January (it wasn’t corona!) after which everything basically spiralled downward and that’s when my reading really tanked. With all the negative energy that has been projected worldwide, it’s a miracle I managed to read anything at all, but I’m thankful I had the blog tours (the majority of which will no longer be mentioned!) to keep me motivated and reading. This year I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge to 100 books and despite it all, I think I’ve done quite well and I’m even 27 books ahead of schedule.

I’ve been seeing a lot of people do this tag lately and so of course I’m hopping on board too albeit a little late. I did my first mid-year freak out tag in 2019 and it was fun to look back and see what was and wasn’t making my hit list last year. So before I go off on another long-winded spiel, let’s check in to see what my 2020 reading is looking like right now!

Best book you’ve read so far in 2020?

This is probably (obviously) the hardest question. I am really torn because I’ve had a surprising number of amazing reads so far, but I think I’m going to pick Words in Deep Blue. This sent me on a wild rollercoaster of emotions and it was endlessly quotable. I think this is such an underrated gem and you can read my review here. Now I’m going to cheat a bit and mention my other top contenders: The Kinder Poison, The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones, Nevermoor and Vengeful.

Best sequel so far of 2020?

Surprising no one, I haven’t read many sequels so far this year but of the ones I’ve read I’m going to have to pick this great contemporary romance: The Guy on the Left. Let’s just say that after completely loving book one but really not loving the character who would be our hero in book two, I was shooketh to read it and love it perhaps even more than the first! If you like romance, second chances, slow burns, and some deliciously steamy encounters, do yourself a favour and pick this up!

new release you haven’t read yet, but want to?

Eherm… Now where do I even start? (I’ve got those *shame bells a la GoT* ringing in my head!) This hasn’t been a super great year for me reading outside of my blog tour reads so there are plenty to choose from, ha! But I’m going to go for Beach Read because 1) It was released on my birthday, 2) I’ve heard countless praises for it and 3) I’m hoping to read it this summer (loose use of the term as it’s perpetually summer in the tropics)!

Most anticipated release for the second half of 2020?

Another one that’s super difficult to narrow down because there are so many amazing releases and I can’t choose? But also, my latest TTT post was about this so you can check out my list of top ten most anticipated releases (although in reality there’s obviously plenty more)! I’m currently reading an eARC for one of my most anticipated reads: Unravel the Dusk, and though it’s still early days I’m loving it!

biggest disappointment?

It hurts me just as much as it might hurt you for me to say this but my biggest disappointment was The Toll, the third and final book of the amazing Arc of a Scythe series. I was just… Expecting more and it really fell short. While I did still enjoy what we were given, it wasn’t the series ending that I thought we would get and I feel the story deserved to end on a much better note! But anywho, those are just some of my thoughts but you can read all my thoughts in my review!

biggest surprise?

It’s for definitely going to be the Nevermoor series by Jessica Townsend. I wasn’t expecting to fall head over feet in love with a MG fantasy this year but wow, I loved the books in this series so much! If you’re looking for something that will make you nostalgic for your days reading Harry Potter as a kid this is the book you should read! But it also has so much more to offer. It has an incredible world, quirky and hilarious characters, a feisty MC in Morrigan Crow and a villain who I feel falls more on the morally grey scale (albeit the darker side) than on the pure evil scale? (maybe that’s just me though) TL;DR: Read it! You won’t regret it!

Favourite new author (Debut or new to you)?

I’m so torn! It’s so hard for me to choose because as I’m going to be repeating over and over again, I’ve read so many great books so far in 2020! But… If I had to choose I’d pick Jessica Townsend because her Nevermoor series is seriously going to be one of my all time favourites. Funny that, last year I picked Jane Harper, who is also an Aussie author like Jessica! The Aussie’s are hitting it big 😍

newest fictional crush?

Ugh why do I torture myself? Hmm… I can’t decide so I’m going to cheat and give you three of my new fictional crushes. I’m choosing Ryder from Only When It’s Us, Reid from Love Lettering, and Zach from Let’s Get Textual. If you’ve read any or all of these, I guess you might figure I have a type 🤣 All three had me swooning throughout these reads and I loved every minute of it!

newest favourite character?

