Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag

We’re (almost) halfway through 2022, and that means it’s time for a book freakout!

Wait. No. It’s time for the mid-year book freakout tag, which is a thing that a lot of booktubers do over on YouTube and that I sometimes do here on my blog. If you’re curious, here are the links for 2021, 2020, and 2018.

Now let’s get to the questions…

Best book you’ve read so far.

I just made a “First Half Faves” spread for my reading journal with my favorite book I’ve read from each month so far this year. June isn’t over, yet. So, for the purposes of this post, I’m picking between my faves from January through May. They were all really good books, and it was really hard to pick just one, but I think I’m going with Legendborn by Tracy Deonn, because I feel like I’m constantly referencing it.

Work in-progress reading journal spread

Best sequel you’ve read so far.

No surprise here. Definitely Miss Moriarty, I Presume? by Sherry Thomas. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know I love this Charlotte Holmes series.

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

Hahahahaha sob. Yeah. So many. BUT! I am very proud to report that I HAVE read my answer to this question from last year’s post (Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa), and that turned out to be one of my “First Half Faves.” So no pressure to this year’s selection, which is… Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree. I keep seeing this book everywhere, so I really want to see what all the hype is about. Plus, it sounds like a cute cozy fantasy novel.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

There are so many good books coming out in the second half of 2022! How am I supposed to pick just one? I’m really excited about Bloodmarked (book two in the Legendborn series) and Seasparrow (another new book set in the Graceling world). But really, the one that I’m probably going to drop everything and read is Ocean’s Echo by Everina Maxwell. Winter’s Orbit (set in the same world but with different characters) was one of my favorite books I read last year, and Ocean’s Echo has mind readers working for a space military that have to fake a relationship and end a war. I mean… I don’t think it’s possible to engineer a more perfect premise for me.

Biggest disappointment.

I think I have to go with Aurora’s End by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff for this one. I didn’t have super high expectations going in. The first two books in the series were fun reads, and I mostly just wanted to see how the story ended. But this book, which should have been a fast-paced read, just dragged for me.

Biggest surprise.

Paladin’s Grace! I had no idea this was going to be such a delightful fantasy romance mystery novel! And featuring older protagonists, too! If you want to know more of my thoughts on this one, I gushed about it in this post.

Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)

My favorite debut author is the author of my favorite book I’ve read so far this year, Tracy Deonn. I’m still blown away by the fact that Legendborn was her debut novel! Wow. Just, wow.

Newest fictional crush.

Look. I know I’m basically a broken record at this point, but it has to be said. Sel from Legendborn. Also, have you seen the cover of Bloodmarked? So excited.

Newest favorite character.

I had to think about this one for a while. Then it dawned on me. The crew from The Atlas Six. I think Nico and Parisa are my favorites.

Book that made you cry.

Probably Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki. I went into this book expecting a space opera for some reason, but it turned out to be a contemporary sci-fantasy novel with heartbreaking characters and a whole lot of violin geekery. I loved it.

Book that made you happy.

Definitely The Bounce Back by Addie Woolridge (who also earned this spot last year with her first book, The Checklist). There’s just something about reading a contemporary romance written by a friend that feels like getting to hang out with them while they tell you a story. It makes me happy.

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

I don’t know if this book is as pretty in print, but I love the cover of The Elf Tangent by Lindsey Buroker. (Which also happens to be what I’m currently reading.)

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

All of them? But, seriously? At the very least, I want to finish the ones I’ve already started reading. It’s a low bar. I’ll admit it. But right now I have like seven books in-progress…

I also want to read all the Hugo Award nominees for best novel and best novella that I haven’t read yet. I’m working on a TBR post about that. And a TBR spread for my reading journal. I’ll post more about that soon.

Until then, here’s a sum up of my mid-year book freakout tag books:

2022 Midyear Book Freakout Booklist

If you did this tag, let me know in the comments. Or tell me your favorite book you read in the first half of 2022 so I can add it to my TBR if I haven’t read it already!

Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag

Taking a quick break to do the Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag… This is a thing that happens over on BookTube, but I’m going to add my contribution over here on my blog.

