2022 Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Friends, where has 2022 gone? This summer heat is killing me. I already want it to be winter, but that would mean the end of the year and I am definitely not ready for that. I am barely ready for this mid-year book freak out tag. I read more books this first half of the year than I’ve read in a long time. I am currently on schedule to read more books than I’ve read in like ten years (also I’ve been on Goodreads for this long?!). That is if I don’t end up in a terrible slump. I’ve been flirting with periods of slumpiness though. This first reading half of the year has been largely defined by comfort reads. I haven’t picked up much fantasy, but I have been devouring romance and manga. Both of which bring me such joy and I suppose that is why I’ve had so much fun reading this year. I am hoping to pick up more fantasy in this latter part of the year as well as horror. I’ve been neglecting both genres and I just feel like I am missing out on so many books as a result. With all that behind said, let’s take a look at reads from the first half of the year. Covers below are linked to Goodreads.

For those unfamiliar, this tag was created many years ago by booktubers Read Like Wildfire and Earl Grey Books.

1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2022?

I am actually on schedule to have more five-star reads than like any other year. I’ve picked up so many amazing reads, it’s almost overwhelming. But if I am going to choose one book for this question, I am going with Sonora Reyes’s The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School. This book felt in many ways like a cathartic read. It was heartbreaking and emotional, but had some of the sweetest moments between characters. I really became attatched to Yami and her brother, Cesar, especially.

2. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2022?

I enjoyed Sonali Dev’s Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors, but Recipe for Persuasion, the second book in this romance series felt like it was written especially for me. Although P&P remains my favorite Jane Austen novel, I don’t think anything beats a great Persuasion retelling.

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

Uh…there are so many! I don’t even like to think about all the books I’ve bought this year that I haven’t gotten to. One book high on my TBR is Claribel A. Ortega’s Witchlings. I adored Ghost Squad and have been really looking forward to this second middle grade novel by them. I just know it’s going to be incredibly enchanting.

4. Most Anticipated Release For Second Half of 2022?

Surprisingly there aren’t a ton of books I’m looking forward to the second half of the year. Hopefully means that I won’t be spending an absurd amount of money on books (This is all a lie. This is future Alicia editing this and past Alicia didn’t know what she was talking about. She has a ton of books on her TBR for the second half of 2022). One book I am really looking forward is Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s The Daughter of Doctor Moreau. I know this is a surprise to no one. I actually have an eARC of this one and will be picking it up in the next week or two (about to start this one tonight).

5. Biggest Disappointment?

I had a few lackluster reads, but none that really stand out to me as big disappointments. They just ended up being pretty average and I can see other people enjoying them more than me, so…

6. Biggest Surprise?

I honestly feel like a little kid discovering reading for the first time when it comes to manga. There are just so many stories out there that I have yet to discover and I am having a blast doing so. That being said, Kamome Shirahama’s Witch Hat Atelier has absolutely put a spell on me. I am utterly enthralled by it and can’t wait to continue the series.

7. Favorite New Author?

I am going to highlight two romance novelists that I picked up for the first time this year. I absolutely loved Denise William’s The Fastest Way to Fall and Alexis Daria’s You Had Me at Hola. Both of these books were just so good and they will probably not be the only books I pick up from these authors this year.

8. Newest Fictional Crush?

Claire Kann has become one of my favorite authors. Her recent release, The Romantic Agenda, was such a delight. My crush on the leading man, Fox, can only be rivaled by my love for the leading lady, Joy.

9. Newest Favorite Character?

Tatsuya Endo’s Spy x Family has been such a fun reading experience, so I am going to go with the entire Forger family for this question. Loid, Anya, and Yor all have their individual charms, but together they make such an elegant family.

10. Book That Made You Cry?

I probably cried while reading about half a dozen books this year, but one that stands out is Sonora Reyes’s The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School. I mentioned that reading it felt cathartic and sometimes this includes tears.

11. Book That Made You Happy?

Can a book that made you feel pain also make you happy? The answer is an astounding yes. Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass is such a gem of a novel and it made me realize how enjoyable Persuasion retellings can be.

12. Favorite Book To Movie Adaptation You Saw This Year?

The Ms. Marvel adaptation is making me so happy. I am having a blast watching this one and it’s kind of making me want to revisit the comics.

13. Favorite Review You’ve Written This Year?

Lol, I’ve been so bad at writing reviews this year. I don’t know what it is, but hopefully I can do better in the latter part of the year. My review of Recipe for Persuasion didn’t completely suck, so I guess I’ll go with that one. You can read it here.

