Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag because it’s somehow already July

Hello, friends! It has once again been a while. But since it’s already the middle of the year and I haven’t updated you on my reading for the past three months or so, it seemed like a good time for the Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag.

(Yes, I’m still sort of on hiatus, and no, I don’t have a plan for what this blog will look like going forward. I’m just vibing.)

I’ve read 49 books so far in 2021—many of which have been rereads because that’s just where my brain is at right now—and probably a good half of those I haven’t talked about at all on this blog. Let’s fix that!

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Best book you’ve read so far in 2021?

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So I think this might be the only non-reread book that I’ve rated 5 stars in 2021?? Hmm. But anyways, Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert absolutely blew me away and it deserves every bit of praise that it gets.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2021?

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As usual, I have read shamefully few sequels in 2021, but there have been a few that I’ve loved. Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert, book 3 in the Brown Sisters series, was an absolute delight and might?? be my favorite of the series?? It’s impossible to choose, though. And Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore, the fourth Graceling Realm book, was just beautiful! Cashore knows how to tug at all of my heartstrings and make me fall in love with characters.

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

As usual, so many. Here are a few that I definitely want to get to soon:

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The Tea Dragon Tapestry by K. O’Neill

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

The Unbroken by C.L. Clark

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

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I have loved everything that Alix E. Harrow has written, so I have no doubt that her next novella, A Spindle Splintered, will blow me away too! (Also, I may or may not have begged an advance copy off the publicist and it’s on its way to me now AHHHH.)

Here’s to Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, the sequel to What If It’s Us, comes out literally the last release day of the year, which means I’m basically going to spend the rest of 2021 counting down the days. And I’m okay with that.

Biggest disappointment?

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Can I say that Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur was a disappointment if I didn’t have high expectations going in? Regardless, this is the only book so far this year that I’ve rated 1 star. I did not enjoy it At All.

I feel like I might be hunted for sport for this, but…I was disappointed by Aristotle and Dante Dive Into the Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire Saenz. I didn’t hate it—I rated it 3 stars—but considering that Ari and Dante #1 was such a formative book for me, this sequel just wasn’t it. I am so sorry.

Biggest surprise?

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Maybe it shouldn’t have been a surprise, since I loved The Weight of the Stars last year, but The Wicker King by K. Ancrum grabbed me by the throat and did not let go. This was one of the most stressful reading experiences I’ve had all year, and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible.

Favorite new author (debut or new to you)?

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Shelley Parker-Chan, author of She Who Became the Sun, became a new favorite with their debut book! This one was such an intense and heartbreaking rollercoaster, so I cannot wait to see what they do next.

Newest favorite character?

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I would die for Adventure Fox from Winterkeep.

Newest fictional crush OTP?

As always, I’m changing this to my favorite fictional couple(s), since I don’t tend to get crushes on fictional characters.

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Isobel and Rook from An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson were such a delightful surprise. I did not expect to get so swept up in their love story, yet there I was by the end weeping at how perfect they were together.

Carmen Farooq-Lane and Liliana were one of the best parts of Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater. I genuinely have no idea where this series is going next, but I hope we get lots more of them!

(Also shoutout to my fellow Margarets for writing some great romances.)

Book that made you cry?

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This was far from my first time reading The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien, but man, that ending always hits me right in the heart. Lord of the Rings manages to do things to my emotions that almost nothing else can.

The Ship We Built by Lexie Bean is such an achingly beautiful book, I’m not sure it’s possible to read it without crying. Pack some tissues when you pick this one up, friends.

Book that made you happy?

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Becky Albertalli’s books always make me happy, and Kate in Waiting was no exception. I love theatre nerds and friendship books, and this was the perfect combination of the two!

Favorite book to movie adaptation?

I sat here for a full minute trying to remember if I’ve seen any movie adaptations before I remembered that Shadow and Bone came out like three months ago. Technically not a movie adaptation but an adaptation nonetheless, and one that I have watched four times now! So yes, that is easily my favorite.

TV Review: 'Shadow and Bone' Season 1 | The Nerd Daily

Favorite review?

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I’ve been terrible about writing reviews this year, but I am really happy with the hybrid recipe-review I wrote for One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought this year?

Too many to choose from! I do love both of the graphic novels that I’ve bought this year, though.

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The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen and The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag are both absolutely gorgeous. Even though I haven’t yet read the latter, I’m sure it’ll be just as lovely on the inside as it is on the outside!

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

I never have any idea how to answer this question, because there are just too many. All of them. I need to read all of the books by the end of the year. (But no pressure.)

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I have not been keeping up with my fellow bloggers lately (I’m sorry!), but if you haven’t already been tagged for this, I hereby tag you now!

