Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag, in which I am indecisive

Welcome to the middle of the year.

dramatic zoom gifs | WiffleGif

Even though it’s slightly alarming that we’re already halfway through the hellyear that is 2020, the upside is that I get to do one of my favorite tags of the year! I always love looking back on what I’ve read so far, picking out the highlights (and lowlights) and thinking about what I want to read in the second half of the year. Thank you to Caro @ Bookcheshirecat for tagging me! ❤

Before we get into the tag itself, I want to take a quick look at my reading this year. So far, I’ve read 58 books (already surpassing my goal of 52) with an average rating of 3.94 stars. Not bad! I’ve read a total of 20,616 pages, at an average of 355 pages per book. My reading has been 34% adult books, 9% middle grade, 57% young adult, written by 82% female authors, 9% male authors, and 9% nonbinary authors. Let’s see how that continues through the rest of the year, shall we?

Now, on to the tag!


Best book you’ve read so far in 2020?

Why do we have to start out with the hardest question??

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I couldn’t possibly choose between these two. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune and If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio were both instantly new favorites and I cannot speak highly enough about them. Both made me cry — though for very different reasons — and I’m sure I’ll continue recommending both of them until the end of time.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020?

I haven’t read too many sequels so far this year — at least not many that I’ve enjoyed — but Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland, the sequel to Dread Nation, was every bit as glorious as I hoped it would be. Jane and Katherine could take turns stabbing me and I’d probably thank them.

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

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As usual, so many, but two that I’m especially eager to read are Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales and Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco. I’ve heard wonderful things about both and can’t wait to see what the hype is about!

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

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Loveless by Alice Oseman and A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green come out in the same week (coming up soon!), which also happens to be the week of my birthday, so there is going to be quite a lot going on. Will I survive? Stay tuned to find out!

Biggest disappointment?

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Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi and Starsight by Brandon Sanderson certainly haven’t been the worst books I’ve read this year, but they were especially disappointing since they were sequels to books that I loved. It’s definitely sad when the second book in a series doesn’t live up to your expectations!

Biggest surprise?

I expected a sweet and probably emotional middle grade book when I picked up Hurricane Season by Nicole Melleby. What I didn’t expect was to find a new favorite! I would not be surprised if this makes my top books of the year. It’s been a while since I loved a middle grade book this much and I was so pleasantly surprised by this one.

Favorite new author (debut or new to you)?

Q&A: Alix E. Harrow, Author of 'The Ten Thousand Doors of January ...

Alix E. Harrow instantly became a new favorite author after I read her debut novel, The Ten Thousand Doors of January, and I’m definitely going to be reading everything she writes from now on. I recently got an ARC of her upcoming book, The Once and Future Witches, which I can’t wait to read!

Newest favorite character?

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Even though I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman was a reread for me this year, I definitely didn’t appreciate Bliss Lai enough the first time around. Now she is one of my favorite characters in the Osemanverse, which is saying something. She’s just!!! the best!!!!!

Newest fictional crush?

As usual, I’m changing this question to my newest fictional OTP, since I don’t really get crushes on fictional characters.


Ryann and Alexandria in The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum did things to my heart and I absolutely loved them. I would be happy to read many, many books about the two of them.

Book that made you cry?

Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour may be a short book, but it made me cry like a wee bab. But like…in a cathartic way? This will probably come as no surprise to anyone who’s read Nina LaCour’s work before.

Book that made you happy?

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Both Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed and Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu made me smile so much! I can imagine both of these being books that I revisit many times when I need a pick-me-up.

Favorite book to movie adaptation?

Emma (2020 film) - Wikipedia 18300260

Emma (2020), based on Emma by Jane Austen, is the latest in a long line of Jane Austen adaptations, and it certainly lived up to all of my expectations. I ended up watching it twice in two days because it was just so much fun!

Favorite review?

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My spoiler-filled “review” of The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins (which was more a list of all the thoughts I had while reading than a proper review) was so fun to write! Not only did I enjoy revisiting an old favorite series, but analyzing it in a new way and looking at it from the perspective of now basically living in a dystopian world was really interesting.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought this year?

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Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian, which I talked a lot about last year, is an absolutely beautiful book (both inside and out), and its bright pink and black spine stands out on my bookshelf in the coolest way.