14. Most Beautiful Book You Bought So Far This Year?

Sue Lynn Tan’s Daughter of the Moon Goddess has one of the most beautiful book covers I’ve ever seen. I haven’t read it yet, but I have no doubt it’s just as lovely as the cover.

 

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

I already mentioned one ARC I need to get to, but I also have Francesca Padilla’s What’s Coming to Me on my ARC list. This one comes out in August, so I better get to it soon. I am also hoping to shake off this fantasy slump so I can get to Rebecca Roanhorse’s Fevered Star. Though it does scare me a little bit.

What’s your favorite book of 2022 so far? What book are you most looking forward to reading before the end of the year? Leave me a link in the comments to your own Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag post, so I can visit.

2021 End of the Year Book Survey

The End of the Year Book Survey was created by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner and gives readers a chance to look back on their reading and blogging journey. 2021 for me was a year where I read less, but I ended up having a lot more fun reading. I picked up a genre I rarely did in the past (horror), fell in love and know it will follow me into 2022. In 2021 I also discovered how much I enjoyed audiobooks. I literally listened to more audiobooks this year than I have ever in my life. It’s become so much a part of how I consume literature that I feel like something is missing if I don’t have an audiobook on deck. I didn’t get to all the books I wanted to, but I found many favorites to add to my all-time favorites list. This will be my final post for 2021, so I will see you all on the other side! Covers linked to Goodreads.

**2021 READING STATS**

Number Of Books You Read: 64 (counting my current read which I will be finishing today)
Number of Re-Reads: 5
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy, followed by contemporary and horror

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1. Best Book You Read In 2021?

I read some really great books in 2021, but if pressed, my favorite of all of them would have to be How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland. No book this year made me feel the way this one did. It made me smile, it made me cry, it made me angry, it filled me with wonderment. I wanted to physically hug it when I finished.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

I really thought C.L. Polk’s The Midnight Bargain would end up being a favorite. I have such a soft spot for fantasy romance, but this one fell really flat for me.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

Because of how much I was disappointed in The Midnight Bargain, I didn’t expect to love C.L. Polk’s Witchmark as much as I did. I LOVED it so much. Everything I wanted out of The Midnight Bargain, I got out of Witchmark.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

No particular book is coming to mind for this question, but if you consider my answers for this post, it’s probably going to end up being How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe.

5. Best series you started in 2020? Best Sequel? Best Series Ender of 2021?

Zoe Hana Mikuta’s Gearbreakers was such a good series opener. I cannot wait for the next book. My favorite sequel was Monstress, Vol. 5: Warchild by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda. This series has been so amazing and it has never let me down. My favorite series ender was We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal. This was my first five-star read of the year and one of my favorite fantasy duologies of all-time.

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6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2021?

There were a lot of new-to-me authors in 2021, but one that immediately comes to mind for this question is Daka Hermon. Her middle grade horror, Hide and Seeker impressed me so much. I cannot wait to read more from her.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I dipped my toes into the horror genre this year. Horror itself isn’t necessarily out of my comfort zone. I am a big fan of scary movies and shows, but I never really picked up horror books. This changed this year and I cannot express enough how much I loved Cassandra Khaw’s Nothing But Blackened Teeth.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

I read a few action-packed books this year and maybe it’s because I just finished this one, but Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta is the first book that comes to mind for this question.

I love that this post allows me to reflect on my reading. It gives me a chance to really think about the books that stayed with me the most. I think there is a strong possibility that I will be revisiting Hafsah Faizal’s We Hunt the Flame and We Free the Stars next year. I just love this duology so much and I don’t want to let the characters go.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2021?

The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera has one of the most beautiful covers I have ever beheld. And in person, it is sooooo stunning.

11. Most memorable character of 2021?

This was a hard one as I was introduced to so many amazing characters this year, but I immediately thought of Charlie from Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado because her voice comes through so clear from page one.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2021?

If Anna-Marie McLemore writes it, it’s definitely going on my most beautifully written list. This year I read The Mirror Season by them and it was heartbreaking and beautiful in an aching kind of way.

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13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2021?

One book in particular that’s really stuck with me is Jenny Torres Sanchez’s We Are Not From Here. One of the most heart-wretching books I’ve ever read.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2021 to finally read? 

I finally got to Tracey Baptiste’s The Jumbies and oh my gosh, I should have read this one sooner. I always love my middle grade with a dash of creepy.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2021?

