Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag | 2021 edition

Hello, and happy monday!! Since we’re about halfway through 2021, and I am indeed freaking out about my current reading situation, I think that it’s a good time to do this tag! I wasn’t tagged for it this year, but it’s a good check in for myself to do, and I’m excited to get into all the questions!

First, a little update on my 2021 reading goal: my reading goal is to read 130 books this year, (I lowered it recently because I realized that it was not at all realistic for me) and I’m actually right on track with it!!

The questions:

Best Book You’ve Read This Year?

I’ve read way too many amazing books this year to just pick one, so here are ten of my favorites (in no particular order!)

Best Sequel You’ve Read This Year?

I read Rule of Wolves right when it came out, and love every page!! (Except maybe not so much page 251. I cried a little there. iykyk)

But seriously, Rule of Wolves is an incredible book, and it’s amazing to see how Leigh Bardugo’s writing has grown throughout her books, from Shadow and Bone, all the way here!

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To?

I have heard the most amazing things about These Feathered Flames, and it sounds like such an incredible book!! Its high fantasy, a retelling, is about sisters, and is also sapphic. And there are firebirds. I cannot wait to read this book!!

When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are decided at a young age. While Izaveta remained at court to learn the skills she’d need as the future queen, Asya was taken away to train with her aunt, the mysterious Firebird, who ensured magic remained balanced in the realm.

But before Asya’s training is completed, the ancient power blooms inside her, which can mean only one thing: the queen is dead, and a new ruler must be crowned.

As the princesses come to understand everything their roles entail, they’ll discover who they can trust, who they can love—and who killed their mother.

Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of The Year?

My most anticipated release for the second half of the year is definitely The Bronzed Beasts, by Roshani Chokshi. I loved the previous two books in the series, and am so excited to read the third book! I actually won a goodreads giveaway for a physical ARC!! (I may or may not have screamed out loud when I saw the email.)

I have the copy, and I’m planning on reading it this month, after I finish my reread of the other two books. I’m a little sad though, because I don’t want to series to end. Mostly though, I’m so happy I’ll finally be able to read the book!!

Returning to the dark and glamorous 19th century world of her New York Times instant bestseller, The Gilded Wolves, Roshani Chokshi dazzles us with the final riveting tale as full of mystery and danger as ever.

In love they breathed. In destiny they believed. In the end, will divinity be their demise?

After Séverin’s seeming betrayal, the crew is fractured. Armed with only a handful of hints, Enrique, Laila, Hypnos and Zofia must find their way through the snarled, haunted waterways of Venice, Italy to locate Séverin. 

Meanwhile, Séverin must balance the deranged whims of the Patriarch of the Fallen House and discover the location of a temple beneath a plague island where the Divine Lyre can be played and all that he desires will come to pass. 

With only ten days until Laila expires, the crew will face plague pits and deadly masquerades, unearthly songs and the shining steps of a temple whose powers might offer divinity itself…but at a price they may not be willing to pay.

Biggest Disappointment?

I didn’t dislike The Both Die at the End, but it was amazing, at least not for me. Yes, I cried (a lot) and I did get attached to the characters. I liked reading the book, and the story was cute.

However the book is so hyped on instagram, and basically everywhere, that I had such high expectations for it. I was expecting more, and it just didn’t do it for me. It also felt unsatisfying, and I wanted more in terms of closure, and also explanation surrounding Death Cast.

It’s still 3-ish stars, and I would recommend it to fans of this type of book, I just don’t think it was great for me.

And again, this isn’t that it was a horrible and really dissapointing book. It’s just not what I was hoping for!

Biggest Surprise?

My biggest surprise for this year was probably The Selection series, by Kiera Cass. The series was one of the ones I was like; I do not need to ever read this. Then, I binge read all of the books in a week, and absolutely loved them!! They definitely aren’t fantastic books, and have some problems, but as a whole they were entertaining, and I loved the story. Also Maxon Schreeve is amazing and made the whole series worth it.

New Favorite Author (New To You Or Debut)?

My favorite new to me author so far of 2021, is Sophie Gonzales!! I’ve only actually read one of Sophie’s books, Perfect on Paper, but I absolutely loved it!!

Perfect on Paper is such a beautifully written book about identity, and feeling like you belong, more specifically about a bisexual teenager struggling with feeling like she’s enough a part of the LGBTQ community.

Reading it made me so eager to read everything else by her! She has one other book already out, and a third coming out this fall, both of which I’m so excited to read!!