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2021: The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson
2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2021: Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells (The Murderbot Diaries #6)
3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to: Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa
4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year: Never Saw You Coming by Erin Hahn
5. Biggest disappointment: Poseidon’s Wake by Alastair Reynolds
6. Biggest surprise: Master of One by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett
7. Favorite new (or new to you) author: Micaiah Johnson
8. Newest fictional crush: Stoker from the Veronica Speedwell series
9. Newest favorite character: the telepathic fox from Winterkeep by Kirstin Cashore
10. Book that made you cry: More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn
11. Book that made you happy: The Checklist by Addie Woolridge
12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received): I am still waiting on my Fae Crate special edition of Son of the Storm, and I expect that is going to be pretty fantastic. However, since I haven’t received it yet, I’m going to have to go with the special edition hardcover I purchased of The Space Between Worlds (see photo below).
13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year? I haven’t made much progress on my “21 for 2021” TBR, yet (3/21 books read). So I should probably make an effort to read a few more of those before the end of the year…

What was the best book you’ve read so far this year? Let me know in the comments.

Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag

Taking a quick break from writing to do the Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag. This is a thing that happens over on BookTube, but I’m going to add my contribution over here on my blog.

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2020: A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine — I’ve talked about this already, but this book is really well written, I really enjoyed the characters and the plot and the world. I highly recommend it for anyone who loves Ursula K. LeGuin, especially Left Hand of Darkness.
2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020: The Reluctant Queen by Sarah Beth Durst — I love the new character(s) introduced in this sequel. I was a little skeptical of the ending until I read book three. Now I can safely say this was the best sequel I’ve read so far this year.
3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to: Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim — This is a Count of Monte Cristo retelling, and that book was a surprise favorite when I read it a couple years ago, so I’m excited to see how I like this retelling.
4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year: Seven Devils by Laura Lam — This book sounds so awesome. I’ve never read anything by this author, but I am very excited for this book.
5. Biggest disappointment: Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston — I’d heard so many gushes and squees about this book before reading it. I liked it but didn’t love it. I think I was expecting too much.
6. Biggest surprise: The Last Emperox by John Scalzi — Not a surprise that I liked it, but tons of surprises in the story itself. There were definitely some bold twists in this book that I did not see coming.
7. Favorite new (or new to you) author: Ilona Andrews — I’m now caught up on their Innkeeper series, and I definitely want to try reading some other books by them.
8. Newest fictional crush: Jackson from Wrong to Need You by Alisha Rai
9. Newest favorite character: Maud from the Sweep of the Blade by Ilona Andrews
10. Book that made you cry: Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy — I cried when I watched the movie, and I cried again when I read the book, even though I knew what was coming.
11. Book that made you happy: Sweep of the Blade by Ilona Andrews — I love Maud and Arland!
12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received): Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie
13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year? Everything I’ve bought but haven’t read yet, specifically:

Let me know in the comments if any of these books are on your TBR, or what was your favorite of the books you’ve read so far in 2020?

Mid-year Book Freakout Tag

This post is what happens when I’m supposed to be writing my newsletter, but instead start watching BookTube videos and see a new tag video. In this case, you can thank Thoughts on Tomes because her video inspired me to write up my responses to the “Mid-year Book Freakout Tag.”

Questions and responses:

