Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag: 2021 Edition

Hello again! We’re back! And in honor of our return we’ve decided to show what true procrastinators we are by doing the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag several months late! We were tagged by the lovely Tracy @ Truffle Reads back in early July, so obviously the proper time to provide our responses is the very, very end of August! (Don’t question this logic. When it comes to procrastination, we are the final word.)

Since we’ve already kept you waiting this long, without further preamble, here are the questions and more importantly, here are our answers!

Best book you’ve read so far in 2021?

Malka:

I’ve been struggling with this question since the beginning of 2021. While I’ve read some great books, there is not one that I can point my finger at and go “THAT! That is the book of my heart that I shall remember forever as the best book of 2021!”. There have been a few 5 star reads (very few), but even if the books were technically perfect, not a single book this year has given me that special feeling I get when I find a new favorite. I’m still hopeful that there will be at least one book that I can gush about at the end of the year, so let’s hope I read a whole bunch of new favorites in these last few months of 2021!


Chana:

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Hmm, there are a few but I’m going to go with top 2 for now! The Goblin Emperor and She Who Became the Sun are the best two books I’ve read this year! Both are unique and incredibly captivating and I kind of want to reread both of them already even though I just read them.


Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2021?

Malka:

All of the sequels I’ve read this year have actually been companion novels, since most of what I’ve read has been a romance of some sort. HOWEVER, this is still the perfect answer because I enjoyed this book more than I enjoyed the first book in this companion series. Which makes it a very good sequel indeed. If you want to hear more about WHY I enjoyed it more, you can check out my review!


Chana:

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Happens to be that 2021 is filled with the conclusions to series that I love. But I’m not really sure if the third book in a series technically counts as a sequel? So just to be safe I’m going to go with A Desolation Called Peace. I loved being able to dive back into the universe introduced in A Memory Called Empire and I liked seeing how Mahit and Three Seagrass’s relationship developed throughout the series.


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

Malka:


I honestly thought this list would be a lot longer, but it turns out that a lot of the books on my TBR are either backlist titles or aren’t released just yet. I guess I’ve been doing a pretty good job of reading new releases within a few months since they come out! Yay me!

The three that I’m mentioning here actually haven’t been out for that long either, but I still want to prioritize them! These were books I pre-ordered or went to the store specifically to pick up, so if I don’t read them by the end of the year I will be ashamed of myself.


Chana:

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Hahhahaha, I am so behind on all the books I want to read so yes I am going to be listing several.


Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

Malka:

This is without a doubt my most anticipated read of the year. I tried many times to get my hands on an ARC of this book, but didn’t succeed. So instead I have the book pre-ordered so that I can read it the moment it becomes available. I mean, it’s a romance about a woman in STEM and it promises lots of kissing from that cover. I am a woman in STEM that appreciates romance books with lots of kissing. Could you think of a better pairing?


Chana:

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I’m D Y I N G to read Light From Uncommon Stars!! Good news is that it’s only one more month until it comes out !!


Biggest disappointment?

Malka:


I kinda want to call the entire reading year of 2021 a disappointment for not presenting me with a new favorite. But that would just be petty. (Although I did have a lot of disappointments to choose from.) In the end I chose these two books since I was excited enough for both of these that I requested early copies through NetGalley. My 2 star review for Neon Gods is already posted on the blog, and my similarly rated review for The Lady Gets Lucky will be up in October. At least both of these books have pretty covers? Although the pretty covers might have raised my expectations and made these books even more disappointing. There really is no winning!


Chana:

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Everyone always raves about The Alchemist so I was kind of excited to read it but….meh. I completely understand why people love it! But I don’t really understand why its still so popular after almost 40 years.


Biggest surprise?

Malka:

I was so pleasantly surprised by this book! I know that most people adore The Hating Game, but I wasn’t the biggest fan. This book, however, was so cute! It was a lot slower and sweeter than the romances I tend to enjoy, but it still made me so happy to read, and after reading this book, I’d definitely give Sally Thorne another chance if any of her future works sound appealing to me!


Chana:

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Piranesi is so good and completely took me by surprise. I hadn’t really read about it anywhere (not because it’s not popular, more likely because I don’t read) and I just decided to read it on a whim and it completely took me by surprise! It’s a fantastic book that I highly recommend to everyone. If you liked Starless Sea I think you’ll like this. I can’t really think of anything else to compare it to other than “weird mix of Starless Sea and Secret History”.


Favourite debut or new to you author?

Malka:


I decided to choose one of each! So for my new to me author, I have Uzma Jalaluddin! I read Ayesha at Last towards the beginning of the year and really enjoyed it, so I then read Hana Khan Carries On, which I enjoyed as well. I don’t believe Uzma Jalaluddin has another book announced yet, but when she does I’ll be waiting to read it!

For my debut author I’m choosing Morgan Rogers, author of Honey Girl. I read that book at the exact right time and the lyrical and delicate writing absolutely blew me away! I can’t wait to see what Morgan Rogers writes next!


Chana:

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Nicholas Eames is new to me but I’ve fallen in love with his creative worldbuilding and characterization. Kings of the Wyld and Bloody Rose were both so enjoyable to read and I can’t wait to see what he writes next!


Newest fictional crush?

