Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

It’s that time again! It’s the middle of the year and I’m freaking out for a whole bunch of reasons but, in this post specifically, it’s because of books.

So I checked my GR challenge from last year and, by mid-year 2020, I’d read 22 books (which is a lot more than I expected it to be, to be quite honest). And by mid-year this year, I’ve read 35… so… a win! I’m hoping that means it’ll be easier to answer these questions this year, but I guess we’ll see. So, without further ado, the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag!

Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2021

Surprisingly, one of the two books I’ve managed to narrow this down to (it’s physically impossible for me to pick just one) is the very first book I read this year. Not surprisingly, if you follow me on Twitter or if you’ve read the book, it’s Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. Ugh, I loved every aspect of this book, from the focus on identity and empowerment, to the romance, to the magic. I’ve apparently read 34 books since this one, but I just cannot get it out of my head.

Book two for this answer is Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim! I got obsessed with this book when I first read it, gave it a rave review (here) with the level of gushing I usually save for Marie Lu books, and then told everyone that would listen how truly incredible this book is… And then Hodder gave me an eARC of the sequel and I fangirled just as much, which leads us onto…

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2021

Surprise! It’s the beautiful and magical and incredible sequel to Spin the Dawn: Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim. But, also, The Block by Ben Oliver because book one was good but book two was incredible. By the way, my review for Unravel the Dusk is here and my review of The Block is here.

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet (But Want To)

So. Many. Possible. Answers. But I’m breaking my pattern of indecisiveness to say Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart. I won an ARC of this in a giveaway and I also have a sneaking suspicion that there’s one in a book box at my parents’ house… so I’m pretty sure the universe is telling me that I need to read this book. And I will. Hopefully soon.

Most Anticipated Release For the Second Part of the Year

When I drafted this tag, my answer included Once Upon a Broken Heart but I’ve since been blessed enough to read an eARC of this! I can confirm that it is 1000000% worth the hype. But anyway, my answer now is Steelstriker by Marie Lu because I can’t do a tag without including at least one Marie Lu book and because Skyhunter was incredible.

Biggest Disappointment

I’ve been pretty happy with most of the books I’ve read this year, but I guess Of Wicked Blood didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

Biggest Surprise

Love in Five Acts by Daniela Krien. This book is not my usual genre at all but I was gifted an ARC so I gave it a go, and I ended up really loving it! My review, if you’re interested, is here.

Favourite New Author

Elizabeth Lim! No explanation needed.

Newest Fictional Crush

It’s been a while since I had a new fictional crush, to be honest… but an eligible book boyfriend that I would recommend is Henry, from From Little Tokyo, With Love. My review of this adorable book can be found here.

Newest Favourite Character

Evangeline from Once Upon a Broken Heart!

Book That Made You Cry

You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao literally made me cry in the prologue… And again in Chapter 1, and so on.

Book That Made You Happy

Although you may not expect it from the title: The Sad Ghost Club. This book was so sweet and heart-warming and adorable that it makes me happy just thinking about it.

The Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year

I’m yet to read it, but I treated myself to the Indie Exclusive edition of Circus of Wonders and it’s one of the prettiest books I’ve ever seen. I literally screamed when I opened the package and saw the floral sprayed edges.

What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of The Year?

So many. But, to name a few:

Fire With Fire by Destiny Soria

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim

The Upper World by Femi Fadugba

These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan

Steelstriker by Marie Lu

I’d love to hear how your reading year’s going! Are you on track for your Goodreads Challenge (if you’re taking part)? And what’s your favourite book of 2021 so far?

Resolutions Book Tag!

So, yes, we’re halfway through January and, no, I did not have any New Years resolutions this year, but I saw this tag and couldn’t resist taking part! It’s a bookish twist on New Years resolutions and an excuse to talk about some really great books I’ve read recently, so I’m really all for it.

This was created by Mikaela Reads and you can check out her original post here!

Exercise More – name a book that has made you want to leap up out of your seat (for any reason)

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Turner made me want to jump up out of my seat in all the best ways. I wanted to scream and cry at some times and I wanted to leap up and cheer at others. I cannot fault this book at all and am honestly always looking for an excuse to talk about this to anyone who will listen.

Get Organised – a book with an exceptional plot

This one took me a while because, whilst a lot of the books I read have amazing plots, I read a lot of very character-driven stuff. I think one that just kept me turning the pages was Caraval by Stephanie Garber.

Learn A New Skill – a book which taught you something

Definitely Foreshadow by Nova Ren Suma and Emily XR Pan. I feel like I bring this book up at every opportunity as well, but here we are. Not only were the stories so interesting that they made me want to write, the essays and the prompts really helped with certain techniques and plotting.

Live Life To The Fullest – a book which inspired you

Shine by Jessica Jung, for sure. This book did not inspire me to become a kpop idol but the protagonist, Rachel, will stop at absolutely nothing to achieve her dreams. She is strong-willed, super talented and willing to look past personal problems to achieve her ultimate goal.

Save more money / spend less money – the most expensive book you’ve bought and was it worth it?

This is the most boring answer but the most expensive books I’ve bought are all textbooks (you probably aren’t interested but Major Problems in American History, I’m looking at you). They helped me get my degree but in terms of whether the books themselves were worth £60? Umm… probably not.

Spend More Time With Family and Friends – a character you would want to be best mates with

Pip from A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson! Her personality is so relatable but, on top of that, she seems super committed to her friends and just like a really fun person to be around.

Travel More – a book with a location you’d love to visit

Warcross by Marie Lu (I find a way to include a Marie Lu book in every tag I do and I will absolutely never stop). Not only do I want to visit Tokyo, I also want to visit dystopian, virtual-reality Tokyo.

Read More – a book you are desperate to read this year

Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart is my most anticipated read of 2021 and I am completely desperate to read it. I just got an ARC (praise the book gods) and will likely be dropping everything after writing this post to read it.

If you’re interested in doing this, consider yourself tagged!

I’d love to hear if you agree with my choices too, so let me know your thoughts in the comments😊