Tag Archives: Book Tag

Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag!

It’s time for one of my favorite blog posts of the year–the Mid-Year Book Freak-Out tag, created by Earl Grey Books and Chami! I love this way of looking back on my reading over the first half of the year, because it helps me better analyze where I’m at and where I want to go with my reading over the coming months.

Oh, and I always give multiple answers for each question, because I like to be able to feature as many of the books I’ve loved as possible; I try not to repeat books for multiple prompts for the same reason. I’ve also tried to provide links to the books I’ve loved, so that you can check them out if they sound interesting. Let’s get started!

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2021

The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle EvansLegendborn by Tracy DeonnBlack Sun by Rebecca RoanhorseTender by Sofia SamatarWriters & Lovers by Lily KingPlain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth

Tied for best book of the year (so far) are all of my 5-star reads for the first half of 2021: The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans (short story collection), Legendborn by Tracy Deonn (contemporary YA fantasy), Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse (fantasy), Tender by Sofia Samatar (SFF short story collection), Writers & Lovers by Lily King (fiction), and Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth (horror).

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2021

Headliners by Lucy ParkerA Rogue of One's Own by Evie Dunmore

I know that romance series are more series in a looser sense of the word, but the truth remains that the only sequels I’ve loved so far this year have been in the romance genre. I really enjoyed Headliners by Lucy Parker, the 5th book in her contemporary romance London Celebrities series, and A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore, the 2nd book in her League of Extraordinary Women historical romance series.

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

A ​Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #4)Act Your Age, Eve Brown (The Brown Sisters, #3)The Galaxy, and the Ground Within (Wayfarers, #4)People We Meet on Vacation

I’m kind of shocked that I haven’t finished ACOSF (fantasy) or Eve Brown (contemporary romance) yet, tbh. To be fair, I have started both, I just somehow haven’t finished them? And the newest Becky Chambers (science fiction) and Emily Henry (contemporary romance) books are high priority for the next half of 2021.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

The Heart Principle (The Kiss Quotient, #3)Comfort Me With ApplesLight from Uncommon StarsAll's WellBattle Royal (Palace Insiders #1)A Marvellous Light (The Last Binding, #1)

SO MANY. I had a lot of trouble narrowing it down at all for this question, so I ended up with a top 6: The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang (contemporary romance), Comfort Me with Apples by Catherynne M. Valente (unknown genre), Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki (science fiction), All’s Well by Mona Awad (fiction), Battle Royal by Lucy Parker (contemporary romance) and A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske (fantasy).

5. Biggest disappointment

Fates and Furies by Lauren GroffAcross the Green Grass Fields (Wayward Children, #6)Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri ManiscalcoThe Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Probably the least fun question to answer. I felt let down by the hype surrounding Fates & Furies by Lauren Groff; less enamored by Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire than by any other book so far in the Wayward Children series; not a fan of the underdeveloped plot and characters of Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco; and frustrated by the poor decision-making of the characters of The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon.

6. Biggest surprise

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

I’ve been reading less and less YA in general, and YA fantasy in particular, over the years because I’ve been having a harder time finding favorites in the genre. That’s why even with the hype surrounding Legendborn I was blown away by how amazing it was! It honestly was so good that it’s managed to renew my faith in YA fantasy as a whole.

7. Favorite new author (Debut or new to you)

The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah JohnsonWinter's Orbit by Everina MaxwellThe Body Myth by Rheea MukherjeeFables & Other Lies by Claire Contreras

3 of my answers for this one are stellar debut novels: The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson (science fiction), Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell (science fiction romance), and The Body Myth by Rheea Mukherjee (contemporary fiction), while one is from a new-to-me romance author, Fables & Other Lies by Claire Contreras (contemporary Gothic fantasy romance)

8. Favorite fictional couples (technically, this prompt was favorite fictional crush, but I can’t think of any, so I figured I’d instead highlight some of my favorite fictional couples of the year)

The Queer Principles of Kit Webb by Cat SebastianConventionally Yours by Annabeth AlbertOne Last Stop by Casey McQuistonNeon Gods by Katee Robert

Kit and Percy from The Queer Principles of Kit Webb by Cat Sebastian (historical romance), Conrad and Alden from Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert (contemporary romance), August and Jane from One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston (contemporary romance) and Hades and Persephone from Neon Gods by Katee Robert (dark fantasy romance).

