2020 Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

I cannot believe that we are already in July. The pandemic really messed with time because these last few months have flown by. I regularly have to check my phone for the day of the week. And then double check because my brain feels like it is playing tricks on me. I am so excited to participate in the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag, created by booktubers Read Like Wildfire and Earl Grey Books. I know a lot of people have been reading more than usual, but I’ve been pretty consistent in my reading, but I will take that as a win. Let’s take a look at my favorites so far…Covers below are linked to Goodreads.

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1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2020?

I am not even going to pretend that any of you will be surprised by this pick. I have been singing Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s praises for years and have been pushing Mexican Gothic for months. This book literally revived my love for horror. If you enjoy novels with creepy atmospheres, strong characters, and a storytelling that keeps you up at night, this is the one for you. You can read my review here.

2. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2020?

I have not read a ton of sequels this year but both R.F. Kuang’s The Dragon Republic (read my review here) and S.A. Chakraborty’s The Kingdom of Copper were stellar (read my review here). I am scared of both of the final books in these series.

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

I know A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Rosanne A. Brown has only been out for a month and a half, but it is one of my most anticipated 2020 releases, so I kind of feel guilty about not getting to it yet.

4. Most Anticipated Release For Second Half of 2020?

I am so stoked for Miss Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia. I just got approved for an eARC of this one and cannot wait to read it, ah!!!! I am also one of the cohosts for a readathon of these authors’ work if you would like to join. Head over to the Meteor Shower Readathon Twitter account here for more info.

5. Biggest Disappointment?

Wilder Girls by Rory Power let me down big time. I had heard that not a lot of people loved it, but I still went into it with high hopes because I know people don’t often rate horror novels high. In the end, I wanted more from it. You can read my review here.

6. Biggest Surprise?

I don’t read a whole lot of non-fiction books, but this year I have been picking up more than usual. I really enjoyed Marcelo Hernandez Castillo’s memoir, Children of the Land. It was deeply moving and deserved more attention than a certain fictional book that still ended up on the NYT bestseller list despite all the concerns by Latinx authors and readers. Forever bitter. Read my review of Children of the Land here.

7. Favorite New Author?

Claire Kann, Claire Kann, Claire Kann!!!! I had the pleasure of reading two Claire Kann books this year. Let’s Talk About Love (read my review here) is about a Black biromantic, ace teen finding her way in the world. I loved Alice to pieces and she’s become one of my favorite protagonist’s ever. If It Makes You Happy is about a queer, fat Black girl who finds herself queen of her small town’s pageant. If you haven’t read Claire Kann you are missing out on some of the best and most precious protagonists and swoons galore.

8. Newest Fictional Crush?

I know it’s technically from after mid-year, but I am going to name Zafir from Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert as my newest fictional crush. He is just so soft.

9. Newest Favorite Character?

Noemí Taboado from Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia stole my heart the moment her date asked for a kiss good night and she responded with: “‘I’ve got to run, but you can have a bit of my lipstick,’ she replied, taking her cigarette and putting it in his mouth.”

10. Book That Made You Cry?

I am trying to recall if any of the books I read this year had me in tears and it feels like it happened, but I don’t have any distinct memories. I am going to say Jade City by Fonda Lee because it may not have made me cry, but it certainly had me shouting in pain.

11. Book That Made You Happy?

Trying not to repeat myself, but the book that made me the most happy was probably Claire Kann’s Let’s Talk About Love.

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

I don’t think I watched too many adaptations this year. At the top of my head, I cannot recall any, so I am going to take the opportunity to shout out my favorite K-Drama I watched this year. Crash Landing on You was an absolute delight. No other K-Drama this year has lived up to its perfection, so at some point I will probably rewatch it.

13. Favorite Review You’ve Written This Year?

I’m quite proud of my review of Mexican Gothic, which you can once again read here.

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

No, I won’t name Mexican Gothic again, but let’s just say it was in the running. Elizabeth Acevedo’s Clap When You Land is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen. The naked hardback is incredible.

 

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

This question! How about I name a couple of ARCs I need to get to that I haven’t mentioned yet: Mark Oshiro’s Each of Us a Desert and Aida Salazar’s Land of the Cranes. Both of these are high on my TBR.

What’s your favorite book of 2020? 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.

2019 Reading Stats: Who and What Did I Read This Year

I am so excited for this post. In all my years as a book blogger, I’ve never done an in depth, statistic-oriented post looking back at my reading habits. I didn’t have any major reading goals for 2019, so it’s interesting to see what I ended up picking up without any reading challenges requiring me to pick up specific things. A few things were not surprising like what genre I picked up the most, but others, like how many books by Latinx authors and by authors of color I read were pleasant surprises. I think this year has been my best year in terms of book ratings. Picking up more diverse books really improved the enjoyment I got out of books this year and I want to continue this in 2020. Let’s take a look at my stats…



Do you do statistic-oriented reading posts for yourself? Did you read more diversely this year? What genre did you pick up most in 2019? Which stat are you looking to improve? Leave me a link if you did a similar post!