What are the best books you’ve read in 2021? What’s a book that’s made you happy and a book that’s made you cry? What are you planning to read in the second half of the year?

x Margaret

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15 thoughts on “Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag because it’s somehow already July

  1. I’m always behind in my reading and trying to catch up with the books of yesteryear, but the best book I’ve read in 2021 so far, was “Circe” by Madeline Miller. I’ve always adored Greek mythology. This book was so beautiful and so moving in so many ways. Now among my all-time, all-time favorites.

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  2. I’ve been thinking about Isobel & Rook on and off for about three months now, so I really need to reread it. They’re just so sweet and so good! The Wicker King is truly a phenomenal book. I’m never going to stop thinking about it, and it’s been a few years now since I read it. It was just–wow. A whole lot of wow.

    And I’m glad to see that you enjoyed Mister Impossible! I’ll be honest, I’ve been a little wary of it. The more I think about CDTH, the more I realize I didn’t enjoy it a whole ton, more that I was just excited about a new Stiefvater book. And the more I think about reading MI, the less I want to, and I just–I don’t know. I’m not really vibing with this trilogy, and I’ll be happy when we’re done with this universe. But it gives me hope that you liked it, so hopefully I will, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isobel and Rook are the pinnacle of romance! I can absolutely see myself reread that book just to revisit them again. And YES, I don’t think I’ll ever emotionally recover from The Wicker King.

      I can definitely understand being wary of Mister Impossible! I don’t think the dreamer trilogy will ever be up there quite as high as TRC for me, but it is still fun and VERY on-brand maggie stiefvater. I hope it exceeds your expectations if/when you decide to give it a try!

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  3. I really want to read Unbroken too! I enjoyed Last Night at the telegraph club and I hope you do too! I think I’m like one of the only people who hasn’t seen Shadow and Bone yet, but I guess I’ll get to it eventually and I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it!!

    OMG I am so excited for She Who Became The Sun and seeing you love it has made me even more excited! I’m also looking forward to reading the wicker king – how something can be better than the weight of the stars I don’t know, but I’m ready to find out!

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    1. Ooh so glad to hear you enjoyed Last Night at the Telegraph Club! And yesss I just love the Shadow and Bone show – hope you do to!!

      Ahhh She Who Became the Sun was so epic, I can’t wait for more people to read it 😍 It’s impossible for me to choose a favorite between the wicker king and the weight of the stars – they’re both so good!

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  4. I loved reading your answers to the Tag, Margaret!! ❤ I’m happy to see that you liked An Enchantment of Ravens so much, I was rooting for Isobel and Rook too 🥰 I’m so excited that Margaret Rogerson has a new book coming out later this year!! I always struggle with the ‘favorite book to movie adaption’ question, but this year we luckily got Shadow and Bone!!

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  5. Ahhh, I can’t believe it’s that time of year already!! I love doing this every year, it’s definitely my favourite tag. I think I’ve hit a new personal best of books read by mid year freak out, so I should have lots of material this time! (I remember one year I only had 7 books to work with 😆)

    I need to read The Unbroken too! I’m hoping to get to it soon, because summer just screams “epic fantasy” to me. Also I don’t know if I ever got chance to tell you, but I read Graceling thanks to you and I absolutely loved it! Thanks for convincing me to give it another try 😄

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  6. it is so exciting you got to read ari & dante dive into the waters of the world earlier, though! i am very excited for the release and i hope i love it. i don’t know what to expect, and a part of me does fear i won’t like it, but at the same time, knowing how attached i am to these characters, i’ll be happy just to see them again.

    i was recently re-reading some of my favorite moments from the wicker king and that book is just… jesus, it’s A LOT! i remember i finished it in one sitting while i was at school and i just could not put down, even though i was so disturbed and anxious while reading it. def not an easy one but super memorable nonetheless.

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  7. I loved Act Your Age, Eve Brown so I’m happy that one was a hit for you, as well. I hope you’ll enjoy Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo – I had such a great time reading that book. It’s definitely on the slower side, but it’s clear how much research Lo did for it and is such a good historical novel. Ah, it’s a pity Written in the Stars was such a let down for you. 😦 I really loved that book last year and also enjoyed the sequel – though less so – this year. 🙂 Hope the second half of 2021 will be full of great reads for you!

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  8. loved reading this post, Margaret! haha “i’m just vibing” with blogging is honestly such a mood rn and so valid of you ❤ ahhhh i preordered She Who Became the Sun and it should be arriving any day now, and i'm SO excited to read it!! the hype is real, and i'm glad to hear you loved it too 🤩 and Kate in Waiting was such a fun and lighthearted read! Becky Albertalli never fails to give me all the serotonin hehe. hope your last half of 2021 brings you a lot more wonderful reads :))

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  9. Ah this is such a great post, I loved your answers ❤ I have had Picture Us in the Light on my TBR since… forever, to be honest and I'm still a bit nervous to read it because it sounds soooooooooo emotional, but so wonderful as well. So happy you loved it so much! ❤
    I hope the rest of the year will be filled with amazin reads!!

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