9. Newest favorite character

Blood Heir by Ilona AndrewsPlain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth

Ilona Andrews always gets me with character development. The Julie that we meet in Blood Heir is very different than the one that appeared as a young teen in the Kate Daniels series, but one that I’m absolutely loving as a badass protagonist in her own right. I also loved seeing past favorite characters from the series pop up in this book, which is the first book in Andrews’s newest follow-up series. And I also fell in love with the three heroines of Plain Bad Heroines, Audrey, Harper, and Merritt, who are all such fully realized characters who shine even more when they come in contact with each other on the page.

10. Book that made you cry

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi was so emotional and personal; I’d highly recommend it.

11. Book that made you happy

Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis HallSecond First Impressions by Sally ThorneThe Princess Trap by Talia Hibbert

Romance reads seem to fit best for this category. 3 contemporary romances that were just a joy to read for me were Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis Hall, Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne, and The Princess Trap by Talia Hibbert.

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

LikesSudden TravelerFlyaway by Kathleen JenningsFor the Wolf (Wilderwood, #1)

These covers are all super gorgeous in different ways! (I went with books I haven’t already featured in past questions for this one.)

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

The Stone GodsAll the Birds, SingingThe Vanishing HalfHow the Blessed Live

So far, I’m exactly halfway done with my top 10 2021 TBR. So in the “need to read before the end of 2021” category, these 5 books are my priorities. (Although there are about a zillion others I really want to get to.)

Bonus question! Most-read authors of 2021 (so far): This is a stat I started tracking last year and I find it really fun. Interestingly, at the halfway point of 2021, I’ve only read multiple books from 2 authors. I’m very interested to see how much that changes in the second half of the year, particularly with several authors I’ve already read from putting out new releases.

Lucy Parker – 3

Headliners (London Celebrities, #5)Act Like It (London Celebrities, #1)Pretty Face (London Celebrities, #2)

Carol Anderson – 2

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial DivideOne Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy

 

 

If you’ve done this tag, please feel free to link to yours below! I love seeing everyone’s answers.

 

End of the Year Book Tag/December TBR!

As 2020 winds down, I’ve been thinking a lot about the books I want to prioritize reading before the end of the year. Instead of a straightforward December TBR, I thought it would be more fun to combine it with the End of the Year book tag, which was created by Ariel Bissett.

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?/Do you have an autumnal book to help transition into the end of the year?

Melmoth

I’m currently about 60 pages into Melmoth by Sarah Perry, which has sort of fallish vibes and which I’ve put on pause for awhile since although I really like it I haven’t been quite in the right mood. But I’m going to make myself finish by the end of the year, since it’s on my Top 10 TBR for 2020 list.

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

Ruinsong

There are definitely fewer new book releases toward the end of the year, but I’m really intrigued by Ruinsong by Julia Ember, described as a “dark and lush LGBTQ+ romantic fantasy,” which actually comes out tomorrow.

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

Written in the StarsBridgerton: The Duke and I

There are two romance books I really want to finish before the end of the year; I was lucky enough to have been sent copies of both from the publisher. Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur is a contemporary F/F romance set during the holidays, so I think it will make a great December read, and The Duke and I by Julia Quinn is a historical romance adapted into a Netflix series that comes out on December 25th, so I really want to have finished the book before I watch the show.

A Tale for the Time Being

I’m also trying to get to another book from my top 10 2020 TBR list, A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, which has been sitting on my TBR shelf for way too long.

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?

Radiance

Yes! I think that Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente is a definite contender for favorite read of 2020, considering that her novel Deathless was sort of tied for my favorite read of 2019. Last year, several of my favorite books of the year were ones I read in December, so I’m cautiously optimistic.

Have you already started making reading plans for 2021?

Yes! I started working on ideas for my top 10 2021 TBR awhile ago, because it’s a list that I always enjoy making. I’m looking to choose 10 books that are a variety of genres and encompass 2020 releases as well as some backlist titles, but of course everything depends on what I read over the next few weeks as 2020 winds down. I’ve also been putting together lists of highly anticipated 2021 new releases; one of those posts should be up within the next few weeks.

Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag!

We’re halfway through the year (what) and that means it’s time for the Mid-Year Book Freak-Out tag, which was created several years ago by Ely and Chami.

I absolutely love doing this tag; I think it’s a great way to look back on what I’ve read over the past six months and consider where I need to focus my reading for the rest of the year. I usually give more than one answer for each question, because there are a LOT of books I want to talk about, and I try not to repeat the same books for different questions so that I can highlight more of them.

Let’s get started!

Best book you’ve read so far in 2020:

Bunny by Mona AwadPassage by Connie WillisKindred by Octavia E. ButlerPossessionThe SeasThe Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

OK, this is almost unfair, because in 2020 I read my NEW FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL TIME, Bunny by Mona Awad. I also read several other stellar 5-star reads, which I also wanted to include here (interestingly, all are from past favorite authors, while Bunny was from a new-to-me author): Passage by Connie Willis, Kindred by Octavia Butler, Possession by A. S. Byatt,  The Seas by Samantha Hunt, and The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020:

Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children, #5)Girl Gone Viral (Modern Love, #2)Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

I loved next-in-series books Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire (YA portal fantasy), Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai (contemporary romance), and Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert (contemporary romance).

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

Little EyesThe RegretsWriters & LoversThe Vanishing Half

SO MANY. I’m definitely behind on reading 2020 releases (not that you can ever really catch up!); four at the top of my list are Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin (weird fiction), The Regrets by Amy Bonnaffons (paranormal), Writers & Lovers by Lily King (fiction), and The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (historical fiction).

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year:

Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #2)Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky #1)Or What You WillTranscendent Kingdom

There are SO MANY fantastic-sounding books coming out in the second half of 2020. I’m particularly excited for Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, Or What You Will by Jo Walton, and Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi.

Biggest disappointment

Followers by Megan AngeloThe Last Book Party by Karen Dukess

I…did not like Followers. It sounded like a sharp, relevant commentary on society’s over-dependency on social media, but fell flat for me, especially with regard to characterization. And The Last Book Party just was not what I expected, particularly in terms of writing strength.

Biggest surprise

The Governess Game by Tessa DareLet It Shine by Alyssa Cole

My number one reading surprise for 2020 has been historical romance as a genre. I hadn’t been even remotely a historical romance reader until late 2019, when I read and really enjoyed Evie Dunmore’s Bringing Down the Duke. In 2020, I somehow found myself picking up much more historical romance, and enjoying nearly all of it (I’ve read 6 so far this year!). Tessa Dare has become a new favorite of mine, and I also loved Alyssa Cole’s Civil Rights-era romance novella Let it Shine ; I’m excited to pick up more from both of them in the near future.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

My other reading surprise so far this year was An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. I tend to avoid literary fiction books centered around marriages, because the topic just doesn’t grab me (I’ve been avoiding Lauren Groff’s lauded Fates & Furies for that reason also), but this book was fantastic, and I was gripped the entire way through.

Favorite new author (debut or new to you)

Queenie by Candice Carty-WilliamsThe Other World, It Whispers by Stephanie VictoireWhat Shines from It by Sara Rauch

I decided to go with favorite new debut authors for this question; I rated all of these books between 4 and 4.5 stars and would highly recommend them. Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams (contemporary fiction), The Other World, It Whispers by Stephanie Victoire (fabulism short story collection), and What Shines From It by Sara Rauch (contemporary short story collection).

Newest fictional crush

I don’t think I have a solid answer for this one! I did read a lot of romance during the first half of 2020, but none of the love interests really stand out.

Newest favorite character

Queenie by Candice Carty-WilliamsJuliet Takes a Breath by Gabby RiveraBunny by Mona Awad

OK, I’m going to have to repeat books for this category (this is the only one, I promise!). I LOVED the well-drawn and relatable protagonists of Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams, Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera, and Bunny by Mona Awad.

Book that made you cry

Passage by Connie Willis

This was an easy one. I SOBBED throughout the last third of so of Passage by Connie Willis; it was devastating and beautifully done.