2019 End of the Year Book Survey

Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner has once again posted her end of the year survey and I am so exited to share all my answers. This year I had so much fun reading amazing books and meeting new blogging friends. Shout out to all the Latinx bloggers and authors in the community who really made my year. I read a little bit more books this year than last year, reread a lot of favorites, and tackled a handful of buddy reads. Leave me a link in the comments if you are also doing this survey, I’d love to check out your favorite reads!

**2019 FINAL READING STATS**

Number Of Books You Read: 73 (will be 74 by the time January 1st rolls around)
Number of Re-Reads: 10
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy

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1. Best Book You Read In 2019?

Nina Moreno’s Don’t Date Rosa Santos was EVERYTHING. I cannot praise this book enough. It’s one of those books that felt written especially for me and I haven’t felt like that in a while. If you haven’t been charmed by this beautiful contemporary, do yourself a favor and get it!

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

Oh, I really really really wanted to love Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal. I’m always on the lookout for horror novels and horror novels by Latinx authors are so rare in the YA world, but alas, this one was a letdown.

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

I have enjoyed all of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s books, but hadn’t yet read her debut novel. What was I waiting for? Signal to Noise is just as impressive and ended up being one of my favorite reads of the year.

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

I think I pushed Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri the most this year. It was my last read in 2018 and I have been thinking about it every since (even fit in a reread at the end of the year). Please, please, PLEASE read this work of art. You will not regret it.

5. Best series you started in 2019? Best Sequel of 2019? Best Series Ender of 2019?

Why does it feel like I read Roshani Chokshi’s The Gilded Wolves two years ago? It took me a good minute to realize it came out this year. I loved it so much and with a reread fell even more in love with these characters. You are all not prepared for the sequel.

There were some really great sequels this year, but shout out to Susan Dennard’s Bloodwitch. I have been waiting for this sequel for two years and the wait was worth it. It was so darn good.

I didn’t finish a ton of series, but one that stood out was Tasha Suri’s Realm of Ash, it’s the conclusion to her The Books of Ambha duology and while it hit differently than Empire of Sand, it was just so beautiful.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2019?

Do you ever get a really good feeling about an author and their work? Something tells me that Hafsah Faizal is going to end up being one of my favorite authors. While her debut We Hunt the Flame isn’t without its flaws, it was so engrossing and I am really looking forward to the sequel.

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

When have you seen me pick up a nonfiction book? You haven’t because I just don’t. I was in a reading slump at the time and could not for the life of me find anything that felt right. I ended up reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates and just need all nonfiction books to be this unputdownable.

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

I loved the action in both Maya Motayne’s Nocturna and Rebecca Roanhouse’s Storm of Locusts. I did not want either of these novels to end.

9. Book You Read In 2019 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I could see myself rereading several of my 2019 reads, but I think I would most likely revisit Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2019?

My favorite cover of 2019 without a doubt was Elizabeth Acevedo’s With the Fire on High. It is breathtaking. And the naked hardback? I’m swooning right now.

11. Most memorable character of 2019?

This was a difficult question and I couldn’t quite decide until I recalled Silas from Sorcery of Thorns from Margaret Rogerson. He’s not even one of the main characters in the novel, but he was my favorite and I grew so attached to him, I almost cried at the end.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2019?

Tasha Suri’s Realm on Ash was so beautifully written. I am really looking forward to whatever she write next. It will be an instant buy for me.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/Life-Changing Book of 2019?

The Moon Within by Aida Salazar is one of the most beautiful, complex novels I’ve had the pleasure of reading. From menstruation, to gender identity, to cultural heritage, this MG is phenomenal. Please read this important novel.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2019 to finally read? 

It took me way too long to read Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman and it broke me. I might have to put her in the same category of Adam Silvera because this one ripped me apart.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2019?

So I am horrible at tracking quotes, but that really sticks out is from my reread of Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri. I get so emotional thinking about this quote.

“I would have been your clan, then,” he responded, so soft. “I would have loved you without vows or seals. Just my heart for yours, as long as you willed it.”

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2019?

The shortest book I read this year was Prime Meridian by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and the longest was a reread, Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most?

I feel like I read The Wicked King by Holly Black ages ago, but that’s just because Queen of Nothing also came out this year. The ending to The Wicked King literally made me gasp.