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

Well, revisiting my reading goals for the year, there are some books that I definitely want to get to as soon as possible…

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The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell, The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black, Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee, and Timekeeper by Tara Sim

…plus, you know, the hundreds of other books on my TBR.


I tag…

Lais @ The Bookish Skies ☀️ Mary @ Mary and the Words ☀️ Abi @ Scribbles & Stories ☀️ Lauren @ Twenty-Seven Letters ☀️ Alice @ Love For Words ☀️ Xandra @ Starry Sky Books

…and anyone else who wants to do this tag! Sorry if any of you have already been tagged for this, and as usual, no pressure if you don’t feel like it. 😊

  • Best book you’ve read so far in 2020?
  • Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020?
  • New release you haven’t read yet, but want to?
  • Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?
  • Biggest disappointment?
  • Biggest surprise?
  • Favorite new author (debut or new to you)?
  • Newest favorite character?
  • Newest fictional crush?
  • Book that made you cry?
  • Book that made you happy?
  • Favorite book to movie adaptation?
  • Favorite review?
  • Most beautiful book you’ve bought this year?
  • What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

What have been your favorite and least favorite books you’ve read in 2020? Have you read any of the same books as me?

x Margaret

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42 thoughts on “Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag, in which I am indecisive

  1. Loved reading this post!! I’ve heard nothing but praise for The House in the Cerulean Sea, it sounds like such an incredible & heartwarming book – I’m so excited to read it ☺️ I’m really looking forward to reading Only Mostly Devastated and Loveless as well! I love Alice Oseman’s books (especially IWBFT), and you’re so right, BLISS LAI IS THE BEST I LOVE HER !!!!! And I hope you enjoy Not Your Sidekick, it’s a super fun and engaging superhero story hehe 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. HURRICANE SEASON was really wonderful! I liked it a lot, and I LOVED LIKE A LOVE STORY. I only had one small issue, but I thought it was an incredible story, and appreciated the focus on the the AIDS crisis and the activism that took place during that period.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My reaction to getting tagged in this was “no… it can’t be… *checks calendar* oh my god it is.” 😂 So thanks for reorienting me because I had no idea what day it was, never mind the time of year 😅

      Now that I’m back on track I’m so glad it’s time for these posts again – they’re my favourite! I’ve seen The House in the Cerulean Sea around quite a bit, but I trust your recommendations so it’s finally going onto my TBR! And I’m sooo excited for Loveless – I’m just sitting here waiting for my pre-order to arrive.

      I hope you love Not Your Sidekick – it’s just so utterly adorable, and the story is really fun. Wishing you a wonderful second half of the year filled with even more great books! Thanks for the tag! 😄❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh boy, I had the same reaction when I was tagged 😂 I’m still shocked that it’s not still March.

        And I agree – mid-year posts are always so fun for me to read and write! I hope you love The House in the Cerulean Sea as much as I did ❤ I'm doing the same with Loveless…it's going to be an agonizing wait but it'll be so worth it!

        I can't wait to read Not Your Sidekick! Thanks so much, and I hope the rest of your year is also wonderful ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. This is only my second time doing the mid-year book tag and I’m super excited since I have way more books to use for it this year- last year I’d only read 7. (Curse you, reading slumps!)

        So worth it! I just need to read Solitaire before it releases then I’ll be all caught up on the Osemanverse 😄

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, I’m so sad to hear that Starsight was disappointing for you :(( I have such high hopes for it! Also, I absolutely can’t wait for Loveless as well!!! We really need more ace/aro rep and not romance-focused stories in YA, and I just [vibrates because I need it right now]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve also been reading the Hunger Games, it’s weirdly escapist to read about a world where things are going wrong in much the same way things are happening now, except in the book you know how it’ll end :’D (Gonna read your review on it next!)
    I’ve been meaning to check out the new Emma film, I loved the old mini-series and the book, but I missed it when it was in theater around here, so maybe I’ll watch it somewhere online soon 🙂
    Like A Love Story is such a pretty cover!! That black line art and the evening sky, damn!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so true! Hmm I hadn’t even considered that a reason that it’s comforting to read THG right now is that it’s a dystopian world where you know it’s going to turn out (mostly) okay?? That makes a lot of sense…
      The new Emma is wonderful! I’m also a huge fan of the BBC mini-series, and I think this version does a great job with differentiating itself in tone and style. I wasn’t able to see it in theaters, sadly, but watching it at home was the next best thing!
      And yess, Like a Love Story has such a gorgeous cover 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Only Mostly Devastated has been on my tbr since the first ARC review I saw and I’m so excited to get to it! Not sure why I haven’t got to it yet but hopefully soon!
    & Yes, No, Maybe So is one that made me happy as well it’s just the cutest book and I loved the messages of being politically active.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ahh, thank you for tagging me, this looks so fun!