Book that made you happy

Wolf Gone Wild by Juliette Cross

I really loved this first-in-series paranormal romance set in New Orleans; it was really everything I was looking for in the genre (Wolf Gone Wild by Juliette Cross).

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

Spectral EvidenceCatherine HouseSalt SlowBy Light We Knew Our Names

I love abstract covers with interesting colors and designs; these are four that I’ve hauled this year that I think are absolutely gorgeous.

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

HomegoingRadianceStamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in AmericaIn the Dream House: A Memoir

SO MANY BOOKS. But four I really want to prioritize are Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente, Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi, and In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado.

 

If you’ve done this tag, please link down below, because I’d love to see it! If not, feel free to comment any favorite reads so far for 2020.

Pokemon Go Book Tag

Pokemon-Go-Book-Tag

This adorable tag was created by Read at Midnight (https://readatmidnight.com/2016/07/18/pokemon-go-book-tag/) and all of the images are hers. It is seriously the cutest tag I have ever seen and I couldn’t resist!

Fun fact: I played Pokemon Yellow back when I had a Gameboy Color 🙂

pokemon-tag-01starters

My starter Pokemon is Squirtle because I love water Pokemon 🙂 but my starter books were definitely the Animorphs series by K.A. Applegate, which started my obsessive reading and love for science fiction. I read a lot of books before those, sure, but Animorphs was special.

Pokemon-Tag02Pikachu

Pride and Prejudice. I just do not get tired of that story. And Pikachu is adorable.

pokemon-tag-03-zubat

The Raven Boys…sorry everyone! I got really tired of the series at the beginning of book 3 😦

Pokemon-Tag-04-Ditto

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I didn’t expect to like it (typically I like more unique fantasy) but it just worked really well.

Pokemon-Tag-05-Snorlax

I typically like really long books, but they are definitely a huge time commitment. I haven’t picked up War and Peace yet for that reason…I have to be willing to devote all of my reading time for weeks and weeks and it’s hard to commit!

Pokemon-Tag06-Gengar

I’m trying to think of a book that kept me up in fear and I’m drawing a blank. But I do remember staying up until 3 a.m. ugly-crying to finish The Fault in Our Stars.

Pokemon-Tag07-NidokingQueen

Katniss and Peeta, probably. I really like their relationship and how they balance each other out.

Pokemon-Tag08-Rapidash

The Shatter Me series! Once I started I could not stop, and I love the romance in this series.

Pokemon-Tag09-Eevee

The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. I’ve read all of the spin-offs so far (the Andrea and Dali novellas, the short stories, the Curran POVs) and I heard a rumor there is going to be a Hugh-centric spin-off novel (which initially started as a joke) that I’ll totally pick up if/when it ever gets published. Ilona Andrews creates such rich worlds and lovable characters that it’s impossible not to want to read everything about them.

Pokemon-Tag14-Magikarp

The A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas. I hated the Throne of Glass series, so I was surprised how good her other books were.

Pokemon-Tag12-Legendary

All of the books I keep seeing by V.E. Schwab, mainly Vicious and A Darker Shade of Magic. I see these books EVERYWHERE and it seems like literally everyone has read them already; I was getting really tired of it but then they both went on sale on Book Outlet, and suddenly I’m really excited to finally read them.

Pokemon-Tag15Mew-MewTwo

I’d love to own all of the Penguin Clothbound Classics one day.

Pokemon-Tag10-Egg

I can’t wait to pick up Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi–I’ve heard it’s incredible, which is all the more impressive since it’s a debut novel.

Pokemon-Tag11-Lure-Module

I have a bunch: N.K. Jemisin, Ilona Andrews, Octavia Butler, Margaret Atwood…

Pokemon-Tag13-Server-Down

Last year we found out that the release date of White Hot, the sequel to Ilona Andrews’ Burn for Me, was pushed back by two years, so I’ve been pretty frustrated about that. I’m also anxiously awaiting The Doors of Stone by Patrick Rothfuss. And it feels like I’ve been waiting for The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin forever, but it finally comes out next month! 🙂

 

I tag….anyone who wants to do this tag!