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

Maybe it’s because I like anxiety ships and secretly love to be tortured, but I love Zafira and Nasir from We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal. Also, shout out to Dani and Carmen from We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia. My poor girls better get a happily ever after ending.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

I loved reading about Maggie and Ben in Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse. I love that Maggie has no idea what to do with this teenage girl and every scene between them was pure gold.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2019 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

There were so many great sophomore books that I can’t just name one. Elizabeth Acevedo’s With the Fire on High, S.K. Ali’s Love from A to Z, and Margaret Rogerson’s Sorcery of Thorns all stood out to me.

21. Best Book You Read In 2019 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:

I was looking for some lighthearted contemporaries by authors of color and got recommended The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang and I enjoyed it so very much. I can’t wait to read The Bride Test.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2019?

I reread Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri in November and somehow fell more in love with Amun. PLEASE READ THIS BOOK AND MEET MY PRECIOUS AMUN!!!

23. Best 2019 debut you read?

Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno was my favorite read of the year and it is a stunning debut. I cannot wait for her sophomore novel. Auto-buy time.

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

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson blew me away with its world-building. If you like fantasy worlds that just take you away, you need to read this one.

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

I had the most fun reading Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez. I read and listened to the audiobook and I cannot count the number of times I just burst out laughing.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2019?

Several books made me cry this year. Don’t Date Rosa Santos and Starfish are two that really stand out.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud was such a delightful contemporary. You need to read it if romance is your thing and if you are in need of seeing more characters of color (particular black girls) being able to have that swept off your feet kind of story.  Also Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika and Maritza Moulite deserves a shout out as well. I didn’t have a chance to write a review for this one, but I loved this story about a girl learning more about her roots.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Again, I am so sorry to mention it so many times (I’m not), but Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno crushed my soul and then restored it? Brujería.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2019?

Alexandra Villasante delivered one of the most unique stories I’ve ever read with her debut The Grief Keeper. An experiment that allows people to literally take away someone’s grief away? The ethic questions this one raises are plentiful. I wish I had been in a better place at the time because this one deserved a glowing review from me.

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

Is it terrible that I am slightly annoyed that I haven’t loved any of Renée Ahdieh’s novels since The Wrath and the Dawn duology? I didn’t have tons of expectations going into The Beautiful, but maybe I’m just mad that one of my favorite authors is no longer one of my favorite authors.

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1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2019?

I found a lot of favorite blogs and bloggers, but I’m going to give a shout out to one of my Latinx Book Club cohosts, Jocelyn @ yogi with a book. It’s always fun to find a kindred spirit in the blogging community and Jocelyn and I are always so in sync.

2. Favorite post you wrote in 2019?

Once again my favorite posts this year was my Latinx Heritage Month series, Talk Chisme to Me. I’m glad I worked on these early because I wasn’t in the best place when it came time to post them, but they helped me get back in the swing of things blogging wise. Check out all my posts below:

Talk Chisme to Me, Part I: The TBR

Talk Chisme to Me, Part II: Favorite Books By Latinx Authors I Read This Past Year

Talk Chisme to Me, Part III: New & Upcoming Releases

Talk Chisme to Me, Part IV: Biggest Influencers

Talk Chisme to Me, Part V: Under the Radar Books Added to My TBR

Talk Chisme to Me, Part VI: Looking Ahead at the TBR

3. Favorite bookish related photo you took in 2019?

I really like this photo I did of Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. You can see it along with other bookish photos on my Instagram here.

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

My favorite “event” that happened this year was #YellowforRosa on Twitter. Not only did it give us a chance to promote a Latinx author’s debut (Don’t Date Rosa Santos), but it ended up connecting me with so many wonderful Latinx bloggers.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2019?

The Latinx Book Club’s inception and its interview on Forbes.com felt pretty big.

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

Deciding whether blogging was still going to be an important part of my life after experiencing a major loss. I still want to keep blogging as it’s become such a sanctuary for me.

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

My most popular blog post this year that wasn’t a meme was Welcome to My New Blog…Kind Of. It’s not much of a post, but it was my announcement post after I gave my blog a whole makeover. Eight months later, I am still really satisfied with the changes.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I wish more people checked out my review of Blood of a Thousand Stars by Rhoda Belleza. This duology is amazing and I need you all to read it!!!

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I am going to go with Bookstagram. This year I finally gave in and joined Instagram. I am really enjoying the experience though to be honest I am still puzzled when it comes to Stories. Follow me here!

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

I set my Goodreads goal to fifty books because I didn’t want to stress too much and it was so nice. I also joined the Beat the Backlist challenge and failed!!! But I am okay with that.

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1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2019 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2020?

There are a few 2019 books I really wanted to get to but didn’t get a chance. High on my TBR is Rin Chupeco’s The Never Tilting World. I preorder this one and still haven’t read this one. I will in January (hopefully).

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2020 (non-debut)?

I am so stoked for Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I am so stoked for her first horror novel. I have high hopes and this cover is one of the most gorgeous I’ve ever laid eyes on. I need it so bad.