I really love this quote from How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe:

“There’s an invisible thread pulling me in. I am a piece of wool, brown, about to be stitched into a great cosmic blanket. Or maybe I’m a petal stuck to a spiderweb, one tiny fabric-like spot making a whole universe undulate like wisps in the wind.”

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2021?

My longest read was Fonda Lee’s Jade War and shortest was Yesika Salgado’s Corazón. Not too surprising on either front.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

I don’t want to give anything away, but my mouth was agape while reading Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite’s One of the Good Ones.

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18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Can I have several? I love Nasir and Zafira from We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal, Julián and Mat from Jonny Garza Villa’s Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun, and Sona and Eris from Zoe Hana Mikuta’s Gearbreakers.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Kaul siblings always and forever ❤

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2021 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

I had the pleasure of reading two Tiffany D. Jackson books this year, but it was Grown that really stuck with me. It was flawless.

21. Best Book You Read In 2021 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:

The only reason I picked up Rachel Smythe’s Lore Olympus, Vol. 1 was because of how popular the webtoon has been with others in the book community.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2021?

I need to read more romance books in 2022 because no one in particular is coming to mind.

23. Best 2021 debut you read?

I loved loved LOVED Zoe Hana Mikuta’s Gearbreakers!

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Ava Reid’s The Wolf and the Woodsman was so impressive, especially on the world-building front. I would not mind visiting this universe again.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Donna Barba Higuera’s Lupe Wong Won’t Dance was hilarious from page one. I smiled so much while reading this middle grade.

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26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2021?

Several books made me cry this year: Jenny Torres Sanchez’s We Are Not From Here, Tiffany D. Jackson’s Grown, and Anna-Marie McLemore’s The Mirror Season all come immediately to mind.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Raquel Vasquez Gilliland’s How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe hands down does not get enough love. It’s my favorite read of the year and not enough people have read it. Truly an injustice.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

So many books crushed my soul, but this is a special shout out to Susan Dennard for Witchshadow. I need my girls to be happy. How much more must they go through before this happens?

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2021?

I picked up Akwaeke Emezi’s Pet on a whim because I was in the mood for an audiobook and I was aghast at how unique a story it was. Literally gave me chills.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe had several characters who I wanted to physically strangle.

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1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2021?

I always love discovering new bloggers and enjoy talking to all of you, so don’t make me choose!

2. Favorite post you wrote in 2021?

Top Ten Tuesday: You Are NOT a Bad Book Blogger If… seemed to resonate with a lot of bloggers and writing it felt really cathartic for me.

I am really proud of my Instagram, so it’s hard to decide which is my favorite photo from this year. I’m going to go with my Tasha Suri’s The Jasmine Throne photo because it took me forever to take a good photo of this book. I can’t even tell you the number of photos I took to get this one.

4. Best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events,  etc.)?

I was pretty terrible at attending online bookish events this year even though I loved doing so last year. I even signed up for several and then just could not make it. Don’t worry, I am judging me too.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2021?

Is it weird that my best moment was when I realized I needed to take a break? I took almost two months away from the blog and it literally renewed my love of blogging.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Related to the last answer, the most challenging thing about blogging was accepting that I could not keep making myself blog. I was running on fumes most of this year and considered that it could end up being the end of my blogging career. I made myself take a break and it was the longest plus the most fruitful break of my blogging journey.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2021 got a lot of love. I am ashamed to say that I only got to half of these.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

My review of Raquel Vasquez Gilliland’s How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe because this book is so good and I need everyone to read it too!

Can I just say audiobooks in general? It’s my own personal discovery. I did not know I could fall so much in love with this medium and it’s the reason why I read more books than I probably would have.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I did not participate in any reading challenges besides the Goodreads challenge, which I did complete.

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1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2021 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2022?

I feel really guilty not getting to Dreaming of You by Melissa Lozado-Oliva. I will read this one in the new year though.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2022 (non-debut)?

I am really looking forward to The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

3. 2022 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie!!!!

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2022?

I need Zoe Hana Mikuta’s Godslayers so bad!!!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2022?

I want to pick up more horror in 2022 and also some manga (give me your recs!)

6. A 2022 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

I haven’t read any yet because publishers haven’t approved any of my requests yet 😦

What is a 2022 sequel you are looking forward to? Which 2021 read do you wish more people had picked up? Which book did you feel was life-changing? Let’s discuss in the comments and leave a link to any end of the year post you’ve put together for me to visit!