Newest Favorite Character?

There are a lot of them, but I’ll list a few…

  1. Zoya Nazyalensky (the most amazing squaller ever)
  2. Nikolai Lantsov (some art of him for you to look at)
  3. Hanne Brum (yes these are all Grishaverse characters, but everyone in the Grishaverse is amazing, especially Hanne)
  4. Juliette Cai (she’s from These Violent Delights, by Chloe Gong, is morally gray and I love her)

Book That Made You Cry?

You know when you’re reading a book because you’ve loved the author’s other work and you think it’s going to be a nice cute romance and you’re reading and you’re reading and then you realize you’ve been reading for hours, and then you’re crying, and you’re still reading, and you’re crying more until you’ve finished the book and you’re a mess of tears?

Because that’s how it was reading Instructions for Dancing, by Nicola Yoon.

I loved this book so much, and I flew through it. And I cried a lot. My review!

Book That Made You Happy?

My Contrary Mary, by Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows, and Cynthia Hand made me so happy. I laughed and smiled so much while reading the book, and every bit of it was fantastic!!

Favorite Book To Film Adaptation?

Definitely Shadow and Bone!! I’ve watched the show four full times now, and it’s just so good!! The casting is amazing, the way that the characters of Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows are woven together is done so well, and I just love it so much!!

It’s just been so magical to see the Grishaverse brought to life on screen in such a beautiful and amazing way, and I’m so excited to see season 2 (also we’re going to see Nikolai!!! And probably Wylan!! and Tolya and Tamar!! I’m just so excited!!)

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought Or Received This Year?

The covers of both The Bronzed Beasts and Curse of the Specter Queen are both absolutely stunning, and make me even more excited to read the books! Must be something about historical fantasty, I guess…

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

Last December, I made a list of 12 books I wanted to read in 2021, and I think I’m doing okay with that! Here are the books from the list that I want to read by the end of the year:

  1. You Should See Me in a Crown, by Leah Johnson
  2. The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller
  3. Fighting Words, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  4. We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart
  5. With the Fire on High, by Elizabeth Acevedo
  6. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Of the six not on the list, I read three and dnf’d three. I honestly should try picking those three back up, but I just haven’t had the energy too. Someday, hopefully someday soon though!

Favorite Book Community Member?

There are so many incredible people in the book community, and I have been able to get to know so many which is so special!! Every blogger that I follow, every amazing book instagrammer, every person I’ve talked with in the comments of a blog post… you are all so amazing!!

I want to give a shout out to one really amazing blogger, who has been so supportive to me since the very beginning of this blog:

Rukky @ Eternity Books was one of the first bloggers I met, and getting to know her and talk about books with her over the past couple years had been absolutely amazing! She also hosts the weekly meme Let’s Talk Bookish which is an absolutely amazing blog feature, and is one that brings together so many bloggers!


I tag:

Sidhant @ Upon the Booktower | Aria @ Snow White Hates Apples | Anyone who wants to!

What have been your favorite books so far of 2021? Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? What’s your most anticipated release? Chat with me in the comments below!

Also… WordPress glitched on me and when I first published this it went back a couple versions and hadn’t saved my most recent edits 🙄 So if the post seemed incomplete, then that’s probably why. I also might have missed something when trying to fix it all, so I’m sorry for that if the post is messed up at all.

10 thoughts on “Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag | 2021 edition

  1. loved reading this post and your answers to the prompt!! i also really loved These Violent Delights and Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating 🤩 and Perfect on Paper was so good – loved the romance and bi rep :)) i definitely recommend Sophie Gonzales’ other book, Only Mostly Devastated – it’s also an emotional read with wonderfully developed, messy characters 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i’m so glad!! i really want to read Only Mostly Devastated; it seems like an absolutely incredible book. And i’m so glad you loved the other three books too 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for the tag!! Love your answers (definitely added some of the titles to my TBR hehe) 😍 Also, the moment I saw They Both Die at the End, I looked at my own copy and had a nervous laugh. It’s been in my TBR since it was published but all the hype made me not want to read it. I’m lowering my expectations further for this one when I do give it a go 😂

    My favorite reads this year are:
    1. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (duh haha)
    2. The Theft of Sunlight by Intisar Khanani (best romance in YA that I’ve ever read, it’s so natural!!)
    3. House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland (never read a YA horror done so well since this one!)
    4. A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer (the entire trilogy is brilliant)

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.