3. 2020 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I am so excited for Claribel Ortega’s Ghost Squad. I have been such a fan of her for years and she’s one of those people am wishing all the success for. I will probably preordering this one.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2020?

I need Wayward Witch by Zoraida Córdova so badly! I am literally teary-eyed just thinking of this one. I’ve loved her Brooklyn Brujas series so much. Crossing my fingers I can get my hands on an ARC.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2020?

I read a lot of books by Latinx authors in 2019 and I might low-key aim for an even higher number this year.

6. A 2020 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

You all must read Anna-Marie McLemore’s Dark and Deepest Red. It was so so so so so good. Review coming so soon!

Did you do this survey? Leave me your link in the comments and I will visit!

2019 Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

Quick note that you will be seeing more blog posts than usual from me over the course of the next week because I preparing to go on hiatus for the month of July and have to fit all of these posts in before then. I am going to try to get to all the comments before the month ends, but I really can’t make any promises.

The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag was originally created by booktubers Read Like Wildfire and Earl Grey Books. I’ve been doing this tag for the last couple of years and I love that it gives me a chance to evaluate what I’ve read at the halfway point in the year. Shout out to Melanie and Mireille @ TBR and Beyond for tagging me this year. These (almost) last six month have gone by rather quickly for me. My 2019 has been largely defined by buddy reads and the Latinx Book Club. I’ve done more buddy reads this year than I’ve ever done in a given year and it’s both my first time participating and cohosting a book club. So far, 2019 has been full of new and exciting things and I’m looking forward to what the rest of the year holds in store. Covers below are linked to Goodreads.

1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2018?

This is always the most difficult question, but I am going to go with Nina Moreno’s Don’t Date Rosa Santos because of the way it made me feel. I legit almost cried when I got my hands on the ARC thanks to Morgan @ The Bookish Beagle. Bless you. If you enjoy  multi-layered contemporaries, generational stories, Latinx protagonists, pick this one up, you won’t regret it!

2. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2018?

I’ve read a few really good sequels so far this year, but I will say Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard was my favorite. I’ve been waiting so long for this third book and thanks to the generosity of a fellow blogger (Amber Elise @ Du Livre, you angel!), was able to read an ARC and it met all my very irrational expectations.

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

Um, how much time do you have? I’ve missed out on quite a few 2019 releases, but the one I am eager to get to before all the others is With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo.

4. Most Anticipated Release For Second Half of 2018?

I can only pick one? So cruel. I am going to say The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh. I am really looking forward to this new series and am willing to give up my first born for an ARC.

5. Biggest Disappointment?

I hate to say it but I was really disappointed in Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal. I can’t remember the last time I disliked a protagonist so much and actively rooted against them.

6. Biggest Surprise?

I’m going with Maya Motayne’s Nocturna, not because I didn’t expect to like it but because words can’t express how much I ended up loving these characters. My beautiful, soft Alphie and my strong, but wounded Finn. It was a four-star read for me, but if I do a reread don’t be surprised if it gets bumped up to five.

7. Favorite New Author?

Margaret Rogerson. With Sorcery of Thorns, I am officially adding her to my favorites list. Her writing is so good and in the fantasy genre, it can sometimes be hard to find really unique storytelling and I’m just so in love with hers.

8. Newest Fictional Crush?

I think I’m just going to crush on Kai from Trail of Lightning and Storm of Locusts some more. I can never get enough Kai.

9. Newest Favorite Character?

Ben from Storm of Locusts. I feel like this character was able to breath new life into a mostly Kai-free Storm of Locusts, which is pretty impressive in my book.

10. Book That Made You Cry?

I kid you not, I got teary eyed on page two of Don’t Date Rosa Santos. That book made me really emotional throughout.

11. Book That Made You Happy?

As sad as it sounds, I don’t think I’ve read too many happy happy books this year, but you know what made me really happy? Being offered an ARC of Love from A to Z by the publisher.

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

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse hand down. I love Miles Morales so much and this movie was a sight to behold. I’ve been counting down the days until it’s on Netflix so I can watch it again and again.

13. Favorite Review You’ve Written This Year?

I really enjoyed writing my review of Sorcery of Thorns. This is not something I say often, but I was literally thrilled to sit down (figuratively, because I wrote most of it while on my walk with my dog) and write it. I’m also quite happy with the way it turned out. Check it out here.

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

Hands down it’s With the Fire on High. The hardcover made me super emotional and I just love it so much.

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

I just looked at the books I put down last year and I failed so hard, so this time I am only mentioning one book. I am determined to get to Vicious by the end of the year because it is time.

What’s your favorite book so far in 2019? What book are you hoping to get to before the year is out? Consider yourself tagged if you want to do this one! Leave me a link in the comments to your own Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag post, so I can visit.