Malka:

Listen, all I want in life is to find a simp and to live happily ever after with him. So if I found a guy like Alex, one of the biggest simps out there, I would snatch him up in an instant. Also, I really loved this book. (And not just because I adore Alex. Although that was a big part of it.)


Chana:

All the books I read have characters who are either incredibly un-crushworthy or just like bad people. War criminals. Genocidal maniacs.


Newest favorite character?

Malka:

Honestly, I think the reason this question is so hard to answer is because I don’t have a favorite book. I haven’t felt super emotionally attached to any of the characters I read about. There were funny characters I read about, sweet ones and salty ones, but none of them made a lasting enough impression. So I guess I just don’t play favorites anymore? I dunno either.

Chana:

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Zhu! Objectively probably a bad person? Definitely a war criminal. But wow what a go-getter. Love that.


Book that made you cry?

Malka:

This book did not actually make me cry, because I am in fact heartless. However, I did come close to crying, so I’m using this book as my answer. This book made me sad, yes, but it also made me so ANGRY and that’s the real reason the tears started to form. As I’ve mentioned in my review, this book is heavy and heart breaking and also really, really good. (Even if it will make you shed a tear or two).


Chana:

I don’t think any book has made me cry this year? A result of me not being much of a crier and the fact that I don’t really read sad books.


Book that made you happy?

Malka:

This book had me smiling and laughing the entire time I read it! I started this book when I was having a hard day and it was the perfect choice! Reading about these two adorable idiots was just such a great time! If you’re looking for a light, cute book to put a smile on your face, you have the perfect book waiting for you right here!


Chana:

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This book was so cute!! I loved everything about it, from the cosplay to the cons to the relationshipssss. Absolutely adorable. Definitely made me happy.


The most beautiful book you’ve bought or received so far this year?

Malka:


Technically I’m cheating with both of my answers, since neither one of them have been released yet. But I do have an e-ARC of The Sweetest Remedy and I’ve pre-ordered The Fastest Way to fall, so I’m going to say that I own these both. But regardless of my ownership status, I think that both of these books are absolutely beautiful!


Chana:

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One of my friends bought me this Marvel encyclopedia for my birthday and it’s so pretty!! It’s completely illustrated and absolutely enormous!! 🥰


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

Malka:


SO MANY! I mean, have you seen my TBR? At the top of my list is The Starless Sea. I actually started it a few weeks back, but then life became too hectic to continue, since that book requires my focus. But I’m still hopeful that I can finish it by the end of the year!

Then we have Accidentally Engaged, a book that I received both an e-ARC of AND a finished copy, yet I haven’t finished it. What’s even more ridiculous is that I started it way back in the beginning of 2021, and was enjoying it, but then the blogging slump of doom hit and I wasn’t able to complete it. BUT I WILL! SOON!

Queen Move is one that I think I’ll really enjoy once I get into it, so it made this list. Of course, it also shows up on my list of 10 books I want to finish by the end of 2021, which I’m failing miserably at. And on top of that, Talia Hibbert has recommended it! What am I waiting for?

Lastly we have Not Your Sidekick, a book that I was supposed to buddy read back in July. Yup, over a month ago. I know it won’t make it much better, but if I manage to read the book in the same year that the buddy read occurred, I might just consider it a win.


Chana:

I’m not going to list anything. Because if I do I’m definitely going to curse myself to not end up reading those books. It always happens that way.


Favourite book to movie adaptation you’ve seen this year?

Malka:

I don’t really watch that many movies or shows, so I guess it’s not really surprising that I haven’t watched any adaptations this year. However, there are some upcoming adaptations that I have my eye on, so maybe my answer will be different next year!

Chana:

I don’t know that I’ve seen any book to movie adaptations this year. Does anime count? Also does webtoon to show count? I watched Sweet Home (it’s on Netflix) and it was so good. A little bit different than the webtoon but a great adaptation overall!

Sweet Home (TV series) - Wikipedia

Have you found a favorite book this year? Which book made you happy? Which release are you most anticipating?

12 thoughts on “Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag: 2021 Edition

    1. Ahh, yay!! I can’t wait to hear what you think of SWBS!! I’m already thinking longingly about the sequel 😂

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  1. The Mid-Year Freak Out Tag is always my favourite post series of the year and I love seeing everyone’s recommendations! People We Meet On Vacation is probably going to be my next read (or at least it’s very high on the priority list) so I’m glad to see such a positive review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah! I was a little self-conscious about posting our answers so late, but the tag is so much fun that we decided to provide our answers anyways!

      I really hope you adore People We Meet On Vacation! It definitely was a win for me, and I hope it will be the same for you as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah I love reading those kind of blog posts and seeing your favorites so far this year. I’m happy to see Honey Girl on here! I have this book on my TBR and it sounds SO good, but some mixed reviews made me nervous to get a copy… I’m so happy you enjoyed it so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup! This tag is so much fun, which is why we chose to do it, even if we were a bit late! I think the mixed review have to do with two things. Firstly, the writing style. IF you read a page or two and you like the writing style, you should be fine. If not, I might avoid it. Secondly, the romance is a much smaller part of the book than the marketing led me to believe. The book is fantastic and I definitely recommend it, but I think that there needs to be a shift in expectation to properly enjoy it!

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