    I just read Only Mostly Devastated last week, and it was really sweet! Super fluffy and light, but overall, a refreshing summer read, so I hope you like it, too! I’m there with you on COVAV. I wasn’t over the moon about COBAB, but I liked it enough that I preordered the sequel and read it right away when it came in, and I just–it was meh. It was so much meh, and I’m so sad. Gosh, Ten Thousand Doors–I’m really struggling to come up with the best book I’ve read so far this year, but it might honestly be that. AND YES PLEASE READ LAST MAGICIAN ASAP SO WE CAN SCREAM ABOUT IT TOGETHER, I NEED MORE PEOPLE TO LOVE IT.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome! 😀
      Yesss another vote in favor of Only Mostly Devastated! It does sound like a great summer book.
      And yes, ugh, COVAV was such a let-down 😢 But Ten Thousand Doors was SOOO GOOD! I still haven’t stopped flailing about it.
      Ahhh I really want to read The Last Magician soon! 😀 I can’t wait to scream about it!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ahh, you’ve read so much so far this year, that’s amazing!! I loved reading all your answers for this- it reminded me that I definitely need to watch the Emma adaptation as soon as possible and that I’m looking forward even more to reading The House on Cerulean Sea now. Happy reading for the rest of the year, Margaret! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ahh how are we halfway through 2020? *mind explodes* I honestly haven’t been that “in touch” with my reading life lately, but I’m doing better than 2019 so I’m happy about that! It sounds like you’ve had a great first half of 2020 reading-wise, and I hope the rest of your year is full of beautiful books!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m looking forward to reading so many of these books, but I can’t believe it’s already halfway through 2020… this year has been both devastatingly long and surprisingly fast, for some reason.

    I’m so excited to read I Was Born for This and Loveless soon! I also want to read If We Were Villains and Wicked As You Wish sometime this year, but I already have so many books on my TBR at this point. 😅 I’ve been trying to read Starsight since it released but I just haven’t been into it the way I loved the first book. I hope you like The Darkest Part of the Forest, and all of the other books you get to read this year! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh boy, I know. Time this year has been passing even more strangely than usual and I’m not okay with it!

      Haha I relate to having way too many books that I’m excited to read 😅 But I hope you’re able to get to I Was Born For This and If Were Villains bc they’re both amazing!! And yeah, Starsight just didn’t quite have the same magic as Skyward for me… 😔 Thanks so much, Xandra, and happy reading to you too! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Honestly where has time gone?? It’s so strange that it’s already July tomorrow aaah 😱
    You’ve definitely made me excited for If We Were Villains! Each day my desire to read it increases ❤ I still have some books on hold from my library but maybe afterwards I can finally get to it! I’m also a bit scared to read Children of Virtue and Vengeance as I have heard sooo many bad things about it 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Truly! July came way too fast!
      Yesss I’m so happy I’ve gotten you excited for If We Were Villains 😄 I can’t wait for you to read it!! And yeah, COVAV sadly just did not live up to its first book. Still disappointed about that!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. i’m so happy you loved house on the cerulean sea!! i’ve heard only the most glowing things about it, and i can’t wait to read and it get a serotonin boost lmao. and ahh i really need to reread check please! i don’t remember much from it, but i know it was a lot of fun to read so i want to get back into it ❤ i hope you love not your sidekick — that book was so much fun for me to read, and i binged it all in one night!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The House in the Cerulean Sea is absolute perfection and pretty much a guaranteed serotonin boost 😄 And Check Please is just the sweetest!! Ahhh I can’t wait to binge Not Your Sidekick too – it sounds so much fun 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  12. 58 BOOKS SO FAR wow I admire you so much. And I love that your most anticipated releases are both of mine as well! So excited to read these. I also need to read Ten Thousand Doors of January, this book sounds amazing and I’ve heard so much praise so far. Plus, that cover is stunning.
    Happy reading! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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