I going with Maia Tamarin from Spin the Dawn for this one. I love her spirit and her fierce determination to see that her family suffers no more loss than they already have. She puts family first and works countless hours to achieve her goals and honestly, she’s such an admirable character. I’d often forget her age because she has a maturity to her that made her relatable to me.

I kind of want to cheat a little and given an honorary shout to Zahru from The Kinder Poison because she’s feisty, full of snark and although her naïveté sometimes drove me a little crazy, she was a fierce character (who can also talk to animals!) that brought me so much joy!

Book that made you cry?

The question should be: what book didn’t make me cry?! Hah. Kidding… Sort of!

No, but in all honesty the book that really hit me hard in the feels and made those angry/sad silent tears stream down my face was The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones. So relevant with everything that’s happening in America right now and I think a good introduction to difficult topics for younger readers written by an own voices author. Don’t let this one pass you by, friends! If you’re curious to know more, check out my review.

Book that made you happy?

Okay but all of the books I enjoyed made me happy in some kind of way? I’m a ‘laugher’ so it really doesn’t take much to make me laugh. I’ve laughed through a lot of the books that I’ve read this year but the most recent one was Walk of Shame. Although it wasn’t my favourite romcom I had a really good time laughing at and with our characters.

favourite book to movie/tv adaptation that you saw this year?

Okay this is kind of weird to admit but… I don’t think I’ve watched any book/movie/show adaptation this year? I actually can’t remember the last time I watched a movie/show I read the book of and it has also been a while since I’ve actually sat and watched something thanks to books and ACNH. But if there’s one show that I think will be a favourite (if I do get to watch it!) and it’s Normal People. The book has weirdly and unexpectedly become a favourite and I really like the look of the show!

favourite review you’ve written this year?

Hmm… This is tough but I think I’m going with my review for The Silence of Bones because I loved this book. It makes me sad that it’s one of the more underrated releases of 2020 because it honestly deserves so much more love and attention. You can tell how much work Hur put into that book with all the details about this dynastic period and it was fantastic! Check out my review for more about it but I really recommend it 😉

most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)?

I actually have a few new gorgeous books on my shelves but I’m going with The Mountains Sing. I got my copy personalised and signed by the author as she was living in Jakarta at the time of the release, and that’s always a treat! This story felt like non-fiction and I felt as if I was hearing it being told to me first hand. Immersive and powerful! Check out my review to learn more about it.

what books do you need to read by the end of the year?

Omg if I actually listed what books I “need” to read by the end of the year we might be here forever. So I’m just going to mention a few (cough*twenty*cough) that I’m very excited to get my grabby hands on and that I’m really hoping will get read by year end!

I had a lot more fun doing this post than I thought I would. Granted I didn’t give myself too much time to dwell on my answers and I think that made it easier for me to do! Looking forward to seeing how the rest of 2020 goes… Have you done a mid-year freak out tag?
How are you doing with your reading? At the end of the day what matters most is that you’re enjoying yourself!

The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag (2019)

Happy Saturday, book friends! How is everyone doing? It’s been a helluva week and now that the big conference and presentation is over, I’m feeling so drained of energy and mostly relieved that I survived! I’ve pretty much been off the blogosphere/bookstagram world this whole week and I came back a lot of awesome posts to catch up on but also fun book tags such as this one!

I wasn’t tagged for this but I thought I’d do it anyway because it looked fun and it’ll help me get back into the blogging flow! I can hardly believe it’s already THE END OF JUNE. I’m shook by how quickly this year has flown. In terms of reading, it’s been a pretty good year although I’m looking forward to reading many more amazing books in the latter half. I’ve pretty much already completed my 2019 Goodreads Challenge of 90 books (currently: 89/90) and I’ve already upped the number once (it was originally 75). I was wondering if I should up the number again, but I think I’ll just leave it now. Without further ado, here’s my answers for the 2019 mid-year book freak out tag!

Best book you’ve read so far in 2019?

This is a really tough pick. I have a Top 4 and I want to choose them all(?!) because I love them equally but for different reasons! But I think I will go for The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah because yeah, wow. You can read my review for it here.

Best sequel so far of 2019?