  1. Best book I’ve read so far this year:
    • The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera — I loved the setting and the world building. I loved the framing of the story, starting in present day and flashing back to the past for long stretches written as a letter from one woman to another. I loved the ending. When I finished it, I immediately wanted to go back and start reading it over again. Luckily, there’s a prequel coming out later this year.
  2. Best sequel I’ve read so far this year:
    • The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin — No surprise here. Excellent ending to a fantastic series. My fingers are crossed that she wins the Hugo for best novel for this one as well.
  3. New release I haven’t read yet:
    • The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton — I pre-ordered this, but for a variety of reasons, haven’t had a chance to read it yet. I will definitely be reading this before the end of the year.
  4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year:
    • Vengeful by V. E. Schwab — Vicious is, hands down, my favorite book by Victoria Schwab. So, when I heard there was going to be a sequel, I may have squealed and flailed a bit. I’ve had Vengeful on pre-order for months. Of all the new releases coming out in the second half of this year, this is the one I’m most likely to drop everything to read immediately.
  5. Biggest disappointment so far this year:
    • Through the Evil Days by Julia Spencer-Fleming — If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that this book is part of a series of mysteries that take place in the Adirondacks. I’ve been reading one per year for the past few years on my annual vacation to “Camp” in the Adirondacks. I thought this one was the last in the series, but the ending appears to be a cliffhanger, leaving room for more. The weird thing is, this book was published in 2013, and it’s unclear if there will be any more books in this series, despite the ending. I’ve really enjoyed many of the books in this series, but this one, for a variety of reasons including what I felt were inconsistent characterizations and the previously mentioned cliffhanger ending, left me incredibly disappointed.
  6. Biggest surprise so far this year:
    • Definitely how much I enjoyed The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. I listened to this on audiobook, which is about 47 hours long. It’s a LONG book. And initially, I thought I wasn’t going to like it. But the more I listened, the more I enjoyed it. So, yeah. This is the book that most surprised me so far this year.
  7. Favorite new (or new-to-me) author:
    • Kate Elliott — I finally got around to reading her Court of Fives series, and woah. It’s so good. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for new books by her.
  8. Newest fictional crush:
    • I rarely swoon over fictional characters, so I’m not sure how to answer this one. The first character that came to mind was Murderbot. From the first sentence of All Systems Red by Martha Wells, I was instantly charmed by this genderless security android that doesn’t really want to be around humans. It’s not really a crush, but Murderbot has certainly carved out a warm little corner of my heart.
  9. Newest favorite fictional character:
    • Hands down favorite so far this year is Charlotte Holmes from the Lady Sherlock series by Sherry Thomas. I may go so far as to say that I like this version of Sherlock even better than BBC Sherlock.
  10. Book that made you cry:
    • The Rose & The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh — Which I listened to on audiobook and which made me cry when I was listening to a certain part at the end while eating breakfast at work. Only slightly embarrassing.
  11. Book that made you happy:
    • A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole — I have a weak spot for “I didn’t know I was a princess” stories. I especially like “I’m a scientist, and I didn’t know I was a princess” stories. This book is so charming and lovely, I think I grinned my way through most of it. Now I have a paperback copy that I can shove into the hands of all my friends so they can also enjoy it. Plus book two is coming out later this year.
  12. Favorite book to movie adaptation:
    • A Wrinkle in Time — Okay, so this was also the only book to movie adaptation that I’ve watched this year, and I have mixed feelings about the storytelling in the movie version. However, the cinematography and the cast were outstanding. Regardless of what I (an adult) think of the movie, I’ve heard that the target audience (middle graders) are loving it, and that’s all that matters to me.
  13. Favorite blog post I’ve done so far this year:
  14. Most beautiful book I’ve bought or been given so far this year:
    • Oh man. I already talked about how much I love the new covers for the Amberlough series. They are so pretty!
  15. Books I need to read before the end of the year:
    • First off, I really want to do a full re-read of Megan Whalen Turner’s series, starting with The Thief, so that I can finally read Thick as Thieves in preparation for book 6 that’s coming out next year. Yay!!! I love this series. If you like secondary world fantasy and haven’t read it yet, get on it. You won’t regret it.
    • Then there are the “next in the series” books that I haven’t read yet and need to: Our Dark Duet, Raven Stratagem, Armistice, and Obsidio.
    • Finally there are the “first in a series” books that I’ve been meaning to read for a while now but haven’t started: Leviathan Wakes, The Queen of Blood, and The Falconer.
    • I expect all of these will be “five star reads” (or re-reads, as the case may be) for me, with the exception of Our Dark Duet which I’ve heard isn’t as good as This Savage Song.

I’ve spent WAY too long assembling this post with all the cover photos, etc. I suppose I should get back to writing my newsletter now. If you’re interested in hearing about the RWA conference I just returned from and/or want to know more about the adult contemporary fantasy book series I’m launching this fall, you should subscribe to my monthly newsletter updates. Subscribers will get cool stuff like freebies, giveaways, and swag. You can sign up here.

Stay tuned for my July reading recap. Until then, happy reading!