2021 Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

I have not had the best reading year so far, but that has less to do with what I’ve been picking up and this general feeling of slumpiness. I am about to take a hiatus from the blog and hopefully recover some of my energy. I want to try and focus on reading more, but not necessarily reviewing every title. As a blogger I feel obligated to review all the books I read, but I’ve learned that this does not always translate to an overall enjoyable reading experience. Sometimes I need a break from writing reviews. Anyone else feel like this sometimes? But enough of that, let’s take a look at some of the books that standout to me so far this year. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

1. Best Book You’ve Read in 2021?

My favorite book so far this year has to be Hafsah Faizal’s We Free the Stars. I’ve had a good amount of five-star reads this year, but this one was just everything I hoped for in a sequel to We Hunt the Flame. It made me crave more stories in this world (I’m hoping) and guaranteed that I will preorder anything Hafsah Faizal writes.

2. Best Sequel You’ve Read in 2021?

I won’t go with We Free the Stars for this one, but I am tempted. I have not read a ton of sequels this year, but one that stands out is Maya Motayne’s Oculta. It had me screaming!!!!!!!!!

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

Sooooo many! Number one on my list is Tasha Suri’s The Jasmine Throne and it’s actually not my fault that I haven’t read this one yet. If you can believe it, I am still waiting for my preorder of this one. The delivery date has been pushed back twice and if it is again, I’m going to cancel and order somewhere else because I need this one already.

4. Most Anticipated Release For the Second Half of 2021?

If you are interested in my top ten most anticipated releases, you can check out my post on that here. If I had to choose only one, I think I have to go with Tiffany D. Jackson’s White Smoke. I am ready for TDJ to pull the rug right from under me again.

5. Biggest Disappointment?

There isn’t one book for me that stands out as a major disappointment. There were a few reads that I liked less than I thought I would, but none so much so that I feel like I should name them here.

6. Biggest Surprise?

I am going to go with C.L. Polk’s Witchmark. I’ve been hearing how good this one was for a couple of years now, but I did not anticipate loving it as much as I did. It’s my most recent five-star read that was a novel.

7. New Favorite Author?

I’ve picked up a few debuts this year, but one author I now have my eye on is Daka Hermon. Her middle grade horror, Hide and Seeker, was just so good and I cannot wait to read more from her.

8. Newest Fictional Crush? Favorite Ship?

So I don’t have any new fictional crushes, so I am changing this question to favorite ship. I loved loved loved Julián and Mat from Jonny Garza Villa’s Fifteen Hundred Miles From the Sun. They had me grinning throughout the novel.

9. Newest Favorite Character?

This is a harder question than I thought it would be. I am going to name a character who I’ve already met, but who I am getting reacquainted with with rereads. Kippa from the Monstress series by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda. I am very stressed anytime she is in danger.

10. Book That Made You Cry?

This is a tie between three different books. Tiffany D. Jackson’s Grown, Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite’s One of the Good Ones, and Anna-Marie McLemore’s The Mirror Season all made me ugly cry.

11. Book That Made You Happy?

I should have picked up Leah Johnson’s You Should See Me in a Crown sooner, but it put a big smile on my face.

12. Favorite Book to Movie Adaption You Saw This Year?

The only book to movie adaptation that I’ve watched this year that I know of is Always and Forever, Lara Jean. I definitely prefer the book over the movie though.

13. Favorite Review You’ve Written This Year?

I don’t think there is any one review that stands out to me, but I liked my review of We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal, which you can read here.

14. Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year?

So I haven’t read this one yet, but Namina Forna’s The Gilded Ones has one of the most gorgeous covers I have ever laid eyes on.

15. What Books Do You Need to Read By the End of the Year?

I don’t want to think too hard about how many books I need to get to by the end of the year, but I will highlight these three sequels that I want to read hopefully by the end of summer: Fonda Lee’s Jade War, S.K. Ali’s Misfit in Love, and Susan Dennard’s Witchshadow.

What’s your favorite book of 2021? Which book are you hoping to get to by the end of the year? Leave me a link in the comments to your own Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag post, so I can visit.

2020 Reading Stats: Who and What Did I Read This Year

Last year was the first year I did a rundown of reading stats. I really enjoyed crunching the numbers and taking a closer look at who I was reading and what I was reading. I thought I would do the same for 202 and hopefully make this an annual thing. This post comes a little late, but it’s still January, so posting 2020 stats is still acceptable, right? If you are interested in taking a look at last year’s post, you can find it here.