Okay, this is weird (and I also just realized it but) I haven’t actually read any sequels this year. There are a few that I’m dying to get to (eventually) but until now, I’ve been reading a lot of contemporary and historical fiction. Do graphic novels count though? Because if yes, then I’d definitely say Saga Vol. 9 by Brian K. Vaughan!

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to?

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim. This is another one with a lot of hype around it and I’m meant to be reading it right now as a buddy read, but I still haven’t got around to it!

Most anticipated release for the second half of 2019?

Oh, it is really SO HARD to choose just one but the first one that came to mind is The Toll (Arc of a Scythe #3) by Neal Shusterman. That epic cliffhanger of an ending in Thunderhead shook me and I’m so curious to find out where we pick up, what has happened since and how things are going to be fixed–if they’re at all fixable!

Biggest disappointment?

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. This was my second read of 2019 and it just really didn’t work for me. There was a lot of hype around it and I still see a lot of people praising it, but it just wasn’t my jam! While I thought the way the story was told was creative and different from anything else I’ve read, it was also confusing, and slightly boring at times. Also, so many questions left unanswered at the end!

Biggest surprise?

Normal People by Sally Rooney. I read Conversations with Friends, Rooney’s debut last year and I hated it. Like, I passionately disliked it. It’s written in Rooney’s distinctive style, and I enjoyed that, but it was just the characters that I found had no redeeming qualities. I couldn’t stand them and it frustrated me the more I read! I didn’t think I’d read Rooney again, but when Normal People came out and was a huge hit, FOMO (and #bookstagram) made me buy it. I’m so glad I did–I loved it! You can read my full review here.

Favorite new author (debut or new to you)?

Jane Harper. I’ve gone on about her in a couple of posts already but honestly, her atmospheric writing just blows me away. Also makes me miss Australia (even though I never lived in the outback lol)! You can read my review for her book The Dry here.

Newest fictional crush?

Quan from the Bride Test by Helen Hoang. I really hope that Helen Hoang writes his book next because he deserves it! He’s the typical ‘bad boy’ with the tattoos, and the bad ass bike, but he’s such a sweet, caring softie when it comes to family. I’m so ready to read an epic Quan story! You can read my review for Hoang’s fantastic second book here.

Newest favorite character?

Kya Clark aka The Marsh Girl from Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. The story of this girl was so heartbreaking but her strength and resilience in the face of all the adversity was amazing? Astounding? Simply mind blowing and I loved her character so much. She was so pure, and genuinely so good hearted and fiercely smart. Such a strong and amazing female lead! Review coming soon.

Book that made you cry?

Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys. This book gutted me. I was so scared that the ending would be so much worse than it already was, but I’m glad that Sepetys gave us a spark of light to hang on to. Books set during this period of history never ever fail to make me wail like a baby!

Book that made you happy?

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren. This book was so funny, sassy, and just all around awesome. Hazel is such a quirky character and to be honest I’m not sure who I had more of a crush on — her or Josh. They were adorable and I’m pretty sure that my heart didn’t stop singing throughout this one! You can read my full review here.

Favorite book to movie/tv adaptation that you saw this year?

I honestly haven’t watched many movie/tv adaptations this year, although I know that I want to! The only one that comes to mind is The Umbrella Academy on Netflix. When I watched it I had no idea it was written and directed by Gerard Way, who my bestie and I was lowkey obsessed with during my uni/emo days! I haven’t read the graphic novel though, but the show was pretty fun.

Favorite review you’ve written this year?

Hmm… Probably my review for Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I related to the MC so much and I loved the serendipitous storyline and discussions about fate/destiny. That made writing this review pretty easy but also fun. Plus, I included one of my favorite quotes. You can read my full review here.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)?

I’ve bought quite a few beautiful books this year and I’m so happy with all of them! I have to say though that The Binding by Bridget Collins is probably my most beautiful purchase. The jacket is already gorgeous but the naked cover and inside of the cover are also equally as beautiful.

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

There are so many books that I’d like to have read by the end of the year–literally the list goes on forever–but I definitely need to read Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

How has your reading year been so far? I’d love to see your answers for this book tag! If you’ve done it too, leave your link down in the comments below and let’s chat 2019 reading 🙂