Mid-Year Freakout Tag

Hello hello my lovely friends!

We’re over halfway through the year (I’m a little later than intended with posting this by oh well) so it’s the perfect time to check in with the goals I set for myself at the start of the year to see how I’m getting on.

First and foremost, my goodreads goal. As of today I have just hit 90/75 books so I’ve surpassed my target already and am beginning to think I was a little too easy on myself with aiming for 75 books. I read a total of 120 last year and unless I hit a massive reading slump I think I’m on track to pass that as well. I’m not going to change my goal so that I don’t put anymore pressure on myself and can just enjoy my time reading but I am curious to see what figure I end the year out on!

I also thought it would be fun to do the Mid-Year Freakout Tag created by Chami to see which books have been the standout for me so far. Let’s have a look at the questions shall we:

Best book you’ve read so far:

The top spot is tied between these two at the moment!

Docile honestly blew me away when I read it, I totally wasn’t expecting the reading experience and it’s stuck in my brain ever since. You can check out my review for it here. ACOMAF however, was like that eureka moment when you finally figure out the puzzle. This book finally made me realise what all the fuss was with Sarah J Maas and honestly, it’s only the fact that I’ve lent out my copy of the first book that has stopped me re-reading this series all over again even though I only finished it a few months ago.

Best sequel you’ve read so far:

I feel like there may be a lot of repetition on this list!

Crooked Kingdom is my standout book of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse so far. I flipping love this bunch of misfits and had a brilliant time reading about their escapades!

New release you still need to read:

Flash Fire is looking at me from my shelves as I type this! The only reason I’ve not managed to pick this one up yet is because I want to re-read the first book The Extraordinaries first and before I can set aside the time to do that I’ve got to get through my library books which are due back on the 21st! Ahh the struggles of library deadlines (she says after having had the books out since April).

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year:

Is anyone surprised that T J Klune’s other book is on here? No? Me either! I’m so freaking excited, and I’ve managed to order the Waterstones special edition so thats made me one happy reader!

Now, Nyla K! I read the first book in this Alabaster Penitentiary series earlier on this month and holy crap friends did it mess with my head. It’s a dark romance and I mean dark which isn’t something I’ve read a whole lot of but I bloody loved it. It also had a completely jaw dropping moment in there that made me almost throw my kindle across the room when I realised what was happening. I was talking about it for days and I’ve since downloaded a couple of Nyla’s other books to try out as well so I’m really excited to see what else she has in store for me. I will have a review for distorted shortly but be warned, if you’re thinking about checking it out you might want to check the trigger warnings first if you’re sensitive to certain ones as there are a few. Worth it though!

Biggest Disappointment:

Now this is always going to be a difficult category to answer but The Lost Apothecary comes straight to mind. It wasn’t that it was a bad book, its just that considering it was on my most anticipated released of 2021 list, I just really didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. The premise is still super interesting to me but the storyline just fell a little flat for my tastes.

I will say though, easily one of my favourite book covers of the year!

Biggest Surprise:

So after my anticipated releases question it’s going to come as no surprise that Distorted is on here. Again check the TW’s and if it’s not for you that’s ok. What also took me by surprise was The Sweetest Oblivion. Clearly I’ve been branching out a little in my romance reading (thanks in large to Kindle Unlimited) and this one is another Darker Romance in the Mafia sub genre. I’ve never read a mafia romance before and I was half expecting to find it a little too ‘stereotypical’ if you know what I mean. I must have picked a good one to start thought because holy hell friends the tension between these two characters. Easily the best build up to two characters getting together that I’ve read in ages! I was getting hot sweats!

Favourite new author (debut or new to you) :

Hand’s down got to go to this lady. 2021 will forever be known as the year I finally got my head of out of the ground and discovered Sarah J Maas.

Newest fictional crush:

I found this one really difficult for some reason. If I had to list a few it would be Rhysand (you could have bet on that one right?), Kaz Brekker and maybe Nico from The Sweetest Oblivion? What I do know is that I am an absolute sucker for a morally grey, vaguely damaged fictional boy.

Newest favourite character:

Kaz again, no question. I would also like to add in an honourable mention for Sam of the Wilds/Gary the Unicorn from T J Klune’s The Lightning Struck heart. Seriously, those guys are legends.

Book that made you cry:

At the start of the year I would have sworn blind that I wouldn’t be able to answer this question honestly, with a book that I shed genuine tears for and not just have to pick a book that made me feel really sad. Let me put it this way, I haven’t actually cried at a book since I read about Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (forgive me for mentioning it) when I read it the week it was released. It has been some time friends!

This book however…actual tears! There was no need, honest to god no need and I’m still mad about it now. I loved it and I hated it; Leigh Bardugo you cruel woman you!

Book that made you happy:

I shed tears for this book as well but it was on the opposite end of the emotional spectrum. I belly laughed my way through the entire thing (though there were some serious points as well) and I have never read something so ridiculous and funny in my life. I had such a good time with this that I’ve been saving the rest of the series for when I need a pick me up but I really must get round to reading them soon.

Honestly, just go and read the synopsis, you’ll see what I mean!

Most beautiful book you’ve bought this year:

I’m cheating a smidge with this one because I’ve got on order the 25th anniversary edition of Sabriel (I’ve actually ordered the uk and the Australian versions) and I am just so freaking excited to get my hands on it.

This is one of my all time favourite books in case you couldn’t guess 🙂

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

This is the perfect time to look back at my 21 books for 2021 post to check in and see how I’m doing. I’ll mark the books that I’ve read below:

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas – READ

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

To Sleep In A Sea Of Stars by Christopher Paolini

Get A Life Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Midnight Library by Matt Haig – READ

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

The Guest List by Lucy Foley – I substituted this one for The Hunting Party which I have READ!

The Hate U give by Angie Thomas – 50% through

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker

The Left Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Rhapsodic by Laura Thalassa – READ

The Poppy War by R F Kuang

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – READ

The Fifth Season by N K Jemisin

The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah

Well I’m not doing so well with this list as you can see! I’ve read 5 and a half out of 21. Oopsie!

My reading so far this year has been very heavily based in all of the different romance genre’s and I’ve been having a grand old time discovering new books and authors however I think it’s time to add a little diversity back into my reading for the remainder of the year! I’m interested to see how many of these books I can get ticked off by the end of year check in as I’ve managed to get my hands on most of them to read now so I’ve got no excuses!

Well that’s all for this mammoth mid-year check in lovelies, I think I’m going to go and sit in the sun with an ice cold drink after writing all of that!

Let me know how you’re reading year has gone so far and what your stand-out books are.

See you in the next one,

Jen x

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